Wednesday, May 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India



The law is higher than people’s court

I have read Anupam Gupta's "Jayalalitha, a CM undesirable, but not unconstitutional" (May 21). While I am not sufficiently qualified to comment on the constitutional provision, I would only confine myself to the people's court, a political phrase used by all corrupt politicians while fighting elections even from jail.

I can safely say that most of the poor people in TN have always stood by her charm, charisma, courage and political competence with which she pulls voters against her opponents. Neither Italian-born queen of the Congress, Sonia Gandhi, nor politically mauled, Mamata, are anywhere near to her political maturity and motivating power. I would not like to comment on the role of the Governor who by any scale is an expert in legal matters.

However, I would like the readers to go back 500 years where an incident of resistance to interference with the administration of justice brought Chief Justice Gascoigne into conflict with the Prince of Wales.

One of the Prince's favourite servants was committed for felony and placed upon trial in the court of King's bench. The Prince, extremely incensed, rushed to the bar and commanded the Chief Justice to set him at liberty. The Chief Justice exhorted the Prince to allow his servant to be tried according to the ancient laws of the realm. At this the Prince became more inflamed with the result the judge ordered the Prince to leave the prisoner and depart. The Prince, not to be undone, sprang to the place of judgement in a menacing manner and everyone present thought that he would do the judge bodily violence.

The judge was quite unmoved and addressed the following words to the Prince: "Sir, remember yourself, I keep here the place of the King, your sovereign Lord and father to whom you owe double obedience wherefore in his name, I charge you desist of your wilfulness and unlawful enterprise and from hencefore give good example to those which hereafter shall be your subjects and now for your contempt and disobedience, go you to the prison of the King's bench where to I commit you till the pleasure of the King, your father, be further known".


King Henry IV on being informed of this said, "O Merciful God how much am I above all men, bound to your infinite goodness, specially for that you have given me a judge who feareth not to minister justice and also a son who can obey justice".

When the Prince of Wales in the due course become the Great Henry V, whose reign was immortalised by Shakespeare in his play of that name and who is celebrated in the corridor of history as England's greatest warrior monarch and victor of Agincourt it must be remembered that not only did he not behead, imprison in the tower or inflict today's mundane punishment of transfer, demotion or removal upon the Chief Justice but showered appreciation and magnanimity by continuing him in his high office.

Thus did "Daunbtless Gascoigne from the judgement seat, do justice, did make princely power submit, dared tame by law, him who all laws could break and to a hero raised a royal rake". Thus the dignity of the court was upheld and not the prestige of the Prince.




Dabhol project

This is in reference to the editorial on the Dabhol project.

I work for a major electric utility in the USA. Some years ago I had been nudging my employer to invest in India by building a power plant. That was the time when the newly elected government in Maharashtra cancelled the already approved Dabhol project. My employer flatly told me that they would not be interested in investing in India. Time has proved that my employer's decision was right.

The sole motivation for companies to go off shore is to earn better profits. They would go wherever there is better potential of earnings. In the USA, companies have to make quarterly projections for earnings. It is not difficult to realise the tremendous pressure Enron is under.

As a result of Dabhol, India's in general and Maharashtra's in particular credibility is jeopardised. Here is the reason, why so little foreign capital is invested in India compared to that in China.

Time for negotiations is before signing a contract and not after it.

VISHWA M. BHARGAVA, Richmond (Virginia) USA


Wake up, DC office!

Every year the rates of daily paid labour are revised upward by the D.C. office to offset to some extent the annual rise in the cost of living. Though applicable from April 1, these rate are announced much later. This year, till date, the hiked rates have not yet been announced. Why can't this exercise be done in February, avoiding unnecessary hardships to the casual labour? Thousands of workers have not received their monthly wages for April owing to the indecisiveness of the D.C. office.

J. K. CHAWALA, Ludhiana

‘Divide’ senior citizens

Senior citizens should be divided in two categories i.e. those above 80 and those above 65. The former need a little more sympathetic consideration, specially at the time of a hike in telephone rent, electricity charges, house taxes and all other taxes.


What a shame!

This is in reference to the news item regarding the Dalits who are not permitted into a temple near Patiala (May 17).

It is a matter of shame that such a practice is being perpetrated in the name of religion. The country, which has produced the spiritual giants such as Guru Nanak and Lord Krishna is marred with such inhuman practices.


Rape & murder

The barbaric way in which Pooja, a six-year-old infant was raped and murdered by her own father (May 23) is indeed disgraceful as well as shocking. A mercy plea put by the defence counsel that the convict was an Army personnel who "fought for the honour of the nation" is even more pitiable.



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