Cases are piling up in courts because of weak judges and lazy Lawyers, causing unacceptable delay in the criminal justice system, said the Supreme Court of India on Thursday.
The apex court’s observation has come at a time when there has been already numerous debates and discussions regarding the large number of pending cases across the nation.
“Adjournments during criminal trials on frivolous grounds have become a pattern in the country. It seems many lawyers and judges have forgotten the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC),” Justice Dipak Misra stated.
Justice Misra made this remark while hearing a plea file by a person convicted in a corruption case by a lower court. He also pointed out that there are many lawyers who often do not want to cross examine witnesses.
“These days when a defence lawyer cracks a witness is almost gone. These days, it is seen in many cases that during cross-examination, lawyers seek adjournments and the judge defers the case for six months to one year,” he added.
The SC judge also stated that judged who causes unwarranted delays can be browbeaten. “Recently, in a case from Rajasthan, a lawyer felt dizzy after asking a few questions and the case was adjourned for over a year.” He also noted that prosecutions are also to be blamed for such delays more often than not. He urged them not to harass witnesses and grow more spines.
More than 2.45 crore cases are currently pending in various subordinate courts across the country. Apart from that, there are another 45 lakh cases waiting to be resolved by the high courts. Meanwhile, the total backlog in the Supreme Court currently stands at just under 66,000.
What’s even worse is that 60 per cent of these cases are more than three years old, while approximately 40 per cent are more than five years old.