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judiciary

12 September 2013

Judicial progeny fail selections: The six out of eight advocates rejected for judgeship at the Punjab & Haryana HC include Manisha Gandhi, the daughter of former Chief Justice of India AS Anand, and Girish Agnihotri, the son of retired P&H HC judge MR Agnihotri. B S Rana, Gurminder Singh Kharbanda, Vinod Ghai and Raj Karan Singh Brar were the other rejected names [Indian Express]

Retd judge opposes regional bias: “The argument that persons from one State cannot be appointed as judges of another is not based on sound facts,” argues former Madras HC justice K Chandru in response to the recent uproar over two advocate recommendations for Madras HC judgeships [Hindu]

Maha victim compensation: The Maharashtra government will now compensate victims of crime - especially rape, child abuse and acid attack - with Rs 50,000 or Rs 3 lakh depending on the extent of injury under the ‘Manodhairya’ scheme [TOI]

Fast tracking Karnataka: Karnataka has been promised 10 fast track courts with 37 court staff each for trying crimes against women, by law and parliamentary affairs minister TB Jayachandra [Post Jagran]

Muzzafarnagar PIL: Supreme Court’s justice GS Singhvi yesterday agreed to give a urgent hearing today to a petition demanding a CBI probe into the Muzzafarnagar violence [DNA]

Air fare hike in CCI: The 25 per cent hike in airfares last week has resulted in the Air Passengers Association of India dragging airlines to the Competition Commission of India over allegations of cartelisation [New Indian Express]

02 September 2013

The Supreme Court will have two new judges in Allahabad high court chief justice (CJ) Shiva Kirti Singh and Orissa High Court CJ C Nagappan, reported the Hindu. Both will serve three-year tenures at the SC, taking its judges’ strength up to 30.

Justice Singh is the third judge representing Bihar in the SC, while Nagappan is the third from Tamil Nadu. Singh has been the acting chief justice of the Patna HC in 2009, and again in 2010 before being transferred to the Allahabad HC where he became the acting chief justice in November 2012 and chief justice in February this year.

Justice Nagappan became judge of the Madras HC in 2000 and a permanent judge in 2002. He was appointed CJ of the Orissa HC in February this year.

Editor's note: An earlier version of the story mentioned justice Singh as the second judge representing the state of Bihar in the SC which is an incorrect fact reported in the Hindu story which this story is linked to. Justice Singh is the third representative from Bihar after justice GS Misra and justice CK Prasad.

06 August 2013

Advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged in an interview that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) judgment was leaked from the chambers of ex-Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir to private medical colleges.

In response to a question about how Kabir had called Bhushan one of his enemies in a recent TV interview, the advocate told legal website Livelaw:

I can understand why he thinks that. It is because I told him to recuse himself from several cases which he should not have dealt with. He also knows that I was openly talking about the fact that his judgment in the NEET case had been leaked well before it was delivered. Although he said it was not leaked from his chamber, but his body language gave him away. It was obviously given to the private medical colleges well before it was given to his brother judge Justice Dave.

The draft judgment was ready at least by the first of July because on that date my application was listed before him and that time I had information that the draft judgment was already with these private medical colleges. Therefore, I am not surprised at his statement. Every corrupt judge would regard me as his enemy because I have been speaking out against corrupt judges and corruption. I am not surprised he regards me as his enemy.

30 July 2013

Letter: 'Disturbing'The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) claimed that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) gave a negative report on three judicial candidates.

23 July 2013

The former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, who retired last week, has lashed out at the Times of India and the Indian Express for their critical reports of Kabir, purporting to explain in a six-page press release what actually went on behind the scenes.

12 July 2013

Gujarat high court chief justice (CJ) Bhaskar Bhattacharya, whose elevation to the Supreme Court was rejected unanimously by the SC collegium, has accused chief justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir of bias spurred by Bhattacharya’s opposition of the CJI’s sister’s elevation to the bench, reported the Express.

