Note ban, GST effect: SC cases involving Centre rise 8% in last 1 year

The number of cases in the Supreme Court where the government is a party has seen a spike in the last one year, with law ministry officials attributing the spurt to note ban, implementation of the GST and taxation issues.

According to latest law ministry data, between January 1 and December 31 last year, 4,229 cases were filed in the top court in which the Centre was a party.

In 2016, the number of such cases was 3,497, while between January 1 and December 31 of 2015, 3,909 such cases were filed.

This year, between January 1 and February 22, 859 cases have been filed in the apex court where the Union of India is a party.

The data states that in 2012, there were 4,149 cases involving the government in the top court and the figure went up to 4,772 in 2013.

In 2014, when the NDA government came to power, the number of cases was 4,748 but went down to 3,909 in 2015.

Officials in the law ministry said the spurt in cases could be attributed to litigations on note ban, implementation of the GST regime and taxation issues.

While the number of cases in the Supreme Court have increased, the number of law officers representing the Union of India has dwindled.

Though the number of law officers representing the government in the Supreme Court is set to go up to 10 next week, so far there is no word on who would become the next solicitor general.

The law ministry file recommending the names of Aman Lekhi, Madhvi Diwan, Sandeep Sethi and Bikramjeet Banerjee as additional solicitors general has reached the Prime Minister's Office for final approval.

Sources in the government said a final nod of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet on the four names is likely next week.

After Ranjit Kumar resigned as the solicitor general in October last year, the key post has been lying vacant and so far there is no word from the law ministry on who would be appointed to that post.

P S Patwali and N K Kaul had decided against a second term as additional solicitors general when their terms had ended in July last.

Maninder Singh, Tushar Mehta, P S Narasimha, Pinky Anand and Atmaram Nadkarni are the other ASGs.

Besides Attorney General K K Venugopal, five ASGs represent the Centre in the apex court. There are nine other ASGs who appear in various high courts.

Officials pointed out that since there are not many law officers, sensitive cases are also being handled by senior advocates who are on the law ministry panel. These lawyers are paid fees per appearance.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel