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Editorials | Article | Middle | Oped-Defence

EDITORIALS

Who killed Arushi?
CBI’s closure of the case disturbing
T
HE murder of the teenaged daughter of a doctor couple, Arushi Talwar, in Noida two and a half years ago has all along been steeped in mystery. The CBI’s decision to close the case due to “lack of sufficient evidence” comes as a bolt from the blue. 

Safety first!
But energy needs have to be met
T
hings have changed quite a bit. At one stage, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was considered to be a naysayer on various projects. But ever since he gave the environmental clearance to the nuclear plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra on November 28, he has become some kind of a fall guy.


EARLIER STORIES

Not done, Mr Chidambaram
December 30, 2010
Chaos at airports
December 29, 2010
GSLV failure
December 28, 2010
Move faster on the corrupt
December 27, 2010
Private security: Coping with new realities
December 26, 2010
Rampant food inflation
December 25, 2010
Destructive politics
December 24, 2010
Withdraw agitation
December 23, 2010
PM’s offer to face PAC
December 22, 2010
Taking on corruption
December 21, 2010
Row over Rahul’s remark
December 20, 2010


New Year’s Eve
Resolve to stay sober while having fun
N
EW Year’s Eve is often a time to reflect on the time gone by…to think of all that was accomplished, and that which was left unaccomplished. For us, it’s also time to look at our own world, and see how the preceding year impacted it. We reflect on our relationships and often as we think of them, we feel the need to devote more time and effort to strengthening meaningful ties. 
ARTICLE

Toothless Lokpal Bill
This is no way to clean political dirt
by Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd)
T
HE headlines in the media, the constant talk in the market of how deep corruption has sunk in our body politic and how nefarious role is played by the ill-gotten money contributed to all political parties are like a spectre which is haunting the public all the time. Why is it so that, in spite of the CBI investigation in the 2G spectrum scam under the Supreme Court monitoring or the demand for a JPC or PAC probe, it is still not possible to persuade the government to consider seriously to enact effectively genuine Lokpal legislation to deal with the menace of corruption? If the draft of the Lokpal Bill 2010 is any indication, it would appear that the realisation of a grave urgency is still missing with the government.



MIDDLE

Dear “O”
by Ramesh Luthra

Hi dear. You have gone so dear one could never imagine. Layer after layer and a bewitchingly soft pink wrap. What a magic! As if God created you very imaginatively as well as caringly. An excellent specimen of God’s expertise. Cannot do without you my pet. Despite shedding gallons of tears while chopping you I hail the multilayered!

OPED-DEFENCE

Adjudicatory powers are essential
The proposed armed forces redressal commission is a positive step that not only underscores the recognition of the soldier’s problems, but also gives it an unlimited canvas to make recommendations beyond the confines of existing rules. The panel, however, has powers to  make only recommendations that would eventually land up on the table of a bureaucrat. Earlier experience with the  bureaucracy does little to inspire the confidence of veterans
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

A decision on the issue of “one rank--one pension” (OROP) has been pending with the government for nearly three decades. OROP implies equal pension for those retiring from the same rank and after the same length of service. In other words, equal remuneration for equal work. Prima facie, law of equity should dictate so. But successive governments have been rejecting it. Strangely.

Veterans at the mercy of whimsical decision-makers
Maj Navdeep Singh
“All is fair in love and war” was the answer I got from a senior functionary in the Ministry of Defence, when I pointed out that the ministry had recently cited an outdated Naval Pension Regulation before the Supreme Court to get a case decided in its favour. Is it a war that we are waging against our veterans?

Corrections and clarifications


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Who killed Arushi?
CBI’s closure of the case disturbing

THE murder of the teenaged daughter of a doctor couple, Arushi Talwar, in Noida two and a half years ago has all along been steeped in mystery. The CBI’s decision to close the case due to “lack of sufficient evidence” comes as a bolt from the blue. It is bound to put the country’s premier investigating agency on the mat for its failure to nail down the culprits and bring them to justice. Undoubtedly, ever since the murders of Arushi and Hemraj, the Talwars’ domestic help, the Noida police and the CBI had botched up the investigation during various stages of the case. Reports suggest that the Arushi case was riddled with too many missing clues, investigation goof-ups and questionable arrests. Arushi’s parents were subjected to humiliation and ignominy. While father Rajesh Talwar himself was jailed for 50 days, he and Arushi’s mother Nupur Talwar were forced to undergo Narco analysis tests.

