Need to expedite fast track for senior citizens

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— Editor-in-Chief

After losing in lower courts, the affected parties go for regular second appeal (RSA) in the High Court and succeed in getting a stay order. This prevents beneficiaries from selling off their properties till the appeal is decided. In the Punjab and Haryana High Court, for instance, such RSAs have been pending for the last 24 years.

Having realised the slow disposal of such cases, the Supreme Court came to the rescue of senior citizens very recently and authorised the high courts to place such appeals, when requested, on a separate “fast track” for early hearing so that the senior citizens in their lifetime could benefit from the decision.

The fast track for senior citizens is far from effective. In the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the RSAs are always assigned to judges who are preoccupied with other cases. After a few months, the cases are shuffled and the cycle repeats with the result that even fast track appeals related to seniors are kept in waiting for over three years.

To help senior citizens effectively, the potential, strength and time of the judges need to be utilised more on property-related appeals of the seniors. I request the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to spare some judges exclusively for the disposal of the RSAs. Since no witness or evidence is needed, it will hardly take an hour to dispose off the files.

ER. (DR.) S.K. SHARMA, President, Senior Citizens’ Council, Panchkula


Bobby Jindal’s well-fought battle

The editorial “Bobby makes a point” (Nov 18) proves that many a battle has to be fought and lost before winning a war. Even Abraham Lincoln had to struggle and lose many times before achieving his cherished aim to constitutionally abolish slavery on becoming the US President.

Bobby Jindal, at a maturing age of 32, has emerged as a blazing star to propound his ideals in the best interest of the American people, which have as yet been not heeded to with a genuine instinct. But Bobby Jindal kept his campaign going on the basis of his sincerity and truthfulness to humanity.

Even President George Bush perceived a silver lining in his idealistic vision and, under that impression, everybody was looking forward to his victory for which the Malerkotians were making special preparations to celebrate. However, Piyush Bobby has won the hearts of everyone and he really shall not be discouraged though he might be disappointed to some extent. Good tides beckon him to go ahead.

Dr S.K. AGGARWAL, Amritsar

Muzzling the Press

Apropos of Mr H. K. Dua’s article “Jaya has lost the fight” (Nov 15), it is Ms Jayalalithaa’s arrogant behaviour which prompts her to take action against the Fourth Estate. She is trying to settle scores with those who do not see eye to eye with her. The Supreme Court’s stay on the arrest of the journalists should make her understand that arrogance will lead her to a nasty fall.

Ms Jayalalithaa and her cabal will not keep mum. She might have lost the fight, but the simmering discontent for the rebuff will again prompt her, like a mauled tigress, to make yet another assault on the Press on some other pretext.



Since Independence, three women ruled the country ruthlessly and recklessly to cling on to power. They are Mrs Indira Gandhi, Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Mayawati, Indira Gandhi not only gagged the Press but also amended the Constitution to continue in power. She crushed the fundamental rights and civil liberties of the people and put Opposition leaders and workers behind bars.

Both Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Mayawati tried to terrorise their opponents by putting them in jail under POTA. Jaya went a step ahead and used the State Assembly to arrest the Editor and other senior journalists of The Hindu. It is time the powers and privileges of the legislators were codified to stop their misuse.



Parliamentary privileges should be defined well in the Constitution. I endorse the demand for codification of these privileges. We should revive this demand and pursue it vigorously even if it entails an amendment of our Constitution, which we have given to ourselves.

We should be prepared for the likely resistance to this demand by our politicians as they would not accept limits on their perks, least of all on their privileges as rightly pointed by Mr H.K. Dua. We must elect only those as our representatives who have abiding faith in the democratic institutions.



This has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Jaya has lost the fight: If only she had read the Constitution!” (Nov 15). In India, it is the Constitution that is supreme or sovereign. The powers and privileges of any institution of the state are subject to the provisions of the Constitution. The verdict of the Supreme Court in upholding democracy and the freedom of the Press is welcome.

Without freedom of the Press, one cannot hope to get free flow of information and comment. Any one who believes in democracy should support reasonable criticism by the Press. The reaction of the entire nation to what Ms Jayalalithaa did to The Hindu was not hype but only normal.

The strength and success of our democracy lies in the freedom of the Press. The media — print and electronic — is the watchdog of democracy. Legislature privileges cannot override the freedom of the Press.



Mr H.K. Dua has rightly said that the Supreme Court has never in the past let down the Press in the exercise of the freedom of expression which it enjoys under Article 19 of the Constitution. Its ruling restraining the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker from crossing the “Lakshman Rekha” is an eye-opener to all.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that any person who tries to play with the rights of the Press cannot be crushed by the political masters. Ms Jayalalithaa spoiled her own political image by taking on the Editor and other journalists of The Hindu.



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