First Time Ever, High Court Hears Case Via Whatsapp: Legal Revolution Via Technology?
What seems to be an legal anomaly, it is the first time in the annals of the Madras High Court that a judge has not only conducted a case through ‘WhatsApp’ but also done it on Sunday.
While being stationed in Nagercoil, Justice G R Swaminathan took up the case where he visited to attend a marriage function.
He took the case on the submission of P R Srinivasan, who said that his village will face the ‘divine wrath’ if the proposed ‘Rath’ (Car) festival was not held today. He is the hereditary trustee of Shri Abheeshta Varadaraja Swamy temple.
Emergency Sitting Through “WhatsApp”
The judge said in the opening sentence of his order that the due to the fervent prayer of the writ petitioner, he had to hold an emergency sitting from Nagercoil and conduct the case through WhatsApp.
The session which was regarding the temple in Dharmapuri district had the judge hearing the case from Nagercoil, petitioner’s counsel V Raghavachari joining from one place and Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram, at another place.
Holding that the Inspector attached to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Department does not have the jurisdiction to issue an order directing the temple Thakkar (Fit person) and the hereditary trustee to stop the car festival, the judge quashed the same.
The Advocate-General said that there is no government opposition to the ceremony. However, in a similar procession in Thanjavur district there was a tragedy and in the light of the same, the safety of the members of the general public is the concern.
Last month in the Thanjavur district, 11 persons were killed on the spot and 17 others injured due to electrocution when the chariot came in contact with a High Tension electricity line during a procession.
He added that if all the defects pointed out in the impugned communication are rectified, the State does not have any objection with the procession and it can very well be conducted.
Judge Directed Strict Upholding To Rules & Regulations
The judge directed the temple authorities to strictly follow the rules and regulations stipulated by the government and quashed the impugned order.
It also ordered the state-run discom TANGEDCO to cut power supply in the area for a few hours until the processions till it reaches back to its stand (Nilai).
After quashing the impugned order, the judge directed the temple authorities to strictly follow the rules and regulations stipulated by the government while holding temple festivals and the state-run discom TANGEDCO to cut power supply in the area for a few hours, from the beginning of the processions till it reaches back to its stand (Nilai).