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Number of Constitution bench matters reduced drastically over decades, Lok Sabha informed [Read Statement]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      01 August, 2023 06:40 PM      0 Comments
Number of Constitution bench matters reduced drastically over decades, Lok Sabha informed

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha was informed on Friday that the number of Constitution bench matters disposed of by the Supreme Court since 1950 has come down drastically from 440 and 956 such cases between 1950-59, and 1960-69 respectively to just 71 cases between 2010-19.

From 2020-23, 19 Constitution bench cases have been decided by the Supreme Court. At present, there are 29 Constitution bench cases pending for adjudication, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal said.

A Supreme Court bench with a strength of minimum five judges is called as Constitution bench, which is set up upon a reference when a significant question of law arises, necessitating interpretation of a provision or provision of the Constitution.

According to Article 145(3) of the Constitution, a minimum of five judges need to assemble for deciding a case involving a “substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution”, or for hearing any reference under Article 143, which deals with the power of the President to consult the SC.

Sharing details of the Constitution bench matters decided by the Supreme Court, the government said between 1970-79, as many as 292 cases, between 1980-89, 110 cases, between 1990-99, 157 cases, between 2000-09, 138 cases, and between 2010-19, 71 cases were disposed of.

Out of 29 pending Constitution bench cases at present, 18 cases are pending before five-Judge bench, six cases before seven-Judge bench and five cases before nine-Judge bench for adjudication.

Replying to a query, the Minister said the adjudication and expeditious disposal of cases is within the exclusive domain of the judiciary and government has no role in the matter. It is not possible to set out strict parameters and timelines regarding adjudication of such cases, he said.

"It cannot be said that the reason for pendency of the Constitution bench cases is the lack of interest in expediting the same. In respect of the Constitution bench cases, there are intricate issues of law involved and arguments are addressed for number of days ranging from weeks to months. The said issues require deep analysis and thorough examination of law," he said.

The SC started functioning in 1950 with the strength of eight judges, which has now been raised to 34.

Having recorded arrears of cases, Parliament increased the number of judges in the Supreme Court from eight in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978, 26 in 1986, 31 in 2009 and 34 in 2019.



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