There may be as many as one crore pending cases in high courts in the country by the end of this year, with nearly half of the posts for judges remaining vacant.
There are presently 43% vacancies across the 24 high courts in the country, according to The Times of India.
At present, there are 45 lakh cases pending before high courts. With the time required to fill the vacancies expected to stretch beyond 2016, the backlog of cases is likely to spiral towards the one crore mark.
Overall, the total number of pendency across all courts in the country -- trial courts, high courts and the Supreme Court -- stands at 3.25 crore cases.
According to the TOI report, it was the tussle over the National Judicial Appointments Commission that slowed down the appointments to high courts.
The Supreme Court had launched the public access portal of the National Judicial Data Grid last year to track pending cases across district courts in the country. The data had shown that of the over two crore cases pending in district courts, more than 10% had been pending for over 10 years, while 18% cases were pending for over five years up to ten years.
Outgoing Chief Justice of India H L Dattu had set a deadline of five years for the trial of case last year after the total number of pending cases crossed the 3 crore mark. On National Law Day on 26 November 2015, he said that the delay in the disposal of cases and their pendency was the single biggest challenge for India's legal system.
The Supreme Court moved comparatively faster in clearing cases last year, clearing nearly 2,000 regular appeals in nine months, according to Hindustan Times.