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Another Indian music maestro at the UN Valli, they are more marginalised 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 Plummeting profits of PSBs Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Silver Years of Madras Musings Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Editor's Notes The Gulf aviation boom Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Put expensive assets created to use... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara More Shakthi to Das’ elbow All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Airlines in India: cost and space A rich pool of talent not utilised…. 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Editor's Says Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The sea- saw battle continues... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital A think tank for Chennai Pharma – overdose of copying Convulsions in The Hindu An enemy’s enemy is a friend When Ratan Tata visited SRM EEC at the National Media Centre Return to king coal for urea... Kulandai was a giant Tatas moving out of urea production... SoA @ 80 Roaring Ro-Ro facility Gas is the way forward Maximising the micro pricing … Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked How Air-India loses customs... Why land prices zoom in TN? Welcome focus on core competence Rahman at CIC Contrarian cousins Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Readers' Mail Tribute When nations steal growth from one another… Fortune for Indian Airlines Recognition to role of NBFCs.... 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He continues the focus on social amelioration L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Things happen by accident and not by design... Revive development banks... No Maha Koottani in TN... Quality silica from Neyveli More tributes to GR S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Revving up the manufacturing sector Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Come elections, come advertisements... When small is no larger beautiful.. He saved millions from starvation... TELANGANA at last…BUT Delhi Chalo... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Sri Lanka votes for change Telangana in top gear… Tax agriculture Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Shanti and Sadhana through Music CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... 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A glass full of corruption Quality education through the PPP mode B H Kothari - a tribute No engine for this car Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet London, London Narayan Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Discoms deserve better… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ The brown list of Venkitaramanan Strengthen the base... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. The nuclear option Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Poor quality of university VCs Wanted: a second airport for Chennai For whom the MIDS bell tolls? New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Mu Sigma – is no more Music happens Welcome GST Towards speedy justice GNS - 100: our first subscriber Gay abandon in pricing Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Engineering seats go abegging L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Building loyalty through the stomach TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Intellectual of rare qualities GM Technology at last! PC’s preference for professionals The why of tax incentives Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Parliament in paralysis... The few handicaps... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Medical costs hit the roof... A yen for wastage… Making ‘my Amaravati’... Tribute – M V Murugappan When online building permits work…. Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai An inexplicable neglect Delhi returns to BJP The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Shale gas and its shallow future Tough task taking states together When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Muffled voices for merit… Which side are you, Montek? Protest masters... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science A more liberated TN… The Jan Dhan bonanza IAS invades NDDB...
 
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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