Pendency of Important Cases – UPSC GS2

Concerns associated with high Pendency of cases in the Supreme Court
  • Pendency of cases: As per the Vidhi Centre comprehensive tracker, there are 25 main cases pending before the five-judge constitution bench and five cases each pending before the seven-judge and nine-judge benches.
  • Interdependent Cases: Related to these pending main cases, there are more than 500 connected cases. These cases cannot be decided till the legal issues in the main cases before the constitutional benches are addressed.
  • Repercussions on the Fundamental Rights: Pending cases relate to significant constitutional and other legal matters that can have serious repercussions on the fundamental rights of ordinary citizens and our core republican values.
  • Eroding respect for the law: The huge pendency of cases erodes respect for law among citizens.
Some of the important cases pending in the Supreme Court are:
  • Petitions against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019: A deluge of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 are pending for more than two years.
  • Petitions against Article 370: Innumerable petitions have been filed challenging the Presidential Order that effectively diluted Article 370 of the Constitution and split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
  • Petitions against reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS): Petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 are also languishing in the Supreme Court.
  • Petition against Demonetisation: A momentous case known as Vivek Narayan Sharma v. Union of India, relating to the legality of demonetisation, has been in the Supreme Court for more than five years.
  • Petition against Electoral bonds: The Supreme Court has failed to accord proper hearing in the last four years to the constitutional challenge to the electoral bonds scheme.
Recommendations of Law Commission of India 229th Report:
The Law Commission of India in its 229th Report recommended models to reduce the workload of the Supreme Court:
  • A Constitution Bench be set up at Delhi to deal with constitutional and other allied issues as aforesaid.
  • Parliament should enact a suitable legislation/Constitutional amendment for this purpose.
Way Forward: 
The Supreme Court should perform its constitutional duty of being a balancing force against the legislature and executive. The power of judicial review which is critical to democracy should be exercised assiduously.

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