Thursday, August 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Unfortunate consensus on poll reforms Ordinance

It is a pity and misfortune of the people of India that our politicians always ensure that they have their own way, when a subject pertains to their own advantage, welfare and benefits. On such occasions all political parties reach the consensus, whereas they always oppose each other on subjects of national interest and waste precious national time by quarrelling in Parliament.

The Union Cabinet, by returning the Ordinance to amend the Representation of People Act 1951, without any changes ensured that President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had to give his consent for its promulgation. The President has finally given his consent. The President had returned the Ordinance for reconsideration, but on the pretext of consensus at the all-party meetings on July 8 and August 2, the government did not make any amendments to the Ordinance.

Such consensus was also seen when the pay, allowances and pensionery benefits of the members of Parliament were to be revised upwards and this consensus was reached on the last sitting of Parliament before its dissolution. By getting the present Ordinance through, the politicians have gone against the efforts of the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the President of India.

It is clearly understood why the candidates fighting elections are afraid to give their criminal antecedents, financial background and educational qualifications. Their main aim is to defeat the efforts for the “prevention of criminalisation” and “elimination of corruption”. These three bits of information are a must when any citizen of India applies for a government job, even if it is a class IV job.


It is, however, encouraging for the people of India that our recently elected President sent the Ordinance back for reconsideration. This is probably the best he could do remaining with the limits of the Constitution. The people of India understand the limitations of presidential powers in such matters. The people’s good wishes are with him in his desire to build a new India. There was no reason for Mr Mulyam Singh Yadav, MP, to comment on the judgement of the President of India. The people of India today can smell the intentions when a Member of Parliament gets worked up on actions which concern the personal benefits of politicians.

Lt Col S.K. SOOD (retd), Ludhiana

HP govt & FIR

The Himachal Government has registered an FIR against the Leader of Opposition, Mr Virbhadra Singh and five other Congress MLAs in connection with the alleged abduction and illegal confinement of Mr Ramesh Dhawala, a Cabinet minister in the Dhumal Ministry, on March 5, 1998, on the basis of the Kainthla Commission report.

It is matter of great surprise that the BJP government’s administrative machinery took about four years to verify the authenticity of a criminal complaint filed by one of its Cabinet ministers. What will be the fate of the common man who needs the help of the law enforcing agencies to redress his or her grievances under the present political set-up?


Army’s youthful profile

This refers to the editorial “Army: a youthful profile”. I became a low medical case in a jeep accident while on military duty. I was considered fit for promotion from Maj to Lt Col and again from Lt Col to Col by a selection board. However, the medical board for promotion from Lt Col to Col, found me unfit for such a promotion. As a result I got superseded and I requested to be released from service prematurely as I did not want to serve under a junior officer.

Though I was physically handicapped with disability but I was not given disability pension quoting a 1954 regulation under Rule 22 of the Pension Regulation of India which says that if you ask for premature retirement you cannot get disability pension.

I have no grudge against not being promoted but I strongly resent non-sanctioning of disability pension, especially when disability is attributable to military service. I fail to understand how could I be refused promotion because I am handicapped and then refused disability pension because I am seeking retirement for not being promoted.

Till recently the Punjab Government was not recognising ex-servicemen who took premature retirement as ex-servicemen. I do not know about other states. These are surely no ways to have a youthful profile for the Army. I, therefore, demand that Rule 22 of pension regulation be scrapped forthwith with retrospective effect.

S.S. KATHURIA, Ludhiana

Managing water

I have read the editorial “Managing water”. The Government of India has a proposal for a national environment awareness campaign in 2002-2003 and the theme is “Jal jeevan amrit”. The people of all walks of life should come forward to take part in this awareness campaign. There will be various forums i.e. rallies, seminars, lectures and slide shows regarding the water problem being faced in this country. All dedicated government agencies, NGOs and other voluntary agencies will conduct this campaign.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Palbhu (Hamirpur)Top


GMC’s animals

It goes to the credit of The Tribune team for having reported the squalor, degrading and non-enriched environment on the premises of the prestigious Government Medical College, Amritsar (GMC) “GMC bans outsiders, not animals” (Aug 18). It is disgusting that the medical teachers and the taught, who are supposed to cause public awareness in the public about the health hazards of insanitation, are themselves living in areas filled with ever-proliferating wild growth and garbage strewn here and there. Actually the animals causing nuisance on the campus belong to the employees of the college who are under a loose grip of the authorities.

The Tribune team failed to spot the animal house where laboratory animals for experimentation and research are kept in degrading and appalling conditions. The rabbits suffer from acute mange and are let loose in the pen with utter disregard to safety and comfort. Fouling-smelling sheep speak a lot of an egregious lapse of the management of GMC.

It is well documented that disease, stress, neglect and non-enriched environment adversely affect the outcome of the experimental studies for which these laboratory animals are kept.


PPSC selections

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has reportedly identified 660 PPSC recruits as tainted in its report submitted to the state government. It implies that the remaining recruits have been given a clean chit. In all fairness, they should be given appointment letters at the earliest.


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