[Answered] Do you think that the culture of vacations for the higher judiciary should be discontinued?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain why the culture of vacations for the higher judiciary should be discontinued.  Also write reasons for its continuance.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The 1958 statute tells that vacation means such periods during a year fixed by SC rules with the prior approval of the President. The current rule followed by SC for vacation is Supreme Court Rules, 2013 and Chief Justice of India (CJI) issues notifications for the vacation every year. Currently, the Supreme Court has 193 working days per year, while the High Courts have 210 days.

The culture of vacations for the higher judiciary should be discontinued due to following reasons:

  • The concept of vacation is originated from colonial rules. Judges at that time came from England, a place colder compared to India and the summer of India was unbearable to them.
  • There are no governmental organizations in the country except courts and schools that have vacation.
  • There is a backlog of over 3.1 crore cases in Indian courts.
  • There is insufficient judicial power (India has only 13 judges per million population, compared to the UK’s 100) in India.
  • There are many countries in the world that do not have vacations in the courts. For example, France and the US. Judges don’t have vacation, but they can take holidays without affecting the function of the court.
  • Even in India the subordinate criminal courts do not have any vacation. But the subordinate civil courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court have vacations.

The following points make it clear that there isa  need of these vacations:

  • Judges are overburdened on a daily basis and work extremely long hours. In the absence of sufficient breaks, judges will suffer a burnout.
  • Many judges use the long breaks to write judgments that are pending and also catch up on research, which is essential for judges to maintain the quality of justice.
  • They also have to perform administrative tasks like supervision of lower judiciary and appointment of judges.

Way forward:

  • Arrears Committee and 230th Report of Law Commission recommended for a shorter duration in the vacation.

The need of the hour is an efficient judiciary that is not only committed to meet the interests of the citizens, but also communicates this commitment by modifying their practices to suit the needs of the country.

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