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Monday, November 20, 2017

Madras High Court out of bounds for a day ! locked !!!

By Court Order, premises could be sealed ~ can you ever imagine, Court Premises getting locked and not transacting any business ! ~ strange things do happen ..

Every time one passes by, one is awe-struck by this magnificent edifice !  ~  it is the  brick mortar in red of the Madras High Court.   The  court is one of the three High Courts in India established in the three Presidency Towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras by Letters patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26 June 1862. It exercises original jurisdiction over the city of Chennai and appellate jurisdiction over the entire state of Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Puducherry.   Even before that, Governor Strynsham Master felt that the Choultry Court was inadequate to deal with the subjects and hence, he established the first Court of Judicature at Madras and the first trial by Jury was held on 16.04.1678.

Recently, in 2017, for the  first time in the 135-year history of the Madras high court, the prestigious first bench has become an all-woman bench. Headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, it has Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan, who was sworn in on Wednesday , as junior judge. Justice Indira Banerjee herself is the only second woman chief justice of the high court -the first one being Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar, who held the post for more than five months from June 1992. Sir Thiruvarur Muthuswamy Iyer KCIE (1832 –1895), a native lawyer  became the first native Indian to be appointed as judge of the Madras High Court in 1877.  He acted as Chief Justice for 3 months in 1893.  Iyer was acclaimed for his sharp intellect, memory and legal expertise.

The eye-capturing building of the High Court is  an exquisite example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture,  built in 1892 with the design prepared by J.W. Brassington and later under the guidance of the famed architect Henry Irwin, who completed it with the assistance of J.H. Stephens. Though Madras has not seen many wars and not certainly the World Wars – the High Court building was damaged in the shelling of Madras by S.M.S. Emden on 22 September 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. It remains one of the very few Indian buildings to have been damaged by a German attack.

The painted ceilings and the stained glass doors are masterpieces in themselves. The minars are quite attractive – they once housed the lighthouse of the city, which is decrepit now.  According to some reports, the lighthouse used kerosene to produce light with an intensity equivalent to that emitted by about 18,000 candles  ~ and perhaps that was one of the  reasons for attracting the attention of the German warship SMS Emden.   The Department of Posts has allotted a Postal Index Number (PIN) code of 600 104 to the zone occupied by the Madras High Court. The boundaries of the High Court complex are marked by  namely, Prakasam Road (formerly Broadway), NSC Bose Road  and Rajaji Road (the old North Beach Road)

Of the many statues, the decade old statue is apt symbolism – it is the majestic one of  Chozha, King Manuneethi Chozhan known to have ruled in the third century BC. This Tamil king is considered the embodiment of justice himself. Legend has it that he crushed his son under the wheels of the royal chariot just as his heir apparent had run over a calf !  Arising out of that deed of executing his own son, when the cow moved the kingdom bell, he became ‘Manuneethi Chozha’.  

Every year in Nov this strange ritual happens – last year it was on 28.11.2016 and this year it was on 19.11.2017 ::  Madras high court was locked for 24 hours from 8pm on Saturday to 8pm on Sunday. Heavy locks and chains made sure that no one — judges, advocates or litigants — were allowed to enter the premises  !  - what Court premises locked out ?

Photo credit : The Hindu Tamil.
No, justice was not locked out. The court was closed in keeping with a pre-British era tradition, one that requires the high court premises to be locked for 24 hours each year. Senior lawyers said the land for the construction of the court was acquired from a private person — whose name is lost with hoary antiquity — in the 1800s. Though the land was initially taken on lease, the ownership deed was later transferred to Lord Permual Temple on Parry's Corner. To ensure that no individual or entity claims ownership of the edifice, the court's administrators lock the court premises, hand over its keys to the chief priest of the temple and renew the lease agreement on one day each year.

The State Government continues to protect the building and site from bogus ownership claims while maintaining its status as a public property/pathway. In sync with the old tradition, the court's registry locks up the premises every last Sunday of November after putting up notices on its six gates that it would reopen on Monday. The current high court building moved to its brand new quarters from an edifice near Beach Station on July 12, 1892. Sir Arthur Collins, chief justice at the time, formally received permission to start proceedings in the new building from Madras Presidency governor Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock.

~ .. .. .. strange it may sound that the Court was locked and remained out of reach – closed, yet,  neither delay nor denial of justice to those who seek it in its corridors.

Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756 – 1841) Chief Justice  in Nova Scotia, known for waging "judicial war" to free Black Nova Scotian slaves from their owners,  became the first Chief Justice of the erstwhile Supreme Court of Madras (which has since become the High Court of Madras) and in that capacity was also the first Chief Justice of the Madras Presidency, British India from 1801 to 1817.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Nov. 2017.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Moody upgrade India rating; Red attack Tom Moody FB

At Kolkata, Openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan capitalised on vastly improved batting conditions, to lead India's recovery on the fourth day in Kolkata; Dhawan missed a century.  Earlier,  Rangana Herath's third Test fifty too the lead to 122.. .. remember that Reliance World Cup match in Oct 1987  at Chepauk between India and Australia, 2 players debuted – one who was earlier dubbed as strokeless wonder hit 5 sixers – Navjot Sidhu and shared a partnership with Srikkanth who too made a 70. For Australia Tom Moody debuted and did little of note.  He went on to play 8 tests and 76 one dayers.  The man in news,  Thomas Masson Moody coached Sri Lanka, IPL team  Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rangpur Riders, Multan Sultans and applied for the head coach position in Indian team too. 

At 202 for 2 – 70 to be scored  with about 15 overs to go, India looked set to start their defence of the title with a win ~ but Aussies under Alan Border had different plans.  Steve Waugh started the final over with 8 to be scored, Manoj Prabhakar ran himself out and it boiled to 2 off the last with Maninder, the hero of that tied test on strike.  Steve Waugh cleaned Maninder and the big Moody ran towards Steve celebrating.

The good news for India is : Moody’s Investors Service has raised India’s sovereign rating for the first time since 2004, overlooking a haze of short-term economic uncertainties to bet on the nation’s prospects from a raft of policy changes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Rupee, bonds and stocks rallied after the ratings firm upgraded India to Baa2 from Baa3 and said reforms being pushed through by Modi’s government will help stabilize rising levels of debt. That’s a one-level shift from the lowest investment-grade ranking and puts India in line with the Philippines and Italy. While government officials hailed the move as long overdue, some investors termed it a surprise given that India recently surrendered its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy amid sweeping policy change. The upgrade is a major win  for the ruling party.  The upgrade "reflects willingness of Moody’s to look beyond the transitory disruptive effects of difficult reforms," said a  senior economist.

Sri Narendra Modiji is a game changer and is always on positive news and here is he seen with the  Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian in New Delhi on November 17, 2017.  The Govt naturally is celebrating the upgrade of India’s sovereign credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service. The new rating places India at Baa2, up a notch from Baa3. The outlook has also been raised from positive to stable, while other ratings including the one for short-term local currency have seen an upgrade by a notch each. India’s last upgrade by Moody’s was 13 years ago in 2004. According to the IMF, India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018, up from an estimated 6.7 per cent in 2017. The timely and smooth implementation of landmark reforms such as the GST and IBC as well as decisive action to resolve the non-performing asset (NPA) challenge in public sector banks are crucial for India to realise its potential real GDP growth of 8-10 per cent.  The IMF projects India to overtake Germany in 2022 as the world’s fourth-largest economy,  displacing the UK from the top five.

Moody's Investors Service, often referred to as Moody's, is the bond credit rating business of Moody's Corporation, representing the company's traditional line of business and its historical name. Moody's Investors Service provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities. Moody's, along with Standard & Poor's and Fitch Group, is considered one of the Big Three credit rating agencies. The company ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale which measures expected investor loss in the event of default.  Moody's was founded by John Moody in 1909 to produce manuals of statistics related to stocks and bonds and bond ratings. In 1975, the company was identified as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Often touted as the most literate State, Kerala Red showed their ugly face again.  When Moody’s Investors Service, the international rating agency, on Friday upgraded India’s sovereign rating after 13 long years from Baa3 to Baa2, it triggered  a war of words on former Australian cricketer Tom Moody’s Facebook page. After all, what could possibly be the connection between Moodys and Tom Moody except…..the name?  And yes, that’s exactly what triggered an online war of words, which is still continuing.  

