The Chief Justice of India’s lists of cases showed an unusual spike in numbers on Tuesday. A total of over 750 cases were listed before the Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna.
Later, in the post-lunch session, the Chief Justice explained the reason for listing so many cases before his Bench.
The CJI said the cases numbering from 12 to 751 were all defective. They have been lying in the Supreme Court registry, gathering dust, for almost nine years. Neither the litigants involved nor the lawyers who had signed on to represent them have bothered to cure the mistakes in the filing of these petitions. They remain literally abandoned.
The CJI just wanted to lay bare how such cases form the bulk of the backlog in the Supreme Court.
“They are all defective. Petitioners have not cleared the defects. These cases are pending since 2010, 2011, 2012,” Justice Gogoi said.
The cases were identified and brought to fore by the Supreme Court Registry.
“You [petitioners and lawyers concerned] get two weeks to clear the defects, or all these cases are out of here,” the Chief Justice declared. A lawyer urged four weeks’ time to clear the mistakes in a case. “No, two weeks, that’s it,” Justice Gogoi firmly replied.
As of March 2019, the Supreme Court has 57,785 pending cases. Of these, 13,257 are either “incomplete” or “not ready” cases. That means these cases, both miscellaneous and regular ones, have defects which make them unfit to be listed for hearing before a judicial Bench.