SC bench sits at 9.30 am, says work must ideally start early

Breaking with its usual working hours, a Supreme Court bench on Friday started work one hour earlier, saying that starting and finishing the day’s work early would leave judges with more time to prepare for the next day’s work.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing in a case before the bench of Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, lauded the move. Justice Lalit said: “Ideally we should sit at 9 in the morning. If our children can go to school at 7 in the morning, then why can’t we come at 9 am!”

Rohatgi said he found the 9.30 am timing more convenient.

Justice Lalit, who is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India, said starting and finishing the work early would give the judges more time to go through the next day’s case files.

The second most senior judge said if work could be started at 9 am and finished by 2 pm with a half an hour break instead of the 10.30 am to 4 pm schedule, which is followed now, that will leave judges with more time in the evening. Justice Lalit also said that Friday’s arrangement “is just a capsule”, indicating that he may be toying with the idea of starting work early after August.

Justice Lalit will take over as the 49th Chief Justice of India after the incumbent CJI N V Ramana retires on August 26.

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