SCBA requests CJI to increase vacation benches, expand category of matters for hearing

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh Tuesday wrote to Chief Justice N V Ramana requesting him to increase the number of vacation benches and expand the category of matters that can come up for hearing during the break.

He also requested the CJI that the system of oral mentioning be restored.

“Today’s cause list also surprisingly states that no oral mentioning will be allowed whereas this has never been a practice of this Court to forbid mentioning before vacation benches,” Singh said in the letter to the CJI.

“It is therefore requested that immediate necessary action be taken by your good offices to restore the status of a Vacation Bench as has been the convention of this Court and also to increase the number of vacation benches and expand the category of matters that can come during vacations so that more and more matters could be heard during vacations,” he said.

Singh said he has been practicing in the court for more than 30 years and the practice being followed for hearing matters during the break has always been that a Vacation Judge/Bench exercised powers in respect of all special benches as well as hearing a particular matter if a case for urgency was made out and some urgent orders were required to be passed.

He said it has also been the convention of the apex court that the senior vacation Judge (Single Judge)/Senior judge (Division Bench) also exercised the power of the Chief Justice of India as far as listing of matters is concerned.

The SCBA president further said: “It has also been the convention that once a judicial order is passed for listing of matter by Vacation Bench, the matter could not be deleted by the Registry under any circumstances.”

“Sir, in our last meeting it was discussed that you will increase the number or Vacation Benches this year as the pendency of matters has increased manifold due to the pandemic, however, there are only 2 (two) courts functioning during the present vacation and thus large number of matters are awaiting hearing in the Supreme Court”.