Decided on May 05,2017

Mumbai Grahak Panchayat And Another. Appellant
State Of Maharashtra And Others. Respondents


A.S.OKA,J. - (1.) Though submissions were fully heard on 26th October 2016, the Petitions were fixed for re-hearing on 31 st January 2017 and 31st March 2017 to enable the parties to make submissions on the basis of the Judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Imtiyaz Ahmed.
(2.) This group of Public Interest Litigations/Writ Petitions concerns the issues of infrastructure of Civil and Criminal Courts in the State, Consumer Fora at State level and District level under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short "the said Act of 1986"), the Co-operative Courts and the Co-operative Appellate Courts established under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (for short "the said Act of 1960") and the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Mumbai established under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short "M.V. Act"). The judiciary is considered to be a vital pillar of democracy. The common man has a lot of hopes and expectations from the Courts and Tribunals. Therefore, almost all Courts and Tribunals in the State of Maharashtra suffer from over flow of dockets. Almost all the Courts and Tribunals in the State lack proper infrastructure.
(3.) As on 4th May 2017, going by the figures available on National Judicial Data Grid, in Civil and Criminal Courts, Co-operative Courts and Co-operative Appellate Courts, Labour Courts and Industrial Courts as well as Family Courts in the State, total 32,39,623 cases were pending. Out of which, 21,30,614 were criminal cases. 15.32% cases were more than five years' old cases. Total 33,711 cases were pending as of 4th May 2017 in the Family Courts in the State. On that date, total 9590 case were pending in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal at Mumbai. We are reproducing these figures only to show the importance of the issue of lack of availability of adequate number of Judges and lack of proper infrastructure to the Courts and Tribunals in the State. There are 407 Court Complexes in the State of traditional Civil and Criminal Courts out of which 72 are in the properties taken on rent. LEGAL POSITION ;

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