Saturday, December 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



A matter of judicial dharma

Hari Jaisingh in his front-page editorial "A matter of judicial dharma" (Dec 14) has raised a highly sensitive issue of allegations levelled against three judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for exerting their undue "influence" and "misusing" their official position in getting eight candidates selected by the Punjab Public Service Commission which, directly or indirectly, tantamounts to a touch of corruption and has brought about a blemish on the reputation of the judiciary.

The editorial bears testimony to The Tribune's pledge to uphold the human rights and human values, and, also to generate social and legal awareness among the masses together with the maintenance of freedom of the Press and the authority as well as the dignity of the judicial system by remaining within the framework of the exalted principles of journalism.

Sadly, for the unfair means resorted to by these three judges for their vested interests, the judiciary, as a whole, has come in for a good measure of criticism, from several quarters, particularly from those who swear by transparency, probity, fair-play, justice and accountability in the system.

Obviously, the unfair practices adopted by these judges have also contravened the concept of equality of all human beings before the law so far as the administration of justice is concerned. The way they are reported to have approached the PPSC and exercised their official privileges for their own ends has put a question mark on the moral uprightness of the judiciary.

The question arises: how to save the weakening system? The answer is that all the persons occupying high offices be in the forefront in setting examples of honesty and high standards of personal conduct. There is an urgent need to do something concrete to stem the rot. In case we fail to arrest the growing corrupt practices in public life, we will be nowhere and we will have to be ready to face the hard facts and the rage of the people whose mettle is best tried under trying circumstances and now is one such time. The writing on the wall is clear.

O. P. KALYANA, Chandigarh


Judging the Judges

The article “Judging the Judges” (Dec 15) by Justice S.S. Sodhi is highly appreciable for revealing facts earlier unknown to readers. The role of two advocates, the self-proclaimed protectors of the judiciary, has been brought into light appropriately by the writer. That they were given a hearing and relied upon without any authentic information in their possession speaks volumes about the competence of higher judicial officers. It looks the sanctity of the judiciary was jeopardised at the whims of these advocates. Such articles by legal luminaries should be published more frequently.



USA, India & terrorism

This refers to your editorial "USA, India and terrorism" ( Dec 9). You have stated "that the US policy-makers do not give the Indian viewpoint the seriousness it deserves." This has been your and the Indian foreign policy-makers’ general lament. You and the foreign policy pundits have often said this very thing. We should learn from the wise words uttered by an arch imperialist, Rudyard Kipling, in the early years of the last century that “East is East and the West is West and the twain shall never meet”. We speak, write and understand perfect English. But we must learn that we remain the Brown Sahibs and will never acquire the satus of White Sahibs.

To give you an example, the Australian Prime Minister, Mr Johan Howard, after the terrorist attack in Bali, Indonesia, where many of his countrymen were killed, threatened pre-emptive strikes against any country, which his country saw as a base for any potential terrorist attack. President George W. Bush quickly endorsed this statement made from Canberra.

On the other hand, you and the Indian foreign policy-makers have gone hoarse saying the same principle should apply to South Asia, stating that India should have the same right as regards the so-called terrorist bases in South Asia, meaning Pakistan. But no Western democracy is willing to endorse your and the Indian state's similar demands. In fact only a few days ago the USA handed over a demarche to India not to have more consulates in Afghanistan, at the behest of Pakistan.

We, the sub-continental people, should know where we stand vis-a-vis the white races. NATO has come out with a new elite strike force of 20,000 well trained commandos to hit at the so-called terrorist bases and establish order in a failed state. Now we know from commonsense that none of the targets of this strike force are going to be white-ruled western democracies, and none are going to be declared failed states.

Therefore, it is proposed that the sub-continental Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs end their mutual enmities, bickering and suspicions. We may call another Round Table Conference like the British called in the 1930s and think of establishing a new political order in South Asia for the mutual benefit of us all, instead of leaning on the shoulders of the white races and western democracies. I think as a people who have pride in themselves, we should not sermonise the USA and the Western democracies to play the same as per the rules, as that will never happen.


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