A total of 65,703 cases are pending in the Supreme Court till November this year, out of which 6,445 cases have been pending for more than five years, Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In written reply to a question, the Union Minister said, "There were a total of 65,703 cases pending in the SC as on November 30, 2012. Out of them 22,133 matters were upto one year old and not in arrears. If connected matters were excluded, the pendency was only 37,230 cases as on November 30."
There were 6,445 cases pending for more than five years and 52,074 cases were pending for less than five years as on December 31, 2011 in Supreme Court, he added.
In effort to reduce the pendency, Kumar said a drive was undertaken from July to December 2011 for clearing long pending cases and cases related to marginalised sections of the society in high courts and subordinate courts under their jurisdiction.
On recommendations of 13th Finance Commission, the government has sanctioned Rs 5,000 crore as grants to the states for five years between 2010-15 for undertaking various initiatives for reducing the pendency in courts.
The initiatives included increasing the number of court working hours, using existing infrastructure by holding morning/evening shift, enhancing support to Lok Adalats to reduce pressure on regular courts, providing additional funds to State Legal Authorities and etc.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism was also promoted to resolve some of the disputes outside the court system.
In reply to another question, the minister said, the reason for pendency in courts is mainly because filing of cases have been either equal or more than the disposal.