February 13, 2011 2:00:21 am
Thrillers in the Supreme Court
The refusal of government to disclose details about 18 Indians holding accounts in LGT Bank,Liechtenstein,evoked a sharp response from the Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar. Make up your mind whether you can make the disclosure. The Solicitor General replied that it will be done at the appropriate stage. Mystery begins. The Solicitor General also informed the Court that the government has issued show cause notices to persons suspected of having stashed money in foreign banks,the details of which were submitted to the court in a sealed cover on Thursday. The mystery deepens. Apropos the Courts direction to ensure that Hasan Ali,one of the main suspects,does not leave the country,Solicitor General assured the Court that more steps are in the offing. We await the outcome with bated breath. Verily,verily I say unto you: There is more mystery and excitement in the Supreme Court proceedings at present than in any Hitchcock thriller.
Another Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly bluntly told the CBI to inform the Court who the beneficiaries and conspirators in parking funds in bank accounts abroad were. Some persons must be having sleepless night and deservedly so. These orders and directions by the Supreme Court tend to give the impression that the Court has taken over running of the country. But we are confronted with extraordinary situations where corruption in allotment of mobile licences has caused an estimated astronomical loss of
Rs 1,76,000 crores. Thus,extraordinary orders are warranted. Whoever said that the judiciary is the weakest branch of the State could have had no idea of our Supreme Court which has become the strongest branch.
Commonwealth Lawyers Conference
The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) conference in Hyderabad which was attended by Chief Justices and judges of ten Commonwealth countries and many eminent legal personalities discussed a wide range of subjects,including corruption. Speakers were unanimous that mere imprisonment of the corrupt is not sufficient. The consensus was that corrupt officials and the beneficiaries of corruption should not be permitted to reap the fruits of their misdeeds and upon conviction after a fair trial,their properties should be confiscated. That apart,the corrupt should be regarded as human rights violators of the socio-economic rights of the people because funds meant for schools,hospitals,roads and other public amenities are diverted into secret bank accounts. What is needed is total ostracism of the corrupt gentry who should find it difficult to make their appearance in public. Their names and photographs should be published and displayed at railway stations,airports and other public places. Expeditious trial by a special court dealing with corruption cases was stressed. An Indian delegate bemoaned that no minister in India has been found guilty and punished for corruption. The recent judgment of our Supreme Court which sentenced former Kerala Power Minister R Balakrishna Pillai to one year rigorous imprisonment is a salutary reminder that corruption does not pay. The judgment should also dispel the environment of impunity in which the corrupt operate.
Leeladhar aka Baba is an astrologer who gives astrological advice to devotees. He advised one Surender that if he donated a golden cow weighing 31 tolas,it would bring good fortune to him. Surender went to Haridwar where he performed the rituals,gave a golden cow and also donated money. Unfortunately,astrological predictions proved wrong because Surender suffered huge losses in his business. He demanded back the money spent by him for giving the golden cow. When the astrologer refused to oblige,Surender hatched a kidnap plan and with the aid of two other persons,the astrologer was kidnapped and subsequently a ransom call was made. Thanks to the timely police intervention,the persons involved in the kidnapping were arrested when they came to collect the ransom money. The astrologer has been freed. However,in view of his kidnapping experience,he is cautious about the price for his astrological predictions. Whether astrology is a science or an art,human gullibility will ensure its continued prosperity.
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