The conviction of former Union Minister Sukh Ram by a Delhi court for possession of disproportionate assets is a reminder of many other such cases pending in various courts against other neo-rich ministers and political heavyweights.

Every effort should be made to bring in reforms so that corruption among politicians is effectively checked. The Central Information Commission should take the lead in this direction by arranging priority hearing of petition No.CIC/WB/C/2008/00868 and CIC/WB/A/2009/00038 against the Prime Minister’s Office about wealth declaration by Union Ministers much before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Ironically, corruption among politicians is prevalent in almost all political parties. Even Sukh Ram, who was caught red-handed with crores of rupees in cash at his residence during his tenure as Union Minister in a Congress regime, was subsequently embraced by the BJP! It is just by chance that the country presently has a Prime Minister whose honesty cannot be doubted by even his political opponents.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal,

1775, Kucha Lattushah, Dariba, Chandni Chowk, Delhi – 110 006.

Pension pangs

The Central Government pensioners, not covered by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), have been denied health care facilities by the Centre. On the other hand, the governments of various states such as Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh provide medical help to their pensioners at par with their serving employees. The plight of the pensioners was taken cognisance of by the Centre in 1998. It had, through Office Memorandum dated June 5, 1998, of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare pursuant to Office Memorandum dated April 15, 1997, of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, cited the Ministry’s decision that the pensioners should not be deprived of medical help in their old age when they require it the most. The Ministry had no objection to extension of the Central Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1944, to the Central Government pensioners living in non-CGHS areas as recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission.

Despite this, no executive orders for implementation thereof have been issued so far, resulting in great hardship to the Central pensioners.

Will Prime Minister Manmohan Singh look into the problem now and redress this longstanding grievance? S. K. Kakkar,

General Secretary, Union Govt. Pensioners’ Welfare Association, Rohtak (Haryana).

Ain’t big enough

I have been a subscriber of Big TV since September last year but have become more of a victim than a consumer. I have two Smart Cards, 200524550424 and 200524550121, and my Idy. No. is 0000000001029348.

The Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG)-controlled Big TV DTH service operates from Mumbai. I am not aware of its local outlets in Delhi. Its agents supply set-top boxes and after installation leave the customer at the mercy of the customer service centre based in Mumbai. I have requested their service centre through e-mail (after exhausting all other avenues) to furnish details of the amount paid by me so far, the current balance in my account, and the details of the package allotted to me.

It is more than a month now that I have been pursuing this matter with them and I still remain clueless. It is time they took notice and addressed my grievance, or else I would be forced to go to consumer court.

N. S. Kapur,

K (U)-6, Pitampura, Delhi-110 088.

No refund

I have passed out from the Chitkara Institute of Engineering and Technology, a premier educational institution in North India, and am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the college.

At the time of admission, a certain amount of money was taken by the college authorities as security deposit, which was refundable at the time of leaving the institute. I was in the May 2004-June 2008 batch. Our batch has not been refunded the security money even seven months after the completion of the course. This shows up the callous attitude of the college authorities. When it comes to students, they have to pay the semester fee for the next semester even before the current one ends!

I request the institute to issue our security cheques soonest.

Ashish Sharma,

House No. 154, S.S.T. Nagar, Patiala – 147 001.

Criminals at large

The safety and security of people in Aligarh is at stake because, like Delhi, it has become a transit point for criminals. Hardly a day passes when they are not looting or killing people for money. On January 30, two such incidents took place at Janakpuri and Khair. Over a dozen such incidents were reported within a span of 20 days. Criminals are getting bolder and seem unafraid of the police and the law. It is high time laws were amended to provide stringent punishment for criminals.

Rajjo Nandan Vaish,

Palamal Street, House No. 9/16, Mahavir Ganj, Aligarh – 202 021.