Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suburban justice?

Tiruvottiyur may be within the Chennai postcode area, but for judicial matters, it falls in the Tiruvallur district. Justice in this part of Chennai is dealt with by the District Munsif (for civil matters) and the Judicial Magistrates (for criminal cases). In contrast to the pomp and show of the Madras High Court, the courts of these officials are quite homely. On a Sunday morning, it was not difficult to mistake these gates as being that of a school or something as harmless.

Judicial Magistrates can award sentences that are of less than 1 year's imprisonment (or a Rs.5,000 fine, at max) and the District Munsif has similar limits. The first court in Tiruvottiyur was apparently a sub-court that began functioning in 1965. It was only in 1996 that the sub-court was upgraded to its current status.

There was a news item that said a building for the combined DM / JM courts was inaugurated in November 2008. Though these buildings seem much older, I'm sure there are no other courts in Tiruvottiyur! 


Ramesh R said...

Thanks for the post. I live in tiruvottiyur and have seen this court mant times, used to wonder what kind of cases it must be dealing with

Shantaram said...

@Ramesh: Would be interesting to find out for sure, but I guess it would deal with loan recoveries (Rs.2000/- from SBI for starting an egg business.... that kind of stuff, I guess!)