The Supreme Court issued directives on Friday, including some to the high courts, for guaranteeing swift trial and resolution of old cases, noting that litigants may lose interest if the legal process proceeds slowly.
The National Judicial statistics Grid (NJDG) statistics on case pendingness was cited by a bench of justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar, who said that the bar and the court should work together to address the problem.
“When the judicial system proceeds slowly, litigants could lose hope. According to the NJDG, some lawsuits have been waiting for 50 years, the bench observed, referring to certain older instances that have been languishing for more than 65 years in states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.
When the delay persists, litigants will lose faith in the legal system, said Justice Kumar.
The court advised plaintiffs to exercise caution while requesting repeated adjournments.
As they gave as many as 11 instructions to cope with case pendingness, the judges noted, “…they should not take goodness of the presiding officers as their weakness.”
The panel ruled that matters that have been ongoing for more than five years must be supervised by the relevant high courts.