February 12, 2009
The High Court in New Delhi is so behind in its work that it could take up to 466 years to clear the enormous backlog, the court's chief justice said in a damning report that illustrates the decrepitude of India's judicial system.
The Delhi High Court races through each case in an average of four minutes and 55 seconds but still has tens of thousands of cases pending, including upward of 600 that are more than 20 years old, according to the report.
The problems of the Delhi High Court, which hears civil, criminal, and constitutional cases, is more the standard than the exception in India. The country's creaky judicial system has long been plagued by corruption, inefficiency and lack of accountability, often making the rule of law unattainable for all but the wealthy and the well-connected.
The United Nations Development Program says some 20 million legal cases are pending in India.
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