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Causes for Litigation Pendency in India

The judiciary is the assay mark for the great nation. Indian judiciary system is considered to be the most powerful judiciary system in the world. Judiciary is always applauded for working of people rights and entitlements, taking care of weaker sections of society and providing justice to all.

The pendency of around 3.3 crore cases shows the real picture of Indian judiciary system since independence of India. In current scenario judiciary failed to deliver justice due to high number of cases pending. People approach to the courts with highest and last approach and treated courts next to god, wherein if they are unable to get the justice when required causes great trauma and injury can’t be explained in words.

Author is very keenly trying to elaborate and analyse the reasons for delay in justice delivery system and their solutions to tackle the pendency of cases. The author has also analysed the statistics of pendency of cases in subordinate courts, high courts, tribunals and supreme court. The author has also discussed the various ways the government of every state should be take into consideration for fast disposal of pending cases.

The word Judiciary the image of justice and equality is imprinted in our mind, but due to Delay in justice delivery and consequent pendency in courts one thing that leaves everlasting impression on our mind. The most frequently discussed topics in judicial reform is litigation pendency in courts. The legal maxim Justice Delayed is Justice Denied is well established in the present system of Indian judiciary.

The Right to Fair and Speedy trial is guaranteed as fundamental right under Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution of India, 1950, delay in justice delivery system infringe this right. Law commission stated that the delay in decision is as old as the law itself. The inordinate delay results in the miscarriage of justice and increases the cost of litigation. The speedy trail of case and fast disposal never means a hasty dispensation of justice. In some rare cases the compensation granted on these delays is totally in fructuous.[1]

Research Methodology
This is a doctrinal research. Only secondary sources have been taken into consideration and referred in this study. The primary sources like interviews, questionnaire, talking to specialized in this field were not possible. Secondary sources like books, various blogs, ample websites etc have been referred in this article.

Litigation Pendency In India

Pendency means undecided, undetermined case by court of law. Pending cases are increasing day by day this shows incapability of the judiciary to deliver justice on time. By comparing the Indian judicial system with other judicial system present in the world we find that Indian judicial system is more competent and more reliable. But pendency of cases in India are more as compare to other judicial system in the world.

High Courts, Subordinate Courts& Tribunals Statistics:

At present there are 24 high courts in India, total 42.2 lakh cases are pending in these courts. On an average 1.76 lakh cases in each court. More than 5 years around 20 lakh cases are pending.[2] In Indian constitution there is a sanctioned strength of judges of high court is 1079 out of which there is a shortage of around 400 judges.

Tribunals are set up to reduce the overburden of judiciary and fast disposal of cases. The 272nd law commission report shows that the purpose of setting up of a tribunals is not accomplished because there is a high pendency of cases in some of the tribunals like Administrative Tribunal, Income Tax Tribunal, Debt Recovery Tribunals and many more.

The subordinate courts have a pendency around 3 crore cases out of which around 2 crores are criminal cases pending and around 88 lakhs are civil cases pending. The top five states which are responsible for the highest pendency of litigation in subordinate courts in India are Uttar Pradesh (61.58lakh), Maharashtra (33.22 lakh), west Bengal (17.59 lakh), Bihar (16.58 lakh) and Gujrat (16.45 lakh).[3]

Year Wise Pendency Civil Criminal Total
0 to 1 Years 3623081(41%) 8426961(38.37%) 12050034(39.13%)
1 to 3 Years 2276438(25.76%) 5577191(25.4%) 7853628(25.5%)
3 to 5 Years 1244335(14.08%) 2809861(12.8%) 4054196(13.16%)
5 to 10 Years 1125708(12.74%) 3264821(14.87%) 4390529(14.26%)
10 to 20 Years 435490(4.93%) 1561112(7.11%) 1996602(6.48%)
20 to 30 Years 98973(1.22%) 277609(1.22%) 376582(1.22%)
Above 30 Years 32058 (0.36%) 42901(0.2%) 74959(0.24%)
Total 8836083 21960456 30796530
Case Type Wise
Original 6426154 19803651 26229805
Appeal 489327 385532 874859
Application 578436 1359249 1937685
Execution 1284769 67223 1351992
Stage Wise
Appearance/Service Related 2066425 9915704 11982129
Compliance/Steps/stay 1512225 1673378 3185603
Evidence/Argument/Judgement 3835559 7493407 11328966
Pleadings/Issues/Charge 1025314 1633831 2659145

