Supreme Court wraps up 1.8k cases in 4 days under CJI Lalit
Of the 1,293 cases, 493 miscellaneous matters were wrapped up on August 29 – the first working day after CJI Lalit took over, while 315 others were decided on Friday, according to statistics accessed by HT
New Delhi: More than 1,800 cases were disposed of by the Supreme Court in the first four working days since Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit took the helm a week ago with a promise to usher in an institutional mechanism so that the top court is able to hear and the decide maximum possible number of cases each day.
Speaking at felicitation function organised by the Bar Council of India, the CJI detailed the performance of the Supreme Court in the first week after a new system of listing and hearing was put in place on Monday under his administrative direction.
“I want to share with you something that happened in the last four days. We have been listing matters which are far in excess in number as compared to the time before I took over. My secretary general has put the figures before me. The total number of miscellaneous matters that the court disposed of in the last four days was 1,293,” justice Lalit told the gathering of lawyers.
Of the 1,293 cases, 493 miscellaneous matters were wrapped up on August 29 – the first working day after CJI Lalit took over, while 315 others were decided on Friday, according to statistics accessed by HT. 197 and 228 miscellaneous cases were disposed of on Tuesday and Thursday. The Supreme Court was closed on Wednesday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.
During his address, justice Lalit emphasised that the top court could also decide 106 regular hearing matters within two days. Regular hearing matters are three-judge bench cases that either require extensive arguments or have remained in cold storage for decades without getting listed.
Regular hearing matters are now listed between Tuesday and Thursday before three-judge benches. Fifty-eight such cases were decided on Tuesday while 48 regular hearing matters were disposed of on Thursday.
“You can well imagine that the courts are now giving more and more emphasis to disposal of regular matters,” said Justice Lalit, adding the court also disposed of 440 transfer petitions since Monday. “This is what the number looks like...this is what we are constantly working towards and this is what we are striving to achieve,” he added. A large chunk of transfer petitions was decided on Tuesday and Thursday.
Justice Lalit said that the Supreme Court will try and dispose of as many cases as possible and he will strive his best in his short tenure of 74 days as the CJI to live up to people’s expectations.
“When I took over, every pair of eyes was telling me the same story – ‘Sir, we have a lot of expectations from you.’ It was something like a reminder that these are our expectations from the Supreme Court...I would sincerely strive; I would do my best to live up to those expectations...The Supreme Court will try to dispose of as many cases as possible and as much as you bring to the Supreme Court and let this message go to every nook and corner of this country,” said the CJI.
Justice Lalit also made an appeal to lawyers: “You are from various walks of life, various areas, various Bar Councils. This is the message that I make through you...let it go down the line in every area, district, that yes, Supreme Court will try to dispose of as much as you are capable of bringing before it.”
As reported by HT on August 30, the first day of the new CJI in the Supreme Court saw a record 592 fresh cases being heard amid anticipation that the coming days will witness the resurrection of various high-profile and sensitive cases that have been lying in the judicial closet for a few years.
In an interview with HT just days before he took over as the 49th CJI on August 27, Justice Lalit had acknowledged that the pendency of cases (more than 71,000 cases at that time) needed to be tackled at various levels.
Starting August 29, the Supreme Court also commenced preliminary hearings for 25 Constitution bench cases.
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