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Courts proceedings should be filmed: Malimath

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, APRIL 11. Mr.Justice V.S.Malimath, former Chief Justice of the Karnataka and Kerala High Courts, today suggested that courts in India should allow the use of cameras inside the courts to record the proceedings, as judges had a public function to perform.

Inaugurating the Sri S.K.Venkataranga Iyengar Memorial Trust here, Mr. Malimath said the younger generation of lawyers were deprived of learning from the excellent arguments of senior advocates as the filming of court proceedings was prohibited. If this had been permitted, the lawyers today would have learnt much from the late S.K.Venkataranga Iyengar, "who" could close the mouth of judges through his well-prepared argument."

Mr. Malimath said Iyengar, though religious, had never failed to protect the interest of the oppressed. He fought to protect students from being affected by the Government's policy decisions such as those on reservations. Iyengar was well knows as "Writ Iyengar," and he was responsible for the evolution of Service Law through writs, Mr. Malimath said.

Delivering the First Endowment Lecture on "Judicial Activism -- Use and Abuse," the Advocate-General, Mr. A.N.Jayaram, said judicial activism was not a role which the courts assumed with elan or as a tool to tilt at the administration. It was used to maintain constitutional values in society in discharge of a duty laid upon the judiciary by the Constitution.

Mr. Jayaram said the systematic dilution of democratic values was responsible for people now approaching the judiciary often. As the situation in the country offered no hope that societal situations would change for the a better, the public was forced to take recourse to the courts.

Supporting the concept of the public interest litigation (PIL), Mr.Jayaram said decisions on PIL were not made in adversarial proceedings. They were made after consulting several interests, securing views of experts in the field, appointing commissions to investigate, and after seeking reports. There was no winner or loser in this kind of legal battle but society would be the gainer.

The judiciary should not be expected to resolve only legal matters if an unresponsive executive failed to provide solutions to political and social problems, the Advocate-General said. It was because of governments "shirking" the responsibility of political problems, the judiciary had to take a different approach.

However, it would be difficult for people to protect themselves from the power of judges, who were unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative, when they did not discharge their duties properly. As such, judges should consider themselves to be bound by law that was independent of their own views of what was desirable.

Presiding over the inauguration of the Trust, Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, Judge, Karnataka High Court, said Iyengar had ploughed new fields of law soon after the Constitution came into force. The evolution of Service Law had its roots in the High Courts of Karnataka and Punjab, he noted.

The former Chief Justice of Mysore, Mr. Nittoor Srinivasa Rao, the Trust Chairman, Mr. S.V.Raghavachar, the Chairman of the Karnataka State Bar Council, Mr. Jayakumar Patil, and others were present.

(From left) the former Chief Justice of the Karnataka and Kerala High Courts, Mr. V.S.Malimath, Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, Judge, Karnataka High Court, Mr. S.V.Raghavachar, Chairman of the Sri S.K.Venkataranga Iyengar Memorial Trust, and Mr. A.N.Jayaram, Advocate-General, at the inauguration of the trust in Bangalore on Wednesday.

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