HTLS | ‘Supreme Court is the final court of appeal’, says CJI DY Chandrachud
The American SC entertains about 5,000 to 8,000 cases a year and their nine SC judges decide about 80 to 100 cases in a year, CJI Chandrachud said
There is no reason for the Supreme Court not to answer seminal or critical issues just because they happen to be “most difficult questions” at those times, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said on Saturday.
“For all of you who follow the news, you know that we have been hearing the most difficult questions of our times as judges because my own personal mission is that we can’t profess to be right, as they say that ‘we are final not because we are right, but we are right because we are final’. But that is no reason for the court not to answer the critical or seminal issues of our time,” the CJI said at the inaugural session of the 21st edition of Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
He added that since the Constitution had assigned it the responsibility of performing the role of the people’s court by granting wide jurisdiction, he has tried to continue with permanent Constitutional benches hearing cases ever since he has been at the helm of top court’s affairs. The apex court in the first half of the year dealt with almost 55 constitution bench hearings, according to Chandrachud.
“Going forward, it is very difficult to answer a question like that because it requires me to look at the whole issue in hindsight and with a certain degree of foresight, but I think it is important for us as a court to continue to have the faith of citizens in terms of the work which we do which is one of the reasons why since I took over as the Chief Justice last year, I have tried to continue with a permanent Constitution bench, not permanent in terms of the judicial personnel different judges will hear the constitution cases but we have a continuous rolling constitutional court dealing with cases through the year,” CJI Cahndrachud said in conversation with Utkarsh Anand, National legal editor at Hindustan Times.
“The Supreme Court is not just a constitutional court, we are a final court of appeal and that role as I see it is as important as our constitutional role. In our appellate powers, we deal with cases ranging from intellectual property to insolvency and bankruptcy code. We deal with cases from labour to taxation, from murder to assault, and rapes, so the wide variety of jurisdiction, we are perhaps the only court in the world which exercises this wide jurisdiction and for a reason. The constitution intended that we should be a final court of appeal so that we perform the role of the people’s court,” he further said.
The Supreme Court this year has formed several Constitution benches dealing with a variety of issues ranging from legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the validity of article 370, and the validity of the 10% quota for the economically weaker sections of the society.
Notably, the five-judge bench headed by the CJI had reserved on Thursday its verdict in the batch of pleas that had challenged the validity of the electoral bond scheme.
The CJI further said that the American Supreme Court is very different from the Indian Supreme Court, adding that the top court was not only a constitutional court but also the ‘final court of appeal’ and exercised wide jurisdiction for a reason.
He also disclosed that the American Supreme Court decides about 80 cases in a year, whereas the Supreme Court of India has already disposed of 72,000 cases.
The American SC entertains about 5,000 to 8,000 cases a year and their nine SC judges decide about 80 to 100 cases in a year, whereas we have already disposed of 72,000 cases this year with two months remaining, added Chandrachud.