New Delhi, Aug. 15 (ANI): Chief Justice of India (CJI) P. Sathasivam on Thursday said that the Indian judiciary's priority is to dispose of pending cases, especially those involving women, juveniles and death sentences.
The newly elected 64-year-old Sathasivam stressed on immediacy to resolve such sensitive pending cases. "Having identified, I have directed the cases relating to women, juvenile, death sentences, jail matters and cases relating to conviction be accorded priority and such matters be listed at the top of the list," he said.
He added that statistics reveal that a total of 67,003 cases are pending before the Supreme Court alone.
"Statistics reveal that total pending cases now in the Supreme Court alone as on August 14, that is yesterday's evening 67,003 which includes 37,369 admission matters that is SLPs and 29,634 regular hearing matter, both civil, criminal and writ petitions," he added.
Sathasivam's emphasis on swift disposal of the cases came at a time when the nation awaits the verdict in the December 16 gang rape case.
Sathasivam took oath as the new Chief Justice of India on July 19, succeeding CJI Altamas Kabir.
A 23-year-old para-medical student was raped and beaten with an iron bar by five men and a teenager on a moving bus on December 16 last year and she died of internal injuries two weeks later.
The trial of the other accused persons is being conducted at a special fast-track court in New Delhi while a minor is being tried before the Juvenile Justice Board in the case.
If the juvenile is convicted he can be sent to a correctional facility for a maximum three-year term, which includes the time he has already spent in the police custody.
Criminal proceedings against four men are underway in a special fast-track court and their trial is expected to end later this month. One of the defendants Ram Singh was found dead in his prison cell in March, while the other four could face the death penalty if found guilty.
The National Crime Records Bureau says more than 24,200 rapes were reported across India in 2011 - about one every 20 minutes.
Police estimate only four out of 10 rapes are reported, largely due to victims' fear of being shamed by their families and communities. (ANI)