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TamilNadu Cheif Minister O.Panneer Selvam speech during Joint Conference of the Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts

Speech delivered by Thiru O. Panneerselvam, Hon’ble Chief Minister of

Tamil Nadu during the Joint Conference of the Chief Ministers of the

States and Chief Justices of the High Courts on 5.4.2015 at New Delhi.

Vanakkam

Under the guidance of our visionary leader Puratchi Thalaivi

Amma who always thinks for the betterment and the needs of the people

of Tamil Nadu, our Government has always been implementing people

welfare oriented programmes in all spheres including the Judiciary.

The Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices organized

periodically definitely paves the way for a better understanding of the

needs of the Judiciary.  Decisions are arrived at, based on the

deliberations made at the Conference so as to ensure that the State could

provide adequate funds for the implementation of the resolutions made

therein. Our revered leader Puratchi Thalaivi Amma and the

Government of Tamil Nadu always accord the highest priority for ensuring

speedy affordable justice to the poor and vulnerable sections of society.

With the above objective in mind, our Government has always

made adequate provision of funds for the judiciary.

In the State Budget for the year 2015-2016 a sum of Rs.809.70 crores

has been provided for the Judiciary.  In the past four years a sum of

Rs.375 crores has been sanctioned for improving the infrastructure

required by the judiciary, including construction of court buildings,

residential quarters and provision of other infrastructure. Under the

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benevolent leadership of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma adequate funds were

allotted for the provision of infrastructure by which Tamil Nadu can

proudly declare that out of 986 Subordinate Courts functioning in the

State,  87.78% are located in their own buildings and only 12.22%  are

located in rented premises.A sum of Rs.157.44 crores is required for

completing the construction of the remaining court buildings. The State

Government has also been making adequate provision of funds for the

construction of new buildings.

In fact, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for judicial

infrastructure, no funds were released to Tamil Nadu in the years

2010-11 and 2011-12.  It was only after our effective follow-up action

that a sum of Rs.19.53 crores was released to the State for the year

2012-13 and Rs.73.43 crores for the year 2013-14. It is requested that

the same allocation may be made for the next two years also to enable

Tamil Nadu to construct own buildings for all courts in the State by the

year 2017.

Our Government recognises the fact that with growth in population

there is a need to constitute more courts. In the last four financial years,

our Government has ordered the constitution of 170 new courts in all,

including 65 Special Courts for land acquisition, motor vehicles accident

compensation etc., 46 Family and Mahila Courts, 26 Judicial Magistrate

Courts and District Munsif Courts. In addition our Government has

sanctioned 90 evening courts over and above the 53 evening courts which

are already functioning.

Recognising the need for recruiting more judges in

Tamil Nadu, we have recruited 178 civil judges in the year 2012-13. This

has drastically brought down the number of vacancies in the lower

judiciary. A similar recruitment of 162 Civil Judges is under progress.

Similarly, to enhance the performance of the subordinate judiciary,

35 posts of Court Managers have been sanctioned by the State

Government for assisting the National Court Management System

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(NCMS). They have also been provided with Laptops and supporting staff

for their effective functioning. Further, under the e-Courts Mission Mode

Project, 799 Courts have been provided with hardware items such as,

computers, servers, UPS, mono laser printers, dot matrix printers,

scanners, etc. Our Government has also sanctioned a sum of 1.04 crore

rupees for purchase of Computers and other peripherals for the use of the

Madras High Court for the year 2013-2014. Our Government has also

sanctioned a sum of Rs.3.20 crores in the year 2014-2015 for purchase of

computers and other peripherals for the use of Madras High Court and its

Madurai Bench.

To facilitate effective functioning of the subordinate courts and to

ensure uninterrupted power supply, for the first time our Government has

sanctioned generators for 173 courts at a cost of Rs.17.72 crores during

the year 2014-2015.

Our Government has proposed that all prisons and criminal courts in

the State are equipped with video conferencing facilities to do away with

the need for production of accused for remand hearings. Sanction has

been accorded for Video Conferencing facilities in 169 locations including

Prisons and Jails and 352 Courts in this State.

As a result of the efforts taken by our Government,

Tamil Nadu is undoubtedly today the leading State in attaining the goal of

equality before law for women and has emerged as a State where women

feel safe and secure. Under the leadership of our revered leader Puratchi

Thalaivi Amma, Tamil Nadu had pioneered the setting up of All Women

Police Stations in India more than 20 years ago in 1992.  Today, an All

Women Police Station is functioning in every Police

sub-division in Tamil Nadu. In 2002, a separate legislation viz., The Tamil

Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women (Amendment) Act, 2002, was

enacted under which the punishment in cases of sexual harassment was

made more severe.

