The Supreme Court’s decision in the disproportionate assets case might have sent shockwaves throughout Tamil Nadu, but it seems there was an unexpected aftershock that is now garnering attention from various quarters. The 563 page judgment, penned by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, provided a detailed account of the facts and figures associated with the two-decade long case, ultimately holding late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala Natarajan guilty. But for those more poetically inclined, it is the brief afterword by Justice Amitava Roy that holds all the charm. As readers and scribes alike tried to make head […]

Judging by the reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the disproportionate assets case today, justice has been “seen to be done”. Apart from the ramificiations the verdict has on the political scenario in Tamil Nadu, it is also significant for more than just that. Diverting from the norm, the Bench of Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy overturned the Karnataka High Court’s acquittal and restored the judgment of the trial court in toto. This, despite the fact that many an apex court decision, including the one in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Chet Ram & Ors., has laid down […]

The apparent opacity of the procedure of elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and the deliberations of the collegium are certainly sending a few skeletons tumbling out of the closet. Earlier this week, it was reported that the collegium had recommended the names of five high court judges for elevation to the apex court. Among them were Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Deepak Gupta, Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court, Navin Sinha, Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, Mohan Shantanagoudar, Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, and Justice Abdul Nazeer of […]

Pursuant to the Centre’s Digital India initiative, courts across the country are fast moving towards digitization. The Ministry of Law and Justice’s e-courts project has been in full swing over the past few years, with information regarding cases in high courts, and to a lesser extent, lower courts, becoming more accessible to lawyers and litigants alike. And a substantial amount of money has been spent on computerizing court records and making them available online. The 14th Finance Commission of India had signed off on a total of Rs. 9749 crore for the judiciary, out of which Rs. 1252 crore will […]

In an earlier piece, we had analysed the parent High Courts of all Supreme Court judges till date. In this piece, we take a look at the apex court’s women judges. The Supreme Court Collegium is expected to meet soon to recommend names of judges for elevation to the apex court. While different High Court judges are in the zone of consideration, one aspect that will be keenly watched is whether a woman judge will be among those elevated. The Supreme Court of India has been functioning with only one woman judge, Justice R Banumathi, for the past two years. […]

The past week at the Apex Court progressed at a slower pace than usual. There were few matters of interest, even as there was a brief break in the form of Republic Day on January 26. Read the highlights below. Monday, January 23 Service Tax on lawyers: Supreme Court grants leave in appeal from Bombay HC A Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and AM Khanwilkar has granted leave in an appeal which challenges the Bombay High Court order that had dismissed the challenge on imposition of service tax on lawyers. The case is a challenge to sub-clause (zzzzm) of clause (105) to Section 65 of the Finance Act, 1994, […]

Sixty seven years ago, this very day, the Supreme Court of India started functioning from the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House, the seat of the erstwhile Federal Court. Inaugurated two days after India’s Constitution was adopted and the nation became a sovereign, democratic republic, the Supreme Court shifted to its present building at Tilak Marg in 1958. Besides being the highest Constitutional court which can be moved directly under Article 32 by any citizen of the country in the event of violation of fundamental rights, the Supreme Court is also the highest appellate court of the country. As […]

Justice Shiva Kirti Singh was elevated to the Supreme Court of India on September 19, 2013. After a tenure that lasted a little over three years, or 1150 days, Justice Singh retired in November last year. Justice Singh comes from a family of lawyers and judges; his father was a judge of the Patna High Court, while his maternal grandfather, Justice BP Sinha, was the sixth Chief Justice of India, from 1959 to 1964. He enrolled as an advocate in 1977 and was designated as a Senior Advocate thirteen years later. In 1998, he was appointed as a judge of […]

Dr. Amit George The passage of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (“Amendment Act”) marked the culmination of a long-drawn and convoluted process of bringing about vital necessary changes to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“1996 Act”). The ground-breaking nature of the amendments brought into effect, and the potential far-reaching repercussions that they entailed for the arbitration regime in particular and the commercial law landscape in general, were immediately apparent. However, much as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, in the Indian context the efficacy of any statutory enactment and its ultimate impact is heavily […]

Last week, we had published an article covering facts and figures pertaining to the Supreme Court of India for 2015-16. The information was compiled from the annual report published on the Supreme Court’s website. In Part II, we delve into the state of the country’s High Courts and the lower judiciary, specifically with regard to each court’s annual budget, pendency figures and vacancies. 1. Budget for 2016-17 We had earlier reported that the 14th Finance Commission had allocated a handsome sum of Rs. 9,749 crore to the judiciary for five years. Out of this, a total of Rs. 3,452.39 crore […]