Citizens' Issues
Intervention to prevent Bombay High Court being shifted to Bandra-Kurla, which would “degrade the grandeur and decorum”
Advocate Rajan Jayakar of the Bombay High Court, who is also a historian and collector has started a move to prevent the Bombay High Court from being shifted to Bandra.  Mr Jayakar is an authority on the history of various High Courts and Supreme Courts and works tirelessly at retrieving, preserving and restoring documents, artefacts and memorabilia about our courts. He is the go-to person for facts on Indian’s legal history. The Bombay High Court Museum, a curated space on the ground floor of the court building, is the brainchild of Mr Jayakar. He has also been involved in the restoration of courtrooms in the High Court. He has also curated the Bombay High Court exhibition in 1988 and 2012 on the occasion of 125 years and 150 years of the Bombay High Court. 
 
He had demanded better utilisation of space in the present building rather than shifting the Court to help continue the rich heritage that it stands for. In his plea, he had said, “For further expansion, it is necessary to find innovative ways in which more space could be created.” He had stated in the plea, “The reputation of the Bombay High Court as the leading High Court in the country is not only because of its extraordinary judges and lawyers, but also because of the grandeur of the building. By shifting the court to a newly constructed building, it will degrade the grandeur and the decorum and will give an appearance of a post-independence tribunal. It will be something like discarding the gown, bands and the black coat by the Judges and lawyers because someone feels that the said paraphernalia is not necessary." 
 
Making out the case for the current location, he had said that shifting of the High Court to a new location would virtually amount to uprooting the massive legal fraternity, which is settled in the present locations since the construction of the High Court Building in 1878. 
 
Earlier, Advocate Ahmed Abdi had moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to shift the High Court to the suburbs citing the limitations of the present building. Mr Jayakar had intervened in this PIL. Sujata Manohar, former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, also wrote an article on doing justice to the Bombay High Court. She argued that it was possible to protect the iconic building’s heritage and still cater to the needs of a modern High Court. The Court, has produced legal talents which have shaped the history of modern India right from freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi to scholars like Nani Palkhiwala. With the rich legacy of the High Court and the aura of justice permeating throughout the High Court, it is necessary to protect the heritage of the High Court. 
 
She argued that heritage buildings face a common problem that they are not large enough for today’s workload. She proposed a solution to this problem – to create an imaginative master plan by experts in the field to expand the High Court around its court building. She has also proposed the revival of the heritage committee constituted by an earlier Chief Justice, to preserve and plan for the future of the building. With respect to shifting the High Court, she said, “Assuming that a big tract of land and the huge finances that may be required are available, the ‘simplest’ thing anyone can suggest is shifting to a completely new location. This would meet the needs of space, but it cannot replace long built-up traditions and even the halo of working in the temples of justice. It means abandoning traditions, abandoning heritage.”

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

10 months ago

Methinks that the talk of shifting the High Court to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) is no more than a ruse to sell office space. An idea that only has brokers behind it. Not a single lawyer I know, now a preferred target of lessors in Mumbai, has shifted there. Crores of rupees Have been spent and are being spent to upgrade the High Court.

There was a similar tactic, by brokers, some 10 years ago, about shifting the High Court (HC) to Navi Mumbai, which has never materialised. Already more than 30,000 cases have been shifted from the High Court to the City Civil Court. The work load is lessening; some rooms are empty. One has been converted to a museum. Repair work, a temporary problem in terms of space, is coming to an end. Judges' chambers are being refurbished and refitted.

Next think of the litigants who travel from afar and land at Churchgate or at C Shivaji Terminus. The HC is meant to hear appeals from other district courts so litigants come from Pune, Nashik and other districts. Can BKC be readily accessible? And convenient for departure?

Builders and brokers will think up any ruse in this down market. Lawyers are the least likely to fall for it. Let a court come up, a 10 year story at the very least. Then try to induce them. And do not think that by buying office space now and selling it later to lawyers will bring a windfall. A sucker is born every minute.

Brokers can look to airlines for selling space; before the new airport comes up in Panvel.

Bapoo Malcolm

10 months ago

My fear is different. What will they do and how soon will they destroy the building once it is put to some other use? There is a move to take over the adjacent (across the road), Central Telegraph Office, which today is redundant.

Travel to BKC for so many of the public will be a nightmare. It already is so with the east side of the Bandra station chaotic. And yes, the old court buildings are grand. Any new court structure is unsafe. Examples: Mazgaon, Court of Small Causes extention at Dhobi Talao, the literally stinking court building at Banrda. OK, the Dindoshi building is nice and airy. It's a new building, how long it will last is anybody's guess. All new court rooms are pidgeonholes, including the Supreme Court.

Please do not destroy the legacy that we have. Space can also be made available by removing leased out offices that occupy space without work.

Next, think of a grand buildings in, say Pune and Nashik, like the Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa benches. That will ease the burden.

Knee jerk reactions are not solutions.

