Judicial Pendency

What is a Full Court Meeting?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Full Court Meeting

Mains level: Not Much

Within hours of taking over, the new Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit called a meeting of the ‘full court’ where the judges discussed how to deal with issues relating to listing and backlog of cases.

What is a Full Court Meeting?

  • A full court meeting literally means one which is attended by all the judges of the court.

When is it held?

  • There are no written rules dealing with this.
  • As per convention, full-court meetings are called by the Chief Justice of India to discuss issues of importance to the judiciary.
  • The senior designations of practising advocates in the Supreme Court and high courts are also decided during the full court meetings.

What is the significance of a full court meeting?

  • The basic idea is to take everyone along.
  • Full court meetings are an ideal occasion to arrive at common solutions to deal with problems that beset the country’s legal system and to make any amends, if necessary, in the administrative practices of the court.

How frequently is it held?

  • As a full court meeting is convened at the discretion of the Chief Justice of India, it does not follow any particular calendar.
  • Full court meetings have been held many times in the past.
  • In March 2020, it was convened to discuss demands by associations of lawyers to close the court till further notice following the Covid-10 outbreak.
  • Also, a full court meeting held on May 7, 1997 decided that “every Judge should make a declaration of all his/her assets in the form of real estate or investment” held in own name or in the name of spouse or any person dependent.

Do you know?

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday, will be the sixth head of the Indian judiciary to have a tenure of less than 100 days.

Lalit will demit office on November 8 with a tenure of 74 days.

Justice Kamal Narain Singh, who was the CJI between November 25, 1991 and December 12, 1991, had a tenure of 18 days.

Justice S Rajendra Babu had a tenure of 30 days as the chief justice of India between May 2, 2004 and May 31, 2004.

Justice J C Shah had a tenure of 36 days when he was the CJI between December 17, 1970 and January 21, 1971.

Justice G B Patnaik had a 41-day tenure as the head of the Indian judiciary when he held the office of the CJI from November 8, 2002 to December 18, 2002.

Justice L M Sharma had a tenure of 86 days as the CJI when he was in office between November 18, 1992 and February 11, 1993.

Tap to read more about appointment of CJIs.

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