Readers' take: Laws need practical, fair execution

  • Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 10, 2015 12:12 IST

Youth can be change agents

It is difficult to educate adults and make them change their habits. Only the fear of punishment, financial or in some other form, tends to work. It’s, therefore, best to start with the younger generation. The government can provide support to schools and colleges to educate students about various laws besides honing their moral values. The youth can become the change agents. Besides educating their elders, they will grow up to become law-abiding citizens.

Davedd Siingh via email

Devise proactive ways to make citizens follow rules

The Canadian experiment with cycle bells is a classic example of proactive implementation of laws. In Calgary city, bicycles are required to have a bell to alert other commuters. The penalty for failing to have one is $57. Earlier, officers would patrol the pathway and stop cyclists without a bell and fine them. After the confrontation, the cyclist would ride away angry with the ticket, but compliance was missing. To achieve its goal, the administration bought bells and screwdrivers in bulk for each law enforcer. Officers used to stop the defaulters and while telling them about the importance of using a bell installed one too. At the end of this encounter, the cyclist pedalled away educated and in a positive mood as they had been given a gift.

Mahavir's Jagdev, via email

Simplify regulations for clarity

To maintain order in society, there are a large number of rules framed by the authorities. These, however, are hardly put into force. For instance, consumers end up using substandard products from food items to face creams despite laws against adulteration. The nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and traders needs to be broken to bring to an end such flouting of norms. Citizens should be made aware of the laws and defaulters should be penalised strictly. Also, complicated regulations should be simplified to bring about uniformity and clarity.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Citizens must act responsibly

The only thing that hinders efficient enforcement of law is the apathetic attitude of citizens. People don’t think that laws are for their own safety and betterment of their surroundings; instead they think of them as a hindrance to their enjoyment. Law enforcers cannot check all activities of citizens. So, citizens themselves need to be more responsible. It starts from schools and colleges, where rules should be taught more passionately. Also, people have stopped respecting law enforcers, treating all of them as corrupt.

Amrinder Singh Brar, Chandigarh

Act promptly against defaulters

Law enforcement in the city is an uphill task. Chandigarh is a city of politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people, whose spoilt brats break and violate the laws with impunity. Authorities dither while taking action against them. Although it is difficult for law enforcers to catch those spitting, smoking or littering, the administration can definitely take prompt action against those defacing public property, wasting water by washing cars and courtyards and allowing pet dogs to defecate in public places. Citizens, too, must cooperate and become law-abiding citizens.

TR Goyal, Chandigarh

Keep impractical rules in abeyance

There is no denying the fact that howsoever indispensable a piece of legislation may be, its objective can be achieved only if the citizens give heed to it as part of their duty and not because of the fear of punishment. For this, there is an urgent need to spread adequate awareness about laws along with wider dissemination of their pros and cons using modern tools of social media. The younger generation can become a medium to educate the elders too. Also, there is a need to keep in abeyance, if not completely weeding out, those laws that are not practicable in the contemporary circumstances.

Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

Penalty should be same for all

In Chandigarh, laws and bylaws are made to keep the city beautiful and clean. These, however, are not enforced properly. We are in a habit of following the rules only if there is a strict punishment for defaulters. Many people also try to find their way out by bribing. All this must end. Also, the punishment should be same for all.

Suman Kansal, Panchkula

Tackle heinous crimes before petty ones

The common man is disillusioned on account of corruption in the police department. If the existing laws and bylaws were implemented honestly, the city could have been the most orderly place. People will not give heed to laws against littering, spitting, begging, smoking, wastage of water or defacement of property till the authorities are able to bring down the rate of major crimes like murder, theft, robbery and snatching. Also, the defaulters should be caught and punished with the same vigour, irrespective of their status. Cops must perform all functions with integrity, professionalism and common sense.

