RTI activist’s fight for speedy delivery of justice

He filed an RTI application with the Department of Justice of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice in October seeking the total number of cases pending with the Supreme Court of India, High Courts and District Courts since independence.

By   |  Published: 3rd Dec 2020  12:05 amUpdated: 4th Dec 2020  12:35 am
Manideep Nallapu

Kothagudem: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ may be a popular adage that defines the judiciary’s core value but pendency of cases in Indian courts does not seem to be upholding this value. An RTI (Right to Information) activist and engineering graduate, Manideep Nallapu (24), from remote Edulla Bayyaram village in Pinapaka mandal in Kothagudem district, is on a mission to seek the figures of pending cases and reasons for the same.

He filed an RTI application with the Department of Justice of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice in October seeking the total number of cases pending with the Supreme Court of India, High Courts and District Courts since independence.

His application has been transferred to all Indian courts, including the Supreme Court, along with all the Central Departments concerned such as Revenue, Home Affairs, Finance, Personnel and Training Central Board of Excise and Customs, Director General of Income Taxes and others. A couple of weeks ago the Supreme Court responded to his RTI petition. The SC’s Additional Registrar and Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) Ajay Agarwal informed him that as of November 1, 2020, the total cases pending with the Court was 63,693.

“The High Court of Kerala, Bombay High Court, District and Sessions Court, Belonia, South Tripura have responded so far to my application transferred by the Department of Justice to them,” Manideep told Telangana Today. In Bombay High Court, the pending cases at present are 2,81,693. In Kerala, pending cases in the High Court as on August 31, 2020 are 2,04,643 and in subordinate courts, as many as 19,00,538 cases are pending, he noted, quoting the replies given to his query by the respective courts.

“Several governmental sources claim there are over three crore cases pending in Indian courts and lakhs of cases are pending for nearly three decades. My objective of filing the RTI application was to highlight the issue and bring it into public domain for an effective solution,” Manideep averred.

He recalled that even former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Tirath Singh Thakur had to cry in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, 2016, at a conference in New Delhi, at the colossal figures of pending cases while seeking government help for speedy justice dispensation.

“After receiving information from all the courts, I may file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking steps to increase the number of courts as well as the judges in the apex court and High Courts. In fact, many legal experts have raised this issue but nothing has been done so far,” Manideep informed. Speedy disposal of cases may help in curtailing crimes and boosts public confidence in the justice system. Prolonged hearing of cases make criminals lose fear of the law while the innocent are left languishing in jails for years, he pointed out.

Manideep also filed an RTI application with Department of Justice in November seeking to know the action taken regarding the much talked open letter written by AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to the CJI, SA Bobde, levelling serious allegations against Justice NV Ramana and some judges of the High Court.

He informed that his application on Jagan’s letter has been transferred to the SC’s PIO.

“Learning about the SC’s action in this case is fundamental right of every citizen as it involves a person connected with the highest judiciary in the country”, he added.

 


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