Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lokpal selection process won’t yield best candidate, says Fali, declines role: 28 Feb 2014

Fali Nariman’s refusal to join the Lokpal search committee is the latest controversy over appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman. (PTI)Fali Nariman’s refusal to join the Lokpal search committee is the latest controversy over appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman . (PTI)

In a major embarrassment for the government, Fali S Nariman has declined to be part of the process to select India’s first Lokpal.

The eminent jurist has informed the Prime Minister’s Office that the selection process was such that the “most competent” and “most independent” would get overlooked.

It is understood that Nariman was asked, on February 21, to be on the search committee. He responded on Thursday, writing to the PMO, “I decline the honour. In my humble view this is no way in which an institution as vital and as important as the Lokpal is to be constituted.”

“The chairperson and members of the Lokpal as ultimately selected may well be projected as democratically chosen by a broad consensus from amongst two levels of selectors (upper and lower), but it is precisely for that reason that I do fear that the most competent, the most independent, and the most courageous will get overlooked,” he added.

When contacted, Nariman refused to comment. “I don’t have any statement to make. I have explained everything in the letter,” he said.

Nariman’s refusal to join the Lokpal search committee is the latest controversy over appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Earlier this month, the BJP opposed the Prime Minister’s choice of Supreme Court lawyer P P Rao for the committee. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj described Rao as a “Congress loyalist”, and took the matter to the President. The BJP had earlier questioned the manner in which applications were invited for the posts of chairperson and members of the Lokpal.

Following Nariman’s letter, the government defended the process to form the search committee, and said it was up to the veteran lawyer to accept or decline the job.

“I would like to make it very clear. Transparent method has been followed. The process was followed very properly… Fali Nariman was one among the jurists who have been considered… It is for the person concerned either to accept or not to accept,” Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said.

The minister declined to comment on the points raised by Nariman. “Without going through his letter I cannot make any comment on that,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

…….. Express News Service | New Delhi | February 28, 2014 8:48 am

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/lokpal-selection-process-wont-yield-best-candidate-says-fali-declines-role/

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao against amending Lokayukta Act: 24 Feb 2014

 Summary: Rao also explained to the governor the demerits of setting up of an independent ‘vigilance commission’ under the supervision of an IAS officer. “If the new Act is implemented, then the entire existing Lokayukta system would collapse,” he reportedly told the governor.

Bangalore: Unhappy with the Karnataka Lokayukta Bill-2014, which has been drafted on the lines of the Centre’s Lokpal Act, Lokayukta justice Y Bhaskar Rao met governor HR Bhardwaj on Sunday and urged him to stop the government from tabling the bill in the assembly.

The government plans to table to bill in the assembly on Monday. According to sources, Rao told Bhardwaj that the state has the best Lokayukta structure and there is no need to bring in any change. He also explained to the governor the demerits of the proposed bill.

According to sources in the Lokayukta, Rao requested Bhardwaj to direct the government not to introduce the bill during the ongoing assembly session. “Our state has one of the best Lokayukta Acts and it is a model structure for the rest of the country. Such a powerful Lokayukta Act should not to be changed. And if it is done, it will curb the powers of the Lokayukta,” he is quoted by sources as telling the governor.

Rao also explained to the governor the demerits of setting up of an independent ‘vigilance commission’ under the supervision of an IAS officer. “If the new Act is implemented, then the entire existing Lokayukta system would collapse,” he reportedly told the governor.

mybangalore@dnaindia.net . Published Date:  Feb 24, 2014

 

Published Date:  Feb 24, 2014

…………. dna correspondent @dnaofblr

http://epaper.dnaindia.com/story.aspx?id=19341&boxid=31641&ed_date=2014-2-24&ed_code=860009&ed_page=3

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

SC junks PIL against plots to judges of HC: 22 Feb 2014

SUMMARY:- He added that it was for the same reason, Justice A K Patnaik, before whom the matter was first listed first, recused from hearing the case.

……………….  The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking cancellation of allotment of plots to judges of high courts of Orissa and Gujarat under the state governments’ discretionary quota.

