40 year old cases still pending with Delhi High Court
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Delhi High Court seeking details of oldest cases pending before HC. It also sought to know if the court had any record regarding cases where appeals have been made against acquittal by a trial court. The applicant wanted a detailed break up of pending cases into civil and criminal ones.
The reply provided by the court shows that the oldest pending civil cases date back to almost 40 years where one case was from 1972 and two civil cases from 1973. The oldest criminal case pending with the court is of 1976. It also states that three cases filed between 1974 and 1977 in which litigant had appealed against a decision of the trial court were pending.
The reply also reveals that the HC doesn't follow any model case flow system nor has it prioritized cases into Track I - Track IV as advised by Supreme Court in a 2005 judgment.
The RTI reply also shows that the criteria to be followed by HC while delivering judgments as per the Supreme Court directions in "Anil Rai v. State of Bihar" are not followed by the High Court. The SC had directed that there shouldn't be any "unreasonable delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgments", saying that if judgments are not pronounced within three months, any of the party can seek an early decision. The reply to RTI application reveals that several cases are pending for pronouncement since August -December 2011.