Stalin calls for heterogeneity in judiciary, writes to Modi

The number of appeals being filed in the SC is more from states around the NCR region than states located further away from Delhi, Stalin said that Constitution permits the court (SC) to sit in other places in the country and the legislature has been conscious that the time is nigh for the establishment of permanent regional branches.
Stalin calls for heterogeneity in judiciary, writes to Modi
Stalin with ModiFile photo

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India N V Ramana to ensure diversity in judicial appointments, establish permanent regional benches and make Tamil a language of the courts.

In his letter to the PM and CJI, Stalin said, “For the past few years, we have been witnessing declining representation from all sections of the society in the higher judiciary, leading to diversity deficit.”

Stating that judicial diversity is fundamental to the quality of judging, and a broad-based, heterogeneous group of judges representing various sections of the society as a whole alone can reflect the views and values of society as a whole, particularly on issues involving historical, traditional, linguistic and cultural matter, the CM said, “All the states must find proportional representation on the bench of Supreme Court. I request your good selves to include the requirements to maintain social diversity and social justice in the appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges in the memorandum of procedure to appoint judges and follow the same in true letter and spirit.”

Arguing that Article 32 was practically available only to citizens who are geographically close to the Supreme Court and financially privileged class to whom costs of litigation and travel do not matter, which is antithetical to the Constitutional mandate under Article 39, the CM said the citizens in southern, southwestern and eastern states are deprived of their fundamental right to approach the court.

The number of appeals being filed in the SC is more from states around the NCR region than states located further away from Delhi, Stalin said that Constitution permits the court (SC) to sit in other places in the country and the legislature has been conscious that the time is nigh for the establishment of permanent regional branches. Referring to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committees and Law commission, Stalin said requested the PM and CJI to “take appropriate steps to establish permanent regional benches of the SC in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai apart from the Constitution in New Delhi so that the citizens in other parts of the vast country have equal access to the apex court.

Reasoning that making law and justice comprehensible to the common man in its proceedings is essential in the justice delivery system, the CM said that the only concern with making the state’s official language the language of the High Court could be the requirement of translation when judges from other states sit in the HC, but the difficulties could be easily bridged with the improvement in modern technology.

Recalling the CJI’s statement at a function last month here, the CM requested the PM and CJI to take appropriate steps to declare Tamil as the official language of Madras High Court and its bench in Madurai in addition to English.

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