It is a sad commentary on the quality of our police and investigation agencies that till today one does not know the sequence of events leading to the murder of Arushi and Hemraj, the culpability of persons involved and the linkages that led to the destruction of crucial evidence. Surprisingly, while a post mortem report confirmed that Arushi was raped and murdered, the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, said that the vaginal swab sample sent to it was not hers. This confirmed that someone had swapped Arushi’s vaginal swabs in the Noida hospital and tampered with the evidence.

The CBI has also failed to find clues from Arushi’s mobile phone. Moreover, what happened to the testimonies of the three accused — Krishna, Talwars’ compounder, and his alleged accomplices Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal who are out on bail? Questions are bound to be raised over the Uttar Pradesh police’s role before the case was handed over to the CBI. The manner in which crucial pieces of evidence were destroyed shows that some interested party had snapped the vital chain of custody that is vital to nail the culprits down in a criminal case. The people will lose faith and confidence in the police and the CBI if the quality of investigation does not improve. Whether the case is re-opened or not, as demanded by the Talwars, it may be difficult for the police to bring the guilty to book because of the destruction of vital evidence. That there is a question mark over the CBI’s intentions too is sad indeed. It is now up to the court to reject the closure of the case and for the CBI to unravel the mystery regardless of the status of the persons involved.

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Safety first!
But energy needs have to be met

Things have changed quite a bit. At one stage, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was considered to be a naysayer on various projects. But ever since he gave the environmental clearance to the nuclear plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra on November 28, he has become some kind of a fall guy. Not only environmentalists, but also political parties are baying for his blood. Interestingly, even Congress leaders of the state are among them. He has held his ground so far amidst growing opposition. He has not only asked the opponents not to use environment as a “shield to fire at the government”, but has also insinuated that “many people have different agendas”. The import of the comment cannot be missed. It will be interesting to watch who blinks first.

There is merit in some of the objections. Even the 40-page report compiled by an independent disaster management centre of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has said that the project would have a negative social and environmental impact on the nearby villages. It suggests that a large part of the land to be acquired for the project, which the government has termed as barren, is actually being used for agriculture, horticulture and grazing purposes. Not only that, it has claimed that the project in Ratnagiri district is in an area which falls in a high to moderate severity earthquake zone-IV. It is another matter that the project developer Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) says the site is in zone-III and not zone-IV.

If there are indeed some genuine apprehensions, these should be suitably addressed. But to abandon the project outright will amount to throwing the baby out with the bath water. The need for generating more power is unexceptionable. Only that can bridge the enormous energy deficit, which is projected to touch 150,000 megawatts by 2030. Since some dislocation for some persons is unavoidable — whether it is a nuclear plant or a dam or a thermal power station — the country will have to take a hard dispassionate look at the whole issue of power generation. 

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New Year’s Eve
Resolve to stay sober while having fun

NEW Year’s Eve is often a time to reflect on the time gone by…to think of all that was accomplished, and that which was left unaccomplished. For us, it’s also time to look at our own world, and see how the preceding year impacted it. We reflect on our relationships and often as we think of them, we feel the need to devote more time and effort to strengthening meaningful ties. The New Year Eve is also a time to ponder on those who are less fortunate than us and to see what we have given back to society in some meaningful manner. If not, we can do better hereafter. Many a New Year resolution comes to our mind, and we even manage to make good on a few of them.

Before the New Year arrives, we must, however, make one last resolution for 2010 and stick to it: “Celebrate, without becoming a nuisance to others”. A generation ago, New Year’s Eve celebrations were rare and confined to the elite. However, they are becoming more common now. While no one would grudge merrymaking by people enjoying themselves, as long as they behave properly, it is the drinking that often goes with it which has become a social hazard. Drink driving is on the rise and unfortunately, every New Year’s Day, we start our morning by finding out, through the pages of our newspapers, about accidents or fights that were fuelled by people under the influence of alcohol.

In the western world, for every group of merrymakers, there is a designated driver who abstains for the day and thus has the responsibility of driving his or her inebriated friends safely to their homes. This also ensures safety on the streets. No doubt, in keeping with increasing incidents of rash driving, the police too have to keep a visible presence, but at the same time it is for us as citizens to exhibit our exuberance without offending anyone. The best start of a New Year is to end the old on a happy and healthy note. 

