Legal Nation

Projected pendency of 45 million cases in Indian courts an overstatement, says CJI NV Ramana

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Saturday (July 17, 2021) said that the projected statistics that pendency in Indian courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload, is an ‘overstatement’ and an ‘uncharitable analysis’.

During an address at the India-Singapore Mediation Summit, Ramana also said that people know that when things go wrong, the judiciary will stand by them.

“It gives them the strength to pursue a dispute,” the CJI expressed.

He added, “The often-quoted statistic that pendency in Indian Courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload is an overstatement and an uncharitable analysis.”

The Chief Justice of India also said that there is a need to develop mechanisms for conflict resolution and referred to the Mahabharata, providing an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool.

“Mediation is deeply embedded into the Indian ethos and was prevalent before the British adversarial system in India, various forms of mediation were being practised as a method of dispute resolution,” he said.

Ramana also informed that the issue of judicial delays is a complex problem, not just in India and provided several factors that contribute to such a situation. He said that one of them is an Indian phenomenon called ‘luxurious litigation’.

“It is a specific type of litigation wherein parties with resources attempt to frustrate the judicial process and delay it by filing numerous proceedings across the judicial system. Undeniably, the prevailing pandemic has also contributed to our woes,” the CJI said.

Earlier in the day, CJI Ramana also launched the live streaming of Gujarat High Court proceedings. During the event, he said that a judge should never be deterred from his duty to protect the right of one against the might of many and as a repository of people’s faith, a judge cannot afford to lose objectivity.

He also said that he is keen to start live streaming in at least a few of the courts at the Supreme Court.

He stressed the importance of live streaming of Court proceedings and said it is important for the dissemination of information as a part of Article 19 of the Constitution.