The slow pace of the Indian judicial system has often been the reason for litigant's aggravation — and in many cases a shift in the course of the outcome. In what may come as a relief to senior citizens, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed that senior citizens are entitled to get their cases decided on a preferential basis.

The observation came in light of a plea made by a senior citizen Gurmeet Singh, who had filed an ejectment petition against tenant Vipan Kumar on grounds of arrears of rent and personal necessary, pending before the Ludhiana Rent Controller. The bench of Justice HS Madaan directed the Rent Controller, Ludhiana, to conclude the proceedings preferably within one year from the date of receipt of the copy of the order in the Court.

Senior citizens' cases entitled to get preference; HC observes as thousands of pending cases [details]
Punjab and Haryana High CourtOfficial website

"No doubt senior citizens are entitled to get their cases decided on a preferential basis. As a matter of fact, expeditious trial is right of every litigant," the Court observed, according to Live Law.

Singh, 67, submitted before the Court that the proceedings in the rent petition are slow paced and sought expedition before the Rent Controller, Ludhiana.

Challenges galore

Justice Madaan's assertion comes at a time when thousands of cases are pending adjudication in the courts across Punjab. According to National Judicial Data Grid, over 9.3 lakh cases are pending across Punjab, of which more than half are up to one year old.

[Representational image]Creative Commons

It is noted that 3.4 lakh cases or 37 percent cases are between 1-3 years old and over 20,000 cases are up to 10 years old. Of all the cases, 95,558 cases have been filed by senior citizens, which are pending adjudication.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Courts were functioning in restricted capacity for more than a year. A limited number of cases were heard over video-conferencing and there has been an unmanageable flood of litigation cases ever since the normal operations have been resumed.