Madras High Court Current Affairs

Madras HC orders TN Government to enact law to remove Seemai Karuvelam trees

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has ordered Tamil Nadu government to enact a law with prohibitory and penal clauses to eradicate Seemai Karuvelam (prosopis juliflora) trees within two months.

Seemai Karuvelam is invasive species of tree harmful to the environment as it sucks lot of water ultimately affect the environment and agricultural activities.

What is the issue?

The HC’s order came after it heard a batch of petitions including Public Interest Litigations (PILs) seeking directions to remove the seemai karuvelam trees claiming that they are harmful to the environment and agriculture. Earlier in December 2016, the bench of high court had directed state government to completely uproot this tree species from public as well as private lands in 13 districts under its territorial jurisdiction by mid February 2017.

What court order says?
  • State Government should enact a law with prohibitory and penal clauses to eradicate hazardous species Seemai Karuvelam (prosopis juliflora) trees within two months from all 32 districts of the State.
  • The State Government must also release perennial funds to the district collectors in the state for removing of these tree species completely from public as well as private lands.

About Seemai Karuvelam tree

Seemai Karuvelam tree species are native to West Africa. It was brought to Tamil Nadu in 1960s as fuelwood. It disrupts the local ecosystem of its habitation by soaking in all the ground water near it. It is an invasive species that has infiltrated the water bodies and dry lands of Tamil Nadu.



Madras High Court bans unauthorised Sharia courts in Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court has banned all unauthorised Sharia courts in mosques across Tamil Nadu, saying centres of worship were only to be used for religious purposes.

The court’s pronouncement came in response to a PIL filed by a non-resident Indian mentioning that such sharia courts are operating as a court of law from mosques and dealt largely with matrimonial disputes, even going to the extent of passing divorce orders.

Madras High Court Judgement
  • Complete ban on all unauthorised Sharia courts functioning in premises of mosques.
  • Religious places and other places of worships are meant only for religious purposes.
  • Tamil Nadu State government to ensure that such unauthorised courts do not function.

Earlier in 2014, Supreme Court had refused to ban Sharia courts saying the interpretations made by Islamic judges and are not legally binding. It even held that these courts could pass verdicts only when individuals submit to them voluntarily.