Three days after the new Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, put a revolutionary proposal to keep Supreme Court, High courts and trial courts open for 365 days a year, the legal fraternity of Mumbai have opposed the suggestion.
Chief Justice RM Lodha had proposed, 'the Judiciary over the years has become an essential service provider like hospitals, electricity or water department. These departments function 365 days a year. Then why not the judiciary?'
At present, the Supreme Court has 193 working days, HCs 210 days and trial courts 245 days a year, Lodha remarked recently, while outlining a scheme for making judiciary work for 365 days a year and achieving 26 per cent results.
This comes at a time when the judiciary is facing flak for availing long vacations despite a huge backlog of pending cases.
The legal community seemed surprised over the proposal. Some lawyers maintained that this will help ease the backlog of a few pending cases, while others opined that practicing lawyers will face trouble taking long vacations.
Bombay High Court Advocate Anand Jodhale said, 'Already the courts are open 365 days of the year. Even if there is vacation in the courts, the vacation bench is always there to hear matters. There is no full closure of courts anywhere in the country. Also, we have night courts for hearing matters which are taken up after the evening hours. Moreover, the Metropolitan Magistrates work 24 hours as they hear emergency cases if the matter is brought to his house on a holiday or during vacations. So I think the present mechanism is sufficient to run the judiciary.'
With just five months as CJI, Justice Lodha has not deterred from thinking radically to improve the court management system to fight the monstrous backlog of over 2 crore cases.
He has asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Biri Singh Sinsinwar to seek feedback from all stakeholders on keeping courts open round the year. MORE UNI AAA JF AV1723 NNNN
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