The petition challenging the practise of courts having lengthy vacations and how this affects the filing and hearing of cases during such vacation periods was accepted by the Bombay High Court on Thursday. The hearing will take place after the Diwali holiday. Advocate Mathews Naedumpara brought up the issue on Thursday before a bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and RN Ladhha.
The bench originally questioned the timing of the petition given that the High Court schedule was created in November of last year. It ultimately decided to put the matter on the list for November 15.
“Milords we are not against the court vacations. The, issue is for filing of petition during vacation also we need permission from vacation bench,” he said.
A declaration that closing courts for more than 70 days for any type of vacation constitutes a violation of the fundamental rights of litigants is demanded in the plea submitted by one Sabina Lakdawala. The appeal stated, “Such practise of long vacations is liable to be brought to an end”
The petition also pleaded for the High Court to continue operating normally throughout the upcoming Diwali holiday by ensuring that enough judges are available to hear and decide all cases without needing approval from the vacation bench. The petitioner petitioned the High Court to do away with the colonial tradition of closing courts for vacation, which was still being mechanistically and mindlessly followed.
Lakdawala also stated that while breaks are necessary for both judges and lawyers, confining them to the weekends and gazetted holidays will be sufficient. She made it clear that her argument was not that judges and attorneys should not take vacation days and that their workloads should be increased but it is to encourage judges to take vacations at different times during the year so that the Court is operational throughout the year.