From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Vacation Bench
Mains level : Judiciary and its institutional mechanism
- Recently Hon’ble Supreme Court has notified its annual summer holiday from May 13, and listed the judges who will occupy the Vacation Benches for hearing urgent matters during this period.
- A Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court is a special bench constituted by the Chief Justice of India.
- The court takes two long vacations each year, the summer and winter breaks, but is technically not fully closed during these periods.
- Litigants can still approach the Supreme Court and, if the court decides that the plea is an “urgent matter”, the Vacation Bench hears the case on its merits.
- While there is no specific definition as to what an “urgent matter” is.
- During vacations the court generally admits writs related to habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition and quo warranto matters for enforcement of any fundamental right.
Legal Provisions for Vacation Bench
- Under Rule 6 of Order II of The Supreme Court rules, 2013 the CJI has nominates the Division Benches for hearing of urgent miscellaneous matters and regular hearing matters during the summer vacation for the period.
- The rule reads that CJI may appoint one or more Judges to hear during summer vacation or winter holidays all matters of an urgent nature which under these rules may be heard by a Judge sitting singly.
- And, whenever necessary, he may likewise appoint a Division Court for the hearing of urgent cases during the vacation which require to be heard by a Bench of Judges.
Which else can appoint vacation bench?
- The High Courts and trial courts too have Vacation Benches to hear urgent matters under their jurisdiction.