Wednesday, May 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Making matrimonial offences compoundable

The Delhi High Court’s suggestion that matrimonial offences should be made compoundable and bailable, if no grave physical injury is inflicted, is a welcome step (May 22). The Bar Council of India and social organisations should start a national debate on making suitable amendments in the Indian Penal Code.

The blatant misuse of the provision of Section 406 and 498-A of the IPC defeats the very purpose of the legislation. I feel the initiative for organising a debate should come from the women’s organisations.

Dr. John.V. George, an IPS officer, was instrumental in the Haryana Police’s issuance of a standing order making it compulsory to register a case and investigation in case of death of a woman within five years of the marriage. This order was made a law later. The blatant misuse of this law should inspire Dr George to review the scenario and make fresh recommendations. In case of death and physical injury, registration of the case could be justified, but not against all the members of the family.

There are instances when a women has differences with her husband for reasons nothing to do with dowry. However, shockingly, even in such cases, the names of the husband, the aged father-in-law, mother-in-law and even unmarried sisters –in–law are added in the complaint to exert pressure on them for accepting their demand.

Even lawyers encourage litigation and the framing of cases against relatives purely for monetary gain as every member will have to apply for bail .Provisions of these sections are so harsh that people are forced to grease the palms of the investigating policemen to bail them out.



A survey conducted by a Superintendent of Police posted in a district of the state bordering New Delhi has made startling revelations that instead of conviction, most cases of dowry harassment have ended up in compromise, with the police taking huge money from the husband’s family. The Delhi High Court has rightly suggested that investigation into such cases should be vested with the civil authorities than the police.


Give them condign punishment

The news item “Father kills daughter” (May 21) is indeed perturbing. It is time all parents understood that their children are not at their whims and caprices. Children are neither the sole property of their parents nor at their mercy. Unfortunately, some parents are influenced by the western culture. Every week so many films are released. Their central theme is romance and violence. We cry against terrorism and violence without accepting our own duties and responsibilities. When the father was killing his daughter, what were the mother and other relatives doing? All those present at home at the time of the heinous crime should be given condign punishment for being silent spectators.

It is encouraging to know that the neighbour has come forward to speak the truth without any fear of personal harassment. It would, however, have been better if he had stepped in time and raised alarm, so that an innocent life could have been saved. We should strongly condemn the act because such incidents will lead to a loss of faith of every child in his\her parents.

I congratulate The Tribune for always covering such issues with concern and responsibility.



Amritsar’s icon

Rashmi Talwar’s “A Parsi in Amritsar” (May 18) makes an interesting reading. It rightly mentions Padam Chand Bhandari as the builder of the multibridge connecting the walled city with the civil lines.

A scion of the distinguished aristocratic family of Amritsar and educated at Christ College, Cambridge, Padam Bhandari, suave in manners and absolutely humble in disposition, rendered a unique service to Amritsar during the 1947 communal disturbances when the town was in flames. At his personal risk, as the Executive Officer of the Amritsar Municipal Committee, Padam Chand Bhandari worked day and night and ensured a regular water supply for the extinction of fire wherever it broke out.

In his book “Divide and Quit”, Sir Penderal Moon, who was at one time the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, and a renowned historian, has paid a glowing tribute to Padam Chand Bhandari for his selfless service and high sense of duty during the communal disturbances.

Padam Chand Bhandari had won the confidence of the people of Amritsar. Incorruptible, just and free from communal bias, he was highly respected for his integrity and goodwill. He had gathered round him a galaxy of luminaries such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, R. K. Kapur, Dr Baldev Singh, and Dr Tulsi Dass who met regularly to discuss literary and professional matters of common interest.

Padam Chand Bhandari was deeply attached to his sister Padma, an Oxford graduate and a literary figure who died young. Just before leaving for my studies for Cambridge, when I met him, I felt that he looked sad, forlorn and somewhat shattered. It seemed that something was heavily weighing on his mind. A few days later I was to learn that he was no more.

I dare say that throughout its history, Amritsar town never had such an efficient, just and incorruptible administrator who did so much for the civic uplift and welfare for the people of Amritsar. It is appalling to find today so much filth lying about in Amritsar, particularly just near the medical college, opposite Sacred Heart School, especially when the City Corporation has far more financial resources, men and material at its disposal. But, alas! There is no Padam Bhandari to clean the Augean stable.

V.N. DATTA, New Delhi

Telecom tariff plan

The new telecommunication tariff plans as proposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and now implemented throughout the country appear to be a desperate effort on the part of the members of TRAI to justify their own existence. Someone must have stood in the heat of the Sun pretty long to have come up with the kind of unintelligibly warped tariff plan for telecommunication in the country. I wonder if the TRAI members had to make much effort to prove to the nation that they are a bunch of nincompoops, or did it come naturally to them?

Having sat and pondered upon the intricacies of design, enclosed in the air-conditioned confines of their ivory towers — far removed from real life — did it not occur to any one of them that the harassment and imbroglio they would cause innumerable countrymen by trying to shove half-baked nuggets of their foolish and ill-considered proposals down the common man’s gullet, would be this much?

Just imagine, one of the very first fallouts of this madness has been that we, the common people, are now not able to make use of the coin operated public phone booths! Should such aspects not have been foreseen and taken care of first and foremost?



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |