Monday, Apr 29, 2002
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Expressing concern over the bloating pendency of litigation in High Courts, he conceded that shortage of judges was one of the reasons for the pile-up. He, however, said unless the courts made appointments to the existing vacancies expeditiously they would not be justified in requesting the Government to increase the number of judges.
As on date, about 150 High Court judge vacancies remained unfilled, Mr. Justice Kirpal said, adding that in over 120 cases even the proposals had not been forwarded to the Supreme Court. Noting that the Madras High Court was not guilty on that count, he said it had already sent a list of nominees for consideration.
More than ever before, the entire nation was looking to the judiciary which was fiercely independent, impartial and competent for redress. Quoting statistics, Mr. Justice Kirpal said that annually over 1 crore cases were being filed all over the country, and the current pendency itself was over 1 crore. However, thanks to well-meaning measures, the pendency in the Supreme Court had come down to about 25,000 from the earlier figure of 1 lakh.
The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, B. Subhashan Reddy, said the new building would provide an ambience conducive for hundreds of advocates to conduct consultations, meetings and even cultural activities.
Allotment of chambers would be made after a joint meeting of the judges concerned and representatives from various advocates associations. He also gave an undertaking that the rents would be reasonable, and that women advocates would be allotted chambers proportionate to their strength in the Bar.
Justice S. Jagadeesan, a member of the High Court Building Committee, said the 11.45-crore structure would fulfill a long-pending demand of the legal fraternity. The norms for allotment of chambers would be finalised soon after inviting the views of everybody concerned.
While the Public Works Department Minister, O. Panneerselvam, said the Government would render all possible assistance to improve the infrastructure for the judiciary, the Law Minister, D. Jayakumar, pointed out that the Government had doled out sufficient funds to construct buildings for the Judicial Academy and the State Legal Services Authority.
Judges of the Madras High Court, N. Dhinakar and P. Shanmugam, the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu Chairman, M.S. Jawaharlal, the Advocate-General, N.R. Chandran, the Madras Bar Association president, M. Venkatachalapathy, the Madras High Court Advocates Association, R. Karuppan, the Law Association president, J. Rajendra Prasad, and the Women Lawyers Association president, K. Santhakumari, also spoke.
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