Judges are not “supermen” and they also require some rest, was how a former Supreme Court judge expressed his disapproval to Chief Justice of India R M Lodha’s suggestion of making courts function all round the year.
“The Chief Justice of India has said that Courts should remain open 365 days in a year. How is this possible? Does a Judge not require some rest ? Is he not a human being with a family to look after?” Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI), wrote in his blog.
Questioning the proposal, he said there are various stake holders and it should be left to the public to consider the situation under which the judiciary functions.
“It is true that while many Judges work hard, others do not. But even a hard working Judge requires some rest and has a family.
“Similarly, lawyers and registry officials, too have families to look after and, being human beings, need some rest. I am not holding a brief for Judges who do not work hard. All I am requesting is for the public to consider the situation,” Justice Katju said.
Sharing his experience on the issue of pendency of cases plaguing the judiciary, he said, “This shows the plight of the judiciary. After all we are not supermen. If a man can carry a maximum load of, say, 100 pounds, and if an elephant is placed on his head, what will happen ? He will collapse.
“The massive load of arrears is simply too heavy for the judiciary to carry, and the filing of new cases is also huge,” he said.
He also said that it takes time to decide a case properly and a judge has to work hard to deliver a high quality judgement.
“People do not know this situation and yet blame the judges for not working hard. I am not holding a brief for corrupt judges. While many Judges are honest, there are some who are corrupt. But how much can even an honest and hard working Judge do in the face of such massive arrears?” he said.