The State government should increase the funds to meet the infrastructure needs of the judiciary, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court M. Yusuf Eqbal said here on Saturday.

After laying the foundation for the Regional Judicial Academy and Alternative Disputes Redressal Centre at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively, he said the 13{+t}{+h} Finance Commission had given Rs.5,000 crore to improve the logistics for the judiciary.

The judiciary was getting total support from the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments. Yet, there was need for infrastructure improvement. This called for the attention of the government since 127 courts were in rented buildings.

Though there had been prompt response from the government to the judiciary's needs, some more in terms of infrastructure were to be met.

A sum of Rs.15 crore from the Finance Commission helped in establishing the regional judicial academies at Madurai and Coimbatore. The total cost of establishing both the academies was Rs.17 crore. The State government contributed the balance Rs. 2 crore.

The two regional academies were being established to help judicial officers avoid travelling to Chennai to the State Judicial Academy. Judicial officers, lawyers and police officers could get updated on procedural laws at the academy. The lack of proficiency in procedural laws had led to 30 per cent of the orders by the subordinate judiciary being set aside by the appeal courts. The training at the academy would help in overcoming this.

Law Minister Durai Murugan said that next to the National Judicial Academy, Tamil Nadu bagged the distinction of being the first State to have a State-level and two Regional Judicial Academies.

On the plea for infrastructure, especially court buildings, the Minister said that in the last four years the State government had spent close to Rs.300 crore towards infrastructure for the judiciary. This covered 44 court buildings across the State and 272 quarters for the officers and staff of the Madurai Bench of the High Court. In addition, a number of new courts were sanctioned and more than 1,200 judicial officers and staff were appointed.

F.M. Ibrahim Kalifullah, Judge of the Madras High Court, said the National Law Policy had observed that in many of the backlog of cases, the government was one of the parties (petitioner or respondent). The analysis revealed that litigations involving governments took 15 years to be disposed of. Efforts were on through training to reduce the same to three years. The academy in Coimbatore would benefit the 175 judicial officers and 3,294 court staff in seven districts of the western region.

Elipe Dharma Rao, Judge of the Madras High Court, said that court boycott by lawyers were a major concern now. Since January 1, 2010 to December 13, 2010, 21,648 working hours were lost in boycotts.

M. Chockalingam and P. Jyothimani, Judges of the Madras High Court, spoke.

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