Rajasthan: Shortage of judges delays court hearings in over 38% cases
Courts in Rajasthan have more than 16.5 lakh cases pending.
Jaipur: Rajasthan’s High Court and lower courts are facing a severe shortage of judges. This situation has led to an incredibly high number of pending cases. The high court has more than 2.5 lakh pending cases while the situation in lower courts is worse as nearly 14 lakh cases are still pending. People have been waiting for justice for years however the situation is such that those delays are inevitable.
This has also resulted in the jails being overcrowded. These jails have more than 22 thousand inmates and about 17 thousand of these people are still awaiting hearings of their respective cases. The high court did take some initiatives to address this issue, however, there has been little impact on the prevailing situation. For every 10 lakh people, there are only about 19 judges. This directly contradicts the notice issued in 1987 which makes it mandatory to have 50 judges for 10 lakh people.
The population of the state is 6 crores 86 lakhs and according to this, there should be 3430 judges, however, there are only 1357. Only when this existing number of judges increases, one can expect timely hearing of pending cases. Due to the shortage of judges, the courts have been overburdened. The high court has currently 24 judges against the total vacancy of nearly 50 judges.
On the Jodhpur and Jaipur benches of the Rajasthan High Court, there were 2,50, 909 cases pending as of August 2016. This number has increased by 6000 in a year’s time. The high court has formed special benches which hear cases even after the official court timings. This has been done to addresses the present situation. Even during the vacation season, this team conducted hearings.
The number of pending cases for the past five years is nearly 3.12 lakhs. Out of these 82,794 cases are pending for the past 10 years. The government has been given a proposal to increase the number of judges in the subordinate courts as well.