Need to clear huge backlog of cases

THERE is a huge backlog of cases in the courts of Punjab. One reason, according to the latest report of the Law Commission, is the inadequate number of judges and judicial officers. In major districts like Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala, the strength of judicial magistrates was reduced. As a result, the workload of the judges has increased. The situation in other districts and major sub-divisions is in no way different.

The number of cases pending in each court has doubled in each state. The daily cause-lists are sometimes more than 250 cases a day. This has led to long adjournments, affecting the working and efficiency of the courts.

Against this background, the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to shoulder the responsibility of conducting the selection process of judicial officers is welcome. The lawyers and the litigants see a ray of hope following the High Court’s concern and determination to resolve this problem.

As against the 60 vacancies advertised, only 48 judicial officers were recommended for appointment. But even after three months of the declaration of results, the selected candidates have yet not been appointed. Why this inordinate delay?

LAKHBIR SINGH SEHMEE, Advocate, District Courts, Amritsar



Enforce SC ruling

Apropos of the report on the Supreme Court’s ruling “Decide on merits” (Feb 9), I would like to draw your attention to the point, “Laying down the law for trial court to be followed in such cases...”

In a landmark judgement on the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act,1949, Section 13(2) (i) Proviso — Rakesh Wadhawan vs. M/s Jagdamba Industrial Corporation, 2002, (i) R.C.R., 516, the Supreme Court laid down the law to be followed in similar cases, which is not being followed by some of the trial/ lower courts. Why are such laws, as laid down by the Supreme Court, not being followed by some trial/ lower courts?


No double standards, please

AN MLA is entitled to the pension benefit and much more, after quite a negligible time-frame, from the date of his election.

Contrary to this is the lot of the bureaucrats, disciplined apolitical public servants, who have to undergo rigorous training, to reach of level of stability in service.

Their entitlement to pension is only after their putting in the minimum prescribed period of service, which extends over years, as per the Service Rules. For them, manna does not fall from heaven.

The Third Punjab Pay Commission had recommended a third stage of old age allowance of 15 per cent at the age of 80 years to the pensioners.

It is illogical that while former MLAs have been allowed the privilege of the third stage of old age allowance, government pensioners, who have spent 30 years and more in service, have been denied that benefit.

The state government would do well to undo such a discriminatory act.

V.I.K. SHARMA, IAS (retd),



Avoidable incident

This has reference to the news-item “Principal shoots boy in school” (Feb 21). The macabre episode was absolutely uncalled for. But he must have killed the victim unintentionally with the sole intention of dispersing the anti-social elements gathered there to distribute copying materials to students taking their examination.

I have seen and heard parents accompanying their wards to the examination centres, for helping them, by reaching pages of guides with answers or by requesting the staff on duty to pass on the same to them. I remember to have been approached by a parent of a student, at my residence, before an examination, with a request to allow his ward to adopt unfair means in an examination when I was the centre superintendent.

If the parents and relatives of the students themselves encourage and support their wards, to pass their examination through unfair means, how will the standard of education in Punjab improve? What can we, the teachers, do?

KURIAKOSE V.K., Principal, J.D.G. School (Dhora Mehrajpur), Abohar

Welcome order

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rightly struck down the ill-conceived Ordinance issued by the Punjab Government regarding granting clemency to the violators of municipal bylaws and encroachers of government land. The order has come as a sigh of relief for the law-abiding citizens. It is strange that the wrong-doers first break the law with impunity and then seek protection under a new law.

Had the ordinance been in force, it would have created environmental problems and affected the landscape of Punjab. It was the lobby of business magnets and unscrupulous politicians which was instrumental in the issuance of this Ordinance. Violation of municipal bylaws would have multiplied. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation should now swing into action and demolish all the illegal constructions.

Prof A.D. BHALLA, Ludhiana

Shape up or ship out

India can march forward if our sole focus is on development, keeping aside other issues for the next five years. The 21st century belongs to Asia, particularly India and China. We should seize the opportunity and transform our economy into a developed economy. It is time to shape up or ship out. This is very much possible if we can tackle three C’s i.e. corruption, communalism and caste.

The need of the hour is to spread growth to the lower strata of society which are experiencing a 1-2 per cent growth while 20 per cent are experiencing growth at 10 per cent. What we need most is the redistribution of income in favour of weaker sections of society.

Let all the political parties, especially the BJP and the Congress, spell out their priorities. People should support the party which promises development to improve the condition of the masses.

Dr B.L. TEKRIWAL, Mumbai

This isn’t cricket

Our cricket team is going to Pakistan to play the game; not to fight a war. But a section of the media is forgetting this simple truth. Why are Sachin, Saurav and Lakshman being deified as Gods, holding bats in their hands, with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister offering prayers before them? This is simply shameful!

Cricket is the game of gentlemen so much so that when somebody indulges in unfair practice, it is said: “This is not cricket”.


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