C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Liquor cartel makes a comeback after 6 yrs
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Liquor cartel has staged a comeback in the city after a gap of six years, courtesy the amended excise policy of inviting tenders for the allotment of liquor vends by the UT Administration.

With liquor barons from neighbouring states, including Ponty Chadha group (Punjab and western UP), Amrik Singh group (Punjab), DP Yadav (western UP) and Pawan Singla group (Punjab), together controlling over 50 per cent of liquor trade (100 vends out of 190) in Chandigarh, the return of the liquor syndicate haunts small liquor traders and Bacchus lovers.

“The lopsided tendering process for the allotment of the liquor vends which replaced the licence system under the 2011-12 excise policy has laid the foundation for the operation of the liquor syndicate in the city,” said Satpal, a wine merchant.

Since Chandigarh has one of the highest liquor consumptions in the region, a foothold in the city’s liquor market is always desired by bigwigs in the industry. Being the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and being the administrative headquarters of the UT Administration, a strong presence in the city places the liquor lobby in a formidable position as it gives them direct access to the powers that be.

Subhash Chander, treasurer of the Chandigarh Wines Merchants Association, claimed that the tender system would definitely revive the liquor syndicate in the city. The consumer was not going to be king as the liquor prices would be controlled by the syndicate, he said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a member of the liquor cartel said like every trade it was the “survival of the fittest” in the liquor business. “We abided by government rules and regulations while getting the liquor vends allotted and there is nothing wrong if we have sizeable presence in the city,” he said.

The excise department netted a licence fee of Rs 127.67 crore from the allotment of vends against a licence fee of Rs 60.10 crore during the financial year 2011-12. The policy was framed to provide a level playing field to all players in the liquor business as in the last five years, the same licencees were getting the licences renewed, a senior official added.



Six injured in Sec-8 clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Six persons were injured, three of them grievously, including a former leader of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), in a clash that took place between two groups in Sector 8 late last night. Swords were used and gunshots were also reportedly fired into the air. The police has registered cases against both groups. No arrests have been made so far.

The injured include Sunil Singh Gill and Rakesh Kadian, who have been admitted to Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, and Jaswinder Singh, who has been admitted to the PGI. The incident took place outside the Sector 8 residence of former senior leader of SOPU, Sunil Singh Gill. Members of the other group led by Rakesh Kadian alleged that Iqbal Singh Gill, father of Sunil Singh, fired into the air during the clash and escaped from the spot.

The reason behind the attack is believed to be Sunil’s absence at a court hearing in an ongoing case yesterday. The case pertains to an incident of assault that took place between two groups led by Rakesh Kadian and Sunil Singh at Khalsa College in Sector 26 in September last year.

The police said the two groups were all set for a compromise in court yesterday, but Sunil failed to appear in court. This infuriated the Kadian group which confronted him at his house. Heated arguments ensued which soon took shape of a violent scuffle. Sunil’s family also joined him in assaulting members of the other group, making both parties attack one other with sharp-edged weapons.

In his statement to the police, Kadian alleged that Sunil’s father opened fire into the air. The police has seized the SUV in which Rakesh and his accomplices came to Sector 8. His accomplices have been identified as Jaswinder Singh, Sukhbir Bhattal and Mansa, besides three others.

Jaswinder, who is member of the National Student Union of India (NSUI), alleged that they were beaten up by Sunil and his family. Inspector Mahavir Singh, SHO of the Sector 3 police station, said both groups had levelled allegations against each other and raids were on to nab those who fled.



Traffic cops to use Facebook to nab offenders
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Chandigarh traffic police is set to join an exclusive group of cities in the country within the next fortnight when it formally launches its page on Facebook, joining the social networking site on the lines of the Delhi traffic police.

The move is an effort to discipline traffic violators. The page will invite photographs of traffic violations and feedback on the functioning of traffic cops, including any evidence of bribe-taking.

A team of six police personnel left for Delhi on Tuesday to get training from traffic cops of that city on how to operate the Facebook page. Once it is launched, city residents will be invited to upload videos and photos of vehicles violating traffic regulations, including instances where policemen are found demanding a bribe. Senior police officials will then mark an inquiry into the reported offence and action will be taken accordingly.