The court asked the petitioner to go to the respective high courts first, even as its counsel argued that a refusal by the SC could send a wrong message that even the apex court shied away from taking up contentious matters relating to the judges.

“We decline to entertain the writ petition. However, the petitioners are at liberty to approach the appropriate high courts, if they so deemed right,” a Bench of Justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde said.

It asked NGO ‘CPIL’ to approach the high courts for redressal of its grievances and come to the SC if the high courts failed to redress their grievances.

NGO’s counsel Prashant Bhushan opposed the court’s views, questioning if it will be possible for the judges of a high court to hear petitions against the fellow judges, who have applied for the plots.

“Only this court decide the matter. How can those hear and decide the matter whose colleagues are involved? The petitioner shall have reasonable apprehension of bias. Why to send the petitioner to the high court when there is already a strong case of reasonable apprehension,” said Bhushan.

He added that it was for the same reason, Justice A K Patnaik, before whom the matter was first listed first, recused from hearing the case.

“Justice Patnaik said although he had not applied for a plot or received it, he knew many judges of the Orissa High Court, where he was also a judge a few years ago,” said Bhushan.  The Bench told the counsel that it was not so in all cases.

…………….

Express News Service | New Delhi | February 22, 2014 3:26 am

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/sc-junks-pil-against-plots-to-judges-of-hc/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

SC reveals whom and how to email about sex harassment by advocates, court staff: 19 Feb 2014

SC harassment hotline: OpenSC harassment hotline: Open
The Supreme Court’s sexual harassment committee has explained how sexual harassment complaints against practising lawyers and court staff should be made in future.

The committee, which does not currently have the power to investigate complaints against judges of the Supreme Court, released a circular dated 14 February, specifying that complaints should be sent to committee-member and registrar Gupta Rachna by post, email or in person in confidence.

The panel was instituted in November 2013, after a complaint was made by a former intern of ex-Supreme Court Justice AK Ganguly, and had received two complaints within two weeks of setting up.

PIL by a former law student intern of ex-Supreme Court Justice Swatanter Kumar, alleging that he had sexually harassed her, seeks to make the Supreme Court’s also consider hearing complaints made against judges. Ganguly and Kumar have denied the charges, with the latter having launched a defamation suit against the intern and three media companies.

The committee’s circular states:

It is hereby informed that on 9.12.2013 the first meeting of Supreme Court Gender Sensitization and internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) headed by Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai was held in the Supreme Court’s premises to workout the modalities for the effective implementation of the “The Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013” and to take decision on related issues.

The aggrieved women as defined in clause 2(a) of the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013 may make a complaint in writing of sexual harassment at Supreme Court of India precincts to the GSICC through its Member Secretary – Ms. Rachna Gupta, Registrar. The contact details are:-

Room No.: First Floor (East wing), near Cash & Account-I Registry of Supreme Court of India
Phone No.: 011- 23381581
E-mail: gupta.rachna@indianjudiciary.gov.in

The Complaint shall be sent either by registered post, courier, speed post or e-mail. It can also be handed over personally at the above said address.

As required by Regulation 16 of the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Womeri.at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013, the confidentiality of the inquiry proceedings shall be maintained.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Women can email, post complaints to SC sexual harassment cell:19 Feb 2014

The aggrieved women can send their complaint on the email ID of Rachna Gupta at gupta.rachna@indianjudiciary.gov.in … PTI 
Women can email, post complaints to SC sexual harassment cell

Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam had formed GSICC which is headed by the Supreme Court’s woman judge, justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, and has six other women members. Photo: Mint
New Delhi: The committee set up in the Supreme Court to deal with instances of sexual harassment within its precincts has decided that aggrieved women can send their complaints to it by post or email.
“The aggrieved women as defined in clause 2(a) of the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013 may make a complaint in writing of sexual harassment at Supreme Court of India precincts to the GSICC through its member secretary—Rachna Gupta, registrar,” the circular reads, adding it has been done to sensitise the general public on gender issues.
It said the first meeting of the committee was held on 9 December 2013 to workout the modalities for the effective implementation of “The Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013” and to take decision on related issues.
“The complaint shall be sent either by registered post, courier, speed post or email. It can also be handed over personally at the above said address,” the circular said, adding the confidentiality of the inquiry proceedings shall be maintained.
The aggrieved women can send their complaint on the email ID of Rachna Gupta at gupta.rachna@indianjudiciary.gov.in.
In January this year, the committee in its annual report had said it had received two complaints from two women lawyers since its inception in November 2013 and the complaints were pending disposal.
Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam had formed GSICC which is headed by the Supreme Court’s woman judge, justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, and has six other women members. There are two members who are outsiders and not connected with the apex court in any manner.
The panel is in consonance with the guidelines laid down by the apex court in its judgement in Vishakha case for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment at workplace. Under the guidelines, it is required that the panel has a majority of women members and two members of civil society nominated by the Chief Justice of India. PTI

………..FIRST PUBLISHED: WED, FEB 19 2014. 11 39 PM IST

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/p1BIVm3eNPmsy5Xnf4CxjL/Women-can-email-post-complaints-to-SC-sexual-harassment-cel.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

MHCAA to observe February 19 as black day: 18 Feb 2014

Madras High Court Advocates Association today announced it would observe February 19 as black day.

Since 2009, Advocates Associations in the state have been observing February 19 as black day as several advocates and Judges were injured in a clash between police and lawyers on that day.

At its Extraordinary General Body meeting held under the Presidentship of R C Paul Kanagaraj, the MHCAA also demanded suspension of senior police officials as per the orders pronounced by a Madras High Court Division Bench.

It demanded that the State Government withdraw the appeal filed before the Supreme Court against the High Court order “to protect the accused police officials.”

It also urged the Supreme Court to take up the appeals as early as possible and protect the rights of advocates.

……. Press Trust of India  |  <news:geo_locations>Chennai  >> February 19, 2014 Last Updated at 00:25 IST

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mhcaa-to-observe-february-19-as-black-day-114021900026_1.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Enhancement of HC Judge’s Strength:PM’s address at the joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices: 23 April 2013

Prime Minister’s Office 07-April, 2013 11:53 IST
PM’s address at the joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s address at the joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices in New Delhi, today:

“This conference is in many ways a unique opportunity for interaction between the Judiciary and the Executive at the highest levels to find ways and means of moving forward in our collective task and endeavour of building a strong justice delivery system in our country. This is a task of vital national significance that deserves our urgent attention. It has been four years since a similar conference was last held. During this interval, the need for speedy and affordable justice has come into sharper focus.

Before I proceed further, please allow me to compliment our Supreme Court and the High Courts for their sterling contribution in giving form and content to the idea of justice enshrined in our constitution. The Supreme Court’s declaration of non-discrimination, social justice, inclusion and an irrevocable commitment to civil liberties as the sheet anchor of the Constitutional conscience has made a transformative contribution in the shaping of our society and national conscience. By regarding Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy as a charter of legal empowerment, the Supreme Court has repeatedly vindicated its role as the guardian of our Constitutional values and ideals. 

Access to justice through empowerment of its citizens is the defining measure of a progressive nation and a just society. We must therefore, collectively ensure that our laws deliver on the state’s duty to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and that the disadvantaged are not excluded from the processes that advance the cause of justice. At the same time, we need to ensure that the laws that govern the daily lives of our citizens are certain, stable and reasonable. 

At a time when the demand for judicial reforms and change in the legal processes has acquired a new urgency, we must ensure that the voice of sanity and logic is not suborned to the momentary impulses of the day. Fundamental and time tested principles of law and natural justice must not be compromised to satiate the shrill rhetoric that often defines our political discourse and sometimes succeeds in drowning appeals to logic and justice. 

