‘Ordinary’, ‘poor’ turn favourites
Apropos of the Mumbai serial blasts trial, the Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of 10 terrorists to life imprisonment on the ground that they are ordinary and poor people who were trapped into committing the crime. So, now what about the accused who raped the Delhi girl and deserve to be executed?
Aren’t they also ordinary and poor? How can judgement be made on the basis of social status, particularly in such a barbaric terror attack? It is unfortunate that the court has overlooked the immense agony of the families of those killed and maimed by these so-called ordinary and poor people. This is a poor decision by the highest court of the land and will set a bad precedent.
—Pratap Singh, by email
Law cannot play favourites
The Supreme Court upholding the jail sentence for actor Sanjay Dutt will restore the faith of people in the law of the land. Dutt’s guilt for his offence has been established and no appeals for clemency should be entertained by the President or the Governor, particularly when there are thousands of undertrials who languish in jail, while their families suffer with them, even though they have not been judged guilty. I expect there will be sympathy for Sanjay Dutt from fans and the film industry, but they must remember that the law cannot play favourites.
— Praveen Chaturvedi, Mumbai
Dutt deserves sympathy
With the Supreme Court upholding the judgement of the trial court, justice has finally been done in the Mumbai serial blasts attack that claimed 257 lives. While the case took 20 long years, the judgement will bring some solace to the families of those who died in the blasts. The guilty have been punished and they deserve no mercy.
The only possible aberration being actor Sanjay Dutt, who was booked under the Arms Act for illegal possession of weapons. His misfortune was that the supplier of the weapons was a terrorist with direct links to the blasts case. Dutt is an unfortunate victim of extenuating circumstances. He, if anyone, deserves some sympathy.
— Robert Castellino, Mumbai
Spare a thought for the victims
The jail sentence of Sanjay Dutt has been reduced by one year. Many are expressing their sympathy for the actor and there are good chances that he will be allowed to go free. This would be unfortunate. You just have to ask the families of the 257 people who were killed in the serial blasts, about how they have suffered the loss of their near and dear ones all these years, and whether they are satisfied at the sentence. Those involved in any way do not deserve any mercy.
—BR Bhatnagar, Mumbai
There is absolutely nothing surprising about many from the Bollywood fraternity pleading for pardon for Sanjay Dutt, because they are part of a commercial group that stands to lose if the actor is put behind bars for more than three years. Some fringe political outfits would also support his cause for their own selfish reasons.
Be that as it may, the view expressed by retired judge Markandey Katju that Dutt be pardoned, is quite ridiculous. The judge occupies a quasi-judicial post and for this eminent personality to plead against the verdict of the Supreme Court, of which he was a member judge only a couple of years ago, is also unfortunate. Is it his contention that the court did not apply its mind in Dutt’s case?
—Chandramohan, by email
Take stern action against MLAs
Apropos of “2 MLAs cool their heels in cop custody”, hooliganism by elected representatives in a city like Mumbai sets a terrible example for young India. We must build a strong, secure system that empowers the police to handle such cases sternly, as in the US and the UK. Unfortunately, there are quite a few such political leaders who are known to indulge in threatening government officials and employees. If this is the audacity of some of our lawmakers in the city, one can only imagine what the situation might be like in the rural areas. These MLAs must be punished.
—Ankur Singh, Mumbai
Marines’ return should boost listless govt
The return of the Italian marines back to India should give a boost to the sagging morale of the UPA government and the Congress party, notwithstanding that they have been assured that they would not be arrested or given capital punishment if found guilty under Indian law.
While the government might pat itself on the back, it was the firm stand on the issue taken by the Supreme Court that must have led the Italian government to change its mind. Had this not been the case, it would have become a precedent. One hopes that the European Union will understand that India cannot be pushed around. It will also be worthwhile to try and understand the reasons why the apex court allowed the marines to go home in the first place.
—A G Ramasubramanian, Navi Mumbai
Curb water wastage on Holi
Along with the air that we breathe, it is water that is a vital necessity for survival, which is why it was surprising to read that lakhs of litres of water was wasted in Holi celebrations. Apropos of “Asaram wastes as state thirsts”, it is painful to see the misuse when hundreds of villages are in the grip of a severe drought and millions are suffering due to a water shortage.
One would have expected a spiritual leader to set a good example for the followers and the public in general, by not indulging in this wasteful display. In the fitness of things, we should celebrate Holi this year without water. In this respect, social activist Vishnu Gawli’s appeal to the Bombay High Court to restrain the general public from wasting water on Holi, is an appropriate step.
Rain dances, water shooters and water balloons must be disallowed. A water-starved state cannot afford such misuse.
—Prem K Menon, Mumbai
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