Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana regarding the appointment of judges, setting up permanent regional benches of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai and declaration of Tamil as the official language.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that the judicial branch also must reflect the spirit of cooperative federalism enshrined in our Constitution. In that context, it becomes all the more important that the Supreme Court’s and the High Court’s composition reflects the diverse and pluralistic society of our great nation. For the past few years, we have been witnessing declining representation from all the sections of the society in the higher judiciary, leading to a ‘diversity deficit’,” said the Chief Minister in his letter to Prime Minter Modi and CJI Ramana.
Stalin said he is of the firm view that all states must find proportional representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court. It will then truly reflect the diverse nature of Indian society in its various dimensions.
“Therefore, I request your good selves to include the requirements to maintain social diversity and social justice in the appointment of High Court and Supreme Court Judges in the Memorandum of Procedure to appoint Judges and follow the same in true letter and spirit,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister further emphasized on the need of the establishment of Permanent Regional Benches of the Supreme Court of India. He said the Supreme Court is located in New Delhi which is not equidistant to all parts of the country and is far away from many States, particularly the southern, southwestern and the eastern States, the citizens in these States are deprived of their fundamental rights to approach the Court.
“While there are 25 High Courts across the nation, it is seen from data that the number of appeals being filed in the Supreme Court is more from States around the NCR region than States located further away from Delhi,” Stalin said.
“I request you to take appropriate steps to establish Permanent Regional Benches of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbal, apart from the Constitution Bench in New Delhi so that the citizens in other parts of this vast country have equal access to the Supreme Court,” urged Stalin.
The DMK chief further raised the issue of the official language of High Courts. He said in four High Courts – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Hindi has been authorized as the official language in addition to English.
“One, therefore, wonders, what Is the impediment to make the official language of other States the official language of the High Court, in addition to English?” he said.
Stalin stressed that making law and justice comprehensible to the common man in its proceedings is essential in the justice delivery system. The only concern with making the State’s official language the language of the High Court can be the requirement of translation when Judges from other States sit in the High Court.
“I request your good selves to take appropriate steps to declare Tamil, the official language of the Government of Tamil Nadu, as the official language of the High Court of Judicature at Madras and its Bench at Madura’, in addition to English,” urged Chief Minister Stalin.