ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Appointment of Judges to the Higher Judiciary during the Pandemic—II

The impact of the appointment process for high court and Supreme Court judges following the recommendations of the collegium is examined. The functioning of the collegium itself was not significantly affected by the pandemic. However, how many of its recommendations have been implemented by the union government, and how quickly, point to the need for the judiciary and the government to work together to ensure optimal judicial functioning.

Appointment of Judges to the Higher Judiciary during the Pandemic – I

As with most other activities, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the functioning of courts, revealed through the steep drop in the number of cases disposed of during the pandemic. However, there has not been much comment on the functioning of the collegium, which, theoretically, should not be compromised in these circumstances. The performance of the Supreme Court collegium during the pandemic is examined in this column by comparing it with available data for past years.

A Faulty Response to the COVID-19-induced Crisis

India’s response to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis is proving to be ineffective. The neo-liberal embrace of monetary measures that infuse cheap liquidity as a substitute for fiscal activism has not resulted in faster credit growth. The reliance on banks and credit to mediate the stimulus, rather than directly injecting demand through government spending, is not working. Agents overwhelmed by a demand recession are not seen by banks as creditworthy borrowers, and the former in turn are reticent to borrow, fearing that they will not be able to service the debt.

Why India Did Not Go to War with China

India had the military ability to evict the intrusions in Ladakh or carry out a quick grab action of its own in the early stages of the crisis. Yet, it did not exercise the offensive military options. The explanation for such strategic reticence lies at the political level.

Clarifying the Rights of Daughters as Coparceners

By clearing the confusion over the interpretation of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the Supreme Court in Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma (2020) has secured for Hindu women the right to be coparceners in joint family property with retrospective effect from 1956. The three-judge bench has restored the progressive intent to the 2005 amendment, but has based it on a conservative interpretation that reinforces the basic concepts of the Hindu joint family and coparcenary ownership of property.

RBI Moves to Shake Up Governance at Banks

The Reserve Bank of India’s discussion paper on “Governance in Commercial Banks in India” is refreshing in that it takes an approach to governance that is ownership-neutral. This shows a recognition that there are governance issues at private banks, not just at public sector banks. The significant proposal is distancing of four key functions at banks from the chief executive officer. The RBI may benefit from incorporating radical proposals made in other places such as the United Kingdom.

Domicile Reservations in National Law Universities

National law universities set up by state governments have remained “islands” for too long–elitist and distanced from the local communities in which they were located. Domicile reservations, favouring students who are from the state where such universities have been set up are one way of rectifying this trend. The elite resistance to this move has no basis in constitutional principles and reflects an unfounded fear of the “local.”

The Wealth of Corporations

“Financial Assets = Liabilities.” It is one of the great accounting-identity truisms of economic understanding both among traditional, mainstream economists, and even (especially) among many heterodox, “accounting based” practitioners. It seems obvious—when a company issues and sells bonds, it...

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