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