22 July 2023 7:05 AM GMT
In a circular issued on July 7th, the Registrar General (in charge) of Madras High Court has informed the District Judiciary that as per the resolution of the Full Court of Madras High Court, henceforth, except the statutes and portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Saint Thiruvalluvar, no other portraits and pictures shall be displayed anywhere inside the court premises.“Very recently on...
In a circular issued on July 7th, the Registrar General (in charge) of Madras High Court has informed the District Judiciary that as per the resolution of the Full Court of Madras High Court, henceforth, except the statutes and portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Saint Thiruvalluvar, no other portraits and pictures shall be displayed anywhere inside the court premises.
“Very recently on 11.04.2023, the Hon’ble Full Court considered a similar request, and reiterating all the earlier resolutions (supra), unanimously resolved that except the statues and portraits of Mahatma Gandhiji and Saint Thiruvalluvar, no other portraits and pictures shall be displayed anywhere inside the Court premises,” the circular reads.
It added that all Principal District Judges/District Judges/Principal Judges/District Judge-cum-Chief Judicial Magistrate of the Districts and the Chief Judge, Puducherry are to strictly adhere to these resolutions. They were further directed to take action by giving suitable complaints to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The circular also said that representations were being received from the Advocates’ Association from time to time, seeking permission to open the portraits of Dr. BR Ambedkar and Senior Advocates of the Advocates’/Bar Association concerned. It also stated that these issues had previously been considered by the Full Court of the Madras High Court in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2019, and recently in April 2023.
The Circular says that on October 22nd 2008, the Full Bench had rejected the request of Tamil Nadu Dr. B.R Ambedkar Advocates Association for fixing the portraits of National Leaders in all Court Halls in Tamil Nadu.
Later, on March 11th, 2010, noting that there were incidents wherein statues of National Leaders were damaged leading to friction as well as a law and order situation, and since there were demands to erect statues of different political leaders at different centers including court campuses, the Full Court again resolved that there shall be no more erection of any statue in any of the Court campuses, whether at Chennai or at Madurai, District Courts or Taluk Courts or any other Court premises, subordinate to the High Court.
This resolution was reiterated in the Full Court’s resolution dated April 20th, 2011 saying that no statue would be permitted inside court premises.
Following these resolutions, on April 27th, 2013, the Full Court directed the Principal District Judge, Kancheepuram to persuade the Alandur Court Lawyers’ Association to remove the portraits of BR Ambedkar from the entrance hall of the newly constructed Combined Court Building and rejected the request by Cuddalore Bar to display the portrait of Dr. BR Ambedkar in the newly constituted special courts.
These resolutions were reiterated in the meetings held by Full Court in December 2013 and 2019 until recently in the meeting held on April 2023, where it was resolved that except portraits and statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Saint Thiruvalluvar, no other portraits/statues will be allowed.
As per reports, a section of lawyers have planned to stage demonstrations for the withdrawal of this circular.