Sanjai Gandhi: HIGH COURT OF MADRAS ( 150 years ) & FORMER PRESIDENT OF INDIA: BY; P. SANJAI GANDHI, IPR ATTORNEY
[9/2, 00:23] Sanjai Gandhi: HIGH COURT OF MADRAS ( 150 years ) & FORMER PRESIDENT OF INDIA:
BY; P. SANJAI GANDHI, IPR ATTORNEY
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India and Bharat Ratna, recently passed away after battling a long illness. Endowed with perspicacity and wisdom, Bharat Ratna Shri Mukherjee combined tradition with modernity.
The president delivered the valedictory address on the occasion of the 150th anniversary(08.09.2012) celebration of the High Court of Madras.During of additional Government pleader at High court of Madras, I got the opportunity to attend the funtion. I was fortunate enough to hear the speech given by the former president of India. It was a great memorial about of High court of madras to have Mr. Mukherjee with it on this special occasion. It’s an unforgettable memory of my life.
He has mentioned in his speech which is a fact too that Madras High Court carries a legacy of over 150 years as it was one of the first three High courts to be established in India by Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria after the establishment of Calcutta and Bombay High Court. As Mr Mukherjee was from Bengal, he tried to establish a connection between Calcutta and Madras Courts for showing significant connection between both courts of the states to uphold each other’s dignity when required.
He said the independence of our judiciary is widely recognized and a matter of pride for every citizen of our country. The Indian Judiciary has enlarged the scope of fundamental rights, increased the space for democracy, while maintaining the quality of justice delivered. We must do everything possible to preserve and protect the independence of our judiciary from any form of encroachment. At the same time, the judiciary, as an important pillar of democracy, must also keep reinventing itself through a process of introspection and self-correction.
He pointed out upon the various aspects of law. Mr. Mukherjee said The separation of powers, long established as one of the basic features of our Constitution, ensures that each organ of government operates within its own sphere and none takes over functions assigned to the other. It is the Constitution that is supreme. The laws are enacted by the legislature, the executive does the implementation, and the judiciary is the final interpreter of these laws. The delicate balance of power enshrined in the Constitution should be maintained at all times.
Our judges, through innovation and judicial activism have contributed enormously to expanding the frontiers of justice and providing access to the poorest of the poor of our country. Taking into account the special circumstances of a developing country, our Supreme Court has expanded the common law principle of ‘locus standi’ when it comes to violation of the fundamental rights of our citizens. A post card or newspaper article has been sufficient to trigger the intervention of the Courts in support of individual rights. Today, our Courts permit any person, acting with bona fide and having sufficient interest in maintaining an action for judicial redress for public inquiry, to put the judicial machinery in motion.
However, a note of caution needs to be sounded. Judicial activism should not lead to the Constitutional principles of separation of power getting eroded. Judicial pronouncements must respect the boundaries that separate the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.
The principle of separation of powers is equally a principle of restraint. While the exercise of powers of the legislature and executive are subject to judicial review, the only check on the judiciary’s exercise of powers is the self-imposed discipline and self-restraint.
Judging the judges is a delicate and sensitive topic and one which has been viewed with some concern by jurists. Legislation which carefully balances the independence of the judiciary with the need to protect and preserve its credibility is a useful complement to the judiciary’s own efforts. Ultimately, the credibility of the judiciary will depend on the quality of the judges who man the various Courts of the country. Therefore, the process of selection and appointment of judges should conform to the highest of standards and should be based on well established principles.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Administration of justice must be quick and accessible to all. Despite various challenges, the judiciary in India is working hard to reduce back-log of cases and provide speedy justice. Our courts must be strengthened with additional resources and the Government is fully engaged in this task. A National Mission for Justice Delivery has been launched, the Constitution is being amended to raise the retirement age of High Court Judges and efforts are underway to create an All India Judicial Service. He said that judicial pronouncements must respect the boundaries that separate Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. In order to provide speedy justice, he said the courts must be strengthened with additional resources. The filling of vacancies in courts across the country is a matter that must be taken up as a priority by all concerned. We must make haste in this regard but without compromising on quality.
Before the validatary speach, he participated and visited high court of madras building along with the Hon’ble judges. He praised the architecture of Madras High Court and appreciated the high Tower of Light which is overseeing the city of Chennai. This Court is based on the high ideals and traditions which has been developed over the years.
He also recalled in the ceremony that it was Sir Sankaran Nair, who was an esteemed member of the Madras Bar who fought for the independence of Calcutta University when the struggle was on between Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee and Sir Henrey Shaw. He later became an Advocate General before getting raised to the Bench. This was recollected by no less a person than Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the then President of India on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of this very High Court on 6th of August, 1962.
Lawyers of the High Court like V.L. Ethiraj, Shri Subbaraya Iyer and Shri P.S. Sivasamy Iyer, have also made influence to the spread of education in the state by setting up several top class educational institutions.
He also mentioned that Madras High Court was a pioneer in the enrolment of women. B. Ananda Bai abd Seeta Devadoss were among the first ones to join the Bar much before the women were permitted to appear in the other courts of law in the country.
The great traditions and vitality of the Madras High Court exemplify the high sense of duty that has animated the judiciary and the legal profession of this state. I am confident that the Madras High Court will continue to uphold its glorious heritage of 150 years. It will enhance its contributions to the development of law, justice and jurisprudence. It will at the same time ensure that administration of justice continues to be carried on with dedication and commitment to the common man. The Bench of the High Court of Madras as well as Bar has been well known for legal education and intellectual insight. The Court has Independence and fairness as its hallmark. Land mark decisions of this Court have contributed greatly to the establishment of the legal and constitutional framework of our country.He congratulated the Hon’ble Judges, members of the Bar and the staff of the Madras High Court for their past achievements and wish them the very best in their future endeavours.
Pranab Mukherjee was a veteran statesman of India.As centre has announced a seven day state mourning for the former President, we remember him for his contribution and the journey in Indian development and economy.
[9/2, 08:05] Sekarreporter 1: 💐