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SHOULD COURTS BE OPENED FOR 365 DAYS IN A YEAR?

JUSTICE LODHA'S PROPOSAL


Every year, the Supreme Court goes on vacation for 45 days in summer and again for a fortnight
during Christmas. This means the countrys highest court is on vacation for two months in a
year, leading to a huge backlog of cases. Its the same with the high courts.
Although the courts have vacation judges, they deal only with urgent issues and not regular
matters.
The CJI has suggested that judges can take leave according to their convenience, rather than
courts closing for holidays.
Justice Lodha said a 365-day work calendar should not be construed as curtailing holidays of
judges. In his letter to the high court chief justices,
Justice Lodha said: They (judges) should be permitted as many days of holidays and
vacations as they are presently entitled, but it should be whenever they choose rather than on
fixed days and at fixed periods in the year".
In other words, the courts should function all year round, giving individual judges the choice of
holidays and vacations".
Justice Lodha had suggested that by the end of September, each judge should indicate holidays
and vacations he or she wants to avail of in the succeeding year. The registry will then finalise
the sittings having regard to the options given by the respective judges.

SUPREME COURT BAR ASSOCIATION OPPOSED
The Supreme Court Bar Association has opposed the Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodhas
suggestion to Chief Justices of all High Courts that courts should function all 365 days in a year.
SCBA president P.H. Parekh said 365 days work scheme may not reduce the arrears because
if working hours of the judges remain the same the judicial output will remain constant.
Parekh letter to CJI stated, the new scheme may perhaps result in an increase in the arrears
because on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays, the stake holders in the administration of
justice may not take the judicial work as seriously as they do it on working days. It is believed
worldwide that holidays are very necessary for the efficient and effective functioning of any
institution. It will apply with greater force to members of the bar looking at their working hours.
The view of most of the members of the SCBA is that they cannot possibly work for 365 days as
no human being can or should work 365 days.
CONCLUSION
As courts are not industries, the personal lives of the advocates would hamper if the courts runs
for 365days in a year. The stress level among lawyers will go up by working all year round, and
the quality of output might go down as lawyers and judges will have little time to study cases. It
is impossible for courts to work all year round. It is practical if it is applied to urgent work only
and in day to day working it is not feasible for both judges and lawyers.
Chief Justice RM Lodha is worried about the pending cases and slow disposal of issues from
legal front. There can be other measures to solve these problems like the Lok Adalats session
where in seven days more than two lakh cases were settled.