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Thought for the Day

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. — William James

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Toothless Lokpal Bill
This is no way to clean political dirt
by Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd)

THE headlines in the media, the constant talk in the market of how deep corruption has sunk in our body politic and how nefarious role is played by the ill-gotten money contributed to all political parties are like a spectre which is haunting the public all the time. Why is it so that, in spite of the CBI investigation in the 2G spectrum scam under the Supreme Court monitoring or the demand for a JPC or PAC probe, it is still not possible to persuade the government to consider seriously to enact effectively genuine Lokpal legislation to deal with the menace of corruption? If the draft of the Lokpal Bill 2010 is any indication, it would appear that the realisation of a grave urgency is still missing with the government.

No one, of course, suggests that an evil like corruption in public life can be eliminated merely by legislation. A clean public life, the standards and character of political parties have to be built on grounds of moral conscience and public pressure. Of course, the ultimate remedy to the various evils like corruption in public life can only be eliminated, as Mahatma Gandhi said, when “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

We must, however, face the reality. Such spirits are rare to find and we ordinary mortals must make efforts to find some mechanism which may hopefully be able to keep in check the demoralisation and corruption in our public life. One such mechanism that almost all governments since 1996 have been promising but have done nothing about it is the institution of Lokpal, an independent body to enquire into the lapses and complaints against legislators, including members of Parliament.

That corruption in various segments of our public life is eating into the vitals of our nation is freely admitted. The global Corruption Perception Index has put India at the 87th place out of 178 countries, showing the country slipping from the 84th position in 2009. The result is that India has 100,000 billionaires and 8.7 crore families (a minimum of 40 crore people) living below the poverty line.

The Central Government has at last proposed the Lokpal Bill 2010, but unfortunately it fails even to be a cosmetic exercise to fight corruption. It is shamefully toothless and meant just to give a false reassurance to the people that the government is serious in its fight against corruption.

The Lokpal is a three-member body consisting of the chairperson, who is a former Chief Justice or a judge of the Supreme Court and two members who are have been judges of the Supreme Court or High Court Chief Justices. I feel restricting it to judges is too narrow a view. Outstanding social scientists or academicians should also be eligible, and it should be a five-member body.

The jurisdiction of the Lokpal under Section 10 apparently covers the Prime Minister, ministers and members of Parliament. But hypocrisy is exposed when at the same time it nullifies the same by providing that the Lokpal shall not enquire into any allegations of corruption against any member of either House of Parliament unless the recommendation of Speaker or the Chairman of the Council of States, as the case may be, is received by it. One is amazed at the effrontery of such a provision that the Lokpal, having the status of highest judiciary, is powerless to act on its own even when it prima facie finds a strong case for enquiry. Not only that, but insultingly after the enquiry and even when the Lokpal finds that any of the charges have been proved against members of Parliament, all he can do is to send a report of his finding to the Speaker and Chairman of the Council of States, and they alone will determine what action is to be taken — obviously it may include rejecting the report of the Lokpal.

Of course, the presiding officers have to place the report before the two Houses of Parliament. A formal courtesy is to be shown by informing the Lokpal as to what action is taken or proposed to be taken which includes the rejection of the findings of guilt by the Lokpal. What sardonic joke is being played on the public? The government is treating the members of Parliament like sacred idols in a temple who cannot be touched by the Lokpal, but only by the Brahmanical priesthood of co-legislators, who will decide finally. This reduces the authority of the Lokpal to worse than a lower-level magistrate whose order has to be complied with by even the highest in the land, including the President. The sheer effrontery of the Law Ministry in proposing such an insulting provision is a direct negation of the institution of Lokpal, and it amounts to making it toothless. Rather what should have been done was to provide that the finding of guilt by the Lokpal would be treated in the same manner as under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, considering it as a disqualification for contesting election for a period of six years. Further, the Lokpal should have been authorised to impose a penalty for the recovery of any amount found to have been lost by the action of legislators or ministers.

The Lokpal under Section 11 is forbidden to enquire into any memo of complaint if it is made after the expiry of five years from the date when the offence is alleged to have been committed. Has the government realised the absurdity of providing a limitation period in such complaints, which, if they were to be tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act, would have no limitation bar, because there is no limitation for initiating proceedings under the criminal law where the punishment provided is more than three years. What kind of a skewed provision is this which, instead of making the legislators’ liability more strict, gives them immunity.

