If children can go to school at seven in the morning, why cannot judges and lawyers start their day at nine, justice Uday U Lalit remarked on Friday as the Supreme Court judge began hearing cases an hour before the usual time.
Supreme Court benches assemble at 10.30am on weekdays to commence the business of the day. They sit till 4pm, preceded by a lunch break for an hour between 1pm and 2pm.
In a departure from the regular practice, justice Lalit sat at 9.30am on Friday and began hearing cases. His bench also comprised justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
Appearing in a bail case, former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi lauded the bench for sitting early. “I must say that this time of 9.30 is a more proper time to start courts.”
To this, justice Lalit replied that he has always held the view that the court should sit early. “Ideally, we should sit at 9 in the morning. I have always said that if our children can go to school at 7 in the morning, why can’t we come to court at 9?”
Justice Lalit, who is in line to become the Chief Justice of India (CJI) in August, suggested the Supreme Court benches should start at 9am and rise at 11.30am for a half-hour break. “Begin at 12 again and finish by 2pm. You would get time to do more things in the evening,” said the judge, speaking about the days when fresh matters and cases that do not usually require lengthy hearings are taken up after notices.
Justice Lalit is set to take over from CJI NV Ramana on August 27 and will be in office till November 8.