Madras High Court
The High Court of Judicature at Madras, one of the three High Courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters Patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26th June 1862 ( The Charters of the High Court of Judicature at Madras (104 MB) ), is the highest Court in the State of Tamil Nadu, exercising Original Jurisdiction over the City of Madras and Appellate Jurisdiction over the entire State as well as extra-ordinary Original Jurisdiction, Civil and Criminal, under the Letters Patent and Special Original Jurisdiction for the issue of writs under the Constitution of India.
The Hon`ble The Chief Justice is the Head of the Judiciary with powers of administration of the High Court and of the Administration of Justice throughout the State. The Hon’ble Chief Justice is in charge of the general policy adopted in the Administration of Justice. The administration of Justice in the Civil and Criminal Courts in the districts constituted under the Civil Courts Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure respectively is carried on by the following categories of Judicial officers.
a) District Judges
b) Senior Civil Judges
c) Civil Judges
a) Sessions Judges
b) Chief Judicial Magistrates
c) Assistant Sessions Judges
d) Judicial Magistrates
In exercise of the power conferred by Section 51(2) of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956, the Government of India issued the Madras High Court (Establishment of a Permanent Bench at Madurai) Order, 2004, which was notified on 06.7.2004 to come into effect on 24.7.2004.
By virtue of the said Order, a permanent Bench of the Madras High Court was directed to be established at Madurai, with not less than five Judges, as nominated by the Chief Justice, to sit there and exercise jurisdiction and powers in respect of cases arising in the Districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam,Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur and Karur. Later, the jurisdiction over the Districts of Nagapattinam and Perambalur stood restored to the Principal Seat, vide a Corrigendum notified later.
After the Judicial bifurcation of Madurai into Madurai & Theni judicial Districts, in the year 2006, the number of Districts within the jurisdiction of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court became 13. Except the original jurisdiction, the Madurai Bench exercises jurisdiction in all the matters as in the case of the Principal Bench in Chennai.
The Madras High Court Bench at Madurai was inaugurated on Saturday, the 24th July of 2004 by Hon'ble Mr.Justice R.C. LAHOTI, Chief Justice of India and was presided over by Justice B.Subashan Reddy, the then Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court consists of a ground and three floors with a total plinth area of 22,929 Sq.m. It houses all the Offices and Departments of the High Court Bench. The building, housing the Court Halls, is two storied with a ceiling height of 7.20m and other area of the building is four storied with a height of 3.60 m. The total plinth area of the building is 15209 Sq.m and it consists of 16 Court Halls and Judges’ chambers attached to Court Halls, Library, Conference Hall with Video Conferencing System, Projector, etc., 12 bungalows, VIP Guest House, Law Office Building, Lawyers Chambers’ Buildings, 9 shops, Staff Canteen, BSNL, Post Office, Indian Bank and Advocates Canteen, within the campus.
The air conditioning work and wall panelling of court halls and the Hon’ble Judges Chambers have been fully air conditioned with wall panelling and false ceiling etc.. The Court Halls have been provided with Public Address systems. Out of 12 Court Halls four major Court Halls have been furnished based on the model of Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court. The four court halls have full dais with secondary dais for court officer and Personal Assistant Book Shelves, Cushion seats, barricades etc, the other 8 court halls have been furnished as per the court halls of High Court of Madras with a smaller single dais for Hon’ble Judge with other furniture such as cushion seats and barricading etc. Network connection has been given to all sections and head of offices . The Personal Assistant Section in the first floor is also fully air conditioned with false ceiling arrangements. Computer facility provided to departments. Landscaping has been done in front of the Administrative Block.
There is a ‘Kanmoi’ (tank) and it has in it a variety of fishes. Variety of birds like Peacock, Lesser whistling duck, spot billed Duck, Glossy Ibis, Yellow Bitten, etc., are living / visiting the Premises of the Madurai Bench.
The work of the High Court, both Judicial and Administrative, in view of the variety and magnitude of the subject, requires the assistance of Gazetted Officers and other staff. The Registrar General is the Chief Gazetted Officer. He exercises supervision and control over the establishment of the High Court on the Original and Appellate Sides. The duties of the Registrar General are mainly administrative and supervisory, the judicial functions having been delegated to other Officers. The Registrar (Judicial), Registrar (Vigilance), Registrar (IT cum Statistics), Registrar (Management), Officer on Special Duty, Registrar (District Judiciary) and Registrar (Administration) assist in the administrative work. The Registrar General and other Registrars scrutinize the files on all administrative matters circulated to the Honourable the Chief Justice and Honourable Judges. The notes in files on all administrative matters circulated to the Honourable Judges for orders are scrutinized and passed by them. They also arrange the meeting of the Honourable Judges under the directions of the Honourable the Chief Justice, for decision in all important matters.
Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, Chennai
Ever since its establishment in the year 2001, the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy (TNSJA), being under the administrative control of the High Court of Madras, has been conducting a plethora of training programmes, conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia and colloquia on the subjects and issues legally, socially, and economically relevant for the judicial officers, public prosecutors, advocates, court personnel, members of non-governmental and social organisations and other stakeholders of the justice delivery system. Prior thereto, providing informal induction training to the judicial officers recruited in the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry started as early as 1997, and as the training was inculcated in an unstructured manner, it was felt that there was an urgent need for an institutionalised approach to address the training requirements of the judicial officers both theoretically and practically at the functional level and thus, establishment of a Judicial Academy was contemplated. The Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, headquartered in Chennai and having been functioning in the present building since the year 2004, with Regional Centres at Coimbatore and Madurai, which were inaugurated on, and which started functioning with effect from, 21.02.2016, under the able and valuable guidance of the Hon’ble the Patron-in-chief and the Hon’ble the President and the Members of the Governing Body, has been drawing up plans every year to provide training to the main target group of judicial officers, both newly inducted and in-service, and to the other stakeholders of the judiciary, viz. public prosecutors, young advocates and staff members of both the High Court of Madras and the District Judiciary.
In pursuit of excellence in judicial education and training, TNSJA takes every endeavour to further and better equip not only the judicial officers, but also the court personnel and the young advocates across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, by way of integrated and institutionalised system of education. Through continuing judicial education, attempts are made to provide opportunities to the judicial officers to get acquainted with the latest developments of law, so as to make them to be more active and effective in dispensation of justice. One of the main objectives of TNSJA is to make the judicial officers to keep pace with the emerging legal and social trends. Another objective of imparting training to the judicial officers is to make them competent and sensitive, so that they could keep themselves abreast of the march of law every now and then, and also help them to face and overcome challenges in their day-to-day work.
The overall goal of TNSJA is to enhance the institutional effectiveness leading to increased productivity with quality. The aim of conducting training programmes, which are so devised, is that the people coming to court must feel that the courts are litigant-friendly and they get the results of the litigations early and ultimately, quality justice is delivered. One of the goals, as set by TNSJA, is not only to provide knowledge and essential skills, as expected from the members of the Bench, but also to foster values and attitudes and more particularly, imbibe in them honesty and integrity and probity in public life.
Regional Centre, TNSJA, Madurai
Regional Centre, TNSJA, Coimbatore
IV. INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATION
For the smooth and effective administration of the activities of TNSJA, originally a committee comprising the Hon’ble High Court Judges was constituted by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court of Madras. Later, this committee was renamed as the Board of Governors, which is, presently, the Governing Body of TNSJA and comprises the Hon’ble the Chief Justice as the Patron-in-Chief, a senior-most Hon’ble Judge as the President, and certain number of Hon’ble Judges as the Members. The activities of the Academy are formulated and monitored by the Board of Governors, and the administrative and financial decisions are taken by them at the meetings convened from time to time. The day-to-day affairs of the Judicial Academy are looked after, at the Headquarters, by the Director, the Additional Director and the Assistant Director, and at the Regional Centres at Coimbatore and Madurai, by a Deputy Director each, who are the judicial officers posted on other duty, and they are provided with secretarial and administrative assistance and support by the staff members numbering about 30 at the Headquarters and 17 each at the Regional Centres. The Director has overall supervisory control of the Headquarters and the Regional Centres.
V. PROGRAMMES FOR JUDICIAL OFFICERS
There are about 1000 posts of judicial officers of all cadres functioning in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and it is very much required that all of them have to be inculcated with training from time to time. Besides training programmes to in-service judicial officers, TNSJA is involved in organising induction training programme for the judicial officers in the cadres of District Judge and Civil Judge, whenever they are recruited to the judicial service.
(1) INDUCTION TRAINING
TNSJA has put in place an induction training module for the newly recruited District Judges and Civil Judges. The resource persons rank from the Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Court Judges to the High Court Advocates and the reputed professionals of inter-disciplinary subjects. Exclusive sessions are also set apart for interaction and the officers are encouraged to not only interact on the topics assigned, but also draw knowledge on the diverse issues of legal and social importance. The participant-officers are also taken to field visits to witness autopsy at the Government General Hospital and to the institutions/organisations, such as Legal Services Authority, Central Prison, Institute of Mental Health, Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu, State Crime Records Bureau and Railway Protection Force. They are also sent to the Tamil Nadu Forensic Sciences Laboratory for one week to acquire first-hand knowledge of the activities being undertaken by the forensic science experts. They are also imparted hands-on training on computers to discharge their judicial and administrative duties in a better manner. Besides the classroom training and the field visits, the trainee District Judges are required to undergo training as Civil Judge and Senior Civil Judge, each for a period of not less than six months. The trainee judicial officers are also given books on various branches of law for their reference on legal points.
(2) REFRESHER COURSES
TNSJA conducts refresher courses for the judicial officers of all three cadres, viz. District Judges, Senior Civil Judges and Civil Judges. For administrative convenience, judicial officers of each cadre are divided into as many batches as required and for each batch of officers, the programme is held for two days. The training programmes are not only participative, but also interactive in nature. Civil and Criminal Laws and issues relating to other various substantive laws are all discussed in detail, and the course curriculum gives importance to enhancing the knowledge on fundamental principles of law.
VI. OTHER ACTIVITIES
1) Decentralisation of Training Programmes
Corresponding to the increase in litigations being filed in District-level Courts, there is an increase in the number of judicial officers and staff members. Further, in order to cut expenditure on organizing the training programmes for the judicial officers, young advocates, and the staff members, it was decided by the Hon’ble Governing Body of TNSJA to decentralize the training programmes to the Districts Headquarters. The above decision was taken, considering the scenario in future that the stakeholders of the justice delivery system, particularly the ministerial staff members of the District Judiciary, require to be inculcated training on the legal and social trends emerging from time to time, as often as required.
