With 1263 judgments delivered; three Chief Justices of India taking turns to lead the judiciary; a number of judges retiring and a few joining the strength, 2022 was a very busy year for the Supreme Court. Before beginning with our year-end tradition of going through the most important judgments/orders of the Supreme Court, let us look at some of the unmissable facts and figures from the year 2022.

Number of Judgments

In 2022, the Supreme Court delivered 1263 judgments, which is a lot more compared to the previous two years that witnessed 696 and 865 judgments, respectively.

Three Chief Justices of India in three months 

This year, the Supreme Court was presided over by 3 CJIs. When CJI NV Ramana retired in August, he passed the baton to CJI UU Lalit, who stayed in the office for only 74 days but made a huge impact by marking the beginning of much needed institutional changes in the way the Supreme Court functions. When CJI Dr DY Chandrachud took over, he promised to take forward the legacy and also bring instrumental changes in all levels of judiciary.

Judge Strength


In 2022, the Supreme Court bid adieu to 8 judges, including 2 Chief Justices.

It is noteworthy that 9 judges are due to retire in 2023.

Also read

2 New CJIs, 8 Retirements, 3 Appointments- Reflecting upon a hectic 2022 for the Supreme Court Judge Strength

The Firsts

  • In a first, the Supreme Court started live streaming the proceedings of the Constitution Bench Matters and the Ceremonial Bench. For the first time ever, the proceedings before the Ceremonial Bench on CJI NV Ramana’s last working day in the Supreme Court, was live-streamed.
  • The Supreme Court launched its online Right to Information portal.


69781 cases were pending before the Supreme Court (till 31.10.2022), including 498 Constitution Bench matters (till 13.12.2022).

Important Judgments/Orders

Just like 2021, only 3 Constitution Bench judgments were delivered in the year 2022. However, with Constitution Benches now sitting more regularly than ever, we can expect a good number of Constitution Bench matters being heard and decided in 2023. Read all about the 2022 Constitution Bench verdict & the matters to look forward to in 2023, here.

The Court also referred some important matters to larger Bench/Constitution Bench:

From keeping the Sedition law in abeyance to suggesting a separate Bail Act, the Supreme Court has passed some important judgments/orders with the intent to bring a change in the existing system:

When the Prime Minister of India was left stranded for 20 minutes on a Punjab highway amidst serious security lapse, the Supreme Court appointed a committee headed by Justice Indu Malhotra to look into the matter. After Justice Indu Malhotra headed Enquiry Committee submitted its report, the Supreme Courts asked the Central and Punjab Governments to take further action in the matter.

There were some cases that shook the conscience of the entire nation. From Bilkis Bano’s plea challenging the remission of her rapists to the fate of the juvenile accused in the Kathua Gang rape and murder case, here’s how the Supreme Court has dealt with them in 2022:

See more under POCSO, below

From plea challenging SIT’s clean chit to PM Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots to Navjot Singh Sidhu’s involvement in road rage case dating back to 1988, some High-Profile cases also came up before the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the amendments to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 vide the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020, after observing that the “aspirations of any country cannot be fulfilled on the hope of foreign donation.”

Supreme Court delivered a 545-pages long verdict on the validity of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 but later agreed to hear the review petition after noticing that ‘at-least two issues required reconsideration’.

In an unrelated case, the Court held that handing over cash to a public servant would be considered “proceeds of crime” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

When Maharashtra’s political drama travelled to the Supreme Court, here is what the Court ordered:

After Vijay Mallya “neither showed any remorse nor tendered any apology for his conduct” of transferring a huge sum of over Rs. 3 billion to his children instead of repaying his debt of more than Rs. 9000 crores to the banks, the Supreme Court imposed sentence of four months and fine of Rs.2,000/- on him for contempt of Court and directed that Rs. 3 billion be deposited by him and beneficiaries at 8% interest per annum.

Setting aside Delhi High Court’s verdict in the issue relating to the Bullet Train Project, the Supreme Court observed that even Republic of India can’t deviate from terms and conditions of a fully foreign funded contract. It is important to note that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has invested Rs.1 lakh crores in the Bullet Train Project.

From recognising the right to safe abortion of unmarried persons to interpreting the concept of ‘family’ to include in its ambit the domestic, unmarried/queer relationships, the Supreme Court gave some progressive judgments, especially focusing on smashing the patriarchal mindset and uplifting women:

When a Right to Information application sought the copies of resolution and decision taken in the Supreme Court Collegiums meeting dated 12.12.2018 regarding elevation of Chief Justices of Two High Courts, the Supreme Court observed that all collegium discussions can’t be in public domain and that only final decisions to be uploaded on Supreme Court website.

