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Assault on doctors must stop

I read the report, “Assault on doctors a non-bailable offence” (March 21). The Andhra Pradesh government deserves appreciation for having made assault on hospital staff a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

Life and death are in hands of God. Doctors can provide medical care to the best of their ability. Every death in the hospital or a nursing home is not an act of culpable negligence. In various kinds of medical or surgical operations, the likelihood of an accident or misfortune leading to death cannot be ruled out. A patient willingly takes such a risk. This is part of the doctor-patient relationship.

Many times, despite best efforts and proper care, deaths still occur. Nowadays, it has become a fashion for some misguided people to attack and assault doctors, hospital staff and destroy the hospital property after every mishap or death. In case this disturbing trend of booking the medical professionals under Section 304-A is not stopped, the majority of the medical professionals will start doing defensive practice. They will avoid attending to emergency cases where even seconds matter to save the patient’s life.

The media should play an important role in educating the masses against assaults on the hospital and nursing home staff. The government should direct the authorities to register cases against medical professionals under Sec 304-A only after proper investigations in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling.

The Haryana and Punjab governments should also pass laws, emulating the Andhra Pradesh government, making assault on doctors and hospital staff a cognisable and non-bailable offence. Only then, medical professionals will be to provide critical care to the needy without fear.

Dr D. S. JASPAL, Past State President, Indian Medical Association, (Haryana), Ambala City


Double standards

The inquiry into the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat by a five-member special investigation team is welcome. In fact, Mr Narendra Modi should have resigned long back as the Gujarat Chief Minister and thus saved the BJP and the NDA from repeated embarrassment.

However, it is painful that the Congress leaders who are today clapping their hands mirthfully have never demanded an impartial and high-level inquiry into the organised massacre of innocent Sikhs following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Politicians and police officers in charge of law and order were all responsible. A few Congress leaders openly led the rioters and they must be punished to act as a strong deterrent.

Has the Congress ever demanded an impartial enquiry into the anti-Sikh riots? Their tears over the massacre of innocent Muslims in Gujarat are hypocritical and politically motivated.

R. L. SINGLA, Chandigarh

Lunatic stance

Raj Thackeray’s stance vis-à-vis jobs for the Maharashtrians is indisputably lunatic. But it is perfectly on a par with the policy of reservation. All the fallacious arguments and sophistry advanced to justify reservation are fully applicable to Raj Thackeray’s stand. Hence, reservation should be done away with before the Thackerays are sent to the jail.


Arrest the culprit

Bal Thackeray’s editorial in “Saamna” condemning the Biharis is a clear offence as defined in Section 153-A of the IPC. Hence, the Maharashtra government should lose no time in arresting and prosecuting him. Thackeray’s statements are not only politically wrong but also legally a cognisable offence.


Injustice to Kalka

Buses from Chandigarh to Simla do not allow passengers bound for Kalka. This attitude of the conductors is putting the Kalka-bound passengers to great inconvenience. If all buses going to Sangrur, Barnala or Hissar from Chandigarh allow passengers for Rajpura, then why not Simla-bound buses allow Kalka passengers to sit in?

I request the authorities of the HRTC, Haryana Roadways and the CTU to allow Kalka passengers in Simla-bound buses.


Audit & overaudit

I read the news-item, “CAS indicts Army Chief for misusing financial powers (March 15). Financial powers are only broadly defined, carrying no minute details. That comes in handy to the auditor to see “misuse” or even “fraud” in every purchase. The “know-all” auditor seems to know the operational requirements even “better” than the commander.

Audit is an essential feature but overaudit is not. By all means, check misuse of funds, but let that not starve the troops of their legitimate needs.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


Indomitable courage

Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha (retired) of the Allahabad High Court passed away at the ripe age of 87. He was known for his indomitable courage of conviction and he ranks among the most independent judges India ever had.

In his historic judgement on June 12, 1975, Justice Sinha held Prime Minister Indira Gandhi guilty of corrupt practices and unseated her. This finally led to the proclamation of Emergency and the defeat of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha elections in 1977.

Justice Sinha maintained strict court decorum through his historic order that no one should stand up when Indira Gandhi entered the courtroom. Even the policemen on duty were asked to wait outside the court and the Prime Minster’s security was maintained by the members of the Bar.

Angered by the verdict, Indira Gandhi ordered Emergency on June 25, 1975, suspended fundamental rights, arrested Opposition leaders across the country and clamped press censorship. Perhaps it is the only case where a Prime Minister was unseated for corrupt poll practices by a judge.

Justice Sinha will remain alive in the minds of all those who value courage, judicial probity and rectitude.

Dr A.R.K. PILLAI, Mumbai



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