Speaker’s stand is untenable

APROPOS of “HC notice to Houses on MPs’ expulsion” (Jan.10), Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s stand that the courts have no jurisdiction to interfere in the matter and he would not respond to any notice issued by the court is arrogant and untenable as it is based on the misplaced notion that Parliament is supreme. It is nobody’s case to defend the expelled MPs but if question is raised on the constitutionality of the action, judiciary is duty-bound to look into it and Parliament has to answer.

Parliament cannot act arbitrarily and hang anybody simply by forming a committee by the Speaker and passing a resolution on its recommendation if no such procedure is laid down by the Constitution. If the Bench has sought to know under what provision of law the MPs had been expelled, the relevant provision is to be put forward by Parliament, if there is any.

Confrontation between the legislative and the judiciary has always been because of irrational stand of supremacy taken by the legislative. In the present case, by refusing to stay the expulsion of the MPs, the judiciary has avoided confrontation with Parliament. The Lok Sabha Speaker would serve the cause of democracy by acting rationally and avoiding confrontation with the judiciary.

M.C.JOSHI, Mumbai

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— Editor-in-Chief



For a woman to speak out her mind honestly in a male-dominated society is never appreciated though privately we might concede it to be the truth.

South Indian actress Khusboo’s comment on sex before marriage has stirred the nests of the political, religious organisations, and also of the self- proclaimed moral police of society. The lid from the social hypocrisy has blown off. The bride has to be virgin, but what about the bridegroom? Any aberration on the part of son is shrugged off with the comment “Boys will always be boys” but girls have to follow a strict regimen. Woman’s subjugation is pre-meditated conspiracy of male aspiration to enjoy more freedom and laxity.

Harinder Mohan Singh, Chandigarh

Parking charges

As per Press reports parking charges in Delhi shall be doubled to Rs 10 from the present rate of Rs 5 just to ease traffic congestion and to ease parking problem in Delhi. An increase in parking rates cannot solve these problems. It benefits only local government and parking mafias. But it will affect poor car owners! These days each and every middle class person has a car. Those who cannot maintain it keep it for emergencies and drive only when most needed.

Solution for lesser traffic on roads and to ease parking problems is to have better and efficient public transport system like Metro Rail in Delhi and to improve DTC buses service and construct more of parking lots.

Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi

Raise exemption limit

THE income tax exemption limit is Rs 1 lakh for all individuals. As such any person having an income of less than Rs 100,000 need not file the income tax return unless covered by one-six criteria.

Accordingly the requirement of compulsory Permanent Account Number (PAN) for an investment of Rs 50,000 or more should be dispensed with. PAN should be required only for heavy transactions. Otherwise for a meagre amount of investment, say less than Rs 100,000, it should not be compulsory. Otherwise there shall be a good number of PAN holders who are not required to file their income tax returns compulsorily under the Income Tax Act. Workload of income tax department shall be unnecessarily increased.

Students, housewives, senior citizens, salaried persons at lower scales etc. have an annual income below Rs 100000. If they save small amounts (received as gifts on many occasions like birthdays, New Year, Divali, marriage anniversaries, pin money etc from near and dear ones) and accumulate it over a period of time it becomes a sizable amount for good investments and their annual return in most cases is below Rs 100,000 i.e., taxable limits. So, why should they have PAN -when they are not required to compulsorily file their tax returns? As such the limit for PAN must be raised from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000.

Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi


Don’t forget K.J. Rao

Come Republic Day and the Government of India shall nominate eminent personalities for Padma awards, in various fields like arts, science, medicine, sports, social service etc. But one individual who deserves this national honour the most is Mr KJ Rao.

As election observer appointed by the Election Commission to over-see the elections in a problem state like Bihar, he served the system in surprisingly fair, free and efficient manner, against all odds.

He won applause from one and all for his honesty, courage, unflinching impartiality in the face of occasional taunts by some individuals. It is gratifying to note that he has once again been asked to shoulder similar responsibility in the coming elections in W. Bengal, which are no less complicated.

It shall be immensely proper if Mr K.J. Rao is awarded a Padma for his hard work, honesty and fearless conduct of Bihar elections.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

Acute water shortage

Yol Cantt is a military establishment just 7 km from Dharamshala. This is a place where a large number of army personnel along with their families are staying in the civil quarters due to scarcity of government accommodation.

This area is facing acute shortage of water for the past six months. In spite of repeated complaints in the office of water cantonment board (WCB), hardly any staff comes and does the duty.

The other quarters coming under WCB are getting regular supply of water because the people are paying extra amount to the staff.


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