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Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Moily’s bold thrust The Swadeshi Trump Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ A think tank for Chennai All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Permanent secretariat for TN GIM A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Engineering seats go abegging Silver Years of Madras Musings Tribute Tribute – M V Murugappan Polls and promises Align crops to agro climate endowments… Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tatas moving out of urea production... Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Gay abandon in pricing Welcome focus on core competence Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Funding the un-funded Tatas moving out of urea production... The Gulf aviation boom Auto components surge… Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Road development slows down Gas is the way forward WTO Meet: resolved to meet again When the President was rendered homeless… Robber barons everywhere Modi and the lady When Ratan Tata visited SRM F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Solar, solar everywhere … Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Editor's Notes Return to king coal for urea... Building loyalty through the stomach Russi Mody – a tribute Welcome GST L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… EVM is tamper-proof Rahman at CIC Medical costs hit the roof... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital An enemy’s enemy is a friend Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Contrarian cousins Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Make standards certification mandatory... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Strengthen the base... When nations steal growth from one another… Protest masters... Secularism and anti-Hinduism Adharma of opposition politics Haul over the coal Why this malaise in medical education? Valli, they are more marginalised Should we change the official year? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Convulsions in The Hindu A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu This scant respect for Law The Jan Dhan bonanza SoA @ 80 Five star activism stalls development activity Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Roaring Ro-Ro facility Where is Rajaji? Kinetic Karnataka Readers' Mail Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Preserving for the future He continues the focus on social amelioration A professional at the helm of IRDA... Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Shipping woes of Chennai companies TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Parliament in paralysis... Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Poor quality of university VCs China invests in India Nuclear power at the nucleus Tax agriculture Shanti and Sadhana through Music Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Delhi is distant Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The balancing act Multi-faceted Venkat Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Waning interest in public discussions… How Air-India loses customs... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Sweet news for TN sugar mills A more liberated TN… Quality silica from Neyveli IPL - no surprise this scam MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Wise Presidents Delhi Chalo... Making ‘my Amaravati’... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Delhi is distant… Another Indian music maestro at the UN Streamlining mandatory third party cover Towards speedy justice Discoms deserve better… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks EEC at the National Media Centre Fortune for Indian Airlines L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Mersal magnified An inexplicable neglect Revving up the manufacturing sector Airlines in India: cost and space More tributes to GR Boy, can you beat these? IAS invades NDDB... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Editor's Says GM Technology at last! He saved millions from starvation... More heat than light For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra No engine for this car Fortune 500 review Small units prefers to remain small... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Kudos to NDTV... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ TGS- The king storyteller Intellectual of rare qualities PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Cutting the nose to spite the face Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health The nuclear option Kulandai was a giant New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna The rise and fall of Annamalai University The sea- saw battle continues... No Maha Koottani in TN... CII projects higher growth… Paytm karo... Sri Lanka votes for change A glass full of corruption Mu Sigma – is no more Noble nonagenarians... The power-full Hindujas Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Tough task taking states together CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Where a state respects its litterateurs… B H Kothari - a tribute Music happens A welcome initiative by the judiciary Demise of a media baron... London, London Narayan Which side are you, Montek? Shale gas and its shallow future Modi storms Silicon Valley Pharma – overdose of copying Marketing expert Balagopal is no more West Bengal: mindless malignancy …and of a popular trade leader GNS - 100: our first subscriber When online building permits work…. Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Computation of GDP – conundrums continue to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines The star of Spencers is no more Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Put expensive assets created to use... Banning booze... Maximising the micro pricing … IPL type auction for VCs? PC’s preference for professionals Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Muffled voices for merit… TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Revive development banks... Quality education through the PPP mode Breaththrough in malaria control Solar thermal shines… Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Fuel for thought Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Cement prices continue to rise… The why of tax incentives Plummeting profits of PSBs Things happen by accident and not by design... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Build close rapport with business leaders ONGC at KG Basin When small is no larger beautiful.. TELANGANA at last…BUT TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Come elections, come advertisements... Delhi returns to BJP CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Sweeter prospects for sugar Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Why land prices zoom in TN? Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi For whom the bell tolls? Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. A friendly business group A yen for wastage… Vibrant Gujarat Telangana in top gear… The few handicaps... A proud Madrasi The rise and rise of KCP The brown list of Venkitaramanan TIAM turns a full cycle Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform
 
Towards speedy justice

For long, we have been pointing to the need for reform of the judiciary. There has been a huge pile up of cases at all three levels - district courts, High Courts, and the Supreme Court. An estimated four million cases are pending before the High Courts and 22.4 million cases before various other courts as of 12 August 2016. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur bitterly criticised the government for delaying the appointments of High Court judges. He pointed to 470 vacancies, 44.3 per cent of the total strength of judges.  “The entire system has collapsed. By the time an appeal is heard, the accused would have already served a life sentence.  This is unacceptable,” said the court.

The government has been sitting over this issue, stalling the transfer of judges and on the proposal of the Supreme Court Collegium on the appointment of 74 judges.

The sole power enjoyed by the Supreme Court for over two decades in the appointment and transfer of judges of the higher courts has not been to the liking of the executive. The government has been unhappy over the Apex Court striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in October last year. The NJAC sought to end the Supreme Court’s sole power to appoint judges. The NJAC suggested power for the executive to have an equal say with the potential to veto the recommendations of the Supreme Court.  

Shortage of judges has been only a part of the malaise. Senior advocate C Ramakrishna points to the severe shortfalls in systems and procedures and the low productivity of the entire system. IE has also pointed to the lack of attention at the admission stage, the indiscriminate sanctioning of adjournments and total unconcern for completion of the whole process within a reasonable time frame.  

The government has been responsible for a large number of cases. Tamil Nadu perhaps provides a striking example of this with the ruling party initiating libel suits against political opponents and journalists in different courts. Add to this the litigation propensity of corporates, and the government not agreeing with the verdicts of lower courts.

A significant number of grossly underemployed advocates are politically oriented and indulge in agitations and protests at the drop of the hat. Scores of days are lost at the Madras High Court through such agitations.

It used to be standard practice for advocates to take processions inside the court halls and shout at the courts including that of the Chief Justice. On 19 February 2009, one witnessed the most bizarre of agitations with lawyers throwing stones at the police and unruly elements setting fire to the police station inside the court premises.

The present Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, has been seriously attempting to bring order. A couple of his decisions resulted in the transfer of Justice C S Karnan, who had been refusing to work along with the Chief Justice and other colleagues.

A few months ago, Chief Justice Kaul brought about a significant change: worried about the limitations and inadequacy of the state police; he succeeded in handing over the security to the Central Industrial Security Force. The advocates obviously have not been happy about this change.

Some lawyers in Madurai defied the order of the Madras High Court making it mandatory for two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. Bus loads of advocates from Madurai marched through the court’s corridor shouting slogans.

Sadly, one witnesses a lack of concern for the rule of law and adherence to court orders. For several weeks now, advocates have been paralysing court work in protest of the rules framed to deal with unruly lawyers. Several upright judges of the High Court have been seeking transfer to other courts. Justice V Ramasubramaniam is one such. This erudite scholar known for several outstanding judgments requested such a transfer and recently shifted to Hyderabad.

Time was when leading advocates of Tamil Nadu were in demand for representing cases in Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere.  Today, one witnesses the sad spectacle of the absence of such brilliant lawyers in the corridors of Madras High Court. The government engages lawyers from the north or the west to represent its cases. The malaise seems to start from the law colleges, which have become breeding grounds for political confrontations.

 In this light, the present confrontation between the highest judiciary and the executive at the Center is a matter of concern.

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