CHENNAI: The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry may be directed to expedite the process of completing verification of the certificates of the members of the Bar 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 having degrees from outside the State and bogus certificates, the committee constituted by the Madras High Court to curtail parallel justice delivery system (kangaroo courts) at Egmore, has said.
The introduction of the verification system is mired in controversy and the matter is pending before various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the TN Bar Council has fixed November 30 as the last date for submitting application for verification and ruled out any more extension of time. The panel said that to control the court proceedings and to contain the unruly elements in the Bar at lower courts, the presiding officers of the respective courts must be vested with certain special powers and this could be done only by appropriate rules. The Bar Council should take suo motu action even on press reports relating to hooliganism by a section of the Bar, the committee, headed by former High Court judge K Chandru, has said.
The other major decision taken by the committee is to strengthen the combined court complex at Egmore, now temporarily functioning in the Lilly Pond complex near Central station. The buildings in Egmore is undergoing renovation.
The committee’s recommendations were submitted to the first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, for necessary action, last week. The bench posted to December 21, further hearing of the matter.
Originally, on a petition from A Nagoor Gani, Roshan Sulai KA Banu and AAlima Beevi, the bench on September 30, 2015 appointed the committee headed by Justice Chandru, to suggest ways and means to control the ‘excess’ and ‘violent’ behaviour of the advocates in the Egmore courts.
The petitioners, who claimed that they were assaulted by a group of lawyers in 2011, sought a direction to set up a committee to look into the ‘katta panchayats’ conducted by a group of advocates at Egmore. In its report, the committee said that isolated functioning of the courts should be ended. Creation of a complex to hear all types of cases at one complex alone can end the violent and unruly behaviour.
The panel suggested that the city can be divided into four judicial districts: 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, labour, rent control and family matters. If all facilities were created at one place, it will be easy for the litigant public to have access to courts which were near their locality, the committee said.
Advocate Stalin murder case has to be monitored by the High Court and the real accused must be punished at the earliest. This will send a warning signal to others. Entry into 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 and the court halls to ensure safety and security, the committee added.