‘Judges must treat judicial staff as equals, with respect’
Tuticorin: Stating judges are on the top of the hierarchy in the judicial system, Madras high court judge V Bharathidasan made it clear that it should not make judges feel they are the king. Reiterating the significance of the judicial staff across ranks, he appealed to judges to treat them with equality and not as slaves.
Addressing judicial officers, court staff and advocates at the inauguration of the newly constructed court buildings in Tuticorin district, he highlighted the important roles played by the bench clerks, stenographers and office assistants in the judicial system. He said they play different roles, this does not make one superior or inferior.
Expressing concern over pendency of cases, he recalled his earlier stint at the Madurai Bench when he was shocked to get a reply from a senior police officer here about over a lakh pending cases. “Case pendency allegation is an undeniable truth,” he said. At this juncture he said that courts alone cannot be held responsible for this.
The justice pointed out in nearly a lakh cases, charge sheets were yet to be files after filing FIRs and that many more cases are pending at various stages before coming to the court. He cited that such delays in getting justice through the courts, people are trying to get speedy justice through shortcuts, which should be avoided.
“The Supreme Court has said there is no shortcut to justice,” he said, adding that justice rendered with vengeance loses its flavour. He said that the court has the responsibility to analyse witnesses and decide if a man is a convict or innocent. He said that litigants approach advocates for grievances redressal and advocates shoulder a great responsibility.
Madras high court judge S S Sundar appealed the PWD officials to build stronger court buildings. He said that the old district court building in Tuticorin built in 1938 are still strong, whereas those built over the last 50 years are in a very bad shape. He said that the buildings should have good architecture and facilities as per the new guidelines given by the union government.
Talking about vacancies in the judicial system, he said that more than 300 judicial officers were appointed recently and they have called for filling up 179 more vacancies. He expressed confidence that all the vacancies will be soon filled up. Stating 148 of the 400 staff positions in the Tuticorin courts are vacant, he said efforts will be taken to fill them too.
The judges inaugurated the family court, special court for exclusive trial of cases under Pocso Act, judicial magistrate court no. IV and remaining portion of the new combined court building at Tuticorin. They also laid the foundation stone for the construction of the combined court building at Srivaikuntam.