Amid tussle with Centre, SC takes 16-day 'absolute' winter break
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Friday informed lawyers that there will be no Supreme Court benches available from Saturday till January 1 due to winter vacations. Friday is this year's last working day of the apex court and it will reopen on January 2. As per the usual practice, vacation benches are constituted only for the summer break, which is during May-June.
Why does this story matter?
- The announcement came against the backdrop of Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju's statement in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, where he said that there is a feeling among people that the long vacations obtained by courts are not convenient for justice seekers.
- The long vacations of courts have long been a subject of criticism. The Bombay High Court is hearing a petition challenging the same.
Have sleepless nights, former CJI Ramana said
Though this issue has been raised for a long time, former CJI NV Ramana remarked in July that there's a misconception among people that judges work only from 10 am to 4 pm and enjoy ultimate comfort during their holidays. The then CJI said judges spend sleepless nights rethinking their decision and work on weekends and court holidays to research and author pending judgments.
Mechanism to project judges' hard work: Former Delhi HC judge
A former judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice Jayant Nath, said in November last year that courts don't go on vacations like schools. He said that appropriate machinery must be used to project their hard work to change the public perception. It is a known fact that courts are overburdened with pending cases but unfortunately, the common man blames the court, he said.
30% vacancies against total strength of judges
Rijiju informed Parliament on Thursday that 777 judges were working in 25 high courts against the sanctioned strength of 1,108 judges. There are as many as 331 vacancies or 30% of the total strength. For these 331 vacancies, 147 proposals were received from high courts and are at different stages of processing. Recommendations for 184 vacancies are yet to be received.
Record number of appointments this year: Rijiju
Rijiju said the government appointed 165 judges in various high courts until December 9, which is the most in a calendar year. Last month, he called the Collegium system "opaque" and said India was the only country where judges appoint judges.