Bhattacharya was the third senior-most high court (HC) CJ at the time of his rejection. His nomination, alongside that of Bombay HC CJ Mohit Shah and Uttarakhand HC CJ Barin Ghosh, was rejected as proving “counter-productive and not conducive to the administration of justice”.

According to the Express, Bhattacharya wrote in his letter to the CJI:

“As a human being, I have a reasonable basis to apprehend that the fact that as a member of the collegium while I was a judge of the Calcutta HC, I raised serious objections against the elevation of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha, your (CJI Altamas Kabir's) younger sister, is the real reason for making such observations against me.”

“In my view as an advocate who at the age of 58 years is just capable of earning a net amount of Rs 88,000 from practice should in no case be recommended for judgeship. We cannot lose sight of the fact that a High Court chaprasi gets more than Rs 13,000 per month as salary which is equivalent to Rs 1,56,000 per annum which is almost double the income of Mrs Shukla Kabir Sinha from her practice as a lawyer.”

“When time came for selection of Smt Shukla Kabir Sinha as a Judge of the HC, I was pressured to agree to such a proposal as a member of the collegium, but I thought it would amount to committing rape of the Calcutta HC, which was like my mother and if I didn't raise any objections that would amount to closing my eyes while my mother was being raped.”

21 June 2013

Monday’s Madras high court judgment by Justice Karnan caused debate, outrage and counter-outrage in and between traditional, new and social media, which unfortunately missed the wood for the trees, argues Prachi Shrivastava.

17 June 2013

The Delhi subordinate judiciary recruited at 18.4 per cent of its actual requirement this year, despite getting the nod of the Delhi government to recruit according to requirement.

15 May 2013

Time for a raise? HC judges request the CJI to increase their Rs 80,000 per month salary to an amount greater than what state chief secretaries get. They also want double the free electricity units at their residences, and to increase their retirement age from 62 to 65 [TOI]

Sibal for conciliation: Vodafone can resolve the issue of its Rs 11,200 crore tax liability in India by conciliation with the finance ministry, says new law minister Kapil Sibal. Sibal overturned his predecessor Ashwini Kumar’s decision disallowing the conciliation because it was illegal [NDTV]

NUJS internships: NUJS Kolkata signed a 5-year MoU with the department of consumer affairs for capacity building of the department by helping it with research on legal and procedural governing provisions. NUJS students will get to intern with the department and get experience of conducting court cases [TOI]

Mute trials: SC lambasts trial courts for flouting Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by granting too many adjournments in criminal cases instead of proceeding on a day-to-day basis after witness examination starts. “A trial judge cannot be a mute spectator to the trial being controlled by the parties,” said a bench of justices Dipak Misra and KS Radhakrishan [TOI]

Lawyers v police: A Madras HC lawyer asked the HC to direct the city police to take action against the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) for harassing the lawyer by allegedly creating a scene outside his office for no reason [NIE]

17 April 2013

JAC of all trades: The union law ministry proposes a Judicial Appointments Committee comprising of the Chief Justice of India, two sitting SC judges, two presidentially appointed eminent jurists, the union law minister, and secretary department of law and justice [NDTV]

‘Peculiar’ extension: Supreme Court allows Dutt to complete work on a number of films in the next month before returning him to jail to complete his five year term for conviction under the Arms Act, for possession of firearms during the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts [BBC/Order]

Victim bailed, judge billed: Madras HC fines female district judge Rs 1.1 lakh toward compensation and costs to a woman who was a victim of sex-through-false-promise-of-marriage, whom she had jailed for three days 12 years ago. Also orders departmental proceedings against the magistrate [TOI/Deccan Chronicle]

Cyber stigma: Challenges to tackling cyber-crime in India include the CBI cyber cell’s minimal jurisdiction and lack of data; RBI releases only internet fraud figures, which shot up from Rs 40 crore to Rs 53 crore in two years, while corporates remain reluctant to openly speak about their exposure to cyber fraud [BS]

16 April 2013

Former Supreme Court Justice O Chinappa Reddy died at his Hyderabad residence on Saturday, 16 years after retiring from the apex court.

