Wednesday, December 30, 2009



A monumental number of law-suits in India was a blot. In 2001, there were about 34 lakh cases pending in the various states. It was then that the concept of fast-track courts was conceived. The idea was to create about 1,700 such courts with judges hired for two-year periods from the ranks of the retired and the bar. The scheme was allotted Rs.500 crores or about $200 million. This may seem a vast sum but it made economic sense. There were over 12 lakh under-trials in the country and they were costing the state Rs.240 crores a year for even the basic amenities they received. About 450 of the 1,700 courts came into being by late 2001. As of date, over a 1000 are functional and out of the nearly 20 lakh cases referred to them, they have disposed off 78,000. In Sep 2002, the scheme was beginning to have, its impact on crime situation as the number of heinous crimes had come down, particularly in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Some impact had also been felt in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar." In May 2003 came the news that the Parliamentary Standing Committee --comprising of members from all parties and headed by an opposition member-- has expressed its satisfaction.

Based on a report in THE HINDU, June 8, 2003. (Idea: Arun).


As New York reeled under a severe power cut, the action of an Indian restaurant owner there earned much praise for traditional Indian Hospitality. When the lights failed Thursday (August 14) night, several restaurants downed their shutters. Those that remained open doubled or tripled their prices but the stranded had nowhere else to go. As ATM Machines did not work and credit cards became useless, those with a little cash had a tough time. But in the greedy jungle, 'MADRAS MAHAL' on Lexington Avenue owned by NITIN VYAS offered free meals to the hungry. More importantly, it provided FREE cold water when the going rate for a small drinking water bottle was 5
Dollars compared to usual 1 Dollar. The restaurant served rice with Punjabi dish 'Channa Battura' and tea that was much in demand. Even on Friday afternoon, there was a queue of hungry people outside the restaurant waiting for a free meal.

THE TIMES OF INDIA, Bangalore Edition, August 17, 2003. (Idea: Badri).


India, with its strong presence in the chain of assembly operations, is seen emerging as the most preferred destination for international sourcing of textiles after quota removal from December 2004, according to Cidex Trade Fairs managing director Norbert Schmidt. Cidex is the Asian arm of Messe Dusseldorf GmbH and KolnMesse International GmbH, Germany’s two leading globally acclaimed exhibition organisers to help international garment buyers source their requirements from India. It is in this scenario that the forthcoming Indian Apparel Contrat (IAC), jointly organised by Cidex and the Confederation of Indian Apparel Exporters (CIAe), would help Indian producers and some of the leading global buyers come together and explore the possibilities of buying garments from India. CIAe president Amit M.Goyal said: “The Indian textile industry has huge potential for growth and there is enough room for all the segments of the industry to play their legitimate roles in their own areas of competence.” India, like other countries, has been successful in exports in the international market and there has always been fierce competition and this success can be attributed to the fact that India has a strong raw materials base, and excellent entrepreneurial skill.

Based on a report in the FINANCIAL EXPRESS, July 20, 2003.


Dilipkumar Lakhi and Radhakishan Damani, both in their early 50s, pay enough income tax to equal the annual turnover of a small-to-medium sized firm. Neither are celebrities in the conventional sense nor do they wield much influence if it were not for the returns they file, the duo would be as anonymous as any person who passed you by on the street today. But they are the highest individual income tax payers in Mumbai, and thereby among the highest in the country. In the previous fiscal, Lakhi is said to have paid Rs. 6 crore, the highest by any person in Mumbai. And according to sources, the difference between him and Damani, who was the second highest taxpayer, is marginal. Incidentally, Mumbai's third highest taxpayer happens to be film star Hrithik Roshan.
Lakhi has been dealing in stocks for over 30 years; Damani is into retailing these days and has set up a chain of supermarket stores that dot the city's western and central suburbs. Navin Chandra Mehta, president of the Diamond Traders Association, is all praise for Lakhi, who began as a small trader and now operates out of an office at Opera House. The Income Tax department's target for the last fiscal was around Rs. 91,000 crore, and collections at Rs. 89,000 crore are relatively close to the figure.

Based on a report in the INDIAN EXPRESS, June 10, 2003.


Here is the story of a mosque in Vidhisha in Madhya Pradesh that is a contrast to the Babri case. That mosque was bigger than the structure Babar had erected in Ayodhya. Till August 1991, regular namaz was taking place in that mosque. But due to heavy rains the mosque collapsed in September. From the debris, a large number of broken and mutilated idols of Hindu gods and goddesses were recovered. Some idols were seen dangling from the roofs. That the mosque had been built by destroying a temple had become self-evident. Immediately the Muslims stopped offering namaz and abandoned the mosque. The Archeological department then excavated the site and established that it was a 7th century Shiva temple, renovated in the 11th century. Aurangazeb had demolished that and the mosque was built on it. Today it is not a mosque. It is a great tourist attraction now.

Information found in Shri. S.Gurumurthy’s article in

THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS (Chennai) of July 11, 2003.