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MyVoice is to lift up the voices and experiences

MyVoice is to lift up the voices and experiences
Highlights

MyVoice is to lift up the voices and experiences

India offered consular access to Pak for Ajmal Kasab

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday pronounced continued stay on the execution of Kulbushan Jadhav and asked the Pakistan to reconsider the sentence, is a landslide victory for India and it also directed the Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav, while upholding that it had violated the Article 36 of the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations 1963, as it had not informed India about the arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav, immediately after Pakistan Army had taken him into custody and Pakistan also flouted the Vienna Convention by declining India's repeated request for allowing officials of its High Commission in Islamabad to meet him and arrange lawyers to defend him and in this regard by denying him right.

"Article 36 of the Vienna Convention enshrines that when a national of a foreign country is arrested, they must be informed of the right to have their country's consulate notified and should also have the right to regular consultation with their consulate's officials during their detention and trial".

The ICJ in its verdict said that Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016 and sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on charges of spying in April 2017 should remain suspended till the review of the conviction.

Putting it plainly, the dispute involved between India and Pakistan is tha an Indian national, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, whom Pakistan accused of espionage and being an agent of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of India, also tagging him as someone seeking to indulge in terrorism.

Pakistan further claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan near the border it shares with Iran, whereas India claimed that Jadhav — a former Indian Navy officer — was kidnapped by Pakistan from Iran — where he was conducting business — and was subsequently transferred to Pakistan for interrogation, and detained accordingly. The charges that Pakistan leveled against Jadhav were serious – espionage and terrorism, among others.

The Pakistan claims that in case of arrest, detention or sentence made on political or security grounds, each side may examine the case on its merits.

Pakistan's defence in the case before the ICJ involved pleading that owing to the 2008 agreement signed between itself and India, the aforementioned clause would prevail, and hence, it was well within its rights to reject consular access to India in the present circumstances. The ICJ rejected this contention.

The ICJ however, left it to Pakistan Government to choose the means of reviewing the case and thus rejected New Delhi's argument that Islamabad should be asked to conduct the re-trial in a civilian court of Pakistan.

The ICJ also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan subsumes admissibility of the case and claims by Islamabad that India had not provided the actual nationality of Jadhav, though the Pakistan had acknowledged the fact that Jadhav was an Indian national.

The verdict castigates Pakistan's legal process against Jadhav from the initial failure to inform India of the arrest, besides the failure to inform him of his rights, to provide him legal representation, and to provide him an open and fair trial.

However, the ICJ didn't annul the trial or direct a release, but the order should give it pause for thought, and allow both sides within its establishment to order a comprehensive review of the trial process, if not a full retrial.

The ICJ Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, read out the judgement at "Peace Palace" – the seat of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations in The Hague. A 16-judge-bench of the ICJ unanimously concluded that it had jurisdiction on the case.

The court had near unanimity on seven other key points of the judgement with Pakistan's former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Gillani being the lone but consistent dissenter.

On other side, the Pakistan's government also claimed major victory over the judgment, pointing out that the court had not accepted India's written and oral submissions asking for the ICJ to annul the Pakistani verdict, and to direct Jadhav's release.

The Pakistan government claimed that Jadhav remains in Pakistan Jail in accordance with the laws of Pakistan. However diplomats said that ordering Jadhav's release was never really an expectation from the ICJ.

It is the time for introspection in the power corridors in Pakistan. However, the Pakistan determined that he was spy who under Pakistani law was not entitled to consular access and, similarly, that India having 'interfered in the internal affairs of Pakistan' had also forfeited its right to consular access, under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention".

In case of the lone surviving perpetrator of the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, India offered consular access to Pakistan. But then, India's judiciary and the principles ensuring the rule of law in India have always been a cut above the rest.

Gudipati Rajendera Kumar, Hyderabad

Electric vehicles can cut down pollution hazard

The scanty rainfall during the south west monsoon in this season has raised much concerns and consternation among the people of India, especially among the south lndians.

The availability of underground water is found dwindling in many metropolitan cities across the country. The amount of heat turns fierce and our country is almost on the verge of a severe draught since most of the areas turned dry and parched.

The increasing use of refrigerators, ACs, the emission of the toxic gas from the locomotives run by traditional fuels and the presence of industrial filth add the situation a little more worse and deplorable.

In addition the price of the traditional fuels like petrol and diesel has been souring up indiscriminately. The work a day people are often found the scapegoats of this incorrigible hiking of petroleum products. Under such circumstances the relevance of electric vehicles are quite essential and worthwhile.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman's announcement of additional income tax exemption of rupees 1.5 lakhs for the purchasers of electric vehicles in the budget 2019-2020 is certainly a revolution in the history of Indian politics. Government's recommendation of reduction of GST on electric vehicles from 12 per cent to 5.per cent is also a stepping stone.

Foreseeing the ensuing disaster due to the mushrooming of vehicles run by petrol and diesel and its dreadful and devastating aftermath of environmental pollution, the decision to establish electric vehicles and increase the production of electric batteries indigenously are certainly a welcome sign.

The rapid increase of heavy traffic on the busy roads and thoroughfare is always a matter of concern for the pedestrians and equally endanger the tranquility of the inhabitants.

India, being marked as one among the countries with the most polluted cities, needs to pay an emergent attention in this regard. Moreover in the further future, the availability of oil may not be affluent and we have to continue depending the middle-east countries for transportation.

Under this hapless and reprehensible circumstances, we have to initiate all possible efforts to be self-sufficient in the manufacture of batteries and the wide-spread use of electric vehicles.

The present situation of our country demands a serious and an effective reforms in the field of the production of electric batteries and vehicles indigenously and their proper ,systematic and creative implementation and use.

