CJI UU Lalit Seeks Explanation from SC Registry for Long Delay in Listing of Cases

gavel Law Insider

Tanisha Rana

Published on: November 2, 2022 at 21:38 IST

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court seriously considered how well its officials were functioning in light of the months-long delays in listing many cases for hearing despite completion of all formalities, including the correction of petition errors.

A bench led by the chief justice requested an explanation from the court’s registry as to why a case was listed after a delay of 1.5 years.

A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi noted that the case was listed for hearing for the first time one and a half years after it was filed, even though it was prepared to be heard, while hearing a special leave petition filed in 2021 against the order of the Karnataka high court.

The bench sent notice to the registry and instructed it to explain the delay in listing the case after deciding to scrutinise the functioning of court officials.

“We issue notice to the registry to file an explanation why the matter was not listed,” the court said.

It also instructed the registrar to compile a list of all such cases that are prepared for court hearings but have not been listed in a while within two days.

“All details of such matters to be furnished along with explanation and if any remedial steps have since been taken. Let the explanation be filed by Thursday,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court registry’s functioning has occasionally come under fire, with parties alleging that some cases receive priority listing while others are kept in line for an extended period of time.

Even the benches of the supreme court have publicly expressed their displeasure.

When the Supreme Court Registry informed a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna that a case that was on the docket had been dropped, the court bench expressed its displeasure.

Even the former Chief Justice NV Ramana acknowledged the issue and expressed regret for not being able to give matters pertaining to the listing and posting of cases for hearing in the Supreme Court considerable consideration.

In an effort to speed up the procedure after taking over as Chief Justice of India, Justice Lalit scheduled many of the older petitions, including PILs, some of which were submitted as far back as 2018.

The petitions were heard, and several of them were dismissed.

The CJI also made sure that any fresh Supreme Court petitions were placed for hearing within 10 days of being submitted.

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