24 May 2024  |   06:35am IST

Letter to the editor (24 May 2024)

ED must stop targetting Opposition leaders

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is often referred to as the ‘second CBI’ because of its zeal in selectively targeting the opposition leaders.  ED’s indiscriminate use of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that does not entitle bail to the accused, has been outrightly condemned by the opposition leaders.  The Supreme Court has, time and again, questioned the modus operandi of the ED.  

 Every major opposition party that is in power in States has reasons to be miffed with the central agency.  The top court has made it mandatory for the ED to furnish grounds in writing to the accused the reasons for arresting him/her.   

After a special court has taken cognisance of the money laundering complaint, the ED cannot arrest the accused under Section 19 of PMLA, the SC has recently ruled. 

ED should seek permission of the trial court for an accused’s custody and the latter is not required to apply for bail because such a person cannot be considered to be in custody.

Consequent to the temporary release of Arvind Kejriwal, and a slew of comments made by the SC, the die appears to be cast against the ED.  It will have to be extra careful now; on an earlier occasion the court had gone on record that if the selective targeting of politicians gained  currency among the corrupt, then the real corrupt and those who have actually committed irregularities would try to shied themselves by playing the victim card.

 Ganapathi Bhat,  Akola

The case of better late than never

The Election Commission of India has issued a stringent directive to the BJP and Congress amidst concerns over deteriorating quality of campaign rhetoric during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The directive came nearly a month after the ECI issued a notice to BJP president JP Nadda following allegations from the Opposition that PM Modi delivered a divisive speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara.   

The ECI has, in recent years, disappointed the Indian electorate by its inability to be effective, impartial and prompt in its role as the watchdog of elections. This has resulted in undermining its own authority and losing the trust of the people after it failed to take timely action on complaints, especially in the case of high and mighty people and was seen as partisan and biased. So far, India has voted to choose their Lok Sabha representatives in five out of the seven phases.

It is unfortunate that courts are now forced to do the work expected of the Election Commission and sit in judgement on the compliance of parties and candidates with the model code of conduct to be observed during elections.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

'Sky Lantern Festival' alien to Goan culture

The upcoming sky lantern festival planned in Morjim has reportedly evoked widespread criticism and outrage from environmental organizations and Goans in general. The festival involves releasing hundreds of candle lit paper lanterns into the sky. There is fear that this will pose a severe threat to the beach’s delicate natural ecosystem, not to mention the fire hazards it can lead to. It is learnt that the lanterns will be attached to fireproof threads. This can get the birds flying in the sky entangled in the thread. 

Hundreds of lit lanterns in the sky will drive away animals on the land and fish in the sea. Sky lantern festivals are alien to Goan culture. This festival originated in China an incredible 2000 years ago. In ancient China, sky lanterns were strategically used in wars for military communication. It is widely accepted that sky lanterns were first used in ancient China during the 3rd century BC. In some countries like Taiwan, sky lanterns are often still used to carry messages and to attach prayers. In Thailand a list of worrying or troubling thoughts are attached to the lanterns and it is believed that as the lantern drifts away so will these problems. Many believe that sky lanterns can bring good luck and during Chinese New Year thousands fill the sky whilst New Year's wishes are made. But having the sky lantern festival in Morjim will only bring problems. However, Goans do light lanterns in their homes during the various festivals which brings good luck.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Cannes most popular film festival

The 77th Cannes Film festival is held in France from May 14 to 25. The main attraction in this festival is screening of the film ‘Dog on trial’, a French movie based on true story in France where a dog bites all strangers. The film is Swiss France court room where a lawyer takes defence for a dog.  In France, dogs are most friendly and can be seen in the market, buildings and even in film shows. The other feature of the film festival is screening of Shyam Benegals  MANTHAN movie casting late Smita Patil. 

There are three Marathi movies by new directors and Maharashtra has represented India to show case it's film. Like any international Film festival, Cannes is most popular film festival giving opportunity to show case the talent in films of respective country.

Raju Ramamurthy, Vasco

Vote for the right candidate

Amidst the cacophony of the NDA aiming at 400-plus seats and wealth distribution emerging as a central campaign issue, we, the people of the country, seem to be in an Orwellian nightmare — which political party to choose and reject? 

The electorate looked confused a lot but for me it is very crystal clear, it is the political party that safeguards the Constitution in toto and one that ensures the fundamental rights in letter and spirit.

It means the electorate needs to choose a political party with scrupulous attention, without being distracted by twisted narratives. There are still two phases to go for the 2024 general Lok Sabha elections and people should utilize their fundamental right to vote and choose or reject. If we do not, then we are not going to get the right MPs who will work for the welfare of the people and not for their own development to fill their coffers.

Diomedes Pereira, Corlim


Iddhar Udhar