Delays in Issue of Visas; Indian Embassy at London


The unhelpful attitude of the Indian Embassy staff in various countries and their rude behaviour towards all, especially Indians, is well known.  

So there is nothing surprising in the following report, 0f 09 Dec 07.

IFS officer at India mission in UK attacked

New Delhi: An IFS officer, Anupam Ray,  on deputation to the High Commission in London, was assaulted on Friday by some Britons. The reason? There was an inordinate delay in issuing visas, said sources in the High Commission to HT.The offenders had to be taken away by the diplomatic protection group.

A shaken Ray, who was due to move to the US in January, is flying to Washington on Monday itself. An MEA spokesperson, however, denied the matter, saying there was only an incident of a lady assaulting a security guard with her umbrella. London Mayor Ken Livingstone had raised the visa delay matter during his recent visit to India. Another senior High Commission official, Gitesh Sarma, traveled to India last month to seek his transfer out of London as soon as possible.

Failure by the senior officials to put adequate systems in place to cope with the additional winter rush for visas to India has led to large queues in front of the High Commission choking traffic all the way beyond the London.

 Even the plan to outsource some of the consular arrangements (like collection of application forms and return of visa-stamped passports) has not taken off in London, although it is in place in many other Indian missions abroad, official sources said.

To add to their woes, the Mission has been flooded with complaints from people of Indian origin who are seeking their People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Indian Citizen (OIC) cards that will give them dual citizenship rights. 

Some senior officials, including Ray and Rajat Bagchi, who oversees Indian Affairs as the Minister (Coordination) in the High Commission, are being transferred out following the spate of complaints.

Does India have any responsibility for wefare of Ehnic Indians?


The Government of India has been making a lot of Hoop La and celebrating the success of NRIs.  Amartya Sen is celebrated since he has a Nobel, Chawla for being an astronaut, Swaraj Paul for being super rich. And the list is getting longer by the day. How then can the Government forget those in the middle east, in Fiji, Srilanka or Malaysia? Because they have problems? Because they do not have dollars to throw?  

Govt shuns Malaysia Hindu rights leader

New Delhi: Having expressed its concern about the alleged discrimination of ethnic Indians in Malaysia officially, the government on Thursday chose not to meet P. Waytha Moorthy, head of the Hindu Rapid Action Force, even as senior BJP leaders met him.Waytha Moorthy, in Delhi to garner support from the government, failed to meet the Prime Minister, external affairs minister and senior foreign ministry officials but did get an audience with the BJP’s LK Advani and Jaswant Singh.

He told them that around 10,000 Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia in the last 50 years, adding: “Hindus are being stripped of their dignity and self-respect” by this vindictive action. He also said there is a steady attempt to “Islamise” Malaysia’s multi-religious population and Shariat rulings are being made binding on non-Muslims”.

The BJP parliamentary party later issued a statement condemning the Malaysian government’s policy on ethnic Indians.

No withdrawal of life support for terminally ill


No withdrawal of life support for terminally ill

  The withdrawal of life support for a terminally ill patient, a patient who is comatose for lond period, many cases of ‘brain dead’  , has been an emotive issue. Legality apart it is a terribly agonising decision to make for anyone. The government must lay down clear guidelines on this issue. Looks like a clear decisión on the part of the government Hill take a long time. 

New Delhi: The Government has turned down the recommendation of the Law Commission of setting up a panel regarding withdrawal of life support systems from terminally ill patients.“The Government has examined the recommendations and is not in favour of accepting the same,” Law Minister Hans Raj Bhardawaj informed the Lok Sabha. According to the Law Commission recommendation, every “competent patient,” who is suffering from terminal illness, has a right to refuse medical treatment.

The doctor must be satisfied that the decision is made by a competent patient and that it is an informed decision, the recommendation said.

In case of incompetent patients, the doctor shall not withhold or withdraw treatment unless he has obtained opinion of a body of three expert medical practitioners from a panel prepared by high-ranking authority.

The decision to withhold or withdraw must be based on guidelines issued by Medical Council of India, the Law Commission said.

