As per the National Judicial Data Grid, over 26 Mn cases are pending across all the Local, District and High Courts and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and close to 9% of these cases are pending over 10 years or more. On average 30,000 cases are filed every day and roughly 28,000 cases are adjudicated daily.
This means that there is a shortfall of 2,000 cases that are undecided, leading to a backlog of 7.3 lakh cases being added to the total cumulative backlog every year.
The backlog of cases falls within the purview of the administrative function of the judiciary. The solution to this seemingly perennial problem also involves an exponential increase in Executive funding for judicial infrastructure and court expansion.
For retaining the faith and promise of justice, it is imperative that the Executive branch and the Hon’ble Judiciary’s administrative branch act in good faith consensus to provide legal resolution to these cases, especially the ones pending for more than 10 years and those pending for more than 5 years.
Relevance Of Judgments In Legal Research
Lawyers in common law jurisdictions (India, UK, Canada, US, etc.) use case-law decided by the Higher judiciary (High Courts and The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India) as precedent in other subsequent cases of similar or identical circumstances. As a rule of judicial responsibility, Judges must follow the binding decisions of Superior or the same court .
Judgments which are oft-cited are known as “landmark” judgments and are disproportionately important to other judgments. Hon’ble Judges routinely mark their pronouncements as either “Reportable” or “Unreportable” depending on the relevancy and applicability of the legal principles contained within their verdicts to subsequent cases.
Lawyers, while arguing cases need to delve deep into legal research of hundreds of relevant cases and peruse thousands of pages of decisions to deduce the right cases that are in favour of their client’s motion or application. Lawyers also need to know the opposing view and the case-law justification that may be presented to back up the opposing view, so they can prepare a defensive mitigation strategy.