Pendency down, but petitioners disappointed in many cases

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Indian Polity and Constitution

Topic: Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Context: The year 2023 saw the Supreme Court hear long pending and contentious cases such as the abrogation of Article 370, samesex marriage and demonetisation.


  • The pendency of five judge Constitution Bench cases was reduced from 36 to 19 between January 1 to December 15.
  • Dates were notified for hearing six cases before seven judge Benches and five before nine judge Benches.
  • Cases of no relief to petitiners.
    • In demonetisation case, the SC upheld demonetisation of 500 and 1000 currency notes with 4:1 majority, dissent by Justice B.V.Nagarathna.
    • In Artice 370 case, the Supreme court evaded the basic question raised by the petitioners whether the Parliament could unilaterally extinguish the character of Statehood under Article 3 of the constitution.
    • In Supriyo and others v UOI case Constitution Bench refused to legalise same sex marriage by making the Special Marriage Act of 1954 genderneutral disappointing the LGBTQ community.
  • Cases where government side stepped Constitution Bench judgments.
    • Anoop Baranwal case: The Central Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act of 2023 was passed modifying Anoop Baranwal judgement.
    • GNCTD V UOI: Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023, has also effectively nullified a Constitution Bench ruling in May which had upheld the authority of the Delhi government over civil services in the capital.
    • Subash Desai v Governor of Maharashtra: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar is yet to pronounce his decision on the pending disqualification petitions against the Eknath Shinde camp under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution defying the Subash Desai v Governor of Maharashtra judgement.
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