Shruti Desai


February 20, 2023

  Indians are a very tolerant community. Citizens are basically law-abiding. But as per data available there are more than 5 crore cases are pending in various courts across India. This includes criminal, civil, DRT, matrimonial, adoption, insolvency, and others. There is always vacancy for Judges and there is also friction between different stakeholders regarding the method of appointment. The pending cases are monetary disputes, land disputes, agricultural land, easement, flat purchasers right, and so on. This also includes international arbitration awards and their execution. When a suit is filed immediate party moves for ad-interim reliefs by way of a Notice of Motion or Interim Application as the case may be. When the order is passed same Notice of Motion comes up for a final hearing after 5 to 10 years. By that time if Plaintiff did not get the order he loses the edge and his right. Then suit may be on board for framing of Issues may be another 5-10 years. The next stage is the affidavit of evidence, admission denial of documents, and cross-examination of witnesses. When a decree is passed it takes time of 2 to 3 years for sealing. When the decree is ready for execution if not executed then we have to take out 21×22 notice in which takes another 2 years to reach and there may be objections. So, for Plaintiff entire exercise is futile. Citizens need a remedy that is speedy and result oriented. The matter doesn’t end here after the ad-interim there is an Appeal from the Order then the Supreme Court and so on and so forth. The litigation is unending and is also costly. To overcome this situation government introduced concept of mediation. It is not much successful. As far as Arbitration is concerned the new concept of institutional arbitration is introduced. It may have been successful but not much accepted by common people like new entrepreneurs, startups, and the common citizens. That is due to cost and fees of an arbitrator. Many petitions are filed in Supreme Court challenging fees of the arbitrator. (See ONGC vs Afcons Gunanusa JV) Does the question arise what is the remedy? The remedy lies in our constitution. Article 217 says the Appointment and conditions of the office of a Judge of a High Court.—(1) Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and [shall hold office, in the case of an additional or acting Judge, as provided in article 224, and in any other case, until he attains the age of [sixty-two years]:] 126. Appointment of acting Chief Justice.—When the office of Chief Justice of India is vacant or when the Chief Justice is, by reason of absence or otherwise, unable to perform the duties of his office, the duties of the office shall be performed by such one of the other Judges of the Court as the President may appoint for the purpose. 127. Appointment of ad hoc Judges.—(1) If at any time there should not be a quorum of the Judges of the Supreme Court available to hold or […]

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December 19, 2022

Nowadays Collegium is a topic of debate. It’s a system where the Committee of Justices of Higher Courts sanctions and recommends an appointment of an Advocate/Justice of the High Court to a higher bench or apex bench of the Judiciary. Which is under criticism. At present Collegium is a system that makes the appointment and recommends names to the President and Government of India.  However, as a matter of academic interest let us see the background of this issue. To draft the Constitution, a Constituent Assembly was constituted. In the said assembly the topic or article on the appointment of Judges to the higher judiciary amendments was discussed at length. Copy each of Part-1 and Part -2 of the Collegium discussion given below in the link. The following are the relevant resolutions. Proceedings before Constituent Assembly Mr. President: The question is: “That for clause (2) of article 103 the following be substituted:- ‘Every Judges of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years: Provided that in the case of appointment of a Judge, other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India shall always be consulted.’” The amendment was negatived. “That in clause (4) of article 103, for the words ‘supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting has been presented to the president by both Houses of Parliament ‘ the words ‘by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President’ be substituted.” The amendment was adopted. Provision of Constitution: An evolution: Provision of Constitution : Establishment and constitution of Supreme Court.—(1) There shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief Justice of India and, until Parliament by law prescribes a larger number, of not more than [seven] other Judges. (2) Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal [on the recommendation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission referred to in article 124A]2  and shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years: 3.[* * * * *] 4 [Provided that]— (a) a Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office; (b) a Judge may be removed from his office in the manner provided in clause (4). 5 [(2A) The age of a Judge of the Supreme Court shall be determined by such authority and in such manner as Parliament may by law provide.] (3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court, unless he is a citizen of India and— (a) has been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or (b) has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts […]

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JUDICIAL ACTIVISM AFFECTING ORIGINAL SCOPE OF DUTIES? An analysis based on Article 138 of the Constitution :

May 15, 2021

My Quote: We must consider a person whose money and land is blocked in litigation dies everyday. Article 138. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (1) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction and powers with respect to any of the matters in the Union List as Parliament may by law confer (2) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction, and powers with respect to any matter as the Government of India and the Government of any State may by special agreement confer, if Parliament by law provides for the exercise of such jurisdiction and powers by the Supreme Court Poetic Justice: English drama critic Thomas Rymer coined the phrase in The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider’d (1678) to describe how a work should inspire proper moral behavior in its audience by illustrating the triumph of good over evil. The demand for poetic justice is consistent in Classical authorities and shows up in Horace, Plutarch, and Quintillian, so Rymer’s phrasing is a reflection of a commonplace. Philip Sidney, in The Defence of Poesy (1595) argued that poetic justice was, in fact, the reason that fiction should be allowed in a civilized nation. But Indian Civilization believes in Karma which was much much prior to theory of poetic justice: And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap. : Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th century BCE Judicial Activism: During #pandemic #Covid19India Judiciary played active role. As such over last 15 years there is more judicial activism. When we change or expand horizon we need more efficiency, professionalism, workforce, intellect, reduction in procedure and process, and also with today’s time we need modern technology. We have in last decade seen Judiciary calling #AirChiefMarshal for questioning on #Rafaeldeal We saw courts ordering change in 1000 years custom and usage in case of #shabarimala At the same time #NJAC was struck down. There is Judicial activism seen by way of PILs and suo motu cognizance. However the fundament duty of Judiciary has seen serious backlog. May it be suit, appeal or execution. We cannot value the total amount stuck in financial  recovery cases,  and land cases pending in various courts across India. Common citizens discuss but do not debate because of scare of law. I am referring these sequences of events because recently Bombay High Court said if people die of lack of oxygen it’s violative of Article 21. What does it provide? Article 21 in The Constitution of India 1949 gives  Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Backlog of Cases violate of Constitutional Rights? there is report which requires serious considerations even by those who are executing duties under oath. https://prsindia.org/policy/vital-stats/pendency-cases-judiciary which says: In 2016,  compared to 2006, number of cases disposed of increased approximately from 57,000 to 76,000  in Supreme Court;  from 14.4 lakh cases to 16 lakh cases in High Courts and from […]

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