20 million cases pending in India’s district courts

BACKlawbookAt this point in time over 20 million cases are still pending in Indian district courts, two-thirds of which are criminal cases, 1 in 10 of which have been pending for over 10 years.

The National Judicial Data Grid that released this information also said there is just 1 judge for every 73,000 people in India, and at the rate the cases are handled, civil cases will take over 30 years to be cleared, which presents a looming crisis.

Delhi has the worst population-to-judge ratio, and smaller states and union territories Chandigarh, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have twice as many judges per person compared to the national average.

Uttar Pradesh is the state with the maximum case burden on each judge, with some 2,500 cases pending per judge. Maharashtra has a backlog of 100,000 cases every month.

Of the states clearing the case backlog, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are the best as they will clear pending cases within 6 years.

It is a known fact that India’s judicial infrastructure is broken and the analysis reveals where to invest on judicial infrastructure and fill vacancies for judges. It also provides the evidence needed for urgent reforms in the right areas.