Vacation Benches of the Supreme Court

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Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud recently said that no Vacation Benches will be available in the Supreme Court during the winter break.

About the Vacation Bench:

  • Who constitutes a vacation bench?
    • A Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court is a special bench constituted by the Chief Justice of India.
  • When is vacation bench constituted?
    • The Supreme Court takes two long vacations each year, the summer and winter breaks, but is technically not fully closed during these periods.
  • Urgent matters:
    • Litigants can still approach the Supreme Court during vacations and, if the court decides that the plea is an “urgent matter”, the Vacation Bench hears the case on its merits.
    • While there is no specific definition as to what is an “urgent matter”, during vacations the court generally admits writs related to habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition and quo warranto matters for enforcement of any fundamental right.
  • Underlying rules:
    • Under Rule 6 of Order II of The Supreme Court rules, 2013, the Chief Justice may appoint one or more Judges to hear during summer vacation or winter holidays all matters of an urgent nature.


Q1) What is a 3 judge bench called?

A bench of two or three judges is called a division bench. The Supreme Court Rules vests the Chief Justice of India, the power to constitute benches as part of his administrative responsibilities.

Source: The Hindu