Letters

Letters to the Editor

Print edition : June 10, 2016

Judiciary

THE Cover Story (May 27) made for serious reading. The judiciary, one of the pillars of democracy, has sadly never been given the importance it deserves. The Chief Justice of India (CJI), T.S. Thakur, needs to be complimented for his emotional speech on the problems the judiciary is facing.

While there has been a hue and cry over judicial appointments, what is lacking is the same level of interest in the travails of the judiciary. The Law Ministry and the highest echelons of the judiciary, including those who have retired from it, should draw up an action plan to increase the number of judges and to strengthen the coordination between the lower and higher courts, including the Supreme Court, in working towards the common goal of settling cases within a set time frame so that the tenets of justice are upheld. Rules that are redundant should be replaced with fresh rules and codes that suit the present scenario.

Balasubramaniam Pavani, Secunderabad, Telangana

CJI Thakur had every reason to get emotional during his speech considering the seriousness of the issue of millions of pending cases and the enormous pressure on the judiciary. In 1987, the Law Commission recommended that India should have as many as 40,000 judges, but to date no action has been taken on this issue. Past governments need to be blamed for not addressing it.

When Justice Thakur said that judges from overseas were impressed with Indian judges’ performance after seeing the stress they were under, it was no exaggeration. These judges must be shocked that there are only 17 judges per million in India, while in the U.S. it is almost 10 times that number. Convicts and victims and their families suffer when court cases are delayed endlessly. Hopefully, corrective measures will be taken soon.

Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

SMALL is not beautiful when it comes to the number of judges India should have. India needs not only more judges but also competent ones. One should talk about the quality of judgments and judicial accountability. Judicial reforms should come from within. A transparent judiciary will help build citizens’ confidence.

There should be Supreme Court benches in other cities to make the apex court more accessible to people. Litigants are consumers of justice, but there is no separate law for them. Adjournments mean money for lawyers. A national audit has to be done on adjournment of cases, as it has never been done before.

Both the government and the judiciary need to work together on judicial reforms. Court proceedings need to be telecast live; even a small nation such as Afghanistan does it. Holidays of courts need to be reduced, and lawyers also should be willing to work during vacations. The pendency of cases needs to be tackled on a war footing.

Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai

AS a first step towards addressing the delays in the justice delivery system, the government and the judiciary must work together on an urgent basis to fill vacancies in courts at all levels. Another reform that has to happen is streamlining the judicial process to cut down on unnecessary delays and the many adjournments on flimsy grounds. Summer vacations for courts should be done away with. For faster delivery of justice, the government/judiciary should come up with practical suggestions for setting up more courts/benches at district levels.

Many cases, especially civil cases, are pending for years. These should be expedited, and where possible tribunals and fast-track courts should handle such cases for early closure. There is also need for arbitration and counselling so that cases can be settled out of court. Under-trials who have been languishing in jails for a long time should be freed if there are no serious charges against them. The norms for appealing to higher courts need to be looked into as most cases end up in High Courts/the Supreme Court, which are overburdened.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

THE judicial system must aim to be more transparent and it should focus on making the common man aware of his rights. At times, people who go to court late realise that it is quicker to settle the dispute among themselves outside the court. The appointment of the required number of judges to High Courts will help the poor to get justice in time and earn the entire court system the public’s confidence, respect and pride.

A.J. Rangarajan, Edison, New Jersey, U.S.

EPF

THE intense protests in the wake of the Centre arbitrarily announcing two crucial amendments to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) forced the government to withdraw them (“A self goal”, May 27). However, the government does not seem to have learnt any lessons as it made another attempt to bring changes to the EPF. After having burnt its fingers badly, one fails to understand why the government made the second attempt.

The government must take steps to improve growth and the economy instead of coming out with illogical ideas that only irk the working class, forcing it to protest against the arbitrary moves that in no way will increase the finances of the government. The government should think twice about the cut in interest rates of PF, which is the only financial benefit accruing to the working class at the time of superannuation.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

India & diplomacy

THE article on the book “Abode under the Dome” brought to mind the hallowed days when India enjoyed a unique position among the comity of nations (“A peep into the past”, May 27). Jawaharlal Nehru’s international outlook did much to build India’s image among the developing nations, which looked to him with trust and admiration. At the same time, superpowers were reluctant to antagonise the world’s largest democracy though it did not subscribe to their viewpoints on several issues. India could have easily got into the Security Council instead of China. It was Nehru who considered Red China the true inheritor of a membership of the Council. The Narendra Modi government romances the U.S. hoping that it will come to India’s rescue in case of any aggression from China, forgetting that the U.S. has never been a firm partner with any country and that its policies and actions are governed by self-interest. India must build a strong relationship with all its neighbours.