Also, has the UPA government considered that if a five-year period were to be provided, then by the same logic, would they not be barred from holding an enquiry into the 2G spectrum scam of 2001-02 during the BJP-led government (which, by all standards, should be held along with the enquiry into the 2G scam against former minister A. Raja) ? Are not people entitled to demand an explanation as by what perverse logic is this high-sounding body called Lokpal, headed by the Chief Justice of India, being reduced to the position of a domestic pet? I am certain that no judge with even a modicum of self-respect will accept such a demeaning, low-grade post and the inevitable result would be that the Lokpal Bill will collapse — an event that legislators have always evidently desired. So, goodbye to cleaning the political dirt, notwithstanding the high-sounding calls by all the governments.

Regrettably, cynics may be right when they say “who cares” if in the process some dedicated Gandhians, fighting for integrity in public life, fast unto death at this unforgivable lapse by the government.

The writer is a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi.

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Dear “O”
by Ramesh Luthra

Hi dear. You have gone so dear one could never imagine. Layer after layer and a bewitchingly soft pink wrap. What a magic! As if God created you very imaginatively as well as caringly. An excellent specimen of God’s expertise. Cannot do without you my pet. Despite shedding gallons of tears while chopping you I hail the multilayered!

Suddenly you have gone callous and unsympathetic. Now you are bent upon vanishing from the markets. You have had the privilege of being a tearjerker for ages together. Now copious tears are being shed recollecting sweet memories you left behind, impish beauty!

Thou mightiest of the mighty! The power you wield! Brings forth tremors, virtually a sunami in the world of politics. Not long ago you brought down a government. The so-called politicians lie prostrate worshipping you like a god. Surely this has swollen your pride, you naughty!

The markets wear a forlorn and deserted look sans you. Kitchen is bereft of your glamour and aroma. Gone are the days when your magical touch used to cater to our age old tastes and provide us sumptuous shahi paneer, murg musallam, rogan josh et al. One can only dream of those mouth-watering dishes and get transported to the world of sheer fantasy. We are left to our fate to inhale your aroma in the world of fairies only. “Alas! Fancy cannot cheat so well!” From the land of rich fantasy to the world of rugged kitchen shelf! O my God! You seem to enjoy the bad times Indian cuisine has fallen to.

Media has pampered you so much that you chuckle at the unprecedented attention you are getting from it. No channel dare miss showing visuals of desolate market and women discussing the hot topic of the day over the wall or bending over the balconies. Their mobiles remain busy conveying the latest situation. Imagine the day when most of us will cull a holiday from the working place to get ‘O’ on ration.

The only craze ladies are possessed with after jewellery is you only. Known for keeping watch over the prices of yellow metal, they read aloud every morning: “Onions are selling at.” When prices crash they will be the first to rush to the market and outdo each other in collecting the “booty”.

Religious places have put you high on the altar and are holding special prayers to appease you, the mighty one. Hoping you will bless the pining human beings with your gracious presence. On the other hand poets sing your praises to sustain us on food sans you — the multilayered. Yet others might come forth with elegies or epitaphs.

Do you want to be popular among friends and relatives like me? A simple trick yours truly would like to tell. Present packetfuls of onions to the newly married couple or the birthday child instead of colourful ‘envelopes’. See how you climb the graph of popularity. Must SMS to let me know. Do not forget please.

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OPED-DEFENCE

Adjudicatory powers are essential
The proposed armed forces redressal commission is a positive step that not only underscores the recognition of the soldier’s problems, but also gives it an unlimited canvas to make recommendations beyond the confines of existing rules. The panel, however, has powers to make only recommendations that would eventually land up on the table of a bureaucrat. Earlier experience with the bureaucracy does little to inspire the confidence of veterans
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

Veterans at a function to pay homage to martyrs. The bulk of grievances and litigation concerning armed forces personnel in India pertains to pensionary matters and disability benefits
Veterans at a function to pay homage to martyrs. The bulk of grievances and litigation concerning armed forces personnel in India pertains to pensionary matters and disability benefits

A decision on the issue of “one rank--one pension” (OROP) has been pending with the government for nearly three decades. OROP implies equal pension for those retiring from the same rank and after the same length of service. In other words, equal remuneration for equal work. Prima facie, law of equity should dictate so. But successive governments have been rejecting it. Strangely.

