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About Court Vacations


Recently, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has said that the Supreme Court will not have a vacation bench when it breaks for its annual winter vacation.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Court Vacations
  2. Vacation Bench
  3. Issues with Court Vacations

About Court Vacations

  • The High Court operates for roughly 210 days, the Supreme Court for 193 working days, and trial courts for 245 working days per year.
  • High Courts have the authority to organise their schedules in accordance with the service regulations.
  • The summer and winter breaks, which the Supreme Court takes twice a year, are technically not closed to the public.

Vacation Bench:

  • A special Supreme Court bench chosen by the Chief Justice of India is known as a vacation bench.
  • The Supreme Court is still a venue for litigants, and the Vacation Bench hears the case on the merits if the court determines that the plea is a “urgent matter.”
  • Before vacation benches, cases involving bail, eviction, and other issues sometimes take precedence.
  • Courts frequently hear significant cases when they are off.
    • During the summer recess of 2015, a five-judge Supreme Court bench heard arguments against the constitutional amendment creating the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
    • In 2017, a Constitution Bench heard the case contesting the use of triple talaq during the summer break over the course of six days.
Legal Provisions for Vacation Bench
  • Under Rule 6 of Order II of The Supreme Court rules, 2013 the CJI has nominates the Division Benches for the hearing of urgent miscellaneous matters and regular hearing matters during the summer vacation for period.
  • The rule reads that CJI may appoint one or more Judges to hear during summer vacation or winter holidays all matters of an urgent nature which under these rules may be heard by a Judge sitting singly.
  • And, whenever necessary, he may likewise appoint a Division Court for the hearing of urgent cases during the vacation which require to be heard by a Bench of Judges.

Issues with Court Vacations

  • For those looking for justice, the lengthy vacation that the courts receive is not very handy.
  • Extended, frequent vacations are not a good optics, especially given the rising backlog of cases and the sluggishness of the legal system.
  • The vacation will cause additional, inescapable delays in listing cases for the average litigant.
  • The summer vacation may have started because European Federal Court of India justices took the winter off for Christmas because they thought Indian summers to be too hot.

-Source: The Hindu

April 2024