2) Online facilities to Judicial Officers
Laptops of the judicial officers functioning in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, were installed with an online journal, viz. CDJ Law Journal.
The Academy publishes every month an e-Journal consisting of important judgments of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court and this e-Journal is hosted on the website of the Academy.
Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre
High Court, Madras
BACKGROUND OF THE CENTRE :
The Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre of Madras High Court was inaugurated on 9th April 2005 by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Y.K.Sabharwal, the then Judge of Supreme Court of India and later Chief Justice of India. The Centre owes its creation to Hon'ble Mr.Justice Markandey Katju, the then Chief Justice of Madras High Court. The Mediation and Conciliation Centre at Madurai Bench of Madras High Court was inagurated on 17th Sep 2005 by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Shivraj Patil, former Judge of Supreme Court of India. Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre has also spread its wings throughout the State & Union Territory of Puducherry.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju
Functioning under an institutionalised charter and Scheme, the Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre is India's first court-annexed-mediation centre and is prominently located in the High Court Buildings, Chennai. It is designed to implement Section 89 CPC under which Judges may refer suitable matters for mediation. Its charter provides for the Chief Justice of the High Court as the Patron, a supervising Committee of four Hon'ble Judges of the High Court and an Organising Committee drawn from the Bar. Its role is to create awareness and train mediators. The Centre is functioning under the guidance of Mediaition and Conciliation Project Committee, Supreme Court of India and each District Mediation Centre has Mediation Monitoring Sub Committee to ensure effective functioning of that Centre. The administrative control of the Mediation Centre vests with the Director.
NATURE OF CASES :
The cases referred by the Court to the Centre include family matters, contracts and civil disputes, property and partitions suits, company petitions and arbitration cases.
PROCEDURE FOR REFERRAL :
The cases are referred by the court for Mediation and the Centre allots them to the mediators as per roster. The mediation sessions are held at the Centre. The parties attend with their lawyers. The time limit is usually 60 days. On the conclusion of the mediation, the Centre makes a report to the Court attaching the agreement, if case is settled. The court then passes orders in terms of the agreement. If unsettled, the case returns to the file of the Court.
TRAINING OF MEDIATORS :
The Hon'ble Judges, Judicial Officers, Retired Judges and Advocates of 10 years standing experience at the Bar, retired bureaucrats and other professionals with 15 years experience are trained as Mediators. The basic 40 hours Mediation Training Programme is mandatory to became a mediator as per the scheme framed by the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi. 38 Hon'ble Judges, 421 Judicial Officers and 1070 Advocates in the State of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry have undergone the said training so far. Historical background and need, the theory and process of mediation, ethics and confidentiality, skills and techniques form the core of the course. Several demonstration exercises and role plays by participants help them to learn the practical aspects of the process. Trainees are required to give an undertaking that they will render pro bono service of minimum 2 years. During the pro-bono period the trained mediators have to do mentorship mediation (supervised mediation) under a senior mediator. The training is imparted by the MCPC Trained team of 13 Senior trainers of Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre headed by Mr.Sriram Panchu. Sensitization Programmes and Refresher Programmes are also organized by the Centre then and there.
FACILITIES AVAILABLE AT THE HIGH COURT MEDIATION CENTRE :
Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre (TNMCC), High Court, Madras has got the following infrastructure.
* The right ambience.
* Absolute Sound Proof Rooms.
* Special Lighting & Air-Conditioning.
* Waiting Hall.
NEWS LETTER :
In order to promote the Mediation as one of the best ADR methods and to propagate the ideals of Mediation, the Centre had brought out its first `Newsletter' in November 2008 and sofar seven News letters have been released by the Centre.
The Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre is one among the five States which have exclusive website. The website for TNMCC was launched on 15.12.2020 by Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.P. Sahi, the then Chief Justice of Madras High Court. The information about Mediation is available in TNMCC website (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTINGUISHED VISITORS :
Many dignitaries including His Excellency Hon'ble Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, Hon'ble Mr.Justice Bryan Sykes, Chief Justice of Jamaica and Hon'ble Supreme Court Judges honoured this Centre by their visits.
CONTACT DETAILS :
Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre,
High Court Buildings,
High Court, Madras,
Chennai – 600 104.
Website : tnmcc.tn.gov.in.
Email : email@example.com
Phone : 044 - 2530 1271
Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, Chennai
The Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, a statutory body was constituted in 1997 under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and functioning under the kind patronage of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice as its Patron-in-Chief., to provide true and competent legal services as mandated under Article 39-A of the Constitution of India. The object of the said Article is that justice should not be denied to any citizen on grounds of economic and other disabilities. The senior most Judge of the High Court is the Executive Chairman of the State Legal Services Authority. The Member Secretary who is in the cadre of a District Judge administers the day-to-day functioning of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority.
The object to be achieved by the State Legal Services Authority is three fold viz., (1) make people aware of their legal rights, (2) Providing Legal Services to competent persons and (3) Organization of Lok Adalat to reduce the Court pendency.
ENTITLEMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES:
People whose upper limit of income from all sources does not exceed Rs.1,00,000/- will be entitled to legal services for filing a case or defending a case.
The State Legal Services Authority pays court fee up to Rs.1,000/- for filing a case. But for Motor Accident Claims the advocates file petitions before Tribunals for exemption of court fee at the first instance.
