Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BOOKS : "Talking of Justice " -A new book by the first woman high court chief justice

Leila Seth: Words like justice
Leila Seth at her home in Noida. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
A new book by the first woman high court chief justice offers insights into the causes affecting women today 
Namita Bhandare : Mint: 28 oct 2014
At the sprightly age of 84, Leila Seth is busy planning her schedule. There are literary seminars to attend, talks to be given to schoolchildren, a book that has just been launched and, yes, already, another book to be written.
The latest is barely out. Launched on her 84th birthday on 20 October,Talking Of Justice: People’s Rights In Modern India is a collection of essays on subjects the former chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh high court holds dear: children’s rights, the status of widows, the need for gender sensitization within the judiciary, prisoner rights, the girl child.
Most of these essays began as talks and lectures delivered 1992 onwards, although the material itself has been updated, edited and rewritten for the book. An essay, You’re Criminal If Gay, appeared first in The Times Of Indiasoon after a two-judge Supreme Court bench reversed an earlier court decision to decriminalize homosexuality. And one, Rape: Inside The Justice Verma Committee, is a first-person account of the tumultuous days of December 2012.
Appointed after the gang rape and subsequent death of a young paramedical student in December 2012 that led to national outrage and spontaneous street protests, the three-member commission included Seth, former chief justice of India J.S. Verma and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium. It was given 30 days to recommend amendments to the existing sexual assault laws.
Without waiting for the government to provide it with the necessary facilities, the commission got down to work. Subramanium roped in his entire office and all his juniors. Even Justice Verma’s granddaughter, a student at the University of Oxford, UK, home for the holidays, chipped in. The task was mammoth: Sift through 80,000 suggestions from the public, expert advice from around the world, representations from women’s groups and the lesbian, gay and transgender community, and inputs from the police and administration. It was an intense, hectic time; 15 minutes before the deadline to receive submissions ended, representatives from a political party woke up Justice Verma. It was 11.45pm. They too had an urgent submission, they said, leaving only after a signed receipt from him.
When the 631-page report was presented in just 29 days, there was a sense of disbelief in the packed room at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan. Not only had the commission delivered in such a short time, its recommendations went far beyond the law. It wanted police reforms. It spoke about the need for changes in education, particularly the need for sex education. It wanted changes in The Representation of the People Act that would make candidates charged with rape ineligible to contest elections. It was, in short, a 21st century charter for women. “Our brief was limited to the law,” says Seth. “But we went for the wider scope because we knew that unless our approach was holistic, it would not be enough.”
The then prime minister Manmohan Singh sent “a nice letter of thanks”, recalls Seth. But when the law was finally passed, Parliament baulked. Many of the commission’s significant recommendations—on marital rape and rape by men in the Armed Forces, and on making rape gender neutral, for instance—were left out. The death sentence, not recommended, was added. And the age of juveniles, at least for heinous crimes, is being sought to be lowered to 16 through a Bill introduced this year in Parliament.
Over 18 months have passed since the Justice Verma Commission. Justice Verma died barely three months after the report. There is a new law but the number of reported rape and sexual assault cases is up. Misogyny remains on blatant public display, often from elected representatives themselves.
Yet, seated in her book-embellished home, a grand piano inside and a redchampa tree outside, Seth says she remains an “optimist” because “You cannot live without hope.” The government may not have accepted all the commission’s recommendations, but it is, she says, a “beginning”.
The real challenge lies in changing mindsets. “The changed law provides an immediate remedy. But changing mindsets is a slower process. And that change doesn’t come fast,” she says.
“Nothing can change unless we first start talking. The problem is when you sweep things under the carpet,” says Seth.
The commission’s work is done. But the new conversation around sexual violence, patriarchy and the status of women has not abated.
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Personally speaking
Leila Seth began her law practice in 1959 in Patna as one of only two women lawyers practising in the high court there. By the time she wrote her first book, an autobiography elegantly titled ‘On Balance’, she was 74. The book was an 80th birthday gift to her husband Premo, now 91.
In 1992, David Davidar, then with Penguin, visited Shimla, where Seth was the chief justice. He was there to read her son Vikram Seth’s manuscript of ‘A Suitable Boy’. It was Davidar who suggested that Seth write her own book. And it was Davidar again, now head of Aleph Book Co., who suggested she write a personal account of her time at the Justice Verma Commission.
Along the way, Seth wrote We, The Children Of India, which explains the Constitution and preamble—which Seth calls the ”soul of our Constitution”—to children. “Children understand things very quickly, they understand concepts of fairness and justice,” says Seth. It is her conversation with children that gives Seth, a grandmother to two girls, Nandini, 13, and Anamika, 10, her energy. “The young today are so confident,” she says. Her next book is a compilation of stories for children, some of them fictional, imparting values without being preachy.
Taking an interest in the world around her and looking to the future drives Seth’s optimism. She travels throughout the country and beyond, attending literary festivals from Bhutan to Bangalore, asking for no special concessions to her age as she bustles about attending sessions in her trademark handloom saris, feet comfortably encased in Crocs.
The changes she has seen, from the Quit India movement and Partition to the protests of December 2012, are astonishing. Significant laws have been passed, and Seth considers reservation for women in panchayats, the right to information and education among the three most significant in the country.
On this journey, Seth has been open to change too. For instance, she says, when she started out in the profession, completing her law degree after the birth of her children, she says she was against the concept of reservation for women. “As I’ve got older, I have begun to realize that women have been put down for so long that reservation is absolutely essential.”
For Seth, a just society is an equally balanced one. “I am one of those who wishes to walk hand in hand, not a step in front or a step behind,” she says.
Namita Bhandare is consulting editor, gender, Mint.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

