Subordinate courts in Telangana sit on pile of cases

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Apart from the Hyderabad High Court, there is a heavy pendency of cases in the district and subordinate courts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as well. While in Telangana at least 4.9 lakh cases — both civil and criminal — are pending, in Andhra Pradesh 5.2 lakh cases are yet to be disposed of.

According to a reply given by the minister of law and justice on July 18 in the Lok Sabha, around 2.7 lakh crore cases, both civil and criminal, are pending in the various district and subordinate courts across the country. The highest number of pendency of around 66 lakh cases is reported from Uttar Pradesh. This is followed by Maharashtra at 34 lakh and then West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat. However, the good news for Telangana is that among all southern states, it has the lowest number of cases pending

Lack of judges in lower courts and the high court has been attributed as the significant cause for pendency of cases. In Telangana and AP there are 75 judicial officers’ vacancies in district and city courts.

In Hyderabad High Court, out of the sanctioned strength of 61 judges, there are 32 vacancies, according to the Union government. Overall, in the country, 417 posts of high court and Supreme Court judges are vacant. In Hyderabad High Court, 3.5 lakh cases are pending, which includes writs, civil and criminal appeals. Across the country, in all the high courts put together, around 43 lakh cases are pending.

PP Chaudhary, minister of state for law and justice, in an answer to the question in Lok Sabha, said, “While existing vacancies of judges in the high court are filled up, further vacancies arise due to retirement, resignation or elevation of judges and due to increase in the strength of judges. Selection and appointment of judges in the subordinate courts is the responsibility of the high courts and state gover nments.”

In 2015, 24 high courts set up arrears’ committees to clear the backlog of pending cases. District judges hold monthly meetings of all judicial officers to monitor progress in reduction of long pending cases. Supreme Court also constituted an arrears committee to formulate steps to reduce pendency of cases in high courts and district courts.

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