Articles in the 2008 Category
It was a chance encounter with the Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri, when on a sultry afternoon towards the end of March he happened to visit the Press Club of India, Delhi, to share achievements made by his state with the media after his ascent to the top job in Dehradun. I could not help asking him about the arrest of a journalist in Uttarakhand, Prashant Rahi, on charges of being a ‘zonal commander of a Maoist group’.
Working under considerable handicaps such as inadequate funds, budgetary allocations for law and justice not being part of plan expenditure, lack of resources, shortage of staff and infrastructure, the Indian judiciary can still claim a better standing with the other wings of governance in performance.
It is the primary goal of every state development effort to enhance the welfare and living standards of its people through planning and designing appropriate programmes, allocating proper resources and utilising them optimally. Even after ten five year plans, Orissa lags behind other Indian states. It continues to reel in acute poverty, rampant unemployment, widespread illiteracy and a dismal status with respect to socioeconomic indicators.
The statistics have to be appreciated in the light of the fact that the law commission in its 120th report (1987) stated that the number of judges per million population in India was 10.5 (which is now said to have gone up to between 12 and 13 per million) which is the lowest in the world. Recently in All-India Judges’ Association case the Supreme Court has desired the number of judges to be increased in a phased manner in five years so as to raise the judge-topopulation ratio to 50 …
The Union Budget 2008-09 has been greeted in the media as an election budget, a farmer’s budget and a common man’s budget. This has strengthened expectation that the Congress party may announce elections in the coming months and cash in on the favourable popular sentiment created by the budget.
If years, nay decades back, famed writer of The New Yorker Ved Mehta had described India as a bubble that bobs over an ocean of poverty and if this is going to change now by what is being called as an Indian century after over a millennium of deprivation, the question that arises is how growth charts alone have been getting stronger leaving human development indicators cold and plummeting. Umpteen instances of this are strewn all over the pages of this journal. It is a sad story that has turned out to be true with another union …
The latest figures released by the Supreme Court on the state of the judiciary in the country give little cheer. More than 25 million cases remain pending in the district and subordinate courts — 1.8 million criminal cases and 7.3 million civil. The courts could dispose of 1.1 million civil cases and three million criminal cases in one quarter. In the introduction to the document, Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan has regretted that “there has been no
appreciable improvement in the filling up of vacant posts of subordinate judicial officers.” He urges …
Recognizing that children under 18 constitute a significant percentage of the Indian population, the Government is committed to their welfare and development. This statement reflects budget provisions of schemes that are meant substantially for the welfare of children. These provisions indicate educational outlays, provisions for the girl child, health, provisions for Child protection, etc.