President Vice president Secretary Treasurer Librarian Ms.Louisal Ramesh Ms. N.S.Revathy Ms. S.Sivakami Ms P.Mariammal M.E.V.Thulasi mhc WOMEN LAWYERS’ ASSOCIATION letter to mhc Rg
WOMEN LAWYERS’ ASSOCIATION Additional Law Chambers, 1st Floor,High Court Buildings,
President Vice president Secretary Treasurer Librarian
Ms.Louisal Ramesh Ms. N.S.Revathy Ms. S.Sivakami Ms P.Mariammal M.E.V.Thulasi
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Senior Executive Committee:- Ms.S.Abirami Ms.S.S.Thenmozhi Ms.S.Santhi 2019-2020
8682008646 9444184561 9941783628
Junior Executive Committee Members:- Ms. M.Gayathri Ms. J.Sasilie
The Registrar ( General) ,
Madras High Court,
At the outset I would like to bring to your goodself kind attention that a letter dated 29-06-2020 asking all the Bar Associations for suggestions as to mode of Functioning in the Principal bench and Madurai Bench of our High court with regard to hearing of cases was not sent to Women Lawyers Association . I would like to bring to your attention that we have provided our email Id to your Goodself as early as 23-03-2020 . The knowledge about the letter was brought to my knowledge by Mrs.B.S. Ajeetha Saravanan,a member of MHAA on 01-07-2020.
We the women lawyers deeply regret that during the Lockdown period all official communications were known to us only as forwarded messages. All the notifications were only posted only to Judiciary and the Associations were clueless about the same. Hence I request your Goodself to please update the email Id of All Bar Associations and to kindly send the said notifications to all Associations through their respective Bar email Id’s. As your good self is aware that the Bar and the Bench are two sides of Judiciary. All notifications in future may be addressed to “ firstname.lastname@example.org”
The members of our bar have given various suggestions regarding physical court hearings amid the pandemic situations. On the basis of their requirements by our members we hereby submitting the suggestions as under:-
The majority of our members have been requesting for Physical court hearings and are feeling the pinch of Financial hardship due to stoppage of open court hearings. Most of our members are not comfortable with email filing and video conferencing as for various reasons such as they are not High tech savvy , due to constant power cuts ,slow internet supply , high internet cost , Filing cost as they have to approach an internet centre for scanning the documents ( again the risk they are exposed to ) etc. In this situation it is necessary to at least make an effort to operate the physical Open courts in order to enable their livelihood, adhering to WHO Norms. At no stretch of imagination you can project that the legal fraternity will not follow safety guidelines. The sub-ordinate courts functioning is very poor. A large number of legal fraternity thrive on their livelihood only in Sub-ordinate courts and their functioning was absolutely pathetic. All public offices such as Banks, Private offices, industries , Posts, etc have opened . The courts alone cannot show extreme fear when others are contributing for the society. Physical courts needs to be opened and it is the need of the hour.
In the Interests and safety of both the Bar and the Bench we appeal to the Hon’ble Cheif Justice and Hon’ble companion Judges to Kindly consider ;
- To enhance the filing procedures by partially opening of physical filing in drop box system ,or through postal or Courier . A return cover may be enclosed . This will enable lawyers who do not have access to smart phones , scanner and computers. This aspect was not taken into consideration from day one.
- Options to be given to the advocates as to avail Physical hearings or video conferencing. The number of cases can be initially to all motion cases such as fresh admission cases viz civil, Criminal, Writ etc .Physical hearing can be conducted in the morning session and video conferencing sessions in the afternoon, both in High court and sub-ordinate courts.
- The concerned court staff mobile Numbers to be updated in the cause list so that access to the concerned court may be restricted from 9.00 am to 10.00am and 5pm to 6pm to enable the advocate to take clarifications especially in sub-ordinate courts. In this regard we would like to emphasise that our members have voiced that the matters before the Family Courts are not numbered and are lethargically returned. The list of cases listed in sub-ordinate courts may also be published to all Associations like High court cause List. There is a practice in the sub-Ordinate courts of affixing the case List on notice Board outside the court hall in all sub-ordinate courts. Hence the List of cases in Sub-ordinate courts in the District may to be posted a day earlier .
- To post Trial cases if both side advocates are ready a memo can be filed and the same may be listed either for physical hearing or video conferencing.
- To dispense with appearances of parties especially in Family Courts.
- To allow the concerned advocates to enter through issuance of E-pass with Photo ID and Enrolment No and also Car Pass with same bar code to Advocates , mentioning the date, time for Entry and Exit from the Court Premises , and provide the list to the Security personnel at the gates so that there is no hassle as to entry by Advocates into court premises so they are not frisked with long standing lines.
- All courts to be liberal in adjourning the cases to later dates on request by the Advocates.
- Cases may be considerate in granting adjournments in the event of non-appearance of advocates ..
- Association premises and Chambers may be allowed to open and access to it may be allowed for members who are waiting for the cases subject to social Distancing and sanitization.
- To publish on daily basis the List of Fresh cases filed with Sr nos , the List of case numbered with case details, The List of cases Returned by the Registry both in high court and Sub-ordinate courts and furnish the same to all the Bar Associations which in turn will circulated to its members.
- Order copies may be uploaded maximum within 2 working days.
- The meeting password may be published in the Cause List both in High court List and Sub-ordinate courts List to enable the advocate to have access to the needed courts .
- Cases may not be returned for Minor errors.
- All standing Interim orders to be extended . No default orders to be passed .
- The distancing from the First seat of lawyers are at present 6 feet away from judges in all courts . It can be altered to 10 feet, distancing between Judges and Lawyers. Mikes can be provided for Advocates in sub-ordinate Judiciary.
We the women Lawyers Appeal to the Hon’ble Cheif Justice and the Hon’ble Companion Judges to kindly consider the above suggestions keeping in mind the welfare of the Advocates , who play a keyrole in society and take appropriate decisions and measures in the interest of all the members and enable us to face this pandemic situation ensuring that justice and livelihood is not lost both to the society and the Advocate fraternity.
Thanking You, S.SIVAKAMI SECRETARY Women Lawyers’’ Association</code></pre></li>