Bombay High Court Prepares ‘Action Plan 2024’ To Clear Backlog Of District Court Cases Pending For Over 5 Years

Bombay High Court Prepares ‘Action Plan 2024’ To Clear Backlog Of District Court Cases Pending For Over 5 Years

The judicial officers have been ordered to submit a report on the status of certain cases which include cases stayed by the District/Sessions Court and which are not earlier reported

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, January 05, 2024, 04:50 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

Aiming to crack the whip on increasing pendency of cases, the Bombay High Court has prepared an Action Plan 2024 to clear the backlog of district court cases which have been pending for five years or more.

The Action Plan released on Thursday, and is effective immediately, aims to reduce pendency in cases before district courts across Maharashtra, Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra, Nagar & Haveli and Daman & Diu for 5 years or more.

Division of cases into five categories

Asking all the judicial officers to “endeavour” to clear the backlog of all more than five year old cases, the plan divides the cases into five categories – 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40-year-old. It states that 30 to 40-year-old cases have to be cleared by the district courts by June 2024. Whereas the deadline to clear 10 to 20-year-old cases is September 2024 and deadline for 5-year-old cases is December 2024.

The Principal District Judges have been directed to ensure that cases pending for 10 years or more are distributed evenly across the courts under it. For a smoother and faster disposal of old cases, the plan states that a list of all cases ready for final disposal should be sent to government pleaders, public prosecutors and police stations for ease in proceeding with such matters.

'Action Plan 2024'

'Action Plan 2024' |

Order to submit report on status of certain cases

The judicial officers have been ordered to submit a report on the status of certain cases which include cases stayed by the District/Sessions Court and which are not earlier reported. These cases would be given priority for expeditious disposal. It also seeks to prepare a list of review cases stayed by the High Court and review cases which have no dates or are listed on holidays as per the case information system (CIS). CIS is a system which allocates dates for hearing of cases. 

The principal district judges and principal judges at Taluka levels have been asked to hold meetings with office bearers of respective bar associations seeking their co-operation for expeditious disposal of these cases.

The District Level Sub-Committees have also been asked to hold periodical meetings with the Superintendent of Police, or Commissioner of Police for expeditious service of summons/warrants in 5 years and above old cases. The District Level Sub-Committees shall monitor the working of the Special Cell created. 

Video conferencing facility & half-yearly report

In addition, the District Level Sub-committees have been tasked with monitoring the use of video conferencing facility and preparing a Half-Yearly Report about the number of times the facility has been utilised by each court for recording evidence. 

“‘Urgent Case Option’ is available in CIS to flag all the cases notified under the Action Plan. The District Level Sub-committees shall monitor the same in monthly meetings and ascertain in how many cases courts have used the ‘Urgent Case Option’ and submit monthly report thereof,” the Action Plan reads. 

This Action Plan would be applicable to family courts in Maharashtra and to 'ex-cadre courts' which include the Co-operative Courts, Motor Accident Claim Tribunals, Industrial & Labour courts for judicial matters. 

However, separate Action Plans would be prepared for Charity Organization and School Tribunals.

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