Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Extradition conditions

Abu Salem is in India extradited by Portugal on conditions that he would not be given death penalty and imprisonment would not be more than 25 years. TADA court judge told CBI that there could not be conditional appearance before court. It is the government of India that gave the undertaking accepting the conditions.

India should not have agreed to those conditions. TADA court is not bound by the undertaking. Abu Salem if found guilty will be sentenced as the court deems suitable. If the court sentences him to death or life imprisonment the government is likely to exercise power of president to pardon and commute sentences. When Abu Salem’s trial will begin and when final judgment will be delivered cannot be said at this time.

What happens to other accused in similar cases? They do not have the advantage of extradition conditions. India should not give any undertaking to other countries about punishment to criminals. They must be made to extraidite without conditions.

However the record of punishing people brought under extradition treaties does not inspire confidence. Most of them have been acquitted.

Holidays

India is a country of people belonging to many religions. All the major religions have their religious holidays. Sometimes these holidays come together and combined with Saturdays and Sundays they stretch to three or more days.

India should have only two public holidays Republic Day and Independence Day. Government employees have too many holidays. Those who need to take leave on a particular day to celebrate a feast or mourn can take casual leave. Gandhi Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayanti should not be holidays. Some religious holidays are needed by less than 1% of the people.

Parliament should not have a holiday when it convenes because a member died when it was not in session.

Brain and heart

Contemporary medical science believes brain is the seat of the person. A person who is brain dead is declared dead and other living organs are transplanted. Many times people who had heart transplantations had change of personality. They even remember some things which happened to brain dead person. This raises question about declaring a person whose heart beats but brain is dead as dead. What if contemporary medical science is wrong? Now life can be prolonged with artificial hearts. If we can have artificial brains and make brain dead persons live how wonderful it will be?

At one time doctors believed blood letting will bring down temperature and cure fever. Many times blood letting brought down temperature to such levels that the patients died. Many theories and practices have been proved wrong. Medical scientists must re-examine their theories about brain and death.

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