New Delhi, Mar 21 (PTI) Expressing deep concern over the 3 crore plus cases pending in lower courts, the Centre has urged the state governments to help the high courts fill up nearly 5,000 vacancies in the subordinate judiciary to fight pendency.

In a letter to chief ministers, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that there are about 4,937 vacancies in the lower judiciary (against the sanctioned strength of nearly 20,000 posts). He said that he has written to Chief Justices of the 24 high courts “drawing their attention to the need for reducing pendency and speed up justice delivery by filling up of vacant posts in high courts and state jurisdiction (lower courts).”

He urged the chief ministers to extend “necessary support” to the high court in their respective state in this regard.

Prasad said the government is “deeply concerned” over the huge pendency of court cases in the country and pointed out that there are as many as 2.7 crore cases pending in subordinate courts and 38.7 lakh in the high courts.

Prasad had recently written similar letters to his cabinet colleagues and chief ministers urging them to check cases the government files in courts so that judiciary is not burdened with unwanted litigation where government is a party.

Government is a party to nearly 46 per cent of the nearly 3.14 crore cases pending in Indian courts — right from the lower courts to the Supreme Court.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.