Weekly holiday in markets of Indian capital
Delhi should adopt a uniform pattern of weekly holidays. All those markets remaining open on Sundays should be uniformly closed on Saturdays. Outsiders coming to Delhi will be sure of the opening of all markets for the first five working days of the week. Shopkeepers and their employees will have at least one common weekly holiday with government employees under the five-day week system in government offices. However, shops of essential services like barbers, flour-mills, etc. may have Tuesday as common weekly holiday. When Mumbai can follow uniform weekly-off on Sunday without any problem, Delhi can at least step for optional off on Sunday or Saturday.
To achieve greater efficiency, all offices should have a longer pre-lunch session of four hours, like in public-sector banks. Offices having limited public-dealing hours will thus find a greater pre-lunch session for public-dealing leaving a shorter but hindrance-free post-lunch session exclusively for office-work.
Peak-hour traffic-rush in Delhi and adjoining areas of National Capital Region – NCR, can and should be divided by having different starting hours for different institutions. For example, educational institutions can start at 8.30 am, banks at 9.00 am, government offices at 9.30 am, private-offices at 10 am, courts at 10.30 am, and shops at 11 am. Haryana government likewise has scattered working hours for different industries in Manesar to tackle peak-hour traffic-rush at Delhi Gurgaon Expressway.
British legacy of long court-vacations
Long summer vacations in courts were designed by erstwhile British rulers to save British judges in India from severe hot weather of this country and also to facilitate them to visit their homeland in England. This costly facility, unfortunately, continues in free India even after seventy years of independence, that too with long pendency of court-cases. Long-pending recommendation of Law Commission for scrapping long court-vacations is being ignored.
The Union Ministry of Law and Justice should immediately scrap any privileged vacations for courts ensuring a common pattern of holidays from the Supreme Court to lower courts. Instead of closing work at courts altogether for long court-vacations, judges can be given vacations by rotation like exists system for Professors at medical colleges in Delhi government. Even lawyers desiring long vacations should not have any difficulty because they are still at liberty to seek adjourned-dates according to their convenience.
The Supreme Court calendar also shows week-long vacations each for Holi, Dussehra, Muharram, and Diwali apart from fortnight-long winter-vacations for Christmas Day and New Year. If all other sections of society have no such facility of long festival-breaks and summer vacations, it is unjustified for Supreme Court and other courts to have such a privilege.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)