Vacation for justice? Debate rages on

Bar associations are divided on whether courts should close down for vacations
Kochi: The debate on whether courts in the country should close down for vacations has gained momentum with the Bar Council of India proposing that they work all through the year and sounding its state units on the issue.
The Kerala High Court Advocates Association ,which has already rejected the proposal, intends to make its stand clear at the national meeting scheduled to be held on June 4 in New Delhi to discuss the matter.
The Kerala High court Advocates Association unanimously rejected the Bar Council of India’s proposal for 365 working days for courts every year at its extraordinary general meeting on May 28 . Senior advocates, G Sreekumar, V P Seemanthini, M P Ashok Kumarm and A Abdul Hassan backed the existing system as did high court practising advocates, S U Nasar, T K Koshy, Sunny Mathew and Lekha Suresh among others.
The general body appointed association president, S P Chaly to represent it and express its views at the meeting in Delhi. The Bar Council of Kerala too shares the advocates’ views on the issue. Bar Council chairman, T Abdul Azeez describes the idea of a six day week for the high court as absurd.
“The proposal must be struck down as most advocates are against it. Although a recent meeting failed to arrive at a consensus the Bar Council of Kerala will go ahead with its objection to the proposal,” he says. While both the Bar Council chairman and vice chairman will participate in the June 4 meeting, the council is meeting on June 8 in Kochi to discuss the matter in detail.
But not everyone is against the idea. Advocate Sebastian Paul says the advocates association and Bar Council of Kerala should seriously consider the opinion of Chief Justice of India , R M Lodha, that courts need to work more.
"It is unfortunate that we are still following the British tradition. Courts going on vacation is unacceptable. The associations should debate the issue and take the right decision. If an advocate or judge feels he needs a vacation he should personally take leave," he says.
Presently the Kerala High Court has a summer vacation of 40 days during April and May when it has sittings only every Tuesday and Friday. Courts also close for 10 days during the Christmas and Onam holidays.
( Source : dc )
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