Annual disposal rate had also almost doubled from 42,144 cases in 2005 to 80, 364 cases in 2013.
The Madras High Court Bench here, all set to celebrate its 10 anniversary on July 24 this year, has proven itself to be a hub of justice for the litigants in southern districts by disposing of a whopping number of 6.24 lakh cases ever since its inauguration in 2004.
The annual disposal rate of the Bench had also almost doubled from 42,144 cases disposed of in 2005 to 80, 364 cases in 2013.
The increase in the strength of judges in the Bench from just five in 2005 to 12 in 2013 was one of the reasons for the spurt in rate of disposal.
The Bench began its journey on July 24, 2004 with the transfer of 19,324 cases pertaining to the southern districts from the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai. Of the cases transferred here, a majority of 6,723 were Second Appeals followed by 3,359 civil miscellaneous appeals.
They also included 2,995 appeal suits; 2,362 criminal appeals; 1,519 civil revision petitions; 313 criminal revision cases, 312 criminal original petitions and 1,691 civil miscellaneous petitions. Not a single writ petition, writ appeal or contempt application was transferred.
Nevertheless, 4,902 writ petitions; 6,183 criminal original petitions (seeking bail, anticipatory bail and so on); 975 civil revision petitions; 502 second appeals were filed directly in the Bench before the end of 2004 itself thereby proving the value accorded to it by the litigant public.
There had been no turning back since then as the rate of institution of cases as well as that of disposal has been on a steady rise with the filing and disposal of writ petitions having reached 20,970 and 15,336 respectively in 2013 as against 11,776 and 6,692 in 2005.
Disposal rate of criminal appeals was very less in the initial years since the court had only one Division Bench for hearing both writ and criminal appeals.
But the rate improved after the creation of a separate Division Bench to hear criminal matters and habeas corpus petitions.
The result was that the disposal of criminal appeals had been much higher than the institution of new cases ever since 2006.
Though only 674 criminal appeals were filed in 2007 and 571 were instituted in 2008, the number of cases disposed of in the two years were 1,223 and 1,026 respectively.
Ultimately, a huge number of 7,64,885 cases were filed in the Bench directly (apart from 19,324 cases transferred from Chennai before its inauguration) between July 24, 2004 and July 2, 2014 and of the total, it disposed of 6,24,842 cases through judicial orders.
A total of 2,270 cases were either referred to the Legal Services Authority for mediation or conciliation or transferred to the Principal Seat in Chennai thereby leaving a backlog of 1,57,097 cases as on July 2.