Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal says will restructure debt, talking to bankers

The airline, which has not reported an annual profit since 2007, set out a three-year restructuring plan in May centred on cutting costs and boosting efficiency. (Reuters)

Reuters | New Delhi | July 23, 2014 1:36 pm

The airline, which has not reported an annual profit since 2007, set out a three-year restructuring plan in May centred on cutting costs and boosting efficiency. (Reuters)

Jet Airways’ Chairman Naresh Goyal said the country’s No. 2 airline by market share will look at selling planes and restructuring its debts as it tries to find ways to end the losses that have plagued it for years.
Jet Airways is looking at a lot of consolidation (of our fleet),” Naresh Goyal said at a press event in India’s capital on Wednesday.
Naresh Goyal said the carrier is talking to its bankers without giving details of the discussions.
Like all but one of India’s major airlines, Jet is losing money fast, beset by high costs, low fares and cut-throat competition in its domestic market.
The airline, which has not reported an annual profit since 2007, set out a three-year restructuring plan in May centred on cutting costs and boosting efficiency. As the carrier struggles to turn around its fortunes, it also named Cramer Ball as its fourth chief executive within the space of a year, pending regulatory approvals.

Suit-filed NPA accounts rise 32% to over R70,000 crore


FE George Mathew | Mumbai | July 21, 2014 1:18 am
The top 10 loan defaulters owe Rs 18,000 crore to the banks, as per the figures collated by the RBI but released by bank unions.

Banks are increasingly taking legal recourse to recover loan defaults. The number of suit-filed bad loan accounts in the banking system has risen by 32 per cent to Rs 70,367 crore by September 2013 from Rs 53,251 crore in the previous year.
Normally a bank files a suit against a defaulter when it exhausts all other means of recovery. One-third of this amount is accounted by willful defaulters.
Moreover, the top 10  loan defaulters owe Rs 18,000 crore to the banks, as per the figures collated by the RBI but released by bank unions.
Kingfisher Airlines tops the list followed by Winsome Diamond and Jewellery, Electrotherm India, Zoom Developers, Sterling Biotech, S Kumars Nationwide, Surya Vinayak Industries and Corporate Ispat Alloys.
“The real problem of the banking sector is the alarming rise in non-performing loans. Since the RBI and the government are not coming forward to release the list of such defaulters, we are publishing the list,” said Vishwas Utagi, vice president, All India Bank Employees Association.
Releasing the default figures, Utagi said 400 companies have bad loan accounts of Rs 70,300 crore (not suit-filed accounts) in 24 PSU banks.
“Bad loans restructured and shown as good loans amounted to Rs 3,25,000 crore. Fresh bad loans in the last seven years were Rs 4,95,000 crore. Bad loans written off in the last 13 years were Rs 2,04,000 crore,” Utagi said.
The RBI and credit information bureaus like CIBIL publish the names of suit-filed accounts. Banks have filed cases against 4085 accounts for recovery of Rs 70,367 crore. The list of non suit-filed accounts is still kept as secret by the banks and the RBI. “Bank depositors have a right to know about defaulters,” he said.
The long-drawn process involved in litigations, remains a cause for worry. It takes several years to recover the dues from such defaulters. However, recovery is virtually impossible from many borrowers who have no assets to show and have siphoned off the money.
The amount stuck as NPAs is enough to meet the capital needs of banks in the new Basel regime.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Experiences as Chief Justice of Madras High Court

Justice Markandey Katju   Saturday, 19 July 2014

I was Chief Justice of the Madras High Court in 2004-2005. Some Tamilians have requested me to write something about my experience there on facebook.

When I received the order of the President of India appointing me Chief Justice of Madras High Court in November 2004 I was at Allahabad as Acting Chief Justice of that Court.