Two lawyers are deputed for Help Line from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all working days. They provide legal advice to the persons who approach the Legal Services Authority on the spot (044-25342441)
TOLL FREE No
For Assistance/Advice: 1800 425 2441
LEGAL ASSISTANCE ESTABLISHMENT
On 22.08.2017, Legal Assistance Establishment was inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh, Executive Chairman of this Authority in the presence of Hon’ble Mr. Justice RMT. Teekaa Raman, Judge, High Court, Madras.
24X7 Help Line Mobile No.94450 33363
044-2534 3363 and 1516
Website : tnlegalservices(dot)tn(dot)gov(dot)in
Public can access any one of the Telephone mode or e-mail Id to get advise
1. LEGAL LITERACY and AWARENESS:
1.1. COUNSELING: -
The 184 Constituent units of the State Authority are equipped with Counseling Centres attached with it and are presided over by the Retired Judicial Officer with panel of lawyers as Counsellors for a specified period. If the Counseling fails, legal assistance will be provided to the person who has a prima facie case.
1.2. CENTRE FOR WOMEN:
53 Centres exclusively to deal with the issues concerning women have been opened by the Authority all over Tamil Nadu. Women lawyers are posted to deal with the grievances of women compassionately.
1.3. MEDIATION CENTRES IN REMOTE VILLAGES:
In order to further promote the concept of mediation and conciliation, the State Authority has 66 centers throughout the State including in remote villages. Staff members along with panel lawyers are deputed during weekends to attend the Mediation Centres, located either in the Panchayat Board office or Block Development office of the village concerned. The applications are received from the litigant public and, if possible, they are disposed of on the spot and if immediate relief is not possible, the applications are brought to the nearest Legal Aid committee and are being processed.
1.4. (a) LEGAL LITERACY AND AWARENESS:
The Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority is conducting Legal Literacy and Awareness Camps in a particular place of a village on a specified date where the Judicial Officers, Advocates and NGOs attend. The applications received there are forwarded to the nearest Legal Services Committee for being processed.
Camps are organized on the das detailed below for the beneficiaries concerned to created awareness and address their problems
International Women’s Day ( 8th March )
Legal Aid Movement Day ( 6th April )
International Labour Day ( First May )
Anti Tobacco Day ( 3rd May )
World Environment Day ( 5th June )
Word Day Against Child Labour ( 12th June )
Independence Day - Grama Sabha Assembly ( 15th August )
Senior Citizens Day ( 1st October )
Gandhi Jayanthi –Grama Sabha Assembly ( 2nd October )
World Mental Health Day ( 10th October )
National Legal Services Day ( 9th November )
Children’s Day ( 14th November )
Law Day ( 26th November )
World HIV/AIDS Day ( First December )
World Disability Day ( 3rd December )
Human Rights Day ( 10th December )
Republic Day – Grama Sabha Assembly ( 26th January)
Apart from the above mentioned days, the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority also conduct Awareness and Cultural Programmes on the Subject of ‘Rights of the Unorganized Labourers’ are also organized to create awareness and get their legal remedies through the legal services institutions. Lawyers have been deputed to the area, where the unorganized laborers’ are more, like building constructions areas for creating awareness among them.
(b) MICRO LEGAL LITERACY CAMPS:
The Scheme was launched on 27.07.2007 to create effective awareness among the rural and sub urban people about various legal aid schemes, the District/Taluk Chairmen are instructed to hold periodical meetings with the Councilor, ward member, social workers, educationalists and the lawyers of that area and the Micro Legal Literacy Camps are organized. A team consisting of 6 responsible persons for the purpose of visiting places like Jails, Hospitals, Melas, Festival Places, Religious Places, Schools, Colleges, Labour Colonies, Market Places, Pilgrim Places, Hutments and Slum, on every Saturday, Sunday and on all public holidays to make awareness among the public.
Micro Legal Literacy Camps
(c). NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME:
Legal Awareness Camps pertaining to National Rural Employment and Guarantee Act have been conducted regularly as the scheme has been formulated only for the benefit of poor Labourers. The team of awareness campaign is focused on the target group ie rural Labourers and they are thoroughly explained about the NREGS and assist the public to get over the situation. If they happen to come across with any problem during the interaction session it will be suitably resolved and they will be guided in a right direction.
1.5. LEGAL LITERACY THROUGH FOLK SONGS AND VILLUPATTU
As part of the Legal Literacy and awareness programme, Villuppattu, a traditional folklore of Tamil Nadu performed by famous artist “Kalaimamani Subbu Arumugam” is exhibited through electronic media from the year 2002. The melodious songs and educative villupattu played in the legal literacy camps attract large crowd. Lyrics in the style of folk songs carrying the message of various Laws, enactments and schemes on Lok Adalat sung by various famous playback singers viz. Padmashri Yesudoss, Vani Jayaram, Unnikrishnan, Mahanadhi Shobana, and Sirkali Siva Chidambaram were recorded and are being played at the venue where legal literacy programmes are organized from the year 2003.
1.6. RELEASE OF BOOKLETS IN VERNACULAR LANGUAGE
In order to enlighten the general public, the basics of various beneficial enactments were prepared and published by the State Legal Services Authority in the form of booklets.
