Jail and parole rigmarole
Manu Sharma, convicted in the Jessica Lal murder case and the son of a Haryana Congress minister, is presently on his second parole. Earlier he was granted a parole on the grounds of his mother’s illness and found to be partying in a posh hotel, which naturally led to his parole being cancelled. It was during Sheila Dikshit’s chief ministership. Sanjay Dutt is currently out on a one-month parole on the grounds of his wife’s illness. It can be reasonably inferred that it is unlikely she will be cured within Dutt’s parole period of the actor. So the parole will have to be further extended. Now the great Lalu Yadav, convicted for five years, has been granted bail, pending appeal against the order of conviction, to a higher court. The appeal hearing will not be concluded before the next Parliamentary elections. If the Congress-RJD-LJP(Ram Vilas Paswan) combine succeeds in retaining power, he will probably never go back to jail. There is nothing wrong if human hearts overflow with compassion for the ill-fated inmates of the jails.
N K Das Gupta

Justice delayed to death
Here’s why people are losing faith in our judicial system – because of the misplaced priorities in deciding the cases of politicians in preference to other suffering litigants. An octogenarian pensioner in Madras fought for the restoration of pension surrendered on absorption in a public sector and the Madras High court decided that the surrender option taken by the GoI was ab initio illegal and ordered the restoration of pension [K.Ganesan Vs GoI civil appeal 6048/2010.] The petitioner died later without the restoration, as the GoI went in appeal and case was pending. After him, several pensioners so placed also died waiting. In spite of several representations, the case remains adjourned from time to time in the Apex Court with more pensioners having moved to their graves in the meanwhile.Yet it has not moved n either the Supreme Court’s judicial conscience or the GoI’s. What hurts the dying pensioners more is the rapidity with which Lalu Prasad’s bail was considered on priority basis, as though without his bail, justice would stand compromised.
V N Ramachandran

Food first, FDA
The recent strike by the medical shops has amply demonstrated that the priorities of FDA are not on a sound footing. It apears that the FDA has not understood the role played by a pharmacist in society. These days drugs are available in readymade packets and anyone who can read English can dispense medicines from a well-written and legible prescription. However, considering the insecticide levels in vegetables and fruits, the FDA ought to be focussing on such areas. The FSSAI report is an eye-opener. Oranges suddenly rot. Apples become rot in a couple of days. The skin of papayas bears scars of sprayed insecticide. There are papayas which are very tender and have no seeds, but are made to ripen artificially. Similar artificial ripening of mangoes takes place. Bananas – the less said the better. These are much bigger issues and are to be dealt with on high priority. Hope the FDA sees the writing on the wall.
P R V Raghavan

Far from civil conduct
‘Dad says Devyani innocent, threatens fast!’ (December 20). This is the height of irresponsible behaviour from an ex-IAS officer. In the same issue of FPJ, it is reported that ‘Maid frustrated over portrayal of her case.’
If Devyani is innocent, then let her prove this in a court of law and for that Uttam Khobragade can proceed to America and if necessary, the government can take care of his expenses. The question also arises why she has been transferred almost immediately from her present post in the Embassy? This shows how our political leaders are behaving, only keeping an eye on the general elections next year. Instead of going on a fast, it is better for Uttam Khobragade or Devyani to contest the next election and become Members of Parliament and that seems to be their final aim. Khobragade’s statement that he has no purpose in staying in this world is ridiculous and hardly befiitting a top-level government officer.
Marcus Dabre

Fazed by the unforeseen
Yogenra Yadav of the Aam Aadmi Party is a pollster of years’ standing. Even he might not have guessed that the AAP would bag so many seats in Delhi. Having won the election with 28 seats, and garnered the outside support of eight Congress candidates subsequently, the party should have jumped at the idea of forming a government in Delhi by now. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Maybe, either none of the 28 are capable of becoming ministers or all want to become ministers, a queer situation which perhaps even Yadav hadn’t foreseen.
R N Shanbhag

Still looking up to AAP
Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP team have demonstrated that they are no more any different from any other aam aadmi by falling prey to the pitfalls of greed for acquiring power by cosying up to the Congress, a party which they had castigated in so peremptory a manner earlier on. Also, the AAP has demonstrated that it is a party with a difference. A difference of opinion amongst its own ranks!!!! It is also quite a surprise that they have sent feelers to the electorate seeking its opinion about the future course of action they should follow. I wonder why. Is it because they do not trust their own judgement? I hope they do not do ask for a mandate from the people for every policy that they adopt. I hope sincerely that the AAP sticks to its guns and not to the goons, and brings about a desired change in the national set up and scenario. Because they are our only hope.
Hemant Hemmady

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