State Litigation Policies are expected to be in place in all States by 2011 as part of Law Ministry-led initiatives to reduce pendency of cases and facilitate speedy trial, Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the third regional review meeting of High Courts of southern States, Mr. Moily said an estimated 2.70 crore cases were pending in subordinate courts across the country in addition to the 40 lakh cases before High Courts and 50,000 cases at the Supreme Court.

Infrastructure development in district and subordinate courts and filling up of vacancies were among the priority areas chalked out at the meeting to discuss an action plan for the utilisation of the Rs. 5,000 crore earmarked for the Law Ministry under the 13th Finance Commission grant towards improving the justice delivery system, he said.

“Filling up vacant posts in the judiciary alone is expected to reduce pendency of cases by about 30 per cent,” Mr. Moily said.

Establishment of holiday courts, strengthening the family court infrastructure and opening pre-litigation mediation centres were among the measures discussed at the meeting.

It is also proposed to expand training programmes on relatively new subjects such as cyber laws by better utilization of existing infrastructure.

The Law Ministry is seeking to involve all stakeholders, including the legislature and executive, in making the judiciary stronger, Mr. Moily said. “Apart from ensuring the rule of law, the aim is to deliver fast and inclusive justice,” he said.

The Government of India would soon be coming out with various guidelines that reflect the outcomes of the regional consultations, Mr. Moily said.

The Chennai meeting was the third regional round of discussions after the meetings at Guwahati and Kolkata. This is to be followed by regional meetings at Goa and Delhi.

State Law Minister Durai Murugan, Chief Justices of the High Courts of Madras, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and judicial officers were among those who participated in the meeting.

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