The following booklets titled as the State Legal Services Authority published “Legal Literacy and awareness series”:
Consumer Protection Act
Protection for Women under IPC
Protection for Women under various laws other than IPC
Rights of Arrested persons
Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act
Hindu Marriage Act
Child Marriage Restraint Act
Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955
The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956
The Child Labour (prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986
The Guardian and Wards Act 1890
How to get compensation in Motor Accident cases?
Maintenance – Legal position
The constitution and activities of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority Benefits under various welfare schemes of Government – How to get them?
As part of legal literacy and awareness campaign, the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority has released a booklet in vernacular language under the caption SATTAPPANIGAL MUTHAL KAIYEDU in question-and-answer form. In order to enlighten the general public, the basics of various beneficial enactments were prepared and published by the State Legal Services Authority in the form of books.
The following books titled as the State Legal Services Authority published “Legal Literacy and awareness series”:
1) Hand Book on Unorganized Labour
2) Hand Book for advancing Lawyering skills
3) Constitution of India
4) Hand Book on Laws relating Crimes against women
5) Hand Book on Disabled Persons
6) Hand Book on women Rights
7) Hand Book on Child Rights
8) NALSA SCHEME -2015 –English
9) Basics in Law for Students
10) Important Events-2015
11) NALSA Scheme - 2015 - Tamil
12) NALSA (Legal Services to Victims of Acid Attacks) Scheme
13) NALSA (Legal Services to Senior Citizens) Scheme
2. LEGAL ASSISTANCE THROUGH LEGAL AID CLINICS:
The first Legal Aid Clinic was opened in the Law College, Madurai on 22.9.2001. Subsequently, Legal Aid Clinics were opened in all the Law Colleges in the State of Tamil Nadu. In the State of Tamil Nadu, 833 Legal Aid Clinics are functioning to collect applications from the persons who are residing in and around the places where the Clinic is situated, to provide legal assistance or advice instantaneously in possible cases and if the matter is the one which is to be referred to Court, the panel lawyer forward such applications to the State Authority and legal assistance is provided on scrutinizing the applications by the panel lawyers.
A Legal Aid Clinic had been opened for mentally disabled persons at Mugappair and a panel lawyer is being deputed. Legal Aid Clinics have been opened in the Law Colleges at Chennai, Madurai, Trichirappalli, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli.
Legal aid clinics have also been opened in the premises of the Juvenile Justice Board at Chennai for giving legal advice to juveniles in conflict with law. Special legal aid Clinics are also available for HIV/AIDS patients in some Hospitals.
2.1. LEGAL LITERACY CLUBS:
National Legal Services Authority has introduced a scheme for Schools and College Students in February 2010, to utilize the energy and talents of the Student’s Community for disseminating information about the legal aid programmes. The panel lawyers are deputed to these clubs once in a month for briefing the students about salient features of important laws.So far, 193 Legal Literacy Clubs in Schools and Colleges have been opened.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
The Legal Services Authority has not spared any sections of the society who are in distress. The most neglected and isolated sections of the persons living with HIV/AIDS, while their own family members themselves rejected those persons, the Legal Services Authority has come to the rescue of them in order to get the legitimate rights under the Act
VIDEO AND AUDIO CASSETTES FOR PUBLICITY
The video and audio C.Ds and cassettes containing the substance of the various laws were prepared with the funds provided by Neyveli Lignite Corporation, a Public Sector Undertaking, and the same were released at Cuddalore for creating awareness among the public
PERMANENT LOK ADALAT u/s.22-B OF THE ACT
Permanent LokAdalats were established in 32 Districts in State of Tamil Nadu for the Public Utility Services as per the Legal Services Authorities (Amendment) Act, 2002
GRAMA SABHA ASSEMBLY IN VILLAGES
In order to bring justice at door-steps, we arrange meetings of Grama Sabha in consultation with them. One staff of the Legal Services Authority/Committee and an Advocate will attend the meeting. Local Problems will be discussed there and proper legal advice will be given. If necessary, other legal assistance will also be rendered through the Authorities/Committees
DOCUMENTARY FILM ON THE ACTIVITIES OF LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY
In order to further enlighten the people of the various beneficial enactments passed by the Central and State Governments as well as the various programmes and schemes implemented by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, through legal literacy and awareness, a 30 minutes documentary film “Access to Justice for All” in English and “Anaivarukkum Samaneethi” in vernacular language was produced and released by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority. The short film is made available in the form of Compact Discs and was forwarded to all the District Authorities and Taluk Committees with a direction to display the same while conducting Lok Adalats and legal Literacy Camps
2.2. ASSISTANCE TO THE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING:
The State Authority has extended its tentacles in the field of Trafficking in association with the Department of Social Defense, Government of Tamil Nadu
The High Court has also issued directions to the Judicial Officers and Juvenile Justice Board as follows:
i) to ascertain from victims as to the time of their rescue and their apprehension and also about the physical assault and if need be for medical examination of the victims suo moto and to take legal departmental action against the erring individuals;
ii) to ensure that the accused involved in immoral trafficking are remanded in the sub jails/central prisons and the victims are sent vigilance homes/protective homes/juvenile homes;
iii) to take steps to restrict access to the victims of immoral trafficking only for the parents, close relatives, NGO’S, Social Workers or Counsellors to pass early orders enable the police to remove the victims from the public place to the respective shelter homes to avoid approach of traffickers;
iv) to send the statement once in a quarter to the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority regarding institution, disposal and pendency of cases;
v) to conduct in camera proceedings whenever necessary;
vi) to avoid mechanical demand of the victims of the immoral trafficking and ensure that the victims are not treated as accused and to deal with the cases against the traffickers sternly;
vii) to issue appropriate direction to the Superintendent of Vigilance Home/ Juvenile Homes/ Protective Homes to maintain a register to enter the list of personal belongings of the rescued victims and for return after their release.
