Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 26:
With the number of pending cases in various courts of Odisha getting close to 13 lakh, Odisha Govt has woken up to reality and has decided to open 50 new courts in 2016 to make a dent in the gigantic backlog.
Odisha Law Minister Arun Sahu explained the move citing the huge delay in trial in most cases and hoped that the added number of courts and judges would bring a turnaround in the trial duration and decrease the backlog at courts.
As per the numbers revealed by the Law Department, there were 12,84,058 cases including 7 lakh criminal cases pending in different courts of the state by July 2014.
The numbers would far exceed 15 lakh, if the cases pertaining to land disputes are added to the tally. While around 2 lakh cases are pending in the Orissa High Court, 10 lakh in are pending in lower courts and 1 lakh in tribunals.
Besides, out of the 12,84 lakh cases, more than 5 lakh cases are over five years old.
Without added muscle in the courts, the Finance Commission’s 2011 recommendation to wrap up old cases faster has failed to achieve any result in the following years.
Notably, 2,72,559 cases were filed in lower courts of the state in 2010. The number shot up to over 3 lakh in 2011 and came down to 2,77,170 the following year. It again increased to 3,01,235 and 3,40,213 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The number of cases that have been disposed off during the last five years have also increased. While 2.5 lakh cases were disposed in 2010, the numbers shot up to 3,28,616 and 4,16,365 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The conviction rate of criminal cases in the state lies below the national average.