In India’s dist courts, a crisis is revealed

As of today, there are more than 20m 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. This is a looming crisis. 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 have at least twice as many judges per person, compared to the national average.

States that build a backlog will never be able to clear their pending cases. 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.

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