Chief Justice of India SA Bobde claimed on Monday that the significant drop in cases filed to the Supreme Court was owing to the crime rate going down under the nationwide lockdown.
"The pressure of litigation on courts has reduced," Justice Bobde said. In January this year, 205 cases were filed daily in the Supreme Court. But in April, only 305 cases have been filed through e-filing.
Explaining the drop, the Chief Justice said, "Cause for action is not happening because of the lockdown. Thieves are not committing crime. The crime rate has come down. Police action has also gone down".
Overall, "things important for litigation are not taking place", he added.
Three "organs of the government should act in harmony" at times of crisis, Justice Bobde said, responding to allegations in some quarters that the judiciary has been toeing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government's line.
"In times of crisis three organs of government should act in harmony for getting over the crisis... Patience is the need of the hour and the whole country is being called to exercise patience," Justice Bobde said.
India to extend nationwide lockdown to tackle coronavirus
Speaking of the huge crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Justice of India said all three arms of the government have their own responsibilities.
"Epidemic or any disaster can be best handled by the executive. In all cases relating to Covid-19, we have asked executive what steps are being taken," the Chief Justice said. It is for the executive to decide "how men, money, material should be used and prioritised".
"Undoubtedly, the executive can't allow the lives of citizens to be endangered. When that happens, surely the court jurisdiction will intervene," Justice Bobde added.
As for the judiciary, he said the courts were doing whatever they can during this crisis. "We are not taking rest and we are working and disposing of the cases. We work 210 days in a year as per our calendar," he said.
The article originally appeared in NDTV