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Ravi Shankar Prasad retains law ministry, vacancy & backlog of cases top challenges

In his second stint, a priority for Prasad will be to set up an impartial complaint redressal system, an offshoot of the controversy on sexual harassment allegations against the CJI.

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New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad was re-inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet as the law minister Friday.

Prasad, the MP from Patna Sahib, had briefly lost this position to Sadananda Gowda in a cabinet reshuffle in November 2014.

Besides law minister, Prasad was also appointed as the minister of communications, electronics and information technology.

Backlog of cases and vacancies have always clogged the judiciary, posing the same conundrum for law ministers for years now. Prasad, therefore, has to address these challenges in his second stint too.

Challenges awaiting Prasad

Impartial complaint redressal system: One of the biggest offshoots of the controversy surrounding the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has been the demand to put in place a proper complaint redressal system to probe such accusations.

The issue also gained traction when allegations of impropriety were levelled against former CJI Dipak Misra.

Also read: Modi cabinet: Here’s the full list of who got which ministry

Even though the SC judgment in the Veeraswamy case provides a mechanism to deal with criminal complaints against judges of constitutional courts, the position on the procedure to be followed when the CJI himself is under the scanner is unclear.

To remedy the situation, the new government could take a re-look at the ‘The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill’ that was passed by the Lok Sabha to enforce greater accountability in the judiciary. The Bill, which could not be discussed in the Rajya Sabha, lapsed due to the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.

Post-retirement jobs: No government in India has so far shied away from handing out jobs to retired judges and this one was no different, having appointed at least 12 judges after their retirement to various posts.

The debate on the propriety of such appointments flares up every time a judge is handed out a post-retirement job, raising questions on the judiciary’s independence and integrity. This necessitates exploration of suggestions such as increase of retirement age of judges and a mandatory cooling-off period after the judges’ retirement.

Appointment of judges: While a record number of judges were appointed in the last five years, there was marked delay and disagreements over the recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium with the most prominent being the elevation of Justice K.M. Joseph. As remarked by former apex court judge Kurian Joseph, this selective delay in appointments of certain judges amounts to interference of the executive in the independence of the judiciary.

Therefore, the foremost step to address judicial vacancies has to be finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which has been lying with the Centre since then CJI J.S. Khehar finalised it in March 2017. The long ignored Article 224A of the Constitution can be explored as well to appoint retired judges as ad hoc judges.

Effective functioning of Tribunals: The ailing tribunal system needs an overhaul. It needs to be brought under a nodal agency that would facilitate immediate appointments to fill quorum requirements and provide the necessary infrastructure.

Additionally, the establishment of an ‘Indian Tribunals Service’ by the same nodal agency would address the conflict of interest that is often alleged to arise due to post-retirement jobs offered to judges.

Also read: Maneka Gandhi named pro-tem Speaker, son Varun Gandhi kept out of new Modi govt

Achievements in the past five years

During Prasad’s tenure, he had spearheaded a massive push in digitisation of courts. More than 1,400 obsolete laws were repealed, a record number of judges were appointed, and several laws were introduced to facilitate ease of doing business.

Further, special courts were established to adjudicate cases against lawmakers, albeit pursuant to a petition filed in the Supreme Court. The Nation Judicial Data Grid was also launched and appreciated by the stakeholders.

Prasad’s tenure will, however, be remembered for the marked upswing in the conflict between the executive and the judiciary as well as within the judiciary. The unprecedented press conference held by four senior Supreme Court judges — Justice (retired) J. Chelameswar, incumbent CJI Gogoi, Justice (retired) Madan Lokur and Justice (retired) Kurian Joseph — is still a fresh memory.

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  1. Most importantly- Impartial complaint redressal system. What a shame to the nation. The need for quick and strong decision making, lack of ego and commitment to hard work, in a plea by petitioner P.K.Chandran -in-person at Chennai Regional Bench of the ARMED FORCES TRIBUNAL.
    The petitioner submits that the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution are “affirmative instructions from the ultimate sovereign to the State authorities”. These directives are meant to secure to social, economic and political justice all citizens as well as liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, Upadhyay’s petition further states.