“We launched a dummy page of the traffic police last February but it has not been operational. The page on Facebook will be formally launched at the Chandigarh Traffic Park in Sector 23. We expect it to evoke a huge response among residents who can upload photos if they come across any traffic violation,” said UT deputy inspector general of police Alok Kumar.

A number of city residents have already joined the dummy page and uploaded photographs of vehicles breaking traffic rules including those of policemen. At present only the traffic police of Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata have their respective pages on Facebook.

Though the Chandigarh traffic police’s website already exists and invites complaints from the public, few people log on to it. Besides, it has failed to evoke the desired response.

“It’s is a very good step and the police will network better with the public this way. While it will deter traffic offenders on the one hand, it will also be instrumental in checking corruption within the department,” said Harman Sidhu, chairman of Arrive Safe, an NGO working for better road safety.



No eco nod, Mullanpur access road project stalled
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Work on laying the 200-foot wide Mullanpur-Siswan road is awaiting clearance from the central environment and forests ministry.
Work on laying the 200-foot wide Mullanpur-Siswan road is awaiting clearance from the central environment and forests ministry. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Mohali, April 26
While realtors rake in the moolah by attracting investors to Mullanpur following the Punjab government’s move to rename it ‘New Chandigarh’, work on widening the Mullanpur-Siswan road has come to a grinding halt with the environment & forests ministry nod still awaited.

The project has to be okayed by a high-empowered committee headed by environment & forests minister Jairam Ramesh as the central ministry’s regional office had raised objections last January after the state government had given the go-ahead to the road widening without seeking the mandatory clearances from the ministry. The case was again sent to the ministry two months ago.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has now personally taken up the case with Ramesh.

The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had given the contract for widening the 8 km stretch from the Chandigarh-Mullanpur border (near PGI) to the Siswan T-junction to Omaxe, a private builder that is also coming up with a mega project in the area.

Conservator of forests SK Sehrawat said since the matter was with the central ministry he could not comment on it.

Sources close to the Punjab forests department said the primary objection raised by the ministry was regarding the change in the alignment of the existing road. The private firm entrusted with road construction had begun work near its own mega project even though the ministry’s clearance had not been taken.

“However, certain areas falling in the road alignment that were locked under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 had been delisted last year. Even if a part of land has been delisted under the act, permission has to be taken from the ministry regarding the nature for which the land was being used”, said state state forest officials.

The ministry had also sought status of the land that was included in the area of the road. About 150 acres of land of Mullanpur Garib Dass, Ferozepore Bungar, Parol, Pharongian, Hoshiarpur, Majra and Sultanpur had been acquired for the purpose, with the compensation paid varying from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.45 crore an acre. 



Dip in mercury brings some respite
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
After a week city residents had a respite from the rising heat as the day temperature fell by 4 degrees to 34.0 degrees Celsius as compared to 38.6° recorded on Monday. The sudden dip in the mercury was due to easterly winds.

However, the night temperature rose marginally by a degree from 23° to 24.8°.

According to the local meteorological office, the relief from the heat is going to be short as temperatures are expected to rise once again from Wednesday.

The evening was indeed a pleasure for evening walkers at Sukhna Lake as the environs around the water body were much cooler than other areas of the city.


battle for bottle
UT excise policy – Punjab calls
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab Government seems to be dictating the excise policy of the Chandigarh administration over the years.Close on the heels of increasing the value added tax (VAT) to 12 per cent during the 2009-10 excise policy from the existing four per cent on the persistent demand of the Punjab Government to check large-scale liquor smuggling, the introduction of tender system in the excise policy (2011-12) is a step towards full-fledged auction system in the years to come.

And in the open auction, cartel from the Punjab and other neighbouring states will stand to benefit.

Early last year, the then Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal had met the then Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) to rationalise the structure on liquor and petrol to end disparity in the prices of Chandigarh and Punjab.

