Plight of Punjab pensioners

The Punjab government has given a package of Rs 271.91 crore as DA installment from July 1, 2007, to its employees, but again ignored family pensioners, whose dependents got government jobs on compassionate grounds. The government stopped paying DA to such family pensioners vide its notification No. 16/16/84 PPC/479 dated May 14, 2001.

The Haryana government had released DA to such pensioners long ago. The Punjab government should also release DA to them. It will cost the government about Rs 10 crore yearly. In case the government is unable to bear this financial burden, the DA amount of family pensioners may be deducted from the pay of the dependents who got services on compassionate grounds till the death of the family pensioner.

Senior citizens bear the fierce shock of the changing socio-cultural scenario. Many face isolation and resource crunch for leading a better life. On the one hand, the government has enacted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens’ Act and, on the other, it is snatching their legitimate dues.

K.K. JINDA, Sangrur


Drop Netaji’s name

It is nice that the Cambridge University is setting up scholarships in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s name. However, the UK government has not taken steps to delete the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose from their list of war criminals of World War II.

C. K. SHARMA, Gurgaon

Judiciary’s role

Our Constitution defines the jurisdiction of the three pillars of the state-- the legislature, the executive and the judiciary-- and no one should try to surpass the other. The judiciary has to protect the interests of the people and also see to it that the constitutional provisions are not violated. We should not stop the judiciary from having a look at the laws framed by the legislature.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, advocate, Patiala

Domestic disputes

The apex court has done yeomen service to society by coming down heavily on the misuse of the Anti-Dowry Act and also the provision of Section 498-A in the IPC.

Many social organisations these days openly acknowledge that the provision of Section 498-A in the IPC (harassment or ill-treatment to one’s wife) has been grossly misused, and the police make a mess of it by arresting husbands, in-laws, et al, which precipitates the animosity between the couple.

It adds more miseries to the complainant wife than giving her any benefit, as it prevents her entry into her husband’s house forever. Thereafter the woman is deprived of her belongings, including educational certificates, which continue to remain at her in-laws’ place. She cannot take the risk of returning to that place after getting her in-laws arrested.

The newly introduced Protection of Domestic Violence Act - 2005 is remarkably good legislation, which protects the interests of the woman and enables her to continue to be at her in-laws’ place, notwithstanding a dispute with her hubby.

Even a magistrate is empowered to frame charges under Section 498-A of the IPC on a compliant filed by a wife even if she has not lodged a parallel FIR to that effect at the police station.

Sadly, neither advocates nor prosecutors are adequately acquainted with it.

GANESH SOVANI, Advocate, Mumbai

Problems of small farmers

The farmers of Punjab and Haryana were the main contributors to the Green Revolution, which became a dramatic agricultural development in these states. It enabled the country to ensure food security, changing its “begging- bowl status to that of self-sufficient and surplus one”.

However, the situation did not last long and they are no longer active players. There is no respite for the farmers from indebtedness and unorganised farming. Despite adopting a few subsidiary occupations, they continue to suffer. They will have to shift their focus to export-oriented crops. Depending on paddy and wheat only will not help them.

The repeated assurances from the higher echelons of every government have not done much to end the poverty of small and marginal farmers.

J.L. DALAL, former Agriculture Director (Haryana), Chandigarh 


Pay panel’s terms

The Central Pay Commission is likely to complete its report in March 2008 whereas the Punjab Pay Commission is yet to be apprised of its terms.

We all are aware that the Punjab staff is on its way to desert jobs for lucrative pay packets. The Punjab Government will do well to be prompt enough to fix pay panel terms at the earliest to save the public sector by retaining the experienced potential deserters.


Money for worship?

During a visit to Goukul in Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna, the temple priest referred to three categories of offering — Rs 5100, Rs 3100 and Rs 1100, and stopped me and my colleagues for staying longer because of our inability to offer money.

The same was the scene at Jammu’s Raghunath Temple.

How is it possible for the visitors to have darshan of the God without offering money? Who will save us from this?





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