Pedestrians Bullied Again


Pedestrians Bullied Again 

     Over 60 % of victims in road accidents are Pedestrians and riders of two wheelers. These are no ‘accidents’. The system of planning and implementation of roads systems is a sure recipe for pedestrian deaths.As on date, the entire road systems in India have been and continue to be designed with a distinct bias towards vehicular movement.

    The basic acceptance that a living city has human beings, animals, vegetation and buildings, all in a state of flux is forgotten in the frenzy for accommodating speeding vehicles of various hues and dimensions. As per the current perverted thinking, the fastest vehicles get the first priority in all stages of planning and execution of road projects. The slower moving vehicles are down the ladder and the public transport system is the last to figure in any transport concept and road engineering.

     Cyclists and Pedestrians are hardly considered, except as a nuisance in the discussion and planning forums. This has lead to a state of affairs where crores are spent on massive engineering projects of multilane highways, throughways, bypasses, and innumerable flyovers with little or no thought about the presence of very slow moving vehicles and pedestrians.  

     Bulk of the population moves by public transport and on foot over short or long distances. Even those using public transport have still to cover the distance from their homes or places of work to various nodes and hubs on foot. Walking along roads and crossing roads is an integral part of this pedestrian – transport linkage. 

     Roads and flyovers that have been planned and built have not taken the need and necessity of the major quantum of road users. There are roads kilometres long without pavements. There are long stretches with no pedestrian crossings. Subways and stairs are far and few, poorly maintained not secure, prone to flooding in the monsoons. Zebra crossings are far and few, with hardly any markings that are visible. Traffic lights have signals that cater to two wheelers and above only.

     Indicators for pedestrians to cross safely are almost always absent. Zebra crossings are not respected by motorists, who park their vehicles across the zebra crossings.

     Old and the infirm are honked at and horned in to a state of abject terror by the unruly motorists.  Pedestrians set foot outside their homes every day in fear and trepidation. There is no surety that they will reach back home safely. Pavements where present are either dug up, occupied by parked vehicles, rubbish heaps or vendors.

     There is hardly any space for the pedestrian to walk beside the road. Under these conditions, the present drive against ‘jaywalking’ pedestrians is adding insult to injury.

     Let the government agencies first tidy up their act, ensure adequate space for the pedestrians, and arrange for crossing places at short intervals. Let the Traffic Police pay full atention to managing the unruly motorists.

Enforcement of Traffic Rules in Delhi by the new Police Commissioner


     

      Delhi has a new Police Commissioner. New broom always sweeps better. We wish him all the best in his efforts to enforce rules in Delhi.

     Delhi  trafic police seems to be following the footsteps of Mumbai Police. They have commenced additional checks at night.

     We hope this not a passing phase. 

 ALL THOSE planning late night drives in south Delhi had better mind their road manners. For, potentially dangerous traffic offences like over speeding, lane cutting and signal jumping could just land them in jail.

     In an effort to provide an effective deterrent, the south district police have begun registering criminal cases for serious traffic violations that commuters, including those driving private vehicles, usually get away with by paying a nominal fine under the Central Motor Vehicles Act.

     ‘Serious’ violators are now being booked for rash driving under the Indian Penal Code’s (IPC) Section 279, which is a bailable offence. “The most common violation is of over speeding clubbed with signal jumping. Curbing such violations is our top priority,” said a police officer About two months ago, police commissioner Y.S. Dadwal had issued a similar direction that specifically pertained to commercial vehicles.

    

     Now, this new drive that was put in place last week as a model concept in south Delhi includes private vehicles within its ambit as well. Moreover, specific trouble areas have been identified and special pickets have been put up near the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Maa Anandmai Marg (Kalkaji) and Mathura Road, said a police officer “Statistics show these stretches record the highest number of fatalities and accidents during the night,” he added.

      In what is also a first, local police, traffic police and the reserve police force are now combining their resources to ensure road safety in the city primarily between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The police say 40 vehicles have been impounded and more than 25 drivers arrested for dangerous driving last week.

      The drivers were later released on bail, said a police officer Anil Shukla, DCP (south), said, “The character of road traffic changes significantly at night. The purpose of joint drives is to identify the trouble areas and ensure commuters don’t put the lives of others in danger”.

     Dedicated teams of local police officers assist the traffic police during these drives. This drive has its secondary benefits too, the police say “In the process, we may also be able to curb incidents of car jacking” said a police officer.

An Avoidable Tragedy


An Avoidable Tragedy  

     A 20-YEAR-OLD boy was killed in a road accident near west Delhi’s Janakpuri on Sunday night. Alok Kumar, the deceased, was allegedly racing with another two-wheeler when he crashed into a Metro pillar as he tried to avoid hitting another car Alok died on the spot, while his friend Sanjeev Kumar, riding pillion with him, was seriously injured, police said.

      Sanjeev was rushed to Deen Dayal Upadhaya Hospital with a few broken teeth and a fracture in his right hand, an officer said. The two were returning home to Uttam Nagar from a wedding near Rajouri Garden, when the mishap reportedly occurred around 11.30 p.m., the police said, adding that both youngsters were drunk.

     Fruit sellers near the Janakpuri East Metro Station told police that Alok was racing with another motorcycle. “As the two motorbikes approached the Metro station, a car suddenly came in between. Alok lost his balance,” said a police officer.

     The motorcycle hit the Metro pillar and the impact threw Alok off the bike. His head hit a divider, police said, adding he died on the spot with severe head injuries. The post-mortem report of Alok and a medical examination of Sanjeev confirmed a high level of alcohol in their blood samples.

      The police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving. Alok’s father Rajinder Kumar owns a tailoring shop in Uttam Nagar. Both Alok and Sanjeev worked in an export firm.

ravi.bajpai@hindustantimes 

Doctors in the Dock for Negligence


 A dilemma. What should we do? 

     Two doctors have been held responsible for the death of a 13 year old boy, who was to be operated upon for Tonsilitis . Both the doctors have been awarded two years RI.

     Gaurav Batra was the only son of his parents.  A  terrible tragedy indeed for the family. 

     The family may feel vindicated to some extent, as their precious son can never come back. Justice has been meted out.  

     Now what about the doctors held responsible for the death? 

 What do you think?

     Are doctors to be treated as criminals in every case of death? Are doctors expected to be perfect? Do doctors wish harm to their  patients? What will be result of such judgements on doctors, on patients?

     What about death due to negligence of a doctor?  

     How many are the cases where a judge has held an innocent man guilty and even sentenced the person to death? How many prosecutors and judges have been held guilty of negligence when their rulings have been overturned by higher courts? 

     We have seen a spate of cases in the recent past where new evidence and DNA samples have helped free innocent persons who were held guilty by the jury and the judges? Those proved to be innocent had served long years in prisons and even on the death row. 

What do you think?

     IN A rare verdict, two senior surgeons of a private hospital in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash have been sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment in a case of medical negligence.

     The negligence by the two doctors led to the death of a 13-year old boy who was to be operated for tonsillitis. In the order that was passed recently, Metropolitan Magistrate J.E Nahar held surgeon Omkar M. Parmar, 68, and anesthetist N. Dutta, 73, guilty under Section 304 A (causing death by a rash and negligent act) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Holding them guilty for the death of Gaurav Batra at Sukhda Hospital of Greater Kailash in 1995,

     Nahar also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 each on both convicts. Refusing the doctors’ plea for leniency, the court said the complainant parents had lost their only child as a result of their negligence. However, the court later granted them bail on a personal and a surety bond of Rs 15,000 each.

     The court accepted their bail bonds till December 29. The duo will have to obtain further bail from the appellate court failing which they would have to surrender on the said date. As per the prosecution, on June 13, 1995, Gauray, who was advised surgery for tonsillitis, was operated upon for his ailment at Sukhda Hospital. Gauray, however, did not regain consciousness hours after the operation.

     His parents, worried and anxious, made repeated calls to the two doctors Parmar, a resident of Saket in south Delhi, and N. Dutta from Faridabad – to come and attend to their son, but they failed to do so.

     A first information report was lodged against the two doctors at Greater Kailash police station. The court, during the trial, had, however, disallowed the prosecution’s plea that they are charged under harsher provisions of the IPC dealing with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life term.

     naziya.alvi@hindustantimes.com