1987: P. A. Nathan, a private secretary at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) buys a flat.
Soon after he rents it out to a couple. They forge papers and press false charges against him and refuse to part with the flat.
June 2006: Nathan writes to the President of India.
November 2006: The office of President A P J Abdul Kalam is instructed to contact the crime branch to take proper action in the matter.
After 14 years, Nathan has his flat back.
It is a nice feel-good story. What I want to know is what the President is doing in these real estate quarrels. I think we have had our fill of humanising him. It is enough that he makes school children repeat poems and homilies after him and tries his hand at playing percussion instruments. But there are departments to deal with issues such as Nathan’s; there are courts; there are citizen’s groups.
The fact that the case was expedited after his involvement only proves that you need clout. The Prez may not know Nathan, but this is a different version of nepotism.
He should concentrate on seeing to it that the political wheels of the country function smoothly.
One can only hope incidents such as these do not set a precedent. I am perfectly happy to see our Kalam saab go take a walk… in the Mughal Gardens.