Ranchi, April 27: Jharkhand High Court has urged the state government to create 80 additional posts of judicial magistrates to cope with arrears.
But reacting to the report “Judgment day jolt to state judges” in this newspaper today, registrar-general Krishna Murari claimed that the arrears have come down significantly in the state.
He also asserted that the number of pending cases in Jharkhand is less than that in the neighbouring states.
The total number of criminal cases pending in the state, he said, is 200,000 or so, out of which sessions trials for serious offences, including murder and rape, amounted to only 18,162. The number of civil cases pending in the state is put at 43,625.
The newspaper report, quoting a UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) sponsored study, referred to the situation prevailing two years ago, claimed the registrar-general. And in any case, he added, the study was related to only a specific category of cases concerning women, children and the disabled.
Still, the subordinate judiciary in the state has a shortage of judges. While the Supreme Court has laid down the norm as 50 subordinate judges for a population of 10 lakh, Jharkhand, with a population of 2.69 crore, has only 448 subordinate judges, he pointed out.
The working strength of munsifs/judicial magistrates is 207 against the cadre strength of 220. Similarly, the working strength of sub-judges is 76 only, he added.
Although the study conducted by the Jharkhand Judicial Academy painted a bleak picture of the subordinate judiciary, “now, the situation is completely different”, the registrar-general asserted. Sessions trial cases related to murder and rape, instituted in 2006, he claimed, have already been taken up for disposal.
The pendency of cases in neighbouring states like Bengal and Orissa are much more while the total pendency of criminal cases in Jharkhand is two lakh and odd only, he added.
While the survey, reported in this newspaper, had been launched in December, 2004, the report was finally submitted to the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, in February this year.
The project implementation committee, headed by Justice R.K. Merathia, consisted of home secretary Sudhir Tripathy, law secretary Prashant Kumar, an additional secretary, Union law ministry, UNDP representative Pradeep Sharma, NJA director G. Mohan Gopal and the registrar-general himself.