Supreme Court disposes of 1,170 of 4,160 cases during break

Wednesday 10th July 2024 07:59 EDT

For the first time a record 20 benches were set up in Supreme Court during the nearly two-month long break this year and exhausted the list of cases to be taken up during this period with the consent of counsel for parties.
For those unaware of the punishing work schedule of SC judges, often criticised for the long summer break, CJI D Y Chandrachud said, “People see us sitting in Supreme Court from 10.30 am to 4 pm daily, when we handle between 40-60 cases. The work we do between 10.30 am and 4 pm is a fraction of the work we do in order to be ready to deal with the cases coming up the next day.”
“Every judge spends an equal amount of time reading case files scheduled for the next day. Judgments are reserved on working days. On Saturdays, every judge dictates judgments. On Sundays, all of us read the cases listed for Monday. So, without exception, every SC judge works seven days a week,” he said.

Interestingly, despite handling a lot of administrative work and attending conferences in India and abroad, the CJI has been working on judgments reserved in 18 cases, which have a total of 176 connected petitions, by benches headed by him.
“Other SC judges have reserved judgments in 190 cases with 786 connected petitions and they are also working round-the-clock on these judgments so that decisions can be pronounced within a few weeks of the court reopening,” the SC registry said.. As the SC resumes normal functioning on Monday after the summer break, the CJI-led benches in the next few weeks would be pronouncing judgments, including three by 9-judge benches, two by 7-judge benches, and two by 5-judge benches. These constitution bench matters have been pending for decades, including a dispute whether industrial alcohol can be categorised as intoxicating liquor and whether privately owned properties can be classified as community property.
The disposal during the summer vacation saw a near three-fold increase to 1,170 as compared to data from 2017.

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