KARNATAKA

Approach courts as the last resort, says Cyriac Joseph

LAUNCHED: Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph unveiling the plaque marking the inauguration of work on the new court complex in Mangalore on Saturday. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Hora tti, MP D.V. Sadananda Gowda, MLAs N. Yogish Bhat and Krishna Palemar are seen.  



Staff Correspondent

`People must first go to elected representatives or local authorities for redressal'

MANGALORE: People must develop a culture of going to their elected representatives or local authorities first for redressal of grievances and approach the courts for relief only after that, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Cyriac Joseph has said. It is also incumbent on elected representatives and authorities to resolve local issues at their level, he noted.

Laying the foundation stone for construction of first phase of new court complex here on Saturday, Mr. Joseph said people's lack of faith in authorities and elected representatives is making them seek legal recourse for justice. Urging all concerned to redress this situation, he advised people to approach the courts only as a last resort.

Misuse of PIL

Basing his observation on a tendency among a section of people to file public interest litigation (PIL) in courts for frivolous and sometimes malicious reasons, he said PIL ended up as "Publicity Interest Litigations". Admitting that a few PILs are indeed filed keeping in mind larger public interest, he said people should use this legal instrument judiciously.

On society's criticism of judgments by courts, Mr. Joseph said judiciary is forced to step in only when the other two arms of our system, namely legislature and executive fail to discharge their duties as mentioned in the Constitution. He reminded people that they always have the right to appeal against the decision of a lower court all the way up to the Supreme Court in their quest for justice. Mr. Joseph also called upon members of the legislature to exercise due care while framing legislations.

Noting that most of the bills are enacted in a hurry without proper discussion, he said it is such Acts which attract public criticism and force the courts to intervene. "Judiciary cannot be blamed for declaring a law unconstitutional in such circumstances," he said. Basavaraj Horatti, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, who was the chief guest, said he has directed officers of the Law Ministry to find out the needs of courts and present a report to him. A circular will be issued in this regard in a fortnight, he said, adding that the Government will try its best to provide optimum facilities in courts.

Earlier, G.V. Hedge, Principal District and Sessions Court judge welcomed the gathering. Mr. Sharma delivered the introductory remarks. R. Gururajan, P. Vishwanatha Shetty, S. Abdul Nazeer and Ram Mohan Reddy, judges of High Court; B. Nagaraj Shetty, Minister; D.V. Sadananda Gowda, MP; MLAs, members and officers of the Bar Association, judicial officers were present.

Chief Minister skips event

The Chief Minister was forced to skip the function. Sources in the police department said the pilot of the helicopter which ferried Mr. Kumaraswamy to Udupi and Dakshina Kannada was keen to take off before 5 p.m. He arrived at the court premises at 4.20 p.m. He made a breezy exit by 4.35 p.m. and rushed back to the helipad at Maryhill here. During his brief stay, the Chief Minister along with Mr. Joseph unveiled the plaque commemorating the function. Administrative judge for Dakshina Kannada district R. Gururajan presided over the function in the absence of Mr. Kumaraswamy.