Madras HC Judge Releases Own Report Card, Highlights Feats, Critically Analyses Performance
In a letter dated June 27, Justice Swaminathan said that has released this performance card as a measure of judicial accountability.
File photo of the Madras High Court.
Chennai: In an unusual move, Justice GR Swaminathan, a sitting judge of the Madras High Court, has come out with a performance card highlighting his achievements and admitting to his follies, on completion of two years of judicial service.
Justice Swaminathan assumed charge as a high court judge on June 28, 2017.
In a letter dated June 27, he said that he disposed of a total of 21,478 cases, of which 18,944 were disposed of while he sat on a division bench and 2,534 were disposed of sitting singly. He added that he has released this performance card as a measure of judicial accountability.
“I believe in judicial accountability and I therefore present the performance card below,” he said.
"I have introspected and I wonder if things could have been a little different and far better. My conscience says "Yes". I have been impatient, sometimes even rude. I hope to put on better behaviour henceforth", he said.
Some of the recent judgments passed by Justice Swaminathan were widely discussed. In April this year, he ruled that as per the Hindu Marriage Act, a ‘transsexual’ is also a "bride" and the term need not necessarily refer only to a woman. In another notable judgment, he said that prisoners have right to meet their spouses in privacy.
On June 17, he delivered a landmark verdict recognising the right of asylum seekers in the country to apply for Indian citizenship. The ruling was on a plea by Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who had fled to India in 1983 and had been residing in a refugee camp in Tiruchi.
Nevertheless, doing his own critical assessment, the judge said that while he had reserved orders in about 75 cases, he is not in a position to deliver orders without the benefit of rehearing the matters.
"I had reserved a number of matters and I find it difficult to prepare the orders without the benefit of rehearing. But then, I am not supposed to retain the bundles once the cycle is over. Therefore, with heavy heart I am releasing almost 75 cases from my board. I, with folded hands convey my apologies to the counsel and to the concerned litigants for not giving disposal to those cases.”
“Henceforth, I shall dictate all the judgments in the open court. This I think will avoid the situation that I am now facing."
“I, with folded hands convey my apologies to the counsel and the litigants concerned for not giving disposal to those cases. Henceforth, I shall dictate all the judgments in the open court. This, I think will avoid the situation that I am facing now. I have introspected and wonder if things could have been a little different and far better.
The judge also urged the lawyer community to ensure that cases are dealt with expeditiously and asked them to be ready with cases immediately after his roster gets announced by the Chief Justice once in three months.
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