Long court vacations must continue in "their present form" to ensure the mental well being of both lawyers and judges, various bar associations associated with the Madras High Court told a judges' committee on Wednesday. .The bar members made their view known to a special committee comprising four judges which was set up by Madras High Court Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala to send its recommendations to the Supreme Court on a parliamentary panel's recommendation to do away with long court vacations. In March last year, the members of a parliamentary panel had called for doing away with long vacations in the Supreme Court and the High Courts.The panel on personnel, public grievances, law and justice had said in its report that long vacations in higher judiciary impede speedy disposal of cases.Therefore, it had suggested that judges take personal days off or take court vacations in a staggered manner whereby all judges do not go off work at the same time.Following a discussion on this report among the Chief Justices of all High Courts last month, Madras High Court Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala had referred the issue to a committee of judges constituted to monitor the implementation of resolutions passed in the conference and the committee decided to hear members of the Bar on the same before taking any decision..The judge's committee comprising of Justices SM Subramaniam, P Velmurugan, M Dhandhapani, and G Ilangovan met today with Justices Subramaniam and Velmurugan attending the meeting physically from the principal bench of the High Court at Madras and Justices Ilangovan and Dhandapani attending the meeting from Madurai via video conference.Office bearers of the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA), the Madras Bar Association (MBA), the Law Association, the Women Lawyers Association, and the Madurai Bar Association were present at the meeting.The judges said that a large section of the society and the parliamentary panel believed that the system of long court vacations was a colonial practice and impeded a litigant's access to courts. Therefore, the committee felt that in a bid to keep the doors of the constitutional courts open for litigants through the year, the members of the judiciary must think about making a "personal sacrifice" and give up the practice of long vacations, Justice Subramaniam and Velmurugan said.."We are not making any decision. This Committee has been set up by the Chief Justice merely to get the opinion of every stakeholder and then present it to the Supreme Court that will take a decision. However, we are looking at this whole issue from the point of view of the litigant. Now a days, even ordinary citizens feel encouraged to repose their trust in judiciary and approach courts for getting justice. So why should the courts stay shut even for a day and thus, delay filing of matters, even urgent ones? Therefore, we think that the judiciary can make a sacrifice for the sake of the litigants seeing the kind of suffering most litigants go through," Justice Subramaniam said..MHAA President Advocate G Mohanakrishnan told the committee that if it is decided that the court vacations must be done away with in the interest of the litigants, then lawyers are ready to make the sacrifice. However, if given a choice, they would prefer that court vacations continue in their current form for the district judiciary as well as the High Courts and the Supreme Court."Lawyers are not like other salaried employees who work from Monday to Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. Our offices are open through the week. Vacations give us some breathing time. Doing away with court vacations will not be possible, it will lead to a burn out and impose a lot of pressure on all members of the judiciary," Mohanakrishnan said..MBA President advocate M Baskar agreed with Mohanakrishnan. He told the committee that even Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had previously said that people's perception that judges use court vacations to rest, was wrong."The legal profession as we know is very demanding. The judges need time to think and reflect so that they can author quality judgements. The vacation time is used to finish writing pending judgements and orders and to read case papers. If there are no vacations, members of judiciary will have no work life balance, vacations are important for our mental well being also," Baskar said..The bar members also pointed out that even during vacations, courts are not completely shut but have vacation benches. They suggested that instead of doing away with court vacation completely, the number of vacation benches can be increased and the numbering and filing of cases can be made quicker to help litigants..The committee then asked the associations' office bearers to submit their opinions in writing by Friday.