Mohamed Imranullah S.
MADURAI: The Government press inside the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has commenced operations much to the relief of the lawyers who can now obtain the daily cause list (list of cases to be heard by the court) with ease. The press was lying idle since the inauguration of the Bench on July 24, 2004 for various reasons.
A trial run for printing the cause lists has been conducted and the contractor for supplying the copies at the doorsteps of the advocates finalised through an open tender. The distribution will begin from March 1. Besides court work, the press will be utilised for printing other Government documents such as gazette publications.
The court staff shall prepare a day's cause list by 9.30 p.m. the previous day. A print out taken on butter paper sheets will be handed over to the press personnel, who, in turn, will processes them and complete printing and binding by midnight. Thereafter, the copies will be handed over to the contractor who is supposed to deliver them to the lawyers before 6 a.m. every day. The advocates can subscribe to the service by remitting Rs. 210 a month of which Rs.150 is charged for printing and the rest for distribution. The High Court has done away with the practice of charging the lawyers as per their standing in the Bar. Previously, junior lawyers practising in the principal seat of the court in Chennai paid much less compared to their seniors. The functioning of the press has lessened the burden on the court officials who had been running the show for more than two years by taking limited photocopies of the cause lists. One of the bar associations started a unique Short Messaging Service (SMS) for informing its members, while others depended on the Internet.
The press went through a phase of problems. Initially, there was a delay in purchasing the required machinery. Then, it was noticed that the building could not accommodate huge machines. However, officials successfully housed them inside the block after modifying the structure accordingly. Even after that, the press did not function until recently for want of technical staff.