2.3. LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PRISONERS:
The Legal Services Authority has also extended its services to the under trial prisoners and the convict Prisoner and the provision of legal assistance commences from the time of their arrivals till the filing of appeal before the Supreme Court.
3.0. PARA LEGAL VOLUNTEERS SCHEME:
National Legal Services Authority has framed the Scheme for implementing the project of Para-legal Volunteers by the State Legal Services Authority.
Para Legal Volunteers will be engaged in all the legal aid clinics. They will also be engaged in the front office of the ADR Centre.
The process of identification of Para Legal Volunteers and to give training to them is going on.
No. of Para Legal Volunteers so far trained : 3,881
The National Legal Services Authority has organized a Training of Trainers (TOT Programme) for the Master Trainers in each SLSAs. This Authority nominated 3 Advocates for Master training in New Delhi. So far ToT Programme module part - 1 were completed in all the 32 Districts across the State. Again TOT Programme module part - 2 were conducted in 2 Districts viz., 1.Tiruvannamalai on 17.11.2018 & 18.11.2018.
4. ORGANISING OF LOK ADALATS:
4.1. LOK ADALATS
Lok Adalat is considered to be the best Alternative Disputes Resolution method. Continuous Specialized Lok Adalats have been constituted for Motor Accident Cases, Debt Recovery Tribunal cases, Labour Court cases, Family Court cases, Family Court Appeals (High Court), Nationalised and Scheduled Bank cases, Taxation Appellate Tribunal cases, Pension cases, High Court LAOP Appeals, Electricity cases, Electricity Appeals (High Court), Metro water cases, Port Trust Cases, Workmen compensation cases, Slum Clearance Board cases, State Transport Undertakings Appeal cases, Consumer disputes and Housing Board cases.
4.2. CONTINUOUS LOK ADALAT FOR HIGH COURT CASES:
The High Court Legal Services Committee hitherto was organizing Lok Adalat twice a week. Apart from Motor Accident Appeals, certain other categories like Writ, Matrimonial appeals, Land Acquisition cases, etc. are taken up for consideration and settled before such Lok Adalat. The retired judges of the Hon’ble High Court with two other members preside over the Lok Adalat. Now, in order to make the Lok Adalat continuous and permanent one, two separate courts are established in the principal seat of the High Court, Madras on a day today basis and also Lok Adalat are organized in the District headquarters every month, presided over by the sitting Judges of High Court.
4.3 PENSION ADALAT:
On every month, Pension Adalat is being conducted in the State Authority with effect from 22.02.2002 to assist the retired people to get relief and to prevent them from wandering pillar to post in various related Departments. Hon’ble Retired Judge of the Madras High Court presides over the Pension Adalat with one Retired IAS Officer and an eminent senior lawyer as members to settle various kinds of pension disputes of the retired people. The Government has also appointed a Nodal Officer to monitor so as to enable the various Departments to participate in the Lok Adalat and to represent their views to assess the eligibility of the grievances of retired persons. In case, the grievances of the retired persons have to be considered on compassionate grounds, the Presiding Judge makes the request to the Government, for passing of a special Government Order to provide the benefits to the retired persons. The benefits obtained by the retired persons through Pension Adalat are a milestone in the Legal Aid Programme.
4.4. PRISON ADALAT
It is pertinent to note that more than 50% of the population in jail is under-trials. The first prison Lok Adalat was inaugurated on 15.8.2000 in Chennai Central prison followed by Madurai, Trichy, Vellore, Cuddalore, Salem, Tirunelveli and Coimbatore.
In Vellore, there are two prisons, one for males and another for females and for each of those prisons, Prison Adalat is established. The functioning of Prison Adalats has reduced not only the pendency of cases but also the prison population. A Legal Aid Clinic is functioning in the Central Prison, at Puzhal in Chennai in Prison I, II, and Special Prison for Women
NATIONAL LOK ADALAT
National LokAdalats are being conducted across the country as per the directions of Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India/Patron-in-Chief of the National Legal Services Authority and Hon’ble the Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority.
On receipt of the above directions as per the guidance of Hon’ble the Chief Justice/Patron-in- Chief of this Authority and Hon’ble the Executive Chairman of this Authority, National Lok Adalats are being conducted across the State
5. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTRES
ADR Centres are functioning in 30 Districts and it is made available to public in all the 30 districts in the State. Simultaneously this Authority is creating awareness among the public on the concept of mediation and the methods of ADR. We hope the settlement of cases with the aid of ADR Centres would be very encouraging in the days to come
In Tiruppur District foundation stone is laid for construction of ADR Building and construction is going on. In Ariyalur District site for construction of ADR Building is to be identified
6. TELECAST OF NEETHI MANDRA SEYTHIGAL (NEWS FROM COURTS):
To highlight the functioning of the Courts and the reaching of real goal to the public through courts and also the functioning of the Legal Services Authority, Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority telecast the news related to the Court Proceedings through Doordarshan (Pothigai Channel) with effect from 27.09.2007.
