Over 1,000 cases pending for 50 years, says Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. File photo: PTI

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday (August 4) said over 1,000 cases are pending in courts across the country for 50 years, while a whopping two lakh plus cases are pending for 25 years.

Addressing a public function here, Gogoi instructed Gauhati High Court Chief Justice (Acting) Arup Kumar Goswami to clear such long pending cases in Assam as soon as possible.

“In India, we have a little over one thousand 50-year- old cases and above two lakh 25-year old cases,” Gogoi said.

He said he had addressed the chief justices of various high courts on July 10, during which he requested them, inter alia, to “go after” the 50-year-old and the 25-year-old cases.

The CJI also said, out of about 90 lakh pending civil cases, more than 20 lakh are at a stage where summons have not been served yet.

He said the present times are witnessing “belligerent and reckless behaviour” by a few individuals and some groups.

He, however, expressed optimism that such developments are just “exceptions” and will be defeated by the strong traditions of the country’s legal institutions. “I am hopeful that such incidents would turn out to be exceptions and that the strong traditions and ethos of our institution shall always assist our stakeholders to display resilience to overcome the belligerence of such wayward constituents,” Gogoi said after laying the foundation stone of an auditorioum of the Gauhati High Court here.

The CJI said that unlike offices or establishments of the government, courts are unique with multiple stakeholders converging every day to facilitate and make the wheels of justice move forward, even though they may not be bound by any single hierarchy of commands.

“Today, I feel compelled to assert that judges and judicial officers must remember that public faith and confidence, on which our institution lives and survives, is largely built on the basis of orders and judgement’s passed by us,” he added.

The CJI also said that getting selected to be a judicial functionary is an opportunity to serve this hallowed institution, whose value is always immeasurably more than what can be reasonably visualised.