I telephoned the Madras High Court and spoke to the Acting Chief Justice, Justice N.Dinkar. Since I was reaching Chennai on Friday at about 1 or 1.30 p.m. I asked him to request all brother and sister Judges of the Court not to come to the airport to receive me, as it was a working day, and it would not be proper to abandon their Courts at working hours. I remembered reading the autobiography of Chief Justice Chagla of Bombay High Court, who wrote that when the Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren, came to Bombay during Court hours of the Bombay High Court, Chief Justice Chagla sent the Registrar of the High Court to the airport to receive him. After Court hours Chief Justice Chagla went to see Chief Justice Warren, and apologized for not personally coming to the airport to receive him as it was court hours. Chief Justice Warren then told Chief Justice Chagla that he acted rightly, and in America the Judges do the same.

I was told that there was a practice in the Madras High Court for all the Judges coming to the airport to receive the new Chief Justice even during Court hours, but I thought that this would not be appreciated by the public, as they would think the Judges are doing sycophancy of the Chief Justice. I told Justice Dinkar that the Judges were welcome to meet me after Court hours at my residence. Accordingly, only lawyers and the Registry officials received me at the airport.

The Judges came to meet me at my residence after Court hours, and we had long talks. I told them they would never need an appointment to meet me, and, unless I was otherwise engaged, could meet me at my residence or chamber whenever they wanted to, and I said the same to the officials of the various lawyers associations.

I was given a warm welcome by the bench and bar in a function and dinner.

At that time the High Court had a sanctioned strength of 49 Judges ( it is now 60), but there were only 26 incumbents, and some more retirements were to take place soon.
A bench of the High Court had recently been created in Madurai, and the rules required that at least 5 Judges should sit there.

Now Madurai was a small town as compared to Chennai. All Judges wish to stay in big cities as there are better educational and job opportunities for children in big towns. So no Judge wanted to sit for long in Madurai. I remember receiving a telephone call from a Judge sitting in the Madurai bench who started crying over the telephone, and said that the previous Chief Justice had posted him in Madurai without his consent, and he had been there for 3 months and had developed blood pressure. I told him that if he could wait for a few days i was going to create a system, after consulting all Judges, about sitting of Judges in the Madurai bench ( till then there appeared to be none ).

I constituted a committee of the 3 senior most judges to consider the matter and give me their report at the earliest. This report was then placed before the Full Court of the High Court, and broadly confirmed. Under this system, 5 Judges would go to Madurai for 2 months, and on their return, the next batch of 5 Judges would go. But I never posted any Judge without taking his consent. After all, a Judge may have personal problems which made it difficult to leave Chennai at a particular time. I also told the Judges that if any of the 5 Judges sent to Madurai had an emergency which required him/her back in Chennai before his 2 month posting was over he could inform me and I would personally go and replace him for the balance period.

Before going to Chennai I had spoken on telephone to Justice Venkatachaliah to seek his blessings, as I have always regarded him as a father figure. He told me that in Madras I must give respect to each and every one of the brother and sister Judges.

Unfortunately, many Chief Justices of High Courts treat brother and sister Judges as subordinates. I am told about one Chief Justice that he would sometimes telephone a brother Judge at 10 p.m and tell him, without taking his consent, that he had to sit next day in some distant bench, for which a flight had to be taken the same night or early next morning. To my mind this was not proper. The Chief Justice is only first among equals, and not a headmaster.

Following the advice of Justice Venkatachaliah, I always gave respect to brother and sister Judges. I told them that we are one family, their problem is my problem, and vice versa. I would never compel a Judge to sit in Madurai, or do something, without taking his/her consent.

Justice Venkatachaliah also gave me another invaluable advice. He told me that many Chief Justices think that their main job is administrative, and they neglect judicial work. This was a fallacy. He said that the main job of the Chief Justice was to give leadership to the Court on the judicial side, by giving outstanding judgments. Following this advice i delegated almost all administrative work to committees of brother and sister Judges. After all, they were local people who knew about Madras High Court, whereas I was a stranger. Also, this relieved me of administrative work so that I had more time to write judgments.

