Apropos of Barkha Dutt’s article Judging the judges (November 25), with so much judicial activism on display, there is urgent need to create a balance and bring about transparency in the system. Corruption needs to be weeded out of all three wings of the Indian State — the legislature, executive and the judiciary. Thankfully, the last has not yet succumbed to criminal elements to the extent seen in the other two wings. Still, we cannot be too careful.
Barkha Dutt has rightly picked up a quarrel with the composition of the proposed National Judicial Council. Besides, past record of lenient action against delinquent judges lends little hope of fast and deterrent action against those who fall short of exemplary conduct.
The Indian judiciary has fared better than the other two pillars of the administration, but it is not without warts. It is time to arrest the decline lest this pillar collapses. There is a need for checks and balances.
Justice eludes the common man for a variety of reasons. He either doesn’t know the right people or doesn’t have enough money to hire a good lawyer or to bribe the lower-court staff. The old maxim of selling a cow for the sake of a cat holds true in many cases.
Barkha Dutt’s argument that judges are as human as anyone else is indisputable. Yet, more than our political leaders, they are the ones who reinforce our faith in the system. Judicial activism coupled with media intervention has offered a ray of hope for the disillusioned man on the street and tilted the balance in favour of the wisdom of the judiciary.
Barkha Dutt has shown us the bare body of our judicial system, which is the base on which Indian democracy stands. It must be remembered that justice delayed is justice denied. Despite repeated pleas, the government at the Centre is yet to come up with a concrete plan to solve the issue of judicial delays. Millions of cases are still awaiting trial, and an equal number of undertrials languishing in jails.
Be kind to your girl
The report Abandoned girls find love, homes in UP hinterland (November 3) made interesting reading. This is a serious issue which is being ignored by the government. The government should give benefits like free school education to the girl child. It must also initiate other schemes for parents and girls to prevent female foeticide and infanticide.
Ready to erupt
The looting and violence unleashed by Dalits in the name of Ambedkar is reprehensible. The threat to peace which statues pose should encourage the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the matter and issue guidelines on the installation of statues. It should be made mandatory that those who install statues are responsible for its security. If timely action is not taken, India will become a minefield ready to erupt on the slightest pretext.
The vandalised statue of BR Ambedkar led to the violent protests in Kanpur and Maharashtra. This shows the upper-caste anger at the rise of the Dalit community. Dalits must realise that the only way to make their mark in society is through education and not agitation.
This crude face-off is happening because the caste system is breaking down and there is no alternative of a more liberal and humane social structure. The only way ahead is to build a secular society where caste is irrelevant.
They need justice
With reference to the report Kargil bravehearts left out in the cold (November 24), though many things are associated with promotions, it depends basically on one man’s impression of the other. The annual confidential report is a dangerous weapon in the hands of the unscrupulous and is a serious cause of distress among officers.
There should be counter-ACRs initiated and sent directly to Army HQs by junior officers so that the top brass, staying away from the scene of action, can develop a comprehensive picture. If this one problem area is sorted out, it can go a long way in improving the professional management of the career of officers.
The Khairlanji incident and the violence in Maharashtra after the alleged desecration of Ambedkar’s statue at Kanpur are the bitter fruits of the pseudo-secular and appeasement policies of vote- hungry politicians. Society is being divided in the name of caste for vote banks.
In Kiran Seth’s Inner Voice, No shortcuts with this one (December 1), the phrase 'The late DK Pattamal' is incorrect. DK Pattamal, by the grace of God, is still very much with us. The error is regretted.
Readers may e-mail letters to the editor at: email@example.com