Chief Justice concern over backlog of cases in courts

Dhaka, April 28 – Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain yesterday expressed grave concerned over the increasing of backlog of cases before the court and said that the backlog reached a critical stage.
“There are so many cases pending in the Supreme Court that there isn’t enough room to keep the files. The situation is critical in one word and it can’t go on like this,” the four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain came up with the observations while holding the hearing of a case at the apex court.
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam represented the one side while former attorney general AF Hassan Arief represented the other side during the case hearing.
The chief justice said that he was felt embarrassed on Saturday after seeing an audit report presented jointly by the Supreme Court Judicial Reform Committee and the German Development Cooperation relating the resolution of case backlog and the administration of justice.
The report presented at a programme under titled on Sharing Event of National Justice Audit Bangladesh’s Findings at the Supreme Court auditorium where chief justice addressed as the chief guest.
Chief Justice (CJ) Syed Mahmud Hossain informed that at about 515,000 cases are currently pending before the Supreme Court for disposal. The figure was only 25,000 in 1982.
The pending cases figures would have crossed 10 lakh till the date if the court had not disposed of the anticipatory bail petitions regularly, the CJ noted.
“Amid this situation, I decided to sit down with all judges of the Supreme Court to find out a way of resolving the issue. I will ask the all judges to give suggestion to find out a resolution over the matter,” the chief justice said.
The CJ also opined that although there is a shortage of judges in the judiciary, the backlog of cases would not be resolved by adding more judges at the judiciary alone.
“Proper management and structural development as ways to redress case backlog and ensuring the proper administration of justice,” the CJ noted.
The Chief Justice said that the country’ prisons had been severely overcrowded mainly with under-trial prisoners.
The CJ said that the alternative dispute resolution could also be used to reduce the backlog of cases.
At about 85 to 90 per cent cases were disposed of through ADR in the United State of America (USA), Canada, UK and Australia while only 10 to 15 percent cases were disposed of through ADR in Bangladesh, which should increase through the effectiveness of the relevant laws and existing framework, the CJ said.
The CJ requested the government to implement the existing legal framework to allow alternative dispute resolution to boost litigants’ trust in the justice system. Delays in justice delivery that tantamount to the denial of justice are causing untold sufferings to justice seekers, he added.
According to the Supreme Court sources, more than 30 lakh cases are pending with the lower courts and about five lakh with the Supreme Court for disposal. – Staff Reporter