Supreme court statistics
The sanctioned judge’s strength for the supreme court is 33 judges. Currently there are 31 judges including chief justice of India, justice Ranjan Gogoi. The pending cases at the end of year 2013 was 66,603, at the end of year 2014 was 65,970, at the end of year 2015 was 62,281, at the end of year 2016 was 59,468, at the end of year 2017 was 55,259, at end of year 2018 was 56,994 and in year 2019 as of now the pending cases are 58,669.[4]

Causes For Litigation Pendency And Their Solutions

There are various reasons for delay of disposal of cases. Some of the important reasons as well as some suggestion and recommendations are as follows;
Low judge strength and appointment
When we talk about litigation pendency, the first thought that comes in mind is that are enough judges in the court to deal with the pending cases? In High courts of India, there are 1079 approved strength of judges out of which 680 is the working strength. There are 399 vacancies as per the approved strength. Allahabad high court has the maximum approved strength of 160 judges out of which 53 posts are vacant. The second High court which has 94 approved judges and 26 posts are vacant. High court of Sikkim has minimum number of judges strength that is 3 judges.

In current scenario India has 19 judges per 10 lakh people[5]. According to national judicial data grid, working strength of the judges in subordinate courts is 16,726 and approved strength of judges is 22,474 judges, it means subordinate courts has a vacant post of 5748 judges. In an interview Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the law minister of India has said that one of the underlying reasons behind the high pendency is sometimes the inordinate delay in filling up the vacancies of the judicial offices.

Law Commission of India in its Report No. 245 says that problem of pendency of cases is highly increased. court requires a massive resource to deal with this situation to dispose of the cases. There is need to increase the strength of the judges in the courts to deliver justice to society.[6]

If the government of India really wants to solve the problem of litigation pendency, than government has to fill all the vacant post of the judges in the high court and the subordinate judges. Around 6000 judges to be appointed in the high courts and the subordinate courts. As in the supreme court there is a post for 31 judges and there is no vacant post. Judges becomes more experienced when they devote their time judicial work, it means more the experienced judge more pending cases he can dispose in a low time hence the retirement age should be extended to 70 years, so that senior judges work and give justice fast as compare to the junior judges.

Process of law

The time taken in proceedings of a case is so lengthy so the peoples sit for years outside the courtroom waiting for the court to deliver justice. There are lot of hearings in a case, number of adjournments in a case, victims become frustrated of fighting for justice. The accused are misusing the process of law for their benefit. Government should take measures to reduce the time taken in disposal of case. In some cases supreme court of India passes guidelines to subordinate courts to end up a trail in a specified time limit, courts dispose of only those cases fast not others. There are so many cases which are pending for more than 50 years. Supreme court should pass guidelines to dispose of those cases fast.

Absenteeism of Judges

Judges are also human beings, they also have family, friend and relation with the society. They also need vacations to spent time with their family and society. The judiciary is providing them vacations to spent time in the society but some judges need more holidays to enjoy their life.

When judges are on holiday without prior informing to their seniors, than justice is delayed in cases which are to be heard on that day. For example, if there is a hearing of under trial prisoner for bail, the judge is absent on that day without prior informing to their seniors than is justice given to the undertrial prisoner? There are some judges present in the judiciary, which only works for the salary, who go on holiday without any justifiable reason. Cases of that day were adjourned to some other day. This is the reason behind the workload of judiciary and pendency of cases is increasing day by day.

Mr. Ranjan Gogoi, Chief justice of India has analysed this problem and come up with a solution called no leave formula for judges during working days of the court because of the alarming number of cases pending in India i.e. 3.3 crore cases. Those judges who failed to follow no leave formula either withdraw his name from the judges list or judicial work is withdraw from that errant member of the court.[7]

No judge is allowed to take leave on working days except in case of emergencies. If the judge is planning to take leave on working days, they should inform to their senior officers much prior of taking leave. Before taking leave, they should coordinate with the chief justice of high court in case of a high court judge and senior officer in case of a subordinate court so that the case of that day can be heard by any other judge.

