C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


New complex brings new problems
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
With the chaos ruling the district courts, questions are being raised on the planning of the UT Administration as the "learned engineers and officials" have failed to pay attention to the need of parking space for litigants.

Hundreds of litigants, who visit the courts everyday, will continue to battle for parking space at the uneven land outside the complex since it will take the Administration three more years to come up with a multi-level parking.

The otherwise swanky complex, visited by a number of litigants as well as lawyers, has an inbuilt parking with a limited space. The parking is reserved for lawyers and other court officials. The dearth of parking space for litigants and other visitors came to light yesterday.

There was chaos outside the complex on the first day and the situation continued to be the same today, with visitors struggling to find parking space.

The shifting was done mindlessly, caring a little about the inconvenience to the visitors, who were left on their own to manage stationing of the vehicles.

Facing criticism from the public as well as the media on the first day, the authorities today put up a board at the land adjacent to the court calling it a "public parking". The provisional parking area, however, lacks levelling, proper system of parking and supervision.

Besides, more than half of the area is covered with shrubs and trees.

Foundation stone

In January 2007, the foundation stone of the new courts complex was laid by Vijender Jain, former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Renu Sehgal was the UT Chief Architect in 2007, when a layout for the complex was planned. Work was initiated in 2008, with a target of completion by December 2010.

Multi-level parking

The multi-level parking will take at least three years for completion. The UT officials said it would accommodate 1,000 vehicles. By that time the number of vehicles would have increased. The parking will be constructed on the land adjacent to the courts complex (between the courts complex and judicial academy).

Parking space inside complex

We have provided parking space inside the complex. The uneven area is meant for future constructions, but till the time the work starts, we will level it to make it convenient for the public to park their vehicles. Officials will do the needful soon.

VK Singh, Finance Secretary, UT



Public prosecutors struggle for space
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Exposing the lack of proper planning, there is a shortage of seating arrangements for the public prosecutors at the new District Courts Complex in Sector 43.

With as many as 10 new courts set to be operational with the joining of four ADJs and six magistrates in the near future, the public prosecutors as well as those who will join once the new courts are operational, will have to fight for space.

While the authorities made tall claims of having proper infrastructure, the inadequacies were exposed on the second day when the public prosecutors were seen fighting for space. There are 12 ADAs (Assistant District Attorneys) and four DDAs (Deputy District Attorney) in the district courts and all of them, including eight clerks, librarians and stenographers, have been allotted a small hall in the new complex with a few tables.

The public prosecutors had a tough time today as they were seen jostling for space. A public prosecutor said there was no space for them to talk at length with the witnesses. “We do not have adequate space to sit as a small hall cannot accommodate so many public prosecutors,” he said.

Moreover, there is no room to keep police files. The naib courts were puzzled as to where to store the files. Unlike in the old district courts building where naib courts were allotted a separate room, there is no such facility in the new complex.

Hard to shift 20 lakh files

Due to the lack of space, it is not possible to shift 20 lakh files to the new courts complex from the old complex at Sector 17. In the absence of Internet connectivity, records cannot be maintained online. The record room will not be shifted from Sector 17, said sources.



ASI held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested a Punjab Police assistant sub-inspector while accepting a bribe of Rs 45,000 from the owner of Healthyway Immigration, Amit Kakkar.

The CBI laid a trap at the Healthyway office in Sector 42 where ASI Bhupinder Singh had come to take the bribe. The complainant had told the CBI that the accused ASI, posted in Jalandhar, was demanding bribe from him for not registering a case of cheating against him. The ASI had received a complaint.

The accused ASI initially demanded Rs 50,000 and then the deal was struck for Rs 45,000. A trap was laid and the accused was caught red-handed.

Incidentally, the CBI complainant Amit Kakkar was in the news in 2010 for duping over 20 persons on the pretext of sending them abroad. He was arrested and his office was sealed. The UT police had registered over 10 FIRs against him in a fraud case.



15-year-old corruption case ends abruptly
After four closure reports by the CBI, umpteen notices by the MHA, accused dies in Canada
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A 15-year-old corruption case against a former estate manager of the PGI ended abruptly today with the court being informed about the death of the accused in Canada.

While the death certificate read that the accused died four months ago, the CBI court had initiated the PO proceedings against the accused last month. Moreover, the MHA had sent notices to the accused under the extradition treaty at least four times since 2010 and the accused was hiding in Canada ever since he retired in 2007.

The CBI registered the case in July 1997 following a complaint by GL Sood, who used to work as a manager at a shop in the PGI. He had complained to the CBI that the then PGI estate manager, Lt Colonel Mangal Singh Sodhi (retd), was harassing for bribe. ML Sodhi was the in charge for the allotment of shops at that time and he threatened the complainant to give the bribe, otherwise he would throw his belongings out of the shop.

A trap was laid and the accused was arrested. However, in 2000, the CBI filed a closure report stating that the allegations were not substantiated from statements of the shadow and the recovery witnesses.

