Time to make judiciary accountable

It is not clear whether the Centre is keen on the National Judicial Council Bill. Last month, reports said that the fate of the NJC Bill depended upon the Chief Justice of India’s stand (The Tribune, March 18). Meanwhile, Parliament was adjourned.

Now that Parliament will meet on May 10, a question that arises is whether the Centre is keen on the Bill. Is it lacking in political will to push it forward? The draft Bill was sent to CJI Justice Y.K. Sabharwal’s predecessor. Has it been sent to Justice Sabharwal?

There is a need to fix accountability on the judges. Setting up of National Judicial Council was the BJP’s election promise. However, it did precious little except toying with the idea of bringing forward the Bill in the House. At that time, the Congress opposed it.

And now when the Congress professes to be in favour of the Bill, it is postponing the issue under one pretext or the other. It’s time to make judiciary accountable.

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


CHHOTE LAL JASSU, Lecturer, Govt National College, Sirsa

No phone call

I refer to the extract from General V.P. Malik’s book on the Kargil operations
(Oped Page, The Tribune, April 22) wherein he refers to the parliamentary elections ordered by the Election Commission on July 11, 1999. He felt strongly that the Chiefs of Staff Committee should have been consulted before fixing the dates.

He says he brought this to the Prime Minister’s notice who, of course, pointed out that the Chief Election Commissioner was autonomous, and the decision had to be accepted. The General then goes on to say that they had to log a lesson for the future. Who had to learn the lesson and what lesson, he does not say.

Finally, he states that he conveyed his views to me on the phone the next day. He, of course, does not indicate my response. I do not wish to say anything on the propriety of the General’s discussions with the Prime Minister on election matters, but I must say firmly that he never made any such phone call to me. Had he done so, he would have received a clear firm reply from me, pointing out where his duty lay.

In fact, I never saw an occasion to discuss such matters with any of the Chiefs, nor, to be fair, did they. One day I may write more fully on the Kargil election, but it can wait.

Dr M.S. GILL, Former Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi

US design on Iran

The US is reportedly planning to attack Iran and destroy her nuclear facilities. It is very keen on attacking nations that are weak and those who can retaliate and attack it.

It did not attack the USSR at the height of the Cold War as it feared that the former Soviet Union could attack and retaliate equally. So it chose to attack Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Sudan etc. Would it dare to attack North Korea or China?

When its commercial interest is involved, the US will forget about its moral values and principles and embrace a military dictator like General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Strangely, in spite of killing so many innocent people globally, the US calls itself the global champion of human rights, freedom and dignity.

S.P. SHARMA, Mumbai

Right to clean air

The rising toxic content in air and contamination of ground water is a problem not only in Haryana but most cities in the country. Ground water is fast depleting day by day due to overdependence. The less said the better about noise pollution.

The burning of fossil fuels is, no doubt, a major contributor to air pollution, but we do not have much electricity to run our industries. As a result, we use generators on diesel causing both air and noise pollution. The government should generate more electricity by harnessing every available non-polluting source — be it hydro, wind, solar or nuclear.

As for clean water, the government must give serious thought to Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s idea of interlinking river waters to help farmers use canal water for irrigation, leaving ground water for drinking, cooking and so on.

Industries must be provided with the requisite technical know how to control air pollution by installing control devices for toxic gastric emission and water pollution through adequate water treatment plants for industrial effluents.

ARVIND DHUMAL, Advocate, Jalandhar


The condition of underground water in Punjab is deteriorating. Its pollution and fast depletion are also cause for concern. Various studies reveal that the type of water found under the ground is not even fit for irrigation purpose, what to speak of drinking water. Water is scarce and precious. Efforts must be made to make it pollution free, breathing a new life into ponds, rivers, canals, lakes etc.

ONKAR SINGH, Pandori-Nijjaran (Jalandhar)


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