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Updated: February 13, 2014 08:21 IST

Do not tarnish High Court image, says outgoing Chief Justice

R. Sivaraman
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A file picture of Justice R. K. Agarwal. Photo: M. Srinath.
The Hindu
A file picture of Justice R. K. Agarwal. Photo: M. Srinath.

"Bench, Bar have to be careful in their acts"

Chief Justice of the Madras High Court and Supreme Court Judge-designate R.K. Agrawal on Wednesday said the recent incidents had dented the image of the High Court and it had become a subject of “public ridicule.”

He also revealed that many of his colleagues sought voluntary transfer to other High Courts. Judges elsewhere were reluctant to come to the Madras High Court. “Believe me, many of my colleagues here have privately expressed their desire to seek voluntary transfer to other High Courts. My colleagues from other High Courts are hesitant to come to this court.”

Mr. Justice Agrawal was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Following his elevation, the Bench and the Bar bade farewell to the outgoing Chief Justice at a brief function held on the High Court campus here on Wednesday.

Exhorting judges and lawyers not to tarnish the image of the High Court, he said the danger was from within and not from outside. The Bench and the Bar had to be very careful in their acts.

In an emotional speech, Mr. Justice Agrawal said, “In my entire career of more than 37 years both in the Bar and at the Bench, nobody, be it my friends or foes, has ever raised voice while talking to me or addressing me during court proceedings. But here on one fateful day, a respected colleague of mine had hurled invectives at me and cast aspersions on the affairs of the court.”

Stating that he did not bother about personal comments against him, Mr. Justice Agrawal said, “But I do feel pained when I hear that innuendos are being made against the Madras High Court and it is becoming the subject of public ridicule.”

Expressing his displeasure over the women members, who were in the forefront of some recent events (apparently referring to recent boycott), he appealed to the Bench and Bar to strive hard to regain the lost glory of the institution.

“My earnest appeal to all of you is not to cut the tree on the branch on which you are sitting. If this court faces loss of public confidence, then take it from me, you will be the worst affected in society,” Mr. Justice Agrawal warned the gathering of Judges and lawyers.

A.L. Somayaji, Advocate General, delivered the farewell address and the office-bearers of lawyers associations were also present.

Judiciary is the protector of our constitution. the democracy in india
is vibrant bcoz of fearless media & the Judiciary, in particular H'ble
Supreme Court of India..
Our constitution lays procedures for everything including expressing
of the greveances.. Recent events, where in few advocates agrived by
the recommendations for judges appointment asusual took to vandalism
in the H'ble Madras High Court.. The H'ble cheif justice Shri. R.K.
Agarwalji was put to lot of mental pressure.
Strangly the large section (majority) of advocates who are really
concerned about this event were totally silent, that is why the MINI
SCULE but growing population of errand advocates took the law into
their hands. (Proving power without justice is tyrrany).
Agarwalji who is appreciated for delivering justice fearlessly &
favouring only truth has been elivated to Supreme Court to protect the
independence of Judiciary & the democracy of India.

from:  V Venkata Sivakumar
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 18:16 IST

Judiciary is the protector of our constitution. the democracy in india is vibrant bcoz of
fearless media & the Judiciary, in particular H'ble Supreme Court of India..
Our constitution lays procedures for everything including expressing of the
greveances.. Recent events, where in few advocates agrived by the recommendations
for judges appointment asusual took to vandalism in the H'ble Madras High Court.. The
H'ble cheif justice Shri. R.K. Agarwalji was put to lot of mental pressure.
Strangly the large section (majority) of advocates who are really concerned about this
event were totally silent, that is why the MINI SCULE but growing population of errand
advocates took the law into their hands. (Proving power without justice is tyrrany).
Agarwalji who is appreciated for delivering justice fearlessly & favouring only truth
has been elivated to Supreme Court to protect the independence of Judiciary & the
democracy of India.

from:  V Venkata sivakumar
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 18:11 IST


How about a silent demonstration by all concerned, observing a
day of contrition , by standing in a line in front of the High court,
with HEADS HANGING -in shame?

from:  Veevip Sarathy
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 09:47 IST

Madras High Court - considered to be a premium institution for its
legendary history is now hitting the headlines for a bad reason and
getting very badly exposed. As rightly pointed out all those who are to
be blamed for it are none other than those who are part of the legendary
institution.

from:  S T Balayogeshwaran
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 09:19 IST

In various states the political leaders were influencing the Judicial
officials with offers of extension of tenure, position in some enquiry
commission or head of some panel and these human beings swayed to the
same. If other things cannot work, the physical intimidation worked
well and the politicians did not hesitate to do that also. In
Tamilnadu one of the worst corrupted political regime which was ruling
for several decades colluded with some rowdy elements and the
concoction of the poisonous things brought Madras High Court to this
decadence. Now that we have realized the problems we will work hard to
clean up the mess. The ordinary people understand this.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 06:42 IST

This reinforces the need that in judiciary appointments,merit alone
should be the criteria and not other considerations like social justice.
The dangers are introducing such aspects would politicalise the system
and lower the images of the Judges which was what the out going CHief
Justice had expressed

from:  sundar
Posted on: Feb 13, 2014 at 05:42 IST

There was a time when no judgement of the Madras High Court was referred to the Supreme Court. A time when any judgement referred was affirmed by the SC as correct. There was a time when the barristers and judges were men of integrity and honour who commanded the utmost respect from the public.
1967 changed all that and ushered in the first steps downwards. We are now approaching rock bottom and will go even further. The law college is a short cut to politics. Caste dominates and not competence: in fact competence is a disadvantage. The current products are of an education system that has been systematically destroyed. English language and essays have vanished. How will the current crop of students learn if this is so. And are there any essays in Tamil on issues like democracy, behaviour, manners and morals? Our inspiration for these are from our religious books - and post 1967 they have been lost.To paraphrase Donne " Ask not for whom the bell tolls,it tolls for the Madras high court"

from:  venkatasubramani
Posted on: Feb 12, 2014 at 21:02 IST

The parting remark of the Hon.Justice speaks volumes on the delivery of Justice.Once court
fails to uphold its honor and integrity,primitive ness and law of jungle would prevail shaking
the very foundation of Indian polity.When remarks and comments are made it is important to
measure the words used.Once spoken no one can withdraw it.So far the judiciary has been
held at high esteem and it will be the saddest day when people loses faith in its dispensation.

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Feb 12, 2014 at 20:55 IST

Justice Agarwal's parting comments about the state of affairs in Madras High Court and the those matter in the court are indeed a matter of concern. Madras High Court, it would appear, is HIGH ON lawlessness.

from:  JAYARAMAN V S
Posted on: Feb 12, 2014 at 19:28 IST

There is no need for 'The Hindu' to invite comments in "Post Comment".
The Supreme Court Judge-designate has said much more than any reader can
comment here. Sad state of High Court of Madras and all its assocites,
and am ashamed.

from:  vc sekar
Posted on: Feb 12, 2014 at 18:41 IST
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