Supreme Court delivers 44 judgments in a day after summer break
The 44 cases covered a wide range of subjects, ranging fromexamination of extradition agreements to domestic laws; from criminal appeals to civil disputes; and from banking and commercial matters to cases of contempt of Court and enforcement of contracts.
The Supreme Court churned out a record-breaking 44 judgments on a single day, a feat unparalleled in the top court’s recent past. The sheer volume of orders passed by the judges of the Supreme Court came on the day the court reopened after a summer break extending from May 23 to July 10. The 44 cases covered a wide range of subjects, ranging fromexamination of extradition agreements to domestic laws; from criminal appeals to civil disputes; and from banking and commercial matters to cases of contempt of Court and enforcement of contracts. Of the 44 judgments, 20 were delivered by Justice MR Shah.
Former judges of the top court have always maintained that vacations provide time for researching and writing judgments. The logic and reasoning behind these judgments serve as precedents for similar cases across constitutional and district courts.
The summer break is the longest one for the Supreme Court.
“Vacation gives us ample time to prepare judgments and get ready with research on topics that we otherwise do not get to do,” said former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan. “We should appreciate the tremendous hard work done by judges in bringing out so many judgments after vacation. All this has to be done by judges along with other work they are required to do, such as addressing seminars, attending conferences, etc.”
Another former Supreme Court judge, Justice V Gopala Gowda said, “Vacation time for judges is to rejuvenate and spend time on research.” Sharing his own experience, he said, “After summer vacation, important judgments were given by me involving the validity of legal statutes and conflicting provisions in the Constitution. In one of the cases, the evidence itself ran into 30 volumes.”
It is an “onerous” job, the former judge explained, saying, “Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and any law laid down by it has serious repercussions. Understanding this responsibility, the judges engage in a thorough understanding of the law, comparative international law, comprehension of legal provisions, resolving conflict of facts and examining which law is applicable to a given case.”
But there is more to it, the judges added. “During vacations, the availability of stenographer to take dictation of the orders/judgments is there as and when required,” said former CJI Balakrishnan.
“Giving judgments involves a lot of dictation and correction. It is not an ordinary task but a tough job. During vacations you get better assistance from law clerks...,” added Justice Gowda.
Although the Supreme Court has other breaks in the course of the year, they are short ones -- there is a two-week Christmas break and a one-week Diwali break -- and provide relatively less time for writing judgments. “The December break is a short break. It can be hardly called a vacation,” said Justice Balakrishnan, adding that the trend of delivering big and more judgments should continue so as to make up for the precious judicial time lost during the Covid pandemic.