Time to Improve the Judiciary ‘Script’

The year 2004 started with a magistrate in Ahmedabad issuing warrants against the President of India and Chief Justice of India - for a price of only 40,000 rupees.  The entire nation saw the videotapes.  Then, in February, newspapers reported that the buildings of the Bombay High Court, the Gateway of India along with the famous Taj Mahal Hotel were up for sale.  Apparently, two metropolitan magistrates and a notary in Mumbai signed affidavits “authorising the ownership” and “enabling their sale” by “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi” and “Khan Abdul Gafar Khan”!   Back in 1994, a print journalis

In Praise of Political Incorrectness

The recent strike of employees of Tamil Nadu state, the firm and decisive action by the government, the mature  and  sober  judicial  pronouncements  on  the issue, the  eventual capitulation  of  the  erring employees, and the  emergence  of an unlikely  hero in  Ms. Jayalaitha hold important lessons for our polity.Over the years, politics acquired a pejorative connotation in India. Most decent and honest citizens have begun to despise the political process and shun politics. This distaste soon expanded to rejection, and mindless and intemperate criticism of all political decision-making.

Perjury and Criminal Justice System

The acquittal of the accused in the notorious Best Bakery case has once again exposed the weakness of our criminal justice system.  Swaminathan Aiyar in these columns made a strong plea for stringent action against perjury in order to restore the sanctity of the judicial process.

Physician, Heal Thy Self!

The proposed National Judicial Commission (NJC) and amendments to contempt law raised serious debate on judicial accountability.

A Refreshing Breath of Fresh Air from Maharashtra

With the approval of the Bill to replace POTO by the joint session of Parliament, one of the most contentious chapters in our legislative history comes to a close. Now the ball will be in the law courts. Judiciary is the last bastion of defence against abuse of authority and arbitrary exercise of powers. We need a competent and clean judiciary, particularly in subordinate courts, to render justice and protect our liberties.

Rule of law a prerequisite for prosperity

diThe recent debate on POTO helped draw our attention on failure of rule of law. Although the Supreme Court in Jayalalitha case held that rule of law is supreme, in reality our incapacity to enforce rule of law has done immense damage to our polity and has become an impediment to economic growth. Right to property, sanctity of contracts, mechanisms for peaceful resolution of disputes, public order, and a system of fair and equitable laws well-enforced are the prerequisites of economic growth. We clearly need strong measures to promote peace and order.

Budget Blues: Hope Triumphing Over Experience

Once again, the budget season is upon us. For years budget speeches have been romantic exercises with grand gestures and sweeping policy announcements. Sadly, there were no fiscal or monetary incentives to promote desirable goals and pursue worthy policies. And without such incentives, and given the inertia of the political system, most grand gestures remained pious proclamations. The two recurring themes over the past 12 years of budgeting have been reduction of fiscal deficits and the health of capital markets.

Little Things Which Can Make a Big Difference

A poor, migrant watchman’s family lives in a hut in my neighbourhood. One morning when walking along the road, a pet dog from a posh home rushed out and attacked him. It was several long minutes before the terrified watchman could free himself - but not before his right arm was severely bitten from wrist to shoulder. There were gaping wounds and severe bleeding, and almost half the skin on the arm was hanging loose. The petrified man returned home with difficulty – drenched in blood and perspiration.

Error | Foundation for Democratic Reforms


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.