Mohamed Imranullah S.
Fifth anniversary celebrations of Madurai Bench postponed sine die
MADURAI: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and four of his companion judges in the Supreme Court have cancelled their scheduled visit to Madurai to participate in the fifth anniversary celebrations of the Madras High Court Bench here on July 25.
The Registry of the Madurai Bench on Thursday informed office-bearers of various Bar Associations here that the anniversary celebrations, planned to be hosted by the High Court administration, have been postponed sine die.
According to court sources, the CJI’s decision had come after the publication of a news report in The Hindu on July 12 that the High Court had decided to invite M.K. Azhagiri, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, to the function.
The news report also stated that the decision to invite Mr. Azhagiri was taken despite objections by a few High Court judges, who pointed out that a petition challenging his election from the Madurai Parliamentary constituency was pending before the court.
Revised programme schedule
Immediately after the news story appeared, the High Court administration clarified that the Union Minister would not be participating in the function owing to his preoccupation with work connected to the Ministry.
Subsequently, the CJI’s visit to Madurai was cancelled leading to postponement of the anniversary celebrations.
A revised programme schedule states that he would visit Chennai on July 25 to preside over a seminar organised by the Legal Services Authority.
As per the earlier schedule, the Supreme Court judges were supposed to fly down to Madurai to declare open a meeting hall that had been newly air-conditioned, after inaugurating four new rooms in a guest house at the Tamil Nadu Judicial Academy in Chennai.
Unlike the usual practice of Bar Associations hosting anniversary celebrations, the High Court had taken up the task this year on an outlay of Rs.15 lakh. It included a lunch for a group of judges in a private hotel here.