LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  11-04-2001

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 11.04.01
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Like meets like Sir - Ram Prakash Gupta has a new ambition: that of turning a declining Uttar Pradesh into "milk-and-honey-flowing Udyog Pradesh" ("Gupta rush for gold, glitter, August 11). And he plans to do this by wooing the film world, even before his role in the controversy over the filming of Water has faded in public memory. But Gupta's breed of Indian politicians can be expected to behave in this manner as much as the current crop of Bollywood bigwigs can be expected to play up to them. The total absence of a principled stand in the film industry will certainly make the wooing easier for Gupta. But with his phenomenally short memory, he might find it difficult to handle the temperamental Bollywood stars. Yours faithfully, S.K. Hazra, Calcutta Unfree to judge Sir - It is ironic that although the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has introduced a bill on freedom of information in Parliament, it is denying Ram Jethmalani, the former law minister, the freedom to disclose the contents of certain files. Apparently, these have got a direct bearing on the issues that forced Jethmalani's resignation from the cabinet. Matters directly related to the conduct of government officials, be it the chief justice, the prime minister or the attorney-general, cannot be kept secret from the people of the country, especially since the high placed are often responsible for the rot in public life. Notes on files and the rationale behind crucial decisions, except when directly concerning national security, should be made accessible to the public on demand. Classifying these as secret is undemocratic. Jethmalani is doing us a great service by his outspokenness. Yours faithfully, S. Srinivas Yadav, Hyderabad Sir - Kudos to Ram Jethmalani for his bold statements even after his resignation. Our judicial system is biased to suit judges and lawyers and the rich and famous. Even the attorney-general, Soli Sorabjee, in connection with the law of contempt of court is said to have once expressed his reservations about a system which gave unlimited powers to judges with regard to contempt proceedings. As the infamous V. Ramaswamy case proved, the removal of judges through impeachment is an inadequate procedure. The judiciary must be made more accountable to the people. The press and the public should be given full freedom to criticize important judgments. There should be a national judicial commission headed by the chief justice of India which should entertain complaints against high court and Supreme Court judges. The commission should have the power to confirm all judicial appointments. Yours faithfully, Subhash C. Agrawal, Dariba Sir - Responsible public men who govern the country have to forfeit their personal identity. Ram Jethmalani's statement that he would not continue to be minister if he had to sacrifice his self-respect shows his personal ego has overtaken him ("Jethmalani fury scalds Atal", July 28). It is regrettable that Jethmalani, being an eminent lawyer himself, should show a lack of confidence in the judicial process. His ire against the attorney-general and chief justice was because their "attack" was directed "against me", as Jethmalani put it. The chief justice seems to have been right in noting that the idea of a collective cabinet responsibility is totally missing. Yours faithfully, K.R. Venkatasubramanian, Calcutta Letters to the editor should be sent to: