Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Oct 2018 12:27:25











ACTING on the directive of the Supreme Court on candidates with criminal record contesting elections, the Election Commission (EC) has come up with elaborate instructions to electoral officers, parties and candidates. But these appear to be mere cosmetic in nature and will have no consequence as far as the purpose with which they have been issued. The EC has asked those contesting elections to publicise the criminal cases they are facing at least three times during the electoral process. It is not that the people are not aware of the cases their candidates are facing, nor are the parties who sponsor them. The issue here is of morality on the part of both the contesting candidate as well as the political parties that field them. The Supreme Court has left the issue to the wisdom of the Parliament. But it has become pretty clear that the lawmakers have hardly any enthusiasm to debar their own ilk facing criminal charges from contesting elections. In fact shelter has been taken of the oft-repeated cliche ‘innocent till found guilty.’ The new measure will have no effect.




EVEN though the drop in road fatalities in one year is only marginal, as per the details from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, it is welcome. For, injuries from road traffic accidents form the 8th biggest cause of deaths in the country. In that case, even the drop of approximately 3.3 per cent in fatalities can mean a lot to the overall road safety issue. The Ministry, headed by the dynamic Mr. Nitin Gadkari, is making all out efforts to reduce the extent of road accidents across the country, and the drop in fatalities indicates an encouraging improvement in the overall traffic conditions in the country especially on highways. This should be considered a positive sign. It must be admitted that with improved roads and better architecture of the surface passageways, the speed of traffic movement has increased, leading to more dangerous possibilities of accidents. It is equally true, however, that the Government is showing a greater awareness of the problems in a faster-moving traffic. Obviously those efforts are bearing good fruits, which is most welcome.