Increase in Pendency in 2020 (January to June)
Pendency at the Court from January to June 2020.
So far in 2020, the Supreme Court has seen a marginal increase in the number of cases pending before it. Between 2 January and 1 July, pendency increased from 58,859 to 60,444 cases.
As the graph below illustrates, this increase in pendency has happened at the admission stage. The number of pending admission stage cases has increased by 3.12% (1,277 cases). On the other hand, cases that have reached final arguments have seen a decline. The number of pending regular hearing stage cases has decreased by 3.53% (692 cases).
Has the COVID lockdown had any effect?
In mid-March, the Supreme Court began to shut down physical operations, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This partial shutdown corresponded with the largest increase in pendency in 2020 till now.
Between March and April, the number of pending cases increased by 673 cases. In other words, nearly 50% of the increase in pendency occurred between 1 March and 1 April.
Since then, the Court has been able to slowly bring back down the number of pending cases. After hitting a high point of 61,142 cases on 1 April, pendency decreased to 60,444 cases on 1 July.
How does this compare to last year?
In the first half of 2019, pendency increased by roughly the same amount as it has so far in 2020. Between January and July 2019, the number of pending cases went up from 58,029 to 59,291 cases – a 2.12% increase.
As the graph above illustrates, the change in pendency followed a very different pattern last year. From January to June, pendency followed roughly an exponential curve, hitting a maximum of 59,695 cases in June. Then with the end of the annual summer vacation, pendency began to decrease in July.
Pendency continued to increase for the rest of 2019, approaching 60,000 cases. Will we see more of the same in the latter half of this year?