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Mrunal Manmay Dash

More than 19 lakh cases are pending in different courts of Odisha, including the High Court, at present.

Replying to a question posed by BJD legislator Ananta Das, who sought to know the steps taken to expedite hearing of the pending cases in the State, Law Minister Pratap Jena told the Odisha Assembly that 17,68,704 cases pending in different District courts of the State. Apart from that, a total of 1,87,028 cases are pending with the Orissa High Court alone.

As per Jena’s statement, the High Court has constituted the Arrear Committee and Mission Mode Committee to dispose of the pending cases at the earliest.

The Law department has also been issuing directions to all the judges from time to time to fast-track the hearing of pending cases so that the case load can be minimised, said Jena.

Speaking about the huge backlog of cases, senior lawyer, Manas Mohapatra said, “Only opening of new courts or appointment of more judges will not help. The government departments including the Police department need to step up. The Police needs to file chargesheets sooner. Concerned departments in the government should submit relevant documents before the stipulated date.”

It is pertinent to mention here that on November 29, Justice S. Muralidhar, the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, had paid a visit to the courts in Bhubaneswar to review the pendency of cases and the ground situation.

As per reports, the Bhubaneswar Bar Association had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Justice enlisting all their demands for faster hearing and clearance of pending cases and overall smooth conduct of the court proceedings.

The SDJM court in Bhubaneswar reportedly has the largest number of pending cases among courts in Odisha, which stands at a whooping over 75,000.

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