When everything else failed, ex servicemen as a last resort were compelled to go public with their demand. This was not a step the veterans took happily or even willingly. It is unusual in India that starting in April 2008, hordes of retired soldiers have had to periodically descend on that protesters’ Mecca, Jantar Mantar. They have also been surrendering their medals before their Supreme Commander. A soldier wins his medals at great risk to his life and limb. For him these are not mere pieces of metal. He develops deep attachment to his medals. His decision to return these reflects the depth of his disenchantment with the government’s apathy to his legitimate and genuine demand.

The government has taken some placatory steps. By enhancing the pension in March 2010, it has tried to narrow the gap between the old and new pensioners. However, the demand is for total removal of and not mere reduction in this gap. Ex-servicemen are fighting for equity and justice and not merely for more money. The justice will come only when all pensioners get equitable pension. Halfway measures won’t do.

The government’s attitude on the issue is difficult to comprehend. In the recent pension enhancement, they left out widow pensioners. When this discrimination was pointed out in a letter to the Prime Minister, the reply from the government was rather bizarre. It said that service widows were left out because enhancement in their case was not recommended by the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee. The government’s helplessness in being bound by the recommendations of a subordinate committee that the government itself had constituted was as strange as it was unbelievable. In the past, the government has been repeatedly rejecting the recommendations of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence vis-à-vis OROP. Undeniably, this committee of some two dozen MPs drawn from different political parties is weightier than the committee composed of only bureaucrats. It is hard not to infer that the government is accepting the committees’ recommendations selectively.

The government’s stated reasons for rejecting OROP are legal, financial and administrative. If one goes by the recent castigating remarks of the apex court against the government’s treatment of soldiers and ex-servicemen, the “legal” ground seems to fall short of conviction. On the financial score, in today’s booming national economy, the relatively small sum involved in giving soldiers their legitimate due could not be considered an overbearing burden on the exchequer. The “administrative” ground is too vague and obscure to lend itself to objective comment. In sum, it leaves little doubt that the government’s announced reasons are a thin veil to conceal their obduracy on the issue.

The soldiers’ struggle has brought the OROP issue center stage. It has figured in the media, the Parliament and the courts. The general public is seized of the issue and is fully supportive. Apparently the government is boxed-in and isolated. While hearing a related case on November 15, 2010, the apex court asked the government to constitute an Armed Forcers Grievance Redressal Commission (AFGRC) within two months. It also named its composition; two prominent retired judges, an ex-army chief and a retired army commander. Provided the government does implement the court’s instructions, the AFGRC would have certain positives. First, it underscores the recognition of the soldiers’ problems at the highest level of our legal system. Secondly, inclusion of two retired senior defence officers in the proposed commission – perhaps for the first time – will lead to realistic portrayal of a soldier’s problems. Additionally, the proposed terms do not limit the commission to making recommendations only within the confines of existing rules. It has an infinite canvas. The main drawback, however, is that the commission does not have adjudicatory powers. It can only make recommendations to the government. This would lead to the commission’s findings landing on the table of a bureaucrat for taking a final call. While it is nobody’s case that every bureaucrat is negative, the experience with respect to OROP does little to inspire confidence of ex -servicemen in the bureaucracy.

Setting up the proposed commission is undeniably a positive step and the uniformed men owe gratitude to the Apex Court. However, being only a recommendatory body, it does not go far enough for ex-servicemen to ease up on their ongoing struggle. Nor can they take back their 22,000 medals as has been suggested by some.

The writer is a former Deputy Chief of Army Staff

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Veterans at the mercy of whimsical decision-makers
Maj Navdeep Singh

“All is fair in love and war” was the answer I got from a senior functionary in the Ministry of Defence, when I pointed out that the ministry had recently cited an outdated Naval Pension Regulation before the Supreme Court to get a case decided in its favour. Is it a war that we are waging against our veterans?

