The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to take up 300 old cases with one filed in 1979 from October 11 onwards, where it has agreed to hear the matter but could not be listed for various reasons.

In its circular, the Apex Court said, "Take notice that 300 oldest after notice matters of which list is appended...are likely to be listed before the courts on non-miscellaneous days with effect from Tuesday, October 11, 2022".

Among the 300 cases, a civil appeal filed in 1979 by the Union of India against Nava Bharat Ferroy Alloys Ltd and others is the oldest.

A similar notice was issued on August 24 when the top court had notified that 25 five-judge Constitution bench matters will be listed from August 29 onwards, two days after justice UU Lalit had taken over charge as the Chief Justice of India.

Since Justice Lalit assumed charge as the CJI, the focus has been made on the disposal of old pending cases which have been clogging the judicial system for years.

The Apex Court on Tuesday had constituted another five-judge constitution bench for hearing five crucial cases including the challenge to the Central government's 2016 decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

At present three five-judge Constitution benches headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul are hearing various contentious issues, which were pending for years.

The fourth Constitution is being headed by Justice S Abdul Nazeer and would comprise Justices B R Gavai, A S Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian, and BV Nagarathna which have started hearing five cases.

On September 16, the top court had in a big step towards unclogging the top judiciary burdened with humongous pendency of cases, it has, in one massive sweep, binned 13,147 old "diarized but unregistered" cases, including one filed more than three decades ago.

An order issued by Registrar Judicial-1 Chirag Bhanu Singh had said all these cases were filed more than eight years ago but the defects pointed out by the Registry to the respective counsel or petitioners in person were not "cured".

The cases got the diary numbers prior to the year 2014, and the list included a case filed way back in 1987.

As per the data uploaded on the Supreme Court website, there were as many as 70,310 pending cases as on September 1, 2022. These included 51,839 miscellaneous matters and 18,471 related to regular hearings.

The order by the Supreme Court registrar said the parties to the cases seemingly do not intend to prosecute the litigations any further as they did not cure the defects even after a lapse of several years.

With PTI inputs