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Use clemencyto correct judicial errors

Punishment and clemency both hold significance in the administration of justice. The news report “Prez Patil commuted death term of 35” (June 23) is of great relevance and significance to the judiciary, polity, people of India and criminals and needs a dispassionate look. Article 72 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to grant pardon, reprieve, respite or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.

The objective of conferring this “judicial power” on the President is to correct possible judicial errors, for no human system of judicial administration can be free from imperfection.

The President of India is supposed to exercise judicial powers most judiciously to be seen as a fair and efficient Head of State. It raises the question of propriety and doubt, when cases of ‘mass murder, kidnapping, rape and killing of children and other crimes of blood-curdling nature’ are kept pending for years.



President Pratibha Patil’s decision to commute death term of 35 criminals is a step to muzzle the law. These convicts had committed heinous crimes which deserve no leniency at all. Why pardon them, rather they deserve to be hanged in full public view? In the Mughal and British times, the punishments were harsher and nobody was allowed to circumvent the process of law. That is why the crime rate was very low. In the Mughal era, hands and feet were chopped of even for minor offence like theft.

Apart from these criminals, Kasab and Afzal Guru are awaiting President’s pardon. Why doesn’t the President of India expedite the process for their early execution?


Wasteful expenditure

Austerity measures are nothing new. Last year too, the central government announced steps to show its commitment to repair public finances but failed to stick to its fiscal deficit. Officials say foreign travel is a grey area in government spending. Sometimes approvals are granted for “frivolous assignments”. Recent reports have shown how prominent leaders and officials have undertaken series of foreign trips at the expense of the government putting pressure on the public exchequer.

From travel to subsidies, huge amount of money goes into non-plan expenditure. The money spent on President Pratibha Patil’s 12 foreign trips accounts to Rs 205 crore. The money spent on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s 29 foreign trips comes to Rs 10 crore. The government total subsidy bill for 2011-2012 is Rs 2, 16,297 crore.

The government food subsidy bill to run the public distribution system amounts to Rs 72,823 cr. Serious efforts are needed to streamline spending and cut out wasteful expenditure and austerity measures must be imposed seriously.

Dr H KUMAR KAUL, Barnala


Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa failed to convince the common man on optimum use of public money in his maiden budget. He said the fiscal health of Punjab is in a poor state and needs immediate attention but his budget proves that he is in a mood to worsen it. Some of his questionable allocations include Rs 20 cr for raising memorials and Rs 110 cr for distributing tablets to school children. Punjab school education lacks basic necessities, like infrastructure and teachers. Sadly, no money was allocated for establishment of a cancer hospital in Malwa region. The FM in order to fulfill election promises is allocating funds in the most non-productive areas. CM appointed 21 CPSs without any reason, now the FM is taking all possible moves to increase state debt.


Educate children on junk food

It is very natural for a child to like junk food. Slowly but steadily educate your child about the demerits of junk food. Let him know what junk food is, what it contains and the harm it causes to the mind and body.

Teach him how to read labels on packages so that he knows what ingredients and chemical additives a particular food contains.

Meanwhile, it is important to let him know that you have full confidence in his ability to understand you and that you trust his sensibilities. Next time you visit a market, ask him to select an eatable with the least junk element from a particular rack.

Also, you cannot expect your child to follow something that you are not doing yourself. Never shop for food when you are hungry, you tend to pick up foods that look tempting, but are mostly junk foods. Feed the child first with some nutritious food, so that he eats less of junk.




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