Cause for pause
In an important ruling, the SC has advised both, the prime minister and chief ministers of states to refrain from appointing persons with criminal backgrounds as ministers in the cabinet. Thus the SC has made the point clear that “unwarranted elements or persons may thwart or hinder the canons of constitutional morality or principles of good governance and diminish constitutional trust.” This SC ruling is bound to create a controversy, but both, the PM, who has eight such ministers in his cabinet and various CMs will have to do some introspection in this regard. Let us hope with this important ruling, political leaders of all parties in the country will take a ‘considered’ view before appointing any person as minister with a criminal background, in the days to come.
What happens next?
In a landmark 123-page verdict, the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench advised the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of states not to induct tainted persons as ministers.
Are the PM and CMs above the law? Why doesn’t the Election Commission debar people with criminal backgrounds from contesting? The SC has only suggested ‘to desist’ from inducting persons with criminal backgrounds, facing trial, to ministries, but has neither passed any directions nor any strictures in this regard. Hence, it is up to the PM to evaluate the SC verdict. But the aam aadmi is eagerly waiting to see whether those 14 ministers in Modi’s cabinet who have criminal cases against them, will be dropped, in the interests of a ‘criminal-free India’ or not!
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
Rain(a)man came through
It was redemption time for India at Cardiff, England, in the second ODI. The rains did not come, but ‘Rain’a did come good there, as he rained fours and sixes during his reign at the crease. The England bowling attack looked ragged. India justified its No 2 ranking in the ODI. Most importantly the win, coming close at the heels of Ravi Shastri assuming charge as director of the Indian cricket team, augurs well for the future of Indian cricket.
Our cricket team’s forte is limited overs cricket and our boys played to their true potential to thrash England badly in the second ODI (after the first game was rained away) after the drubbing Dhoni and his boys received in the Test series. Virat Kohli’s poor run with the bat continues, but Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, who unfortunately were not part of the Test team, played brilliant cricket. Raina’s match-winning ton lifted the sagging morale of our boys and we should win the ODI series with ease.
S N Kabra
Robbing Peter to pay Paul?
It is heartening to note that the Modi Government has introduced a ‘Jan Dhan’ scheme, under which people can easily open a savings account in any public sector bank without many formalities and also avail an overdraft facility of Rs 5000, a debit card and also life insurance cover of Rs One lakh.
However, some PSBs have withdrawn existing facilities for old savings account holders and started levying fresh charges for some facilities. My bankers, the Central Bank of India, have sent a notice last week stating that they will charge fifty paise per SMS, which is automatically sent whenever there is any debit or credit in my old savings account, which is also my government pension account, with retrospective effect, that is June 1, 2014. Hence, the Reserve Bank should clarify whether it has allowed the PSB to levy such charges even on the pension accounts of senior citizens?
Harish M Rai
Pre-marital AIDS test too
This refers to the front page report, ‘Judge wants potency test for grooms’ (August 28). Impotency is one of the grounds for divorce. In our society, there is a tendency to blame the wife for not being able to bear children after marriage. But it is quite possible that it could be that there is a problem with the husband, who refuses to undergo medical tests in such cases. How many would-be bridegrooms are willing to face this question, when marital alliances are arranged? Forget a potency test, both the boy and the girl should be asked to undergo testing for AIDS. Laws alone will not help – what is needed is a change in society’s mindset. In social sciences, arranging of marriages should be a subject of study. Impotence is grounds for divorce. While arranging marital alliances, questions, however awkward, should be asked unhesitatingly. For that matter, it could be a good start-up idea too. Why, this is a good subject for a Bollywood film.
Deendayal M Lulla
Study in contrast
Your editorial, ‘Natural transition’ is well-written and all political parties should follow it in future if they want India to progress internationally. However, your editorial is contrary to what is on the front page (August 27). The report states that the BJP trimurti was removed from the main platform because “It makes sense for Modi to take out Advani and Joshi from the party’s hierarchy, as these are perhaps the only leaders who have the stature to voice any opinion contrary to his.” This clearly indicates that Modi wants his own way and does not want any old leaders to get in his way. Can it be called democracy?
Also, it would have been an historical event if both Advani and Joshi had announced their retirement from active politics, as Atalji too is not keeping well lately.