Wednesday, July 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Corruption in today’s context

IN the recent past a number of cases of fraud, corruption, embezzlement, match-fixing, etc, have been unearthed. The nation has woken up with this signal and has started watching the phenomenon eagerly and very analytically. The CBI and other investigating agencies have done an appreciable job. Their activism in this era has evoked a mixed response.

On the one hand, many bosses and high profile public figures have been raising their obnoxious voices against it since they have been antagonised and, on the other, the public at large has not only supported this trend but has also jubilantly celebrated it everyday. The ultimate result of this widespread corruption has been that we have been dwindled down to the dusk legally, morally and intellectually.

Even after such judicial activism, the culprit goes scot-free. The real cause is that either the witnesses do not turn up to corroborate the prosecution story or that recovery cannot be effected properly or witnesses turned hostile. Sometimes it so happens that the act could not come within the ambit of the definition of that crime which law prescribes for it or that the impugned document could not be categorised as evidence.

When criminals are becoming smart, we should not cling on to the old traditional laws which are unable to prosecute them. There is need for radical changes in the law which can modernise it to take on every criminal of this century. As rightly said by George Washington: “Greatness lies not in the laws, but in the right use of those laws. The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.”



Graft: clarification

The news item “Minister stalls efforts to check graft” (July 24) was not based on the complete appreciation of the facts of the cases explained. Mr Kundan Singh Manager, PADB, Rajpura, who was suspended following the detection of non-genuine cases of loans, has been reinstated pending enquiry against him. It is clarified that the disciplinary proceedings against him have not been dropped. There was no reference from the Cooperatives Minister, Punjab, in this regard.

For the case pertaining to a woman official of a CCB branch in Chandigarh, the bank has initiated disciplinary proceedings against her on following charges: (i) Aiding and abetting misappropriations, embezzlements and frauds. (ii) Gross negligence in the performance of duties. (iii) Flouting norms of admitting the loanee as a nominal member. (iv) Disbursement of a house building loan to Ms Gian Kaur without getting it mortgaged in favour of the bank. (v) Embezzlement of bank funds by way of bogus loans. (vi) Breach of trust and doubtful integrity.

The enquiry against her is currently under way.

It is also being clarified that the bank has intensified measures to check graft during the last three years. Disciplinary action against 126 employees posted in various PADBs has been initiated, out of which action against 70 employees has been completed. There has been no interference in these proceedings from the Cooperatives Minister or any other senior functionary of the government.

Managing Director,
Punjab State Cooperative Bank

A new order for peace

There is no denying the fact that today peace, order and justice have been seriously jeopardised at individual, familial, social, national and global levels mainly due to severe moral degradation all over the world. All the human and social values are eroding rapidly. Human life all over the globe is becoming crucially suffocative, tense and restless. Now the conscious people throughout the world have started realising that human living is becoming horrible and meaningless.

In such a globally frustrating situation, it is really very heartening to know through the media that an international benevolent organisation — the Foundation for Moral Development Approach (FMDA) — from Bangladesh has rightly diagnosed that severe global moral pollution is the number one problem of mankind today because immorality is the mother of all crimes directly responsible for the following: corruption, bribery, poverty, rape, AIDS/HIV, human rights violations, environment pollution, oppression and repression on women and children, terrorism, killings, drug abuse, smoking, etc.

The FMDA has genuinely claimed that to fight all the global crimes and their above-mentioned consequences, a global moral development programme has become quite imperative. Keeping this in mind, the FMDA has launched a global moral development programme as a package-deal strategy to curb and combat all the above-mentioned human cries generated through acute moral pollution all over the world. It is learnt through press reports that the FMDA has already floated a proposal to the United Nations for global moral development.

Under these circumstances, I appeal to the world to convert the global moral development programme of the FMDA into a rigorous social movement everywhere on the globe to save the mankind from its uncertain and dark future due to immoral human behaviour and activities.

Professor, College of Science,
Pennsylvania State University,
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA)

The federal question

Mr Inderjit’s article, “Centre-State relations — federal talk unwarranted” (July 17) was highly educative. But the writer overlooks the fact that the Constituent Assembly, which framed the Constitution of India, was indirectly elected by the provincial legislatures which had themselves been elected by only 28 per cent of the adult population competent to vote under the Government of India Act, 1935.

The Constituent Assembly did not even indirectly represent the economically and socially deprived sections of the population. Nor was the Constitution framed by it put to a referendum before its introduction. It cannot, therefore, bind the people of India for all times to come, and the people, have the inherent power to replace it notwithstanding the Supreme Court ruling as regards the unchangeability of its basic structure.

We should not forget that the people of France, who were the first to raise the slogan of “justice, liberty, equality and fraternity” which is the basis of all democratic constitutions, have changed their constitution four times.


Rule of law in UK & India

The report that British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s son was reprimanded by the police for being “drunk and incapable” is not at all a surprising news from a country where the rule of law means that no one is above the law, and all are equal before the law.

Two years ago, Prime Minister Blair recounted an incident of a pilot who ordered him to switch off his cell phone as the Prime Minister answered a call from the Queen just as a the plane was about to take off. The pilot said: “I don’t care who it is, mate, rules are rules. Switch it off.”

Contrast this with the virtual hijacking of a plane by disrupting the route schedule by some elected representatives of the people in India recently, with the active assistance of the Minister!



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