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