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pendency

02 March 2014

NamoPrime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and legion of judges convened at a BCI function in Gandhinagar.

18 February 2014

With the elevation of Madras HC chief justice (CJ) RK Agrawal and Delhi HC CJ N Venkata Ramana to the SC, the apex court currently sits at full strength – 31 judges.

However, this year India too will for the first time see three chief justices within 12 months, and 10 SC judges will retire between 9 March and 29 October, reported [IBN Live/India Today].

Case pendency at the SC meanwhile is close to touching the 70,000 mark.

11 February 2014

Journalists wage hike coming up: The Supreme Court last week upheld recommendations made by the Justice Majithia wage board hiking salaries for journalists and non-journalists in print media on Friday and dismissed challenges filed by the managements of various newspapers, reported the [Mint]

Karnataka HC pendency and vacancy stats: Pendency: over 12,000 more than five-year old cases pending, over 500 are more than 10 years old and six are from two decades ago. The HC is functioning with 12 less judges than its sanctioned strength [India TV News]

Bail fail for Asaram Bapu: Veteran criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani’s client Asaram Bapu, whom Jethmalani had initially defended by stating: “The only way to test his potency is to expose him to some member of the opposite gender”, has been denied bail by the Rajasthan HC [One India]

New Rs 50 crore Mangalore court: Mangalore has a new six storied court complex where the the courts of first and second class judicial magistrates have already been relocated and 18 other courts will start functioning from where in the next few days. The new building has cost the state exchequer Rs 49 crore, and was inaugurated on 8 February [Daijiworld]

06 February 2014

Madras HC pendency down 50K! Madras high court case pendency has reduced by 50,000 cases to 5.57 lakh cases since 2012 year-end [Hindu]

Six out of 12 clear Kerala DJS: Six candidates cleared the Kerala district judicial service exam, still leaving 50 per cent judges vacancy at the service in the Rs 51,550 to Rs 63,070 pay scale [Zee News]

Ex-SC Justice AK Mathur to head 7th Pay Comm: Former Supreme Court judge and retired armed forces tribunal chairman AK Mathur will head the seventh commission, which will recommend on revising the salaries and pensions of five million current (and three million retired) government employees from 1 January 2016 [Business Standard]

04 February 2014

Every HC bench strength to grow by 25%: The central government has decided to increase the judges’ strength of each high court in India by 25 per cent and has invited proposals from all chief justices on additional facilities concerning courtroom, quarters and support staff for the enhanced number of judges [TOI]

SC to consider banning red beacons outright: After its ban on the widespread ‘misuse’ of red beacon lights on cars, the Supreme Court has yesterday agreed to look into the meaning and constitutional validity of the term “high dignitaries”, as only allowing them to use the lights could be contrary to the “democratic ethos” and reflective of “Raj mentality”. Justices RM Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh, with amicus curiae Harish Salve, will examine the arguments [Express]

Mysore DCs to become more efficient with self-service kiosks: Mysore becomes the second city in India after Bangalore to have kiosks around its district court campus, where case details can be retrieved by punching in the case number. Three kiosks were inaugurated on Sunday [TOI]. The city aims to reduce over 63 per cent of its case pendency in its ongoing Lok Adalats [Deccan Herald]

Krishna Iyer’s disdain for recusing judges: Jurisprudential luminary and retired Supreme Court justice VR Krishna Iyer commented on the rampant practice of judges recusing themselves from cases. In letters to the Kerala high court chief justice and governor he said: “Vast powers have been vested in judges under the Constitution and they are bound to adjudicate every case posted before them. That is a great duty from which they cannot retreat. Not hearing cases or declining to do justice is breach of the solemn obligation vested in them. To default or decline to exercise this sublime power is to invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President.” [TOI]

Karntaka SLSA appointment: Karnataka high court justice NK Patil has been appointed executive chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority [TOI]

Aadhar facility in Gujarat jails: Gujarat high court has asked the state government to facilitate issuing Aadhar cards in prison, after a prisoner’s wife applied for his bail for the purpose of enabling him to apply for his Aadhar card [TOI]

PIL vs Kejriwal: The closing up of several public roads and metro stations in Delhi thanks to protests and demonstrations carried out by the newly elected Arvind Kejriwal government, has spurred a second petitioner to file a public interest litigation against the government [Mizo News]

12 new Allahabad HC judges: Four Allahabad high court lawyers and eight higher judicial service officers have taken oath as Allahabad HC additional judges [TOI]

15 January 2014

Publicity shy CJI: The Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam refused permission to publish his photograph in a September advertisement for the release of India’s first customised PIN code for the apex court, an RTI has revealed [PTI]

