A total of 68 cases related to election petitions are pending in the Manipur High Court while 29 related cases have been disposed of, according to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG).
Replying to questions on the number of constitutional Civil, Labour, Election, Writ Petitions, Public Interest Litigations, Special Leave Petitions, Contempt of Court cases pending in the Supreme Court and various high courts in the last three years and the current year, court-wise, category-wise and state-wise on December 15 and 16, Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said the Supreme Court and various high courts do not maintain data for the last three years. Rather the data is maintained as on date, the minister added.
The minister further replied that as per the information obtained from Supreme Court of India, the total number of pending cases pertaining to the Constitutional Bench are 498, Labour - 1667, Election - 487, Writ Petitions - 2209, Public Interest Litigations - 2870, Special Leave Petitions – 4331 and 1295 for Contempt of Court cases. These pending cases are as on December 13, 2022.
In case of various high courts, the information is not maintained centrally in the Department of Justice, the Minister replied.
However, the pertinent information as available on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) regarding the pending cases pertaining to Labour are 1,240, Election - 959, Writ Petitions – 16,42,371, Public Interest Litigations - 10063, Special Leave Petitions (not applicable in case of high courts) and 28,469 for Contempt of Court cases, the union minister stated.
According to NJDG report, a total 68 election petitions, 2357 writ petitions and 57 public interest litigations are pending in the High Court of Manipur. On the other hand, 29 election petitions, 27194 writ petitions and 602 public interest litigations have been disposed of.
As to the query on the reasons behind delay in disposing of these cases, the Minister replied, “The disposal of pending cases in courts lies within the domain of the judiciary. The government has no direct role in this regard”.
The delay in disposal is a multi-faceted problem, the Minister replied, adding that with increase in the population of the country and awareness among the public about their rights, filing of fresh cases is also increasing by leaps and bounds, year after year. Each case is distinct and variable in nature, therefore, no specific timelines can be determined concerning disposal of cases, the minister said
He also stated that myriad factors come into play in deciding the disposal of cases in courts which, inter-alia, include availability of adequate number of judges and judicial officers, supporting court staff and physical infrastructure, complexity of facts involved, nature of evidence, cooperation of stakeholders viz. bar, investigation agencies, witnesses and litigants and proper application of rules and procedures.
With regards to query on the details of the action plan prepared for disposal of cases, the Law and Justice Minister replied that as per the inputs obtained from the Supreme Court, multi-pronged endeavours are being launched to reduce pendency of cases in the near future. In the summer vacations, 2 division benches were constituted throughout and even old regular hearing matters were disposed of.
Lately, special benches have been constituted to dispose of matters relating to Labour disputes, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) Compensation, Direct taxes, Indirect taxes and old Criminal appeals. A special drive is presently on to dispose of all old bail matters and Transfer petitions, at the earliest, the Minister said.
While, the disposal of pending cases in courts is within the exclusive domain of the judiciary, the Central Government is fully committed to speedy disposal of cases in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution and reducing pendency, the minister added.
The minister also informed that as per the information obtained from the Supreme Court of India, 198 cases of Constitutional Civil, 3,318 cases of Labour, 1,140 of Election, 5,240 of Writ Petitions, 3,098 of Public Interest Litigations, 84,981 of Special Leave Petitions and 3,283 cases of Contempt of Court have been disposed in last three years (2019, 2020, 2021) and current year (December 13, 2022).
In the case of the various high courts, the information is not maintained centrally, the minister said.
The number of constitutional Civil, Labour, Election, Writ Petitions, Public Interest Litigations, Special Leave Petitions, Contempt of Court cases pending in the high courts are only maintained as on date as per the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), he added.
The Minister, however, informed that across various high courts in the country, 2,517 cases of Labour, 9,451 of election, 11,192,733 of Writ Petitions, 45,349 of Public Interest Litigations, Special Leave Petitions (not applicable in case of High Courts) and 10,489 cases of Contempt of Court have been disposed of as on December 14, 2022.