Citizens' Issues
In India’s district courts, a crisis is revealed
Delhi has India's worst people-to-judge ratio, other small states twice better than national average
As of today, there are more than 20 million cases pending in the Indian district courts; two-thirds are criminal cases and one in 10 have been pending for more than 10 years, our analysis of National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) data has revealed.
More revelations:
  • * There is one judge for every 73,000 people in India, seven times worse than the United States.
  • * On an average, 1,350 cases are pending with each judge, who clears 43 cases per month.
  • * At the rate cases are handled at the district courts, civil cases will never get cleared, and it will take more than 30 years to clear criminal cases.
This is a looming crisis, and understanding where the problem lies is key to finding a solution.
Delhi has India's worst people-to-judge ratio, other small states twice better than national average
Delhi stands out for having the worst population-to-judge ratio. While the national average is 73,000 people to a judge, Delhi is almost seven times worse with about 500,000 people to a judge. At the other end, smaller states and union territories such as Chandigarh, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have at least twice as many judges per person, compared to the national average.
Let us next look at the case burden on judges in each state. As expected, smaller states which have a better population-per-judge ratio perform better and the bigger states are worse off.
Uttar Pradesh stands out as the state with the maximum case burden on each judge, with about 2,500 cases pending per judge. That is almost twice the national average of 1,350 cases per judge.
Sikkim and Mizoram are the best performing states with 71 and 118 pending cases per judge respectively.
States with fewer judges and higher burdens have most cases pending for more than a decade
Does the burden on judges translate to judicial delays?
We have mixed results. Smaller states and UTs such as Haryana, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Punjab, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh have less than one of cases pending more than 10 years. Among states with the worst ratio, Gujarat heads the list with about one in 4 cases delayed more than 10 years.
There is a correlation between the case burden on judges and population per judge. Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal, which have a higher burden and higher population per judge, also have a higher ratio of cases pending more than 10 years.
Maharashtra builds a backlog of 100,000 cases every month; UP clears 44,500 per month
Next, let us look at the rate at which states are able to dispose the cases each month. This is the number of cases disposed minus the cases filed in that month.
A positive number implies than more cases are disposed than filed each month. This will result in eventual clearance of pending cases. A negative number means that the state is adding to its pending cases each month.
Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh stand out at either extreme. Maharashtra builds a backlog of more than 100,000 cases each month, while UP clears more than 44,500 pending cases each month. Karnataka clears about 34,000 pending cases each month.
Uttar Pradesh, which has 2,513 pending cases per judge and a total of 631,290 cases pending for more than 10 years, is clearing 44,571 cases each month, five times faster than the national average. Gujarat and Bihar, which have a high ratio of cases pending for more than 10 years, continue to pile on more cases each month.
Why some states will never be able to clear pending cases (at current disposal rates)
States that build a backlog will never be able to clear their pending cases at the current rate of clearance. The 10 states with the fastest-growing backlog: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Orissa.
Among the states clearing the case backlog, the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are the best. They will clear all pending cases within six years. Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of pending cases per judge, will also clear pending cases within 10 years due to its high case-disposal rate.
Two pending criminal cases for each civil case
The NJDG allows us to see the criminal and civil cases pending in each state. This helps us understand the rate at which justice is delivered to criminal cases relative to civil cases.
The national average is two pending criminal cases for each pending civil case. Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have almost five times as many pending criminal cases to civil cases. At the other extreme, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab have a very low ratio.
In sum:
Delhi and Orissa have the worst rating. Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are the next states with a poor rating. Of these, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh may get better in coming years because they are clearing pending cases faster.
Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim score high. The district judicial systems of these states need to be studied and best practices replicated in other states. However, they are piling pending cases each month.
We can predict the states that will soon face a crisis. For example, states like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra, which are accumulating pending cases each month, will soon be in the red on parameters of pending cases per judge and cases pending for more than 10 years.
On the positive side, states such as Karnataka and Kerala, which are clearing pending cases every month, will soon reduce the number of pending cases per judge.
It is well known that India's judicial infrastructure is crippled. This analysis helps us understand where the problems lie. Our analysis reveals where to invest on judicial infrastructure, fill vacancies for judges and provides the evidence needed for urgent reforms and target the reforms at the right areas.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.




Bapoo Malcolm

10 months ago

This looks like the beginning of a lively debate.

Let's go.

J Pinto

11 months ago

The nation needs a Swachha Bharat Adalat to sweep away the cobwebs in the Courts ?