    Calling for the need for such a Code, it is argued that the object of Article 44 of the Constitution is to promote fraternity, unity and national integration, as it proceeds on the assumption that there is no connection between religion and personal laws in a civilized society. The object of Article 44 is not to encroach upon religious liberties guaranteed under Article 25, it is added. Also claims that the Right to Equality guaranteed under Article 14, the Right against Discrimination guaranteed under Article 15, and the Right to Life and Liberty guaranteed under Article 21 cannot be secured without implementing a Uniform Civil Code.

    BJP Govt. stands exposed for the genocide of Men denying justice to Men & destroying Hindu Family Sanskriti sanskars relationship for the lust of female votes. SHAME on BJP for starting gender war ruining Hindu Family ages old proven traditions WHILE NOT BEING MOVED FOR THE ATROCITIES OF, “DELIBERATE ABUSE OF VAKALATNAMA SIGNED BY THE CLIENT UNDER TRUST”. PKC/BG /2018 Dt.16.01.2018 “ABUSE OF VAKALATNAMA ” *Please think lawgically / Logically.
    “The manipulated verdict, was a massive blow, not only to the aggrieved ex-serviceman dragged with injustice to his age of over 70 years but for the personnel who influenced to have my case withdrawn, without my personal knowledge and belief, while self sick in bed, while the V A K A L A T N A M A (vakalatnama) is nothing but a power given to an advocate to plead the case and to represent the person before the court, for contesting the case. It is also called as “Vakilpatra” but in practice, this being misused, exploiting the situation and to condition permitting it. By this, common people are duped and cheated, suiting to circumstances/conditions permitting it. Which is quite unfair, hence being protested/condemned, in this modern era. Which is to please some section (political-play) or for Advocate’s, own selfish-gain, when advocacy known to be a noble profession, for seeking “justice” why? Administrative lapses caused willfully / deliberately caused are considered as a serious crime. In view of this, common people s / litigants feedback, be encouraged, in Citizen’s Welfare and Interest, as a feedback on cases/courts, for early corrective/remedial action, similar to feedback of the product-service failures, to home consumer goods, in Consumer Courts, “which was to compensate the consumer and as well, to improve the product through “research and development”.

    What a shame to learn, from the certified copies availed, on payment, to the Chennai Regional Bench, that “the client has been back stabbed, through a “vakalatnama” signed by any client but for abuse of withdrawing the case. which, availed when self sick in bed, and convalescing after a massive heart attack and stent inserted, to the L.H.S. coronary of the heart. hence obviously differences prevail drastically between the officers and non – officers of the defence. Ref: M.A.148 of 2017 in O.A.No.7 of 2013, and M.A. 149 of 2017 in O.A. No.7 of 2013. “disgraceful –event “that an aggrieved Ex-Serviceman – litigant, can be harmed and caused further injury to give-up, through mental agony by ego and arrogance of the senior Defence officer, whom pleased by Lt.Comdr. (retired) advocate, Mr. Elangovan, when he was assigned to attend the hearing, when came up, on the eventful day, (11.08.2017), by a Vakalatnama, signed by self, while (self, sick in bed). high time people s / litigants feedback, be encouraged, as a feedback on cases/courts, similar to feedback of the product service failures, on the home consumer goods, to compensate the consumer and as well, improve the product through research and development. The culprit should be suspended and debarred from practice in A F T.

