Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud recently responded to the criticism surrounding delays in hearing politically sensitive cases pending before the Supreme Court such as the Hijab ban case and the Article 370 case..CJI Chandrachud said that while efforts are being made to address these delays, the top court also has to hear regular matters involving grievances by individual citizens, whether it be criminal appeals or bail matters. "I am conscious of the critique, but I must also share with you that there is a great amount of balancing which any head of the institution has to do ... Yes, on the one hand you need to hear the big ticket - if I may use that expression - cases involving substantive issues for the nation. But equally for us as judges are important, those cases which deal with individual grievances of citizens who come to access justice," he said. .He pointed out that Constitution Benches often have to be set up to hear the 'big ticket' matters, which again affects daily hearings in other individual cases. "The moment you set apart a bench of, say, seven judges, you're reducing seven judges off the thirty four judges. We're going to be hearing cases involving equally important grievances of citizens. Somebody denied their personal liberty, somebody seeking bail, a death row convict who wants an early hearing of their criminal appeal, somebody sentenced to life imprisonment for, say, an offence of murder, somebody sentenced to fourteen years of jail for being involved in an offence under the Narcotics Act. So, the great challenge really is this," he said..The CJI made the observation in response to a question posed during a recent discussion organised by the Harvard Law School. A batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 was filed in 2019 but the Supreme Court heard it only in 2023 before reserving its judgment on September 5. The same is likely to be delivered in the coming weeks. Likewise, petitions challenging Hijab ban in Karnataka schools which were filed in 2022, are yet to be heard..CJI Chandrachud said that he has taken steps to set up a Constitution Bench on a rolling basis throughout the year, partly in response to the criticism over delays in hearing cases involving issues affecting the nation.He also pointed out that Supreme Courts worldwide typically handle 180-200 cases annually. On the other hand, over 50,000 cases are filed annually in India, which makes forming Constitution Benches a unique challenge."So, every time I have to set apart, say, two constitution benches, say, of ten judges - my instinct is, well, I'm taking ten judges away, so that I'm left with only twenty four. If I'm left with twenty four judges and I'm operating with, say, three judge benches, I have only eight benches to deal with the 50,000 cases in a year," he explained. .CJI Chandrachud emphasized that while creating space for substantial matters is essential, the Supreme Court cannot lose sight of its role as a court of appeal."So, it is important to create the space, as I said, but it is important that we understand that the work of the Supreme Court is also a work as a court of appeal and you can't lose sight of the other side of justice, which we have to deal with," he said.