Considering the COVID second wave in India, the Chief Justice has agreed to consider the request made by the BAR Council to advance the summer break of the Supreme Court by a week from May 7th. The Court is scheduled to reopen on 28th June.
The decision was taken after an emergency meeting held by the Chief Justice of India, Justice NV Ramana with the representatives of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and the Bar Council of India.
The SCBA in its official statement said that “After a detailed discussion today in the emergency meeting, it was concluded that the summer vacations of the SC will be preponed to May 7 and reopening will be accordingly preponed to June 28 tentatively.”
The SCBA suggested that the summer vacation can be curtailed by one week to limit it to six weeks instead of seven, considering the huge pendency of cases emerging due to the pandemic.
In a letter to the newly appointed CJI, SCBA’s Vikas Singh also suggested that additional buildings on the court premises can be put to use for augmenting Delhi’s already healthcare facilities.
The bar body also urged the CJI to approve the temporary conversion of the Advocates’ Chamber Block in the additional Supreme Court Complex for use as a COVID-care centre or field hospital.
A final decision in this regard will be taken after a full-court meeting. The Chief Justice of India gas also principally agreed to provide a suitable area for establishing medical facilities for at least 60 beds and other facilities like RT-PCR test, vaccination, etc.
Are these Court Vacations justified?
The Supreme Court of India on average works 193 days in a year, whereas the High Courts for 210 days and the subordinate courts for 245 days on average. Courts are closed for a considerable amount of time during the summer, Christmas, Diwali, Dussehra Pongal and other festivals depending on the state they are located in.
Why are these vacations necessary even with over 3.5 crore pending cases spanning the Supreme Court, various high courts and the numerous district and subordinate courts?
Vacations are very necessary to ensure that the judicial system is functioning effectively. After all, every human being needs a break from a hectic schedule to regain his/her momentum to work enthusiastically. During the vacation, the judges can finish the dictation of the Judgements which have been pending for a long time or are reserved for later. Also, some judges have other commitments to fulfil like public and training meetings. And as for lawyers, during this vacation period, they get time for drafting and researching.
Judges and lawyers are usually overburdened with a lot of cases and work for long hours regularly and if no breaks are given to them, the efficiency level of justice will surely come down which will have a direct impact on the judgements. A judge handles justice and he/she cannot be burdened and pressured with work.
But on the other hand, their crores of pending cases are denied timely justice. If courts take such a long vacation will ever these cases be solved, and justice is given?
The concept of Court vacation was introduced at the time of British rule for English judges to visit their homeland. But as the times have changed new reforms must be introduced in the working process of Indian courts. It is the responsibility and duty of the judiciary system to understand the problems and find a permanent solution that will benefit both the public as well the working lawyers and judges because it is said that “justice delayed is justice denied”.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author