Manipur High Court Is Functioning Normally: Registrar General Refutes Allegations Of Inaccessibility
In an exclusive conversation with Verdictum, Yumkham Rother, the Registrar General of the Manipur High Court said that the High Court is not only functioning normally as earlier, but it has adapted appropriately to the change in circumstances. He highlighted that the Court has implemented a hybrid system, allowing lawyers to participate either physically or virtually.
Yesterday, the Solicitor General had opposed two petitions seeking quashing of FIRs registered in Manipur, expressing concern that certain sections are trying to create a false perception that the Courts in Manipur are closed. He suggested that the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court should communicate with the Registrar General of the Manipur High Court to ascertain whether it was functioning regularly.
The Registrar General of the Manipur High Court in Imphal has clarified that the High Court was indeed functioning normally.
It argued before the Apex Court yesterday by Senior Advocate Anand Grover that a particular community in Manipur is compelled to approach the Apex Court for relief because Lawyers are unwilling to represent them due to threats. During the hearing, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud expressed displeasure with the trend of approaching the Apex Court directly for quashing of FIRs, saying that the Court should not be turned into a "Section 482 Court."
The Registrar General vehemently debunked the notion that the High Court is non-operational, emphasizing that they publish daily cause lists and upload orders promptly on their website. He further pointed out that lawyers from Delhi and other places outside the state are actively participating in proceedings of the High Court online, dispelling any doubts about the Court's accessibility. "The statement that it is not functional is not true", said the Registrar General.
Regarding security concerns, Yumkham Rother acknowledged that there was a brief disruption in the month of May due to a curfew imposed during the period of violence. However, he said that the curfew has since been relaxed, now running from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. He added that court officials have been issued curfew passes to ensure uninterrupted proceedings.
"We have been functioning unless the curfew was imposed and that was in the early part of May when the violence started. But now the curfew is normally relaxed from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. So it normally doesn't affect the litigants and lawyers. Courts officials have curfew passes", said the Registrar General.
Responding to a query about allegations that lawyers are receiving threats for representing parties before the High Court, the Registrar General said that he has not received any such complaint. Also, he said that he is not aware of any organized boycott against members of any particular community by lawyers.
Concluding the conversation with Verdictum, the Registrar General firmly reiterated that the Manipur High Court is fully operational and functioning efficiently. He also expressed a commitment to promptly respond to any official communication that may be received from the Secretary General of the Supreme Court.
It is worth mentioning that the Manipur High Court has recently taken steps to enhance accessibility. The High Court has added video conferencing links to courtrooms, making them more convenient for both lawyers and litigants to connect remotely. Furthermore, in a statement released by the High Court, they announced that a total of 88 cases were initiated in the month of July alone.
Recently, the Supreme Court was told today by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the intention of the Editors Guild of India, who had approached the Court seeking the quashing of the FIRs lodged against four of its members, is to turn the issue into a national political issue by approaching the Apex Court instead of the Manipur High Court.