    Pragmatically, in reality, the said ex-serviceman P.K.Chandran, has been cruelly dragged to his old age of 72 years, harming physically in the drag, and deprive of his basic legitimate rights of Army Disability Pension, which is a curse to the nation, as the Defence Personnel ( whether in service or out of service) are the most patriotic citizen’s of the nation. Continuing to harm and cause further injury through mental agony by “ Ego and Arrogance “ of the senior Defence officer, known to have pleased by Lt.Comdr.I.N. (Retired) Advocate, Mr. Elangovan, when he was assigned to attend the hearing, argue or pass-over the case, informing of my major sickness, when cause list came up for hearing, for the eventful day, (11.08.2017), while self engaged responsibly a practicing advocate by a Vakalatnama signed, by self (while self sick in bed). * Humanity is in great danger and to save humanity, it’s important for powers that believe in humanitarian values to unite: if so, why is the National Administration/Governance Unmoved? If at all Independent judiciary is must for democracy, why not proved in day to day working performance efficiency, with commitment, accountability and responsibility. ?
    Peoples Government, shall ensure every citizen lives to peace, harmony with self-dignity. You would agree that “All Rules have to be bend towards the people‘s peace and progress” for law abiding citizen. Why forced patriotism, asking “National Anthem” to be played by the undisciplined crowd, in theatres, public houses, public markets etc. instead enforce in uniformed services and in schools for growing school children, and elsewhere, where they volunteer, as in the armed uniformed services of India with patriotic fervor. When it comes to obstruction of justice, the boundaries between legal, questionable and illegal are often less clear. By the way, obstruction can apply to civil or criminal cases. “Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency, shall be fined/penalized under this title, imprisoned for a reasonable period of time to curb such willful act of crime. Sub-section is labeled “Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees” Obstruction extends to injuring a process server, bribing a juror, “parading” in front of a courthouse, destroying emails, bullying witnesses — it goes on and on and on. So while the U.S. Code lists 21 ways to obstruct justice, given the built-in nuances, prosecutors can find virtually an infinite number of routes to an indictment, given enough time and investigatory resources. Now, here’s where “obstruction” gets even stickier: According to the legal resource Find Law, you don’t even have to interrupt an investigation to obstruct it. You just have to try to throw it off track. “The element of intent, which is central to such cases, is also usually the most difficult to prove; although memos, phone calls, and recorded conversations may be used as evidence to establish this,” according to Find Law. So those are the obstruction basics: nebulous as the day is long, great for prosecutors, precarious for suspects and almost always boiling down to intent. Dr.Chandran Peechulli Krishnan, Research Scholar, Ph.D (Law). EX-SERVICEMAN, A FELLOW ENGINEER AND CORPORATE LAWYER.
    WITH BEST COMPLIMENTS- For your valuable consideration and necessary action in PUBLIC INTEREST when the common people consider “ JUDGEs like GODs”. Chandran Peechulli 12:10 (0 minutes ago)
    to, tnsja.rc.cbe, tnsja.rc.mdu, bcc: SupremeCommand., bcc: supremecourt, bcc: supremecourtof., bcc: hcourt, bcc: vachavda, bcc: cmcell, bcc: secyesw, bcc: cs, bcc: lg.pon, bcc: adctolg.pon, bcc: Rajnath, bcc: Amit, bcc: News, bcc: Legally

    • TAMIL NADU STATE JUDICIAL ACADEMY No. 30(95), “Malligai” P.S.K.R. Salai,
    Greenways Road, R.A.Puram, Chennai – 600 028. Telephone No: (044) 24958595/ 96/ 97/ 98, Tele.Fax: (044) 24958595 E-Mail:tnsja[dot]tn[at]nic[dot]in,

    Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, Regional Centre,No.251, Scheme Road, Race Course, Coimbatore – 641 018.Telephone No: (0422) 2222610/710,E-Mail:tnsja[dot]rc[dot]cbe[at]gmail[dot]com

    Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy,Regional Centre,Alagar Koil Road, K.Pudur, Madurai – 625 002. Telephone No: (0452) 2560807/811,

  2. SHAME TO THE INDIAN JUDICIARY – MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE AND TO THE NATION AS A WHOLE, AFTER 72 LONG YEARS OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE. As none to be deprived of his basic / fundamental rights with vengeance for his outspoken message to the nation THOUGH THE TRUTH MAY APPEAR BITTER BY TASTE. Dr.Chandran Krishnan, Fellow Chartered Engineer & Corporate Lawyer, Chennai. Corporate Member – Chennai Press Club, Foundation Member, & First General Secretary, Chennai Society for Fast Justice (Registered).

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