Make Wilful Defaulters’ List Public
This refers to your editorial ‘Dipping into purses of 7,600 Mallyas’ (May 5). It is terrible that the Indian banking industry, considered to be one of the strongest in the world, is now facing the problem of non-performing assets (NPAs) because of wilful defaulters and political pressure. Vijay Mallya is not so immature as to not comprehend the consequences of serious offences of financial impropriety. It is certainly not fair to blame banks for lending huge amounts to Mallya despite his failing business. The Reserve Bank of India and the government should also not come in the way of the publication of names of wilful defaulters. It is baffling why officials are fighting shy of making public a list of wilful defaulters. The public has a right to know how its money has been utilised. The government has to act firmly if it wants to send out a clear message that it means business as far as putting an end to the burning issue of non-performing assets is concerned. Political interference in decision-making in public sector banks is the root cause of the NPA mess. As far as publishing the list of defaulters is concerned, bringing such details under the purview of the Right to Information Act is a more viable option. Lack of transparency is what has weakened the public banking sector is grossly incorrect.
VINOD C DIXIT, Ahmedabad
24×7 Water Supply Still A Pipe-dream
It was amusing to read that the Public Works Department (PWD) is planning to distribute a 500-litre water storage tank to every household in Goa to tide over the acute water shortage in the state. While most of the villages in Goa do not have piped water supply and a tap in their house, and villagers have to queue up every day to collect water from a common village tap, of what use is this 500-litre tank to these hapless villagers? It is also unfortunate that the PWD minister has refused to accept that there is water scarcity in Goa and blames it all on the frequent power outages, while turning a blind eye to the abysmally low water levels in all our storage dams and the crying needs of water-starved people. We need to take the bull by the horns if we really mean well and cherish hopes of a 24×7 piped water supply in the state.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Make Judicial Appointments A Priority
The news that the Chief Justice of India (CJI), while addressing the inaugural session of Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts, ‘broke down’ in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have seemed quite amusing to many. It would, however, be foolish to consider the overt exhibition of emotion by the CJI as a sign of weakness! Helplessness at a system that shows no signs of improvement even after repeated attempts by the judiciary to rein in the anomalies that characterise it; yes, it can at best be seen as the reaction of a jurist who, though committed to the task entrusted, is powerless faced with the enormity of the situation where government inaction has literally scuttled the best laid plans. The well-meant intentions in this case have been the speedy redressal of cases that have been piling up in courts across the country simply because the governments over the years have been blatantly stalling judicial appointments for no obvious reasons. The emotional outburst of the CJI in this context is quite understandable and the agony that follows more so, considering that prolonged litigations are the consequence of the piling up of cases in the courts which could have been averted had the government, which has been sitting on the recommendations of the judicial commission, risen to the occasion and hastened with remedial measures. The CJI, a sensitive and man of integrity, wouldn’t be blind to the tragedy of people languishing in Indian jails and facing the prospects of lengthy court cases. Moreover, with cases dragging on for years together, it has not been unusual to have judgments in most of these cases being delivered much after the death of the petitioners. What kind of a justice is this? In a country where adjournment of cases and “dates-on-dates-on-dates” has come to exemplify legal proceedings with litigants wringing their hands in utter despair being denied justice for decades, it is unfortunate and alarming that judicial appointments are still not a priority despite the huge pendency of cases.
Hence, when the torchbearer of the judiciary in the country publicly emotes his exasperation at the prevalent judicial system in the country, it is time for the government to sit up and take notice of the matter.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO