2019 in review

2019: significant orders passed by High Court Bench and key addition to infrastructure

Madurai

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court continued to hit national headlines in 2019 following a number of significant judgements. The High Court Bench premises also received a facelift to infrastructure this year.

Landmark judgements delivered saw the court uphold the validity of a marriage solemnised between a cisgender man and a transgender woman. Going a step further, the court prohibited sex normalisation surgeries on inter-sex children and infants in Tamil Nadu.

The court permitted 65 Sri Lankan Tamils living in various camps across the State for the past 35 years to apply for Indian Citizenship. The court said that Article 21 could be invoked which applies to all, citizens and non-citizens alike. The Tamils were genealogically rooted to this soil, the court said.

In another significant judgement the court relied on Silent Witness Theory and took cognisance of authentic videos and photographs available to convict nine men to life imprisonment in the Madurai Dinakaran office attack case.

The court also took serious view of caste based violence. It expressed displeasure over the manner in which 13 life convicts in the Melavalavu case were released. The 13, convicted for hacking to death six members of the Scheduled Caste community in 1997, were directed to stay in Vellore, till the disposal of the petition challenging the government order to release them.

Another case that caught media attention was the ban on the download of Chinese mobile application, TikTok, a video sharing social network application. The order on the prohibition was vacated after TikTok gave an undertaking to regulate the content.

In a first, the HC Bench directed the State government to close Tasmac shops on January 30, on account of Martyrs Day, the day on which Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.

Other significant orders of the High Court Bench include the crackdown on building violations in Kodaikanal. Taking a serious view of exploitation to the Kodaikanal lake, the court restrained private parties from carrying out boating activities in the lake.

The court also took a serious view of how the lapse in co-ordination had allowed two Sri Lankan nationals with criminal records to enter and exit India clandestinely.

In another judgement, the court directed government authorities granting permission for meetings and other functions to obtain a written undertaking from the organisers of such meetings to ensure that speakers, while exercising their right to free speech and expression, abided by the constitutional values.

The High Court Bench also saw key additions to infrastructure at the High Court premises. The High Court Bench became the first High Court campus in the South to have the ‘Justice Clock’, an LED board that displays the disposal of cases among other information.

Other additions to infrastructure include e-notice boards that display information of cases in lower courts, an ambulance, a fire station, a police station, woman friendly toilets equipped with sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators, a pet bottle shredding machine and eco-friendly mopping machines.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:17:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/2019-significant-orders-passed-by-high-court-bench-and-key-addition-to-infrastructure/article30421307.ece

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