மாவட்ட நீதிபதிகள் பணியிட மாற்றம்: ஐகோர்ட் உத்தரவு

சென்னை ஐகோர்ட் தலைமை பதிவாளர் பொன்.கலையரசன் வெளியிட்டுள்ள அறிவிக்கையில்,

’’சென்னை 14-வது கூடுதல் மாவட்ட (சி.பி.ஐ) கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதி கே.வெங்கடேஷ்சுவாமி, 13-வது கூடுதல் மாவட்ட (சி.பி.ஐ) கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதியாக நியமிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளார்.

 சென்னை சார்பு நீதிபதி வி.சோபனாதேவி மாவட்ட நீதிபதியாக பதவி உயர்வு பெற்றுள்ளார். எஸ்.மோகனகுமாரி, காஞ்சீபுரம் மாவட்ட கூடுதல் நீதிபதியாகவும், வி.சோபனாதேவி சென்னை 14-வது கூடுதல் சி.பி.ஐ. கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதியாகவும் நியமிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர். 

சென்னை முதலாவது கூடுதல் குடும்பநல கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதியாக வி.சாருஹாசினி, சென்னை 2-வது கூடுதல் குடும்பநல கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதியாக ஆர்.கலைமதி, 3-வது கூடுதல் குடும்பநல கோர்ட்டு நீதிபதியாக எஸ்.கோமதிஜெயம் ஆகியோர் நியமிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர்’’என்று கூறப்பட்டுள்ளது.

Happy Diwali !!

May You Be showered with
Happiness, Peace and Prosperity
in the coming Days !!

Happy Diwali !!!

Delhi HC stays shifting of DRT to Parliament Street


The High today stayed the shifting of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) from its current location in Jhandewalan here to a building in Street. 

A bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru in an interim order put on hold till October 27 the Centre's decision to shift the three benches of DRT from their current location, saying, "Let the tribunals function from their present place." 

"... The Union of to ensure that the tribunals are allowed to function from their current place. They be not shifted without sufficient arrangements being made at the new place," the court said. 

The court passed the order after the DRT Bar Association claimed that the new premises did not have proper parking facilities, places for lawyers and litigants to sit or any amenities. 

They also said that there will be a function in th next few days, and if DRT is moved to the new location it will create a chaos as there would be no place to park the vehicles and power and other facilities are also not fully functional. 

Presently the DRT is being operated from the basement of a building at the RSS Bharat Prakashan-owned Keshav Kunj in Jhandewalan for several years. 

The decision to shift the tribunal to a different location was taken after the RSS filed a suit for eviction, claiming they needed the property for their own offices. 

Earlier this year, the Bar Association was told that the government had decided to shift the DRT to the Jeevan Tara Building at Patel chowk on Parliament Street. 

The DRT was scheduled to be shifted to the Jeevan Tara offices by October 20 and was expected to start functioning from October 27.

SBI Chief Tries to Shift the Blame on NPAs

SBI, SBI Chief, Arundhati Bhattacharya, SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya

Money control :DEBASHIS BASU | 17/10/2014 04:43 PM |   

Blames lax regulations for high NPAs when the real cause is widespread corruption in public sector banks

The State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, in an interview with Financial Times, has called for shake up in the regulatory system, as if SBI and its chairman is an outside to the same system.

In the interview, the SBI chief admitted that rates of bad and restructured assets will keep rising for “at least a couple more quarters”, despite having already hit roughly 10% of loans. 

But remarkably for the first time for a chairman of a government-owned bank, she has argued that India needs tougher rules for defaulters, as well as “a proper bankruptcy law to help get orderly resolution of [bad] assets”. “What we need is a little more teeth,” she was quoted while calling for firmer regulations to target indebted tycoons. 

