We’re making mockery of judicial system: Supreme Court on pending cases

  • The bench said that there are civil and criminal appeals pending in the Supreme Court that are more than a decade old
As on August 2, there were 69,476 cases pending in the Supreme Court.(Reuters)
As on August 2, there were 69,476 cases pending in the Supreme Court.(Reuters)
Updated on Aug 04, 2021 12:37 AM IST
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By Utkarsh Anand, New Delhi

“Collectively, we are making a mockery of the judicial system,” said the Supreme Court on Tuesday, referring to the sheer number of trivial and miscellaneous cases that have prevented the top court from deciding the ones that really matter to those waiting for final decisions of their long-pending matters.

“A common man is not interested in our niceties or the big legal principles that we keep talking about. A litigant wants to know what is there for him in a case that he has filed; whether he has a case or not. He does not want to wait indefinitely to know whether he was right or not. What does he do with a judgment that takes 10 years or 20 years?” remarked a bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy.

Justice Kaul added: “In the Supreme Court, I have dealt with an execution case in which the civil suit was pending for 45 years. We are deciding cases that old. Personally, I have been trying to take out old cases so that there can be quietus in at least some of them but we keep getting bombed by miscellaneous matters, anticipatory bail, bail, interim relief etc and there is no time left to decide the old cases.”

As on August 2, there were 69,476 cases pending in the Supreme Court. Out of this, 50,901 cases (73%) are miscellaneous matters relating to relief at interim stages.

The bench said that there are civil and criminal appeals pending in the Supreme Court that are more than a decade old. “We are sorry to say but the legal fraternity is also interested only in these interim relief matters. Nobody wants to argue the final matters. Collectively, we are making a mockery of the judicial system.” The court was hearing a bunch of cases relating to compensation in motor accident cases when it took umbrage at scores of applications and petitions for interim relief being filed indiscriminately before the Supreme Court.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021