Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Business / Banking and other Laws

I studied several laws like Contract Act, Companies Act, Partnership Act, Sale of Goods Act, Stamp Act, Negotiable Instruments Act, etc., at various levels, applied to business situations during my career and currently have been teaching a Course titled Business Laws.  There have been innumerable issues in each area and cases decided by various courts at different locations and levels.  In particular, Contract Act, Transfer of Property Act, Limitation Laws etc., were clear that security documents and other papers obtained in course of business dealings or loans extended by banking system (mortgage loans, working capital loans, etc.) have certain time period of limitation.  Even a Bill of Exchange, a Promissory Note and Cheque or a Draft have all also certain life like three months or six months as defined per law.

One thing that intrigues me is that while all corporate and business dealings or transactions have specific life time, why is it not so in respect of civil or criminal acts.  Added to, even in twenty-first century world, with special agencies like Enforcement Directorate, CB-CID, CBI, etc., some chronic cases are pending for decades remaining unresolved.  Arushi Murder Case is nearing two years but no clue so far; Narendra Modi is facing charges for Riots of 2002, Sajjan Lal is being tried for 1984 riots (anti-Sikh), Bofors case remained unresolved for over twenty years, Lalu's Fodder Scam of Rs. 900 crores or so is still not cleared; Cases of disproportionate assets against Jayalalithaa or Mayawati or Mulayam Singh etc., are going on and on; Income Tax evasion cases on many businessmen, politicians or cinema stars also drag for years and so on.

Why not there be laws of limitation on these type of cases in the larger interest of public?  Strangely a day or two before, an ex-CM of a State was questioning that why not a person against whom criminal cases are pending be chosen as a candidate for Municipal Elections as along as he or she is popular with public.  It is questionable that whether he or she is popular or enforcing Dadagiri in a country which believes in Gandhigiri.

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