MPs’ scheme should be scrapped

There has been a demand by various quarters to increase the MPs’ fund from Rs 2 crore to 5 crore per MP per year under the MP’s Local Area Development Scheme. In this context, I share the views in the editorial “Flawed scheme” (March 25).

When there are strong reservations by various agencies like the Public Accounts Committee and the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, it is ridiculous to increase the allocation of funds. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India had pointed out serious lapses in the scheme.

It is not only MPs who get Rs 2 crore each under the scheme. In some states, even MLAs and Councillors of Municipal Corporations have been allocated funds towards the development of their constituencies. Consider the case of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. Every councillor here is allocated Rs 20 lakh per year towards the Ward Development Fund.

Figures released by the government from time to time show that several MPs and MLAs have not spent this fund for the purpose intended. Thus, they have violated the concept of this scheme. Hence it must be scrapped.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh



Continue fast track courts

The Supreme Court has rightly extended the term of the fast track courts. Governmental apathy and financial stringency are not the concern of the man in the dock. All that he wants is speedy trial and fair justice. The Bar Council of India should ensure the continuation of these courts.

In the interest of the litigants, lawyers and the judiciary, fresh criminal work and all civil cases should be withdrawn from the fast track courts. This will reduce their burden to the extent of at least 30 to 40 per cent. Secondly, these courts should be directed to adjudicate in the matter on the basis of day-to-day hearings expeditiously in tune with the spirit of Section 309 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This is likely to save the litigants from chaos.

Dr DEVINDER SINGH, Advocate, Amritsar

Stray cattle menace

The authorities concerned should take effective steps to check the problem of stray cattle in Punjab and Chandigarh, the City Beautiful. A lot of inconvenience is caused to the general public because of these animals in the bazaars and streets.

The life and limb of people, especially the old people, is endangered. Many people have already been injured. The government should make efforts to build cattle houses and veterinary doctors should be appointed to treat the diseased cattle. Monetary gains can also be obtained from these stray cattle in many ways.


Capital punishment

According to reports, 1,422 executions were carried out in India in one decade (1953-1964). I can’t imagine the number of Indians hanged since Independence. Taking another life does not undo what has been done. This merely perpetuates the tragic, unending cycle of violence that destroys our hope for a decent society.

Life imprisonment for any accused would be sufficient to ensure public safety. As a follower of Christ, I believe that all life is sacred, and that an earthly court or the state has no right to take a life that it cannot give.

In fact, the murder rate has come down in countries where death penalty had been abolished. Countries like the US, using death penalty as capital punishment, have higher murder rates than those in Europe that have abolished it. Shouldn’t this encourage abolition of death sentence in India? We should do away with hanging, an obsolete, brutal and indeed inhuman way of dealing with criminals.

It is sad that legal experts can only think of punitive measures. They should be persuaded to think of preventive and curative judicial measures to combat crime in India.


No recruitment

The Centre has virtually banned new recruitment in the Postal Department. Under the guidelines, one-third of the vacant posts of Group C and D would be filled up with the approval of the screening committee. The remaining two-third posts are to be abolished straightway. About 38,000 posts of Group C and D cadres have been abolished during the last three years.

The ban, surprisingly, is not applicable to Group A and B officers. Not even a single officer post has been abolished so far. Consequently, the Post Offices are facing acute shortage of staff. Deterioration in the services is inevitable under these circumstances. The mindless policy would prove fatal for the people-friendly department, if not suitably modified.

H.S. GULERIA, Circle Secretary, All-India Postal Employees’ Union, Una (HP)

Admissions to Plus 1

The results of Tenth Class Board examinations are expected by the end of May. Why are the private schools being allowed to make admissions to Plus One and take the whole year’s fee, even before the results are out? Some schools are doing this on the basis of pre-Board marks, while some are conducting tests for entrance.

Another school finished the admission process in January itself. Why can’t all schools follow the government school pattern and wait for the results to be announced? All this definitely adds to the confusion and the parents end up paying a lot of extra money. Don’t the authorities have any control over the admission process? If the Board results don’t matter, why bother about them?

Dr SARBJEET PAIK, Chandigarh


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