PRAMATHA NATH MITTER Vs. HONBLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA IN THE STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
PRAMATHA NATH MITTER
HONBLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA IN THE STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.) AN order in the name of the President, was issued under section 23a of the High Court Judges (Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, curtailing and reducing the vacations as fixed and determined by all the Judges of this High Court. The dispute, in ultimate analysis, is about ten more working days in the year. This High Court along with three other High Courts of Assam, Orissa and Mysore are the objects of this kind of imposition. No. 3/7/60-Judl. I Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs. New Delhi-11, the 28th Decr. 1960. ORDER. In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 23a of the High Court Judges (Conditions of Service) Act, 1954 (28 of 1954), the President is pleased to make the following order, namely:-1. This order may be called the Calcutta High Court (Vacation) Order, 1960.
(2.) THE vacations of the Calcutta High Court during the year 1961 shall be for the period specified below:- Easter Vacation-From 31st March to 3rd April, 1961 (both days inclusive ). . . 4 days. Annual Vacation-From 9th October to 17th November, 1961 (both days inclusive ). 40 days. Christmas Vacation-From 25th December to 31st December 1961 (both days inclusive ). 7 days. (M. Gopal Menon ). Joint Secretary to the Govt, of India. To the General Manager, Govt. of India Press, New Delhi. 2. Three representative members of all the three branches of the legal professions here, an Advocate, a Barrister and a Solicitor, have moved this application under Article 226 of the Constitution, challenging the President's order as unconstitutional, ultra vires and illegal and as an unprecedented executive interference with the internal administration of the High Court to regulate its own vacations and sittings. Application was moved before D. N. Sinha, J. who referred it to a larger Bench. The Chief Justice constituted this Special Bench to determine this application.
(3.) THE petition was publicly advertised under Order 1, rule 8 of the Civil Procedure Code. Not one single public supporter has come forward to uphold this government interference The learned Solicitor-General who appeared for the Government described his cause as the "unpopular cause". It is not only unpopular but also against all the expressed opinions of persons concerned or affected. The legal professions who are directly affected are all against it. No member of the legal or other public has lifted his little finger to support such measure or order. The Chief Justices' Conferences in India are against it, their view being 200 working days in the year. The public Law Commission of India, who heard and fully considered all available and relevant evidence, was in favour of 200 working days and not 210 days and left to each High Court to arrange its own vacations. (See paragraphs 63 and 64, Vol. I, page 95 of the 14th Report of the Law Commission on Reform of Judicial Administration ). This is, therefore, a universally condemned order which arguments at the Bar described as the infamous Order of executive interference with the internal administration of the High Court. It is unprecedented in the more than a century-old history of this Court.;
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