Shimla: Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on Friday said that clearing the huge backlog of cases across the country was a national challenge for the judiciary, and pointed out that such backlog attracts criticism for the entire judicial system.
"Eighty per cent of the backlog is mostly in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The burden of the backlog is much here and it brings the entire judicial system to criticism," he said.
Chief Justice Thakur, who belongs to this hill state, had come to lay the foundation stone of the National Law University near this state capital.
Patting the high courts of Himachal Pradesh and Kerala for less pendency of cases, the Chief Justice said the reason was the less number of judicial vacancies in these two states compared with other high courts in the country.
He said against a sanctioned strength of 13 judges in the Himachal Pradesh High Court, only two posts were vacant and this helped in the speedy delivery of justice.
"But in high courts where the vacancies are more, it has become a national challenge for the judiciary to clear the backlog at the earliest," the Chief Justice of India added.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed concern over the pendency of cases as, he pointed out, it deprived the litigants of speedy justice.
He urged the Chief Justice of India to take up the issue of providing financial assistance of Rs 100 crore to the state for the completion of the National Law University.
The university requires more than Rs 150 crore.
Virbhadra Singh said that despite expansion of judicial set-up in the hill state, the pendency of cases has increased and added that it was the duty of the high court to clear the backlog immediately.
High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmed Mir said judicial education was essential for enhancing the quality and improving the standards of justice.
He said judicial academies were responsible for planning and providing initial and continuous training of judges and court officers to enhance the quality of justice they dispensed.