Madras HC Chief Justice reiterates rules kept in abeyance
Chennai: The Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul reassured lawyers that no action will be taken on the newly amended rules to Advocates Act, which means nothing but keeping it in abeyance and hence there is no need to pass further orders.
The first bench headed by Chief Justice SK Kaul, before which a PIL filed by an advocate S. Kasiramalingam came up for hearing, made the observation that the prayer for keeping the Rules in abeyance has been answered in view of the said prayer being sub-served by the resolution of the Full Court on 16/6/2016 followed by clarification issued by Registrar General on 23/7/2016. Thus, practically the Rules are already in abeyance for the time being, as the deliberations before the Committee are in progress, the bench said.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Kasiramalingam sought a direction to install CCTVs in all the courts across the State, including the Madras High court and its bench in Madurai. He also sought direction to Registrar General to keep the new Rules in abeyance.
The advocate submitted that it was apprehension of the advocates that the judges of the higher judiciary and subordinate court may misuse the wide powers given to them under the new disciplinary Rules. They may punish advocates for alleged browbeating. There is a possibility of the judges tilting the scale of the rules in their favour and it may become a tool in the hands of the judges to browbeat the advocates. Installation of the CCTVs will prevent the misuse and provide transparency in the judiciary.
Stating that effect of the resolution and subsequent clarification to that is very clear that no action will be taken against any advocate based on the amended rules. Your apprehension is that the action will be initiated on the above rules, which was clarified by the subsequent clarification.
Rules were framed on the basis of Supreme Court order and rules were not brought suddenly. The CJ said we advised the Bar Associations to make representations to the Rules Committee constituted by the High Court and submit their suggestions if any. It was unfortunate that they do not come before the committee and present their suggestions.
Meanwhile, clarification was also given that no action will be initiated on the rules and against the advocates, which means nothing other than keeping it in abeyance.
CJ said that these unpleasant incidents had diverted his attention from doing several developments in the judiciary. While adjourning the PIL filed by Kasiramalingam to August 3 for further hearing, the bench said that the HC had already taken a decision favouring the installing of cameras in courts.
A proposal was sent to the state government on July 15, last year for installing CCTV cameras, metal detectors and hand held metal detectors in all courts across the State.
Initially, a financial proposal was made for HC, Metropolitan Magistrate Courts in Egmore, George Town and Saidapet. Government also accorded sanction on 4/4/2016 and reminder was sent on 13/7/2016 to government for sanctioning remaining funds for the scheme.
Given the exigency of the situation, the bench directed advocate general to obtain instruction installing CCT cameras for district courts across the State can be implemented across the board on an urgent basis and accordingly funds sanctioned for the project.