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Reforming state, society and the system

The recent gang-rape in New Delhi has shaken the nation. Some are blaming the government for poor policing and others are trying to find its roots in the society. Let us not forget that there are different dimensions to a particular problem; thus, a holistic view needs to be taken in order to understand a phenomenon in its totality.  The state, the society and the system all are responsible for whatever shows up in day to day happenings in public domain.

We need better laws, better police and  security system, free, fair and fast justice delivery , an egalitarian society, better education system, more employment, inclusive growth, human development and last but not the least a sense of joint responsibility among the citizens and their political representatives.

Many constitutional, institutional and educational reforms (by the government) along with more social interaction outside the formal education system (by the civil society) will have to be evolved to facilitate an easy transition towards a safer society. Wise counsel lies in the idiom, “Treat the patient, not the disease.” Thus, the question is not how to eradicate rape but how to get rid of the roots that stimulate social evils of all kinds, not just rape.


Existing laws are good enough

How can criminals thrive in an area if the SHO of that area, beat constable, mobile patrols, PCR vans etc are up and about and doing their jobs sincerely? They all believe in the ‘chalta hai’ attitude and always feel secure in the patronage of their political masters to bail them out in difficult situations and hence even don’t do their bit.

New tougher laws are not going to help; there is already a plethora of these. Existing laws are good enough if their application is honest, impartial, prompt and the police free from the interference of their masters in the registration of FIRs and investigation of the cases.

It is the promptness and the certainty of the punishment that will put the fear of law in the minds of potential criminals. Police and other law enforcing agencies need to be made accountable, professionally trained and sensitised. A transfer, which is generally a norm, should not be made a punishment for an act of negligence or omission.

Culpability of the law enforcers must be fixed and severe punishment as per service rules meted out to the erring/negligent police personnel and other law enforcers. There is a strong need for the police to win back the confidence of the populace. Community efforts need to be incorporated in the prevention of crime. Police should get into Police Public Partnership  mode and shed the Police Politician Partnership mode.

Col  BS BHULLAR (retd), Amritsar

Sidetracking schemes

The pensionary benefits scheme for teaching and non - teaching  employees of  136 government aided private schools was announced in 1990s. The scheme was approved by atleast five cabinet ministers and got enacted through a special act in 1999. The affected employees approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for justice and implementation  of the scheme.

In an interim order, the apex court of the state directed the state government to implement the 1996 scheme. In order to sidetrack the court order and in gross violation of its interim directions , the government repealed the pension scheme itself .  The government has not only left the retired teachers in the lurch but has shown scant regard to the judiciary,  one of the strongest pillars of our democracy.



It is a matter of regret that pensioners are forced to knock at the doors of courts for redressal of their legitimate grievances. In the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, (PSWC), pensionery benefits of retirees, like commuted value of  pension, ADA w.e.f. from 1.1.11, LTC, old age allowance, family pension etc  have been withheld. In addition the DA of the pensioners who retired prior to 31.12.2010  has been frozen @ 45% and those retiring after 1.1.11 have been allowed DA  prevailing at the time of retirement with no future enhancement. The court has laid down that no discrimination in the matter of pensionery benefits can be meted out to pensioners merely on the basis of the date of retirement.

It is being contended by the PSWC that the curtailment in pensionery benefits to the retirees, has been resorted to due to financial crunch. Surprisingly, regular employees are being allowed DA and other allowances/ facilities at par with other government employees without any cut in their emoluments. In similar circumstances, when the retired employees of PRTC approached the High Court, the court ordered restoration of their pensionery benefits.

Such situations where the retirees have to fight for their rights, in the courts of law, thereby causing unnecessary and avoidable harassment to them in the evening of their lives, should not be allowed to take place and the government  and its undertakings need to adhere to the concept of pension as a “deferred wage”, a social obligation of the government and its instrumentalities.

KISHORE CHAND, via e-mail

Punjab safest?

If the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukbbir Singh Badal says that Punjab is the “safest state” in India, it is out of sheer stupidity.  It is shameful and ridiculous that the same report of the National Crime Recored Bureau (NCRB), which Badal cited comparing Punjab with Kerala, shows that there have been more murders in Punjab (842) than in Kerala (365) in 2011, though the population of Punjab (2.77 crore) is less than that of Kerala (3.33 crore). The editorial “Figuring it out” (December 22)  says, “The high registration of other crimes in Kerala is, in fact, a reflection of the higher responsiveness of its police and greater social and political awareness of its residents”.

It is a pity that such an attitude of the police and residents is not found in Punjab. May be, because of the fact that the Supreme Court direction that an FIR be registered on every complaint is perhaps the most ignored order”.  It is a sheer eyewash and a misleading statement to say that Punjab is the “safest state” in the county.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh




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