The People's Majlis has approved the judiciary committee's motion for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to establish an inter-agency task force to tackle the issue of pending court cases.
The motion was approved with the votes of 66 members, at Tuesday's sitting.
A report presented by the JSC to the parliament, identifying the causes behind outstanding court cases, was analyzed by the judiciary committee on the 26th of August and received the committee's unanimous approval from all six members.
According to the report, there are 1910 cases currently pending at the criminal court which amounts to 212 cases per judge on the criminal court bench. The report predicts that it would take two and a half years to conclude all 1910 cases requiring that each of the nine judges held four hearings per day. Nevertheless, the report suggests hiring an additional four judges temporarily could reduce the duration to one and a half years instead.
Therefore, the report recommends holding discussions with the juvenile and drug court judges and selecting two from each court to temporarily sit on the criminal court bench.
Additionally, the report identified the root causes behind the backlog. These include a lack of monitoring by the chief magistrate and disproportional case assignment to judges due to a lack of adequate guidelines. Likewise, out of the 250 cases submitted to the criminal court this year, each judge was allocated over an average of 31 cases yet the chief judge was assigned with only six cases.
The report further highlighted that the number of magistrates must also be increased to ensure that the judges can roll cases every 15-17 days to complete each case within six months' time.
The report also details the number of cases each individual judge is presiding over until the 14th of November. It states that Judge Ali Adam is presiding over 141 cases, Judge Hassan Najeeb has 157 cases, Judge Ali Rasheed has 280 cases, Judge Mohamed Sameer has 151 cases, Judge Ahmed Shakeel has 187 cases, Judge Ibrahim Ali has 280 cases, Judge Hussain Faiz Rasheed has 165 cases whereas Judge Ali Adam has 376 cases and Judge Ismail Rasheed has 173 cases.
12 out of the 1910 cases have been undetermined for over 10 years which include 2 cases of sexual abuse of a minor as well as cases of terrorism and treason.
The report titled 'Report on the issue of pending criminal court cases" was compiled by a special committee of the JSC and analyzing the resources available for the court to conclude cases in addition to listing the number of complete and incomplete cases at the criminal court.