Simple Indian

10 months ago

Is it not possible to have a new Bombay High Court "campus" or bench in BKC, just as Mumbai University does ? Ironically, MU is next to the HC and faces the same constraints as the HC, being a heritage building as well. Just like the debate around development / industrialization v/s environment protection, one has to see the merits of upgrading our institutions which need to cater to modern times and expectations of stakeholders. Clinging on to tradition for the sake of it will not serve any purpose. Hope the concerned authorities weigh in on all factors, most of all, convenience to litigants, before deciding to relocate the HC from Fort to BKC.

Mantralaya buys anti-lightning equipment through Bogus GR: RTI
If financial irregularities, chikki and land scams are not enough, did you know that a concocted, counterfeit GR (government resolution) is also being used to greedily eat up public funds, in the name of public service? Moreover, it is a strange case of fake GR made by Mantralaya and Mantralaya itself being taken for a ride, with a department actually putting this false GR into action, and being looted.
 
So, this particular GR, states that the Maharashtra Government is deeply concerned about deaths due to lightning strikes (wish it could think so passionately about deaths due to accidents too) and hence it has been proposed that anti-lightning equipment be bought to install on 181 buildings in Maharashtra comprising old and new government hostels, government-run residential schools and on ITI buildings of the department.
 
Based on this alleged fraudulent document, the Pune Municipal Corporation ordered equipment worth around two crore rupees, in August 2014. It did not stop here The Social Justice department, Mantralaya followed suit and in October 2015, bought anti lightning equipment worth around five crore rupees. SVA Electricals, Shanwar Peth, Pune was the favoured firm, for providing the equipment.
 
This scam, though small in terms of monetary content but huge in terms of serious fraud, was caught, thanks to the information procured under the RTI Act. RTI Activist Vijay Kumbhar’s RTI request, sought the photo copy of the said GR, in fact the entire file containing the chronology that led to the decision of buying anti lightning equipment for which the Gr was necessitated, including file notings. The reply, received recently, from the Revenue and Forest Department (rehabilitation) stated that such a file does not exist.
 
Shocked, Kumbhar has appealed to Chief Minister to take action. This is the second time that he has written to the CM, who did not take any action on his letter after the Pune Municipal Corporation purchased it in August 2015. He has again appealed to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, seeking stringent action on officers of the relevant departments who bought it on the basis of a fraudulent order and to hunt out the person who concocted the GR. He has also asked him to investigate, if this is one off case, or the tip of an iceberg. States Kumbhar, “this is very shocking and a dangerous trend. If the relevant authorities have no clue that the GR is fraud and if any person can carry out such a criminal activity without raising an eyebrow, it speaks a lot about the run-down system in the administration of the Mantralaya and the Pune Municipal Corporation.“
Worse, Kumbhar states that equipment which costs around Rs35,000 has been bought at an over-priced rate of Rs.2.5 lakh odd.
 
Against the backdrop of tainted ministers of the Fadnavis government being given clean, will this scam that could be on a large proportion, be even attend to? That is the question.
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet – The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

10 months ago

Informative article.

Roy Aranha

10 months ago

shocking for a new government they have to act fast promised a clean adiministration

vivek bhavsar

10 months ago

Fadnavis government has opened one window system where all corrupt ministers are getting clean chit without any enquiry...

Sunil Rebello

10 months ago

The scams continued from UPA to NDA, only value and types of scams are different. ONLY GOD CAN SAVE INDIA(IANS)

Deepak Mahulkar

10 months ago

If such fraudulent GR exists, it is very dangerous as GR is a basis on which action is taken by local bodies, state government. I am sure, all GRs must be existing on official web site of government and therefore it is not difficult to find out if such document is official. It is therefore very easy to identify culprit.

Ganesh Iyer

10 months ago

All the excellent footpath paver blocks in mumbai were removed and replaced at what cost and why ? A BJP leader stated it was corporation under Shiv Sena doing it. There is no control over not only large scale corruption but even frauds that are openly committed under the govt. Where is the ckean CM of Maharashtra and is the PM watching all these dirty scandals of Pankaja Munde robbing the orphanages in hundreds of crores. Shame on Maharashtra for No action

Ganesh Iyer

10 months ago

BJP govts. are equally worst corrupt and soon the face of CM for not taking action against Pankaja Munde or scandals will have a tainted dirty look.

P L Despande pawar

10 months ago

I must congratulate both ms Vinita Deshmukh & mr Kumbhar for the great work in exposing unheard of fraud & inept administration & management in Govt. & Govt organisations.
It is open secret that there's no accountability. This is responsible for the mismanagement.

Praveen Sakhuja

10 months ago

Are we sure to see action in the matter. I am afraid. I had approached PMO and authorities of MOC with similar complaints since 2013 based on documents rec'd under RTI. I concluded chor chor Mausere Bhai. I am barred from getting information under RTI. I have huge bundles of records to prove what I say.

