Towards an Efficient and Effective Supreme Court

A glimpse into the functioning of the Supreme Court

Following up from Vidhi’s Consultation Paper on the Supreme Court’s Burgeoning Backlog released last year on the functioning of the Supreme Court of India, Vidhi has gathered data of about 49000 cases relating to 2014 which provides a glimpse into the functioning of the Supreme Court. This data shows the preponderance of Special Leave Petitions in the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, the relatively high likelihood of the Supreme Court entertaining such matters and the disproportionate contribution of the Central Government in certain kinds of litigation.

We had also spoken to and consulted with stakeholders about the problems being faced by the Supreme Court in its functioning and solicited their opinions on the suggestions being put forth by Vidhi. Their views and feedback on the research presented in the consultation paper and suggestions for reform have informed this particular report.

While creating a National Court of Appeals may not be a feasible solution in light of the challenges of passing constitutional amendments and testing it against the basic structure doctrine, there are nevertheless a range of measures which may be undertaken by the Court to mitigate its backlog problem and bring its constitutional functions to the fore. This report lists out all these suggestions and how they should be implemented by the Court.

The raw data which has been collected as part of this Paper is available here. We request you to duly credit Vidhi if you use this data in your research.

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