Lower court jurisdiction enhancement: The Delhi government is giving final shape to a proposal to enhance Delhi’s lower courts’ pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, to reduce burden on the Delhi HC [PTI]

Prosecutorial vacancies ad inept: Prosecutors decried the Delhi government advertisement for 20 prosecutorial vacancies as an ad-hoc measure that is bound to fail. The ad, which comes a month after the Delhi HC’s direction to the government to fill prosecutorial vaclawyerancies, stated that only retired prosecuting officers and assistant public prosecutors with at least 2 years in the post could apply [Indian Express]

Delhi law min bad PR salvage: Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti attempted to rebut bad press that followed yesterday’s reports by a an ex-judge accusing him of professional misconduct, while he was practising as a lawyer. Bharti released a press statement saying that he “had let go of [his] disagreement with lower court and then HC’s orders/judgements” because after his then-client already got bail, there was no reason left to challenge the order [TOI]

Pendency spiral: MJ Antony takes a look at arrears and incidental matters: All Indian courts: 32 million pending cases; SC – 66,349; Delhi HC – over 1,20,000 cases. Another commentator bemoans that the SC has stopped publishing its quarterly review Court News regularly after 2009. Also adds that 10 out of 29 current judges are retiring in the next few months, this year will see three chief justices, the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2013 will be shelved and tribunal vacancies are a different tale altogether [Business Standard]

14 October 2013

SC cases, broken up: Over 300 cases of sexual harassment are pending before the Supreme Court, revealed an RTI reply to activist Vihar Dhurve. Also outstanding: “472 cases related to corruption, 588 road accident cases related to permanent disability, 45 road accident for other injuries, 418 divorce cases and 39 matters of atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are also pending.” [PTI]

KGB’s NHRC seat safe from home ministry: Home ministry won’t ask apex court to look into ex-CJI KG Balakrishnan’s conduct either as head of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) or as judge, claiming to have had no evidence of corruption and that prior conduct was not ‘proved misbehaviour’ for the purposes of making a presidential reference under NHRC rules [TOI]

Delhi district court strike today after police allegedly assaulted an advocate who is now in critical condition, tweeted @DKMahant

Force feed torture: Guantánamo Bay, The Hunger Strikes - video animation [YouTube (warning, content could be disturbing)]

21 August 2013

Bar unrest: Madras high court bar experiences heartburn and resentment at the selection of two out of eight newly appointed judges from neighbouring state Kerala, while western UP lawyers are gearing up to Gherao the Taj Mahal to mark their discontent over government inaction for a permanent western UP bench of the Allahabad HC [NIE/Zee News]

Press test: Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has proposed a common examination for journalists to qualify them for a reporter’s license. It is not clear yet what the exam would entail. In the Press Freedoms Index 2013 prepared by Reporters Without Borders India ranked at 140 – the lowest since 2002 “because of increasing impunity for violence against journalists and because internet censorship continues to grow” [WSJ]

Kohli rejects Nike nurture: Karnataka HC Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh rules that Virat Kohli’s endorsement (and “nurturing”) contract with Nike would continue, despite the sports apparel maker complaining of Kohli’s commercial infidelity [Hindu] “Shades of Percept D'Mark vs Zaheer Khan?” tweeted @prjaipuriar

Karnataka benched perm: Karnataka high court’s circuit benches at Dharwad and Gulbarg will both be upgraded to permanent ones within the next 10 days. Under the president’s order the chief justice of the HC will nominate judges from his HC to sit at Dharwad for cases arising in Bagalkot, Bellary, Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Uttara Kannada-Karwar and Koppal districts. Judges sitting at the Gulbarga bench will look after cases arising in Bidar, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Raichur districts of the state. [BS]

Guj Pendency: The Gujarat high court is dealing with close to one lakh cases pending with eleven judges below the sanctioned strength of 42, reports the [DNA]

Groklaw post-snoop shut: Technology law website Groklaw shuts down because can’t guarantee sources’ anonymity after NSA internet monitoring revelations [BBC]

Durga Shakti Nagpal plea: The Supreme Court will on August 26 hear a contempt plea against the Uttar Pradesh government and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for suspending IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal who had implemented a government order for removal of unauthorised structures on public land [PTI]

No sleep banker dies: 21-year-old London Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern dies after working at least 3 all-nighters [The Independent]

13 August 2013

Pendency down in Delhi trial courts: Delhi trial courts have managed to reduce pendency from 30 per cent in the last one-and-a-half years, with the number of pending cases coming down from 7 lakh to 5 lakh – including all civil and criminal cases before magisterial, district and sessions courts. Cases of dishonoured cheques – a major component of the backlog – have reduced by 50 per cent [TOI]

Holidaying for permanent benches: Pune lawyers want a bench of the Bombay high court in Pune, and are boycotting courts today and tomorrow to stress this demand. The lawyers will further stop presiding before all quasi-judicial bodies until they get a written assurance of the permanent bench from the government. Way to protest! Rajasthan lawyers more conservative in their similar demands [TOI/Bar Association Udaipur]

Unparliamentary petition: The Madras high court dismissed a lawyer’s petition seeking withdrawal of public sector oil companies’ power to fix petrol and diesel prices as they are dependant on the price of crude oil in the international market. The bench dismissed the petition because it used “abusive language” against the prime minister of India [PTI]

Pungent pendency: Bombay high court’s registrar general has directed Maharashtra’s district courts to take up acid attack cases against women on a priority basis for expeditious disposal in the atrocities against women category [DNA]

08 August 2013

Flashy HNLU: HNLU Raipur students organised a flash mob at a Raipur mall to support women’s empowerment yesterday. A flash mob “combines the appeal of a dance performance, seemingly un-choreographed, spreading across the crowd, creating a spontaneous public spectacle of unified musical expression to promote a social cause,” reported the [TOI]

Majority rule: The Bangalore Advocates Association is up in arms about Karnataka high court judge K Sreedhar Rao, whose son filed criminal cases of extortion and threat against two of its members. In addition to resolving to collectively skip court proceedings presided over by Rao on 12 August, the association has also asked the CJI to “hold an in-house inquiry” about his affairs [Hindu]

Aadhar challenged: The Delhi high court yesterday issued notice to the central government on a petition challenging the implementation of the unique identification or Aadhar cards scheme on the ground that it violates the privacy of applicants by raising serious concerns regarding critical personal and biometric information [BS]

Rape pendency stats: 23,792 cases related to rape were pending in 21 high courts as on 30 September 2012, the law minister told parliament. Between October 2009 and September 2012, 8,772 cases were disposed of by the high courts. A maximum of 8,215 cases are pending in the Allahabad High Court which disposed of 39 cases in three years between 2009 and 2012 [DNA]

Pendency laptop: CJI Sathasivam has asked chief justices of all high courts to prioritise long-pending cases and to submit monthly statistics of pendency. He also said yesterday that laptops have already been provided to 13,000 judicial officers in the country [BS]

05 August 2013

Pending (yet) another look: Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam has promised that immediately after disposal of the Mullaperiyar dam case a constitutional bench would be constituted to look into the problem of the Supreme Court’s pending cases [PTI]

Ragging cured yet? “Ragging on the campuses of premier institutions is more or less over. What awaits freshers is loads of fun and a series of interesting traditions that they have to follow with their seniors.” reports [TOI]. Last year Legally India reported how even though ragging at law schools has decreased, even its less sinister forms sometimes had negative consequences

Remove KGB: NGO Common Cause moved the SC on Friday seeking direction for removal of former CJI KG Balakrishnan as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission [BS]

“Poor man’s advocate”, RIP: The Andhra Pradesh HC’s senior-most advocate – 83-year-old senior advocate C Padmanabha Reddy - passed away on Saturday at the residence of his son, AP HC Justice C Praveen Kumar Reddy, in Hyderabad on Saturday. He had argued the highest number of murder cases in the country and was also called the “poor man’s advocate” [Deccan Chronicle]

16 July 2013

Officially Tamil: The Madras high court dismissed two cases after the acting advocate insisted on arguing in Tamil. While it has been a long-standing demand of the state to make Tamil as the official language, the bench told the advocate that constitutionally English is the official language of the Supreme Court and the high courts. High courts in Patna, Allahabad, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been permitted by the Central government to conduct proceedings in Hindi under Article 348 (2) of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Official Languages Act [TOI]

NLUO funding model: To raise funds, NLUO Cuttack will soon offer a one-year programmes in hospital administration, medical law and ethics for doctors, contract negotiation and management for engineers, skill development for lawyers, VC V Nagaraj told the New Indian Express. “This will help our faculty get additional resources and 20 to 25 per cent of it will go to the institution’s corpus because the projects would come through the institution,” he said.

