New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana with three demands concerning the judiciary. In his letter, Stalin sought better representation of the diversity in the country, setting up of regional benches of the Supreme Court, and giving Tamil the status of official language in the high court.
Highlighting a decline in equal representation in the courts, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said, “For the past few years, we have been witnessing declining representation from all the sections of the society in the higher judiciary, leading to a ‘diversity deficit’. Judicial diversity is fundamental to the quality of judging.”
“A broad based, heterogeneous group of Judges representing various sections of the society as a whole alone can reflect the views and values of society as a whole, particularly on issues involving historical, traditional, linguistic and cultural matters,” he said.
Stalin requested that “social diversity and social justice” be maintained during the appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges.
Pointing out the issue of inaccessibilty to or difficulty in approaching the Supreme Court for many, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister sought the establishment of “Permanent Regional Benches” of the Supreme Court of India.
“Considering the fact that the Supreme Court is located at New Delhi (which is not equidistant to all parts of the country) and is far away from many States, particularly the Southern, South Western & Eastern States, the citizens in these States are deprived of their fundamental right to approach the Court,” he said.
Stalin sought appropriate steps to establish Permanent Regional Benches of the Supreme Court in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, apart from the Constitution Bench in New Delhi, “so that the citizens in other parts of this vast country have equal access to the Supreme Court.”
Finally, he requested the Prime Minister and the CJI to consider making Tamil an official language like Hindi is in four High Courts – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In these states, Hindi has been authorised as the official language in addition to English.