Manjinder Pal Singh, SAS Nagar

Authorities have misplaced priorities

Stray dogs have become a menace, but the authorities are more concerned about making laws against pet dogs. The authorities must set their priorities right. Also, cases of littering, spitting and smoking in public should be dealt with the same way as cops deal with traffic violators.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Multiplicity of laws should end

Not a strong law, but effective implementation sends a strong message. Often laws are made with broad goals, which are overly generalised. The act of implementation should not be mechanical, formalistic or perfunctory. We adopt a knee-jerk approach to crimes. Instead, a proactive approach is needed while framing laws. Multiplicity of laws and ineffective implementation becomes the fountainhead of corruption.

Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Chandigarh

Onus lies on residents

The onus lies on residents to maintain Chandigarh’s status as the City Beautiful. Just like we are careful not to litter our house, we should maintain cleanliness in our surroundings. Anyone who is seen breaking the law should be penalised.

Riya Kaushal, via email

Officials have turned a blind eye towards violations

As per information received under the RTI, only 18 challans were issued for public urination in Sector 19 between 2009 and 2015. The fact is that it very difficult to cross a particular stretch of road in the sector because of the stench. The authorities must act against such flouting of norms.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh

Remove all loopholes

Citizens will follow rules only if laws have no loopholes. Also, in many cases, politicians stop bureaucrats from taking action against defaulters. At times, babus too turn a blind eye to violations for their vested interests. Unfortunately, Chandigarh is thriving with political forces of Punjab, Haryana and the UT. To make people law-abiding, the city should have an independent status.

Parkash Dhillon, Chandigarh

All stakeholders must act together

The lackadaisical attitude of the law-enforcing agencies has created a mess. This is the reason we see mushrooming of slums, dog menace and other ills plaguing the city. A three-pronged strategy is needed: citizens be made accountable for any wrongs in their vicinity, frequent patrolling and survey by law enforcers be carried out, and heavy fines be imposed on defaulters. Awareness drives by residents’ associations, government and non-governmental organisations will prove fruitful.

Raghunath Chhabra, Chandigarh

We need collective responsibility based on individual accountability

The implementation of laws is poor because of corrupt authorities and apathetic citizens. We love to circumvent laws to suit our convenience. That’s why crimes continue to take place and substandard public services persist. We always see anomalies around us, like defaced walls, dirty streets, encroachments, unruly traffic, stray cattle, begging and congested parking areas, and blame the government, without realising our role. What we need is collective responsibility based on individual accountability. We are an extension of the governing authority and have to conduct ourselves accordingly. Stop corruption and do your job honestly and efficiently. Then laws will automatically have a meaning and find acceptance.

Colonel RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Uphold sanctity of laws

We are privy to the fact that how people with dubious distinctions hop on to the centre stage and walk free even after committing heinous crimes. Because of the laxity in the implementation of laws, we tend to show scant respect to them. The law ceases to prevail when it is compromised with or subverted at the drop of a hat.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Colonial mindset root of the problem

Social ailments like corruption, nepotism, VVIP culture and misuse of muscle and money power make a mockery of laws. Our colonial mindset has created an ugly situation where there are two sets of laws — one for the poor and the other for the elite. This discriminatory enforcement of law not only gives rise to social disharmony but to social unrest as well. The lawenforcement agencies should be empowered and made accountable for any laxity in law enforcement.

AK Sharma, Chandigarh

Deal with black sheep strictly

The media only reports the tip of a colossal iceberg of scams and crimes happening everywhere. Non-implementation of laws by the corrupt authorities has ensured that there is neither fear nor respect for the law. The black sheep must be dealt with in an exemplary manner to end the chaos.

Lt Col Anil Kabotra (retd), Panchkula

Facilitate residents in following rules

The man was born free, but now finds himself chained by a plethora of laws, including those against littering, spitting, begging, smoking, defacement of property, wastage of water and even cycling on the roads. The implementation of a law is based on the public will to obey it. For the public will to exist, the law must be fair. For its honest execution, public must be helped with instruments like keeping adequate number of dustbins in public places, installing dispensers for public convenience and maintaining cleanliness in public toilets.