One of the first things which was done by me was to constitute a 3 judge committee to allot lawyers chambers in the new building which had been built for this purpose, but for some reason was lying unoccupied for 3 years. The committee of Judges did an outstanding job, and within two months chambers were allotted to lawyers in accordance with a rational system.

As I mentioned before, almost half the posts of Judges in Madras High Court were lying vacant when I came to Chennai, and they had to be filled in. I was determined to have good judges in the High Court. After all, an institution is really the human personnel who are manning that institution. A High Court is not the beautiful building of the Court, or the green lawns or colourful curtains. A High Court is the Judges who are manning it, they should be first class people.

Although under the decision of the Supreme Court in the Judges Case only the Chief Justice and 2 seniormost judges of the High Court were to recommend names for appointment, I requested the first 12 judges in seniority to give me a list of lawyers they thought deserved to be elevated, and I also consulted about 5 or 6 very senior lawyers. Some names were common in many lists, but enquiries were made even about them. In this way after about 2-3 months daily excercise a consensus of 20 names emerged, and I recommended these. I told the Chief Justice of India, Justice Lahoti, about the methodology I had followed, and said that none of these persons recommended had any connection in any manner with me. So it was now entirely upto him to accept them or reject them.

I must say to the credit of the then Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha ( who is also the present Chief Minister )that she never interfered in this process, and never pressurized me to recommend any name for Judgeship, nor did she ever interfere with judicial functions in any manner.Throughout my stay as Chief Justice there was never any problem, as she respected the independence of the judiciary.
I regret that I cannot say the same about another political party in Tamilnadu, who, through their representatives put tremendous pressure on me to recommend certain names for Judgeship whom I found to be totally undeserving. Some of these persons were never even seen in courts, though technically they were enrolled as lawyers. These were obviously party men of that political party which wanted to pack the Madras High Court with its men., but I refused to succumb to this pressure.

I had taken an oath to myself that I would do my duty to Madras High Court, although my parent High Court was Allahabad High Court. The maximum punishment which could be given to me was to refuse to make me a Supreme Court Judge, but I was prepared for this punishment, and would do my duty to Madras High Court, come what may.

On receiving my 20 recommendations the Supreme Court Collegium approved 17 of them, which was a record. But the same political party which sought to pressurize me would not let these appointments go though, and ultimately it was on a P.I.L. by the Madras High Court Advocates Association and an order of the Supreme Court that those appontments of 17 Judges was made, which was a record for Madras High Court. These Judges had been carefully scrutinized by me and my Collegium members before recommending them, and I am happy to note that most of them have justified my expectations.

I will write more about my experiences in Tamilnadu in subsequent posts, but I would like to add here that the people of Tamilnadu throughout my stay there gave me great love and affection, for which i will be ever grateful.

நீதித்துறை ஊழல் விவகாரம்: நீதிபதி மார்கண்டேய கட்ஜு எழுப்பும் 6 கேள்விகள்

 உச்ச நீதிமன்ற முன்னாள் நீதிபதி மார்கண்டேய கட்ஜு | கோப்புப் படம்.
தி இந்துசெவ்வாய், ஜூலை 22, 2014

நீதித்துறை ஊழல் விவகாரம் தொடர்பாக முன்னாள் நீதிபதி மார்கண்டேய கட்ஜு, நீதிபதி லஹோத்திக்கு 6 கேள்விகளை முன்வைத்துள்ளார்.

உச்ச நீதிமன்ற நீதிபதியாக இருந்து ஓய்வு பெற்றவரும் பிரஸ் கவுன்சில் தலைவராகவும் உள்ள நீதிபதி மார்கண்டேய கட்ஜு நீதித்துறை ஊழல் குறித்த வெளியிட்ட புகாரை முன்னாள் தலைமை நீதிபதிகள் ஆர்.சி.லஹோதி, கே.ஜி.பாலகிருஷ்ணன் ஆகியோர் மறுத்துள்ளனர்.

