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Crimes of Omission

27th May 1999      Aseem Asthana


The Jessica Lal murder and the drowning of the boy in the pool in Saket
swimming  pool have one thing in common. It in that the public opinion in
both these cases is,  as always, directed at the wrong issues. It is known
that in both cases the activities of the bar/pool were being carried out
for a long time without the necessary licences. Action is now being sought
against these illegal activities. But what about the accountability of the
government staff which is charged with the responsibility of going around
checking that such visible violation of regulations does not take place.
One regularly hears of overloaded buses and trains meeting with accidents
but no action is taken against those who are paid the taxpayer's money to
regulate these things.  Crimes of omission, unfortunately, do not have the
same culpability as crimes of commission. Thou shalt not kill thou needn't
strive officiously to keep alive. But what in case you are paid by the
taxpayer to be doing so? Obviously the other party is paying you better.
What a shame.