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Bengaluru: As a Senior Retired Judge of two High Courts and a thorough professional, I still do not cease to be a citizen of India and am deeply concerned about the welfare of every other citizen more so the common man starting from the poorest strata for whom my heart bleeds and then upwards to the middle class and the upper middle class who are the persons who count. Those above manage to survive, but they do concern me because they also matter as much.

A simple analysis indicates that there is universal unhappiness and frustration at the disastrous economic conditions; people cannot afford to buy their day-to-day food requirements, educate and above all nourish their children, pay for the out-of-reach cost of cooking, the transport even by the simplest method with the petrol and diesel prices being out of control and the greatest threat of the banks on the verge of collapse. The figures emerging whereby certain privileged persons are sanctioned loans running into thousands of crores after which they abscond, and no efforts are made to prevent this happening or to bring them back is making a mockery of the law.

Retired Justice Michael Saldanha

It is an admitted position that all banks’ corpus or capital consists of savings from the general public of their hard-earned money. No businessman puts his capital into the banks, they only suck out the bank’s capital i.e. the savings of the depositor citizens. The law requires that security be obtained before loans are advanced which applies rigorously to anybody who wants a need-based housing loan or advance to deal with a temporary crisis and if the loan is not repaid with huge interest and bank commission, penal action follows and most of the time the collateral security being seized.

There are one class of persons who are sanctioned loans with zero security through corrupt practices and these persons never repay the loans or even the interest and the amounts involved are running into thousands of lakhs or crores of rupees. The law requires that a loan cannot be written off unless every available means of recovery has been adopted which necessarily includes legal action against the defaulter, attachment of the property and arrest and detention. If this is not happening, it is only because of corrupt practices.

All these massive amounts of money are quietly written off and no questions asked. The banks are on the verge of collapse because of this, and the depositors will be virtually finished. This is the principal cause for the economy being in a disastrous condition and there is absolutely no solution in sight. Unless immediate action emerges, the country will go bankrupt and the sad story is that the major political parties are doing nothing. In this situation, the Aam Aadmi Party has demonstrated that they have intelligently worked to upgrade the quality of education for the common citizens with high standards both educational and ethical and even better conditions than private institutions.

Basic requirements that contribute to security like free water and electricity, the same applies to public transport which are areas that provide not only relief but upgradation of the quality of life. These are not empty promises, but concrete achievements in the recent past which require a national pattern to be made a national pattern. To my mind – these are the factors that count. In public life where corruption allows the construction of high-rise buildings in prohibited areas by destroying the environment, destroying the drainage and leaving the inhabitants to fend for themselves, these are basic amenities that are non-existent.

It is very necessary to ensure that the laws are enforced and that every default in public life from refusal to remove the garbage, roads on which it is impossible to drive and no redressal for grievances must be reversed. I have examined this situation and found that the Aam Aadmi Party is the only one that has worked militantly and given the type of Jana Seva that the citizens need if they are to survive. In Mangaluru a determined effort is in place whereby a grievance portal has been inaugurated by me on Gandhi Jayanti Day with the pledge that the total failure situation in public life will be reversed and I have the confidence that this will happen in the short run because AAP has demonstrated that it means business and that it can and will achieve results.

These are some of the reasons why I lend my support to this effort and why I am confident that it will achieve the desired results. I believe that every right-thinking citizen of every community must participate in this effort to improve the quality of life, to convert Anyaya into Nyaya. I will get back with some more cogent reasons in the coming few weeks, but in the meanwhile, my appeal is to support this venture which is virtually a matter of survival. When Gandhiji referred to wiping every tear from every eye, he was referring to public welfare which has to and must become our top priority.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Justice Michael F. Saldanha (Retd)

Michael Francis Saldanha (born 13 February 1942), popularly known as M. F. Saldanha, is a former Justice of the Bombay High Court. He was enrolled as an Advocate on October 10, 1964, and practised in various kinds of matters ranging from Criminal, Customs and Central Excise cases. He was appointed as an Assistant Government Pleader on the Constitutional Penal handling work on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra in 1974. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on July 30, 1990, and permanent Judge on July 28, 1992. Transferred to the Karnataka High Court on July 1, 1994. Retired on 13th February 2004

Although retired from official duty, he conducted an unofficial investigation into the 2008 attacks on Christians in southern Karnataka and was outspoken against the protests and published a report in early 2011 investigating the attacks on Christian institutions and people, written up after he visited 413 locations, examined 673 witnesses and 2,114 victims of the attacks.


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