இந்நிலையில், முன்னாள் நீதிபதி ஆர்.சி.லஹோதிக்கு 6 கேள்விகளை கட்ஜு முன்வைத்துள்ளார். தனது வலைப்பதிவுத் தளத்தில் கட்ஜு லஹோத்திக்கான 6 கேள்விகளையும் கட்ஜு பதிவேற்றியுள்ளார்.

கேள்வி 1:
நான் சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற தலைமை நீதிபதியாக இருந்த போது, அங்கிருந்த கூடுதல் நீதிபதி ஊழலில் ஈடுபடுவதாக உங்களுக்கு (லஹோத்தி) கடிதம் எழுதினேனா இல்லையா? அதில், ஊழல் குற்றச்சாட்டு தொடர்பாக ரகசிய விசாரணை மேற்கொள்ளுமாறு குறிப்பிட்டிருந்தேனா இல்லையா? மேலும் இதுதொடர்பாக டெல்லி வந்து தங்களை நேரில் சந்தித்து ஆலோசித்ததோடு புலன் விசாரணைக்கு உத்தரவிடுமாறு வலியுறுத்தினேனா இல்லையா?

கேள்வி 2:
எனது கோரிக்கையை ஏற்று நீதிபதி லஹோத்தி ஊழல் குற்றம்சாட்டப்பட்ட நீதிபதி மீது விசாரணைக்கு உத்தரவிட்டது உண்மையா இல்லையா?

கேள்வி 3:
டெல்லி சந்திப்புக்கு சில வாரங்களுக்குப் பின்னர் நான் சென்னை திரும்பிட்யிருந்தபோது என்னை தொலைபேசியில் தொடர்பு கொண்டு, சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற கூடுதல் நீதிபதி ஊழலில் ஈடுபட்டத்தை புலன் விசாரணை உறுதி செய்துள்ளது என லஹோத்தி என்னிடம் தெரிவித்தாரா இல்லையா?

கேள்வி 4:
சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற கூடுதல் நீதிபதி குறித்த புலன்விசாரணை அறிக்கையில் அவர் மீதான குற்றச்சாட்டுகள் உறுதிப்படுத்தப்பட்டிருந்தது. அந்த அறிக்கை கிடைக்கெப்பற்ற பின்னர் அப்போதைய உச்ச நீதிமன்ற தலைமை நீதிபதியாக இருந்த லஹோதி, நீதிபதிகள் சபர்வால், ருமா பால் அடங்கிய மூன்று நீதிபதிகள் அடங்கிய காலெஜியத்தை கூட்டி இது தொடர்பாக ஆலோசனை நடத்தினாரா, இல்லையா?

கேள்வி 5:
சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற கூடுதல் நீதிபதி பதவி நீட்டிப்பு தொடர்பான பரிந்துரையை மூன்று நீதிபதிகள் அடங்கிய உச்ச நீதிமன்ற காலெஜ்ஜியம் மத்திய அரசுக்கு அனுப்பிவைத்த பின்னர், லஹோதி, மற்ற இருவருக்கும் தெரியாமல் தனிப்பட்ட முறையில் மத்திய அரசுக்கு கடிதம் எழுதினாரா இல்லையா? அந்தக் கடிதத்தில், சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்ற கூடுதல் நீதிபதிக்கு மேலும் ஓராண்டு பதவிக்காலத்தை நீட்டிக்குமாறு அரசுக்கு பரிந்துரைத்தாரா இல்லையா?

கேள்வி 6:
புலன் விசாரணையில், சம்பந்தப்பட்ட அந்த நீதிபதி ஊழல் கறை படிந்தவர் என தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தும் நீதிபதி லஹோதி அவருக்கு மேலும் ஓராண்டு பதவி நீட்டிப்பு அளிக்க மத்திய அரசிடம் பரிந்துரைத்தது ஏன்?

