RTI reveals huge number of cases pending in magistrate courts across Mumbai
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details about the pending cases in different magistrate courts across Mumbai. The reply to the application has revealed that a total of 3.72 lakh cases are pending in different courts in Mumbai as on July 31, 2013. Out of these, 8,464 have been pending for more than 20 years and 51,074 for more than a decade. The reply states that over 67,000 cases have been pending for more than five years.
The RTI reply shows that this huge pendency is in spite of the fact that in last three years, over 11 lakh cases have been disposed of. The data provided in the reply shows that 4.02 lakh cases were disposed of in 2010 followed by 3.82 lakh cases in 2011 and 3.49 cases in 2012. The reply also revealed that there are 75 courts in the city but the chief metropolitan magistrate's court is vacant and there are 3,152 cases pending with it.
When Sunny Deol said his famous dialogue “tarikh pe tarikh” (date after date), he was not far from reality. The number of times a case comes up for hearing before a final decision is large. There are a number of infructuous hearings and dates with prolonged gaps leading to unnecessary wastage of time. Will the judiciary ever be able to clear the backlog of cases?