SC complains of employees, resources crunch

Kathmandu, December 12

The Supreme Court today submitted its annual report to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, saying its work load was ever growing but it was not getting sufficient number of employees and resources to meet growing challenges.

The SC issued a press release, saying   enforcement of the new civil and penal codes had further augmented its workload. The annual report shows that the high courts settled the highest number of cases (71.10 per cent) in the fiscal 2017/18 against the SC’s adjudication rate of 37.96 per cent and district courts’ rate of 69.28 per cent. Case adjudication rate of other courts and tribunals stand at 49.65 per cent.

The SC said courts across the country adjudicated 3.89 per cent more cases in the fiscal 2017/18 compared to the previous fiscal.

According to the release, SC, lower   courts and tribunals had 276,147 cases with the backlog of 95,831 cases  in the fiscal 2017/18 out of which they adjudicated  1,181,611 cases (65.77 per cent). Courts across the country have 94,536 cases to dispose now.

In the previous fiscal, courts had settled 157,495 (61.88 per cent) out of 254,529 cases.

The SC had 32,717 cases, including the previous year’s backlog of 21,829 cases out of which it settled 12,419 cases (37.96 per cent).  In the fiscal 2016/17, the SC settled 11,321 (32.95 per cent) out of 34,353 cases.

High Courts have settled 37,849 (71.10 per cent) out of 53,236 cases. This adjudication rate is   up from the previous fiscal’s adjudication rate of 62.83 per cent.  Districts courts settled 130,292 cases (69.28 per cent) out of 188,077 cases which is an increase of adjudication rate by 1.5 per cent. Other courts and tribunals settled 1,511 cases out of 2,803 cases which is 4.26 per cent less than the cases adjudicated in the previous fiscal.

The SC said in the fiscal 2017/18, it executed a total prison sentences of 28,777 years (20.29 per cent), which is 2.73 per cent less compared to previous fiscal year. In the previous fiscal, the total jail sentence served by the arrested convicts was 33,522 years (23.2 per cent). The court collected Rs 2.40 billion in fines from the convicts and/or judgment debtors. The total fines that the courts needed to collect from the convicts and/or judgment debtors in the fiscal was Rs 14.7 billion.  Recovery of fines in 2017/18 is less by 10.46 per cent.

The SC said that due to lack of predictability of budget, its activities and overall plans were being affected. The SC said it had announced the ongoing fiscal as the year of judgment execution. The SC said the government’s decision not to provide incentives to court officials for off duty hours implemented by the courts to increase the pace of case adjudication would adversely affect their work.