At a time, when courts are faced with a huge backlog of yet-to-be heard cases, four of the seven courts located at Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram are non-functional only because a judge is yet to be posted there.
The capital city has quite a few courts dotting its landscape spread right upto the suburbs of Neyyatinkara, Nedumangad, Attingal, Varkala and Kattakada. So while the main court complex is located at Vanchiyoor within the city limits, the others are evenly distributed among the aforesaid areas.
Attingal has under its jurisdiction:
- A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT)
- A Family Court
- A Sub-Court
- A Munsiff Court
- Three First Class Judicial Magistrate Courts I, II and III, of which one is a temporary one
District court records reveal that the Munsiff Court, and the First Class Judicial Magistrate Courts I & III at Attingal are yet to have a judge posted. Sources say that even though the Judicial Magistrate court-II has a judge, she is right now on maternity leave, thereby creating another vacant post.
When asked to comment on the existing scenario, Advocate S. Kumari -former chairperson of the Attingal Municipality- said, “I am not aware of the exact reason why the said posts are lying vacant, but it’s a fact that the posts vacated by judges -due to transfers- before the court adjourned for the summer break are yet to be filled, even after the commencement of the functioning of the subordinate courts in mid-May.”
Summer break was from 13 April to 18 May this year, according to the Court Calendar-2016. When The News Minute tried to contact one of the registrars at the Kerala High Court, all she said was that the subject did not come under her jurisdiction, and that another colleague dealt with the same.
She even went on to add that it would be of no use to try and get in touch with the said individual, as there were restrictions applicable on interaction with the media, and asked us to get in touch with the court PRO.
After persistent efforts to get across to the PRO, all we got was a curt reply that he was not the competent authority to comment on the same and that we ought to get in touch with the registrar concerned!
That’s when Kumari came to the rescue and herself took the initiative to speak to the president of Attingal Bar Association -Vijay Mohanan Nair- who in turn spoke to the concerned registrar of the Kerala High Court who went on to assure him that the said posts would be filled in another couple of months.
As of now, the judge of the Magistrate Court at Nedumangad holds court at the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court-II at Attingal every Tuesday to deal with urgent cases. This however offers only a slight leeway to deal with the cases that keep piling up in these various courts.
As Kumari puts it: “Since it’s been almost one and a half months, there is a backlog by default.” She was however reluctant to quote the exact figures for the same, saying that only the court staff would have the numbers.
Going by what was assured, it would still be another month or so, before justice would start being dispensed with, for the harassed lot at Attingal. Further delay would only end in denying justice.
The other courts in Thiruvananthapuram are:
- A Principal District and Sessions Court
- Seven Additional District and Sessions Courts
- Six Subordinate Judges or Assistant Sessions Courts
- Three Motor Accident Claims Tribunals (MACT)
- Four Additional MACTs
- Three Family Courts
- A Cooperative Tribunal
- A Tribunal for Local Self-Government Institutions
- A Chief Judicial Magistrate Court
- A Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court
- 15 Judicial First Class Magistrate Courts
- Nine Munsiff Courts
- A Rent Control Court
- A Special Judge under the Prevention of Corruption Act
- An Enquiry Commission
The Kerala High Court is located in Ernakulam.