Throw some light on the need of a National Court of Appeal for reducing the pendency of cases and returning to the Supreme Court’s original role as final appellate court.

According to National Judicial Data Grid, the Supreme Court has around 60 thousand pending cases. Nearly 93% of cases are routine appeals (DAKSHA legal research).

In this regard, Law commission as well as, Attorney General of India has recommended for the establishment of a National Court of Appeal. A PIL by Vasanth Kumar has been filed in the Supreme Court. Functions of National Court of Appeal will be to hear appeals against various High Courts, Tribunals.

Arguments Supporting NCA:

  • The Supreme Court’s burden will be reduced on routine cases.
  • SC can focus on various pending constitutional issues. As post independence, cases heard by constitutional benches have declined from 3% (1960s) to 1.15%.
  • Apex court of many countries never hears appeals.
  • Reduce the monopoly of Delhi lawyers.
  • ‘Decentralization’, better accessibility of Judiciary across the country.

Arguments against NCA:

  • Many constitutional questions arise out of normal appeals.
  • Reduces the talent pool of judges at the Supreme Court.
  • Difficulty in administration of courts and rosters.

Way Forward:

This can be brought out on an experimental basis and it can be tried in Northeast, South India to access for its expansion.


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