Number of appeals available in a case

judgment is delivered by a judge, in which one party is going to win and other to lose. The party which lose the case can go to appeal in higher court if they are not satisfied with judgment delivered. Appeal provisions are made to satisfy the party or to check justice but litigants made it a means to earn more money from the parties. They make an appeal in every case decided by the lower court. That is why the number of the pendency is increasing the high courts of state.

The total number of a appeal depends upon the court gave the judgment is subordinate to the superior court. For appeal to the higher court, a notice of appeal should be served to the subordinate court which has given a judgment, informing about the case you are going to appeal. The appellate court would not entertain the case if the notice of appeal is not given on time to the lower court, usually 30 days is given to inform the lower court who has given a judgment for the notice of appeal in civil case and 10 days in the criminal case. After the notice of appeal is served the advocate can present his draft or petition of case in the higher court.

Suppose the judgment is delivered by the district court than appeal lies in the session court under chapter 29 of the code of criminal procedure 1973 in case of criminal case, and under section 96 of code of civil procedure. Than appeal lies in high court under appellate jurisdiction of high court ( article 227 of the Indian constitution), than in the supreme court of India under special leave to appeal (article 136 of the Indian constitution). The supreme court of India is the highest appellate authority, no appeal lies after that.

In high court there are 49 lakh cases pending out of which 24 lakh cases are civil appeal and 13 lakh cases are criminal appeal remaining are writ petitions. Litigants make it a passion, if they win the case than its fine and if not, they will appeal in higher court only for the monetary benefits from the parties. These appeals are increasing the burden of the higher courts.

There is a need for the court to determine that only on reasonable grounds appeals are allowed. Almost in 7 cases out of 10 cases appeals are dismissed because of the grounds on which they are appealed. Only right of appeal should be is allowed in one case, no other appeal should be allowed. The registrar of the court should see the appeal grounds than allow any appeal.

Lack of infrastructure

If we go to the root cause of the litigation pendency, one reason which causes more pendency of cases by slow down the process of trail is infrastructure of the courts. Mr. Dipak Mishra, former chief justice of India in an interview said that main cause of the litigation pendency is lack of infrastructure for the judges, litigants and court staffs. Subordinate courts lack of basic facilities like proper washroom facilities, canteen facilities, parking, library for advocates, sitting facilities for advocates and drinking water facilities. If we look at the trail rooms in district or subordinate courts, they are too small that a 5-6 people can not stand in it.

How a judiciary perform its work? In 21st century of electronic means most of the work is done in court is on paper. Courts are ready to run with the upgrading society but the government is not ready to provide facilities (equipment’s) to the court like a computer, software, internet facility etc. if we look at the court building it looks like it was 100 years old there is a need for a government to build the new court premises for all old court building. The new court building should contain all the necessary facilities for the judges, advocates and court staff etc.

There is a need for the government to understand that the infrastructure of the courts is the hurdle which is stopping the judges and court staff from doing their work efficiently. The government should provide funds for the development of the judiciary. Land and building availability for construction of Court Building computerization of court must be done to improve infrastructure of the court why this year and the government plans to come up with online connectivity of 2992 quotes if infrastructure is done then litigants will be able to track their case online check their cases testis order judgement of the court next hearing date at Sector in some of the districts electronic trial has been set up and where to set up others also.

Law Commission of India in its Report No. 245 deals with the establishment of additional courts in elimination of delay and speedy clearance of matters. Hon’ble supreme court in a matter of Imtiyaz Ahmad v. State of U.P. directed the Law Commission of India to set up additional subordinate courts for elimination of delays and speedy disposal of cases and also direct advocates to reduce their cost.[8]

Misuse of process of law

The code of civil procedure and the code of criminal procedure these are the main acts, which define the whole process of trial in a case. In a criminal case trial starts by framing the charges against the accused, then evidence is given by the prosecution, then evidence of for defence, then there is an examination of witness by the prosecution, and by the accused lawyer, then final arguments by the prosecution and defendants and then judgement is delivered. In the whole process the time taken is up to 5 years minimum by the court which may extend to 10 years. In between the trail there are summons issued to the witnesses which also takes time. and the advocates takes adjournment in the case for a very long time just to delay the trial.

