Virtual SC hearings to meet ‘accessibility’ demand: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana | Chennai News

CHENNAI: In a rare hint that he understands the growing demand for regional Supreme Court benches, India’s Chief Justice NV Ramana said he has pursued virtual Supreme Court proceedings to help lawyers across the country.
“In the same spirit of accessibility, I have, in consultation with the magistrate brothers and sisters, continued the online hearing of the various days that we had started during the pandemic. This is to allow lawyers across the country to continue their practice before the Supreme Court. I hope this practice will continue and be further strengthened in the future,” Chief Justice Ramana said on Saturday. On the day he completed a year in office, Chief Justice Ramana shared the dais with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MP Stalin, laid the foundation stone for a nine-storey building on the campus of the high court and opened several new court buildings in the state.
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Chief Minister MK Stalin pushed for Tamil to become the official language of the Madras High Court during the tea party he hosted for the Chief Justice of India and other judges on Saturday night .
Previously, Stalin announced an increase in exgatia amount for families of deceased persons from Rs7 lakh to Rs10 lakh. He also said that Rs20 crore will be released for the benefit of around 450 families of lawyers who died due to covid-19.
Stalin then made three demands of Chief Justice NV Ramana and other judges in office: first, social justice should be ensured in the selection and appointment of judges to high courts and the Supreme Court; second, regional benches of the Supreme Court should be created; and third, Tamil would become the official language of the high court in Madras.
Chief Justice Ramana said: “A Member of this Bar (Madras HC), Senior Solicitor and MP P Wilson, has introduced a Private Member’s Bill to allow for the establishment of Regional Benches of the Supreme Court. I don’t know if the Union government has expressed its views on this.
As for Stalin’s language demand, India’s Chief Justice said, “The language and procedures followed in the courts should not be like mantras sung in weddings, which no one understands. Ordinary people should become an active part of the justice system. Later that day, while addressing the World Telugu Federation (WTF) meeting here, Chief Justice Ramana said, “I feel delighted with his (Stalin’s) affinity for Tamil. You should also imbue a similar feeling for your mother tongue.
Speaking at the high court, he reiterated the need for Indianization of the judiciary. “By Indianization, I mean shaping the Indian legal system for the benefit of the Indian people. It is a multidimensional concept. It calls for inclusiveness, access for people to participate in proceedings, removal of the language barrier and reforms in practice,” Chief Justice Ramana said.
As for inclusion in the justice system, he said, “Inclusion does not end with the representation of women alone. The social and geographical diversity of the nation must be reflected at all levels of justice. With the widest possible representation, people feel it is their own justice system. “In fact, we are waiting for the day when a person’s gender, orientation, birth or identity no longer acts as a barrier.”
Supreme Court Justices Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice MM Sundresh, Chief Justice of Madras HC Munishwar Nath Bhandari, State Law Minister S Regupathy, Advocate General R Sunmugasundaram, Deputy Chairman of the Indian Bar Council S Prabakaran and Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry PS Amalraj were among others who attended the event.

Elna M. Lemons