Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Small court

With the sprawling campus of the High Court of Judicature at Madras (to give it its proper title; some parts of Chennai are still Madras!) literally around the corner from this building, few people pay attention to the processes of justice carried out here. Even within the pecking order of the subordinate courts, the Metropolitan Magistrates come pretty low down - in fact they are 17th on the list of Subordinate Courts in Chennai, coming in after the Court of Small Causes. No great legal razzle-dazzle happens here, for the Magistrates Courts deal with the minutiae - affidavits, remand orders, minor warrants and suchlike things.

Moreover, the Metropolitan Magistrates Court at George Town is the smallest collection of these magistrates in the city, with only 5 of the city's 26 MMs operating from here. And yet, this building manages to hold its own, mainly by being quite different from its neighbours on Rajaji Salai. While the buildings of the General Post Office and the State Bank of India's Main Branch are rich with architectural flourishes, this one just sits there as a regular, 3-storied, boxy structure, with just that little kink in its facade.

It still has some vanity; what I had earlier mistaken for patches of white plaster, or bits of handbills stuck to the building, are actually mosaic tiles, forming beautiful patterns, and even going as far as to sport a 'photographic negative' effect along one line on the top floor!

1 comment:

sreesnake said...

I was about to think 'they have spoiled it by pasting hand bills and presto!! In the larger legal circles (read among high court lawyers) the talk is that the so called 'lawyers' who frequent the 'small courts' are actually 'touts'!!