November 27, 2016
Chennai: Only a combined court complex can put an end to the unruly behaviour of lawyers in court complexes, a committee appointed by the Madras High Court has said.
The committee was appointed to inquire into the ‘parallel justice delivery system (kangaroo court)’ at the Egmore Magistrate Court complex in the Egmore Court campus. In its report, the committee, headed by Justice (retd) K Chandru, which recently submitted its report to the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, said, “To end the kind of violence and unruly behaviour in the court complex is to remove the isolated functioning of the criminal courts and to have a combined court complex to inquire all types of cases.”
The committee said the Bar Council should expedite its process of verification of the credentials of members of the Bar at Egmore, by giving priority while adhering to the Bar Council of India Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules, in view of the high percentage of lawyers with degrees from outside the state.
The committee said that the city should be divided into four judicial districts i.e., north-east, central, south-east and south-west districts. In each judicial district, there must be a combined court complex having all types of courts, including civil, criminal, family, labour and rent control courts. If all facilities were created, it will be easy for the litigant public to have access to courts which are near their locality.
It said the presiding officers of magistrate courts have to be entrusted with power to control court proceedings for which appropriate rules have to be framed. It suggested that the Bar Council can take suo-motu action on erring lawyers on the basis of the press reports, in case of hooliganism.
In its report, while referring to the murder of advocate Stalin, the committee said the case has to be monitored by the High Court and the real accused punished at the earliest. “This will send a warning signal to those who are likely to indulge in such criminal activities in the future,” the report said.
The report also suggested that entry to the court complex should be regulated by armed police. “Only persons with identity cards and entry pass should be allowed to enter the premises. CCTV cameras should be installed covering the entire premises in order to ensure safety and security. It should also be provided inside the court halls,” the committee report said.
The report was submitted through advocate Narmada Sampath to the bench, which posted the matter for further hearing on December 21.