In response to a query from the Court, the State authorities submitted that 1,653 cases of corruption registered from 1983 to 2021 were pending before the lower courts in the State.
Of these, 1,153 cases were from the years between 2011 and 2021.
The State also said that often, the delay was caused as the cases were not heard on a day-to-day basis and then witnesses would have to be examined after long gaps.
In cases of the death of the accused, the proceedings against them had to be abated and that caused further delay. The State also said that number of pending cases increased because during the two years of COVID, the regular pace of work could not be adhered to by courts.
The High Court, however, said that such delay will defeat the whole purpose of the anti-corruption laws and called for putting a stop to the system of using adjournments for protracting trials or bench hunting.
“If trial is allowed to go on in this manner, this Court is afraid that all these cases will end in vain without any fruitful results. The very purpose and object of the Prevention of Corruption Act will be defeated. Large scale corrupt activities are in the public domain. Public Servants are of the opinion that they can escape from the clutches of the Prevention of Corruption Act since the proceedings are kept pending for years together without any progress,” the High Court said.