காலதாமதம் ஏன்?
கட்ஜு எழுப்பிய குற்றச்சாட்டு நேற்று நாடாளுமன்றத்தின் இரு அவைகளிலும் எதிரொலித்த நிலையில், அவர் ஏன் இவ்வளவு காலத்திற்குப்பின்னர் இந்த சர்ச்சையை கிளப்ப வேண்டும் என கேள்வி எழுப்பியிருந்தனர்.

அதற்கும் கட்ஜு தனது வலைப்பதிவு பக்கத்தில் பதில் அளித்துள்ளார். 

அதில், "சிலர் நான் ஏன் இவ்விவகாரத்தை இவ்வளவு கால தாமதாக எழுப்பியுள்ளேன் என கேட்கின்றனர். எனது பேஸ்புக் பதிவில் நான் நிறைய தகவல்களை பகிர்ந்துகொள்வதால் சென்னை உயர் நீதிமன்றத்தில் எனது அனுபவங்கள் தொடர்பாகவும் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும் என தமிழர்கள் சிலர் கோரிக்கை விடுத்தனர். அதனாலேயே இதை இப்போது பகிர்ந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறேன்" என கூறியுள்ளார்.

Tell-all note: Manmohan's role exposed

Times Now 22 July 14

After former SC judge Markandey Katju alleged that three ex-Chief Justices of India had allowed a judge under corruption cloud to continue in office, TIMES NOW unearths sensational secret PMO note on the controversial appointment. TIMES NOW accesses former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's secret note to then Law Minister HR Bhardwaj on 'tainted' judge's promotion.

 The secret note reveals that Manmohan Singh had personally intervened on the issue of 'tainted' judge. Manmohan Singh in the secret PMO note demanded an explanation as to why the 'tainted' judge was not recommended. 

This is a never seen before, never acknowledged before note that nails the former PM's complicity.

Former PM Manmohan Singh refused to comment on the claim by Katju that three ex-CJIs made "improper compromises" during UPA rule in retaining a judge in TN under corruption cloud. When contacted for a reaction, Singh said he has nothing to say as former Law Minister H R Bhardwaj has already clarified the issue.

 Bharadwaj earlier insisted that no "undue favours" were given to the judge because proper procedure was followed. "So far as political threats to a coalition government is concerned there were always pressure(from allies) onappointment of judges which I never yielded," he said. 

Former SC judge Markandey Katju yesterday (July 21) created a furore alleging that three ex-Chief Justices of India -- Justice Lahoti, Justices Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnanhad -- made "improper compromises" and "succumbed" to political pressure in the extension of an unnamed additional judge of Madras High Court at the instance of UPA-I government owing to pressure from an ally, a "Tamil Nadu party", apparently DMK, and his confirmation as permanent judge. Katju said when he was heading the Madras High Court he got many reports that the additional judge concerned was allegedly indulging in corruption prompting him to request the then CJI Justice Lahoti to get a secret IB inquiry made

. He claimed that the IB report found the allegations to be true and said the judge should have been sacked.

As Katju, who is now Chairman of the Press Council of India, stood firm on his allegation, AIADMK members protested in Parliament for the second straight day and demanded that the DMK minister who was behind the move to retain the judge during the UPA rule be named. Justice Lahoti is quoted as having said that he has never done anything wrong in his life and that everything is a matter of record while Justice Balakrishnan rejected the allegation against him as "completely baseless and not factually correct". DMK slammed Katju for his allegation, calling it "wild and baseless".

Just 2 judges denied permanent posting in Madras HC

A Subramani,TNN | Jul 22, 2014, 07.06 AM IST

CHENNAI: What does it mean to be a high court judge? This round-the-clock constitutional position brings complete insulation from criminal proceedings except with the permission of Chief Justice of India, Rs 1.28 lakh a month as salary, at least four men to do personal chores, 200 litres of free fuel a month, two leave travel concessions a year, no water and electricity bill, and more. 

