Several other effects of the paneled court structure of India are detailed in the article, along with a comparison to the US Supreme Court’s unified bench structure. The article does not argue that either a paneled or unified bench structure is superior. And that is largely the point. Each structure arises out of different values and needs and responds to different contexts. I actually think one could not come up with a definitive ideal structure for a supreme court that should be adopted by countries around the world. Different structured courts would have different impacts in different countries at different times.
That said, I believe in a country like India the purpose of the Supreme Court’s structure is not articulated and reflected upon seriously enough (this is definitely not a problem isolated to India). Instead, institutional momentum, and drift, largely account for keeping the Court in its current form. If the current trajectory prevails more appeals will come to the Indian Supreme Court in the future, requiring more judges and more panels, leading to even greater stresses on the institution. This will result in more calls for changing the structure of the court and we should be prepared to have the tools to understand what the costs and benefits of these changes might be.
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