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Letters to the Editor: 13 October, 2019

letters to the editor, afternoon voice,Mariam Thresia is India’s ninth Catholic saint

With the canonisation of Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan as a saint on October 13, 2019, India now has nine saints of her own. They are — St. Gonsalo Garcia, St. Francis Xavier, St. Alphonsa, St. John de Britto, St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal, St. Joseph Vaz, St. Mother Teresa and St. Mariam Thresia.

St. Mariam Thresia is Kerala’s fourth Catholic saint. The first three are St. Alphonsa, St.Kuriakose Elias Chavara and St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal. October 13 also happens to be the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.

Jubel D’Cruz


Balance in inoperative bank-accounts

Huge balance is lying in inoperative accounts in banks with even many account-holders having forgotten about their bank-accounts. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced Know-Your-Customer (KYC) forms which has been made mandatory also for closing such inoperative accounts. Such cumbersome practice not only is causing difficulty to account-holders wishing to close their inoperative accounts, but also creating a big loss of man-hours of bank-employees apart from unnecessary data-entries and record-keeping. Frauds are reported through some bank-employees misappropriating funds in such inoperative accounts where amount is large.

RBI should direct all banks to close all accounts not operated for say last three years, and send the remittance through pay-orders by Speed Post at last known addresses of account-holders at least for accounts having balance of say rupees ten thousand or less. In case of return of Speed-Post envelopes, formalities like of KYC form and succession-certificates etc may be required. For amounts bigger than rupees ten thousand, account-holders should be informed about their existing balance and to approach banks either to make accounts operative or close these in a time-bound period after which all such balances should be transferred to Depositor-Educative-Awareness-Fund (DEAF). With private sector dominating banking sector, public-money lying in inoperative accounts must not be allowed to be retained by banks.

Frequent change of account-numbers by banks should be prevented by making it mandatory for all banks to allot 15-digit account-numbers. Confusing and frequently changing account-numbers result in bouncing of electronic fund-transfers.

Madhu Agrawal


Court-appointed arbitrators should be regulated

It is quite usual that retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed arbitrators by courts, giving them much-much more income than they earn while their being judges in higher courts. There are reports that these arbitrators charge exorbitantly for each hearing. Even if all the concerned parties mutually agree for adjournment much before date of hearing, arbitrators insist on sending representation for adjournment on fixed date of hearing so that they may forcibly charge for a hearing held just for seeking adjournment. It has also been reported that after completion of hearing, arbitrators withhold their arbitration-award even for years. Any party approaching for an early arbitration-award, has to pay additional cost for doing so.

If these practices are true, then it is injustice and inhumanity on part of those minting money after their retirement from judicial posts. Arbitrators must be regulated from such malpractices and tactics of minting money, if so. They must give time-bound verdict after completion of hearing. There must not be any fees payable in case adjournments. To avoid extra number of hearings just for sake of money, there should be some maximum limit on number of hearings, after which no fees for hearing may be there for arbitrators.

Complete details of arbitration-fees earned by an arbitrator case-wise in a year mentioning also number of hearings conducted in each case should be made public by putting all details on websites of courts having appointed them arbitrators. There must be some maximum reasonable amount fixed for an arbitrator for a particular case. Money earned by way of arbitration must not exceed what they earned before retirement.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)Help Parallel Media, Support Journalism, Free Press, Afternoon Voice

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