Viewers can now call HC judges, courtesy Asianet News

Don’t know how to get rid of encroachers upon your land? Don’t worry as top judges in Kerala are now just a phone call away.

Asianet News, the Malayalam news channel from the house of Star Jupiter Entertainment, is airing a weekly show, in which viewers can call Kerala High Court judges, including Chief Justice S. R. Bannurmath, and address their grievances to them.

The show, the first of its kind in India, will be telecast on every Sunday at 7.30 pm, starting August 02, 2009. Callers from around the world can interact with the judges live on the show, which is called Adalat (court of law).

“Callers can ask us any legal question. Well suggest possible solutions,” said Justice Kurian Joseph; while Justice Bannurmath says, “We are thankful (to the channel) for allotting prime time slot to the show.”

The first episode, that was aired last Sunday, was shot on the high court premises in Kochi on Friday. Biju Pankaj, an official of Asianet News, said the channel was ‘flooded’ with calls – mostly from the Gulf countries, which have a huge number of workers from the state – seeking legal remedies.

“On the first day of the recording, we received some 10,000 calls but were able to put through only 100 of them to the judges. The judges had agreed to spare 45 minutes per week for the show. But the shoot went on for over two hours and still many calls couldn’t be attended.” Pankaj adds.

The channel chose Friday as the day of recording because it is a public holiday in the Gulf, where more than a dozen Malayalam channels are engaged in a fierce battle for supremacy.

Many of the callers from the Gulf said they had trouble protecting their property in India from encroachers because they couldn’t stay back and file a case that was likely to go on for years. Taking note of this, the judges said they’ll pressure authorities for fast- track courts to deal with such cases.

The channel expects the programme to become a huge hit. Sponsors are already queuing up, having realised the shows commercial potential.

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