There has been a constant drop in the international credibility of the Supreme Court of India, a new study on foreign court citations of Indian judgments has revealed.
The research was based on judgments of 43 nations and identified the pattern of citations of the Supreme Court of India's judgments, lawyer and independent legal researcher Mitali Gupta found that there has been a decline in the number of times international judges cite Indian judgments in their own rulings.
The research covered two periods- first, 2009-2014, when the UPA was in power for its second term, and 2014 to the present when the NDA is in power, to reveal trends of how Indian judgments have been cited by courts in various nations.
"Given the similarity in legal systems, it is mostly South Asian and African countries that refer to Indian judgments and among them are specifically those countries that follow the common law system," Gupta notes.
Since 2009, Supreme Court judgments have been cited 510 times. While most of them were of judgments that were made in earlier years, 128 of the judgments referred to by foreign courts were delivered between 2009 and September 2020, The Wire reported.
Gupta studied the 128 cases, of which 100 were delivered between 2009 and 2014 and only 28 judgments were delivered after 2014.
Among the 43 countries considered for the research, Bangladesh refers to Indian judgments the most. Data shows that the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has cited the Indian apex court's judgments as many as 274 times since 2009. Of these, 157 citations were made before 2014.
Of these citations, 57 were of judgments delivered between 2009-2014 and 16 after 2015. The research reveals that there is a drastic drop in the citations after 2015. Similarly, Pakistan has cited Indian judgments in 69 different cases.
Among other top courts across the world, the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, and the Court of Appeal of Seychelles also refer to the Indian judgements.
The research also showed that 43 Indian judgments were delivered and cited during 2009-2014 and 28 between 2015-2020. This drop has been attributed to factors including change in government to the recent COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted the efficiency of the judiciary across the globe.