Immediately after news broke out regarding the improved credit rating Moody's has accorded to India, hard-core CPM activists hell bent on promoting the party ideology  started showering criticism against the cricketer on his Facebook page wall. The comrades, most of them in their prime youth bluntly told Tom Moody that he should be ashamed of himself for giving an improved rating to the Indian economy under the Modi government. Some of them even dared Moody to visit Kerala. While one Comrade said Moody would fail in his mission as even Israel's secret agency Mosad could not inflict even a minor injury to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. However, there were some other comments which tried to expose the communists, but such seemingly mild criticism failed to deter the comrades from understanding their blunder attack against Tom Moody.

According to one comment, Moody gave such positive report after taking commission from Modi. Some Malayali Facebook users who understood the drama were also seen tendering apology to Tom Moody for the bizarre criticism against him. Apparently, it was only on October 4 that Moody had his last post, saying thanks for all those wished him birthday wishes.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Nov. 2017.

substitution on filed ! ~ fake fielding and more !!

The 1st Test at Eden Gardens hangs on a delicate balance.  India struggling to recover from that awful start of top order failure, some respectability restored by late order and tail enders but Srilanka gaining a handsome lead – has left Indians fighting hard. Lot interesting things happening on the field at Kolkata !!

Remember, that early morning on 12th Jan 1978 as we anxiously listened to the radio – Aussies were reeling under – but whether they could avoid the follow-on ?  -  Peter Toohey 82 pulled Karsan Ghavri and a sprinting Madan lal took a good catch to make it 2-2; Aussies defeated by an innings and 2 runs at Sydney.  Those were the days when substitutes cannot stand in close-in and specialist positions and a commentator remarked that way, Madan lal should not be allowed anywhere in the field as substitute !!

Substitutes are nothing new ! ~ it would be proud moment for us to enter the field in any cricket match, at any level, carrying water, replacing a fielder or having a specific errand – appearance matters !! ~ in Nov 1983, at Ahmedabad, Gursharan Singh, a promising talent, but played only one match,  took four catches as a substitute, three of them off Kapil Dev in the second innings.  CRicinfo stats reveals that the  first substitute catch in a Test match was taken by a member of the opposing side… and the captain, to boot! When WG Grace injured a finger in the first Test ever played at Lord's, in 1884, the fielder who came out to replace him was the Australian skipper, Billy Murdoch. He was soon in action, when Australia's top scorer, "Tup" Scott, offered a catch off the legspin of AG Steel. Murdoch held on, and his side were all out.

This morning, Srilankans slumped to 201/7 when Dinesh Chandimal got out – but a fifty by HMRKB Hearth took them to 294.  Rangana Herath's third Test fifty propped up Sri Lanka's lead to 122 before the visitors were bowled out for 294 on the fourth afternoon at the Eden Gardens. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 4 apiece; with Umesh Yadav also taking two wickets, this was the third time India's seamers took all ten wickets in a Test innings at home, and the first since 1983-84.

Dilruwan Perera, the Sri Lanka allrounder, survived an lbw decision after an unusual route to taking the assistance of the Decision Review System (DRS). At the time of the incident, Dilruwan was batting on 0 off 7 balls. He apparently turned and started back when the  Umpire gave him out but had some assistance from the dressing room (which was on his view as he turned back).  The non-striker Rangana Herath offered no opinion on the review !!

DRS protocol says that the  captain may consult the bowler and other fielders, and the two batsmen may consult with each other prior to deciding whether to request a Player Review. Under no circumstances is any player permitted to query an umpire about any aspect of a decision before deciding on whether or not to request a Player Review. If the on-field umpires believe that the captain or either batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review.

It was in the 57th  over of Sri Lanka's innings, Nigel Llong upheld an lbw appeal from Mohammed Shami when an indipper beat Dilruwan's forward defensive and hit him on the back pad. Dilruwan turned around and began walking back,  then asked fro a review Llong had to change his decision.  In the Bengaluru Test earlier this year, umpires stopped Steven Smith from reviewing an lbw decision against him after he was seen seeking advice from the Australian dressing room.

Earlier there was ‘fake fielding’ too.  On Saturday,  fourth ball of the 53rd over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed one through covers, cover fielder Dinesh Chandimal, put in a slide even when the ball was nowhere near him, tried to pose a throw in but checked himself. According to the new ICC rules, this is fake fielding. However, on-field umpires – Nigel Llong &  Joel Wilson decided against handing a penalty. This left an animated Indian skipper Virat Kohli visibly unimpressed as he gestured towards the cameras for a penalty of five runs.  According to the lawmakers of the game this action is against the spirit of cricket. MCC’s new Law 41.5 states that “It is unfair for any fielder willfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.”

