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Monday, October 23, 2000

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A matter of justice

Kangayam R. Rangaswamy, e-mail

Mossad, Israel's Intelligence Agency, brought the Nazi war criminal, Eichmann, to justice by spiriting him out of Argentina, where he was living incognito. In stark contrast, our police are unable to fish Veerappan, a mere sandalwood smuggler , out of his hideout, which is well within India's borders.

The Supreme Court passed severe strictures on the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments for their abysmal failure in maintaining law and order. It is not clear in what way these two States are better off than Bihar, often upbraided for its lawlessness.

The Centre is now in the process of buying sub-standard paddy from the farmers of Punjab -- a State that till recently flaunted its superior skills in agriculture -- setting an extremely unhealthy precedent. It would not be a surprise if the rice hulled out of this lot of `damaged, discoloured, sprouted and weeviled grain' finds its way to the most vulnerable sections of our population -- following the Centre's recent decision to arrange free distribution of foodgrains to them in a rare gesture of `altruism'. In any case, would the sale (or free distribution) of such sub-standard foodgrains not attract penal provisions relating to food adulteration? Let our legal experts ponder over this knotty issue.

All this indicates that the courts will continue to be busy in the years to come, settling questions of political and executive waywardness in that vital subject known as `law and order'.

Related links:
Major sop to Punjab farmers -- FCI asked to buy sub-standard paddy

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