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Thursday, June 10, 2010

STANDING TALL TO DELIVER JUSTICE

This man deserves special appreciation - read on to find out why ??



Recently in June 2010, the Supreme Court pronounced judgment in a Civil appeal filed by Fuljit Kaur against State of Punjab & others. This had been filed in 2004 against a judgment and order of 1999 in writ petition of 1992 of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana. The appellant had made an application in Feb 1987 for allotment of a residential plot and protested the additional demand made in 1992.


This reveals many facets. Individuals going to Court; then going on appeal after another BUT a final verdict after 18 years… There also is the tragic Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984. Days after the worst industrial disaster in Bhopal, Warren Anderson the CEO of Union Carbide landed at Bhopal on 7.12.1984 and was arrested. The machinery moved so fast that he was able to obtain bail almost immediately, rushed to Raja Bhoj Airport, travelled in a Govt. owned Cessna aircraft to Palam and moved out of India to US…… but the victims had to suffer untold agonies for a measly settlement that took 26 long years…. there are very many cases where it has taken more than 30 long years.


Viewed in this background, today’s news of Justice K Chandru delivering 75 verdicts in a single days is HIGHLY LAUDABLE.


The Judicial system of India is largely based on English Common law due to the colonial influence. Various legislations introduced by British are still in effect, some in modified forms. Bharat had a developed judicial system from time immemorial; law meant Dharma in broader sense. The ancient treatise of Arthashastra of Kautilya (Vishnu gupta) describes law in great detail. To cite some, the duties of the King is lucidly elucidated. It states that if the King is energetic, his subjects will also be. The Rajarishi should always be energetic and shall divide the day and night each into 8 periods of one and half hours and perform his duties.


This is a land which has the standard point of reference in Manu smriti as the dharmasastra also. The law of Manu was first translated into English in 1794 by Sir William Jones, judge of British Supreme Court of Judicature in Calcutta. India has had one of the oldest legal systems of the World with its jurisprudence stretching back centuries.

The present state of affairs is appalling with reports that nearly 30 million cases are pending in courts. There is malaise in the legal system with continuous adjournments and delayed decisions – in some ways justice is standstill and is delivered many a times after the litigants would no longer have any value to the verdict. The efficacy has created room for cynical people to exploit. The PM once went on record stating that the Apex Court should be a role model as well as mentor, catalyst and organizer in this war against the scourge of pendency.


There could be multiple reasons for this pendency which could include shortage of judges and other staff. There were reports that every year around 380 murders take place in Delhi, but the Sessions Courts are equipped to dispose of only 250 murder cases every year. This means a backlog of 130 cases is added to the pendency level despite trial court judges working their hearts out. Uttar Pradesh reportedly tops the list of the pending cases.


The High Court of Judicature at Madras, is one of the three High Courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters Patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26th June 1862, and on Tuesday (source : Times of India) it rained judgments in court hall number 24 of the Madras high court on Tuesday, when Justice K Chandru delivered a record 75 verdicts in a single day.


“A total of 75 judgments, involving 100 petitions, were disposed of by the judge on Tuesday. In order to prevent stampede of advocates eager to know the results of their cases, we put up three notices outside the court hall, announcing the results,” a court officer told TOI.
Justice Chandru enrolled in July 1976, elevated to the Bench in 2006 has delivered more than a whopping 54,000 judgements so far, court sources said. “They were delivered when he was sitting single and also while being a part of division benches and full benches, covering a range of portfolios,” a law officer said, adding that in April alone he had delivered 1,780 verdicts. “In fact, the judge’s monthly tally has been more than 1,500 every month this year,” the officer said.
An official in the filing section said Justice Chandru, who is in charge of appeal suits at present, had asked the personnel to list at least 100 cases daily. The principal bench of the Madras high court here has more than 4,223 appeal suits and 1,880 land acquisition petitions, including 112 of 1990 vintage. “It will take several years for judges to wipe out all these suits,” he said.


Justice Chandru, was the first judge in the Madras high court to declare his assets, also has the distinction of dispensing with the macebearer to escort him to court and other places. A few months ago, he also put up a notice outside his court requesting advocates not to address him as ‘Lord’. A simple ‘sir’ or ‘honourable court’ was enough, he had told advocates.


This year (2010 from Jan to June 10th) alone he has delivered verdict in 368 cases. May the tribes of Hon’ble Chandru increase……….


Regards – Sampathkumar

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