Too Many Holidays in Indian Judicial Courts

Problems of the Indin Judiciary

Unruly Indulgence holiday in Indian courts

Uninhibited holiday: Those who are familiar with India know that India’s judicial efficiency is notoriously low in the world, so that many investors who come to India are very afraid of being involved in Indian litigation procedures. (Reference Article link: One lawsuit, one Jiazi, incredible Indian justice). In addition to the backlog of cases, old procedures, shortage of manpower, and inefficient work, Indian courts, especially the Supreme Court and the High Court, will be held every year Long vacations and limited working hours of judges are also an important reason for the inefficiency of justice.

Starting from the data, this article tries to comment on the Indian courts that are unruly, indulge and holiday.


Data 1 – Low Number of Judges

India has 1 Supreme Court and 24 High Courts (not every state corresponds to a High Court. The jurisdictions of individual High Courts include multiple states and regions, such as the High Court of Mumbai, the High Court of Madras and the High Court of Kolkata They are all under the jurisdiction of multiple states and federal territories. The oldest high court was established with the authorization of Queen Victoria in 1862.

The most recent high court was the three newly established high courts in the Northeast State in 2013) and 600 district courts (basic courts). There are countless village justice offices/mediation offices.

According to the data of Court News, a publication of the Supreme Court of India on July 11, 2016, the number of in-service trial judges in India is: 29 Supreme Court + 621 High Court + 16438 at the basic level and below (Compared to China: Hu Shihao, Director of the Reform Office of the Supreme People’s Court, introduced in an exclusive interview with People’s Daily on January 11, 2017.

As of the end of December 2016, except for the courts of Liaoning, Jiangxi, Henan, and Tibet, the four provinces and regions and the Corps courts, the remaining 27 provinces, regions, and municipalities have completed the selection of judges.

Among them, there are 27 high courts, 340 intermediate courts, and 2,623 basic-level courts, accounting for about 85% of the total number of courts in the country, with a total of 104,442 judges. )

It can be seen that the number of judges per capita in India is seriously insufficient, and the report of the Supreme Court of India has repeatedly proposed to add 6,000 to 15,000 judges in the next three years.

The following picture shows the information of 24 high courts in India: name, establishment time, jurisdiction, etc.


Data 2 High Number of Pending Cases in Indian Courts

According to Indian media reports in January 2017, as of July 2016, the number of cases pending in the Supreme Court of India was about 38,000, the number of pending cases in the High Court exceeded 1 million, and the number of pending cases in the basic courts and below was pending.

The quantity reaches more than 28 million pieces. Some media even estimate that according to the current speed of judges in India, it will take at least 300 years to deal with the 30 million backlog of cases.

At the same time, the large backlog of cases to be decided also means that a large number of victims still cannot get legal relief and justice.


Data 3 – Too Many Holidays n Indian Judiciary

In 2017, the number of vacation days in the Supreme Court of India was more than 80 days (excluding weekends), the longest of which were the “summer vacation” from May 11 to June 30, the October “Divari holiday” and December 18.

“Christmas and New Year Holidays” from January 1 to January 1. The four most important high courts in India (Mumbai High Court, Madras High Court, Kolkata High Court, Delhi High Court) also averaged about 50 days of vacation in 2017 (excluding weekends), of which the longest “Summer vacation” is about 30 days. The specific holiday days of the high courts vary slightly according to local conditions.

The district courts/basic courts do not have as many holidays as the high courts and the Supreme Court. Of course, the courts are not completely closed during holidays.

There will be holidays for the courts to handle some criminal cases and other urgent cases. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, JS Khehar, asked for the establishment of three constitutional courts during the summer vacation this year, and asked many justices to work overtime during the summer vacation. (Compared to China: The number of legal holidays in 2017 is 27 days)


Faced with such a shortage of judges and such a large backlog of outstanding cases, why do Indian courts still take long holidays every year?

On the one hand, India’s court justice system was established by the British in the 19th century.

The Mumbai High Court established in 1862 was composed of seven British judges. Their families were all in the United Kingdom. They would return home regularly every summer to visit relatives.

Sailing back and forth for one month each, and staying in the UK for one month, so it was a three-month summer vacation. With the convenience of transportation, although it does not require such a long summer vacation, the summer vacation tradition of the Indian court system is still retained.

There is also a saying: The British judges at the time wore wigs and robes, and it was really hard to tolerate the heat of India before they stipulated the summer vacation.

Of course, whether it is visiting relatives or summer vacation, the most important reason is that there is no doubt about the historical traditions that have been preserved during the British colonial period.

Christmas holidays are similar to summer holidays, because the most important holiday for Westerners is Christmas. The Diwali holiday is formed at any time when Hindu judges join in.

These are the three main long holidays in Indian courts:

  1. Summer vacation
  2. October vacation
  3. December vacation

On the other hand, from the judge’s point of view, judges are also humans, not machines.

Faced with the vast judicial precedents of the case law system and the pressure of handling numerous cases every day, vacations and adjustments are necessary, and we must know that many judges are on vacation.

It is to participate in various court trainings and academic conferences, not romantic poetry and distant places in imagination.

2. China’s statutory holidays are uniformly formulated by the State Council and announced for unified implementation throughout the country. There is no independent holiday system within a certain organization or system.

Strictly speaking, India’s national statutory holidays are only 3 days (Indian Republic Day on January 26, Indian Independence Day on August 15, and Gandhi’s birthday on October 2), which must be observed throughout the country.

Usually, the central government publishes an annual holiday calendar for each local state to refer to and develop its own holiday calendar.

The court system is quite special. Due to the principle of judicial independence, the Supreme Court sets its own annual holiday arrangements, and the High Court sets its own holiday arrangements as well as regional and basic courts.

This is a characteristic of the Indian court system. Long or short holidays have the final say and have a very large discretion.

3. There is a saying that legal people often say, “Late justice is not justice”. In India, there are still so many victims of backlogs who have not yet received legal justice, while the judges are on long holidays.



This is affirmed by the people Unbalanced, so in recent years, with the constant feedback and appeals from the public, the Indian judiciary is also considering how to deal with such contradictions, such as avoiding concentrated vacations and adopting rotating vacations. For example, directly reducing the number of vacation days or adding the number of vacation courts, etc.



Author’s Bio

Name: Ajay Rastogi

Educational Qualification: LLB

Profession: Advocate / Lawyer

Work Experience: 20 Years of Legal Practice

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