Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana to ensure social diversity in the Supreme Court and High Courts.

The chief minister, in his letter to Modi and Chief Justice Ramana, said that a broad-based and heterogeneous group of judges can “reflect the views and values of society as a whole”, especially on historical, traditional, linguistic and cultural matters.

“This is because they would provide wider perspectives since the group of judges would naturally interpret and enforce the law based on their multivarious backgrounds,” he said.

Stalin said that in the past few years, the country had been witnessing “declining representation from all the sections of society” in the higher judiciary. “Judicial diversity is fundamental to the quality of judging,” he said.

All states should have proportional representation among Supreme Court judges for it to reflect the diversity of Indian society, Stalin said.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister also called for the establishment of permanent regional benches of the Supreme Court. He said that Article 32 of the Constitution (right of an individual to move the Supreme Court) is only practically available to citizens who live geographically close to the Supreme Court, or to persons who are financially privileged.

The establishment of such regional benches would not affect the judiciary’s independence, as they would remain within the control of the Chief Justice of India, Stalin said. He has asked for regional benches in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The chief minister also demanded that Tamil be declared an official language of the Madras High Court in addition to English.