Court Data

Pendency of cases in the Supreme Court dropped by over 700 cases in February 2024

Pendency continues to have a healthy drop in 2024, though the week-long Holi break of March might slow down the developments of February

As February 2024 closed, the number of pending cases at the Supreme Court dropped below the 80,000 mark for the first time since October 2023. In December 2023, pendency was at 80,439, and by January 2024, it had dropped marginally to 80,221. In comparison to February numbers from 2023, the pendency has increased by 1584.   

Data pulled from the National Judicial Data Grid on 2 March 2024 shows that 79,766 cases remained pending as February closed. This means that from January 2024, there has been a decrease of 763 cases. Though this number may appear insignificant against the tens of thousands of cases pending at the court, it’s crucial to note that as the Court clears cases, new ones are being filed everyday.

In February and January this year, the Court cleared more cases than were filed. 4821 cases were instituted, and the Court cleared 5409. With 21 working days in February, this is an average of 257 cases cleared a day. In February, with the appointment of Justice P.B. Varale, the Court functioned with a full capacity of 34 judges. This means that on average, each judge cleared over seven cases in a day. 

It is significant to note that the Court has managed to achieve a healthy decrease in pendency despite the Court sitting in big constitutional benches of five, seven and nine-judge benches. The Court heard one day of hearings in the challenge to the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (seven-judge Bench), three days if hearings in the challenge to sub-classification of groups within the reserved category (five-judge Bench) and three days of hearings in the challenges concerning the taxation of minerals and mines (nine-judge Bench). 

Some of the big judgements to come out of the Court in February included the five-judge Constitution Bench case that declared the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional. Another five-judge Bench held that a stay order granted in civil and criminal cases cannot automatically be vacated after a certain period of time has passed.

In March, the Court will likely see a drop in the case clearance rate, with the Court going on a week of vacation for Holi.