Supreme Court revises rules- Summer vacations cut short


Following a recent notification in the Gazette of India, the Supreme Court will now be governed by the Supreme Court Rules of 2013. The new rules will replace the existing rules of 1966 and will be effective from August 19, 2014. Interestingly, the new changes will be introduced just five weeks before the retirement of Chief Justice Lodha.

The newly introduced rules will now govern the procedures to be followed in the functioning of the Supreme Court.

One of the noticeable changes in the fresh set of rules is the shortening of the maximum length of summer vacations to seven weeks from the earlier ten. However, at this moment, it is difficult to ascertain whether this particular clause will support the Chief Justice of India’s push for a higher number of working days. As the name suggests, it seems that the new rules have been finalized last year.

During Lodha’s tenure, this is the second reported procedural change, the first one being issuance of new mentioning guidelines in April this year.

Some of the new rules for the offices of the Court are as follows:

  • The offices of the Court shall remain open on Saturdays from 10.00 A.M. to 1 P.M., except on vacations. No work shall be admitted after 12 noon, unless it is if an urgent nature.
  • Except on days which are holidays, both for the Court and the offices of the Court, the offices shall remain open during summer vacation and Christmas as well as New Year holidays of the Court at such times as the Chief Justice may direct.
  • The Court shall not ordinarily, sit on Saturdays, or on any other day notified as Court Holidays in the Official Gazette.
  • To hear matters of an urgent nature, the Chief Justice may appoint one or more judges to hear during summer vacation or winter holidays. The judge may hear such matters singly, and whenever necessary, may appoint a Division Court for the hearing of urgent cases during the vacation which require to be heard by a Bench of Judges.