Since a majority of the beneficiaries of yesterday’s allotment of liquor vends are big liquor traders from Punjab, the allegations of the Punjab Governemnt “indirectly” influencing the excise policy of the UT administration are flying thick and fast.

It is being alleged that the tender system had been introducted by the UT administration to benefit the liquor cartel from adjoining states, including Punjab. However, offcials sources deny this, saying the excise policy 2011-12 has been formulated to provide a level playing field to all players and net maximum revenue for the state exchequer.

But the politician-bureaucrat nexus in the liquor trade is well-known. Since the liquor business in Chandigarh is very lucrative with the city having one of the highest per capita liquor consumption in the region, high stakes are involved in the liquor trade.

In fact, in yesterday’s auction, a number of politicians and businessmen close to prominent politicians placed successful bids.

An official said since liquor business was a money-spinner for the UT administration, the new excise policy seemed to have unwittingly benefited the liquor lobby from Punjab.

Ultimately, it is the UT administration that has gained from the new policy with an amount of Rs 127.67 crore coming to the UT coffers, he added.

Mohali contractor to control city vends

Amarjit Singh Sidhu, a Mohali contractor, will also run certain liquor vends in the city. In fact, he is one of the few local liquor contractors who successfully bade for liquor vends in the city.

Disputed site goes for Rs 2.11 cr

The highest bidder in the pre-fabricated temporary structure on MC land is Arvind Singla, who offered a highest bid of Rs 2.11 crore in Sector 54. Though the MC had decided not to renew the licence for the site, Singla is hopeful that the Chandigarh administration will come to his rescue.

‘Smartest’ bidder

Rajinder Kumar Gupta, who bade for a country liquor shop in the Mani Majra market, proved to be the smartest bidder of them all. While the official reserve price for the liquor vend was ` 32 lakh, Gupta placed a bid of ` 101 over and above ` 32 lakh.

No end to bootlegging

It is believed that even the rise in liquor prices from May 1 will not have much impact on the large-scale smuggling from Chandigarh to other states. The liquor prices in neighbouring states are still higher, particularly in Himachal Pradesh, and the presence of liquor syndicate will go a long in facilitating liquor smuggling, sources claim. However, some liquor contractors feel that with the fixed quota in Haryana and Punjab having been increased, smuggling from Chandigarh may not be that lucrative.

Local players still on a high 

While many big players from outside Chandigarh have entered the local liquor trade by making high bids yesterday, many small operators have also managed to remain in the business by outsmarting their “well-entrenched” local rivals. By making “aggressive” bids for certain locations, they ousted the present contractors who were making good business. Even a senior officer of the UT excise and taxation department commented: “They (small operators) amased us with their aggressive bidding and left some ‘shrewd’ traders at their wit’s end by bagging the contracts.

Rs 2.75 cr not much’

Manjinder Singh, an associate of Arvinder Pal Dhounsi, who bagged the Sector-52 liquor vend (opposite ISBT-43), for a whopping Rs 2.75 crore, claims that this amount was not on the higher side. The bid for this particular liquor vend was part of a rational decision as this was one of the highest revenue-generating liquor vends in the area. Its location opposite the bus terminus and on the national highway makes it a lucrative investment option. In fact, other bidders had also placed similar bids with the second highest bid in the range of Rs 2.5 crore, he claimed.



No annual discounts this time around
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
It’s bad news for bacchus lovers as most liquor contractor here are in no mood to offer liquor at discounted rates in the last week of this year’s excise policy.This year’s excise policy is coming to an end on April 30. But unlike previous years, no one is planning to offer liquor at discounted rates so far.

The simple reason is that the prices of liquor are expected to increase by at least 20 to 25 per cent from May 1. The present contractors, who also got licences for the next year through bids yesterday, are said to have started stocking the product so that it can be sold on higher rates after May 1.

“The UT government has already announced a hike of Rs 15 per bottle under the new policy from May 1. And after witnessing the high bids by liquor contractors yesterday, further increase in prices by contractors is inevitable. So who will sell the liquor on discounted rates?” says a city-based contractor, Darshan Singh Kaler.

