Madurai

HC Bench completes 14 years

A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.

A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.  

For the first time, five division benches sat on a single day during the current year

On July 24, 2004, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court was inaugurated close to four decades after it was first mooted. Today, the High Court Bench enters its 15th year.

The High Court Bench having jurisdiction over 13 districts - Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Karur and Theni - has proved to be a blessing to litigants in this part of the State. They no longer travel all the way to Chennai.

It has delivered a number of judgements touching upon human interest. A number of cases were decided taking a wider approach - be it issues concerning women, children, environment, Tamil language or temples. For the first time, five division benches sat on a single day during the current year. The year witnessed a number of important verdicts. Taking into account, the plight of Tamil medium students who suffered as a result of wrong translations of the NEET question paper, the court ordered grant of additional marks to them. Following the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple fire, the court imposed a set of directions to enhance safety measures in temples. The court ordered the removal of shops within the temple premises across the State. It, however, granted time for shopkeepers till December 31 to relocate.

In order to put to better use the costs imposed by the court, it constituted an Environmental Fund. The Environmental Fund will look into enhancing the ecology in courts across the State. A number of judgements delivered by the High Court Bench on mining pushed the State to enhance monitoring mechanisms. The State was pushed to repair highways and arterial roads after the court intervened.

Coming to the aid of a single mother, it ordered that the father’s name need not be mentioned in the child’s birth certificate. It criticised the police for not applying mind while imposing Goondas Act on a woman and ensured that she was set at liberty. The court, in an unusual order, allowed a prisoner to go on a two week leave for procreation, calling it a human right. It also set at liberty a woman who wanted to be united with her transgender partner.

Over the last one year, the 106-acre campus has not only delivered justice from inside the court halls, but also outside. Over 1000 saplings were planted on the campus and a Greenery and Ecology Committee was constituted to look into the ecology of the premises. The High Bench has declared the campus a ‘Plastic Free Zone.’

Giving space for alternative medicine, a Siddha clinic was inaugurated within the administrative block. The Siddha clinic has since proved to be a hit among the advocates as well as litigants.

The High Court Bench has also witnessed an increase in the number of court halls. Eight new halls were inaugurated by theChief Justice Indira Banerjee. The total count has now increased to 24. Two additional mediation halls and an e-library will be inaugurated as part of the anniversary celebrations.

The court has gone high on technology to ensure safety. Additional CCTV cameras have been installed on the campus and a fire station was inaugurated last month. A new police station has also been proposed for the High Court Bench.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 12:13:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/hc-bench-completes-14-years/article24500683.ece

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