Friday, May 14, 2010

New Chief Justice of India Sworn In - The Hindu

The Hindu : Front Page : Frivolous PIL will attract huge costs: New CJI

Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia, the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 38th Chief Justice of India on Wednesday. President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office to him at a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Kapadia, first CJI born after Independence, will have a tenure of two years and four months till September 28, 2012.
A stickler for discipline and procedures and adherence to rules, he has endeared himself to the Bar and the Bench. On his first day as CJI, he made his intentions loud and clear. He said huge costs would be imposed on litigants filing frivolous public interest litigation (PIL) petitions.
Justice Kapadia said he would not allow oral mention by lawyers and litigants in the court at 10-30 a.m. before the commencement of proceedings. The mentioning matter would come to the Bench through the department concerned where it should be filed a day earlier for consideration the next day.
Among those who attended the swearing-in were Vice-President Hamid Ansari, the outgoing CJI, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan; the former CJIs, Justices A.S. Anand and Y.K. Sabharwal; Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Supreme Court Bar Association president Ram Jethmalani, All-India Bar Association chairman Adish C. Agarwala, Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati, the former Attorney-General K. Parasaran, other senior lawyers and family members of Justice Kapadia.
Justice Kapadia was initially appointed additional judge of the Bombay High Court in October 1991 and made permanent judge in March 1993.
For more than three years, he was special judge of the special court under the Securities Transaction Act. On August 5, 2003, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court. On December 18, 2003, he was elevated to the Supreme Court. In the past six-and-half years, he has delivered several landmark judgments under the constitutional, taxation, regulatory and commercial laws.
Mr. Vahanvati, Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam and members of the Bar greeted Justice Kapadia on his assuming office as CJI. In his response, he said: “I want a pro-active Bar and not a reactive Bar.” He finished the hearing of the day's list in about 30 minutes.

Justice Balakrishnan retires

Justice K.G. Balakrishnan laid down office on Tuesday, after a tenure of three years and four months as Chief Justice of India and nearly 10 years as judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Balakrishnan, who endeared himself to the Bar and the Bench, was a given a warm farewell at a function held in the Supreme Court.
Speaking to journalists, he said a “halfway” mechanism to deal with errant judges was not suitable for the judiciary. Such a method was often criticised, as “judges are not like ordinary government servants. If the integrity of a judge is doubtful, we cannot censure him or warn him or suspend him. It should be the end of his career. So, that is why halfway methods are not suitable for the judiciary.”
To a query whether a mechanism was needed to deal with errant judges, Justice Balakrishnan said: “The thinking process is there to deal with errant judges, and the government is in the process of bringing in the Judicial Accountability Bill, which is before the select committee of Parliament.”
Asked about the setting up of special courts for terror attack cases, he said he had written to the Prime Minister last year for creation of 600 CBI courts across the country. The matter was being looked into by the Law Ministry. The State governments must also find out how to set up the designated courts.
On honour killings, he said: “These are social issues. There are certain prohibited relationships in the Hindu Marriage Act. It is not the law that prompts one to get into a love relationship. Once we are in love, obviously they don't mind personal law. So law amended or not... these are social issues and opinions vary from people to people.”
As for the collegium system of appointment of judges, Justice Balakrishnan said the present system would continue until a better one was put in place.
He, however, said the procedure could be reviewed. “If the country needs a better system and If Parliament thinks so, there can be a better system. There is nothing wrong in reviewing it.”
Asked about the number of cases cleared during his tenure as CJI, he said the total number of cases disposed of in 2001 was 38,842, whereas in 2007 it was 61,257; in 2008, 67,459 and in 2009, 71,179. But the number of cases instituted also increased.
At the farewell function, CJI-designate Justice S.H. Kapadia said: “At administrative meetings and collegiums meetings, we express our views. On many occasions, we disagree. But at the end of the day, after the meeting was over, Justice Balakrishnan never treated those who differed with the view as opponents. This is the quality of Justice Balakrishnan.”

Source - The Hindu

1 comment:

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