We find that there is a pattern behind long pendency of cases in the courts. Powerful parties have the ability to mould the system in their favour and obtain early relief when they approach the courts, but delay the matter when they are sued. Similarly, the most dis-empowered segments of the population are more likely to face delays in their cases as compared to comparatively better off persons. Finally, we find that the subject matter of a case impacts its likelihood of long pendency. Suits relating to land and recovery of money – both closely connected to a well-functioning economy – are more likely to face delays compared to other types of cases. This raises concerns about the economic costs of delays.