In 2021, the Supreme Court had ordered independent probe in the Pegasus Spyware Case after observing that ‘National security cannot be the bugbear that the judiciary shies away from’. The Expert Committee submitted its report before the Supreme Court in 2022.

Some journalists found themselves entangled in legal trouble for allegedly hurting religious sentiments:

The year began with Supreme Court extending period of limitation for filing of matters as the COVID-19/Omicron cases were at a surge. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is apparently making a comeback just the World was slowly returning to normalcy almost 3 years:

While, in Kathua Gang Rape and Murder case, the Supreme Court observed that it was gathering an impression that the leniency with which the juveniles are dealt with in the name of goal of reformation is making them more and more emboldened in indulging in such heinous crimes, the Court also directed, in another case, that Guidelines must be in place for preliminary assessment of children above 16 years of age for trial as adults, after observing that mental capacity & ability to understand consequences of acts are not same.

2022 was also the year of getting a chance at life for some convicts:

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter relating to forced religious conversions after observing that forced religious conversions ultimately affect national security and violate citizens’ right to freedom of religion.

Just like all years, in 2022 too, the Supreme Court gave some important ruling on Arbitration:

The Supreme Court also interpreted the true scope of a “consumer” in terms of Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and held that the ‘business to business’ disputes cannot be construed as consumer disputes as the entire Act revolves around “business-to-consumer” disputes and not for “business-to-business” disputes.

The Supreme Court provided some key tools for interpretation of contracts and also decided some interesting law points:

Observing that delays in prosecuting the corrupt breeds a culture of impunity, the Supreme Court directed that sanction requests under the Prevention Corruption Act must be decided within 4 months but proceedings cannot be quashed for delay.

In a case where a death row convict was allegedly placed under solitary confinement since 29-10-2006 contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration(1978) 4 SCC 494, the Supreme Court has called for a probe into the ground reality of solitary Confinement of Death Row Convicts.

No year goes by without the Courts passing important orders on cases relating to dishonour of cheques. 2022 was no different:

When the Madhya Pradesh High Court Advocates Bar Association and the District Bar Association, challenged the vires of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality and held that as the case load on NGT is low, there was no need to set up its branches in every State.

In a case where the Court was dealing with the violation of the provisions of the SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) Regulations 2003 [PFUTP Regulations], the Supreme Court held that as a general rule, SEBI is duty bound to disclose all the relevant material, including the Investigation Report, in order to give reasonable opportunity to be heard to the notice. However, as an exception, it can redact information that impinges on the privacy of third parties.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is one law that keeps on coming up before the Courts for consideration. In 2022, the Supreme Court gave the following important rulings on the subject matter:

75 years into independence, the Supreme Court suggested that it was time to revisit the system of reservation. Here are some important rulings on reservation from 2022:

Right to life being the most important right of an individual and right to healthcare being one of the most important aspect of it, the Supreme Court gave the following verdicts:

Opining that the video-conference procedure need not be restricted only to the period affected by COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court furthered SOP for evidence recording via video-conferencing in cases related to child victims/witnesses of human trafficking.

Like all years, the Supreme Court did not miss on giving some interesting rulings on property and land related matters:

Two important verdicts were delivered by the Supreme Court on the issue of maintenance:

In an interesting case, where the husband had disputed paternity of child on suspicion, the Supreme Court allowed the conduct of DNA test, while granting conditional compensation of Rs 30 lakhs to the wife if the suspicion proves to be wrong and the husband turns out to be the father of the child.

Organised Crime/Terrorism is a menace that just doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. The Supreme Court explained the true import of a few provisions to make dealing with such cases smooth:

It says a lot about us, as a society, when we see the Court flooded with cases relating to crimes against Children. This is how the Supreme Court meted out justice in some of the POCSO cases that came before it:

Service-related matters are a staple in the Courtrooms and 2022 was no different. Here are some important rulings settling the service law issues:

A number of tax related matters were settled by the Supreme Court in the year 2022. The year also saw some important tax law provisions being interpreted by the Supreme Court:

Two prominent bail applications by persons accused under the draconian UAPA were also dealt with by the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court issued notice to BCI to respond to the suggestions made on the admission of individuals as advocates. The suggestions on conduct of All India Bar exams span from  1/4th negative marking to limiting the validity of Bar exam for three years.

Lastly, while to err is human, it is important to remember that the members of the Bench and the Bar are humans after all, which is why, the Supreme Court gave a number of judgments, serving as a Practice and Procedure guide:

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