OPINION

Disproportionate



The Election Commission order transferring the Chennai Police Commissioner for his reported remarks in an interview praising Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the context of International Women's Day is rather heavy handed and disproportionate to his alleged offence.

R. Narayanan,
Chennai

* * *

It is normal for a government official to praise a Chief Minister. It cannot be interpreted to mean that he or she cannot be depended upon to discharge his or her duty faithfully. Even the officials of the Election Commission may admire a political leader. The Commission must make its own assessment and not allow itself to be influenced by any political party.

R. Sethumadhavan,
Chennai

* * *

For expressing a personal view, that too in a particular context, R. Nataraj has been made to pay a heavy price. The Commissioner has a good performance record and the difference in law and order, and traffic maintenance is there for all to see.

Mark Owen Fernandez,
Chennai

* * *

The Election Commission has gone overboard, perhaps in its enthusiasm to appear even-handed and firm in its response to violations of the model code of conduct. The transfer of a competent senior police officer for a minor indiscretion is totally out of proportion. In its zeal to appear firm, the Commission should take care not to infringe upon an individual's fundamental right to freedom of expression.

N.S. Sankararaman,
Chennai

* * *

It is rather unfortunate that the Election Commission has ordered the transfer of the people-friendly Police Commissioner for praising Ms. Jayalalithaa in an interview to the media. The views were expressed after the model code of conduct came into force but the occasion was International Women's Day. Is it not a fact that many officials, though they may not be open about it, support the powers-that-be?

R. Thiruvengadam,
Chennai

* * *

There may be any number of admirers of Ms. Jayalalithaa among government servants. Does it mean all of them will disregard their responsibility to be neutral in discharging their duties?

It is certainly out of place to draw such an adverse conclusion against an officer of established record.

R. Venugopal,
Chennai

* * *

The transfer order should serve as a lesson to those who have a yen to get into the good books of the establishment.

Though everyone is entitled to his or her preferences, under no circumstances should a public servant express them openly, election or no election.

V.S. Jayaraman,
Chennai