TAMIL NADU

Electoral reforms

Sir, — The article `Ganging up against the people' (July 21) has to be read in conjunction with the report `No good politics without disclosures, says survey' (July 21) so as to assess the mood of the nation in the context of the Representation of the People Act Amendment Bill, 2002. The survey reveals that two-thirds of the voters think that legislation without addressing the ``criminal and corrupt aspects'' is a futile exercise. The clarifications offered by the Minister of State for Law, Ravi Shankar Prasad, do not address these aspects in their true perspective so as to fall in line with the desire of all the political parties who wish to place themselves above the law.

The narrow definition of ``heinous'' offences and the logic advanced for ignoring the first charge on possible grounds of innocent implication but not so in two cases does not make for one's comprehension. The converse of it may also come true or the candidate may get convicted on both counts.

As regards disclosure of assets, the Minister is very much concerned that the law abiders who deal with white money may get penalised by public scrutiny whereas those who resort to black deals will go free because they will not be transparent. The declaration of assets and liabilities will put the candidate in a bind during his entire tenure and dissuade those who have resorted to black deals. Hence protectionism is not the answer.

Syed Gowher Ali,

Chennai

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