Chennai: A group of advocates today created a flutter in the Madras High Court when they sat in the court hall covering their mouth with black cloth demanding Tamil be made the court language, evoking Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul's displeasure.
The advocates, numbering around 12 and under the banner of Tamils Struggle Movement of Madurai, entered the court of the Chief Justice and occupied the seats in the public gallery before arrival of the Judge. They also held a banner and placards in support of their demand.
As the CJ arrived, two of the lawyers, wearing robes, moved to the seats meant for advocates.
Immediately after taking his seat, the Chief Justice noticed the presence of the protesting lawyers and sought to know the reason.
One of the lawyers said they wanted Tamil to be made the court language in the high court.
Showing his displeasure at the protest, Justice Kaul said the court was not the right forum for making such demands and that they should approach the government.
The Judge said despite intimation of possibility of such protest, the local police force had not been able to prevent the situation.
However, the lawyers in the post-lunch session removed the black cloth though they remained seated in the court.
"It is necessary that a correction mechanism is introduced to restrict the ingress and egress in the court for security reason. A proper system has to be devised," he said.
It "does appear that there is reluctance" with the police force to take any action possibly arising from the past history of confrontation between the lawyer and police, Justice Kaul said.
There have been past incidents of lawyers entering the courts, even shouting slogans and taking out processions through corridors on issues connected or unconnected with the courts, the Judge said.
Thus, the authorities may take steps to declare the Madras High Court a high security zone, he said asking why an independent security system be not put in place for the court.
Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan, who was present, submitted that it had become routine for a section of lawyers to protest like this.
"This is not the first time they are doing. They have been doing it outside, now they have come inside... Even though police attempted to stop them, they came inside saying they are advocates and cannot be prevented from entering the court," Rajagopalan said.
He also said police did not want to go beyond a point in view of past untoward incidents, including the violent clashes between lawyers and police in February 2009.
Regarding the court's poser on independent security, the ASG said he would get instructions from the Central Government.