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