Conviction of Zahira a lesson to all

Having sentenced Zahira Sheikh for perjury in the Best Bakery case, the Supreme Court has sent a clear and loud signal to all hostile witnesses. If any person thinks that he/she can play foul with the law, he is living in a fool’s paradise. Zahira’s conviction has proved that nobody can undermine the majesty of law.

The importance of the word “truly” inserted in Section 161 of the CrPC has not been understood in the right perspective. As we were reluctant to invoke Section 340 CrPC and 193 IPC, unscrupulous persons changed their statements at their whim. The witnesses and deponents, who file false affidavits before the court, will have to understand the sanctity of the oath.

Having ordered the scrutiny of Zahira’s bank accounts, the Supreme Court has further shown that law is not a saleable commodity. If as a law abiding citizen, one has decided to assist the law in bringing the guilty to book, then resiling from the earlier statement made during the course of judicial proceedings would definitely entail serious consequences.

This landmark ruling has proved that though one may be politically strong in his sphere, the magnanimity of law cannot be defeated. Its consequences can be very drastic. If the investigating agency, whether the Income-Tax authorities or the police, which might be assigned the task of probing Zahira’s bank accounts, works faithfully and diligently and take the investigation to its logical conclusion, many facts would come to surface. If unexplained money is found from Zahira, who financed it? How huge wealth has been accumulated by an uneducated woman who has no professional qualifications? What are the considerations that motivated her to retract from her statement?

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The investigation should be fair, impartial, honest and definitely not tainted as one is being projected in the Jessica Lall case in various sections.

As a citizen, I would request the Supreme Court to monitor the investigation of this case. If it feels that this is a fit case to be entrusted to any premier agency, it may pass directions by invoking its extraordinary jurisdiction. The Supreme Court may ask the Income-Tax authorities to coordinate with the police investigating agencies so that those who coerced, threatened and/or bribed Zahira Sheikh are brought to justice, as observed by Justice V.N. Khare recently.

Justice R.L. ANAND, Acting Chairperson, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, Chandigarh

Questionable rule

According to a new rule, if an account holder wants to withdraw cash above Rs 50,000 from a bank, he must mention the purpose of withdrawal on the reverse of the cheque. Why should the banks insist on this?

It is the account holder’s right to use his money in the manner he/she deems fit. It should be of no concern to the bank. If the RBI has introduced this rule, it must scrap it immediately.

G. DEV, Ludhiana

A disgraceful episode

The cornerstone of Indian culture is Atithi devo bhava (a guest is like God). Whatever may be one’s opinion about President Bush, he was India’s official guest. He was depicted on posters as a dog, not God. Clearly, no form of protest was justified.

True, most protesters were either Muslim or leftist. But, certainly, they had no business to insult the country’s national guest. As a worshipping Muslim, I feel that the protestors did a severe wrong to the ummah. They have antagonised the Americans, most Hindus and many individuals across the world.

Imagine the harm done to our brethren who live in Europe and America as small minorities. All in all, the first three days of March were a disgraceful episode.


Noble gesture

I refer to Lt-Col M.S. Guru’s letter regarding donation of human organs (Feb 28). I donated my body to the Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, a few years back. As per the procedure, the donor should get in touch with the Head of the Department (Anatomy). The requisite form (in duplicate) is self-explanatory. It has to be signed by the spouse, one of the children and a neighbour.

I appreciate Colonel Sahib’s noble gesture. May his tribe increase!

USHA VERMA, Chandigarh

Waiting for pension

I refer to The Tribune report “Pension hike for freedom fighters from today” (Aug 14, 2005). Though this hike should have come into effect from August 15 last year, till now it has not been implemented by the Union Government.

Will the Union Home Minister, Union Home Secretary and all other officers concerned please take this into account and do the needful?

P.N. KAPUR, Mandi-Kharar (Ropar)

Neglected villages

Tanda, Punjab’s border village, has no road link from Nayagaon Forest House to Pinjore. Next to Tanda, Prem Pura village of Haryana, has a link road from Pinjore side. Tanda’s population is much more than Nayagaon’s. No demarcation of land owned by the villagers of Bari Karoran and Chhoti Karoran has been carried out near Tanda.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has not paid any attention to provide the vital link road, develop and demarcate the land. Moreover, there is no Notified Area Committee to regularise the development of Nayagaon. The legislators visit these areas only once during the elections.

Lt-Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Functions and exams

It has become a practice for many schools and colleges to hold functions during January, February and March every year. These months are meant for teaching, revision and examination. Many precious days are wasted in organising these functions. Students and teachers lose their concentration towards studies.

All the functions should be held before December 31 every year (except on January 26), so that the students could concentrate on their studies.

B.R. SALHOTRA, Pathankot


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