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`Mediation needs commitment'

By Our Staff Reporter



The Supreme Court Judge, Y. K. Sabharwal (right), gets a feel of the pre-Independence day judge chair in the High Court Museum in Chennai on Saturday. Looking on is the Madras High Court Chief Justice, Markandey Katju. — Photo: Vino John

CHENNAI, APRIL 9. Stressing the need for bringing "real justice" to litigants, The Supreme Court Judge, Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, today said those involved in mediation and conciliation must have dedication and commitment.

He was addressing a gathering of judges, lawyers and court officials after inaugurating a Mediation and Conciliation Centre on the Madras High Court premises. He also declared open a High Court Museum.

If the efforts of mediators were bona fide, it would instil confidence in the minds of the people, automatically bringing in an element of love. This would ensure the success of the entire process.

Lauding the efforts of the Chief Justice, Markandey Katju, and members of the Museum Committee — Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam, Justice K. Ravirajapandian and Justice Prabha Sridevan — at establishing the museum in just over three months, Mr. Justice Sabharwal said the exhibits were "moving and inspiring."

Mr. Justice Katju said the mediation centre and the museum came up in double quick time, owing to the "incredible job done by the committee members."

Tracing the history of the Madras High Court, Justice P. Sathasivam said courts had the dual duty of adjudication and facilitating conciliation.

Mr. Justice Ravirajapandian said the High Court was not just a cluster of buildings but a monument. The Chartered High Court of Madras had several firsts to its credit — having the first "native" judge; first "native" Advocate-General; first "permanent Indian Chief Justice"; and the first Constitutional amendment in free India.

Mr. Justice Sivasubramaniam said the museum was an "inspiring piece of work." It was a continuing process for which suggestions and materials were welcome.

The Madras High Court Advocates Association president, S. Prabakaran, said the museum and the mediation centre would be of immense use to young lawyers. The Law Association president, J. Rajendra Prasad, reminded the senior judges of the acute shortage of judges in the High Court. Because of the vacancies, the disposal rate came down.

The Madras Bar Association president, K.R. Tamizhmani, said judiciary had three deficiencies: delay; expenses; and multiplicity of proceedings. The Women Lawyers Association president, K. Santhakumari, said the museum signified the glory and grandeur of the court.

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