There are so many cases which are running for more than 30 years and accused are contesting election and doing the corruption. If the trial court find them guilty, then they appeal to the high court, which again gives them five more years to prove the case then there is one more appeal to Supreme Court and accused leave his life lavishly in the whole process of law. The person suffers is the victim he loses his hopes of justice from the judiciary.

In a civil case, the trial of a court start from the notices issued to the parties by their advocates, then the party give reply of the notice to the other party, then the matter goes in the court where court frams the issues of the than the actual trial starts.

Now suppose, if a party has a possession of a property and the property is disputed. If a trial of a case delays up to 10 years, then the party who has a possession of the property enjoyed the possession of property for 10 years. Is this justice to the other party? There are so many cases which the party chooses not to win the case but to delay the trial, because delay of trail results in profit to the party.

There is a need for the government to reduce the delay time in the proceedings of the court. There are certain provisions in the Civil Procedure Code which reduces the delay in proceedings like order XXII rule 3 which says parties either to event down a claim or to request the court to record the compromise between the parties. Many cases parties are free to trail their cases in Lok Adalat, or through arbitration proceedings. In criminal procedure there is a term called plea bargaining which also helps in reducing the cases

Educational system

In this new era there is extreme competition among the schools and schools, colleges and colleges. No college or school is focusing on the education of the student, only they are focusing on the fees and the competition among others. As a result of this students are becoming less educated and when they come in the profession, they are not capable to work. For the Judiciary the judges are enough competent to work but what about the advocates and court staff Court staffs.

They perform work very less that results in the slow trial of the case. Advocates are not capable do trial efficiently and fast, they need time to prepare for the case that results in slow trial of the case.

Litigation pendency can be resolved if the advocates work hard, not takes time to prepare for the case, this results in a speedy trial of the case. If the court staff does the work properly then also the trial of the case will be fast. Education system needs to prepare students for the work not for the money.

Profession of advocates turned into service based to money based
If you visit the court you will find that no advocate is fighting for the justice, everyone is fighting for the money which they will receive from their clients. There is a full competition in the court who will earn more. There are some advocates who charge crores of rupees in a single case for their work.

Some advocates charge the huge amount for their work but some advocates take amount because other advocates are taking, no one is ready to work for the amount which they received from the clients. if advocates take money and not work for the money they have taken from the client then it results in degradation of the value of the profession in the eyes of the clients.

Some advocates charge on the basis of per hearing of a case, so that trial the case for years so that they can take money from the clients for years and years, no advocate is thinking about the litigation pendency and Justice. All are working for the money only. There is a need that advocate should work professionally not for the money if the advocates fight for the justice then one day whole of the color of the Judiciary will be changed.

Competition (lack of fair competition)

In this competition Era there are two ways to tackle the competition, one is to work hard and then go above the others and second is those who has worked hard stop them and go above. Second one is easy that is why some people accept this.

For example if a judge has given a judgement against advocate then advocate will file a false complaint against a the judge for biasness, corruption or misconduct. This is how an unnecessary case is increased. Some lawyers complaint against the lawyers who earn more money than him, this is how the competition is reduced nowadays. The lake of fire competition increases an unnecessary increase in number of cases and work of the judiciary.

Advocates need to understand this that competition helps in improving yourself. Fair competition should be done to reduce the pendency of cases.

Wrong complaints of Judges

There are mainly two acts of parliament which mainly protects the judges so that they can work freely that is Judicial Officers protection Act 1850 and The Judges (protection) act 1985. Section77 of the Indian penal code 1860 protects the judges from criminal proceeding for something said or done during the judicial duties. There are certain people who wants that judiciary should not work without any barrier in their work.

So many wrongs complaints against the judges are made like misconduct, improper court room behaviour, biased with one part, abusing his contempt of court power, engaging in political activity, criminal behaviour, harassment and many more.

