Justice S. Ravindra Bhat authored an average of 35.5 judgements a year
Justice S. Ravindra Bhat wrote a little more judgements than his peers who served for four years at the Supreme Court
Justice S. Ravindra Bhat retired on 20 October 2023, after serving four years as a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. With his retirement, the strength of the Supreme Court has reduced to 31 judges.
Justice Bhat authored 142 judgements during this time. This amounts to an average of 35.5 judgements a year. Notably, this is a higher judgement output compared to his peers who have also served as sitting judges for four years.
Figure 1 depicts the total number of judgements authored by sitting judges of the Supreme Court. The bar in dark blue plots the total number of judgements authored by each judge. The bar in yellow represents the average number of judgements written each year.
Justice Bhat in four years has authored a total of 142 judgements, an average of 35.5 judgments per year. Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud leads the count with 569 judgements in his 7 year tenure so far, at an average of 77 judgements each year.
This is higher in comparison with his brother judges, who have served the same tenure as him, namely, Justices B.R. Gavai, Surya Kant, A.S. Bopanna, Aniruddha Bose, and Hrishikesh Roy. Justice Bhat ranks second in this list with 142 judgements, 16 less than Justice B.R. Gavai, who has authored 158 judgements. Justice Aniruddha Bose follows, with 89 judgements. Justice Roy—appointed on the same day as Justice Bhat—authored 62 judgements.
Lastly, Justices A.S. Bopanna and Surya Kant authored 59 and 58 judgements respectively.
Figure 2 shows the number of judgements authored by Justice Bhat each year (marked in green). The figure also shows the number of benches he has been a part of (marked in blue). The orange bar shows Justice Bhat’s judgment authorship rate—the number of judgements he wrote out of the benches he was a part of.
Justice Bhat authored judgements in 29% of the cases that he was on. In the first three years of his tenure, though the number of cases that he heard increased, the number of judgements he wrote remained between 20 to 32. In 2023, with only 10 months, Justice Bhat wrote 46 judgements.
In 2019, when his tenure was just three-months, he authored seven judgements. He was a part of 31 benches during this time, and had an authorship rate of 22.5%
In 2020, he authored 20 judgements and was a part of 80 benches, his authorship rate increased to 25%.
In 2021, he authored 37 judgements, and was part of 122 benches. He wrote judgements in 30.3% of those cases.
2022 saw a small dip in authorship to 32 judgements. Interestingly, it also saw his highest bench activity. He was a part of 158 benches. His authorship rate dropped to 20.2%
His final year as a sitting judge, saw the highest number of judgements during his tenure. He wrote judgements in 49.4% of the 93 benches that he was a part of.