New Delhi: The Supreme Court disposed off 83,013 cases in 2014, the highest in a year since its inception, Chief Justice of India HL Dattu on Thursday said, and urged his fellow judges to not be complacent but the torch- bearers in a movement against pendency and delay of cases.
"At this point, I want to use this platform to congratulate my brother judges and other counsels for their hard work and determination. As per the Supreme Court annual report, year 2014 has seen the highest number of disposal of cases till date," said CJI Dattu, whose term as the Chief Justice of India is scheduled to end on December 2.
"Statistically speaking around 83,013 cases has been disposed off in 2014 which has been unprecedented benchmark," he said.
Asking the judges not to be complacent about the figures, he asked them to keep an eye on the rising number of cases as well and said, "We are gauged by not what we have done but by what we have not done."
"Delay and pendency has always been the old foes of the Indian judicial system...It cannot be denied that long pendency of millions of cases is the single most important challenge that the Indian legal system is facing today and overwhelming number of cases continues to circulate in the judicial system," he said while addressing a function organised by Supreme Court Bar Association on the occasion of Law Day.
CJI Dattu said, "It is equally necessary for the individual judges to be the torch bearers in the movement against pendency and delays by discouraging the practises such as frequent adjournments."
He said that in his opinion, the loopholes of judicial delay and pendency could be plugged by adjusting, modifying and inventing new court procedures.
He also said that a lasting solution to all the problems of pendency and delays was cooperation between the bar and bench and both have to work in tandem keeping the interest of litigant as of paramount importance.
Union Minister of Law and Justice DV Sadananda Gowda, who also addressed the function, said that recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi had emphasised on 'Sabka Nyaya' alongwith 'Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas' and government is trying to bring structural changes to bring accountability and capacity building.
"The huge pendency of cases and challenges to reduce the inflow of cases need to have alternate dispute resolution mechanisms to make the justice accessible to the poor and the marginalised," Gowda said.
He said the government is trying to identify and remove the archaic provisions of living laws and bring structural changes to enhance the accountability and capacity building.
The Union minister said that to overcome these challenges, government has already taken the national mission for justice delivery and legal reforms with the objective of making it accessible reach the poor.
Gowda showed concern over high cost of litigation, capacity of individual litigants to extract justice from the legal system, lack of legal awareness, cumbersome procedure of litigation and quality of legal aid service available to the poor and marginalised.
He said that legal aid clinics though held across the country in large numbers have a long way to go to create awareness.
Among others who addressed the gathering included, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi and SCBA president Dushyant Dave.