Reddy graduated from Madras Law College and enrolled with the Madras Bar in 1944, practicing at the Andhra Pradesh High Court (HC) for 23 years until his appointment as an additional judge of that HC. He was soon a permanent judge there.

He was transferred to the Punjab & Haryana HC in 1976 and back to the AP HC in 1977. In 1978 he was elevated to the SC and after his retirement in 1987 he served as the chairman of the Karnataka BC Commission.

He had delivered several remarkable human rights judgements and was described as pro poor according to the New Indian Express.

15 April 2013

Nalsar fights media: Nalsar Hyderabad students launch online campaign and vow to sue for slander over local television channels that allegedly forcefully filmed them and edited telecast to show them as drunk and topless outside a city pub where they were celebrating their farewell [Hindu/TOI]

Fashionable arbitration: The Karnataka high court’s arbitration centre – India’s second high court arbitration centre after Delhi – gets launched in Bangalore with arbitration fees ranging from Rs 50,000 and Rs 8 lakhs [New Indian Express]

Canning Katju: Bombay high court admits petition challenging the Press Council Act that does not allow for removal of Press Council of India (PCI) chairman (vis ex-Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju). [Spread_law via Twitter]

Pre-legal aid: Mumbai University Legal Aid Clinic in collaboration with the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority will now offer pre-litigation mediation and arbitration services to citizens [TOI]

Top billing: GNLU Gandhinagar third-year student Tanya Nayyar wins Pravin Gandhi College of Law’s national legislative drafting competition, for her draft Mobile Towers (Installation and Regulation) Bill (2013), which will now be submitted to the DoT. NLIU Bhopal stands second [HT]

Declining judicial aspirations: Bombay high court chief justice Mohit Shah urges state bar council to train candidates for judgeship. Cites finding only 55 suitable judges in a 2012 advertisement for 159 posts, as compared to 41 judges for 100 posts in 2011, and 100 for 100 in 2010 [HT]

15 April 2013

The Delhi High Court is slated to welcome Delhi Tis Hazari district judge Sunita Gupta and Delhi HC registrar general VP Vaish as additional judges after at least four senior advocates and one advocate are due to take seat at the bench.

21 January 2013

The law ministry approved Rs 80 crore for recruitment of 2,000 new subordinate judges across the country, to be deployed in fast track courts. The ministry had discontinued the fast-track courts scheme in March 2011 after running it for 11 years.

On 9 January the law ministry wrote to all state governments asking them to increase the strength of the subordinate judiciary from 18,000 to 20,000.

Currently, there are more than 3.2 crore pending cases in Indian courts. Of this, at least 2.76 crore cases are pending in subordinate courts while 44 lakh are pending in various high courts. [TOI]

11 December 2012

A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, justices SS Nijjar and J Chelameswar stayed a May 2012 Delhi high court order that suspended a government rule requiring Supreme Court and high court judges to inform the home and external affairs of their foreign trips.

After the SC accepted the law ministry’s petition, judges will now again have to notify official and personal visits abroad at least 15 days before the date of travel. The Delhi high court had quashed the rule of the government circular because it lowered the dignity of the constitutional posts of the judges [IANS]

23 January 2012

CISF, Man B and crowdIndiGo Airlines has complained to the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court about Patna High Court judge PC Verma who allegedly hurled a plethora of abuse at ground staff of IndiGo Airlines, with DNA publishing what appeared to be a video of the incident last week.

08 April 2011

image The Punjab and Haryana Bar Association (PHBA) has resolved to dispense with the practice of addressing judges as “my lord” or “your lordship” because of the terms’ colonial associations, substituting the more liberal American title “your honour”.