Purushothaman is an advocate practicing before the Madras High Court. He has handled many noteworthy pro-bono cases before Madras High Court. He had filed and argued various cases ranging from compulsory registration of marriages with medical certificates of both the spouses, writ seeking declaration about the age of aircraft to passengers while booking tickets, providing free tickets for aged pilgrims, the introduction of Land Caveats in the Registration Departments in India to prevent illegal mutation of records by miscreants based on the model of Malaysian Land Code, even to require candidates of political parties contesting in elections to disclose information about their health to voters, getting a poor patient discharged from a private hospital by filing a Habeas Corpus Petition before the High Court and so on to name a few.
In 2016, he was instrumental in Madras High Court passing an interim order in S. Kasiramalingam vs the Registrar High Court Madras, keeping in abeyance the feared amendments proposed to the Advocates Act that empowered lower judiciary to initiate contempt on a very wide range of issues leaving wide scope for misinterpretation of even genuine dissent by advocates. In that matter, in which M. Purushothaman was both the drafting and arguing counsel, High Court ordered the installation of CCTV cameras within all court halls throughout the State of Tamil Nadu. The Chief Justice of Madras High Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul J, as he was then, appreciated the concern raised by the counsel that installation of CCTVs would ensure that vital evidence recorded in trials more particularly murder cases which would affect the very life of the accused, can be guarded against any alteration.
The writ petition filed by the author as petitioner in person, in M. Purushothaman Vs Union of India and others, is widely acclaimed by parents and educationists as a pathbreaker. In this writ petition, the challenge was against the dumping of expensive, age-inappropriate books published by private publishers instead of providing economical and professionally researched age-appropriate books published by India’s premier educational research agency the National Council for Educational Research, and Training (NCERT). During, the course of the hearing, NCERT made a submission that not only too many subjects should be taught, but further submitted that even more homework should not be given for children and especially no homework should be given for children up to second standard. That made the Madras High Court to probe deeper and deliver a well-researched judgement that delves on reduction of a number of unnecessary subjects, reduction of unbearably heavy books, directions to use age-appropriate NCERT books and so on. His Lordship Mr. Justice N. Kirubakaran at the beginning of the judgement observed;
“Children are not weightlifters,
Nor school bags loaded containers”
Though we refer to teachers as Gurus and revere them they come only next to parents. Matha, Pitha, Guru, Dev, reminds us of the importance of parents. Gurus (teachers) are placed only after Matha (Mother) and Pitha (Father)… even God (Dev) is placed only after that.
Why parents cannot, be made to regularly volunteer to monitor in schools as standby force on a turn basis? This is what the idea of Compulsory Parental Monitoring is. It can be implemented universally in all schools with local adaptations suiting the circumstances.
The idea of Parental Monitoring has become more relevant in the aftermath of current the Covid-19 Pandemic situation, as Parental Monitoring would alleviate the fears of all the stakeholders, children, parents and teachers.