Sibal favours appointment of judges in a transparent manner
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Last Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013, 21:01
  
New Delhi: Taking charge as the Law Minister, Kapil Sibal Monday said he would work to ensure that legal processes do not pose impediment to economic growth and will try to evolve a system for appointment of judges in a transparent manner.

Sibal, who has been given additional charge of the Law ministry, skirted questions on the dropping of his predecessor Ashwani Kumar and the CBI affidavit on Coalgate in the Supreme Court.

Sibal, who already holds the portfolio of Telecom and IT, outlined his "broad objectives" to be achieved in the Law Ministry in the "short time" before the next Lok Sabha polls.

The minister said he would work to ensure that "legal processes and procedures should not be an impediment to economic growth, but must fuel it."

Sibal, a noted lawyer who took over as the fourth Law Minister in UPA-II's four years in office, emphasised the need for simplification and transparency of legal processes and procedures to achieve this objective. His statement assumes significance as certain taxation laws have locked the government in a legal battle with British telecom major Vodafone, which is seen by some as having a discouraging impact on foreign investors' sentiments.

The government is considering Vodafone's request for amicable settlement of the over Rs 11,217 crore tax dispute.

Vodafone is facing the tax liability for purchase of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa's stake in Indian telecom business Hutchison Essar in 2007.

The tax liability arose due to amending of the Income Tax Act, 1961 with retrospective effect during the tenure of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to undo the Supreme Court judgement that was ruled in favour of Vodafone.

Referring to the legal procedures to boost economic growth, sources later said they could be achieved through not only laws, but also by simplifying procedures and subordinate legislations to reduce hurdles.

PTI


First Published: Monday, May 13, 2013, 20:58


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