Supreme Court seeks explanation from staff for long delay in listing of cases | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a serious view of the functioning of its officials over delay in listing of many cases for hearing for months despite completion of all formalities, including curing of defects in the petition, with a bench headed by the chief justice seeking explanation from its registry why a case was listed after a delay of one and half years.
While hearing a special leave petition filed in 2021 against the order of the Karnataka high court, a bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi noted that the case was listed for hearing for the first time one and half years after it was filed and that too despite it being ready to be heard. Deciding to put under the scanner the functioning of court officials, the bench issued notice to the registry and directed it to explain the delay in listing of the case.
“We issue notice to the registry to file an explanation why the matter was not listed,” the court said. It also directed the registry to make a list within two days of all such cases that are ready to be heard in court but have not been listed for a long time. “All details of such matters to be furnished along with explanation and if any remedial steps have since been taken. Let the explanation be filed by Thursday,” the bench said.
The functioning of the Supreme Court registry has been criticised from time to time with allegations being made by parties that some cases are given priority in listing while other cases remain in the queue for long. Even the apex court benches have expressed displeasure in open court.
In August, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna had expressed displeasure after being apprised that the Supreme Court Registry had deleted a matter that was listed before it. Even previous Chief Justice N V Ramana had accepted the problem and expressed regret for not being able to pay much attention to issues relating to listing and posting of matters for hearing in the apex court.
After taking charge as Chief Justice of India, Justice Lalit tried to streamline the process and listed for hearing many of the old petitions including PILs, some of which were filed way back in 2018. The petitions were taken up for hearing and many of them disposed of. The CJI also ensured that any fresh petition filed in the Supreme Court gets listed for hearing within ten days.