Madras High Court judge Justice N Kirubakaran, who retired from service on Friday, said the presence of the Supreme Court only in Delhi was an “injustice" done to outsiders and urged the top court to reconsider about setting up of its regional benches in the country.
Known as ‘Popular Judge’ due to the positions he takes regarding public issues, Justice Kirubakaran suggested that if not by the apex court, then the central government must amend the Constitution to set up regional benches of the Supreme Court.
“Keeping the Supreme Court in New Delhi alone is injustice done to most of the people. It is said the Supreme Court on the administrative side rejected the setting up of regional benches. I hope the Honourable Supreme Court would reconsider the decision and permit the setting up of regional Benches," The Indian Express quoted Justice Kirubakaran, the senior most Judge of the Madras High Court, as saying during his farewell speech on Thursday.
“In the judiciary, Delhi and Bombay are power centres. States are not properly represented in the Supreme Court like how these two states are," he was quoted as saying.
Justice Kirubakaran has been a Judge of the Madras High Court since March 31, 2009.
The judge has been vocal on several social issues and had proposed reservations for economically weaker sections of the society. This was much before the union government had amended the constitution for the same.
He had to face issue with the lawyers in 2015 when his order on compulsory wearing of helmets by two-wheeler drivers had met with resistance from the lawyers who even burnt a helmet in the Madurai Bench premises of the Madras High Court. The lawyers were alleging harassment by police following the order of Justice Kirubakaran making the helmets compulsory.
In response to burning helmets inside court premises, Justice Kirubakaran was strong in criticizing those advocates who “purchase" law degrees from namesake law colleges of neighbouring states and bring disrepute to the noble profession by indulging in undesirable activities.
He had permitted the Rajiv Gandhi case convicts S. Nalini and her husband Murugan to talk to their relatives in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Justice Kirubakaran had declared former Chief Minister Late J. Jayalalithaa’s niece, J. Deepa and her nephew, J. Deepak as her legal heirs who are entitled to inherit all her properties.
The senior judge had once suggested castration as punishment for rape accused, banned TikTok, spoke against hate politics and prohibited rooster fights.
He also ordered archaeological excavations to study the history of Tamils. He had courted controversy by criticising the strike by Government school teachers of Tamil Nadu when they were well compensated compared to the private school teachers.
He had also ordered the closure of several state-run liquor shops for not maintaining the mandatory requirements under the liquor policy of the state government.
(with inputs from IANS)