Supreme Court: SC creates history with winter vacation bench

Team SoOLEGAL 23 Dec 2017 3:10pm

Supreme Court: SC creates history with winter vacation bench

SC Creating a first in its 67-year history as the final frontier of justice, the SC set up two vacation benches for disposal of urgent cases, including those where poor accident survivors and kin of victims have been waiting for years to get compensation.

The Supreme Court had been constituting vacation benches for hearing urgent and old matters during the long summer break. Over the years, the summer break has been cut short by more than a week and the frequency of sitting of vacation benches, and their numbers, have increased, blunting the criticism of too many vacations in the SC at a time when pendency of cases has been mounting. In the last few years, the SC has been able to bring down pendency.

Dipak Misra, with two primary goals - reduction of pendency in the Supreme Court and HCs as well as providing relief to poor litigants - decided to break tradition and set up vacation benches during winter break. One bench comprised the CJI and Justice Sanjay K Kaul, while the other consisted of Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit.

The bench headed by the CJI took up cases where poor litigants have been waiting to get compensation for injuries or death of kin in accidents that took place nearly two decades back. Finding that the regular court hours get crowded with myriad cases, the CJI had decided to post them together in the vacation.

Before listing the cases (as many as 113 on Friday), Justice Misra had advised the registry to take consent of the lawyers willing to appear before the court during the winter break. The response was overwhelming.

Of the 113 cases listed before the bench, the court disposed of 31 and both sides went back happy.


The bench awarded a total compensation of Rs 5.43 crore, which is Rs 17.52 lakh per claim. The high courts had granted a total compensation of Rs 3.68 crore in these 31 cases, averaging to 11.88 lakh per claim. This means the SC increased the compensation by an average Rs 5.64 lakh per claim.

Tagged: CJI Dipak Misra   Supreme Court   vacation benches  
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