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The corrupt can’t enjoy immunity

DHARAM VIR’s article (Perspective, Sept 20) clearly outlines the salient features contained in the Fourth report of the Second ARC on ‘Ethics in Governance’.

As for the government sanction for proceeding against corrupt public servants, though the Supreme Court in Vineet Narain Case (1997) quashed the practice, which was inserted as ‘Single Directive’ in the late 1980s, sadly, after the enactment of the CVC Act, 2003, it has been restored again. The apex court, which was again moved, has since reserved its verdict in October 2004. 

The apex court should reiterate its earlier stand expeditiously. Otherwise, the legislature and the executive will not dispense with such requirement. Though the UPA-I sought to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2008 by diluting certain provisions, due to the Opposition’s protests, it could not be passed.

I don’t think with the presence of such immunity to corrupt officials, our investigative agencies would be able to “catch and punish the big fish”, a need which was aired by the Prime Minister recently. There is no rationale in setting more CBI courts until and unless such immunity provisions are deleted.


Extolling Jinnah

D.N. Panigrahi’s piece, Jinnah and Partition (Perspective, Sept 27) exposed the writer’s own misconceptions. But some things remain unsaid. A politician always writes a book simply to create unwanted controversies and extract political mileage. Jaswant Singh did exactly the same but one did not expect him to extol a communalist like Jinnah and denigrate the great leaders of his own country.

These leaders had suffered a lot during the freedom struggle. The average stay for each leader in jail was nine years while Jinnah did not go there even once. Sardar Patel was even suffering from suspected cancer during the Quit India Movement.

Mountbatten aptly said that India’s division had become unstoppable. He and Patel started planning how to size up Pakistan to minimum dimensions and integrate 550 Princely States with India. Their unforgettable contribution lies in keeping India as big as possible after Partition.



It is common knowledge that Jinnah had hatred and contempt for Gandhiji and Hindus. Therefore, there is no use of saying that Gandhiji’s solution was intractable or not.

In such a situation the question that would have arisen is: what Gandhiji, Nehru and the Congress would have done? The example of Master Tara Singh, a great Sikh leader, is noteworthy. He too was against Partition. But when he found that it was unavoidable, he took prompt action.

He ensured that just as all Hindus and Sikhs were being forced to leave West Punjab, the Muslims of East Punjab (including Haryana and Himachal) should leave East Punjab for Pakistan. He got it implemented through an agreement signed at Lahore on September 5, 1947.


Make social security a fundamental right

I read Seema Sharma’s Mined lives (Saturday Extra, Oct 10). It was very painful. The landmines are laid by the army in anticipation of the hostility with the country’s neighbour.

It is the Army’s responsibility to clear the area once the hostility is over. After that, if there is a casualty, the government will have to compensate the victim(s) by giving them suitable compensation by way of providing employment or a lumpsum grant so that they do not live in poverty.

Unfortunately, the government does not pay farmers due compensation for their lands which sometimes remain uncultivated for years.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that our Constitution, a carbon copy of the Government of India Act, 1035, does not guarantee social security to the unemployed, the old, the infirm and the poor though it is the responsibility of the government in a welfare state like ours.

The government has failed to to update the laws which are over 150-year-old. As a result of this and other lacunae, corrupt leaders, bureaucrats and business tycoons have been able to stash away funds worth billions of rupees in Swiss banks, according to the Swiss Banking Association Report (2008).

There is an imperative need to plug the loopholes in the system. The government should take the initiative of making right to social security a fundamental right of the citizens.

Owing to increasing corruption at various levels, the government needs to enact deterrent laws to check it with the attention it deserves.




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