The only exception will be those players who are out of the trade for this year. “The number of such traders is only between 15 and 20 per cent. In an effort to clear their stocks in the stipulated period, these traders can offer some discount. But surely, the scenario will not be like that in the previous years,” adds Kaler.

Sources in the liquor trade say liquor vendors do not have much stock for the annual sale. As the deadline for the implementation of the new excise has been extended from April 1 to May 1, most liquor vend owners are buying limited stocks in the backdrop of the “confusion” surrounding the allotment of vends.

Sumeet Verma, a consumer, rues the fact there will be no liquor sale this year. “We wait for the annual sale every year to pick our quota of liquor, saving a few hundred rupees per case. However, I will have to shell out more money for my quota of liquor this time around, he adds.



Consumer no more king
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Consumers are set to be on the losing end with big players dominating the liquor trade in the city from May 1 onwards.Terming the “unexpected high” stakes as an unhealthy sign, a Chandigarh-based liquor contractor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says in the coming days, the consumer will be at the receiving end in all aspects.

The consumer will not only be charged heavily but will also be deprived of popular brands or brands of choice. They will be forced to buy those brands that are being manufactured by members of the liquor cartel or the other less-popular ones, in which the margins of profit are higher.

“In the present system, which comes to an end on April 30, healthy competition among the licencees was evident. As a result, the consumer was getting brands of his choice at competitive prices. But the scenario is set change from May 1,” says the trader.

He adds that most of those who made “unexpectedly high” bids to get licences are also into liquor manufacturing and bottling business. The number of such licencees is said to be over 50 per cent.

“As they will be in a ‘commanding position’ (by having over 50 per cent of the licences) this year, obviously they will promote their brands at their vends besides adopting other monopolistic methods to earn profits,”he adds.



JS Dwellers told to refund
Rs 3.75 lakh to Mohali resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
In an ex parte order, the UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed JS Dwellers Pvt Ltd to refund Rs 2.25 lakh to a Mohali resident, Trilochan Singh, for not giving possession of his flat in the stipulated period of two years.

The forum has also ordered the company to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation and Rs 5,000 towards the cost of litigation to the complainant.

In his complaint, Trilochan had stated that he had deposited Rs 25,000 with JS Dweller as booking amount for a three bedroom flat on ground floor of Crescent Apartment, Baddi, in December, 2005.

Later, he deposited Rs 2 lakh for the flat costing Rs 14.5 lakh. He was told that the project was approved by the HP Government. He stated that a buyer agreement was executed with the developer and the project was supposed to be completed within two years from the start of construction approval.

But the failed to deliver the goods. The complainant stated that in June, 2009, when the complainant visited the site, he found the builder’s office locked and came to know that he had been arrested by the Chandigarh police in a cheating case. Thereafter, he made repeated requests to the developer to refund the deposit amount but in vain.

The forum, comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, observed that the evidence produced by the complainant held ground. Therefore, the complainant was entitled to a refund of Rs 2.25 lakh along with compensation and litigation cost of Rs 15,000, stated forum in its order. In a similar complaint, the UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed JS Dweller to refund Rs 1.5 lakh to a Mohali resident, VK Chaturvedi, who was also not allotted a flat in a stipulated period of two years, besides payment of compensation of Rs 10,000 and litigation cost of Rs 5,000. 



Key Posts at Dental College
Four advertisements in 18 months!
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Advertising its key posts time and again seems to have become a ritual at Panjab University, which has advertised the post of “professor principal” at HSJ Dental College, PU, for the fourth time in the last 18 months.The advertisement has come as a surprise to many, as the university has already screened six applications received after advertising the post last time in September, 2010, and was supposed to conduct interviews.

“We had got six applications from various professors, including one from HSJ Dental College and are done with the screening process. We were planning to conduct interviews, but probably the higher authorities don’t consider applicants competent enough and have thus re-advertised the post,” said a university official.

