Referring to the remark of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir that chronic shortage of judges is responsible for the high pendancy and delays, your editorial Quick Justice (January 9) has impressed the need to address the problem and solve it without delay. In our country, cases go on for decades without decision. Why go to the 1993 Hindi movie Damini to explain it The corruption cases against former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav are going on for decades. And he said that his grandsons will fight the case. So the rich, the influential and the politicians know how to delay cases and deny justice. The awareness created by the recent rape and murder case of the 23-year-old student in Delhi may bring some amendment to law in this regard. But that should not in any way lower the importance of bringing judicial reform without delay. Besides cases going from court to court, postponement of cases is another villain. Lawyers are generally against bringing reforms in this regard. It is a money-minting business. Hundreds of families involved in litigation have lost their every thing and many have died without getting justice. We should have a system that renders quick justice and that no case goes beyond a period of, say, two years. Corresponding reforms should also be introduced in investigation and other places wherever required.
This refers to the unjustified criticism on rail-fare hike that took place after a long time. The main problem in our country is that here fiscal decisions are taken according to political requirements rather than economic principles! Despite overall increase in prices of all commodities, rail fares were never hiked despite heavy odds. Such a system can derail Indian Railways to be on verge of bankruptcy, as has been the case of national airliner Air India. The country could survive interruption in services of Air India caused by non-payment of staff salary because private airlines were there. But such a situation cannot even be imagined in Indian Railways, which has a monopoly in providing train-services. There should be a system whereby there may be annual auto revision of rail fares in tune with general price index. It will not only give increased revenue to Indian Railways but will make people adjust easily to annual marginal rise of rail fares. Rounding off rail fares in multiples of rupees five will eliminate pocketing of balance money by some. In case of prestigious trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi or Duranto, and also in first-class air-conditioned coaches in all trains, such rounding off can be in multiples of, say, Rs 50. Indian Railways should also discontinue serving food in trains after cost being charged compulsorily with ticket cost. Instead, packaged food by renowned companies can be sold by giving sale incentive to train staff. Most airline companies have discontinued practice of charging cost of food with tickets on domestic flights. Such a system will avoid food wastage.