Delivering judgments at the rate of one every two minutes and 18 seconds, Bombay High Court Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar pronounced verdicts in 77 cases on Thursday.
This is the first time in the history of the court that a judge has delivered so many verdicts in a day. But disposing of several cases in a day is not new to Justice Kumar — on April 19, he delivered judgments in 30 cases.
Justice Kumar had reserved orders in the 77 cases over the last few weeks, and ruled on them on Thursday between 11 am and 2 pm. He clubbed several petitions that involved similar considerations or raised similar questions of law. The cases comprised 26 writ petitions, 26 first appeals, 5 arbitration applications and 20 cross-objections.
Justice Kumar took charge on March 31, bringing with him a reputation of great efficiency. He has, since then, disposed of over 200 cases, court sources said.
“Chief (as he is popularly known) has delivered judgments even after court hours and has even dictated rulings on weekends,” said one of the sources.
The huge pile-up of cases — over 3.5 lakh at last count in the high court — has been a great worry for Justice Kumar. He had started a drive to clear the backlog and in April had set up nine benches to dispose of the cases.