The High Court Calendar: Karnataka HC has just ten sitting days this December

Aditya AK and Anuj Agrawal

Often relegated to the background in debates over pending litigation, court vacations are, in fact, a crucial part of the conversation. In a typical year for instance, the Supreme Court of India has vacations for more than one hundred days.

Not that this has gone unnoticed.

In 2014, the then Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, had suggested that the apex court ought to function for three hundred and sixty-five days a year. It was a move that found strong opposition from the Supreme Court Bar. The considerable number of holidays is not limited to the Supreme Court alone; the same can be seen in the country’s high courts as well.

Holidays in the high courts have also generated their fare share of debate. Former Madras High Court judge, K Chandru, has never shied away from criticising the concept of court vacations; the Delhi High Court though, seems to think otherwise.

But just how many court days are lost out due to vacations?

This is where the High Court Calendar comes in. Each month, we look at the number of sitting days of each of the twenty-four high courts across the country.

December, a month that is usually eaten up by the winter vacations, has an average of 15.33 working days. However, this number is greater than the eleven sitting days for the Supreme Court of India this month.

Here is a list of sitting days for each High Court taken from the respective High Court websites; these numbers exclude working Saturdays.

High Court No. of sitting days
Himachal Pradesh 22
AP and Telangana 21
Gujarat 20
Jammu & Kashmir 17
Gauhati 17
Allahabad 16
Bombay 16
Calcutta 16
Chhattisgarh 16
Delhi 16
Madras 16
Orissa 16
Patna 16
Punjab & Haryana 16
Uttarakhand 16
Madhya Pradesh 15
Rajasthan 15
Kerala 14
Manipur 13
Jharkhand 11
Meghalaya 11
Sikkim 11
Tripura 11
Karnataka 10

Quite understandably, the states located in mountainous regions will have less working days on account of the weather. But there are some anomalies. The Himachal Pradesh High Court, for instance, has the most sitting days among all High Courts, at twenty-two. The Jammu & Kashmir High Court has seventeen.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Jharkhand High Court has just eleven sitting days, while the Karnataka High Court has the least number of sitting days among all High Courts, with just ten.