LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (07/01/2021)

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Move IIT Project Out Of Melauli

VILLAGERS of Melauli in Sattari taluka have intensified their agitation against the IIT project, which has been proposed in their village. The villagers have made it absolutely clear that they do not want the  project as they believe  that the project will divest them  of their land and  livelihood. The government must wake up and smell the  coffee: the villagers’ assertion that they will  lose land and  livelihoods can’t be glossed over by the government. I am of the strong opinion that the government should immediately move the project out of Melauli – even 700 police personnel could not control the irate villagers.

ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI

Honest Taxpayers At A Disadvantage

HONEST citizens who file their tax returns, either to pay their taxes or for refund,  need to disclose sources of income such as salary, pension, rent, agriculture earning etc. There is one more category and that is the income earned as interest for the tax refunded to the assessee by the IT department. Someone in the department surely has a sense of humour for categorising this ‘income’ in the form. Firstly, the tax refund, if any, is credited late into the assessee’s bank account; secondly in most cases the so-called interest paid for the delay is peanut. And now even this is taxed! Most people refrain from filing their returns when even their hard-earned money kept in the bank for a miserly interest (3-4 per cent) is also taxed. Their simple logic is: we save money by depositing it in a bank account and this money is lent by banks to others at higher interest. There is always a chance that loanees becoming defaulters and  escaping punishment, in most cases.

SRIDHAR D’IYER, CARANZALEM

Making Life Worth Living                  

RATHER than wishing ‘Happy  New Year’ to each other, we should  try to make society happy by taking up some concrete steps. Just because “I am safe” or “not affected” does not mean  we should be unreflective  about what is happening in the country and the world. We should ask ourselves: was  I indifferent to the tragedy of people who died while standing in queues trying to deposit or withdraw their own money? How many of us felt  pained by the death of people who died of coronavirus pandemic? How many of us  cried our heart out for  those who  were forced  to walk long distances  in the  wake of the COVID-induced lockdown?  Far from empathising with them, Indians gaily and promptly joined the rhetoric of banging plates. Real happiness can be achieved in the society only when we try to be sympathetic and empathic  towards  our fellow human beings.  

KAJAL CHATTERJEE,  KOLKATA

Misuse Of Bail Is Dangerous

BAIL is a matter of  right in some crimes but not in some others. By definition, it is a temporary privilege and Section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure defines bailable offences. The underlying principle behind granting of bail by a court is personal liberty and freedom.  Jurists have said that keeping an accused in jail before the  verdict  is neither preventive nor punitive. But what should be done if an accused, released on bail, misuses his ‘liberty’. In other words, can an accused consider bail as a licence to commit more crimes? The Karnataka High Court has strongly spoken against the tendency of accused released on bail misusing their ‘right’. The right to claim bail becomes ‘circumscribed’ according to the High Court. The court has decried the tendency of an accused to commit more bailable crimes after being released on bail. Can such a person go to the court again for another crime? He can, but can he repeatedly construe bail his ‘right’ for more than one offence?  The High Court has univocally said ‘no’. The court’s opinion is significant because it is agreed that no individual should feel the system is ‘unfair’ to him/her, but at the same time no person should be contemptuous towards the system. The detrimental effects on the society by accused claiming bail again and again is appalling. Especially in economic crimes involving the banking sector, as the aforesaid case was, common man may become  exasperated by the audacity of the criminal to hoodwink the courts as well as the  system. Liberty, freedom and equality are all envisaged under different articles of the Constitution. However, courts should sift the case to strike a balanced approach in cases pertaining to repeat offenders.

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA