Curtailing Vacation, Guj HC Decides To Hear Old Cases

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Curtailing Vacation, Guj HC Decides To Hear Old Cases

| Updated: May 14, 2024 12:11

In light of the enormity of pending cases in courts, the Indian judiciary is taking several steps to respond to the continuous criticism for the continuation of British Era summer vacations.

In a first, the Gujarat High Court has decided to curtail the summer vacation for attending to urgent cases. High Court decided to list 200 pending criminal cases, not heard since more than 25 years. These cases pertain to appeals filed by the state government against the order of acquittals in lower courts.

High Court of Gujarat notified that it has arranged special benches for four weeks for the purpose. There will be a division bench and a single-bench which will sit every week. The cases to be heard were filed between 1995 and 1999.

By foregoing the established tradition of summer vacation, the Hc has directed three different judges to take up the matters every week, between May 13 and June 7 for three hours daily. 12 different judges will work during this four-week vacation. In another reformist step, the HC has arranged for the lawyers to address the court through video conference.

Recently, a bench of Justice A S Supehia and Justice V K Vyas came down heavily on Government not pursuing the appeals involving serious crimes.

on March 30, the bench noted, “The State cannot remain a mute spectator and ignore the proceedings after they are filed, without owing any responsibility. In case of heinous offences, which affects the society at large, it is the onerous duty of the State under the Constitution of India, to act as guardian and protector of law.”

The context provided for such an observation was the fact that in last one year, two different orders were passed by a division bench who were acquitted more than 25 years ago by lower courts, but state’s appeal against the acquittal remained pending in the high court for more than two decades.The accused persons were beyond 70 years of age when the appeal came up for hearing.

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