This programme is being telecast on every Saturday 10.30 A.M. in Podigai Channel. The duration of programme is 25 minutes.
LEGAL AWARENESS PROGRAMME THROUGH COMMUNITY RADIO:
Legal Awareness Programme through Community Radio was launched on 8.2.2015. VOICE OF LAW:
“Voice of Law” a continuous programme on Legal Awareness by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, Chennai in association with All India Radio, Chennai is being broadcasted every Sunday at 8.30 a.m. in First Channel of All India Radio, Chennai on and from 15.02.2015.
The National Legal Services Authority has sanctioned a mobile van for Lok Adalats, Legal Awareness Camps and screening of publicity films to the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority.
The Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority under the able guidance of the Hon’ble Chief Justice/Patron-in-Chief and the Hon’ble Executive Chairman, have taken-up the legal aid movement in various spheres and thereby spreading legal literacy, extending legal assistances to the poor and marginalized and also implementing various Alternative Disputes Resolution programmes to reduce the pendency of cases in the Courts and has miles to go to achieve more and more.
High Court Legal Service Committee
HIGH COURT LEGAL SERVICES COMMITTEE. MADRAS
(Alternative Disputes Redressal Building, North Fort Road, High Court Campus, Madras.)
CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMITTEE
The High Court Legal Services Committee (in short, HCLSC) has been constituted Under Section 8A of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The Hon’ble The Chief Justice is the Patron-in-Chief of the Committee. A Senior most Judge of the High Court is nominated as the Chairman and two or three Hon’ble Judges are nominated as Members of the Committee.
A Secretary, in the cadre of the District Judge is placed on deputation from the Tamil Nadu Judicial Service for supervising the functions and activities of the Office of the HCLSC.
FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE
HCLSC is to give effect to the policy and directions of the State Legal Services Authority and to perform such functions as the State Legal Services Authority may fix by its Regulations. Thus, HCLSC is giving free legal assistance to the poor litigants for filing fresh cases and to conduct old cases before the Hon’ble High Court. The HCLSC is maintaining Panel of Lawyers to give such assistance. HCLSC is also extending legal assistance to the poor detenus languishing in Jails, detained under the Preventive Detention Acts. This Committee also help the poor litigants to prefer appeals before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through SCLSC by forwarding necessary applications along with records. The public can have access and utilise the services of this Committee by approaching the HCLSC directly or by Post.
CONDUCT OF MEGA/NATIONAL LOK ADALATS
The HCLSC is conducting Mega/National Lok Adalats as mandated by National Legal Services Committee, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi on specified subjects of cases pending on the file of the Madras High Court, on the scheduled dates. Thus, on and from 29.3.2008, up to 9.4.2016, 31 Mega and National Lok Adalats have been conducted, presided over by 210 Benches, in which 24,749 cases have been listed and totally 3,352 cases have been settled for a total compromise sum of Rs.135,73,32,546/-.
CONDUCT OF PERMANENT AND CONTINUOUS LOK ADALATS
The HCLSC is also conducting Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalats, for the pending cases of the Madras High Court, presided over by two retired Honhle Judges of the High Court on and from 1.10.2007. Accordingly, from 1.10.2007, up to 29.4.2016, for 1801 working days, 3602 Lok Adalat Benches have been constituted so far and 1,33,480 cases were listed and out of which, 8,416 cases have been settled involving a total compromise sum of Rs.259,22,89,976/-.
Union Territory of Puducherry Legal Services Authority
This Authority also conducts Legal Aid and Legal Literacy Camps all over the Territory.
Complaints if any are heard from the people and solutions are suggested. Wherever
necessary, the complaints are taken to the office of the Authority and appropriately dealt
with. People are also educated on their legal rights, how and where to assert them, and
whom to be contacted for legal assistance etc.
UNION TERRITORY OF PONDICHERRY LEGAL SERVICES AUTHORITY (UTPLSA)
UTPLSA - Its historical back ground:
Legal Aid Movement in Pondicherry was started in 1976 under the direction of a Retired District Judge and a devoted group of Law College Students. The Legal Aid Clinic run thus far by the students and teachers of the Law College came under this Retired Judge and his group of Law students. The Clinic offered legal advice and rendered preventive legal services, enlightening the public of their legal rights and duties. A group of Lawyers on the panel of the Clinic rendered their services to parties in Civil and Criminal matters. The Clinic engaged, additionally, in Legal Literacy and Community Legal Education Works with the help of mobile Legal Aid Squads. Further, it gave research support to the solution of poverty-related problems and suggested legislative changes and administrative reforms. Eventually, the activities of the Clinic diversified into consumer movements, environmental protection, community health and group legal services for workers and peasants. All this while, it functioned as a voluntary agency subsisting on the free services of social-minded Judges, lawyers, law teachers and law students. With the establishment of Cl LAS (Committee for the Implementation of Legal Aids Scheme) in 1980, the Government of Pondicherry, constituted in 1983, the Pondicherry Legal Aid and Advice Board with the Chief Minister as Chairman, the Law Minister as Vice-Chairman and a retired District Judge as Member Secretary with financial assistance flowing, for the first time, from the Government. Regional Legal Aid Committee was constituted for each of the outlying areas: Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The provisions of Chapter - III of the National Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was extended to Pondicherry on 10-2-1998. Soon on 01.05.1998, the Union Territory of Pondicherry Legal Services Authority was born.
