Published on: 29 July 2023 at 22:45 IST
In a recent parliamentary session, the Minister of State for Law and Justice, Arjun Ram Meghwal, disclosed that the Supreme Court of India has successfully adjudicated a total of 2,183 Constitution bench cases since its establishment in January 1950.
The Minister’s statement sheds light on the significant role played by the apex court in shaping and interpreting constitutional matters over the years.
A noteworthy point highlighted during the minister’s response was the decade-wise distribution of Constitution bench cases.
The period between 1960 and 1969 witnessed a substantial number of cases being decided and disposed of, reaching an impressive total of 956 cases.
However, in stark contrast, the period from 2000 to 2009 recorded the lowest number of disposals, with only 138 cases being decided by the Constitution bench.
Moving towards more recent times, the Court has dealt with 19 Constitution bench cases between 2020 and 2023.
The minister’s response came in reply to a question posed by AM Ariff, a Member of Parliament from Alappuzha, Kerala.
Intriguingly, the disclosure also revealed that, as of July 20, 2023, there were 29 Constitution bench matters pending before the Supreme Court of India. Among these, 18 cases were pending before a five-judge bench, 6 were before a seven-judge bench, and 5 were awaiting resolution by a nine-judge bench.
One notable aspect was the mention of the oldest pending Constitutional Bench case titled “Abhiram Singh vs. CS Commachen (Dead) by LRs and Ors,” which was registered an astounding 31 years ago, in 1992.
However, it is worth noting that there seems to be a discrepancy between the statistics presented by the minister and those available on the Supreme Court website. According to the website, as of July 1, 2023, there were 44 Constitution Bench cases pending before the apex court. Out of these, 33 were pending before a five-judge bench, 6 before a seven-judge bench, and 5 before a nine-judge bench.
The information shared by the Law Minister provides an insightful overview of the historical significance of the Supreme Court and its engagement with critical constitutional matters.
As the Court continues to play a crucial role in shaping the nation’s legal landscape, these statistics are likely to evolve, and the pending cases will be closely monitored for their eventual resolution.