Over 59 lakh cases were pending in the High Courts until July 22, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha last week. In reply to another question, the Minister tabled data on women judges serving in various courts, including 4 in the Supreme Court and 96 in the High Courts, as of July 25.
Pendency of cases
Replying to a question from Dr C M Ramesh (BJP) on July 28, Rijiju provided a break-up for a backlog of 59,57,454 cases in 25 High Courts. Allahabad High Court has the highest number of pending cases at over 10 lakh. Next are the High Courts of Rajasthan (just over 6 lakh) and Bombay (just under 6 lakh).
While noting that disposal of pending cases in courts is within the domain of the judiciary, and that the government has no direct role in their disposal, Rijiju said: “The Central Government is fully committed to speedy disposal of cases in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution and reducing pendency. The Government has taken several initiatives to provide an ecosystem for faster disposal of cases by the judiciary.”
He listed various initiatives such as virtual courts and videoconferencing, and filling up of vacant positions.
The Minister presented the details on women judges in reply to a question by Dr Amee Yajnik (Congress). The 4 women judges in the Supreme Court are against a sanctioned strength of 34 judges, and the 96 women judges in the High Courts are against a sanctioned strength of 1,108 judges.
Out of the 96 women judges in the High Courts, Delhi and Madras HCs between them account for one-fourth, at 12 women judges each. Telangana has 9 women judges, Bombay has 8, and Calcutta and Punjab & Haryana have 7 each. Five HCs — Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Patna, and Uttarakhand — do not have a single woman judge.
The Minister also tabled data on women judges serving in district and subordinate courts.