The main objectives of this Authority is to educate and sensitize the common man on street regarding their legal rights, to propagate the objectives of the National Legal Literacy Mission, to highlight our solidarity and support to the cause of the underprivileged, to highlight the constitutional mandate of social justice, equality and equal opportunities to the weaker sections etc. The horizon of our service does not stop with that. We try to explore beyond.
The Legal Services Authority is engaged in various activities with a special focus on poorer sections of the people. It renders legal help to (1) a member of the SC/ST (2) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggars (3) a woman or a child (4) a disabled person (5) a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, etc., (6) an industrial disaster workman (7) a person in custody including custody in a protective home (8) any other person whose annual income is less than Rs.50.000/-. This Authority engages for people belonging to the above said categories the services of a lawyer to prosecute or defend their cases, the cost being borne by this Authority. A large number of people are benefited this way.
MADRAS HIGH COURT ARBITRATION CENTRE
The Madras High Court Arbitration Centre was inaugurated on 28.03.2015 in the 1st Floor of the newly constructed 9 Floor Records Building situated in the High Court Campus Chennai. The Madras High Court Arbitration Centre has become functional after its inauguration on 22.06.2015.
The Madras High Court Arbitration Centre released the “Madras High Court Arbitration Centre (MHCAC) (Internal Management) Rules, 2014”, “the Madras High Court Arbitration Centre (MHCAC) (Arbitration Proceedings) Rules, 2014” and “the Madras High Court Arbitration Centre (MHCAC) (Administrative Cost and Arbitrator’s Fees) Rules, 2014” which have come into effect vide Gazette notification dated 01.04.2015 and the same is hosted in the High Court Website.
The Madras High Court Arbitration Centre consists of Four Arbitration Halls which are fully Air Conditioned and have Multi Mediator Projector with Screen facility , 4 Nos. of Members Room, Reception, Administration Room, Waiting Hall, Library, Dining and Records Room.
The Centre is situated within the Complex of the High Court, Madras giving easy access to Advocates and Litigant Public.
HOW THE PUBLIC CAN ACCESS THE ARBITRATION CENTRE:
Any person desirous to commence an arbitration under the Rules shall submit his Request in writing for Arbitration (the “Request”) to the Secretariat, addressed to the Registrar, with a simultaneous copy to the Respondent.
The Request shall, inter-alia, contain the following information:
a) Name in full, description, contact details and address of each of the parties;
b) Description of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claims;
c) Statement of the relief sought, including, to the extent possible, an indication of any amount claimed and all supporting documents;
d) Relevant agreement and, in particular, a copy of written arbitration clause or written arbitration agreement;
e) The issues to be adjudicated;
f) All relevant particulars concerning the arbitrators, their number, qualifications, if any, prescribed in the arbitration agreement on which parties have already agreed in writing;
g) order of Court, if any, passed in proceedings referred to in Rule 1(3) of the Rules, along with the signed joint memorandum.
The Claimant shall submit sufficient number of copies of the Request with one copy of the Centre, one copy each for the Arbitrator(s) and one copy each for the Respondent (S).
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015 has paved the way for passing of awards within 12 months and provides fast track proceedings for passing of awards within Six months.
Madras High Court Judges Library
The High Court Library is meant for Honourable Judges only. Judges Library is well equipped and functions as the heart of the Court. Judges Library caters the requirements of Honourable Judges by providing latest case law, legal news, articles, commentaries and law reports. In addition to the main library, it maintains 39 Court Libraries at present. The Library also having many rare collection of legal documents like Madras Regulations 1802, 1803, Madras High Court Reports 1862 etc. The Judges Library has subscribed to many on line databases like SCC Online, Manupatra Online etc. There has been a well established library at the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. The Judges Library works under the guidance of the Honourable Committee constituted by the Honourable The Chief Justice. All the Books are classified according to subject wise and entries of books made in the Excel Work Sheet. Now, the KOHA Library Automation Software is installed as per the instructions of the Honourable Supreme Court and the process of data entry is on completion.
LIBRARY COLLECTION :
The Library collection comprises of various Indian, Foreign Journals/Reports, Text Books, Law Commentaries on various branches of Law, bound as well as loose volumes of Journals, Bare Acts (Central as well as State), Gazettes of Tamil Nadu, Manuals and General Books. Currently Library subscribes to the 45 Law Journals and 4 English Newspapers and 4 Tamil Newspapers
LEGAL DATABASES :
The Library has subscribed to following legal databases for providing legal research services to the Honourable Judges.
1. SCC Case Finder CD Rom with English Law.
2. SCC Online (with International Database)
3. Manupatra Online
4. Excus CD Rom.
5. ITR Online.
6. VAT LAWS Online.
7. LAW WEEKLY CD Rom
8. CURRENT TAMILNADU CASES CD Rom
Honourable Judges Library is providing following Library and Information Services to the Honourable Judges :
1. Manual query solution of Legal Topics and Statutory Amendments is a regular Library service.
2. Borrowed Book Services.
3. Information retrieval through Legal Databases.
4. Information retrieval through Internet.
5. Reference Service.
6. Newspaper Clipping Services.