S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai

India & China

THE cancellation of the visa for Dolkun Isa was a messy business (“Hasty diplomacy”, May 27). Most people were filled with pride when India granted Isa a visa as a mark of protest against China’s decision to veto the proposal to seek a U.N. ban on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar. The decision to cancel the visa without giving a proper explanation will diminish India’s image as the largest democracy in the world. Surprisingly, India is not as vocal against China as it is in the case of Pakistan. Actually, India’s leaders have not yet overcome the nightmare of the 1962 Chinese invasion. India should have exhibited a little courage and not kowtowed to China.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bishnupur, West Bengal

Bhagat Singh

HISTORY in the context of Bhagat Singh was recently the subject of much debate in Parliament (“Manufactured anger”, May 27). At the age of just 23, Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for the emancipation of India. He is still a source of inspiration for the Indian youth. His uncompromising struggle against the inhuman, exploitative British Raj reflects his true patriotism.

The British rulers expected him to rise as a mighty power to end white rule. Hence, they imposed the death sentence on him. They treated him as a revolutionary terrorist. But in the hearts and minds of the Indian youth, Bhagat Singh is a revolutionary socialist who dreamt of establishing a welfare society with equal opportunities for the underprivileged class. Bhagat Singh is a national leader who does not belong to any one party. His writings are testimony to his non-communal attitude. Why does the BJP government shower so much love on Bhagat Singh and open the doors to controversy? It seems to be historical opportunism. Bhagat Singh’s thoughts are quite different from the communal manifesto and his revolutionary terrorism is quite different from the present day’s wicked and mindless acts of terrorism.

Y. Abhimanyu, Nakrekal, Telangana

Kashmir

I READ the essay “The Sheikh vs the Pandit” (May 27) with interest. I am happy that there is scope in India for the expression of diverse views, with journals willing to publish them and readers willing to read them. But why is it that no one is willing to say that Pakistan or tribal people instigated by it invaded Kashmir and that the Maharaja signed the accession to protect the State from invaders?

An earlier article in Frontline said that once the invaders were driven out from whole of Kashmir referendum would happen. Suddenly, Sheikh Abdullah is lionised and Nehru is vilified and the Kashmir problem is posed as one between the Sheikh and Pandit. What Kashmir needs is some peace and development, but this will not happen as long as militants continue to operate in the State.

G. Venkataraman, Mumbai

Drug ban

THE article “Faulty prescriptions” (May 27) revealed the pharmaceutical industry’s attitude of being interested in making money without any concern for the health of the common man. The article also exposed the negligence of the enforcement agencies. The pharma industry claims that its activities are scientific but in reality its activities are unscientific and unethical. In the era of globalisation, the government’s policy is only to intervene minimally. Does this mean that it can remain silent about people’s health?

S. Sukumar, Chennai

T.M. Krishna

THIS is with reference to the interview with T.M. Krishna (“Reshaping the contours of Carnatic music”, April 29). People such as Thyagayya of Thiruvaiyaru attained spiritual salvation through music. One wonders why such a divine art form was monopolised by a few class-conscious people. Yogis are truth seekers and truth speakers as well. It seems that another nadayogi in the form of T.M. Krishna is in the making in the field of Carnatic music, which is surprising and refreshing.

B.B.C. Chandrasekar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Honour killings

THE macabre killing of a Dalit youth in broad daylight in the presence of several onlookers in Udumalpet in Tamil Nadu in the name of honour is despicable (“In the name of honour”, April 15). While States such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar top the list in the number of honour killings, Tamil Nadu, despite being the birthplace of the great social reformer “Periyar” E.V. Ramasamy, has gained notoriety for such crimes in recent years, especially in the Dharmapuri-Salem belt. Although the Supreme Court has awarded capital punishment to those convicted of such crimes in the past, people with a perverted view of “caste purity” and a callous mindset continue to indulge in the murder of young people on the threshold of a new life.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

THE gruesome murder sent shockwaves across the State. The myth that the western region of Tamil Nadu is peaceful and immune to such issues has been exposed. Going by statistics, the “rarest of rare” is becoming routine in the State that gave birth to Periyar.

Archana M., Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Sedition law

IN the article “Colonial relic” (April 15), A.G. Noorani painstakingly summarised epoch-making judgments to show how the British introduced the law of sedition to stifle dissent. It should open the eyes of those who are at the helm of affairs in the country.

M.A. Fatmi, Gaya, Bihar

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

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Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

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