|Ministry||Total Cases||Contempt Cases|
|Health & Family Welfare||3,275||2|
|Labour & Employment||1,774||0|
|Environment, Forests & Climate Change||1,714||1|
|Commerce & Industry||1,430||0|
Moreover, the document provides a table of cases pending from each government department, with an indication how long they have been pending. Here are the seven ministries/departments with the most pending cases, for which information was available:
|Dept/Min||>10 years||5-10 years||3-5 years||1-3 years||<1 year|
|Skill Dev & Entrepreneurship||0||0||0||757||42|
|Women & Child Dev||29||105||118||280||63|
|Social Justice & Empowerment||21||51||59||127||36|
A number of steps taken in order to curb pendency are enumerated. These include the appointment of a nodal officer in each department to keep a track of disputes in which the department is involved, avoiding filing appeals except in cases which involve a substantial policy matter, and withdrawal of vexatious litigation.
The Centre has also focussed on promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution, albeit not for the first time.
Quite interestingly, it has floated the idea of introducing online mediation on the lines of the Online Consumer Mediation Centre at NLSIU, Bangalore. The law school had received a grant of Rs 1 crore from the Consumer Affairs Ministry to set up the online platform.
And now, the Centre wants to replicate the same. In case of government-related disputes, complainants will be able to file their grievances online. Once the complaint is registered, it will be forwarded to the appropriate department, the nodal officer of which will initiate the mediation process. If no settlement is arrived at within 30 days, the matter will be sent for arbitration.
The Centre also revealed that the National Litigation Policy was going to be released soon.
The Department of Justice has in the past couple of years tried to keep a tab on pending cases through the introduction of National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) and LIMBS. However, ascertaining the data is only the first step; it remains to be seen as to whether government departments – both central and state – can desist from resorting to litigation at the drop of a hat.
News Source- Bar & Bench