The national outrage at the recent horrific tragedy of gang rape in Delhi compels an urgent introspection about our laws and justice delivery system but we must not allow ourselves to be overcome by a sense of despair at some of the demonstrated inadequacies of our legal system. On its part, our Government has moved with expedition to respond to the felt sensitivities of the people in the aftermath of this gruesome tragedy of Delhi and have brought about significant amendments in the criminal law to effectively deal with heinous offences against women. I must thank the Judiciary for establishing special courts for fast tracking trial of offences against women. But, notwithstanding the steps that have already been taken, a great deal more needs to be done as far as offences against women are concerned. I am happy that one of the issues on the agenda of your conference is sensitization of the Judiciary on gender issues.

I am conscious of the enormity of the task we face in reducing the backlog of cases and increasing the pace at which trials take place. Presently, over 3 crore cases are pending in various courts across the country and 26 percent of them are over 5 years old. The Vision Statement and Action Plan adopted by the Chief Justices’ Conference in October 2009 had identified two major goals for judicial reform -increasing access to justice by reducing delays and arrears in the justice delivery system, and enhancing accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards and capacities. It had also identified 9 initiatives for immediate implementation. I understand that some of these initiatives have since been implemented and others are being driven actively. While the Government has set up the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms in the Department of Justice for pursuing the objective of reducing the pendency of cases in our courts, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has established the National Court Management Systems (NCMS) which will develop a National Framework of Court Excellence (NFCE). This framework will lay down timelines and measurable standards of performance for courts on the touchstone of quality. Besides, I have been informed that, a Case Management System (CMS) will also be developed to establish user friendliness of our judicial processes.

I agree fully with Hon’ble Chief Justice Shri Altmas Kabir that we need to significantly enhance the number of judges to administer justice. The judge to population ratio at the current level of 15.5 judges per million population is indeed grossly inadequate. We need to alter this equation so as to address the problems of pendency and delays in disposal of cases. However, the initiative in this must come from our State Governments. I would urge all Chief Ministers to extend their full support to this important initiative. On behalf of the Central Government, I would like to assure this august gathering that we would increase appropriately the quantum of funding for the scheme under which we provide support to the State Governments for the creation of infrastructure for subordinate Judiciary.

We will engage with the 14th Finance Commission for devolution of funds to the State Governments specifically for the judicial sector. In addition, we will request the Commission to earmark funds for establishing fast-track courts for speedy trials not just in cases involving heinous crimes but also those in which offences have been committed against the vulnerable people like the elderly, women and children.

I am happy that the Judiciary and the Executive have worked together in making significant progress to invest courts with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capabilities. The Central Government, the State Governments, and the High Courts are working in close coordination for up-gradation of the ICT infrastructure in the Supreme Court, the High Courts as well as provisioning for ICT in the 14,249 district and subordinate courts. A National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) will be an important outcome of this project and it will provide a unique platform for accessing judicial statistics on pendency on a real time basis across the country. It will provide information to people on cases and will bring about an improvement in the working of courts through better case handling and case management. The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) has the potential to transform the working of the lower judiciary and to bring about major improvements in the delivery of justice to our people.

The long pending proposal for the constitution of All India Judicial Services has made some headway after it was discussed for the first time in the conference of 2009. I learn that the subject will be considered in this conference. I hope that in the deliberations that follow a consensus will emerge on the way forward.

There are other important issues that you have on your agenda including the strengthening of legal aid services, promotion of Alternate Dispute Redressal mechanisms and operationalization of Gram Nyayalayas. Progress in these areas will assist us in moving towards our goal of providing expeditious and affordable justice to the common man, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

In conclusion, I am confident that our chosen path of development, based on fast, inclusive and sustainable growth, will, over time, reduce disparities and ensure a life of dignity for all. In an imperfect world, the ideal state of justice may seem distant. But, the test of a just arrangement lies in its ability to promote dignity and self respect of all the citizens, strengthen the bonds of human solidarity and encourage the creativity of the individual. Our endeavours to secure a more just order must continue ceaselessly. This conference should be seen as a step in that noble direction.

With these words, I congratulate the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and my colleague, Dr. Ashwani Kumar for taking the initiative to organise this Conference. I wish your deliberations all success.”

***NK/SH/LM/VP
(Release ID :94523)

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=94523

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized