The Telegraph
Thursday , July 17 , 2014
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Kamrup tops pending court cases

Jorhat, July 16: Kamrup (metro) tops the districts in Assam with the highest number of pending cases.

Dhemaji is at the other end of the spectrum with the least number of pending cases.

Gauhati High Court issued this data and sent it to all district judiciaries yesterday.

It stated that up to May 2014, 236,348 cases (of all categories) were pending in the district courts.

These include criminal, civil, excise, traffic and other offences.

Judicial sources said Gauhati High Court is concerned over pendency of cases in the districts and its subordinate courts in Assam and has been giving directions as per an action plan (prepared by the high court in 2011) to the courts to clear long-pending cases by according priority.

The high court has also been organising review meetings with senior judicial officers of the districts in recent time to know about the status of implementation of the plan to reduce backlog of pending cases.

Sources said the high court, in a missive sent to all district and its subordinate courts yesterday, provided a data on backlog of cases pending till May 31, 2014, to emphasise the matter.

As per the statement of the high court, the courts in Kamrup (metro) have the highest number of pending cases (36,917).

Dhemaji has the lowest number of pending cases (1,822).

Nagaon with 23,863 cases pending is in the second highest position in the list while Udalguri with 2,042 cases occupies the second lowest position.

The high court had taken the initiative to reduce pendency of cases after the Supreme Court exhorted all high courts in the country to take up cases pending in courts for five or more years on a priority basis to bring down the pendency of such cases to zero.

According to official records, 253,428 cases were pending in the lower courts in the state on December 31, 2012, marginally down from 259,596 on January 1, 2012.

The percentage of disposal of cases in the subordinate courts was 48.6 in 2012.

The sources cited vacancies for judicial officers, shortage of public prosecutors and lack of infrastructure in subordinate courts as some of the reasons for the backlog.

The action plan of Gauhati High Court has asked the judges of the district and sessions courts to give priority to holding day-to-day trial of cases pending for five or more years and try not to adjourn hearing of such cases for more than 15 days.

An order passed by then Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice A.K. Goswami in August 2013, asked the state government to ensure that investigating officers are at least graduates and adequately trained and sufficient number of prosecutors are recruited.

The state government was also directed to constitute an agency to serve summons in criminal cases in places where there is high pendency.

The high court had also issued an order, asking district and sessions court judges to expeditiously dispose of cases of undertrial prisoners who had been in custody for more than two years.

It also instructed judicial magistrates to quickly dispose of cases of undertrials who had been in custody for over six months.

In February 23 this year, the high court convened a meeting of top judicial officers of the districts to evaluate the implementation of the action plan.

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