“We have raised this issue at the Senate meeting several times. The posts are re-advertised not to get competent candidate but a convenient candidate. As per the practice, even after advertising a post for two times, if there is just one candidate, the university still must conduct interviews,” said a Senator.



Raids at Sector 17 hotels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The UT health department conducted raids at Mehfil and Ghazal hotels at Sector 17 here today.A team of health officials, including Dr Satbir Singh and food inspectors conducted raids and food samples were collected from here.

Earlier, they had conducted raids at different food joints at Sector 26. The raids started in the afternoon and continued till evening. 



Sketches of car robbery accused released
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
The police here today released the sketches of the two unidentified accused who took away Maruti SX4 test drive car of the Berkeley Automobiles three days ago.The police had prepared the sketches of the accused with the help of an employee of the showroom, Umesh, who was forcibly taken away in the car by the accused on a gunpoint.

One of the accused, who had identified himself as Amit to the staff, had taken away the Maruti SX4 car on the pretext of test drive and after arriving on the Panchkula-Zirakpur national highway 22 the two accused told Umesh to move to the back seat and covered his face with a sheet. They also took out the SIM card from his mobile phone and threatened him not to raise voice. The accused later dropped Umesh near the Namaste Chowk at Nilokheri near Karnal and fled with the vehicle.

According to sources, the police was now working on various theories including the involvement of some of the staff members of the showroom in the case as the staff had not demanded the driving license of the accused, which was mandatory for allowing a test drive.

Why the staff members failed to take notice of the two accused, who must have done recce of the showroom twice or thrice to get information about the functioning of the CCTVs installed in the showroom? Secondly, why the staff failed to notice the missing vehicle, costing around Rs 8 lakh, and their colleague who remained missing from the showroom for about 4 hours?

Meanwhile, sources said the police teams that had been dispatched to Panipat, Karnal, Meerut road in Uttar Pradesh and Shambhu Barrier in Patiala in search of the accused have return empty handed.

Unanswered questions

l Why the staff members failed to take notice of the two accused, who must have done recce of the showroom twice or thrice to get information about the functioning of the CCTVs installed in the showroom?

l Why the staff failed to notice the missing vehicle, costing around Rs 8 lakh, and their colleague who remained missing from the showroom for about 4 hours? 



Panchayat Bhawan to get facelift
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Panchayat Bhawan at Sector 18, Madhya Marg, is set to have a major makeover with rooms and allied facilities to be refurbished in the coming months.The Panchayat Bhawan will be given a face lift to bring facilities and services on par with other contemporary hotels having budget accommodation in the city.

This was decided at a meeting chaired by Ram Niwas, secretary hospitality, with members, including chief engineer, chief architect, director hospitality, principal CIHM, manager UT Guest House, and manager, Panchayat Bhawan, for the upgradation and refurbishment to improve the amenities as well as services for tourists.

The Home Secretary directed the Chief Architect to submit the drawings by next week.



767 get notice for wasting water
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 26
Even as 767 notices have been issued to consumers for misuse of water by the department of water supply and sanitation, maximum cases of misuse have been reported from Phase XI.

Twelve teams, each headed by a junior engineer, set up by the department to check the misuse of water, found that many residents washed their cars during the morning supply hours in violation of the ban orders. Some were also found washing their courtyards. However, cases of water leakage from overhead tanks were very few.

As many as 142 notices have been issued for the misuse of water in Phase XI followed by 119 in Sectors 57, 58 and Shahimajra village. Violation of the ban order was on the higher side even in Phase X where 94 notices have been issued so far. Notices have also been issued in other parts of the town as well, but the number was comparatively low.

The consumers were told that a fine of Rs 500 would be imposed if they were again found violating ban orders and finally connections would be cut.

HPS Dhillon, executive engineer, said violations were more in small sized houses where water was given for free by the government. No bills were issued to residents living in houses measuring up to five marlas.

The department had imposed a ban on watering of lawns, plants, washing of cars, two wheelers and courtyards till 9 am. The ban was imposed on April 5 and would remain enforced till June 30.