As you may  have observed the Umpires for this match are : Richard Kettleborough  and Nigel Llong; with  Joel Wilson as TV Umpire. .. .. .. and there came the substitution .. . Down with a throat infection, on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough pulled out of day three's play on Saturday. Kettleborough was replaced by West Indies' Joel Wilson, who accompanied Nigel Long to start the day's proceedings as India resumed on 74/5 at Eden Gardens.   Fourth umpire Anil Chaudhary became the TV umpire while Cricket Association of Bengal's Binod Thakur was inducted on board.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Nov. 2017.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

when WI allrounder Marlon Samuels won defamation against Geoff Lawson

He bowled fast creating doubts and fears in the minds of batsman. In all he took 180 test wickets and 88 ODI scalps.  At a young age, Lawson had problems with tunnel vision. He also had to endure blind spots and red mist; he later became a qualified Optometrist, though we know him better as a fast bowler and a coach later.

During Asia Cup 2008,  Journalists stormed out of Geoff Lawson's press conference as tempers frayed after Pakistan's 64-run loss to Sri Lanka, which pushed the hosts to the brink of elimination.  

A visibly irate Lawson, Pakistan's coach, attended in place of captain Shoaib Malik and immediately set down some ground rules. "Couple of rules before we start. Don't make statements, ask questions. If someone asks a question twice, I won't answer it. Make questions sensible, otherwise I won't answer it."  Shortly thereafter, he was  sacked as the Pakistan coach and said that he  was better off than other officials working with the Pakistan board since he was paid out and got a decent exit.

Remember very well that famous 175 n.o. by the great Kapil Dev, retrieving the team from 17/5 against Zimbabwe.  Earlier on 9th   June 1983 In their very first one-day international, Zimbabwe announced their arrival with one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, beating Australia by 13 runs at Trent Bridge. Brief scorecard reads :   Zimbabwe 239 for 6 (Fletcher 69*, Butchart 34*) beat Australia 226 for 7 (Wessels 76, Marsh 50*; Fletcher 4-42) by 13 runs.. Zimbabweans had played with ease the renowned Australian pace attack of Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson,  Geoff Lawson and Rod Hogg.

A couple of years back,  WI Cricketer – all rounder, Marlon Samuels filed a defamation case against Geoff Lawson for ‘erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable comments’ that the former Australian fast bowler had made about the West Indies batsman accusing him of being ‘tied up with gangs in Jamaica’ during a radio show in April this year. According to Samuels’ statement, the defamatory comments were made by Lawson in a radio podcast, ‘Big Sports Breakfast’ on April 4, a day after the Jamaican had led his team to their second World T20 triumph in Kolkata.

“He’s tied up with some shady people back in the West Indies….he’s a guy you don’t muck around with on or off the field. He’s from Kingston, Jamaica, it’s one of the murder capitals of the world…he’s tied up with gangs there, it goes well beyond cricket,” Lawson is quoted as having told the radio podcast in the statement.

The law suit also includes journalist James Matthey, who published a news story on the website, accusing Samuels of ‘being involved with criminal gangs in Jamaica’. The statement states that both the website and Big Sports Breakfast were  sued for defamation for publishing and airing the comments.

There were also stories  on the  strong comments that Samuels had made against Shane Warne following his second man-of-the-final winning World T20 performance in response to a few extremely critical remarks that the Australian spin legend had passed about the West Indian.  Samuels’ statement stated that he found the comments not just defamatory but also deeply offensive and damaging to his character.

An year or so later, Marlon was successful – the award came forcing Lawson to tender   a full apology and undisclosed "substantial damages".  Samuels instructed his lawyers Richard Owen-Thomas and Suzette A Thompson in London after defamatory comments were made about him on the Big Sports Breakfast radio programme.   London based barrister Thompson in a release said "These comments were published and aired without proper journalist research, nor was Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character.  We are delighted that Lawson and the Big Sports Breakfast radio have now settled and are issuing a full apology and agreed to pay substantial damages to Marlon".

Samuels said: "Through this case, my intention was not only to defend my integrity and image as an international cricketer, but also the values I have defended all my career.   “I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished."

Interesting to say the least !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th Nov. 2017.