May 11

Notice by the National Green Tribunal

Recently, I appeared pro bono and argued in matter relating to environmental issue of de-concretization of trees. The Petition has been filed by an Activist Mr. Aditya Prasad before the National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi. The Tribunal issued Notice on the first date of hearing.

On the very next date i.e. on 23.4.2013, the Hon’ble Tribunal directed all the public authorities, more particularly Municipal Corporation of Delhi, DDA, DTC, DMRC, NHAI and all Government respondents in the Petition including the Director General of CPWD, the Chief Engineer, PWD, to ensure :

  • All the sign boards, names, advertisements, any kind of boards or signages, electric wires and high tension cables or otherwise are removed from the trees forthwith.
  • They shall also ensure that the concrete surrounding the trees within one metre of the trees are removed forthwith.
  • The Departments/authorities concerned shall take all and every prohibitive measures to prevent the defacing of the trees in any manner.
  • All the respondents whose boards are fixed on the trees shall be prosecuted by the respective authorities under in accordance with the relevant law.

Various Newspapers have reported the aforesaid issue and Directions made by Green Tribunal in respect of preserving our most valuable living asset i.e. Trees.

Apr 10

Electoral Reforms: Some Perspectives and Suggestions

In a few months from now India is going to its Sixteenth General Election. This is the time to introspect. Let us know about one major setback which has crept its way into our polity, and see if anything can be done, or at least needs to be done in cleaning the system. Unless we have a clean public life, nothing will happen.

Criminalization of Indian Polity:

In a democracy, the elected representatives are responsible for governing the country; therefore, it is of utmost importance, that the people who enter the field of politics have a clean image and a high moral character. However the reality is otherwise. Criminalisation of politics has many forms, but perhaps the most alarming amongst them is the significant number of elected representatives with criminal charges pending against them. It is high time that we amend our Election Laws to tackle the problem of Criminal Politicians. Therefore, it would be appropriate for us to first gauge the real extent to which the criminalization has seeped within the Indian Polity. In furtherance of this endeavour we hereby produce the statistical trends of recent years:

Criminal Records of MPs of Lok Sabha….

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Dec 17

Speech delivered on the eve of SCBA President Election 2012

Friends and Colleagues at the Bar,

The greatest penalty a person has to pay is to be governed by inferiors if he does not govern himself. The same is true for an institution more so when we relate it to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Bar Association. SCBA has been just another Bar of a Court for we never had a structured game plan. It is time we take the reins as leader of the Bar and make SCBA the leading Bar Association of all the Bar Associations in the country and that is what I stand for, making SCBA the national voice of the legal profession in India.

I stand for a collective possible vision, a focused practical action plan and to lead the team to make it all possible. We are passing through yet another critical phase of transition and these periods lead to restructuring and repositioning. Globalization, issues relating to fiscal cliff and advancement of technology have their impact on the legal profession.

It is time to make full use of the potentials arising out of Technological Advancement. In 1985 Electronic Display Devices were installed in Supreme Court now we have live telecast of Court No. Item No., Cause Lists and Orders and Judgments. But the best is yet to come. Continue reading

Nov 17

The Right to Information – does it require dilution or further strengthening?

BAR ASSOCIATION OF INDIA

RULE OF LAW CONVENTION – 2012

The Right to Information – does it require dilution or further strengthening? Is there a need for complete auto disclosure in public private partnership?

-Speech delivered on 06-07 April 2012 at

The bar Association of India Annual Rule of Law Convention -2012

Democracy is a system based on Equality and it serves to Protect the Dignity and Freedom of individuals, even the preamble to the RTI, Act inter alia states that :-

“…democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed” – Source: Preamble to the RTI Act’ 2005

Background

In Sweden and Finland, year 2006 was observed as the 240th Anniversary of the Freedom of Information. The world’s first freedom of information legislation was adopted by the Swedish parliament in 1766. Long back thinker and politician Anders Chydenius (1729-1803), from the Finnish city of Kokkola, played a crucial role in creating the new law. The key achievements of the 1766 Act were the abolishment of political censorship and the gaining of public access to government documents. Although the innovation was suspended from 1772-1809, the principle of publicity has since remained central in the Nordic countries. Continue reading

Sep 01

Mediation Surges Ahead in India

It is 5 p.m. in the evening and the day is a Monday. All the Courts in Delhi High Court have risen for the day. Yet there is a part of the building which is abuzz with activity. Litigants big and small, male and female are all gathered there and awaiting their chance to be taking to their opponents. The barrier of silence between the parties has broken down. There are no advocates to advise them regarding how good their case is, (which was happening for the last fifteen years or so). Today they will appear before a neutral Advocate who does not know either of the parties. He will only help them reach a solution. Their advocates will remain present but,  Continue reading

Sep 01

Sports & Law

Sports have today increasingly become more and more a part of everyday life, for millions of people all over the World, be it in terms of participation, performance, sponsorships or viewer ship. Staging of major, international and national events has taken sports governing bodies into the realm of big business and financial management leading to the large scale commercialization of sport and its ultimate transformation from an essentially recreational activity into an activity which is capable of providing livelihood and a means of income to those involved, at various stages. Therefore, if there has to be order and decorum in the sports world, there is an urgent and emerging need to foster a greater understanding amongst all concerned, of the requirements and constraints of the law, relating to sport.

Continue reading

Sep 01

Recovery of Liquidated Damages – Scope of Reduction by Arbitrators

In order to ensure due performance of certain obligations in the Contract, often provisions for payment of a fixed sum of money, which is known as the L.D., or the Liquidated Damages Clause is specified in the contract. The main objective is to act as an inducement for due performance of a particular contractual obligation or to regulate before hand, in an agreed or in a certain manner, the rights of the parties rather than to lead them to the less predictable remedies otherwise available. The most common provision is to state in round figures what payments are to be made or what the damages are in a certain event. These are classical liquidated damage provisions, which are most commonly found in breach of contracts in relation to contractor’s obligation to complete the work within the specified time.

Continue reading

Sep 01

Judicial Review of Tender Process: Impact on National Development

In late 1959, the late professor Stanley de smith, in the first edition of his locus classicus, judicial review of administrative action stated that:-

“In the broad context of the administrative process, the role of judicial institutions is inevitably sporadic and peripheral”

In 1995, the editors of the Vth edition of the work claimed that:

“…. the effect of judicial review on the practical exercise of power has now become constant and central”

Continue reading

Sep 01

Alternate Dispute Resolution for better Administration of Justice

If one visits the Delhi High Court on any working day after 4:30 p.m. a part of the High Court building after Court hours is buzzing with activity. This is the Delhi High Court Mediation Centre. It works upto 9 p.m. Last Year number of cases referred for Mediation to the Mediation Centre were 4435 and the number of cases which got resolved were 4220. In the same complex there now exists the Delhi High Court Arbitration Centre. These are very recent developments, which have been created to expedite the Justice Delivery System. Not only in Delhi but a similar situation exists in other parts of the Country as well. Every District in a State and the High Court has a mediation Centre. Continue reading