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High time to sensitise authorities

K.P. Singh’s article on Juvenile Justice (Sunday Oped, Nov 15) was timely and thought-provoking. The saga of negligence and apathy of the system towards children shows the authorities’ disrespect to the law. The actions of the state machinery can only be termed as illegal. The enforcement agencies’ display of ignorance of statutory enactments is shocking.

The police should be taught the laws and procedures. The judicial officers too should be trained to examine matters relating to children in the spirit of the Act and implement the legislative intent.

Sadly, the police officers, advocates as well as judicial officers, who are all the pillars of judicial dispensation, are unaware of the law and have persistently failed to deliver justice to children who are indisputably the weakest segment of society in terms of their capabilities to assert their rights.

The state should accept the lapses on its part and undo it by compensating the victims to reflect a responsive and sensitive governance.

VINOD SHARMA, Advocate, Panchkula


It is sad that the juveniles are not getting justice through the system. The lawmakers can only enact laws but their implementation depends upon the agencies of the state.

The state agents have failed miserably in protecting the children from injustice. The children who had been arrested by the police should be compensated adequately; the amount of compensation should be recovered from those who have flouted the laws.

TARAN PREET KAUR, Advocate, Panchkula


It is shocking to know that the police, the prosecution and the judiciary have failed to protect the children in the criminal justice system. The government and NGOs should monitor reports of juveniles involved in criminal cases.

Those found responsible for acting contrary to law and to the detriment of the children’s legal rights should be severely dealt with.

The media — print and electronic — can also play an important role in sensitising the agencies concerned in charge of safeguarding the children’s interests.

JAINAINDER SAINI, Advocate, Chandigarh


The article is an eye-opener for the common man. It appears that the law enforcement agencies are either suffering from the lack of knowledge of law or insensitive. They should take up the responsibility for the system’s apathy towards children.

Alternatively, if there is no change in the attitude of the state, the higher judiciary should intervene and take up this issue to help thousands of victims of negligence of the criminal justice system.


Partition: In the first person

I AM not an historian but I have lived through the situation arising out of Partition having been the first person to be stabbed when riots broke out in the North West Frontier Province in the second week of March 1947 after Master Tara Singh raised his sword on the premises of the Punjab Legislative Assembly in Lahore and shouted ‘Down with Pakistan’ slogans.

We were five friends who had assembled outside Kaali Devi temple in Peshawar Cantonment for our daily evening walk when we were attacked by (Muslim) Pathans. They delivered four wounds on my body and killing all four of my companions. The event took place perhaps in March as the clock on the tower struck 5 pm, apparently the time fixed by the organisers for commencement of their operation.

One of the assailants was a friend and a colleague in the Peshawar Frontier Brigade where both of us worked. When he discovered that I had survived the attack and had migrated to India after Partition, he obtained my address from the family where I was staying as a tenant and wrote a few lines explaining why he did what he had done.

Briefly, the message was that he had joined the Muslim League and taken a vow that he would solemnly carryout whatever task was assigned to him by the party and that he would have done the same to his father if he had been asked to do that. The letter was followed by a money order for Rs 76 which he owed me.

The debate is continuing in one form or another. Professor Kirpal Singh’s article, “Who is responsible for Partition?” (Perspective, Oct 11) is the latest. What causes a person to act in a particular way is not always rational. Historians are particularly predisposed to approaching their subject with a certain value system. There are also elements which lie dormant in human consciousness and overpower the writer as he records his impressions.

I had great passion for reading books and material on history but after I came across Goethe’s finding that “Sin writes histories, goodness is silent”, I am less enamoured of the subject now. I had earlier not taken Marx’s warning seriously that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Dr H.K. MANMOHAN SINGH, Emeritus Professor and former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala




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