Justice Ajay Rastogi: Tenure in Numbers

In his 4.5 year tenure, Justice Rastogi was the 4th most prolific judgement author amongst his peers.

Justice Ajay Rastogi, the fourth senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, will retire on June 17th. He served at the Supreme Court for 4.5 years, and wrote 158 judgments in this time. With Justice Rastogi’s retirement, the strength of the Supreme Court is now at 32 judges.

In Figure 1, the bar in dark blue plots the total number of judgments written by each sitting judge of the Supreme Court so far. The bar in green represents the number of judgements written each year. Currently, Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud leads the table at 557 judgements in a 7 year tenure. Justice Rastogi authored 158 judgements, with an average of 35.1 judgements a year. This makes him the fourth highest judgement contributor at the SC. Justice K.M. Joseph, who retired on June 16th 2023, was the fifth highest contributor. 

Figure 2 shows that Justice Rastogi authored majority of his judgements in Service (39) matters—a field he specialised in as an Advocate. This is closely followed by Criminal law matters (38). He was also an expert in Property law (21), Civil matters (12), Arbitration law (8), Family law (7), Banking law (6), Constitution law (5), and Labour and Industrial law (5). SCO put together his most notable judgements here.

Figure 3 shows the number of judgments Justice Rasogi authored every year at the SC. The figure also includes the number of benches and the judgement authorship rate. The authorship rate tells us the number of judgements he wrote out of the benches he was a part of. Justice Rastogi has been a part of 506 benches and has authored 158 judgements*—a rate of 31.5%

Justice Rastogi’s tenure of 4.5 years is just below the average tenure length of an SC judge which stands at 5.12 years. Despite his short tenure, he was a part of six Constitution Benches where he wrote a concurring opinion in the Election Commission Appointments case and a dissenting opinion in the Validity of Unstamped Arbitration Agreements case. 

*data for 2023 is collected from the Supreme Court website.