Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Dec 2018 12:14:56










THE first major step towards the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya was cleared when a British court on Monday found him guilty of manipulation of accounts to secure loans from banks and willfully defrauding them. Thus for the first time Indian investigating agencies have been able to prepare a watertight case against a willful defaulter and convince the court of the merits of their findings. The fugitive billionaire had raised several issues during the course of the trial of the case, including the conditions in Indian jails. All these alibis raised by Mallya were thrown out because they could not stand the intense scrutiny during the trial. The court has now sent the matter to the British Home Secretary to decide on extradition of Mallya. Thus the case has gone to political executive’s court. India can use its diplomatic reach to get the extradition process expedited as early as possible. However, the Magistrate’s court has given freedom to Mallya to appeal against the trial court’s order. Thus one hurdle still remains to be crossed to get Mallya back to the country.


THE decision by hoteliers’ association in Pune to adopt the ‘half-filled water glass’ initiative to save water and avoid its wastage is another reminder of the dangers of water scarcity that are set to hit India hard in the near future. While many hotels in various parts of the country have initiated measures on the lines of ‘half-filled water glass’ it is just a proverbial drop in the ocean. On an average, about 100 millilitres of water is wasted per customer per visit. Collectively, this is a huge wastage that the country just cannot afford. While innovative measures like the ‘half-glass’ are welcome, there is a dire need of larger role to the water regulatory agencies in initiating punitive action against violators. Chandigarh Municipal Council has a plan where it issues challans and fine of Rs. 2000 for wastage of water. Of course, it is not the sole responsibility of Government agencies to curb water wastage and help in its conservation. General public is equal partner in saving the most precious gift of nature. Sustained awareness and strict deterrents can only achieve this.