More than 30,000 cases have been pending in the Union Territory for the past five years, and to clear them, on average, each officer of the court disposes of 20 cases a month, Chief Judge of Puducherry C.S. Murugan said on Saturday.

“To ensure proper dispensation of justice, however, it is vital that witnesses understand the importance of court and take their responsibility seriously. No matter how much investigation is done by the police, it is difficult to deliver a proper verdict without the cooperation of witnesses,” he told journalists at the end of a Mega Lok Adalat.

During the Lok Adalat, 10,000 cases were presented, and 6,468 were dismissed. The settlement amount of all the cases was Rs. 9,87,96,664.

Of the total, there were 219 accident settlements amounting to Rs. 4,35,63,000, 154 cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act (mainly dealing with bounced cheques) with settlements amounting to Rs. 1,42,40,720, he said.

These apart, 3,822 petty cases, 1,569 criminal cases, 486 pre-litigation cases, 17 Family Court cases, 195 civil cases and six labour cases were dismissed. The previous Lok Adalat was held on November 23 last. It heard over 18,000 cases and the settlements exceeded Rs. 25 crore.

During the Lok Adalat, ordered by the Madras High Court, three Bench were set up, each comprising two judges and one advocate.

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