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Report No. 44

18. Views of Judges.-

The Registrar of the Supreme Court has furnished us with a statement showing institutions and disposals of appeals and writ petitions in the Supreme Court year by year from 1961 to 1970. It appears from this statement that the number of civil appeals disposed of by the Court in each of these ten years except 1961 has been very considerably less than the number of such appeals instituted during that year. During the last six years, 1965 to 1970, the total number of institutions was 13,229 and the total number of disposals was only 9,249, indicating an accumulation of arrears of nearly 4,000 civil appeals during this period. To quote from the Registrar's letter:-

"The Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India feels that with the present jurisdiction of and rate of institutions in the Supreme Court, it will rather be difficult to avoid further increase in the arrears of cases in the Supreme Court. It is expected that, if sub-clauses (a) and (b) of Article 133(1) of the Constitution of India are repealed, there will be appreciable reduction in the volume of work in the Supreme Court. The Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India would, therefore, welcome the suggestion or move to repeal sub-clauses (a) and (b) of Article 133(1) of the Constitution".

The High Court Judges generally are also in favour of the proposal to delete clauses (a) and (b) of Article 133. Some who do not go so far, favour some restrictions like raising the valuation limit to Rs. 100,000, while only a few think that there should be no change.

Many of the replies favouring deletion make the point that valuation cannot be the yardstick for a right to appeal. An important question of law can arise even in suits of small value. The test of valuation results in cases without merit going up to the Supreme Court.

Some of the replies have emphasised that where there is a substantial question of law involved, there ought to be a right of appeal to the Supreme Court, if the valuation test is satisfied.

Appellant Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Civil matters Back

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