Move follows discontentment among advocates

Sensing the discontentment brewing among lawyers here over their non-representation in the valedictory function of the year long sesquicentennial celebrations of the Madras High Court, a Full Bench (all judges) of the High Court has decided to permit two Madurai advocates to deliver speeches during the function scheduled to be held in Chennai on Saturday.

According to court sources, the Full Bench met in Chennai on Wednesday and resolved to accommodate Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian, a designated senior counsel, and president of Madurai High Court Women Advocates Association J. Nisha Banu in the list of speakers during the forenoon session even though their names had not been printed in the official invitation.

It was the Madras High Court Madurai Bench Advocates Association (MAHAA) which raised the issue first after receiving a copy of the invitation.

Its president K.P. Thiyagarajan said that he was shocked to see that not even a single lawyer from Madurai Bench had been included in the list of speakers though such a representation was given to many practising lawyers in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai.

He pasted pamphlets all over the court campus here condemning the attitude of sidelining the Madurai Bar and alleged that it was a planned move by the High Court. The Executive Committee of his association also passed a resolution to return the invitation extended to it for attending the function to be participated by the President Pranab Mukherjee and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the afternoon session.

Subsequently, the Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA) too passed a resolution urging the President to announce Tamil as the official language of the court during the valedictory function.

It resolved to boycott the court proceedings on Friday and hold a demonstration on Thursday condemning the alleged sidelining of Madurai Bar during the celebrations.

A third resolution also stated that the lawyers would attend the court proceedings on Thursday by tying red bands on their hands to express their protest.

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA) president W. Peter Ramesh Kumar supported the other associations and said that the lawyers were even contemplating to wave black flags in Chennai on Saturday.

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