Her appeal was read out at CMs and CJs’ meet in Delhi
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday urged the Centre to scale up the annual allocation of funds for Tamil Nadu to the tune of Rs. 70 crore from this fiscal to enable construction of own buildings for all courts by 2016.
In her address at the joint conference of Chief Ministers of the States and Chief Justices of the High Courts at New Delhi (which was read out by K.P. Munusamy, Minister for Municipal Administration, Law, Courts and Prisons and a copy of which was released to the media here), Ms. Jayalalithaa said that while the State government has been making adequate provision of funds for the construction of new buildings, “I am constrained to point out that the flow of funds from the Central government has been very paltry.”
According to the Chief Minister, out of 857 subordinate courts functioning in the State, nearly 87.28 per cent were located in their own buildings and only 12.72 per cent located on rented premises.
However, while a sum of Rs.222.44 crore was required for completing the construction of the remaining court buildings, no funds were released to Tamil Nadu in 2010-11 and 2011-12 under the Centrally sponsored scheme for judicial infrastructure, and it was after much persuasion that Rs. 19.53 crore was released.
The Chief Minister, who sought to convey the government’s consistent efforts to ensure that the maximum possible resources were made available to the judicial system, said the State would not hesitate to establish more courts according to need.
Towards fulfilling the Supreme Court’s prescription to increase the availability of lower court judges by at least 10 per cent, the Government had recruited 167 civil judges in the year 2012 and more would be appointed this year.
The government had also sanctioned 35 posts of Court Managers for assisting in the National Court Management System (NCMS). “Consequently, the National Judicial Data Grid will be operational in all the districts of the State within the next one month”, Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
On improving safety of women, the Chief Minister pointed out that in the backdrop of the shocking rape and subsequent death of a young woman in Delhi, she had unveiled a ‘Thirteen Point Action Plan’ that treated sexual violence against women as grave crimes, with the criminal investigations directly supervised by Deputy Superintendents of Police with periodic reviews by higher-ups.
Amendment of the Goondas Act to punish perpetrators of sexual crimes, constitution of fast track mahila courts, appointment of women advocates as government prosecutors, State aid for medical treatment and rehabilitation of victims and launch of a helpline for women were also proposed, Ms. Jayalalithaa added.