Did Jaitley's budget refer to strengthening the budget system ?

Will those who take the law as the Patiala Courts into their hands ever face justice given the goons are defending the same values as the ruling party ?

Not every off-shore company need be illegitimate: Rajan

Deputy Governor HR Khan said the primary investigation into the matter will only determine if any violation has taken place


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said not every off-shore company opened by an Indian national need be illegitimate and that this will be primary task of the probe team in which the central bank has also been co-opted.
Raghuram Rajan's reference was to the "Panama Papers" expose, naming Indian nationals with offshore links. 
"We are in the investigation team on 'Panama Papers'. We will have to see what is legitimate and what is not. That is a part of the investigation process," Rajan told a press conference here after presenting the monetary policy for this fiscal.
"It's important to remember that there are legitimate reasons, too, to have accounts overseas."
Deputy Governor HR Khan said the primary investigation into the matter will only determine if any violation has taken place.
"A lot of things are permitted, a lot of things aren't. There are a grey areas too," Khan said. "All of it will be known once the investigation is complete."
The comments come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a multi-agency probe team on the expose, conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with over 100 global media organisations, dubbed the "Panama Papers".
"A multi-agency group is being formed to monitor the black money trail," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told reporters here, after he met with the prime minister. 
The team will comprise officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes' Financial Intelligence Unit, the board's Tax Research Unit, and also officials from the Reserve Bank of India, the finance ministry said in a statement.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.



BMC Budget: Only outlays and not outcomes
Activist Ashok R Datar says, despite the Mumbai municipal corporation having an plan outlay of over Rs37,000 crore for FY2016-17, there is not attempt by the budget to measure outcomes
The Budget of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is more than that of several states of India. For FY2016-17, the BMC Budget at Rs37,052 crore is significantly higher, up from Rs33,514 crore in the previous year. However, this Budget has only outlays and does not define outcomes of the money spent or earmarked for various activities, says Ashok R Datar, activist and chairman of Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN). He was speaking at Moneylife Foundation on "Unravelling the BMC Budget: For citizens' Participation".
“... (the) BMC budget is one of the biggest, using most advanced accounting software in the world. However, there are no numbers or date on quantities for several resources and expenditures. For example, there is no mention of number of properties tax before and after 2010 or the annual increase under this head. No data on dry waste and debris collected in tonnes per day is provided. There is also no information on number and names of contractors, listed by revenues/ expenditure."
The big issued he flagged is that we do not know how the money is spent. "The BMC has consistently not been utilising the entire allocation either. The city needs to have a waste segregation plan. There is a strong connection between waste and traffic. The approach to transporting waste has to change.
Every day Mumbai generates 9,600 metric tonnes of waste, which is collected and transported to landfills. According to the BMC’s budget document, the corporation spent around Rs 1,413 crore on solid waste management and transport in 2012-2013. This has risen to an estimated Rs 2,852 crore for 2016-17. 
Mr Datar says, "The cost to transport one kilogram of garbage comes to about Rs8, including salaries for around 35,000 employees. In addition, there is cost of diesel, the issues of traffic jams, which results in situations like floods and the Deonar dumping ground fires." 
"To work around the cost, we need to check out the possibility to levy charge of Rs4 per kg from people for mixed waste, with no cost for segregated waste. We also need to think levying fines for littering road, using IT mapping," he added.
Mr Datar then explained about how BMC spends more money on education, as per the Budget document, compared with aided schools. He said, there are about 4.35 lakh students in municipal schools run by the BMC. In Mumbai, there are 1.63 lakh aided schools while the number of unaided schools is about 3 lakh. Considering, the BMC has total expenditure of Rs1,223 crore and number of teachers at about 13,500, the cost per student in municipal schools comes to around Rs36,000. This is way high compared with Rs17,000 in aided schools." 



Mahesh S Bhatt

11 months ago

What about footpaths being developed & re re re developed with paver tiles every 3-5 years?

I have seen 3 changes in past 10 years cuddapah replaced paver tiles than another replacement why?

Is it accounted?

Mahesh Bhatt


Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Mahesh S Bhatt 11 months ago

I fully agree with Mahesh S. Bhatt. Kadappa stones were laid on footh path for centuries. In early sixties and seventies, when such stones lose their abrasiveness, it was brought back by nailing each stone of the foot path by hammer.
There is no uniformity in the shape, colour and thickness of the paving stone. Local corporators use their funds at their discretion at whims and fancies.

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