Supreme Court’s Disposal Rate: Does Quantity Prevail Over Quality of Justice?
By Team Legistify / 2017-03-07

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In 2016, the Supreme Court disposed of 19913 cases during the three months from January 1 to March 31, during the term of the then Chief Justice of India, Justice T.S.Thakur. If the pace of disposals of the Chief Justice of India, Justice J.S.Khehar is any indication, the data on disposals for the same period this year is likely to have some surprises.

No doubt, every Chief Justice of India aims at excelling the record set by his predecessor on the disposal front. However, for Justice Khehar, time appears to be running out, with his retirement in August this year, being a major limitation on any such achievement. But it is the rate per quarter, one should look at and compare whether the disposal strategy of a Chief Justice yielded results.

Surprises on data apart, Chief Justice Khehar’s disposal strategy is likely to come under critical scrutiny for other reasons. Take the manner the bench headed by him disposed on February 27, of a PIL seeking filling of vacancies in National Human Rights Commission.

The petitioner, Radhakanta Tripathy, who appeared in person, had succeeded in exposing the Government’s lack of interest in filling the vacancies in time. His petition, filed in 2015, had put the former Chief Justice of India, T.S.Thakur and the Central Government on a collision course, with the former demanding the ASG, Pinki Anand to submit the minutes of the meetings of the Selection Committee, to find out the reasons for the delay.

Even as Chief Justice Thakur’s bench expressed its serious dissatisfaction with the Government’s lack of seriousness in filling the vacancies of the human rights body, Chief Justice Khehar’s readiness to dispose of the case on a mere assurance from the Government, is a contrast of sorts.

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