The last hurdle to be cleared before a jurist reaches the `permanent' judge post is the two-year probation-like additional judgeship. Legally an additional judge is no less powerful than a permanent judge. Theoretically, an additional judge could be `eased out' at the end of his two-year tenure, whereas the only way to see the back of a permanent judge is impeachment by Parliament. 

In its 152-year history, the Madras high court has had just two known cases of additional judges who failed to become permanent judges on account of serious allegations. In the late 1990s, a district judge from Rajasthan, R R Jain, was elevated to the high court as additional judge. He was immediately transferred to Madras HC as lawyers in Rajasthan protested over Jain's suspected involve ment in a criminal case. The Madras Bar rose in unison against Jain, and he had to be sent back as a district judge. 

The second incident involves N Kannadasan, who was elevated to HC as an additional judge on November 5, 2003. At the end of his two-year tenure, he received neither extension as additional judge nor confirmation as permanent judge. As no one heard anything from Supreme Court, his judgeship was deemed to have lapsed. It took three years, and a helping hand from the DMK government, for Kannadasan to return to court as additional advocate general. 

He courted another round of controversy when he was appointed president of state consumer commission as `former judge of the high court'. There were protests saying that he could not enjoy the privileges of a former judge, as he had been eased out as additional judge itself. He had to quit that statutory post as well. 

Another additional judge, Justice S Ashok Kumar, has the record of being sworn in five times. He was first sworn in as additional judge, along with seven other district judges, on April 3, 2003. Owing to a delay on the part of the SC, the tenure of all the eight was extended at the end of two years. Later, others were made permanent judges, but Justice Kumar was made to continue as additional judge for four months. Finally , he was made permanent in 2008 and transferred to Andhra. He retired on July 17, 2009 and passed away in October 2009. 

Bank manager held for looting Rs 1.5 crore from customers

TNN | Jul 21, 2014, 03.19 AM IST

CHENNAI: Central Crime Branch sleuths arrested a senior official of a nationalised bank for cleaning out at least Rs 1.5 crore from the accounts of customers.

Indian Overseas Bank senior manager M Paasuramamoorthy, 57, of Karpagam Garden in Adyar, siphoned off funds from an NRI's fixed deposit and those of two other customers to cover up the first offense, investigators said.

As manager of IOB's Rajapalayam sub-branch, Parasuramamoorthy used a fake demand draft to withdraw money from the fixed deposit of A K D Kumar, who is based in the United States and had given his brother Venkatramanaraja authority to manage his accounts in his absence.

Parasuramamoorthy then received a transfer to IOB's main branch in Rajapalayam where he was posted as senior manager. Shortly after this, Venkatramanaraja asked Parasuramamoorthy, who had been handling his brother's accounts, to renew the fixed deposit and transfer it to the main branch.

Since Parasuramamoorthy had taken the money from the fixed deposit, he issued a fake receipt for account renewal. Venkatramanaraja then asked the bank manager to pay him the sum from other fixed deposits that had matured. A desperate Parasuramamoorthy took 80 lakh from the account of another customer, Ponnusamy, and used the money to pay Venkatramanaraja.

"Soon after this, in 2013, he took a transfer to the Adambakkam branch of IOB," an investigating officer said. "A couple of months later, Venkatramanaraja wanted to encash other deposits. But Parasuramamoorthy had pilfered from them so he took 61 lakh from the account of another customer, Gomathy, in the Adambakkam branch."

As the bank manager's fraudulent schemes unravelled, the Rajapalayam police received a complaint from Ponnusamy and booked a case of cheating against Parasuramamoorthy. Investigations by CCB revealed that the manager was guilty of multiple offences. Investigating officers are interrogating Parasuramamoorthy to see if he cheated other customers.

An Alandur court has remanded Parasuramamoorthy in judicial custody.