More girls studying, but 84% drop out after graduation
While more young women are enrolled in higher education than ever before -- and apparently more successful in clearing 10th-standard board exams than young men -- they are either marrying early or not finding or not looking for jobs, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of various data.
 
The enrolment of girls in higher education increased from 39% to 46% from 2007 to 2014, but female participation in India's labour force declined to a low of 27% in 2014 from 34% in 1999, according to a 2015 study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 
Almost 12 million women are enrolled in undergraduate courses, but few continue to professional courses; 600,000 women were enrolled for diploma courses in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. Even fewer women -- only 40%  -- sign on for PhDs.
 
In 2016, girls were more successful than boys in clearing the 10th-standard exams of a national education board, a trend that has held over seven years.
 
While 428,443 girls appeared for the 10th-standard exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), 379,523 were successful -- a pass percentage of 88.5, according to CBSE data. By comparison, 564,213 boys wrote the exams and 444,832 were successful -- a pass percentage of 79.
 
Pressure to marry early continues
 
So, what happens to these girls after the board exams?
 
The CBSE is one of many boards nationwide, but the trend of girls overtaking boys is probably being repeated elsewhere. What could be responsible for the trend reversing itself in higher education and young women not making it to the job market is the push to get married.
 
Although the median age of marriage has increased, it continues to be low: 19.2 for women in 2011 (up from 18.2 in 2001), according to 2011 Census data. Men got married, on average, at 23.5 in 2011, up from 22.6 in 2001.
 
The enrolment in higher education has been estimated to be 33.3 million, of which 17.9 million were male and 15.4 million female in 2014-15, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education, released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2015.
 
Young women accounted for 46% of the total enrolment in higher education, an improvement from 44.3% in 2012-13.
 
The gross enrolment ratio (GER, the number of college students in the 18-23 age group as a proportion of all young men and women in that age group) in higher education in India was 23.6 in 2014-15, up from 20.8 in 2012-13. This is lower than the global average of 27 and lower than other emerging economies such as China (26) and Brazil (36), according to data released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
 
While the GER for young men was 24.5, that for young women was 22.7 in 2014-15, an improvement from 17.9 in 2012-13.
 
The number of young men enrolled for higher education increased 13 per cent to 17.9 million in 2014-15, from 15.8 million in 2012-13. The number of young women enrolled increased 21% to 15.3 million from 12.6 million.
 
After graduation, numbers of men increase, women decrease
 
The highest concentration of women is seen among undergraduates, at 12.4 million, followed by 1.9 million for post-graduation. Only 0.6 million girls are enrolled for diploma courses.
 
As many as 14 million boys are enrolled in undergraduate courses (almost 17.5%  higher than girls), followed by post-graduation (1.8 million, or 6.1% lower than girls) and graduate diploma courses (1.6 million, 61% higher than girls).
 
The trend of more young men than women is evident at almost every level after high school, except M.Phil, post-graduate and certificate courses, where female enrolment is slightly higher than male enrolment. Post-graduate courses have 49% males and 51% females, according to the data released by Ministry of Human Resource Development.
 
Women tend to focus on the humanities, with 38% of all women enrolled in Bachelor of Arts courses, followed by science and commerce; 28% of men enrol for BA courses. When it comes bachelors of education, women (2.8%) once again outnumber men (1.8%).
 
Up to 8% of all young men sign up for bachelor's courses in engineering, nearly double of women (4.1%). There is a similar skew for male (9%) and female (4.5%) in bachelors' technology courses.
 
Women dwindling in workforce, despite rising female enrolment in higher education
 
When the gender parity index -- or GPI, the ratio of female students to male students -- in higher education rises, it should lead to higher female labour force participation rates, typically measured as the share of women employed or seeking work as a share of the working-age female population.
 
In addition to raising labour input, the resulting human-capital accumulation should boost potential output, according to a 2015 study by the IMF. But the percentage of women in India's workforce is declining, as IndiaSpend reported in March 2015.
 
India's female labour force participation has dropped from 35% in 1991 to 27% in 2014, a rate below the global average of around 50% and the East Asian average of around 63%, according to a 2015 IMF study.
 
As incomes rise, women's labour force participation often falls, only to rise again when female education levels improve; consequently, the value of women in the labour market increases, the IMF study said. That is not happening in India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

10 months ago

Traditionally, rural women did not go to work, particularly after marriage. Hence, their education was limited to a level which would suffice for them to attract "good" grooms. If women in rural hinterlands are highly educated, their parents tend to worry about their "matching" groom. As working / employment is not encouraged either, women themselves tend to take education lightly. Urban women are well-educated and aspirational, and are encouraged to work after marriage too, to supplement the family income. The same mindset should drive women in rural areas too to pursue their own dreams and aspirations, and break the shackles of traditional social systems. Good education has a cascading effect on society, as it also helps break traditional practices like child-marriages, barring widow-remarriage, etc. Our govt, social activists and elders in society ought to promote education among women more aggressively.

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