Madras HC violence catches CJI Dattu’s attention after KKV seeks SC assistance

Madras HC violence catches CJI Dattu’s attention after KKV seeks SC assistance

Murali Krishnan

Incidents in the Madras High Court have caught the attention of the Supreme Court once again as Chief Justice HL Dattu had some strong remarks for the members of the Madras Bar.

CJI Dattu’s rebuke came after Senior Advocate KK Venugopal voiced his anguish about the recent incidents of violence in the High Court. Interestingly, the events transpired during the hearing pertaining to Justice Karnan’ s judicial order, which was challenged by the High Court.

When the matter was taken up today the hearing swerved in a different direction as KK Venugopal spoke about the recent incidents in the High Court. He said that the Supreme Court should send three judges to the Madras High Court to take stock of the situation.

Last week, things went out of hand at the High Court, with two agitations of varying levels of intensity disrupting proceedings. On Monday, a group of advocates accompanied by children held a sit-in protest in Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul’s court, to make Tamil the official court language.

Later that day, Chief Justice Kaul would order the state government to provide CRPF protection on campus, fearing the safety of judges in light of recent events.

Then on Wednesday, pandemonium erupted at the High Court campus, with advocates from Madurai holding an agitation for not being allowed to witness proceedings in a suo motu contempt action against two advocates.

On hearing KK Venugopal’s submissions, Chief Justice Dattu proceeded to criticise the Bar associations.

“In Madras, there are 3 strong lawyers associations. What are they doing? When a mob enters the courtroom with wives and children and shout slogans, what will the Chief Justice do? Judges have to sit with fear psychosis.”

Dattu also lamented over the fact all these happened at the Madras High Court.

“This is happening in a High Court with the highest tradition. As young lawyers, we were asked to observe and learn from the Madras High Court. Now what is happening there?”, he remarked.

The Court then adjourned the case for three weeks after taking on record the status report filed by the High Court in the Karnan J. matter.

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