Justice Banerjee Authored 98 Judgments in 4 years
On the occasion of Justice Indira Banerjee’s retirement, SCO reports on the numerical highlights of her tenure.
Justice Indira Banerjee will retire on September 23rd, 2022, after serving as a Supreme Court Judge for four years. She is the 8th woman Judge of the top Court. Justice Banerjee previously served as a Judge in the Calcutta and Delhi High Courts and as the second woman Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. Justice Banerjee was elevated to the Supreme Court on August 7th, 2018. She is the 6th Judge to retire in 2022.
Figure 1 depicts the expected tenures of all the sitting Judges at the Supreme Court at the time of Justice Banerjee’s retirement. Justice Banerjee’s 4-year tenure is shorter than a Supreme Court Judge's average tenure of 5.26 years. The median tenure of the currently sitting Judges is 5 years. Justice Banerjee’s tenure highlights the shorter than average tenures of women Judges at the Supreme Court.
Figure 2 records the total Judgments authored by each individual sitting Judge and their yearly rate of writing Judgments. Justice Banerjee authored a total of 98 Judgments over the course of her 4-year tenure. Her average rate of authoring Judgments is 24.5 per year. The average Judgment authorship rate of the sitting Supreme Court Judges is 29.65 and the median is 24.
Notably, Justice Banerjee has been a part of two Constitution Benches—in 2019 and in 2022. She authored one main Judgment and one concurring opinion while on the 2019 Bench, and one Judgment as part of the 2022 Bench.
Figure 3 depicts the subject matter breakdown of Justice Indira Banerjee’s Judgments. Criminal law matters account for 23.66% (22) of Justice Banerjee’s Judgments—the highest among all categories. Insolvency and service matters are 9.68% (9) each. Her remaining 53 Judgments are a medley of different subject matters.
Figure 4 depicts the total number of cases Justice Banerjee has impacted as a member of the Bench. Justice Banerjee has been a member of 432 Benches and has delivered 98 Judgments. She authored Judgments in 22.69% of the Benches she was part of.
The judicial impact of a Judge cannot be determined solely based on the number of Judgments authored by them. Examining the number of Benches that a Judge has been part of provides a wider understanding of the judicial impact of a Judge.
The tenure length of a Judge, and by extension their experience, affects the number and nature of the cases heard by them. Despite her short tenure, Justice Banerjee has left her mark on a variety of different cases, and in key constitutional matters.
*SCO referred to multiple data sources including the Supreme Court of India website, the SC Judges library, and Manupatra. Each source provided conflicting values. Further, our research indicated that all three data sources were incomplete. For the sake of uniformity, the values referred to in this piece are restricted only to Manupatra. The accuracy of the values presented is reliant on the data source.