Paras R Kalotra, SAS Nagar

Involve volunteers in implementing bylaws across the city

An exemplary and loud message needs to be given to offenders through new penalties being implemented by volunteers who care for the city. Being home to a large contrast of domestic economies, water availability varies extensively. Measures are due to address resource inequality among citizens. Also, seeing the rise in population, the city needs more law enforcers. A network of e-surveillance is needed as well.

Anirudh Sharma, Chandigarh

Values, ethics need of the hour

Howsoever strict the laws might be, defaulters are shrewd enough to devise loopholes. Our education stands crippled before our notorious designs. Discarding values, we have become materialistically manipulative. Opportunists will not let the system become positive. The remedy lies in emergence of noble and ethical citizens.

MPS Chadha, SAS Nagar

Not laws, we need a code of conduct

Instead of making laws that cannot be enforced, we should frame guidelines or a code of conduct that citizens are expected to abide by. It requires discipline and strong will on the part of citizens, especially the youth, who can take a lead and set an example. Schools can do a lot to spread awareness. Excessive regulation and laws are bound to be opposed as these restrict human freedom.

DS Banati, SAS Nagar

Self-regulation is the key

Who refuses to take a polythene bag while purchasing goods? Laws are aplenty, but public will to follow them is missing. Self-regulation is the need of the hour. The laws are in the common interest of everyone. Let’s make it a habit to follow them in letter and spirit.

Devinder Garg, Chandigarh

Strengthen moral values of citizens

The mushrooming of laws for one or the other reason has created confusion. Many laws are not required where a society has members who have moral values. Therefore, instead of framing laws, citizens’ values should be strengthened.

Jagmohan Singh Bhatti, via email

Residents should shun apathy

The will to keep the city clean should come from within. Residents cannot be forced to do it. No law can change a person’s habit. In Australia, people look down upon littering and even kids throw wrappers in the dustbin or just keep them in their pocket. We need to develop such an attitude.

AS Oberoi, Chandigarh

Government must educate the youth

Both government and citizens are responsible for petty crimes like littering, spitting, smoking, defacement of property and wastage of water. While the authorities frame rules and lack the will to implement them, people show least regard for the laws. The government must educate the youth to bring about a change. We should take the responsibility of educating our peers, friends and relatives.

Pooja Rani, via email

Strict implementation a must

We cannot build a strong nation without strict rules. The administration has made several rules. It should now punish the defaulters, including those from among themselves. Also, before implementing laws, people should be made aware about them for the laws to gain acceptability.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, SAS Nagar

Make politicos, babus accountable

If we look at the number of laws that prevail in India, it may seem to be the safest and the most orderly place in the world. This, however, is far from true. How come people continue to urinate and spit in the public? Why is there no end to begging at light points and encroachments in markets? Our political system is dominated by criminals, who shield other criminals. The politicians and bureaucrats should be made accountable.

Amar Jeet Kumar, SAS Nagar

Law enforcers must shun lethargy

In Chandigarh, laws are violated at will. Law-enforcement agencies, too, are lethargic. Laws are there to help people make their life easier. If rules are not followed, citizens should be penalised.

Upendra Bhatnagar, Zirakpur

Authorities must pull up their socks

The general perception among the law breakers is that “who cares?” This perception draws strength from the poor enforcement of laws. Once the law-enforcing agencies pull up their socks and take stern action, the situation is bound to improve.

SC Luthra, via email

We need an effective legal system

An effective legal system is must for a civilised law-abiding society. The number of laws is immaterial. Equally effective has to be crime prevention, investigation, prosecution and judicial machinery. One of the best methods of effective law enforcement is quick trial and disposal of cases without compromising justice and fairness. It must be remembered that it is the certainty of punishment that matters and not severity.

Colonel SK Aggarwal (retd), Panchkula

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