Mahrashtra pendency: Pendency in crimes-against-women cases in Mumbai courts increased by 40 per cent since 2008 to 50,000 cases in May end this year. There was a 12 per cent rise in the pendency of corruption cases in Bombay to 3,008, and the pendency is highest in Motor Accident claims which are 90,000 – a 6 per cent drop since 2008 [TOI]

International porn: The Rajya Sabha’s Committee on Petitions was presented with a plea to amend the Information Technology Act to completely ban pornography since it is “distorting and distressing society”, but the committee claims it would find it difficult to ban international porn websites since they are hosted outside India and claim to operate under US laws [TOI]

Maha disobedient: “In Maharashtra, by and large, orders passed by state commissions and tribunals are either not implemented or taken note of only after contempt notices are issued against the bureaucrats concerned,” reports the [TOI]

Cut KAT? A petition in the Kerala High Court sought the abolition of the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) as an unnecessary expense on the state exchequer, even as various advocate organisations demanded additional bench of KAT in the state. The KAT has solved 1,816 out of 2,653 cases filed in 2012; 673 out of 1,429 cases filed in 2013; and 1,635 cases forwarded from the high court [TOI]

Judge retires: Madras high court justice Elipe Dharma Rao – the judge to whom North Chennai reportedly owes its dust-freeness after he banned Chennai airport from handling dusty cargo such as coal and iron ore – retired on 14 July. [TOI]

08 April 2013

Elysium collegium: CJI Kabir defends collegium system of judges’ appointment, which he says involves “intense deliberations” and adds that people who are not fully aware of the system should refrain from commenting on it [Outlook]

Double vision 2018: SC and HC judges mega conference agrees to double the number of Indian judges from 18,871 to 37,000 over the next five years. The National Court Management Systems Committee appointed by the SC reported that India would need 75,000 judges in the next 30 years [Dailymail]

Lawyers don't dream of electric writs: Court Computerisation Committee chairman and Karnataka high court judge Ram Mohan Reddy says e-courts are a distant dream when lawyers aren’t willing to adjust to even electronic cause lists [Hindu]

Votive vs ILI vote: Alleged fraud at ILI governing council elections [IANSBar & Bench]

Blame bar for pendency: RTI filer asks Delhi HC for list of oldest pending suits and reasons for delay. Delhi HC responds: reason is lawyers continually seeking adjournments and litigants being “in no hurry” even while the court tries expedition [TOI]

Anti-terror paper: Prof Faizan Mustafa says, all newspapers, except The Hindu, should cover terrorism less to deprive terrorists of publicity oxygen [The Hindu]

03 April 2013

Judges meet24 CJs and 28 SC judges will converge on Delhi between April 4 and 7 with tall orders.

08 March 2013

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has called for all lawyers in the country to abstain from work on Monday, 11 March 2013, “in protest against the brutal assault on Lawyers in Jaipur and Chandigarh”.

The notification on the BCI’s website adds:

“The Lawyers all across the country (except the Lawyers of Delhi who have already observed the abstention on 7.3.13) should abstain from the work on 11.3.13 in support of Lawyers of Rajasthan and Chandigarh. The protest should be peaceful and in most dignified way.”

Legally India re-reported yesterday that lawyers in Jaipur were protesting for long-pending housing project and personal allowance demands, while Chandigarh lawyers protested at the Punjab & Haryana high court to  support of 20 advocates against whom a case was registered for allegedly manhandling a police officer.

The government’s law minister Ashwani Kumar stated yesterday ago that over 30 million cases were now pending across courts, with 66,569 pending in the Supreme Court of India.

07 March 2013

Jaipur lawyers protest at Rajasthan HC for long-pending housing project and personal allowance demands, while Chandigarh lawyers protest at the Punjab & Haryana HC to  support of 20 advocates against whom a case was registered for manhandling a cop [Deccan Herald]

Over 3 crore cases pend across all Indian courts, with 66,569 in the Supreme Court alone as of 31 January 2013, said the government [New Indian Express/Business Standard]

Law minister considers enacting provisions to empanel Indian law firms as international arbitrators [Indlaw news]

Moneyed Delhi neighbourhood Lutyens’ Delhi’s bungalows are being sold much below their market prices in court auctions, because of their owners embroiled in litigation [ET]

Are judges taking too many holidays or not? asks column [The Hindu]

Bombay HC has disposed of SEBI’s plea that chief information commissioner (CIC) cannot force it to disclose names in a Reliance Industries insider trading case [The Hindu Businessline]

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]

14 December 2012

image

A research paper published today has analysed nearly 60 years of cases pending in the Supreme Court and revealed a host of trends, including that litigation in states geographically nearer to Delhi is more likely to end up in the apex court, that the longest pendency plagues company, tax, mining and public interest litigations.

12 October 2012

Salman Khursheed Union law minister Salman Khursheed said that the entry of foreign lawyers should be left for the bar to decide, welcomed the All India Bar Exam (AIBE), said the government was thinking about reforming the collegium system of judicial appointments, while admitting that pendency was a huge problem, in an interview with legal website Bar & Bench published today. Legally India brings you the digested read and highlights.

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