Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mr Veerappa Moily - Talk is cheap, where are the results?

If there was an award for a minister for saying all the right things, it should be given to Mr Veerappa Moily, the law minister. Here is a chronology of events and his sayings since he became law minister in new UPA government after elections in May 09.

Note: if at any point you get tired of reading about the news stories of Mr Moily, just jump to the end of the post.

Here is news of Mr Moily being sworn in as cabinet minister (May 22, 2009): experience/articleshow/4566308.cms

Here is news of Mr Moily given post of law minister (May 28, 2009):

May 30, 2009 - CHICKABALLAPUR: Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Friday said the Centre would come out with comprehensive anti-terrorism laws in accordance with the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), headed by him. Mr. Moily, who assumed office as the Law Minister ... (May 30, 2009):

Jun 3, 2009 - The long-pending controversial women's reservation bill is on "top" of Government's agenda to be made into "reality", Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday. "As far as our party and government is concerned we would like to ensure that it comes early. (Jun 3, 2009):

Mr Moily stating state govts not done enough to ward off menace of capitation fees (Jun 5, 2009):

NEW DELHI: The ministry of law and justice is open to judicial reforms and opening up Indian legal services to foreign law firms, minister for law and justice Dr Veerappa Moily said on the sidelines of an event held in New Delhi recently. (Jun 8, 2009):

Law Minister Veerappa Moily looks set to push for a “mechanism” to provide for “punishment” to judges who are proved guilty of corruption — the existing provision for their impeachment only leads to their removal from the post. He also wants some “regulations” to define contempt of... (Jun 15, 2009):

Mr Moily stating that witness protection programme should be made part of criminal justice system (Jun 23, 2009):

The Centre will soon bring in legislation to tackle issues related to accountability and corruption in the judiciary, including provision for punishment, Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said on Sunday (Jun 29, 2009):

NEW DELHI: Union law minister Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said he would look into the allegation made by a Madras High Court Judge that a Union minister had tried to influence him to grant anticipatory bail to a doctor and his son in a forged mark sheets case filed by CBI (Jun 30, 2009):

Law minister Moily says they will examine the Delhi HC judgment on legalization of gay sex among consenting adults (Jul 2, 2009):

Law minister Veerappa Moily on Thursday reiterated that judicial reforms were on the anvil and would be done as quickly as in two months time, calling it a long-awaited decision (Jul 10, 2009):

Union Minister of Law and Justice, Veerappa Moily, on Monday said that more than 2.6 crore cases were pending in the subordinate courts and over 39 lakh cases were pending in high courts across the country (Jul 13, 2009): subordinate_courts

JAIPUR: The Union law ministry will soon approach the state to mark out the most litigant departments. It has tried to initiate the process for listing the departments facing maximum legal confrontations at the Central level. This was announced by Union law minister Veerappa Moily (Jul 18, 2009):

Expressing an identical view, law minister Veerappa Moily had said that the judges could not be equated with politicians and bureaucrats when it came to declaration of assets. "There should be some in-built mechanism in the proposed legislation to protect them from frivolous litigation: (Jul 24, 2009):

Forced by the Opposition to shelve the judges' assets Bill, Union Minster for Law and Justice M Veerappa Moily has ruled out fresh deliberations with the Chief Justice of India on the issue (Aug 9, 2009):

Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday virtually backed Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan on the issue of assets declaration by judges and said if judges were voluntarily disclosing their assets and wanting to become heroes, it is their wish.(Aug 26, 2009):

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) With Supreme Court judges deciding to make public their assets, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily today welcomed the move and said it is for the judges to decide how it should be done (Sep 8, 2009):

DELHI: Barely 24 hours after CJI KG Balakrishnan asserted that sanctions to prosecute babus were not always forthcoming, Union minister for law and justice Veerappa Moily on Sunday said prior sanction should not be needed to prosecute a public servant in a corruption case (Sep 14, 2009):

Not all FIRs should result in court cases: Moily (Sep 21, 2009). He also talks about women judges in Supreme Court among other issues in this interview:

Divorce cases should be disposed off in an year (Sep 23, 2009):

Moily's 'Mission': Cut case life from 15 years to 1 year

Now do you see a pattern in his utterances. He simply seems to echo what seems to be the popular or majority opinion at the time. For example, watch out for his utterances on following issues and just check how many of these have been done:

1. Comprehensive Anti terrorism law... did anything new or substantial happen here?

2. Women's reservation in parliament bill... bolte raho, bolte raho (like an old Hindi movie called jagte raho).

3. Gay laws and Section 377 of IPC. He is careful and sensitive on his utterances here. See the number of gays may be small so there is no vote bank, but can a law minister be seen to be going against liberal opinion (read Western masters' opinion) ? But at the same time he does not dare to offend the real vote bank, so he will not openly support the Delhi HC judgment but cover his words carefully.

4. Assets declaration by judges. See the flip-flops on this continuously: first he sides with CJI Balakrishnan in saying 'judges can choose to be heroes" if they want to, indirectly sniping at Justice DV Shylendra Kumar who had dared to disclose his assets going against CJI and coterie of judges against assets declaration. A few days later, when CJI and coterie decide to give in after seeing writing on the wall, he again says that is the right thing to do! His government tables bill in parliament on assets declaration which says something to the effect that judges will have to declare their assets but only to other judges and no one else! Good that it gets thrown out the same day due to all round opposition.

5. About pending cases and speeding up of trials in courts: His utterances here seem to be clockwork giving the suspicion it is being reminded to him through a software reminder program. Every few days there will be a statement about pending court cases, having three shifts in courts, judicial reforms, recruitment of judges, cases solves in 3 years, in 1 year and what not. How much of that is actually going to happen is anybody guess. Still guessing? are you kidding... people who are achievement-oriented let their work speak for themselves. Talk is cheap!

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