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Pursuant to the rape and death of a young woman in New Delhi,

two years ago, our resolute leader Puratchi Thalaivi Amma had

announced a fresh set of strong measures for the protection of women by

which investigation of cases relating to sexual violence against women is

carried out by Women Police under the direct supervision of a Deputy

Superintendent of Police. 42 Fast Track Mahila Courts have been set up to

cover all the districts in the State to try offences against women. Special

Training seminars on the provision of laws for the protection of women

and proper method of investigating sexual crimes are being imparted in

the Police Training Institutions.

The Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy has also been requested to

provide training on various aspects relating to gender issues periodically,

and we are happy to note that the course curriculum at the Academy

includes also ‘Gender Justice’ which is being imparted in the Induction

programmes, Refresher courses and Advanced Training which are

conducted regularly. A two-day Special Programme for all District Judges

and Chief Judicial Magistrates was conducted on 15th and

16th June 2013, at the Judicial Academy relating to ‘Women Empowerment

and Gender Justice’. In the Refresher Programme for Civil Judges topics

pertaining to women and children and more particularly subjects on

sensitizing the officers on Gender Justice, were included.

Our Government has also set up a Juvenile Justice Board under

section 4 of the Juvenile Justice Act in every District of State.  In addition,

District Child Protection Societies have been formed in all the Districts of

the State under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) and 1507

Child care institutions have been registered under section 34 of the Act.

Our Government has also constituted the Tamil Nadu Commission for

Protection of Child Rights. In order to improve the condition of the Child

care institutions and to ensure their welfare, our Government has

sanctioned a total amount of Rs.7.59 crores for strengthening the

protection walls of the Child care institutions, providing for vocational

training, strengthening infrastructural facilities, sports materials, woollen

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sweaters, welcome kits, power generators, solar energy equipments and

surveillance cameras. Provision has also been made for washing

machines, water purifiers and modern kitchen equipment.  

       Our Government has also taken steps to strengthen the Alternative

Dispute Resolution mechanisms. The Alternative Dispute Resolution

Centre in the High Court premises has been constructed at a cost of

Rs.4.20 crores.  Construction of 29 more Centres in the District

Headquarters has also been sanctioned. An additional sum of Rs.1.95

crores was sanctioned towards improvement of infrastructure facility for

the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in the High Court campus. The

system of Lok Adalats and Mega Lok Adalats, another alternative dispute

resolution mechanism, has been strengthened in an exemplary manner in

our State. In the National Lok Adalat held on 23.11.2013, 13,77,252

cases were disposed of in the State for an award amount of

Rs.1140,32,91,487/- and in the National Lok Adalat held on 06.12.2014,

24,73,212 cases were disposed of for an award amount of

Rs.2081,48,73,918/-.  A sum of Rs.14.83 crores has been sanctioned

during the last four years for conducting the Lok Adalats, Mega Lok

Adalats and Legal Literacy Awareness camps. Our Government has also

specially sanctioned funds of Rs.5.43 crores for training in mediation

which has been imparted to judicial officers, advocates and mediators.

District Legal Services Authorities have been created in accordance with

the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and the 10 posts of Secretaries

have so far been sanctioned for the District Legal Services Authorities.

Permanent Lok Adalats have been sanctioned in all the 32 Districts of the

State at a cost of Rs.7.70 crores.

Our Government would like to take this opportunity to strongly

reiterate a longstanding request voiced on behalf of the people of the

State of Tamil Nadu by our revered leader  Puratchi Thalaivi Amma.

Article 348 (2) of the Constitution read with Section 7 of the Official

Languages Act, 1963, clearly envisages the usage of the State official

language in judgments, decrees and proceedings of the High Court with

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the prior concurrence of the President.  This practice is already being

adopted in four States.  However, our repeated requests to authorize the

use of Tamil in the High Court of Madras have not been responded to

favourably. A communication received in January, 2013, from the

Department of Official Languages, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government

of India, has indicated that the request of the State was considered by

the Full Court of the Supreme Court of India in the meeting held on

11.10.2012 and that the Full Court, after due deliberations, reiterated its

earlier Resolutions adopted on 07.05.1997 and 15.10.1999 not to approve

the proposal. If we are to take the administration of justice genuinely

closer to the people, then it is absolutely imperative that the local

language is used in the High Court, as is already being done in the State

Government and in the State Legislature. Our Government urges the

Government of India and the Supreme Court to reconsider their stand in

this matter and fulfill the long standing aspiration and demand of the

State to authorize the use of Tamil in the High Court of Madras.

Administration of Justice must aim for qualitative and quantitative

justice to the litigant public. To attain this end, the independence and the

image of the judiciary should always be upheld by providing necessary

infrastructure and ensuring a conducive environment.   Based on these

principles advocated by our respected leader Puratchi Thalaivi Amma

our Government has gone all out to support the requirements of judiciary

and has helped in accelerating their performance with speed and quality

by giving adequate infrastructure support in all possible ways.  Further

our Government is very keen to make progressive strides and produce

tangible results.

We hope that the deliberations in this Conference will be of

immense help in ensuring justice, liberty and equality to all our citizens.
Senkottai Sriram Srinivasan

Senkottai Sriram Srinivasan

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