There are three things to note about this new, sudden demand for teeth. 

1. No chairman of state-run lender has ever raised his or her voice about poor regulations that is failing to curb the ever-rising non-performing assets (NPAs).

2. SBI and other banks have never targeted defaulting corporate borrowers with determination to recover monies. Indian borrowers have always felt safe borrowing from the public sector banks knowing fully well that chairmen of these banks have no accountability. 

3. In fact, successive bank chairperson have passed the buck to the next person and retired with full benefits, even as defaults continued to hit the government-owned banks at every economic downturn.

4. The demand for “more teeth” is coming from the State Bank of India but not private sector banks because these banks have negligible bad debts.

5. This merely proves that it is not the recovery laws but lax credit appraisal and totally compromised top management is responsible for abnormally high bad debts in government banks.

Indeed, the same corrupt nexus between public sector banks and it's defaulting borrowers was responsible for band loans reaching 13% of advances in 2001-2002. In response, the government had created Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SARFAESI), 2002 designed to help in the recoveries of bad loans. One of the key provisions of the Act is for banks to be able to auction the assets of defaulting borrowers. This law was supposed to wholly aid banks. 

Unfortunately, if the bank officials are corrupt and have lent money without adequate collateral, what auctions will they do? This is why spectacular defaults such as Deccan Chronicle and Kingfisher Airlines have led to no action against defaulters, despite the SARFAESI Act. In addition, SBI has been the biggest lender to Kingfisher. Have you heard of any action against any SBI official, including previous chairman, for what is obviously gross negligence in assessing Kingfisher’s creditworthiness and for not ensuring that the bank’s interests are covered?

In May, the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), while revealing wilful defaults worth Rs70,300 crore in 400 loan accounts in public sector banks (PSBs), has demanded a detailed probe in to the loan sanctioning and loans turning into bad assets. 

This is bad lending of epidemic proportions. If banks were not confident of the laws that would land them in this huge soup of bad loans, whom did they point this out to and why did they lend? No, these bad loans have only one root: corruption, something that Ms Bhattacharya does not want to talk about.

According to the bank employee's union, over the past seven years, there were fresh bad loans worth Rs4.95 lakh crore only in government banks, while during the same period, these lenders wrote off bad debts worth Rs1.4 lakh crore. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and bad loans in the PSBs have increased to Rs1.64 lakh crore as on 31 March 2013 from Rs39,000 crore as on 31 March 2008.

While the unions were demanding stern action against bank defaulters, not a single bank chairman supported it. Moneylife had asked the SBI chief three questions based on her FT interview. The questions were, did not SBI know that the laws were weak; did banks ever tell the RBI or the Finance Ministry about the problems and is SBI saying that the RBI has failed to act like responsible regulator?

Her office replied: "(the) Chairman in her interview had merely emphasized the need for tougher resolution mechanism to put a check on wilful defaulters. Additionally, she also said banks should work in tandem and more closely in consortiums, while lending only to projects that have government regulatory clearances in hand." It also said, "...to draw a link between the 3 questions that you have posed and the relevant interview is far-fetched."

The bank employee unions have been demanding fix responsibility on banks’ top brass for the loans that have turned bad, allow banks to share information on NPAs and wilful defaulters under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and declare wilful loan default as a criminal offence. 

The fact is despite stringent credit appraisal process and committees to sanction loans, borrowers have siphoned off money from the banking system in connivance with bankers. Once this reaches large proportions that affect the functioning of the banks, the ministry of finance quietly steps in and washes the sins of the banks by recapitalizing them, even as chairman after chairman go scot free.

There is a reason for this perpetual lack of accountability of senior bank officials. Some chairmen are handpicked by ministry and finance minister for their ability to be pliant and sanction dirty loans. The Reserve Bank merely rubber-stamps this selection process. Who will go after the chairman when the MoF is involved and the RBI is hand-off? This is the root of bad loans in India, not lax regulations that Ms Bhattacharya tries to blame

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Full Text of Order of SC On Selvi J.Jayalalithaa's(Bail ) SLP cr

we suspend the sentence and direct that the petitioners, (i) Selvi J.Jayalalithaa, (ii) Tmt.N.Sasikala, (iii) Mr.V.N. Sudhakaran, and (iv) TMT. J.Elasvarasi be released on bail on executing a bond with two solvent sureties by each of them to the satisfaction of the 36th Addl. City Civil & Sessions Judge (Spl. Court for Trial of Criminal Cases against Kum. Jayalalitha & Ors) at Bangalore. = IA No. 1/2014 in Crl.Appeal No. 835 of 2014 passed by the High Court Of Karnataka At Bangalore) J JAYALALITHAA Petitioner(s) VERSUS STATE OF TAMIL NADU REP. BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE DV AND AC, CHENNAI Respondent(s) (With office report) = 2014- Oct. Moth – http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/outtoday/sr790014p-2014_10_17.pdf

