HC meet to clear backlog

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By PANKAJ SARMA
  • Published 2.07.12
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Guwahati, July 1: Gauhati High Court has convened a meeting on July 22 to review the progress in its plan to cut down the number of cases that have been pending for five years or more.

Official sources said Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Adarsh Kumar Goel, called the meeting to monitor the implementation of the action plan that was prepared to achieve “zero pendency” of cases — in the subordinate courts under Gauhati High Court — which were five or more years old.

The meeting was convened after Union law minister Salman Khurshid wrote to the chief justices of all the high courts in the country and asked them to rid the judicial system of old cases.

Khurshid had urged the chief justices to actively participate in the drive between July 1 and December 2012.

All district and sessions judges, judges of the special court, CBI court, designated court, family courts, labour courts and industrial tribunal and presiding officers and members of the Motor Accident Claim Tribunals been asked to attend the meeting.

“The judges were asked to attend the meeting with up-to-date figures of cases pending for more than five years in their respective courts and the steps taken by them for execution of the action plan,” a source said.

“They will also have to furnish the pendency and disposal statements of cases under the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act and other cases pending for more than five years for the period between December 15, 2011 and June 30, 2012,” he added.

He said the high court had taken a hard look at courts that deal with “cheque bounce” cases under the NI Act. Cheque bounce cases contribute the most in piling up the backlog of cases.

In December last year, the high court had issued an official order asking judges of all the district and sessions courts to expeditiously decide all cases that were pending for five years or more, the source said. “In the order, the district courts were asked to hold day-to-day hearings of the cases that were 10 years old,” he said.

The Union law minister had also pointed out the fact that substantial funds were available with the state governments out of the grants sanctioned under the 13th Finance Commission and these funds could be used to create special courts and Alternative Disputes Redressal centres to reduce the number of pending cases.

Till June 30, 2011, high courts across the country had a backlog of 43,50,868 pending cases while 2,76,70,417 unsettled cases were pending in the subordinate courts. As on November last year, 52,897 cases were pending in Gauhati High Court.