CHENNAI: The Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to hold discussions on bringing a legislation to prevent katta panchayat (kangaroo court) and place before the court the final view taken by it.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh issued the directive while passing further interim orders on a petition from K. Gopal of Tiruvottiyur and another taken up PIL based on a newspaper report relating to ostracising a family from a village by ‘katta panchayatadars’ in 2006.
Taking exception to the government’s plea to grant four months to deal with the issue citing Assembly elections, the Bench said, “We are of the view that the impending elections cannot come in the way of the continuation of the discussions taking place as the matter is very urgent”.
After perusing the report filed by amicus curie, the Bench said in fact
the suggestion made by amicus curie was that the appropriate remedy would be a legislation to deal with ‘katta panchayats’.
In its affidavit, the state government submitted that discussions were on at the highest level between the departments concerned and various options have been explained and sought four months in view of the elections.
The Bench said, “Naturally, any legislation would have to wait the constitution of the new Assembly, but the ground level work shall continue in the meantime and a final view be placed before us on the next date of hearing (June 23)”.
Originally, in 2005, Gopal approached the Madras high court to direct the police to register his complaint and consequently direct Nalla Thanneer Odai Kuppam Meenavar Grama Sabha, Tiruvottiyur, to return Rs 40,000 illegally collected by the katta panchayatdars.
Man gets Madras HC reprieve in ex-parte divorce case
A husband, who after obtaining an ex-parte decree of divorce and remarried another woman after the expiry of the statutory period for appeal, got a reprieve with the Madras high court dismissing a petition from the first wife, which sought to set aside the divorce decree.
Dismissing a petition from the wife, Justice S. Vimala said, “It is evident that at every stage, the wife has exhibited supine indifference. When there is a duty to act with expedition at all stages, and if the petitioner is guilty of inordinate and unwarranted delay, coupled with failure to observe the time frame, then the liability to suffer the consequences of dismissal, for want of prosecution, is inevitable”.
Originally, the couple got married in March 2007 and a male child was born to them in January 2008. The husband filed a divorce petition in August 2008 and a lower court passed an ex-parte order in February, 2010.
The wife filed a petition to set aside the ex-parte order, with a delay of 24 days on April 15, 2010. In April 2012, the condone delay petition was dismissed. She filed a restoration petition and it was dismissed in February 2014. On April 6, 2014, he contracted second marriage. Thereafter, the wife filed the
present petition on July 7, 2014.
The judge said under normal circumstances, in matrimonial issues, especially when the interest of the child was also involved, no court would have hesitated to condone the delay of 24 days, if really the delay was only 24 days from the date of passing of the decree.
But, here was a case, even though the delay was stated to be 24 days, the application was kept pending for years together and in the meantime much water has flowed under the bridge (in between the ex-parte decree and the step taken by the wife to set aside the decree). In the interregnum, the husband has remarried, the judge added....