Over two crore cases are pending in subordinate courts in the country which also face a shortage of over 3,000 judicial personnel, a Parliamentary Committee has observed.

It termed the high rate of pending cases in subordinate courts in the country a “serious matter”.

“The Department of Justice (in the Law Ministry) informed that as on March 31, 2012, 2,68,51,766 cases were pending in subordinate courts.

“Some of the major reasons for high pendency of cases in subordinate courts are poor judge-population ratio, prolonged and costly litigation caused by procedures and lawyers’ interests, poor infrastructure, shortage of judicial personnel (and) weak alternative dispute resolution mechanisms,” the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel said.

The above comments were made in its latest report on ‘Infrastructure Development and Strengthening of Subordinate Courts’.

As on March 31, 2012, it noted, 3,272 posts of judicial personnel were vacant in different states.

“Except Manipur and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the pendency of cases is high in all the states.

“(In) Odisha, the pendency of criminal cases is high and the other states a have higher number of pending civil cases,” the report said while expressing “serious concern” over the large number of vacancies in subordinate courts.

“The committee is of the view that both these issues are closely related to each other.

“(It) feels that the recruitment and training of judicial personnel and supporting staff at subordinate courts may help in reducing the pendency of cases and the judge-population ratio may be corrected by appointing more judges in the subordinate courts,” the panel said.