High Court Lawyers submitted a detailed memorandum to the Chief Justice of High Court of Madras on 03.02.2010 to replace the monthly Calendars with a new set of Calendars with court holidays and without any element of political tone or colour to restore the faith of common people in the independence of Judiciary. Senior Advocate P. Rathinam raised this issue and around 50 Lawyers of the High Court of Madras and Madurai Bench signed the memorandum.
We the undersigned advocates are making this representation inviting the attention of the Hon’ble Chief Justice and the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court of Madras (including the Madurai Bench) to a vital aspect of preserving the independence of Judiciary.
1. We are disturbed every day as the Rule of Law has been weakened by the growing and widening rule of gangs. We are aware that in a developing country the scope for political mismanagement is readily available as part of the semi feudal and semi colonial society. Even though the Constitution of India is well designed with the contribution of public spirited personalities and in particular Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the same is not utilized to achieve the goal of the very Document.
2. We are conscious that only with the tireless efforts the forces working to weaken the Rule of Law can be resisted successfully. We are making efforts to strengthen the movement to promote and strengthen Rule of Law.
3. We are worried to experience the political activities in the last two decades and the same have gradually introduced unethical and unconstitutional approaches only to gain access to various institutions of the State. Now atleast a section of the law making bodies are having persons with criminal records and the same is considered by the opportunist to be a good qualification to lead such bodies. The basic values are getting eroded in the political activities. The competition and unhealthy rivalry in the political activities have reached a stage that only by offering cash to the voters their support in the election can be ensured. Unpleasant happenings are taking place in the circulation of currency to the voters as the Indian Currency notes carry the face of Gandhiji.
4. We as the members of the profession are recollecting the contribution of Lawyers in every country in its freedom-struggle. Even most of such freedom fighters sacrificed not only their lives and properties but also the future of their legal heirs without any element of hesitation. They are all models to the society. But the present day happenings are shocking our conscience and that of the like minded people. We feel that there is no need to specify as the happenings are very much open and patent in our society.
5. We start with the questioning of the unhealthy practice of exhibiting the monthly calendars with the photographs of the Chief Minister and such other political figures displayed in the court halls and in the offices of the courts. We are clear that such practice is not good for maintaining the Independence of Judiciary. It gives an impression as if Judiciary is an extension or somewhat subordinate to the executive.
6. We have to place on record that the Constitution Makers were very much vigilant and clear in their understanding and approaches, while introducing Article 50 which reads as “Separation of Judiciary from executive:- The State shall take steps to separate the Judiciary from the executive in the Public Services of the State.”
7. During pre-independence India there was a strong agitation that the judiciary should be separated from the executive and that agitation was based upon the assumption that unless they are separated, independence of judiciary at the lower level would be a mockery.
8. We are very much worried and disturbed to experience the indiscipline among a section of the law profession. There is no justification in criticizing others without looking at the happenings in the profession itself. Even the elections for the lawyers’ bodies are becoming a laughing stock. All kinds of corrupt practices are adapted by a section of the profession. We cannot hide and suppress the truth that unfair practices are getting strength as one section of the Judiciary is also maintaining corrupt practices. We have to admit the reality that the opportunists are maintaining a net work and they are able to keep control over the Institutions of the State. But the socially conscious people are keeping distance among themselves.
9. But the ever increasing corruption and criminalization in the power centers will inevitably generate an atmosphere for the conscious people to get united only to protect the public interest. We hope the same is emerging in our society. We are confident that the strength of the conscious people will promote a better awareness among the people and the same will enable the Rule of Law to march forward. We will build a better Social Order as the Constitution Makers were dreaming.
10. The High Court calendar can be taken as the model as it contains 12 months with the indication of High Courts’ holidays on a single sheet.
Hence we request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to take appropriate step to replace the monthly Calendars with a new set of Calendars with court holidays and without any element of political tone or colour in it at the earliest possible time to restore the faith of common people in the independence of Judiciary.
We also undertake to cooperate for such endeavors.