Saturday, October 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Agonising wait for pension scheme

THE Defence servicemen, who had retired earlier, were governed by the pay/pension orders in force at that time. Those retiring subsequently, with revision in their pay/pension entitlements, get higher pensions. With the cost of living having gone up, the proposal for the One Rank-One Pension Scheme was initiated over 15 years back. The government endorsed it which was later accepted by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance.

But the babus are not clearing the file on the plea that this rule should be made applicable to the civil services also. Even Defence Minister George Fernandes has not been able to get it implemented. Statements have been made by Mr Madan Lal Khurana, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, Mr V.P. Singh and many dignataries to the effect that this issue would soon be solved and that the orders are round the corner. But little has happened.

We have learnt to take our politicians’ announcements with a pinch of salt. The babus are not letting the file move towards its logical conclusion as they feel that such provisions should be applicable to the civil services also. But how could this be? Everyone is aware that the servicemen die for the honour of the nation. They risk their lives all the time; most retire in their early thirties and thereafter find the going tough. Our service conditions are very different. Not a day passes without reports on the sacrifices made by the jawans.


How many babus have died for the country, or even gone to the forward areas? Their indifferent attitude towards the pension scheme is humiliating. About 40 per cent of the entitled beneficiaries have already died.

We feel proud that even after our retirement, we do not lose our sense of balance and discipline. But this is not working. Perhaps like others, we too should take resort to dharnas, threats and the like. The ex-servicemen fraternity seems to have been taken for granted. Our patience is running out and we are becoming a frustrated lot.

Surely, you would not like this to happen, nor see us acting in an unbefitting manner of shouting slogans on the roadside. It will then be a sad day for the morale of the armed forces in particular and the nation in general.

Col S.K. LAMBA (retd), Panchkula

Dismal picture

The editorial “Rot in the judiciary” (Sept 25) has depicted a dismal picture, particularly of the functioning of the lower judiciary. Justice or the hope of getting justice is the urge of human instinct and its apparent breach breeds revolt, which leads to anarchy. In the prevailing atmosphere of coalition governments and visible favouritism, real merit and justice are thrown to thin air by the executive.

The pro-active moves by the judiciary to straighten the executive, when it bends against justice, is always appreciated by the public. In fact, the judiciary is the last resort for getting justice and, therefore, it’s impartiality and honesty should not be allowed to be eroded in the eyes of the public.

An effective system of checks in the functioning, particularly of the lower judiciary, is the need of the hour. I would suggest the constitution of an unidentified independent panel under the control of the High Court concerned. This panel may mix up with the litigants and others in disguise in order to see, observe and note down particular instances unbecoming of the status of a judicial officer. There may be instances when perverse judgements/orders are passed in favour of a particular party for whatever reason. The perverse judgement/order will imply the making of apparent wrong decision intentionally or knowingly on points of facts or law.

The existence of such a panel will have a sufficient deterrent effect on the lower judiciary; it will also quicken the process of disposal of cases.

J.D. CHECKERVATI, Advocate, Una, HP


The editorial “Rot in judiciary” (Sept 25) has aptly analysed the directive of the Supreme Court to the High Courts for chopping the deadwood in the lower judiciary to restore common man’s faith in this august institution. The armed forces protect the country from external aggression of any kind while the judiciary extends protection to the citizens against internal forces i.e excesses of the legislature and the executive. The High Courts have been weeding out the deadwood from courts. But the arrest of Justice Shamit Mukerjee of the Delhi High Court has proved that the judiciary is not above board and the laws are equally applicable to the judges.

More important, the involvement of judges in corruption cases has eroded the common man’s faith in the judiciary. Though a free, fair and independent judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy, the legislature and the executive have been trying to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

I endorse the view that judicial appointments should be made foolproof and transparent. If the entry point is made tough and based on competence, ability and moral integrity, pollution of the noble institution can be checked.

AJAY KUMAR JINDAL, Advocate, Ludhiana


Hurdles in Hindi promotion

Mr Sudarshan Kumar Kapur’s letter “Most teachers unable to teach in Hindi” (Oct 6) could not have come at a better time. I appeared in an interview last February and when asked by a geology expert to tell the Vice-Chancellor in a general way about my research, I started off saying “Dharti ke ithaas ke do adhyay hain; main unke beech ke panne par kaam karta hoon”. The VC snubbed me and said: “You may speak in English. I do understand English”. I was amazed at this uncalled for utterance.

I had been an expert for several years in the Geology wing of the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology, Government of India, HRD Ministry, R.K. Puram, New Delhi. I had participated in creating Pan Indian Terminology, Definitional Dictionary and Terminology of Petrology (Shailvigyan) and Structural Geology.

I had to appear again for some reasons on September 11, 2003 for the same interview. Since the UGC is nowadays counting five contributions (three papers, two books), I carried two books of CSTT. When asked what was my most important contribution, I ticked Petrology book and at some length spoke in Hindi about these Hindi-medium books.

Surprisingly, however, the expert panel was not pleased by my Hindi. I learnt that they not only discarded my CSTT books as worthless (not Geology; it is merely Hindi!) but even cast aside some international papers of great impact. I have written to the President and the Prime Minister, who heads the Hindi Prachar Committee, in this regard. I have also called on the Vice-President and the UGC Chairman.

I wonder how can we have such a sick attitude towards Hindi. Was collaborating with eminent geologists and visiting the CSTT for years a crime? I thought the expert panel would laud me for my services but I was surprised to see the hostility of pseudo-intellectuals feigning to be more English than Englishmen.

I am no Hindi fanatic. I learnt it the harder way from my father who forced me to read aloud The Tribune (then published from Ambala) as well as Nav Bharat Times to him when I was young. AIR news read by Devki Nandan Pande was another inspiration.

Dr ARUN DEEP AHLUWALIA, Geology Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh


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