Seeking justice for Kathua victim; Colonising Moon: Pension pangs

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Opinion Watch

Seeking justice for Kathua victim

The eight-year-old victim of the Kathua gangrape and murder still awaits justice. The accused was stated to have been 15 years old at the time of crime. But the document may have been fudged. Even the Jammu and Kashmir High Court gave credence to the fudged document to allow the criminal enjoy life as a juvenile. The Supreme Court has stepped in turn the clock against the accused, asking for the trial of the accused as an adult.

The Times of India in its Editorial has given an account of the judicial knots of the heinous crime committed in 2008 – five senior doctors pinned down the age of the accused at the time of crime anything in 19-23; Supreme Court took three years to give its ruling; influential people can easily falsify documents; and that age be determined in such cases on the basis of ‘epigenetic clock’ technique.

The daily stated that similar is the case of the Gurgaon murder case, involving a 16-year-old who killed a class II student in 2017. After five years the Juvenile Justice Board has ruled for his trial as an adult. At a time when there is an explosion of heinous crime cases the judicial delays on procedural aspects may be taking stings out of the laws enacted for deterring the crimes.

Colonising Moon

The US and China are on course to colonise Moon in the absence of any international laws against the commercial exploitations of the outer space. The race to set up human colonies indeed favours a few nations. India lags behind in capabilities, and China’s bid to set up human colonies on the lines of the joint efforts of the US, the EU and Japan could have security ramifications.

The Economic Times has listed the gains since humans set their feet on Moon 50 years ago – discovery of hydrogen, oxygen and helium in the lunar atmosphere and ice on its southern polar surface; private entities joining the space race; and China’s edge in setting up human colonies. China, a backward engineering giant, has hugely benefited from the Russian space programme. Also, low-lying earth-orbit satellites are key to the communication systems, besides a host of activities, which serve the national interests.

It’s evident that the multilateral agencies such as the United Nations and others are talking shops with zero impact on big global events. That calls for urgent steps on the part of India to match the strategic gains of the US and China.

Pension pangs

There is a growing demand for the revival of the old pension after the batch of superannuating government employees that there’s a difference of ground and sky between pensions they are getting to what is being credited to the bank accounts of their elders. That set the backdrop for Congress, which in fact had carried forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government’s pension reforms, to commit to the revival of the old pension scheme, which pushed the BJP to the wall in Gujarat, while also resonating in the Gujarat polls.

The India Express in its Editorial has called the demand for revival of Old Pension Scheme a backward step, basing arguments on the extent of the liabilities of the Centre and states against their own revenues, while counting subscribers base to praise new pension scheme. The daily quoted the RBI report to state that the pension liability for states such as Bihar and Himachal Pradesh account for 26 per cent of their revenue. The Editorial is half-baked. It’s not the fault of the employees that the governments of Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have been most incompetent that they cannot raise their sources of revenue. The daily also doesn’t mention that the politicians – MPs and MLAs – draw multiple pensions. First, the political class should put their house in order and stop looting the country.

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