Tuesday, February 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Judges’ appointment

The policy of not elevating lawyers as high court judges till they cross 45 years of age, ignores the fact that most brilliant and capable lawyers by then have already reached the top and are not much inclined to leave the profession. That is why there is a dearth of good lawyers volunteering to join the Bench.

While keeping the field open for elevating at any stage, there may not appear justification to foreclose the cases of bright, capable and promising young lawyers below 45, if they otherwise fulfil the constitutional mandate of at least 10 years’ practice at the Bar. In the past, there have been quite a number of such elevations and they have turned out to be brilliant erudite judges as our present Chief Justice of India is. To impose an age-limit of 45 years is not in consonance with the spirit of our Constitution.

The best time to attract brilliant lawyers is when they are around 40 and the Chief Justices of High Courts and senior judges notice hard-working upright and analytical minds among the rising youngsters who otherwise also command a reasonably good practice.

R. S. SARKARIA , Delhi


Dual citizenship

The Prime Minister has indicated that the next budget will be a harsh one, because of the earthquake in Gujarat.

People of Indian origin living abroad have great affection for their country, but not being Indian citizens they hesitate to invest money in India. But most of them remain in touch with the country of their origin. That is why they have been demanding dual citizenship. If the Government allows them dual citizenship on condition that they make a certain contribution towards earthquake relief, a good amount will be collected in a short period. The Government can fix a heavy amount for this one-time offer.

Kuldeep Singh, Amargarh (Fatehgarh Sahib)


Tehri Dam

In the wake of the Gujarat earthquake, the Prime Minister has given a hint that the Tehri Dam project in Garhwal Himalayas will be reviewed.

The Tehri Dam is being constructed on the Bhagirathi near Tehri in Uttaranchal Pradesh. The underground base on which the huge concrete structure will reach a height of 260.5 metres is made up of weak sedimentary rocks. The people of this region have not forgotten the earthquake of Uttarkashi. Soon after that, a group of scientists from San Fransisco had predicted a massive earthquake in north India in the near future with a mention of Tehri Dam.

But our planners are advocating the multipurpose benefits of the dam. The Chief Minister of the newly created Uttaranchal Pradesh also wishes to give his people the benefits of irrigation, power and drinking water. The best course will be to make small dams and reservoirs on the hundreds of rivers and rivulets in the state. But avoid this huge dam, a crack in which will endanger vast areas from Rishikesh-Hardwar to Meerut.

D. B. MATHUR, Panipat

Slow to react

The earthquake lasted a few seconds, but it took our policy-makers hours to grasp the gravity of the situation. The Central Government woke-up to the situation only when the Republic Day celebrations were over. The relief operations started only after 24 hours. The right thing would have been to start relief work immediately with whatever infrastructure or equipment we had at our disposal. Many precious lives could have thus been saved. A nation that claims to be an IT giant took hours to react.

Again, it is painful that entertainment programmes on the T.V. and on All India Radio are going on as usual. Why can’t there be a seven or ten days’ state mourning in honour of the dead. It has not been done, maybe because those who have lost their lives are commoners.

SHISHU PAL SINGH, Badhani (Hamirpur)

Retired teachers

The Punjab Government, during the chief ministership of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, decided to give pension and gratuity to retired professors of privately managed, aided colleges from April, 1992. But on January 1, last the present Minister for Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, declared that the scheme would be implemented from April, 1999.

This decision has come as a blow to the retired professors who left 55 per cent of their provident fund in the colleges to get the pension. Retired teachers of privately managed and aided schools have been enjoying pension for the last 10 years. There is, therefore, no justification for this discrimination against the college teachers.


Valentine's Day

The tragedy of Gujarat has shaken the entire country. In this situation it shall only be proper not to celebrate the coming Valentine’s Day on February 14 in the manner it has been celebrated in the past.

On this day, let us organise functions to express sympathy with the sufferers and extend them all possible help on a day which is meant for sharing love with others. By doing so, we shall be giving real meaning to the festival.


Pension denied

The Punjab Government has been granting pension to employees who retired from corporations and municipal councils on or after April 1, 1990. More than 5000 persons who retired from these bodies before this date are denied this benefit which is irrational and unreasonable besides being discriminatory in nature.

All pensioners constitute one class and to further sub-divide them in different groups and categories in relation to their particular date of retirement violates the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The Punjab Government should sanction pension to these senior citizens most of whom are above 70.



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