There are so many advocates who files false complaints against the judges because either they lose case or they want to be popular in the court. If a complain is filed against a judge than whole of the court rooms work will be pending on that day because judge is absent on that day. Next date to all the cases is given because the judge has to give justification against the complaint against him.

Can FIR be filed against a sitting judge?

The five judge constitution bench of the SC in K. Veeraswami case v. union of India (1991) 3 SCC 655 held that according to section 154 of the code of criminal procedure 1973, no criminal case shall be registered against any sitting judge. Unless the government has take a permission from the chief justice of India or chief justice of high court of state as the case may be, its assent was imperative in taking action against any judge because he was participatory functionary in appointment of judges.

It was held that government should consider opinion of the chief justice and if chief justice has a opinion that this case should not be registered than it must not be registered. Now if any case is to be registered against the chief justice of India than next senior most judge of the supreme court who is going to be the next CJI should be consulted.[9]

Recently there was a sexual harassment allegation against the Ranjan Gogoi, chief justice of India. After investigation of the matter it was found that the complaint was false, this complain points out the finger on the judiciary, affecting the trust on the judiciary of people. Due to this complain whole of the work of the supreme court of India is affected.

The government can initiate proceedings against any judge under section 3(2) of The Judges (protection) Act 1985. It is to be kept in mind that a person who is on that post who gave judgments in others case, can not do any wrong before doing any wrong he will think 1000 times because he knows the consequences of that act. Without any proper justification no complaints should be registered against any judge because it will affect others life also.

Abuse of Public Interest Litigation

When the petitioner stand in front of court, the question asked by the judge would be what is the locus stadia of petitioner in that case? but there is exception to this that is PIL, in which there is no locus need because it is done for the benefit of the public. But some people uses it as profession and files irrelevant cases in the courts. This results in the increase of pending cases in the courts. Justice Bhagwati in regard to misuse of PIL in a landmark case Janata Dal v. H.S. Chowdhari held that PIL shall not be filed for personal motives as well as political motive.[10]

Public Interest Litigation is a term used for the interest of the public at large. Petition of PIL can be filed in Supreme Court and high court under article 32 and 226 respectively in any other case the petitioner needs to prove his or her locus stadia in the case but in the case of PIL there is no locus standi needed, anyone can file a PIL in if there is a public interest in that case. When PIL is filed for the betterment of the society or for the benefit of a group of people then it is good but when PIL is filed for the political or economic purposes then it is misuse of PIL. In alarming number of cases pending in India, PIL plays an important role.

The scope of PIL so vast that a letter can also considered as a PIL many people misuse as PIL they file PIL in High Court for the monetary benefit. Increases in PIL results in increase of litigation in the High Court and Supreme Court. In many cases litigants file PIL only for the popularity in society. There is a need to control unnecessary filing of PIL by making guidelines for the filing of PIL.

Misuse of PIL can only be stopped by the courts some questions should be a court ask to the petitioner are that whether he is a Bona fide or not? he has some interest in PIL or not? Court should not see every petitioner with black eyes but some questions can be put before the petitioner at the time of registration of petition. PIL which are genuine should be entertained by the court but PIL which are only for political or monetary purpose should be imposed fine on that petitioner

High rate of filing of cases and low rate of disposal of cases

The backbone of pending case is the number of cases increasing day by day and the disposal rate of subordinate Court is very low, because of the less number of the judges, absenteeism of judges, process of trial of a case, strikes by advocates, frequent transfer of judges etc. in subordinate courts.

The only solution of this is that the court has to stop unnecessary filing of cases in Courts and promote the alternative remedies of disposing the case like ADR, Lok Adalats, plea bargaining etc. If the rate of disposal of a cases is high as compare to the filing of a cases, than automatically the pendency problem will be solved.

No training seminars/ workshops for advocates and judges

The profession of law must contain knowledge, skill, and attitude. The law can be best learn by two means one is when we are confronted with problems and find out the solution ourselves and experience it and other is learn by others experience, other method is more reliable and time saving. That Can be done through workshops and training seminars, but India is a country where there is a process or method for everything but no one follows that.