The problem runs deep. While officers from the uniformed services and the IAS come and go, those permanently ensconced in the ministry and the service headquarters, on whom we tend to over-ly depend, rule the roost. There is a feeling amongst key intermediary appointments that defence personnel with their subsidised liquor and free rations are already a pampered lot and that they do not deserve more, and hence every single welfare related attempt by the defence services is firewalled with notings on file that become difficult to counter. In all welfare-related spheres, the rules and regulations seem to be diametrically opposed to logic. Pensionary provisions are the worst, with numerous cut-off dates, irrational stipulations and categories within categories. An honorary naib subedar who retired after January 1, 2006 would get the pension of a regular naib subedar, but a similarly placed person who retired prior to this date would get the pension of a havildar. A 100 per cent disabled general who retired in 2006 would get Rs 27,000 as disability pension while an officer of the same rank with the same disability who retired in 2005 would get less than Rs 6,000. In a socially retrograde move, a widow who remarried prior to 2006 would lose her right to ordinary family pension but not the one who remarried after 2006. It seems the government is regressively opposed to remarriage of widows who unfortunately lost their husbands prior to 2006.

The list is never-ending. The bare fact that the defence services have the highest rate of pension related litigation in the country should have led to some revolutionary changes, but nothing positive seems to be happening and the pension department of the defence ministry continues to be operationalised by a single officer who runs the show and thrusts his decisions on millions of pensioners in stark contrast to the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare on the civilian side.

An overhaul of the functioning of medical boards as well as the rules related to grant of disability benefits is also required. The system of determining whether disabilities are “attributable to, or aggravated by military service” also requires a re-look since the guidelines on this are more mathematical and less medical. For example, for post traumatic stress disorder to be declared as service-related, we are still governed by the otiose requirement that a person needs to be posted in a field area for a particular length of time, or for instance, the requirement that symptoms should manifest themselves within 3 months of being denied leave in case of the death of a parent when the individual happens to be the only son. Modern medical science, on the other hand, has now proved that the manifestation of such symptoms has no relation with length of operational service and can even happen instantly due to one solitary incident which may happen in a single day and can at times occur as a case of delayed onset even five years after a stressful event. And can a person not be affected if he is not the “only” son and would not the problem be service-connected if the symptoms arise, say after three and a half months rather than the mathematical guideline of 3 months?

While psychiatric disorders need to be examined on a case-by-case basis, we are still stuck in the primitive times with numerical yardsticks. Leave aside medical science, it is understood even by a layman that psychiatric disorders are commonly aggravated by issues such as education of children, property disputes, family problems, etc. when the person is deployed on military duty, peace or field. For cardiovascular disorders, the charter of duties of last 14 days prior to the problem is considered and service-connection is only granted if any stress and strain is observed in the said period. However it is common knowledge that such diseases manifest on account of stress and strain experienced over a long period of time and a 14 days window has no medical relevance whatsoever. Too much mathematical emphasis is laid on field service, forgetting that there can be high pressure appointments in peace stations too which can result in far greater stress than in field stations.

The malaise can only be addressed if the defence services start posting upcoming and brilliant officers in the service directorates dealing with manpower and personnel who constructively provide their inputs to the process of decision-making and act as a counter-balance to elements who harbour an erroneous feeling that faujis are already getting more than they deserve. The element of sadism also needs to be curbed. If the feeling at the decision making level remains ‘”why should he get what I am not getting”, then it would be an exercise in futility to expect anything productive, and in that event, the “war” against veterans, especially against disabled soldiers, war-wounded, widows and pensioners, shall continue unabated.

The writer practices in the Punjab and Haryana High Court

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Corrections and clarifications

n The first sentence of the report "Locked up for 5 years, Gurbhajan dies three months after being freed" (Page 3, December 30) is convoluted. It says "Gurbhajan Singh (80), who was caged by his son in a house in Mooran Wali Gali in Patiala for five years and was rescued after The Tribune, highlighted the matter in its September 21, 2010 issue, the Octogenarian died at an Old Age Home in Sangrur today".

n A caption on Page 5 of the issue of December 29 says "An artist's view of the proposed entrance gateway to Amritsar". A gateway is an entrance so saying 'entrance gateway' was wrong.

n The headline "England on brink of win" (Page 17, December 29) is inappropriate. 'Verge' would have been more apt than 'brink'.

n In the headline "Quality checks, not MC's forte" (Page 3, December 28, Chandigarh Tribune), there should have been no comma after 'checks'.

Despite our earnest endeavour to keep The Tribune error-free, some errors do creep in at times. We are always eager to correct them.

This column appears twice a week — every Tuesday and Friday. We request our readers to write or e-mail to us whenever they find any error.

Readers in such cases can write to Mr Kamlendra Kanwar, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune, Chandigarh, with the word “Corrections” on the envelope. His e-mail ID is kanwar@tribunemail.com.

Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief

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