The courts of law (including the Supreme Court) in India often "reserve" the verdicts after hearing is completed.

What's the purpose behind this practice?

2 Answers 2


Good decision-making may take some time.

During the hearing the judges will hear/see what the parties say, and may:

  1. Come up with a decision and voice it right away; or
  2. Tentatively come up with a decision, but wish to deliberate/research it further to be sure; or
  3. Find it difficult to figure a decision. Extensive deliberations/research will be required.

Those are the official reasons.

In practice, if the court is not so independent or is corrupt, the judges may secretly consult whoever they see fit before reaching a decision (politicians, parties to the case who bribe them, and so on).

  • Are Indias judges assumed to be corrupt?
    – PMF
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 4:54
  • @PMF Are orange vehicles assumed to be 4WD? I don't make assumptions, that's why I say "if". But, heck, show me a place where corrupt judges for sure don't exist.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 5:00
  • Especially at the appellate level, but also in some trial court decisions, there is a strong expectation that a decision will be supported by a reasoned written opinion, which it is improper to draft in final form until all argument and evidence has been considered. Opinions don't write themselves and this takes time. Sometimes a judge will immediately deliver a reasoned opinion orally and direct someone to transcribe it later (when there is only one judge involved in a trial court) but this is the rare exception. In some places, a decision is not official until it is in a signed writing.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 17:36

Appellate courts in particular often need to research the law and consider which precedents apply to the current case. The judges may need to discuss the proper decision among themselves. Then a decision needs to be written in many cases, and the wording again discussed among the judges of the court. All this can take considerable time.

Courts of original jurisdiction, where trials and some hearings take place, may still need to research prior cases, and consider what the proper decision is in the current case.

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