There are training seminars arranged for judges to deal with the any situation they faced during the Judiciary period and provide them knowledge about any amendment but some judges attend that training seminars and some not, so when judges face problem like litigation pendency is one of them some Judges overcome from that and some not. When any new law is passed by Parliament or any amendment is made not every judge and lawyer is aware of it. If the advocates are not able to understand the law how they will find fight a case in the court and if judges are not aware of the low how they will deliver a judgement so is one of the reasons for litigation pendency.

The central government as well as state government should organise a seminar and workshops for judges, advocate and law professionals to make aware them about the new legislation passed and any amendment in any law. Layman should be aware of the laws than they will not break laws.

Lack of update of law

There are around 1000 acts passed by the parliament since 18th century not every person knows this.[11] There is a phrase called Ignorance of law is not excusable. If any person breaks the law then he cannot run away by saying that he was not aware of any such law prohibiting the act what he has done. Point is if that person knows that law prohibits this act he won't do that. This is the reason why number of the cases are increasing day by day. Parliament and state legislature had made a law relating to land, corruption, population, tax, industry, goods and service, marriage, women and child, Road and Transport, agriculture, Drugs and cosmetics and in every field that man can imagine, there is a law either passed by Parliament or is going to pass it. Not every layman knows about every law, if they know they would not do act prohibited by law and in current situation peoples are doing acts prohibited by law because of unawareness of laws and fighting cases in court of law.

There is a need from the side of government that, when there is any amendment passed by parliament, it should be taken into consideration to the general public with the help of print media and electronic media. The gazette of government of India should be Published in a language layman can understand it. Otherwise what happens, only the law professionals in understands it and follow it. No layman will understand the actually intention of the legislature, they breaks law and fight case in court.

Strikes of lawyers

Lawyers are also humans they also have some demands that should be fulfilled by the government. The demands should be reasonable like infrastructure of the court premises, parking facility, sitting arrangement for lawyers and separate bar for women advocates, washroom facilities etc. the advocates go on strikes it affects the work of the whole Judiciary like bail of an accused, appeal in case, trial of case, etc. this results in delay of justice to society.

Lawyers right to strike –: professional misconduct
Article 19(1)(c) of the Indian constitution gives freedom to form associations or unions, in short this article provides a right of strike to every person.
In case of Harish Uppal versus Union of India and another's, 2002 the supreme court held that the Advocate has no right of strike or give a call for boycott of work, they can protest peacefully carrying outside court premises.

Hussain v. Union of India, 2017 Supreme Court has clearly stated that the lawyers strike is illegal and suspension of court work is also illegal. It is the time for legal fraternity to deliver a justice to the society not for strike.

Judiciary is the most important organ of the democracy in which advocates are the officer, who have certain responsibilities to do, serving justice to the society is one of them. Despite the various judgements of High Court and Supreme Courts, lawyers continued to do strikes. in chapter II part IV of the Bar council Rules, advocates are bound to maintain professional conduct. If lawyer do protest peacefully than the work of the judiciary will not be affected.

Less use and awareness of Alternative Dispute resolution, Fast track courts, Lok Adalat’s, The Gram Nyayalayas act 2008, plea bargaining


The use of methods such as mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute without resort to litigation is called Alternative Dispute resolution. There are three main ingredients of ADR i.e. Arbitration which means the process of setting an argument or disagreement in which people or groups on both sides present their opinions and ideas to third person or group, conciliation which means to make compatible and Mediation which means intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement or compromise.

As we all know there are 3.3 crore cases are pending in India, out of which 50% are of civil nature. All the petitions which are compoundable can be easily be resolved through ADR. Through it litigation pendency can be resolved. Section 89 of the code of civil procedure 1908 talks about the settlement of disputes outside the court by arbitration, conciliation, mediation and lok Adalat. In the year 1996 an act is passed by parliament called arbitration and conciliation act, to promote ADR in India.[12]

Fast track courts

In year 2005 the Eleventh Finance Commission recommended a scheme for creation of fast track court. It recommended 1734 fast track court for the disposal of pending cases in India.[13] The supreme court view all this by a case called Brij Mohan Lal vs. Union of India (2005) 3 SCR 103. The ministry of finance provides fund to state government for the creation and development of Fast Track courts in state with the consultation of the concerned High court of that state.

