Reforms needed to hasten justice

Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj’s statement on the Centre’s proposal to set up a National Judicial Council at the all-India conference of the Law Ministers and Law Secretaries held at Shimla recently is welcome. He has voiced anxiety about the misuse of the legal aid system and the consequent failure to check the heavy backlog of cases.

Of course, the vacancies of judges — from subordinate courts to the higher judiciary — should be filled up soon. But to grapple with the ugly situation, we need to start from the district level. As per the quota system, the District and Sessions Judges and the High Court judges are already being nominated from amongst the leading practicing lawyers. They are doing pretty well. Similarly, why can’t 50 per cent subordinate judges/magistrates be also chosen from amongst lawyers on contract?



As regards the Lok Adalats, though all subordinate and district courts pool their energies, only about 100 cases are decided by compromise while about 1,000 cases enlisted are unheard. The Lok Adalats should be held on a non-working day for speedy disposal of cases. The trial courts should be specially trained to settle a case quickly, say within six months to one year.

Dr DEVINDER SINGH, Advocate, Amritsar


I share Mr H.R. Bhardwaj’s view that the much-publicised legal aid service scheme has failed to deliver the goods. This is largely so because of the lackadaisical attitude of the political masters. Ever since the 2-year term of the non-official members of the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) expired several years ago, vacancies have not been filled up either by renewing the term of the sitting members or by nominating new ones.

However, the “ritual” goes on, hoodwinking the masses.

Unless the Chief Minister and the High Court Chief Justice take prompt action, the people-friendly scheme will fail to serve the intended purpose.


Elusive peace in Kashmir

Hurriyat leaders boarded the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus with high hopes. But their enthusiasm was short-lived first, as militant leaders refused to have one-to-one with the Hurriyat without Syed Ali Shah Geelani and then the Pakistan government refusing to pressurise India to have the Hurriyat on the negotiating table.

It clearly shows the persistence of a hostile mentality of militant groups on the other side of the border. The peace process cannot materialise if the message does not percolate to each and every Kashmiri on either side.

Pakistan has been consistently giving confusing signals regarding the Kashmir issue. While negotiating with India, it refuses to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on its soil. Peace in the valley has so far been elusive.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh

Amritsar airport

During a recent visit to Amritsar airport to see off my brother to Canada, I was really sad to see its poor condition. The parking contractor charged Rs 30 for four hours and the ticket he issued had the following instructions: payment in advance, space for parking only, parking at owners’ risk, Rs 50 penalty if the token slip is lost and delivery of vehicle after proper verification.

I was not asked to show the parking ticket when I was leaving. Is Rs 30 justified for parking? How are they demanding Rs 50 for the loss of the parking ticket if they are not responsible for the vehicle’s security? The authorities concerned should amend the parking rules at the airport.


Ban on land sale

The lease owners of Nahan town are deprived of banking facilities due to lack of their land mutations. The Nahan Nagar Parishad has also imposed a 25-year ban on the sale and transfer of land.


Change for the better

It was intriguing to note that Punjab Police Commandos are reluctant to go to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra (June 5). As per the charter of their duties, the state police are responsible for law and order. And to enhance their job efficiency, they could best be trained under live situations.

I remember having a battalion of Madhya Pradesh police under the command of our Brigade fighting insurgency in Nagaland when it was at its peak. I would rather suggest the Punjab Government to train its police force in the valley. Their professional efficiency and outlook will change for the better.


Hazardous towers

Mobile companies are installing their towers in the residential premises. This is against the rules, but the government is allowing them despite several representations against such installation. The companies pay no heed to public sentiment. Recently, a tower fell in Mahal Kalam (Sangrur) following a storm, but no action was taken against the company.

The Hutch Company has installed one such tower near my house in Dhuri (Sangrur Road). The authorities should shift such towers to non-residential areas in public interest.


Paswan’s politics

Mr Ram Vilas Paswan wanted a Muslim to be Bihar Chief Minister irrespective of his/her ability, capability and competence. As a result, the crisis in the hung Assembly continued and it was finally dissolved. It was just an act of fooling the Muslims.

Such leaders have rendered more harm than good to the Muslims. Since Independence, by raising sentimental and religious issues and slogans, especially during elections, their sole objective has been to project themselves as the Muslims’ protectors to capture power at the Centre and in the States.

M.L. MONGA, Dharamsala

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