Monday, September 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Custodial deaths: why blame police alone?

This has reference to Mr K.M. Vashisht’s letter “Alarming rise in custodial deaths” (Sept 18). He has not correctly examined why custodial deaths have been on the rise in the country. The entire system of investigation by the police is questionable. No training is given to the police officials to investigate the crime on scientific basis nor any scientific instruments provided to them. When police are not trained and made conversant with the modern techniques of investigation, how can one expect fair investigation from them?

The inadequacy of the police vis-a-vis the population of the area is another hindrance. Most of the time, police are posted on VIP duties giving them very short time for scientific investigation. A distinction has to be made between the police personnel deputed on VIP duties and those for investigation of heinous crimes.

I am not justifying the action of the death of innocent persons in custody at the hands of the police but they alone are not responsible for the same. The cooperation of the general public is another handicap which an investigating agency has to face. People seldom cooperate with the police in the investigation of the crime. Outdated police rules still govern the police department.

Rules and laws will have to be changed according to the needs of society. Law cannot remain stactic; it has to change according to the needs of modern times. The Punjab Police Rules were framed in 1934 when there was little scientific investigation and modern gadgets of communication. We have entered the space age and as such, if we want better services, public cooperation is also needed.


I am reminded of the definition of law which is applicable these days. “Laa jare marji passe laa, laan wale di himmat chahidi hai”. This definition of law seems to hold good for the country. Ms Mayawati had imposed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) on Raja Bhayya while Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, within hours of taking charge as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, withdrew the cases against him. Such a mockery of law and use of the police is also a discouraging factor against which the people should raise their voice.

Time is now ripe for people to rise above political considerations and condemn the blatant misuse of the administrative machinery by the political mentors for narrow political gains.

AJAY KUMAR JINDAL, Advocate, Ludhiana

Pension disbursed in four days!

The middle “Pension for Arunjit” written by me (The Tribune, Sept 20) caused widespread disbelief and dismay. My e-mail was flooded with expressions of horror at the unbelievably callous and disgusting attitude of the Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Allahabad; the office holding up Arunjit’s pension.

In any other country, the nation itself would have taken care of such a hero’s child and given him the best medical treatment available anywhere in the world. Here if the nation is uncaring, at least no one expected such a shabby treatment of Arunjit from the Defence Department.

Once this case came to the notice of the Army Commander at Chandi Mandir, he energised the system and tightened the screws so hard that the pension, which could not come through in four years, was sanctioned in just four days and the money already received in the Chandigarh bank.

Lt-Gen HARWANT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Deplorable approach

The news item relating to building bylaws violations in the cities (Sept 12) is disappointing. Whereas people are crying foul about the hazards and inconvenience faced by them as a result of illegal constructions and encroachments by violators and land grabbers, the Punjab Government has directed the Local Bodies Department to prepare a formula for regularising various building bylaws violations. Instead of strictly enforcing norms/rule of law the government is intent on bending the same to accommodate the law-breakers, which is highly objectionable.

What message such an approach is likely to convey to the governed? Don't be afraid of the rules, because sooner or later, an appeasing gesture of the local administrators under the instructions from high-ups would see to it that no harm, whatsoever, would be done to the offenders.


DA for HP staff

The Himachal Pradesh government has not released 3 per cent DA instalment due to its employees and pensioners from Jan 1, 2003, whereas the Central Government has released the second instalment at the rate of 4 per cent from July 1, 2003, thus raising the quantum to 59 per cent. We urge Chief Minister Vir Bhadra Singh to release both the instalments simultaneously, keeping in view the comparative cost of living in the hilly state.

S. SWAROOP SHARMA, Vice-President, HP State Pensioners’ Association, Dharamshala (HP)Top

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