Judiciary backlog in India

According to the reports from the CJI, Dipak Misra, 3.3Cr. Backlog cases are still pending in the Indian courts. Out of which 60% of the pending cases are more than 2 years old, 30% cases in the Supreme Court are more than 5 years old.  5 states that accounts for the highest pendnency of cases according to National Judicial Data Grid(NJDG) are Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra, West Bengal,  Bihar and Gujarat.

According to the 12th law commission report, judges to population ratio of  50 for every million and is still diminishing. There is a gross lack of  sitting strength compared to the amount of caseload.

In both the High Courts and Lower Courts, a significant proportion of cases have been pending for more than 3 years. The minimum average period to complete any trial in India is six years, which tends to increase if the case is dragged till Supreme Court. Ideally, the accused gets punished after years of trial and by that time, either the victim or the accused dies or so much time passes that punishment pronounced serves no purpose just like Justice delayed is Justice denied.

Judiciary in India is not attracting the legal talents now-a-days because of disparity in the income of bright  young lawyers and the emoluments of the judicial officers. To attract persons of  true potential to the judicial cadre, the system must improve their service conditions, particularly the conditions of the trial court judges.

In general, the victims are usually poor and could not afford expensive lawyers, on the other hand the accused are rich enough to afford expensive lawyers and change the course of dispensation of justice in their favors.

We have 29 states and 7 UT’s but unfortunately we have 24 HC’s only which is further “Overburdening” the Judiciary. This overburdened current judiciary system do not get much bandwidth to look  into the pending backlog cases.

Judiciary is not incorporated with proper technologies. Still the age old system of affidavits and documentations is being maintained. Since the Government is not at all involved; there is no proper database of all the courts and cases. In such scenarios; there are high chances of mismanagement of cases and thus many cases gets delayed.

As a part of solution to this and helping the issues resolved; we would require more and more judges. Better technologies should be used. More and more fast-track courts should be established for all sensitive cases. There should be SLA for all the cases resolutions and it should be dependent on the severity of the cases. More number of Lok  Adalats, Nayay Panchayats, Wheel courts should be opened to give immediate justice. E-Courts should be made more efficient and can be used for speedy disposal of cases. Proper documentation and database should be maintained. Appeal to the higher courts should be allowed only on the basis of severity of cases.

Since each one of us is equal in the eyes of law, there should be proper uniformity and it should be managed from the central team.


Shikha is an decorated Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience in the tech industry. She is also a part-time IAS aspirant trying fighting to fulfill her dreams. Her preparation efforts make her a keen observer and a clear thinker. She uses her columns usually to express her opinions about her observations of the world and raises important questions. She loves to write about what’s trending in the world and also tries to make it a better place by sharing her tips for being healthy. Shikha is a passionate traveler and has seen a lot of our beautiful country during the last 5 years, her articles also present a lot of her travel experiences.

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