Cuttack: The number of pending cases in the Orissa High Court is growing day-by-day. Till date, a total of 1,59,738 cases have been pending in the HC, sources said.
Many are of the opinion that large number of cases have been pending in the HC due to inadequate number of judges.
At present, the HC has 16 judges against the sanctioned strength of 27. Among the judges, Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq assumed office April 27 this year while Justice Savitri Ratho took charge June 11.
Of the total pending cases, a total of 42,909 are civil in nature while 47,087 are criminal cases, revealed data from government’s e-court project. This apart, a staggering 69,742 writ petitions have been pending in the top court.
As per the data, the hearing of as many as 1,27,315 cases have been continuing for more than a year in the HC. Among them, 35,374 are civil cases, 33,302 are criminal cases and 58,639 are writ petitions.
The date also revealed that a total of 40,176 cases are up to one year old while the hearing of 27,125 cases has been continuing for one to three years.
Similarly, a total of 24,235 cases in the HC are three to five years old while the hearing of 39,870 cases has been continuing for five to 10 years.
Moreover, as many as 23,910 cases have been pending in the HC for 10 to 20 years while the hearing of 3,731 cases has been continuing for 20 to 30 years, said the data.
Interestingly, the hearing of 691 cases has been continuing for more than 30 years. Among these cases, as many as 673 are civil in nature while eight are criminal cases and 10 are writ petitions, added the data.
The data further revealed that the HC is yet to dispose 9,127 cases filed by the women.
An analysis of the data has revealed that the coronavirus-induced lockdown has contributed to the recent rise in the number of pending cases. The total number of pending cases was 1,56,356 in March this year while it reached 1,58,522 by May 11. However, the number went up to 1,59,634 by June 11, revealed the data.
According to the data, a total of 8,477 cases have been filed in the HC from March 24 this year to June 4. The court has conducted hearing for 5,335 of the new cases.
It is worth mentioning here that the HC has been conducting hearing of cases through videoconferencing or virtual courts during the lockdown to reduce the number of pending cases. Moreover, the court has cancelled its summer vacation this year to provide speedy justice to people.
The HC is now taking up only urgent matters. The number of pending cases will go up further by the time the court resumes it normally, said a few lawyers.