we suspend
the sentence and direct that the
(i) Selvi J.Jayalalithaa, 
(ii) Tmt.N.Sasikala, 
(iii) Mr.V.N. Sudhakaran,
(iv) TMT. J.Elasvarasi be released on
bail on executing a bond with two solvent
sureties by each of them to the
satisfaction of the 36th Addl. City Civil &
Sessions Judge (Spl. Court for Trial of
Criminal Cases against Kum. Jayalalitha &
Ors) at Bangalore. 
Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No. 7900/2014
(Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated
07/10/2014 in in IA No. 1/2014 in Crl.Appeal No. 835 of 2014
passed by the High Court Of Karnataka At Bangalore)
J JAYALALITHAA Petitioner(s)
(With office report)
SLP(Crl) No. 7906-7908/2014
(With Office Report)
Date : 17/10/2014 These petitions were called on
for hearing today.

For Petitioner(s) Mr. Fali S. Nariman, Sr. Adv.
Mr. B. Kumar, Sr. Adv.
Mr. A Navaneetha Krishnan, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S. Senthil, Adv.
Mr. Gaurav Agrawal,Adv.
Ms. Meha Aggarwal, Adv.
Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Sr. Adv.
Mr. C Mani Shankar, Adv.
Mr. Rupesh Kumar,Adv.
Mr. A. Ashokan,Adv.
Mr. Raj Kamal, Adv.
Mr. Farz Khan, AdV.
For Respondent(s)/ Mr. Subramonium Swamy,
Intervenor(s) In-person
Ms. Roxy Subramanian, Adv.
Mr. Yatinder Choudhary, Adv.
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
After hearing Shri Fali S. Nariman,
Shri K.T.S. Tulsi, learned senior counsel
for the petitioners and Shri Subramonium
Swamy, party-in-person and also the
complainant, for the present, we suspend
the sentence and direct that the
petitioners, (i) Selvi J.Jayalalithaa, (ii)
Tmt.N.Sasikala, (iii) Mr.V.N. Sudhakaran,
and (iv) TMT. J.Elasvarasi be released on
bail on executing a bond with two solvent
sureties by each of them to the
satisfaction of the 36th Addl. City Civil &
Sessions Judge
(Spl. Court for Trial of
Criminal Cases against Kum. Jayalalitha &
Ors) at Bangalore.
Call these matters on 18th December,
[ Charanjeet Kaur ] [ Vinod K
ulvi ]
Court Master Asstt. Registrar

Bombay HC issues notice to RBI on ballooning NPAs

FEXpress Aamir Khan | Mumbai |  October 17, 2014 1:38 am
The Bombay High Court has issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India in connection with a PIL which alleges that the non-performing assets (NPA) of nationalised banks swelled up from Rs 455 crore for the year ended March 2008 to Rs 9,190 crore in March 2012.
However, according to the RBI annual report, gross NPAs for public sector banks for FY 14 stood at 4.7 per cent of gross advances, or approximately Rs 2.8 lakh crore.
Justices AS Oka and GS Kulkarni gave the direction while acting on a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, seeking directions to the RBI to register a case with the CBI to probe into the “fraudulent sanctions” leading to such huge NPAs. Once the borrower has failed to make interest or principal payments for 90 days, the bank loan is considered to be a NPA.

Relying on RTI replies obtained from the RBI, Tirodkar told the HC that there were over 140 cases of fraud of around Rs 15 crore each reported to the CBI by various banks between the years 2008 and 2012. However, he alleged, there was no information about whether or not cases of NPAs were registered with the investigating agency.
Nationalised banks have not complied with the Banking Regulation Act, 1969, which mandates periodical submission of audit reports to the RBI, alleged the petitioner.
“The Act is not complied with in order to suppress the NPA scenario and shield the culprit beneficiaries working in collusion with the banking authorities,” the PIL alleged.
The involvement of bank authorities commences at the stage when a would-be defaulter approaches the bank to extract a loan against a flimsy proposal / asset with the intention to dupe the bank in future, said the PIL.
While stating the “modus operandi” of banking authorities, the petitioner said they act in connivance with the future defaulters, decorate artificially the feasibility report, to sanction the proposal.
“The NPAs start accumulating at the end of the quarter which goes unreported to the RBI for a long time. Subsequently, such huge volumes of NPA, when they finally get reported to the RBI, have passed the stage of correction, and the RBI and the banks are forced to either write them off completely or to settle them for peanuts,” Tirodkar claimed.
While issuing the notice, the HC has posted the hearing on December 9.