Supreme Court rejects criticism on summer vacation: 'We burn the midnight oil...'

A bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma on Wednesday expressed its displeasure at the criticism that the Supreme Court and High Courts work only for a few hours and take long vacations.
Supreme Court rejects criticism on summer vacation: 'We burn the midnight oil...'
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure at the criticism made towards the working hours and the number of vacation days awarded to Indian judges.

In a veiled reference to the recent remarks by Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), Justice Dipankar Datta said that if those in the government machinery were so concerned about delays, they could begin by filing appeals within the prescribed timelines.

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal, in a recent podcast, advocated for reforms in the judiciary.

"The High Courts and the Supreme Court take leave in summer and then take leave again in Dussehra. What is this system? They work for a few hours. All these old systems will have to be changed and modernised. The government can contribute to this to some extent. But in the end, the justice system will have to do it on its own," Sanyal said.

The Supreme Court bench remarked "Those people who castigate the judiciary, [should] take stock of these things... the authorities don't come within time and they say we work less?"

The remark by Justice Datta came while allowing the withdrawal of a petition filed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren challenging his arrest in the money laundering case.

"Very unfortunately, Mr (Kapil) Sibal, despite efforts being put in by judges, it is said that judges work for very few hours. Those who say all this is part of governance, no matter filed by the Union within the time limit. Every case has a condonation of delay application. All who castigate the judiciary must take note of this. We burn midnight oil even during vacations," he said.

"We hardly come across a matter which is filed within time. So let those people who cascade the judiciary stop these things," Justice Datta remarked.

Responding to the remarks of Justice Datta, Kapil Sibal said that the Supreme Court is the most "over-worked" court amongst all the Supreme Courts in all countries in the world.

"No judge works as hard as you are," he said.

In his observations, Justice Datta further added, "Since they are part of governance, we would expect that at least in one matter filed by the Union of India or by a State, the appeal comes within time. Every matter there is a condonation of delay."

"The authorities don't come within time, but they say we work less? The judges are not before us, how can they explain," Justice Datta added.

This is not the first time judges have spoken against people who have criticised the judiciary for going on vacation.

Last month, Justice B R Gavai, while hearing one of the cases, remarked, "People who criticise don't know that we don't have holidays on Saturday and Sunday also. Even for functions and conferences, we have to prepare. Thank god to iPads, we don't have to carry files everywhere and can read on our flights also."

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal also said, "It is the toughest job in the country."

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Supreme Court rejects criticism on summer vacation: 'We burn the midnight oil...'

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was appearing before Justice Gavai said, "Only people who are totally unaware criticise."

Source: India Today

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