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Pendency Project: Failure continues as 2011 closes with new record of SC pending cases

SC Pendency shows no signs of improvement, marches on
SC Pendency shows no signs of improvement, marches on

As expected after the winter court holidays, 2011’s Supreme Court case pendency closed with a spike, which could prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the project to reduce pending cases by the end of this financial year.

On all counts, December 2011 was a glum month. The total number of pending cases increased to an unprecedented level that is now only 1,500 shy of the 60,000 mark. Almost 1,300 more cases were registered in the last month than were disposed of (6,016 new cases versus 4,722 disposed of).

The number of arrears cases older than one year also increased to a record 37,385 – 400 higher than last month.

If, as appears to be the case, the Supreme Court is losing its battle against case pendency is there anything that Kapadia and the bench can do?

Or is the project to fight pendency doomed in its current set-up?

Last month Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer Court Witness predicted: “Some of this backlog will be wiped out in the beginning of the New Year when there will be one whole miscellaneous week, but could get exacerbated as Chief plans to set up a Constitution Bench of five judges to hear some important cases on the interpretation of the Arbitration Act in India.”

Click here to see November’s detailed analysis by the Pendency Project of the figures so far.

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