22,000 cases for 7 judges | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:00 AM, August 18, 2019

Appellate Division of SC

22,000 cases for 7 judges

Each judge of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division is burdened with more than 3,140 cases on average as some 22,000 cases are pending with this court.

The number of apex court judges came down to seven from 11 in 2009 after appointments and retirements of some judges.

The situation is worse in the High Court Division of the SC where 92 judges are loaded with more than 5,500 cases each on average. About 5.06 lakh cases are pending with this court.

Lower court judges are also burdened with a huge number of cases as there are only 1,819 judges to deal with 30.53 lakh cases filed in courts across the country, which means each of the judges will have to dispose of 1,700 cases on an average.

As of March 31 this year, a total of 35,82,347 cases were pending with the courts, including the Appellate and HC divisions, according to the latest SC study report.

The study report also said a total of 3,82,649 cases were filed with all the courts while 3,45,509 cases were disposed of since January 1 to March 31 this year.

A previous SC study showed 30,07,860 cases were pending with the courts as of December 31, 2014.

The backlog of cases is growing every day, causing immense sufferings to justice seekers.

SC lawyer and Editor of Dhaka Law Reports Khurhsid Alam Khan told The Daily Star that shortage of judges, the growing number of cases, and improper selection of cases have been the main reasons behind the backlog.

More efficient and experienced judges are needed to be appointed in order to speed up the hearing and disposal of the cases, he said.

The lawyer proposed a system where judges would be able to accept or reject a case at the initial stage as many unnecessary cases are filed with the courts. 

Refused by the lower courts, people seek bail from the HC creating a long backlog of bail petitions in the HC, he said.

Contacted, Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star that some new judges might be appointed to the HC, but the government had no plan to appoint new judges to the Appellate Division as the chief justice had not said anything to the government in this regard.

Recruitment of lower court judges through the Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission is a continuous process, he said without elaborating on this issue.

Supreme Court Registrar General Md Zakir Hossain told this correspondent that the rate of case disposal saw a rise in recent years. 

In 2014, Bangladesh Law Commission recommended the government recruit 3,000 judges at lower courts for quick disposal of pending cases and reducing sufferings of justice seekers.

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