Monday, January 30, 2023

PIL in Bombay High Court terms court vacation as relic of colonial past, violation of fundamental rights

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The Bombay High Court has recieved a plea contending that courts take long vacations which is a violation of fundamental rights of citizens since the such vacations affect the right of the litigant

The petition was filed by one Sabina Lakdawala who said that closing courts for more than 70 days for any kind of vacation is a violation of fundamental rights of litigants.

The plea stated that the practice of long vacations is liable to be brought to an end.

The plea also prayed that the High Court should be kept fully functional during the upcoming Diwali vacation with enough number of judges to hear and adjudicate all cases and by issuing directions to registry to receive all petitions without insisting on permission from the vacation bench.

The petitioner talked about how the Court has failed her by not hearing her petition despite several requests for urgent hearing.

The plea submitted that the long vacations that are relic of the colonial era which have contributed in the further collapse of the justice delivery system.

The plea stated that the long vacation suits the convenience of elite lawyers, a microscopic minority.

The plea was filed through advocate Nedumpara who told that the petition will be mentioned before the Bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and Justice  RN Ladhha tomorrow for urgent hearing.

As the petitioners case was not heard due to the paucity the petitioner, urged the High Court to abandon the closure of courts in the name of vacation, a relic of the colonial era which was being followed mechanically and mindlessly.

The petition stated that the court vacation, is a relic of our colonial past, was justified at a time when majority of the judges were Englishmen who were not adjusted to the extreme summers of India, had to travel England during the summers. It was a necessity then, today, it is a luxury that the country can ill afford.

The petitioner acknowledged that while both judges and lawyers need breaks, keeping it limited to weekends and gazetted holidays will suffice the purpose.

The petitioner also contended that the requisite break for lawyers and judges can be provided without the entire institution being shut down.

As the matter was serious, she clarified that her contention was not that vacation should be denied to judges and lawyers and their workload be increased but that they can be encouraged to take leave at different times of the year.

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