Fast Track Courts were made for the period of 5 years only, after that it is upon the state either they want to continue it or not. If the state want to continue it than they have to make it permanent, some state like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala continued it by the guidelines prescribed by a case Brij Mohan Lal vs. Union of India, (2012) 6 SCC 502. In the year 2011 the fast track courts has disposed around 32lakh cases according to the high courts of state There is a need for every state of India to set up Fast Track Courts in districts so that the problem of litigation pendency can be solved.[14]

Lok Adalat’s

Lok Adalat also known as people’s court. It is present in every district. It consists of chairman who is sitting or retired judicial officer, social activists or member of legal profession. To achieve the objective enshrined in Article 39A of the Constitution of India, the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was enacted. Its aim is to provide free legal aid to weker sections of the society to ensure that justice is delivered to every person in the society irrespective of their economic condition.

Any dispute pending in the subordinate court can be brought into the Lok Adalat. If any one party wants that the case should be referred to the Lok Adalat’s the other party should be given a prior notice.

The process of Lok Adalat is not complex as the regular court has during the trail. Because of it this makes trail fast and settle the dispute. The advantage of the lok Adalat is that the parties directly interact with the judge which helps the judge in determining case. Lok Adalat’s has jurisdiction to all the compoundable offences not to the non-compoundable offences.

The Gram Nyayalayas act 2008

Gram Nyayalayas (court) is like a Mobile Courts. In year 2009 an act came into force called The Gram Nyayakayas act 2008. Its purpose is to provide access to justice to people at their door step and to ensure justice to every person without social, economic barriers. Out of 29 states of India only 11 states have notified 320 Gram Nyayalayas out of which 204 have become operational.[15].

These courts works in village and resolve the dispute by way of conciliation process. These courts consists of judicial magistrate first class appointed by state government in consultation with the concerned high court. Criminal appeals from gram nyayalaya were directed to session court of concerned district and Civil appeal directed to district courts. The gram nyayalayas are not bound with the rules of The Indian Evidence Act 1872, these works on the guidelines made by the high court and on the basis of principle of natural Justice.

According to section 3(1) of the act, 5000 gram nyayalayas were expected to be setup by the end of year 2018. State like Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are working on gram nyayalayas to reduce the pendency of cases, other states should promote gram nyayalayas.

Concept of Plea Bargaining

In year 2005, a new chapter XXI A was inserted in Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 on plea Bargaining. Plea Bargaining means a pre-negotiation between the accused and the prosecution where the accused pleads guilty in exchange for certain concession by the prosecution. The main objective of the plea bargaining is to reduce the time in criminal trail and give the accused a lesser punishment. It helps in fast disposal of cases.

We are concluding this discussion here; Indian judiciary system is strong as compare to another judiciary system present in the world. But it is facing some challenges that are making it less effective. Society is losing hopes and faith towards judiciary because of the time taken by it in delivering justice. Judiciary must overcome from these challenges, peoples should not hesitate before going to court.

In this world of technology, peoples are becoming aware of their rights, they know what remedies they have if their rights are infringed. They are approaching to court of law, this right is given by Article 39 (A) equal justice and free legal aid given to all.

What government should do is to make judiciary more compatible, so that can dispose of cases as soon as possible.
The delay is caused mainly due to factors which are insufficiency of judicial officers, inadequate ministerial staff, personal factors, defects in the procedure, lack of infrastructure, abuse of process of law etc.

[16] solutions like Alternative Dispute resolution, Lok Adalat’s, fast track courts, gram Nyayalay should be promoted by government to deliver justice in an effective way and reduce the workload of judiciary.


  1. Law Commission of India, 14th Report on Reform of Judicial Administration (1958).
  2. National judicial data grid of Indian courts.
  4. statistics of pending cases.
  6. Law Commission of India, Report No. 245, Arrears and Backlog: Creating Additional Judicial (wo)manpower, July 2014
  8. AIR SC 2012 642
  10. Janata Dal v. H. S. Chowdhari (1992) 4 SCC 653
  12. All you need to know about Alternative Dispute Resolution
  13. An overview of Fast Track Courts
  14. Gram Nyayalaya final report
  15. 27th Report of law commission of India, 1964

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