Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2018 12:09:17

THE angry implosion of Serena Williams against penalty points imposed by the chair umpire during the US Open final against Naomi Osaka was a stunning reminder to the tennis authorities to come out with a code of conduct that did not differentiate between actions of men and women players. Serena’s tear-filled tirade against umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him “a liar and thief” and smashing her racquet, was outburst of a fiercely competent player who would detest any wrong decision. Whether she was at fault of receiving on-court coaching would be decided after deep analysis but handing code violation points for questioning umpiring calls was really uncalled for. As a few former players pointed out, men are allowed to vent their emotions while women players are termed hysteric if they do the same. Tennis has had its share of ill-tempered moments courtesy Illie Nastase and John McEnroe. But they were celebrated as mavericks. While Serena is expected to carry dignity of a champion, it was also in line if she protested a call that she felt was not appropriate.


INTERMINABLE trials and long pending cases is a colonial legacy that the traditional systems of justice are still carrying in many parts of the country. In fact, some pending cases in India’s lower courts were filed in the days of the British Raj. This aptly sums up the judicial progress in India, especially in lower courts that are reeling under paucity of judges. Though the sanctioned strength of district and subordinate courts has been increased to 22,444, the working strength of judges till June 30, 2018 was only 17,221. This gap is a big number and a major reason in pendency of cases in the lower courts of the country. Union Law Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad has now written to the Chief Justices of 24 High Courts to fast-track recruitment of lower court judges. The process can be accelerated only if the Chief Justices personally monitor the status of vacancies and hold timely examination and interviews to recruit judges of lower courts. The basic principle of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ needs to be followed in its letter and spirit to bring down pendency of cases and provide relief to the parties.