Cen­tre, SC Mulling Rad­i­cal Ju­di­cial Re­form to Ease Higher Courts’ Load

New courts of ap­peal may be set up to hear ap­peals in civil, crim­i­nal cases and clear back­log

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Raghav.Ohri@ times­group.com

New Delhi: A rad­i­cal ju­di­cial re­form is on the anvil — the gov­ern­ment and the Supreme Court are ac­tively con­sid­er­ing a new ju­di­cial mech­a­nism, courts of ap­peal — that will be set up to help clear the huge back­log of pend­ing cases.

The pro­posal moots that post hear­ings in dis­trict courts, ap­peals in all civil and crim­i­nal cases will be heard in the courts of ap­peal. These new courts will be placed higher than the dis­trict courts but be­low the high courts.

High courts will only hear core con­sti­tu­tional mat­ters. Af­ter a court of ap­peal ver­dict in a civil or crim­i­nal mat­ter, a lit­i­gant can only ap­peal be­fore the Supreme Court, not a high court.

But the Cana­dian firm is said to have left the ne­go­ti­a­tions af­ter some mi­nor­ity in­vestors de­manded a higher val­u­a­tion. There was no re­sponse to an email sent to War­burg Pin­cus while Aion de­clined to com­ment. “We do not com­ment on mar­ket spec­u­la­tion,” InCred CEO Bhupin­der Singh said in an email. The former co-head of Deutsche Bank’s cor­po­rate bank­ing busi­ness in the Asia Pa­cific set up the non-bank­ing, new-age fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany about six months ago with the sup­port of Jain. Ma­ni­pal Group’s manag­ing direc­tor and CEO Ran­jan Pai and Gau­rav Dalmia, chair­man of Land­mark Hold­ings (Dalmia Group), have also backed the firm with strate­gic in­vest­ments. “We are eval­u­at­ing all op­tions for in­fu­sion of cap­i­tal,” Catholic Syr­ian Bank CEO CVR Ra­jen­dran told ET. “You would ap­pre­ci­ate that we can­not dis­cuss specifics now. We will ap­proach the reg­u­la­tor at an ap­pro­pri­ate junc­ture. We have not yet reached a con­clu­sion on the process.” Cen­trum Fi­nance, backed by former Stan­dard Char­tered banker Jas­pal Bin­dra, has also met Catholic Syr­ian Bank ex­ec­u­tives, peo­ple said. “The Cen­trum Group is not in dis­cus­sion with Catholic Syr­ian Bank for a stake in the bank,” a spokesper­son said. War­burg Pin­cus, which has been in­vest­ing in In­dia for the last 20 years, has sig­nif­i­cant ex­po­sure to the fi­nan­cial ser­vices space. In the past, the fund has in­vested in Ko­tak Mahin­dra Bank, which it al­most fully ex­ited last year with stel­lar re­turns, and owns a sig­nif­i­cant stake in Au Fi­nanciers. It owns 90% of Cap­i­tal First. Aion, a JV be­tween Apollo Global Man­age­ment and ICICI Ven­ture, is a spe­cial sit­u­a­tion in­vestor and has raised close to $1 bil­lion.

The bank re­ported profit of ₹ 1.55 crore in FY17 against a loss of ₹ 149.72 crore the year be­fore. Gross non-per­form­ing as­sets stood at ₹ 600.10 crore in the fourth quar­ter com­pared with .₹ 446.91 cro- re in the year ear­lier. In per­cent­age terms, this swelled to 7.25% from 5.62%. Founded in 1921, CSB has a strong base in Ker­ala and a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in Tamil Nadu, Kar­nataka, and Ma­ha­rash­tra. With more than 1.5 mil­lion cus­tomers, its key fo­cus ar­eas are small and medium en­ter­prises, re­tail clients, and non-res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRIs). Chawla cur­rently owns about 24% of CSB, while NRI busi­ness­man Yusuff Ali MA and Edel­weiss own 4.99% each. The Muthoot Pap­pachan Group has 3% and Larsen and Toubro has 2%. Mau­ri­tius-based pri­vate eq­uity funds AIF Cap­i­tal, Gart­more Pri­vate Eq­uity and Siguler Guff to­gether hold a 15% stake.

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