Make train journey hassle free

It is heartening to learn that Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has pleased all sections of society in the Railway Budget for 2006-07. However, some reforms are long overdue. We should do away with passenger trains as they have become time consuming and non-profitable.

There is no need for fully air-conditioned Garib Raths. In fact, AC First Class and AC-Two Tier compartments should be scrapped. All trains should be mail or express and air-cooled with adequate facilities like fans and clean toilets.

When a person reaches the railway station, he should be able to get the ticket very easily with a proper seat or berth in the compartment. If it is a night journey, berths should be easily available for people without greasing the palms of the TTEs/TTIs. The stoppages of all trains should be need-based and not on political or extraneous considerations.

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief



For the first time, the Railway Minister has passed on part of the profit to the public. Normally AC fares are increased, but this time there is no such hike. Moreover, concession passes to AC passengers are welcome. The extension of e-ticket booking facility to all mail/express trains is good.

Patiala is an important city of Punjab. It has achieved heritage status. Despite the city’s importance, Patiala is not connected with central/western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Railway Minister should re-route the new Amritsar-Saharsa Garib Rath train via Baruni, Hajipur-Sonpur, Chappra and Gorakhpur by diverting from Ludhiana (via Dhuri) and joining at Rajpura. This will help people of this region immensely.

O.P. GARG, Patiala


The Railway Budget comes as an acute disappointment for the people of Himachal Pradesh. It has virtually “cold-shouldered” the state as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is reported to have bluntly observed. It has ignored even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurances during his recent visit to the state. Why such a shabby treatment to the Congress-ruled state?

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


Zirakpur, a suburb of Chandigarh, is an upcoming town. Its population is increasing day by day. The time has come to set up a railway station here. At least passenger trains and good trains can stop here for the benefit of the local people. Including Zirakpur on the Railway map will help the people of Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali immensely. It will also save a lot of money and time for the local people.

S.C. DHALL, Zirakpur

Arbitrary decision

THE Punjab and Haryana Bar Council’s decision against giving licence for doing legal practice to those above 45 years of age is ultra vires Section 49 (i) of the Advocates Act. It is discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable. Such a rule is not in the interest of the general public. It should be struck down as it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Legal practice is a profession and anyone with requisite qualifications can do it. This profession has opened new avenues in fields like international law, cyber law and even as a solicitor. The members of the Bar have certain social obligations like rendering service for the poor and underprivileged.

The Free Legal Aid clinics and Lok Adalats prove that people are ignorant about the law and hence they require experienced and intellectually mature lawyers to help. The Bar Council’s decision should be struck down immediately so that many law students who are above 45 years are not frustrated.

J.P.S. DHILLON, Ludhiana


Left’s ways

I refer to the editorial “Left… Don’t rock the boat too much” (Feb 15). Let me cite an example. I was posted to Mukteswar on Kumaon hills in 1993. Only one bus used to ply from Haldwani to Mukteswar at that time. One morning, I boarded a bus at Haldwani for Mukteswar. Suddenly, the terminus manager announced that the bus would go to Bareilly instead of Mukteswar.

I pleaded that I took a seat in that bus with the understanding that it will go to a pre-decided place and the authorities cannot deviate from the pre-defined journey as and when it suits them. My agony was that I would have to go by that bus to my place. I could neither opt for another bus nor spoil the journey. This is exactly what the Left is doing by interfering with the UPA government’s functioning.

Dr S.M. DEB, Nabha (Patiala)

Law of contempt

The editorial “Truth as defence: Law of contempt needs review” (Feb 23) rightly appreciates the passing of the Contempt of Court (Amendment) Bill. In a true democracy, citizens should be able to voice their concerns in matters affecting their interests and mirror public opinion for a common cause through the media. Section 16 is added/inserted in the Act so that a judge can be hauled up for contempt of his own court.

Now the court can exercise this power of contempt only in cases where there are conspicuous attempts to malign the court or influence its judgement.

UMED SINGH GULIA, Advocate, Supreme Court, Faridabad


We welcome the editorial “Truth as defence: Law of Contempt needs review” (Feb 23). The law of contempt in India is obsolete. Nobody including the judges can be sacred cows and above the law of the land if they violate law under the protection of the law of contempt. The law of contempt should be done away with.

In Australia, there is no law of contempt. Once a judge awarded a minor punishment to the rapists of innocent teenage girls. There was a hue and cry in the media against the judge. Parliament immediately took notice of it and amended the law suitably. The culprits were punished under the new law.

AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith NSW (Australia)

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