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India's 72-year legal case serves as Exhibit A for judicial paralysis

Lawyers say country needs creative solutions to courts' swelling backlog

India's Supreme Court in New Delhi: According to Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, the number of pending cases across various Indian courts will reach 50 million in 2023.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The recent conclusion of India's longest-running legal dispute -- after 72 years and by a judge who was not even born when the case began -- has sparked renewed calls for solutions to speed up the country's snarled judicial system.

The case, which involved the liquidation of the former Berhampore Bank in Kolkata, started after the city's High Court ordered the insolvent institution to wind up operations on Nov. 19, 1948. But a maelstrom of litigation to recover money from debtors left the matter unresolved for seven decades, until January.

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