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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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SC Bins 13,147 Old Cases In One Go To Free Obstructions In Justice Delivery Of Apex Court

The Supreme Court recently disposed of 13,147 old “diarized but unregistered” cases, including one that was submitted more than three decades ago, in one large sweep, taking a significant step toward clearing the backlog of cases that have been pending before the highest court.

All of these cases were submitted more than eight years ago, according to an order made on Thursday by Registrar Judicial-1 Chirag Bhanu Singh, however the errors that the Registry pointed out to the relevant counsel or petitioners in person were not “fixed.”

Before the year 2014, the cases received diary numbers, and one case on the list was first filed in 1987.

These petitions simply sat inactively in the Registry, increasing the backlog of cases.

As of September 1, 2022, there could be as many as 70,310 pendig cases, according to information posted on the Supreme Court website. 51,839 other matters and 18,471 regular hearing-related matters were among them.

According to the Supreme Court registrar’s order, the parties to the cases appear not to want to pursue the legal disputes any further because they failed to remedy the flaws even after a period of time had passed.

“These 13,147 diarized but unregistered instances were registered in a group before 2014, specifically before August 19, 2014. These cases were initially brought more than 8 years ago. The cases had been given back to the attorney or petitioner in person, in accordance with the custom at the time, for correction of the flaws found in each case. The order said that they had never been corrected.

“I am compelled to hold that there is no genuine and a convincing basis to permit the aforementioned materials to be received for registration for all the reasons outlined above. I choose not to enter the aforementioned diary numbers, it stated.

According to the court official, no paperwork were kept by the registrar while disclosing the faults, in keeping with the prior procedure. Only after correcting all the errors mentioned in the notification would the attorney file a full set of pleadings. Only after August 19, 2014, was a provision established requiring the Registry to keep a copy of the plaint and the court fee stamps.

In accordance with the previous regulations, the parties in question had 28 days—later extended to 90 days—to remedy the deficiencies.

The parties have been failing to take any meaningful action to address and remedy the disclosed problems for years on end. The statutory window for fixing the flaws has since passed. It appears that the parties have decided not to pursue the action any further. The parties were given numerous opportunities to correct the issues over the years, but to no avail, according to the registrar’s decision.

The official claimed that after the 28 days had passed, “no efforts worth the name” had been taken by any of the parties involved to even request an extension of time to remedy the problems.

Furthermore, it is not true that the flaws were solely formal in character. The flaws haven’t been fixed yet, and not for any justifiable reason either. Years, not days, have passed since then. one of the earliest diary numbers, dating all the way back to 1987.

“No one has ever taken any practical actions to even maintain the lis (litigation). The matters have vanished along with time itself. Literally nothing remains today,” it claimed.

17.28%, or 12, 092 cases, of the 70,310 cases still pending at the Supreme Court as of September 1, 2022, are miscellaneous matters that are unfinished or unready and require preliminary work to be done.

According to the report, there are 493 cases pending before different Constitution benches. Of these, 135 must be heard by nine-judge Constitution benches, while 343 are pending before five-judge benches, 15 are before seven-judge benches.

A new way of listing cases has been implemented by the Supreme Court under Justice U U Lalit, who was appointed the 49th Chief Justice of India on August 27. He has placed special emphasis on closing out the outstanding cases.

Justice Lalit had remarked that from August 29, when the new system was inaugurated, till September 14, 5,200 matters had been decided by the top court as opposed to 1135 newly filed cases in response to his congratulations from the Supreme Court Bar Association on Thursday.

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