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Govt must weed out corrupt babus

The editorial, “Tainted babus: Centre must weed out the corrupt” (Feb 9) has rightly highlighted the corruption in the higher echelons of bureaucracy. This sorry state of affairs of the Central civil services, once considered the steel-frame of the Indian administrative machinery, is the result of the unholy nexus between the corrupt politicians and the ever-obliging bureaucrats. With few exceptions, bureaucrats are self-serving and corrupt.

Instead of shepherding the development of the country, they have become a prime obstacle to its progress. Rules to run the country are framed in such a manner that the high and mighty are rarely booked for their corrupt deeds. The mandate of prior permission to prosecute a corrupt civil servant is often misused to shield the tainted. It has rightly been observed: “The corrupt don’t deserve any constitutional protection and the Centre should revisit Article 311 of the Constitution” to rationalise laws to enforce transparency and accountability in public administration.



Expecting the Centre to weed out corruption is asking for the moon. Corruption in India is all-pervasive. Lately, it has even spread to the judiciary. It would be in the fitness of things if corruption is legalised and the corrupt are “honoured”.

BM SINGH, Amritsar

Valentine tradition

For most people St Valentine’s Day is a day of affection, of kisses, candy, and flowers. But Valentine’s Day has a deeper meaning.

The true romance of the celebration begins with the legend of St Valentine who was a priest, arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and for aiding Christians who were being persecuted during the reign of Claudius the Goth (Claudius II).

He was brought to prison where he was tortured in an attempt to make him renounce his Christian faith. When Valentine instead tried to convert Claudius, he was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14.

One legend says, while awaiting his execution, couples for whom he had conducted marriages brought him flowers and gifts to show their respect and admiration. This led to today’s tradition of presenting one’s Valentine with gifts. It is also said that while imprisoned, he restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter and that this miracle led to his eventual canonisation. Pope Gelasius marked February 14 as a celebration in honour of his martyrdom in 496 AD. The legend of St Valentine is a tale of true love that transcends mere sentiments. Its noble purpose should inspire everyone. Let St Valentine be our model and inspiration for life and humanity.

PAUL KOKOSKI, Ontario, Canada

Ethics for lawyers

More than any other profession, the legal profession is self-governing. It is largely regulated by lawyers and judges themselves rather than by the government or outside agencies. In particular, the American Bar Association (ABA), the largest professional association for attorneys, governs the practice of law through its establishment of rules of conduct. These rules are then adopted, sometimes in a modified form, by state courts and enforced by court-appointed disciplinary committees or bar associations.

Attorneys found to be in violation of professional standards are guilty of misconduct and subject to disciplinary procedures. Disciplinary action by a state bar association or other authority may include private reprimands; public censure, suspension of the ability to practice law and, most severe of all, disbarment — permanent denial of the ability to practice law in that jurisdiction. The state supreme court is the final arbiter in questions of professional conduct in matters of unbecoming conduct.

These days, in the courtrooms and elsewhere, lawyers of both genders can be found simply making up things without any factual foundation, to keep their clients out of trouble. Where should a lawyer’s obligations lie? Is there a way of imposing a more rigorous code of ethics on lawyers? What would it entail and how would it be enforced in India?  

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or an official.


Indo-Pak ties

H K Dua in his front-page editorial “The importance of taking a small step” (Feb 10) has aptly brought out the need for the resumption of talks between the two neighbours. The country has to live with its neighbours.

To some extent Pakistan has softened its stance and has assured India of taking legal action against the terrorist outfit involved in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage. India and Pakistan have common culture and heritage and can work together. Both nations can usher in peace and also fight against poverty.




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