CJI Acts On 700 Pending Cases On A Single Day; Asks For Defects To Be Cured
On March 26, the Chief Justice of India, Justice Rajan Gogoi had a staggering 750 cases being listed before him. These cases were listed before the bench headed by Justice Gogoi and consisting of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna.
Giving the reason behind listing so many cases, CJI said that case numbers 12 to 751 were all defective. Some of these cases dated back to 2010 and 2011. They had remained pending owing to defects. The bench decided that the cases would be dismissed without notice if defects were not cured in the earmarked two weeks time.
Pending cases gathering dust
They said cases were lying in the Supreme Court registry gathering dust, some as old as nine years. “They are all defective. Petitioners have not cleared the defects. These cases are pending since 2010, 2011, 2012,” said Justice Gogoi, as reported by The Hindu.
The bench told the petitioners and the lawyers concerned that they would get just two weeks to clear the pending cases. When a lawyer intervened and asked for at least four weeks time, CJI firmly said, “No, two weeks, that’s it.”
It may be noted that while taking over as the CJI, Justice Gogoi had said that he would try to tackle the problem of piling up of pending of cases, which is bringing disrepute and reducing the judiciary system to irrelevance, as reported by Bar and Bench.
The Supreme Court has 57,785 pending cases as of March 2019. Out of these, at least 13,257 cases are either incomplete or not ready cases.
Expressing serious concern over the poor judge-population ratio in the country, the then chief justice of India, TS Thakur in May 2016, had said that India needed more than 70,000 judges to clear the pending legal cases.
Speaking at a programme organized by the Orissa high court, then Chief justice of India expressed concern over the shortage of judges and the delay in appointments while stating that access to justice was a fundamental right and governments cannot afford to deny it to the people. He said the government should expedite the process of filling up vacancies to ensure speedy delivery of justice.