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Delay in Justice Delivery: Causes and Solution


The purported extraordinary English legislator and furthermore the former Prime Minister William Edwart Gladstone (1809-1898) cited "Justice delayed is justice denied.". This expression suggests that in the event that justice isn't diverted out right opportune, at that point regardless of whether it is done later it isn't generally justice in light of the fact that there was a time-frame when there was an absence of justice.

The problem of delays is not a new one – it is as old as the law itself. The problem has assumed such a gigantic proportion that unless it is solved speedily and effectively, it will in the near future crush completely the whole edifice of our judicial system.[1]

Indian Judiciary is one of the fundamental mainstays of a democratic system, it alongside media is one to which individuals look up to while the authoritative framework and police are blamed for being profoundly ruined. Indian politicians, administrative officers, and police are among least confided in individuals of India, while Judiciary is viewed as least debased and foundation that stands for individuals of India.


As of September 30, 2016, the Supreme Court has nearly 61,000 pending cases, official figures say. The high courts have a backlog of more than 40 lakh cases, and all subordinate courts together are yet to dispose of around 2.85 crore cases.[2] In high courts, 94 percent of cases have been pending for 5-15 years. In Allahabad, the country's largest and by many accounts, an inefficient court, 925,084 cases are pending.[3]

A Law Commission recommendation, in 1987, had talked of India needing 50 judges per million population, implying the country needs another 45,000 judges — given this is around two-and-a-half times the number of judges India has at the moment, getting to this is a near impossibility.[4]

"There is a backlog of 3.3 crore cases in various courts of the country. Of these, 2.84 crore cases are in the subordinate courts. Another 43 lakh are in the High Courts and about 58,000 in the Supreme Court," the President said at the inaugural function of a conference being organized by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA).[5]


  1. Inadequacy of Judges- The quantity of Judges is exceptionally lopsided to the populace. An individual, howsoever clever, has a constrained ability to work. So do the judges.The populace of our nation is more than 100 crores, yet the quantity of judges for the previously mentioned populace is just 17,615. In All India Judges Association's Case[6], the Supreme Court has expressed its desire that the number of Judges is increased in a phased manner in 5 years so as to raise the Judge Population ratio to 50 per million.[7]

  2. No fixed Time Period for disposal of Cases- There is no time limit fixed either by any Act or Code within which the cases must be decided. Therefore, the judges, lawyers, and even the litigants take it for granted that there is no urgency to finish the case.[8]

  3. Taking adjournments on frivolous grounds- Lawyers are known to take adjournments on silly grounds. The reasons range from death of the far off relative to family festivities. With each dismissal the procedure turns out to be expensive for the court and for the disputants; however the Lawyers get paid for their time and appearance. Usually, lawyers are occupied in another court. They have taken up a larger number of cases than they can deal with, subsequently, intermissions are as often as possible looking for.

  4. Under-prepared lawyers- It is additionally evident that lawyers don't set up their cases. A superior readiness of the brief will undoubtedly expand the effectiveness of the framework. Lawyers are not exact; they enjoy protracted oral contentions just to dazzle their customers.

Possible Solutions

  1. Introducing the Shift System- To build up another court at any level includes the usage of huge resources. In the event that the current court could be made to work in two movements with a similar foundation, using the administrations of resigned judges and legal officials presumed for their uprightness and capacity, which are physically and rationally fit, it would facilitate the circumstance significantly and give gigantic alleviation to the disputants.

  2. Frivolous Litigation should be discouraged- Another strategy to lessen the accumulation is that the quantum of cases going to the courts must be diminished. The Judges ought to be exacting at the principal organize itself. They ought to recognize frivolous and genuine cases and ought to debilitate frivolous prosecution.

  3. Restriction on Adjournments- Adjournments to be constrained to crises and remarkable cases. It is a regular sight for a prominent lawyer to deal with a few cases each day which needs his quality in various courts. This powers him to concentrate on a couple and look for intermissions on others. The Madhya Pradesh High Court stated that lawyers have a duty towards their clients, they have a duty to prepare the case and present the case properly without suppressing any fact so that they can effectively assist the Court.[9] The practice of seeking adjournments and opined that seeking adjournments for no reason does amount to professional misconduct.[10]


Disregarding such a large number of ills that plague our judicial framework, the flooding docket of court cases is a constructive indication of individuals' confidence in the judiciary. Genuine endeavors must be made by the Bar, Bench and the Government to reinforce this mainstay of equity. However no framework, not in any case the justice conveyance framework can be superior to the men who man it. We may make the best laws and present new methodology, yet it might not have done what's needed to accomplish the sacred guarantee of giving justice. It may be totally useless to make even good laws for bad people.[11]

[1]C L Aggarwal, “Laws’ Delay and Accumulation of arrears in High Courts”, The Journal of the Bar Council of India, Vol. 7 No. 1, 1978

[2]Arghya Sengupta, “Hidden Factors that slow our courts and delay justice”, The Economic Times, 29 March 2017


[4]“Pending cases in Judiciary: 82% delays due to lawyers, much less the judges, says study”, The Financial Express, 3 April 2017

[5]“Culture of Adjournments reason of long delays in courts: President”, The Economic Times, 1 September 2018

[6]All India Judges Association v. Union of India &Otrs., (2002) 4 SCC 247

[7]Vandana Ajay Kumar, “Judicial Delays in India: Causes and Remedies”, Journal of Law, Policy and Globalisation, Vol. 4, 2012


[9]Gandharva Singh v. Ratiram Yadav &Otrs., 2018


[11]Supra, note.7

Submitted by,

Satvik Mishra,

Year II, B.A.LL.B. (Hons.),

Rajiv Gandhu National University of Law, Punjab.

(Image used for representational purpose only. Image Courtesy:


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