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