Session on “Do Fast Track Courts Work?”

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Session on

“Do Fast Track Courts Work?”

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DATE Friday, August 29, 2014
TIME 11:30 AM  – 1:00 PM (Registration: 11 am)
LOCATION WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi-110003
SPEAKERS Mr. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Mr. Maneesh Chhibber, Senior Editor (Legal Affairs), Indian Express
Ms. Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
MODERATOR Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India
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The Supreme Court of India’s recent rejection of a proposal to fast track criminal cases against parliamentarians has disappointed many advocates of judicial reform. Though the Court has asked for an alternative plan to speed up the entire criminal justice system, the question on the table is how effective are fast-track courts (FTCs), and whether they are viable. Supporters assert that FTCs facilitate quick dispensation of justice, thereby reducing the massive backlog of cases in an overburdened judiciary. On the other hand, critics argue that in the bid for speedy disposal of cases, justice is often a casualty.

In this context, Ananta Aspen Centre is organizing a public discussion on “Do Fast Track Courts Work?” with a panel of eminent experts to explore how Fast Track Courts can transform India’s judicial system.

 B J Panda 27-08-14 Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha

Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda is a Member of Parliament of India, Lower House (Lok Sabha), representing the Kendrapara constituency, Odisha since 2009. He was re-elected from Kendrapara with a margin of over 2 lakh 9 thousand votes in May 2014. Earlier Jay Panda had been twice elected to Parliament, Upper House (Rajya Sabha) in 2000 and 2006, also from the State of Odisha. He is a member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party.

He graduated from the Michigan Technological University and, with a background in Engineering and Management, worked in the corporate sector before joining politics. He assisted the late Biju Patnaik and subsequently Naveen Patnaik, who founded the Biju Janata Dal party, which has found strong acceptance from the people of Odisha and has been repeatedly voted back in elections. Jay Panda has been associated with the India-USA Forum of Parliamentarians and is its Chairman. He was given an award for best parliamentary practices by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in 2008. In his earlier corporate career, Jay Panda was active in industry organizations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the International Chromium Development Association. As a parliamentarian, he has been a member of many important committees like the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Finance, Home, Energy and Urban Development. Mr. Panda takes a keen interest in India’s foreign affairs and is involved in a number of Track 2 dialogues with the US, Japan, China, Pakistan, South Korea, etc. He frequently participates in national television discussions and writes op-ed pieces in newspapers. Currently, he is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce as well as the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
 maneesh chibber 27-08-14 Maneesh Chhibber, Senior Editor, Legal Affairs, Indian Express

Maneesh Chhibber is currently working as a Senior Editor (Legal Affairs)  at the Indian Express, New Delhi. He was earlier associated with The Hindustan Times. Mr Chhibber is well-known as a keen observer of Indian judicial systems and processes, and is widely respected as a commentator on legal issues. In 2009, Mr. Chhibber broke the story on the Liberhan Commission Report.

The UPA government’s secret plan to control the Election Commission of India by giving statutory backing to the Model Code of Conduct was also shelved after his expose. Mr. Chhibber specialises in covering Parliamentary proceedings. He has won several awards in his career, including the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism.
 Karuna 27-08-14 Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India  

Karuna Nundy is an advocate in the Supreme Court of India, she specialises in commercial dispute resolution and human rights litigation. She also advises United Nations agencies and governments of various countries to help their legal systems conform to international and constitutional legal standards. Ms. Nundy argues and appears in matters involving a range of commercial issues which include tax, property, contract and arbitration.

She has advised Airbus S.A.S, Texas Instruments Inc., Renault F1 Team, Dabur Ayurvet Ltd., public sector companies such as Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. among others. Ms. Nundy has worked with Clifford Chance LLP on various international arbitrations, including Bilateral Investment Treaty arbitrations, and given talks to the Clifford Chance arbitration group, ASSOCHAM and the PHD Chamber of Commerce on navigating international arbitration issues. Ms. Nundy is a member of the LCIA Young International Arbitrators’ Group and of the New York State Bar Association. At the Supreme Court of India Ms. Nundy is leading litigation concerning the rights of the Bhopal Gas victims against the Government of India, State Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Union Carbide Corporation and the Dow Chemicals Corporation. She has also argued cases involving the rights of alleged terrorists, mentally ill people and class actions on sexual harassment. Ms. Nundy was on the National Advisory Council’s drafting committee for the Right to Food Bill and advised on the Communal Violence Bill and the Mental Health Care Bill. Ms. Nundy’s international human rights work has included advising the Maldives Attorney General’s Office and working with the Chief Justice of the Maldives Supreme Court on legal reform. She has drafted contributions to the Nepal Interim Constitution’s bill of rights; conducted a workshop on legislation with the Senate of Pakistan; advised the Government on Bhutan on its compliance with particular human rights treaties. She has been invited by the United Nations to advise on legal reform in 192 jurisdictions.
quiraishi 27-08-14 S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India

Born on June 11, 1947, in Delhi, Dr. Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1971 and after holding several strategic and key positions, rose to become the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India on 30th July 2010. He was the first Muslim to be the CEC of India and stepped down from office on 10 June 2012. 

He is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University (M.A. History, 1969). Dr. Quraishi received a Ph.D in Communications and Social Marketing from the Dept. of Social Work, Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi, 1992.

He figured in The Indian Express’s list of 50 Most Powerful Indians of 2011 and 2012 and India Today’s High and Mighty Power List in 2012.

 Dr. Quraishi is well known in India and abroad as a development thinker and for his inclusive style of leadership and for bringing harmoniously together wide varieties of groups and institutions for achieving the common objectives of development. He has travelled widely to represent India at international conferences and dialogues. He has received several prestigious awards in recognition of his contribution to civil society and human development issues including the Nehru Fellow Award and the Secular India Harmony Award. Dr. Quraishi has a number of books, articles and talks to his credit, imcluding “An undocumented Wonder – the Making of the Great Indian Election” and “Social Marketing for Social Change”.

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About Ananta Aspen Centre
Ananta Aspen Centre is an independent and not-for-profit organisation that seeks to foster positive change in society through dissemination of knowledge. The Centre facilitates discussions on issues of international significance, values-based leadership and cross-sector outreach by engaging the civil society, government, private sector, and other key stakeholders.
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