When the year 2014 dawned, the pendency of cases in the Madras High Court was nearly 5.57 lakh. The figure was nearly 50,000 more than when 2012 ended.
As on January 1 this year, the pendency was 5,57,479 cases, of which 3,67,156 were civil and 42,898 criminal in nature before the Principal Seat here. 1,23,227 civil and 24,198 criminal cases were pending before the Madurai Bench.
A total of 2,88,922 cases were instituted before the Principal Seat and the Madurai Bench and 2,31,817 cases were disposed of in 2013, according to official sources. The disposal last year was nearly 14,000 less when compared to 2012.
A glance at the statistics would show that the pendency of cases had increased over the last six years. It was nearly 4.28 lakh cases in 2007 and went up to 4.51 lakh the next year. It came down by a bit to 4.31 lakh in 2009 and increased again to 4.48 lakh in 2010, 4.73 lakh in 2011 and five lakh in 2012.
The institution of cases had also increased in the last few years. It was 2.72 lakh when 2012 ended as compared to 2.66 lakh when 2011 ended.
At present, there are only 47 Judges as against the sanctioned strength of 60. Seven persons were sworn in as Additional Judges on October 25 last year. With the increase in the strength, disposal of cases is expected to go up. Fewer adjournments and quick filing of response to petitions and avoiding court boycotts would also help.
In the subordinate courts , nearly 18.99 lakh cases were instituted in 2013 and 18.44 lakh cases were disposed off, leaving a pendency of 12.88 lakh cases. In Puducherry, 30,749 cases were pending at the end of 2013.