MLAs also supporting upper class: Dalits
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
Irked over the indifferent attitude of the police in arresting seven youths of Bataud village, members of the Dalit community threatened to launch state-wide agitation if those accused of assault and making derogatory remarks about their caste were not arrested within 48 hours.

Sanjeev Gharu and advocate RS Sathi, state president of the Haryana Valmiki Yuva Mahasabha and coordinator of Nyaya Manch, Panchkula, respectively, while jointly addressing the media here today said that the seven accused were moving freely in the village and the police had failed to arrest them even after 40 days of the registration of the case. They have also threatened to gherao the DGP office on May 4.

Gharu alleged that the district administration had turned a blind eye towards the problems being faced by them. He said the illegal cutting of the elephant grass in about 400 acres of panchayat land was a big blow for the district administration as it had caused a loss of about Rs 15 lakh to the state exchequer.

He warned that the Dalit community would be forced to migrate to some other place as they had been rendered jobless in view of the social boycott by the majority community of the village. He said it was an irony that even the MLAs from Panchkula and Kalka, DK Bansal and Pardeep Chaudhary, respectively, were indulging in vote bank politics and were siding with the members of the upper caste.

He further said if the district administration failed to arrest the accused, protests would also be held in different districts of the state by the Valmiki community on the Labour Day falling on May 1. 



Body found
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 26
The decomposed body of a nude man in his mid-thirties was found under mysterious circumstances near Sukhna Choe at Ravindra Enclave, Phase III, Baltana, on Monday.

A police official said the body didn’t have any visible injury marks and the exact cause of the death would be confirmed only after getting the autopsy report. Apparently, the body was dumped five days ago and could have got carried by the current, he added.

A passerby told the police about the body after noticing some foul odour. A police team reached the spot and found the body lying on the bank of the choe. The body has been kept for identification at Dera Bassi Civil Hospital, the official added.



Sangha sports panel president
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
Dr SS Sangha, principal, Dashmesh Girls College of Education, Badal (Muktsar), has been elected as president of the Panjab University Sports Committee (PUSC) for 2011-12 at the general body meeting here today.

Dr CS Grewal, director, physical education, PU, during a press conference here today said Dr Meera Modi, principal, Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, had been elected as senior vice-president, while Parkash Kaur Grewal, SDP College for Women, Ludhiana, had been elected as vice-president.

Grewal said committee members include Dr BB Sharma, Abohar, Dr Jasbir Singh, Moga, Dr Preet Mohinder Singh, Garhshankar, Dr Gurdip Sharma, Hariana (Hoshiarpur), Dr Jasvir Kaur, Dasuya, Dr Jatinder Kaur, Kottan, Ludhiana, Dr Khushwinder Kumar, Urban Estate, Ludhiana, Dr Sandeep Sawhney, Doraha, Narinder Kaur Sandhu, Miller Ganj, Ludhiana, Kuldeep Kaur, Dalla, Tehsil-Jagraon, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, Dr Paramjit Kaur Tiwana Jhar Sahib, Ludhiana, Dr Amanendra Mann Chandigarh, Kewal Singh Garhdiwala, and others.



Benefits extended to left out ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has ruled that the revised pay scales and consequent pensionary benefits fixed by the Fifth Pay Commission to the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) should be applicable with effect from January 1, 1996, instead of October 10, 1997.

Directing the Ministry of Defence to comply these orders within three months, the Tribunal also ruled that the ministry would be liable to deposit Rs 10,000 with the tribunal as penalty in case of non-compliance.

These orders would benefit thousands of ex-servicemen who retired between January 1, 1996, and October 10, 1997, as they would now be eligible for higher pay and pensionary benefits.

The Bench comprising Justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen NS Brar of the AFT has passed these orders while allowing several petitions filed by ex-servicemen hailing from various districts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. They were receiving lesser pension than those who retired on or after October 10, 997, because the Ajit Kumar Committee recommendations were made applicable with effect from October 10, 1997, onwards. The committee had been set up to resolve anomalies arising out of recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission.

The grievance of the petitioners was that the cut-off date of October 10, 1997, was not only illegal but arbitrary too. 



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