MADURAI: In Madurai, justice is never denied, even if delayed. Last week, the Madurai High Court Bar Association passed a resolution requesting the Chief Justice of the Madras High court to allot five more judges for the Madurai Bench. “Most judges at the bench are overburdened. Even while a single judge manages to dispose of 150 cases every day, the cases keep piling. So additional judges should be set at Madurai especially for the criminal side and second appeals,” says M Thirunavukarasu, president of the bar association.
Data compiled by the Registrar General of the Madras High Court reveals that while judges at the principal seat in Chennai set a record in 2011 by disposing of 1,20,779 fresh civil cases as against the 1,29,331 cases filed during the year, the Madurai Bench has settled 46,233 cases as against the 56,602 fresh civil cases filed in 2011. Of the 51,626 new criminal cases filed at the Madras High Court, 44,015 cases were disposed of. In the Madurai bench, 25,810 criminal cases were settled, of the 29,308 cases filed.
As early as 2006, the Madurai bench had disposed 51,080 civil and criminal cases (civil-35,429; criminal-15,651) and the number of civil and criminal cases that have been disposed of in 2011 has gone up significantly to 72,043 (46,233 civil and 25,810 criminal).
“On an average at least 100 Public Interest Litigations are filed in the Madurai Bench every month. Most of them are related to illegal encroachments, illegal sand quarrying and on other environmental issues,” said Thirunavukarasu. Nearly 75 per cent of the cases filed at the time of the inauguration of the court in 2004, have been disposed of. “It would help further if a judge is posted to exclusively handle long pending cases,” he added.
The judges here are known for their off-beat verdicts. Recently Justice Chandru, who enjoys a reputation of dealing with cases with a humane approach, allowed litigants to use mobile phones inside court so long as they do not disturb the proceedings. Previously, the same judge had allowed lawyers to dispense with the colonial usage of “My Lord” and instead said they were free to address him as “Sir”.
Similarly Justice V Ramasubramanian last year ruled that a bank can refuse educational loan if it considered that a student lacked merit. “The court cannot presume that every failed student may hit a jackpot like Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. Only one out of hundreds of failed students turn out to be successful and the bank cannot gamble with public money,” he had said in his order.