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Lokpal Bill has many flaws

The proposed Lokpal Bill 2010, awaiting enactment, is meant to tackle corruption, scams and scandals. However, there are inherent infirmities in the draft Bill (article, “Toothless Lokpal Bill: This is no way to clean political dirt” by Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd ), Dec 31)

Why should Section 10 of the draft Bill prohibit the Lokpal from initiating enquiry against the allegation of corruption against any MP or the ministers ? Why does the Lokpal need the recommendation of the Speaker or the Chairman to do so? The proposed Bill does seem to empower the Speaker and not the Lokpal. There are instances galore where the Speakers have acted in a blatantly partisan manner.

Similarly, the draft Bill provides that the findings of the Lokpal after the enquiry has to be submitted to the Speaker who in turn will decide what suitable action is called for against the defaulter. Is the Lokpal a fact-finding agency which cannot take suitable action against the corrupt MP or the minister? 

Can this Bill encourage transparency and ensure a check on the rampant political corruption? As if these loopholes are not enough, the draft Bill provides for the limitation clause under Section 11 saying that the enquiry would not be entertained if it is launched after the expiry of five years from the date of the offence taking place. In fact, the proposed Bill is aimed at giving a helping hand to the political self-aggrandisement by way of providing a strong protective shield to the corrupt politicians at the cost of “aam aadmi”.

Before the proposed Bill is passed, the intellectuals, social activists, legal luminaries and the print and electronic media and anti-corruption activists should rise to the occasion to expose the hollowness of the draft Bill which is not only cosmetic in nature but a burden on the statute book.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Delayed honeymoon

The middle, “Better late than never”(Jan 3) by Chitra Iyer brought back to my mind my own mistake of not going on a honeymoon. I was working in Surat, a faraway place in Gujarat. So I decided to spend the days after my marriage in my parents’ home at Bathinda. Later due to the pressure of the office life, I could not go on a honeymoon. Our outing was further delayed by the birth of my daughter and son in quick succession.

In the meantime my wife took it to heart that everyone is going on honeymoon after marriage except us. Later I was posted at Shimla for four years. I thought that this was more than a honeymoon and thanked god for this. However, my wife’s refrain was that we were not tourists and she had to go shopping for vegetables and ration while the honeymooners went for a leisurely walk on the Mall.

In my bid to pacify my wife, I later took her on holidays to Goa, Port Blair and Puducherry. But all my efforts at seeing the excitement in her went in vain. I have come to realise that there is a right time for doing everything. Just as justice delayed is justice denied, honeymoon delayed is honeymoon denied.


Don’t kill monkeys

Monkeys are becoming anathema to the people in Himachal Pradesh. Succumbing to the public outcry, the government issued permits to kill wild animals, reducing the Wildlife Protection Act to a piece of toothless document.

One shudders to see the day when forests would be devoid of wildlife! We lose all moral ground once we indulge in killing animals as a punishment and remedy.

While a Hanuman statue is installed at the Jakhu Hill top, the government had no qualms in issuing permits to kill monkeys. The existence of wildlife is not subservient to the will of the people.

Dr H.M. SAROJ, Chandigarh

Travesty of justice

The award of life imprisonment to Dr Binayak Sen  by a session court seems to be based on presumptions and manufactured witnesses (article, “Trial of a doctor and a gentleman”, Jan 3). Dr Sen is not backed by any political party. There are scores of people from Kashmir, Punjab and Northeastern states who openly demand a separate nation for their community but no action is taken against them.

In our country where even ex-terrorists are employed when they surrender as part of a package deal, the life sentence awarded to a person not involved in any terror activities points to loopholes in our judicial system. It may take few years before the High Court reviews the judgment and sadly till then Dr Sen will remain behind the bars.

V K GUPTA, Kurukshetra

Quota politics

The government has used reservations as vote bank politics. Now Gujjars are demanding a quota. A day will soon come when more than 75 per cent seats will be reserved and merit will be totally ignored.


Tall promises

To the new report “Badal promises total makeover of Punjab” (Jan 2) I would like to add that surely, setting up of 17 new degree colleges and 21 Adarsh schools would open new  avenues  to  those deprived of education, but  what  about the quality of education?I think improving the infrastructure and the standard of education in the existing colleges would  be  a better idea. What purpose would be served by centres of higher education with substandard level of education and instructors? The quality of teachers in the existing colleges needs to be seriously improved and the posts of teacher lying vacant should be filled on a priority basis. 



After all these years Parkash Singh Badal is now talking of “kaya kalp” of Punjab. People are fed up with the Badals now. They are unlikely to be elected again in the 2012 Assembly elections.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

PPP’s dilemma

The MQM’s withdrawal from coalition is not tantamount to a political earthquake in Pakistan, but surely it has serious consequences for Pakistan’s political stability. If the PPP cannot stitch an alliance soon, things may be different.

Nawaz Sharif is not liked by the army nor by the people of Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. The Zardari-led PPP has done nothing great fro which it can be voted back to power. The sooner Pakistan politicians set their house in order, the better it would be.




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