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SCBA 'open to deliberations' on CJI's 365 day courts, suggests banning strikes & 5 other pendency fixes

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), through president Pravin Parekh, wrote to Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha suggesting that in his proposed scheme of 365-days working courtrooms, lawyers be consulted before listing their matters on what would otherwise be non-working days.

Asking for “interaction with the Supreme Court Bar Association before taking any final decision”, as resolved in the SCBA’s 3 June meeting, Parekh wrote that “the members of the bar cannot possibly work for 365 days as no human being can or should work 365 days”.

He suggested seven alternatives to a no-holiday court year, to reduce case arrears:

  • Filling up of judicial vacancies,
  • punctuality of judges,
  • laying down uniform parameters for case admission and disposal,
  • doing away with lawyers’ strikes,
  • stringency against adjournments,
  • pre-scrutiny of government litigation before admission at the Supreme Court, and
  • one-hour increase in the working hours of all courts as an experiment.

He wrote:

“Primarily the view of most of the members of the Supreme Court Bar Association whom I had the occasion of speaking to, about this issue, is that the members of the bar cannot possibly work for 365 days as no human being can or should work 365 days. The members of the bar are already working very hard under the existing system. Except for their work obligations, they have their family as well as social obligations. They need holidays to prepare their cases and they also need some time to have vacation as all others have. That time is provided under the existing system. Each Judge has been a lawyer and would easily appreciate this.

Therefore, if any matters are to be listed on non-working days, by the present system, the consent of the advocates appearing in those matters should also be obtained. In one way the Hon’ble Supreme Court follows this while listing final disposal matters during summer vacation by giving choice to the members of the Bar before listing their matters during vacation.”

Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Biri Singh Sinsinwar had, after a meeting with chairmen of various state bar councils, told the Times of India that none of the state bar councils agree with the CJI’s proposal. The Madras High Court Advocates Association and the Intellectual Property Attorneys Association also registered protest at the proposal, reported the paper.

Open letter SCBA on 365-day courts by legallyindia

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