We should be on a par with the other Asian and European countries in this regard at least by 2030.India's plan to replace all the petroleum and diesel fueled vehicles by electric vehicles by 2030 is undoubtedly is a matter of pleasure and great relief.

Prabhakaran Vallath, Vatakara, Kozhikode, Kerala

'Smart' improvement needed for better railway food service

The Ministry of Railways is now adopting smart ways to ease passenger burden and avoid confusion while buying food on trains and at railway premises.

Social media platforms are now abuzz with extensive awareness campaign on the recently introduced 'No Bill- Free Food' drive under its catering policy.

Through such effective campaigns passengers are now made aware of their consumer rights to demand of bills for food purchased at railway stations and on board trains.

Further Indian Railways should now strive to find an innovative way to sell food on train and thus help passengers get away with the nuisance of cash shortage and unnecessary tips menace especially on premium trains.

A possible study to understand the system of consumer food purchase mechanism as followed across other railway networks globally may perhaps be a value add to the Hon'ble Ministry and may help to enhance the quality of food served on trains in India.

Also better innovation through smart card based food purchase system and enhancing the existing rail food app based booking features to be user friendly is essential to be looked into by the Railways.

Nevertheless quality of food served and excellent and hygienic method of food packing system thus forms an important aspect otherwise to the passengers who pay to buy food.

Varun Dambal, Bangalore

Rein in the exploiting pharma companies

Full front page advertisement inserted by a leading pharmacist company offers as much as 20 per cent discount on medicines. While discounts offered by a few shops and wholesale dealers range from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, there is also yet another set of dispensing chemists who allow just 10 per cent only.

Amidst all such erratic trends of price variations, in-house pharmacies attached to the corporate hospitals maintain strict adherence to the printed MRPs only,feigning innocence about the prevalence of varied rates of discounts in the open market.

Still worse is the situation,where no discount,what so ever at all,is allowed,in cases where the buyers are unaware of such discount offers and only to allow a nominal discount,if demanded only if demanded. In a nutshell,so to say,extreme chaos is ruling the pharmacy market.

My question is "Should the government remain just as a silent spectator to all such wheeling-dealings and take no disciplinary action? Should the consumer continue to be taken for a ride?

The selling price system needs thorough streamlining so as to ensure that the consumer is rest assured about his/her getting medicines due worth in return for the amount parted with.

You will appreciate that a patient should not be put to extra loss of peace of mind and unnecessary nuisance on this count of "discount variable"in addition to the one caused by the ailment he/she is suffering from.Peace be upon the patient!Time for the government to rein in the pharmacy trade.

Seshagiri Row Karry, Hyderabad

Karnataka should see a people's movement now

Democracy and constitutional ethics went for a complete toss in southern state of Karnataka. In politics, wishes can, evidently, be horses -- the ones that are traded to make or break governments.

The unending political drama in Karnataka snowballed into constitutional crisis and fresh legal battle as the JD(S)-Congress coalition government facing the threat of collapse ignored by the Governor's deadline.

As the deadline neared, it vociferously questioned the governor's power to issue such a direction with HD Kumaraswamy citing a Supreme Court verdict that a governor cannot act as ombudsman of the legislature.

This unusual no-confidence vote by the rebel group invites questions of political ethics, since it is allegedly at the behest of the opposition BJP, and also opens up a legal conundrum. When the Speaker took his time to accept the resignations, the matter landing at the Supreme Court's doorstep was an expected corollary.

The BJP has mastered the art of packaging horse trading. They did it in Goa and also in the Northeast. And the repeat in Karnataka is quite bewildering.

It has certainly set new trends and established itself as a party with a difference. In the crisis unfolding in Karnataka, the party has changed the rules of engagement in the handling of members of the legislative assembly by springing a surprise that its rivals – the leaders of the Janata Dal Secular (JDS)-Congress coalition government – are bound to spar over for a long time to come.

An improvisation over the Karnataka BJP's innovation of subverting the anti-defection law by getting Congress and JD(S) MLAs to resign from the membership of the house and later getting them re-elected on a BJP ticket has made the current move deadlier than its 2008 experiment.

But what the state faces today is of a different order today: a mad rush to grab power at any cost with utter disregard to ethics, protocol and the people's best interests.

This is also a pointer to the structural anomaly in Indian politics and the failure of the Anti-defection law in preventing political opportunism.

Part of the problem stems from lawmakers not being true to the primary factor behind their victory — was it due to personal popularity, ideology, party or the leadership

Never in history has Karnataka been so humiliated and people's interests trivialised so blatantly. People's disconnect with democracy and their docility is partly to blame for the political shenanigans rampant today.

Everyone, from the intellectual to the farmer, was silent while the media happily capitalised on the sorry state of our government. As of now, there is little chance of the coalition government surviving.

If it does, it will again face this problem sooner than later. If it doesn't, the BJP is also bound to face a wave of greed. Or will it go in for mid-term elections in December? If so, will it see 1985 happening? Hence, people must speak out to bring about change.

People have fought against injustices and pressed elected officials to work for society in the past. Political leaders have been swept into and out of power by mass movements.

Think of the JP Movement, for example, or Occupy Wall Street, the Jasmine Movement, or even the recent movement in Hong Kong against extradition to mainland China.

Discontent, incumbency fatigue, increasingly severe crises of water and drought, and the harsh realities of the economy continue to haunt people and we need to force our governments to listen to us.

One should have already seen a people's movement in the state by now. It is important at this stage to measure the true value of people power and remind the government of it.

It is important to measure the depth of public engagement with the day-to-day issues of governance. Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy and liberty.

Javvadi Lakshmana Rao, Visakhapatnam

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