Thursday, May 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Strengthening people’s faith in the judiciary

THE editorial “Blot on the Bench” (May 2) does not do justice to the conduct of the members of the judiciary. The only thing new now is that a former judge of the High Court has been arrested, otherwise charges of involvement of members of the judiciary has been there for a long time. Last year, a retired Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had applied for anticipatory bail before the High Court at Chandigarh. Impeachment proceedings were started against Justice V. Ramaswami, who was a Supreme Court judge. It is a different matter that he could not be impeached.

There were proceedings against the judges of the High Courts of Punjab, Karnataka and Rajasthan. There were protests against the conduct of judges of the Bombay High Court. There have been proceedings against the subordinate judiciary by the High Court. Suspects were called upon to face enquiry or to seek retirement. In the majority of cases, the suspects sought retirement and the proceedings against them were dropped. That was not the proper way to deal with the culprits. In day-to-day trial, the judicial officers do not acquit the accused if the instruments of offence are destroyed by the accused. Such leniency towards the members of the judiciary by the High Court removed fear from their minds.

Put to shame are those who have blind faith in the judiciary. Unfortunately, there has been intimacy between the members of the subordinate judiciary and the High Court judges. The Contempt of Courts Act restrain me from telling the truth that the goings on in the judiciary, subject to a few exceptions, have not been above board.

Evils have crept in the judiciary on account of the soft attitude of the higher authorities towards the subordinates. Stage-managed annual inspection of the courts bring in intimacy between the bosses and the subordinates. The conduct and the behaviour of the members of the judiciary in violation of the rules and regulations also downgrade the judiciary in the eyes of the public. The members of the judiciary are very anxious to attend social functions at the places of their posting and to have contacts with the elite. Judicial officers have been performing marriages of their children at the places of their posting though the rules governing service conditions discourage such practice.

The lawyers have not lagged behind in encouraging lawlessness in the judiciary. The practice of law is mainly for making money and this thinking leads a person to depart from the noble principles. Sadly, the lawyers do not stand up against corruption. They stoop too low and their pet word is that they were doing so because they want to get relief from the court. It means that they kill their conscience and depart from their principles of legal ethics.

If the judiciary fails or the people lose confidence in the judiciary, there will be lawlessness throughout the country.




Promoting judicious use of water

This has reference to the report “30 water samples fail in Ropar” (The Tribune, May 1). It says approximately 25 per cent samples fail in the purity test. Fail in the biological (microbiological) purity test implies, i.e. the total coliform test as per the United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), "if 5 per cent of the samples collected at one source have coliform bacteria more than three reported as the most probable number per 100 ml (MPN/100ml)”, then one can claim that sample fails in the bacteriological analysis and its needs immediate treatment from the health point of view. Testing one or two samples from one source does not give sufficient information about the quality of water. On the contrary, continuous sampling over a period of time is required to determine the quality of drinking water.

Drinking water quality is evaluated on the basis of the physical, chemical, and biological parameters. Nowadays, parameters like fluorides (permissible limit 1-1.5 mg/l) and nitrates (permissible limit 10 mg/l) that have long-term health effects need to be analysed too. The incidence of communicable diseases like gastroenteritis and diarrhoea in summer is related to the consumption of contaminated water.

The source of water supply is very important. Municipal water supply is considered to be the best and least contaminated due to discharge from 400-700 feet. Those who are travelling and those live in slums, do not get water from municipal water supply; they have to rely on some poor source of water like still water from a drum or hand pump near a waste drain or seepage of waste water into the water supply or putrid water due to faculty joints. The supplies that withdraw water from the upper ground water table, usually 30-60 feet from the ground level, do not have good quality of water.

A suggestion for sparingly used tap or hand pump is to run it for at least 2-3 minutes before using it for drinking purposes. What is desired is an awareness campaign among the masses. Maximum effort should be directed to promote judicious use of this elixir of life.




Whose fault is this?

Apropos of your report “Maj-Gen not allowed to meet President” (April 24), this kind of humiliation has been going on quite frequently. In the recent past, we know what kind of treatment was given to former Army Chief General Padmanabhan, Air Marshal Sekhon and so on. But whose fault is this?

If the Defence top ranking officers keep taking things lying down, this humiliation will continue. Remember frequent episodes like this will not only tarnish the image and dignity of the Defence forces but also the retired officers and those who are always at the receiving end.


MDS admissions

This refers to the report regarding suspension of MDS admissions in the Government Dental College at Patiala by the Dental Council of India in Periodontics, Prosthodontics and Pedodontics because of the non-availability of teaching staff in these subjects. Interestingly, both in the Government Dental Colleges at Amritsar and Patiala, there is no teacher in the subject of Oral Pathology for the last 40 years. In the subject of Orthodontics, both the colleges had one Professor — Dr Manohar Singh — who has since retired.

It is not understood why and how the Dental Council of India is allowing recognition to these colleges when the faculty staff is not there as per the requirement?


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