TAMIL NADU

Population explosion to blame: Chief Justice

MADURAI, JULY 24. The aspirations and demands of advocates and litigants in the southern districts have become a reality with the inauguration of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, the Chief Justice, B. Subhashan Reddy, said today.

Presiding over the inauguration here, Mr. Justice Reddy said civilisation of a country was reflected in the presence of an effective justice delivery system.

He blamed population explosion for the huge pendency of cases in courts. The population had multiplied threefold since Independence, decelerating the nation's growth.

The Supreme Court judge, Shivaraj V. Patil, said the Madurai Bench, first of its kind in southern India, was the outcome of a three decades-old struggle of the people in Tamil Nadu.

`Let evils go'

Case files should be seen not as a bundle of papers but as the "pain and problem" of litigants. Justice must be made cheaper, quicker and safer. "A self internal resolution is required to ensure that justice is rendered to the needy. The three evils — caste, crime and corruption — should be replaced with competency, character and concern," he said.

The Supreme Court judge and former Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, K.G. Balaksirhnan, during whose period the foundation stone for the Bench was laid, said that for the principles of social justice to be upheld, the common man should have easy access to the Temple of Justice.

Another Supreme Court judge, AR. Lakshmanan, said the Madurai Bench was a long-cherished dream of the people. The need of the hour was to correct the misconception of the judiciary by making it more accessible and explicit.

The Union Minister of State for Law, K. Venkatapathy, appealed to the advocates to remain united. "You may have differences professionally. But when it comes to safeguarding the interests of litigants and upholding the dignity of justice, the lawyers should join hands."

Mr. Venkatapathy urged the lawyers to upgrade their standards which would help in acquiring writ jurisdiction for the Madurai Bench. "The Chief Justice of India and the Union Law Minister are keen in extending all privileges to the Madurai Bench."

The Tamil Nadu Law Minister, D. Jayakumar, said the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, had sanctioned adequate funds for construction of the Madurai Bench buildings. A further sanction of Rs. 1.11 crores for computerisation and Rs. 8.41 crores for purchasing housing plots for officers and staff (of the Bench) was under consideration.

The Government had sought an allocation of Rs. 140 crores for construction of court buildings, he said.

`High Court Day'

The Madurai Bar Association president, K. Vellaichamy, said advocates in the southern districts would celebrate July 24 as `High Court Day' every year.

The Chief Engineer (Buildings) of the Public works Department, J. Mohan, said the Madurai Bench had come up at a cost of Rs. 56 crores on 101-acre campus at Ulaganeri.

The High Court judges, N. Dhinakar and N.V. Balasubramanian spoke. The Committee of High Court Judges, who supervised the progress of the Madurai Bench — Govindarajan, D. Murugesan, A. Kulasekaran, E. Padmanabhan and K. Gnanaprakasam — were felicitated.

The Madurai district police had made elaborate security arrangements. The Inspector-General (South Zone), T.K. Rajendran, and the Deputy-Inspector General (Madurai Range), Vijay Kumar, were present.

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