Justice Krishna Murari: Tenure in Numbers

Justice Krishna Murari authored 64 judgements, at a rate of 17 judgements per year.

Justice Krishna Murari will retire on July 8th, 2023. He served at the Supreme Court for 3.75 years and wrote 64 judgements during this time. With Justice Murari’s retirement, the strength of the Supreme Court is now at 30 judges. This may change in the foreseeable future with the Collegium’s recent recommendation of Justices Ujjwal Bhuyan and S. Venkatanarayana Bhatti to be elevated to the SC. 

Expected Tenure

Figure 1 shows the expected tenures of all sitting judges of the SC. On the ‘x’-axis, expected tenure is marked in years. Judges are listed on the ‘y’-axis. 

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has the highest tenure of all sitting Judges of the SC. Justice Murari’s 3.75 year tenure falls short of the average tenure length of an SC judge—5.37 years.

Number of Judgements

In Figure 2, the ‘y’-axis plots the judges who have served at the Supreme Court for more than two years. The ‘x’-axis represents the number of judgements. The outer blue bar shows the total number of judgements authored by the judge and the yellow bar shows the judgements per year. 

Justice Murari authored 64 judgements in his 3.75 year tenure*. This amounts to 17 judgements a year.

Justices S.R. Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy have also completed 3.75 years at the SC. Justice Roy has authored 62 judgements within this time. Interestingly, only Justice Bhat has authored over 120 judgements during this period. Justice V. Ramasubramanianm, who retired recently, authored over 100 judgements in 3.75 years (More here).

Subject Matter of Judgements

Figure 3 shows the subject matter of judgements authored by Justice Murari. 

Majority of his judgements are in Criminal matters (31). Interestingly, Criminal law was not his area of practice when he was an Advocate in the Allahabad HC. 

His body of work includes Judgements related to Property law (6) and Civil law (5). He authored judgements in Service law, Evidence law, Banking law and Family law. SCO put together his notable judgements here.

Rate of Judgement Authorship

In Figure 1, the ‘x’-axis represents three values—Judgements (Yellow bar), Benches (Dark blue bar) and the Authorship Rate (Light blue bar). The authorship rate tells us the number of judgements he wrote out of the benches he was a part of. 

The number of judgements Justice Murari wrote in the benches he was part of increased as each year passed. In 2019, he authored judgements in 13% of the benches he was a part of. He was appointed towards the end of the year in September, which explains a notably smaller percentage of judgment authorship. 

In 2020, Justice Murari authored 8 judgements out of 49 benches—a  rate of 16.3%. His bench activity increased this year from hearing 23 cases in 2019 to 49 cases in 2020 . In 2021, his authorship and bench activity remained consistent with 2020. 

Justice Murari had the highest bench activity in 2022. He was a part of 127 Benches and authored 22 judgements—an authorship rate of 17.3%. 

In 2023, Justice Murari authored 23 judgements—the highest number of judgements in any year. He was a part of 61 benches. His authorship rate peaked at 37.7% in 2023, despite retiring 6 months into the year. 

*as per data collected on July 7th, 2023