Can SC Have Regional Benches? Stalin Wants It In Chennai, Writes To CJI

| Updated: 12 May, 2022 6:55 pm IST
Tamil Nadu CM and DMK chief MK Stalin

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana to set up regional benches of the Supreme Court of India.

Citing the distance of New Delhi, where the SC is located, is far away from many States, particularly the southern, southwestern and the eastern States, TN CM emphasized the need to establish Permanent Regional Branches of the Supreme Court of India in Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai apart from the Constitution Bench in New Delhi.

“While there are 25 High Courts across the nation, it is seen from data that the number of appeals being filed in the Supreme Court is more from States around the NCR region than States located further away from Delhi,” Stalin said. “I request you to take appropriate steps to establish Permanent Regional Benches of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, apart from the Constitution Bench in New Delhi so that the citizens in other parts of this vast country have equal access to the Supreme Court,” he urged.

Urging for maintaining social diversity while appointing the judges, CM Stalin wrote.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that the judicial branch also must reflect the spirit of cooperative federalism enshrined in our Constitution. In that context, it becomes all the more important that the Supreme Court’s and the High Court’s composition reflects the diverse and pluralistic society of our great nation. For the past few years, we have been witnessing declining representation from all the sections of the society in the higher judiciary, leading to a ‘diversity deficit’,” Stalin wrote in his letter to PM Modi and CJI Ramana.

Stalin also emphasized that all states must find proportional representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court. It will then truly reflect the diverse nature of Indian society in its various dimensions.

“Therefore, 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,” he said.

CM Stalin also reiterated the long-pending demand for Tamil as an official language in the Madras High Court and its bench in Madurai

Highlighting that in the High Courts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Hindi has been authorized as the official language in addition to English, CM Stalin wrote, “One, therefore, wonders, what is the impediment to make the official language of other states the official language of the High Court, in addition to English?”

“I request your good selves to take appropriate steps to declare Tamil, the official language of the Government of Tamil Nadu, as the official language of the High Court of Judicature at Madras and its Bench at Madura’, in addition to English,” he urged while pointing out that making law and justice comprehensible to the common man in its proceedings is essential in the justice delivery system.

The latest move came in the backdrop of DMK opening a new party in the national capital last month. It was perceived by many as the party’s desire for space in national politics with the opposition parties still jostling to fill the void created by the gradual decline of Congress.

Incidentally, CM Stalin, who is also the president of DMK, had earlier written to PM Modi requesting him to instruct the Union ministry of external affairs to help the state get the required permission which would help them to facilitate the movement of essential goods, food and medicines for Sri Lanka, that is battling a major economic and political crisis.

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