Not Appropriate To Restrict To Principal Bench: Madras High Court Restores Madurai Bench's Power To Hear Pan-State Matters

Upasana Sajeev

5 April 2024 3:30 AM GMT

  • Not Appropriate To Restrict To Principal Bench: Madras High Court Restores Madurai Benchs Power To Hear Pan-State Matters

    The Madras High Court has recently modified an earlier order and restored the power of the Madurai Bench to hear pan-state matters. The bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice R Hemalatha felt that it would not be appropriate to limit hearing of pan-state matters to the principal bench especially when the Central Government notification for setting up the Madurai bench did...

    The Madras High Court has recently modified an earlier order and restored the power of the Madurai Bench to hear pan-state matters.

    The bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice R Hemalatha felt that it would not be appropriate to limit hearing of pan-state matters to the principal bench especially when the Central Government notification for setting up the Madurai bench did not have any such classification. The court however added that the Chief Justice would continue to have the administrative powers to transfer cases from the Madurai bench to the principal seat.

    β€œTo restrict the pan-State matters only at the principal seat would not be appropriate in view of the notification constituting the Bench at Madurai. If the Chief Justice feels that the case, instead of being heard at Madurai, is to be heard at Chennai, the same can be transferred by the Chief Justice at any point of time. However, blanket order that when pan-State matters are subject matter of litigation, the same should be filed only at principal seat would not be appropriate for the functioning of the Bench at Madurai nor it would be in tune with the notification constituting Madurai Bench and the judgment of the Full Bench of this Court in the case of B.Stalin (supra),” the court observed.

    The court was hearing a review petition filed by the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA) seeking to review an observation in an earlier order passed by the then Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice R Hemalatha. In its order, the bench had observed that when pan-state matters are the subject matter of any litigation, including public interest litigation, they should be carried to the principal seat of the court.

    The court noted that in the notification establishing the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, the bench was given all powers and jurisdiction vested on the High Court with respect to the districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai, Dindugal, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruchirappalli, Perambalur and Karur in the State of Tamil Nadu. Subsequently, through an amendment the districts of Nagapattinam and Perambalur Districts were deleted from the jurisdiction of Madurai bench and attached to the Principal bench.

    The court also noted that previously, a Full bench of the Madras High Court in B.Stalin v. The Registrar, Supreme Court of India had also taken note of the legal position on the powers of the Madurai bench. Thus, the court was of the opinion that restricting pan-state matters will be against the notification.

    The court thus allowed the review petition and recalled the impugned para in the earlier order.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.M.Ajmal Khan Senior Counsel For Mr.T.Cibichakraborthy

    Counsel for the Respondent: Mr. S. Ashok, Mr. A.Edwin Prabakar State Government Pleader, Mr.S.Ravichandran Addl. Govt. Pleader (HR & CE)

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 150

    Case Title: Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA) v A Radhakrishnan and Others

    Case No: Rev.Aplw.(MD) No.57 of 2024

    Next Story