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Arushi case: Revamp the system

I read the editorial, “CBI on the mat: Talwar’s release exposes loopholes in probe” (July 14). Though the CBI claims to have solved the Arushi case, what happened to its boast that it had cracked the alleged culprits, their motive as well as the story behind the gruesome incident? Was it the political pressure or media campaign which made the CBI swung into action and reveal a story?

The Noida police, which first botched up the investigation, brought shame and embarrassment to the state government. Apart from punishment to the guilty cops, the whole police methodology calls for a complete revamp. The electronic media, too, cannot be spared as it sensationalised the double murder so much that the needle of suspicion pointed to Dr Rajesh Talwar’s involvement in the murder.

That’s why, courts deprecate “trial by media”. The media, on its own, ought to rethink and reframe its self-regulatory guidelines on code of conduct, ethics and broadcasting standards to maintain impartiality in reporting such cases.

Ultimately, though it is open for Dr Rajesh Talwar to file a defamation case and seek compensation, there is no specific statute for award of instant relief for wrong implication and malicious prosecution. Moreover, due to delegated immunity to police and investigation agencies in pursuance of their official duties, it is too difficult to take them to task. Our criminal justice system cries for a whole revamp rather than piecemeal amendments.

HEMANT KUMAR, Advocate, Ambala City



Dr Rajesh Talwar’s release on bail once again exposed the incapability of our police to investigate the criminal cases. What about the 50 days of mental torture which he had undergone in the jail? How did the Noida police arrest him without any evidence against him? Apparently, the Noida police tried to solve the case faster just to save its skin. Did the CBI not consider the evidence found against Dr Talwar by the Noida police? On what grounds was he arrested? This is another blot on the face of the police.

The police has always failed to investigate the cases properly, leading to the acquittal of the accused and sometimes punishment to innocent people. Is the police able to handle investigation of criminal cases? Perhaps, a separate police wing consisting of legally sound and scientifically trained officers would be able to probe them properly.

The present set up is overburdened and seems unable to do proper investigation. A special investigation wing, through an amendment to the Cr PC, will not only ease the workload of the police but also check harassment of persons like Dr Rajesh Talwar and others.

GURINDER SINGH DHOT, Advocate, Patiala


As a retired DSP, I feel that this case was badly investigated. The police arrested Dr Rajesh Talwar on mere suspicion and without any solid proof. This was disclosed to newsmen by the then IG, Meerut in the presence of the DIG and the SSP, Noida. After the investigation was transferred to the CBI, the latter took a long time to reach a definite conclusion.

The CBI arrested three more persons and called them the real culprits. Its version may be correct, but it failed to declare Dr Talwar as innocent. It simply said that there was no proof against him. On this ground, Dr Talwar was granted bail.

Sadly, even after two months of investigation, the CBI has failed to convince the public about the correct story. If Dr Rajesh Talwar is innocent, why didn’t the authorities concerned meet Dr Talwar and apoligise for the agony and humiliation suffered by him in the jail? Two respectable doctors’ families were maligned by the police for no reason.

I do not blame police officers for dishonesty and mala fide, but I do say that they are most inefficient and discourteous. We have seen on TV how the police was taking Dr Rajesh Talwar to the court.


Saving water

There is an acute shortage of water in the country. Water can be saved if the tap is controlled at different levels of output. Normally we keep the tap in full while washing hands, face, etc. However, in the absence of a regulator, we don’t regulate the tap at lower levels.

If there is a regulator like that of a fan, for instance, we can regulate the tap and save 30 per cent water which would have otherwise gone waste. Companies should start producing water taps with such regulators.

Also in many hotels, film halls, restaurants, etc. taps automatically start and stop (when one shows his/her palms) after a few seconds. Though these are for limited use, there is still some wastage of water. Moreover, one finds it inconvenient to use them for washing face. Suitable modifications are needed for regulating the automatic flow of water.




Too many toll barriers

The number of toll barriers must be drastically reduced. According to the National Highway Act, there should be a minimum distance of 80 km between two toll barriers. But the state and the National Highway Authority have been violating this provision with impunity. In Punjab, there are toll barriers at every 20 km or so. This is criminal waste of money, time and fuel.

The barriers are justified only on BOT projects where the entrepreneur has borne the cost. There is no justification in charging toll on the roads constructed or improved under the normal budgetary provision. It is the government’s responsibility to provide funds for the annual maintenance of the toll barriers. Invariably, it is provided for in every state and Central budget. The practice of meeting their maintenance cost by toll collections is illegal.

The toll system cannot be scrapped in the national interest as the private sector will stop investment needed to improve the country’s road infrastructure. Moreover, the Centre and the states do not have sufficient funds to build up infrastructure to the level required for the country’s development.

S.S. MONGIA, Mohali



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