The court rejected the closure report and ordered reinvestigations. The CBI filed a closure report in the case again in 2005, then in 2006 and again in 2009, but each time the court ordered reinvestigation. The court then took cognisance and ordered for a fresh FIR to be registered on November 14, 2009, and to summon the accused.

The accused had retired in 2007 and settled in Canada. The court sent an Interpol notice in April 2010 to look out for accused and sought extradition in terms of the extradition treaty between the two countries. The accused failed to appear in court and notices were sent through the MHA four times in 2010 and in 2011.

Finally, the court issued bailable warrants of Rs 50,000 against the accused in January 2010.

In response to the MHA notices, the Canadian government informed: “Under the Canadian Law, a warrant of arrest issued by a foreign country is of no force.”

Last month, the court initiated the PO proceedings against the accused.

Today, the CBI court received a death certificate issued by Scott Funeral Home that the accused, ML Sodhi, died four months ago.

The court then ordered that the proceedings against the accused be dropped.


July 9, 1997: CBI registeres a case against the PGI estate manager, ML Sodhi

2000: CBI files closure report; court rejects

2005: CBI again files closure report, court orders reinvestigation

2006: CBI files closure report again; court rejects

2009: CBI files closure report; court takes cognisance and summons the accused

2010-11: Interpol sends notice to look out for accused in Canada

2012: Canadian Government says warrant of arrest issued by a foreign country is of no force

2012: Court initiates PO proceedings

2013: Accused dies; case closed



University turns moral police
Bars couples from sitting in isolated places on campus
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Next time, think twice before choosing an isolated place for a chit-chat session on the PU campus. To keep a check on couples sitting in cars at isolated places in the PU, patrolling has been started.

Following the Delhi gang rape, security guards have been directed to keep an eye on such couples.

The university's security guards have intensified patrolling in isolated areas and shady corners.

They have been directed to ask the couples to leave.

The areas identified by the security include the parking of the department of Indian theatre, parking at the rear of the English department and the UBS department, road opposite the main ground of the PU and parking area near Aruna Chandra Hall. Chief security officer (CSO) PK Dhawan said the security had been asked not to let students park their vehicles at isolated places in the evening.

The patrolling will continue till 11 pm. The CSO said the students could meet their friends in the PU market and outside the girls hostels in the evening.

Panjab University Campus Student Council president Satinder Singh said the university's security had no right to ask the students to leave even if they were found sitting in an isolated place.

"The PU security has even started harassing the couples who are taking a stroll in parks near residential areas which is unacceptable," said the president.

Students’ right

Students have a right to move around the campus. The security cannot harass students, said Satinder Singh, PUCSC president



13-yr-old dies in school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
In a shocking incident, 13-year-old Moniti Kapoor, a Class VIII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, died following a cardiac arrest during school hours today.

Eyewitnesses said the teenager collapsed after having lunch.

The post-mortem report revealed that the deceased suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

A schoolteacher rushed her to the hospital, where she was declared brought dead. Family sources said her younger brother, too, died after collapsing in the school last year.

“I rushed her to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, but doctors declared her brought dead. She was a good student,” said Samsher, a schoolteacher.

The deceased’s grandfather, however, said the school authorities failed to provide first aid to Moniti.


Road blocked for pvt function in P’kula
Though the encroachment was right in front of HUDA office, officials failed to take action
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
Raising questions on HUDA and the MC 's silence, a resident has done barricading and blocked a road separating Sector 6 and 7 for a private marriage function just in front of HUDA office.

Recently, another resident in the same lane had blocked the road in front of his house for a religious function but the authorities had kept mum for reasons best known to them.

Without disclosing the name of the owner, Ashutosh, who said he was a family member, said, “It’s a marriage function. We will remove the barricades and tent after the function is over.

”These encroachments are taking place just under the nose of HUDA officials and no action is being taken.On January 25, cocking a snook at the rules and regulations laid down by HUDA and the MC, Rajender Kumar, a resident in the same locality, had blocked the road for his personal “jagran”.

While Ashwini Sharma, Estate Officer of HUDA, said that though the area fell in the jurisdiction of the MC, he would get it checked.

The violators were seen diverting the traffic from the road and the commuters were being asked to take another road.“Can’t the authorities see what is going on in the city. Why do we people have to suffer because of them?” said Abhishek Gupta, a commuter, who had come to his relative’s house in Sector 7.

Nandini Sharma, another commuter, said, “This means that anyone can do anything in the city and no one will stop you. Why should I take a complete turn from the rear side only because they have their marriage function.”A neighbour in the locality on the condition of anonymity said, “This takes place every third day. After people saw that no one stops them from holding the functions, so they block the road inconveniencing other commuters.



Speed up Metro project work, Patil tells UT officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today told the officials of the UT Administration to speed up the work on the Metro project and master plan 2031.

At a meeting, senior officials informed the Administrator about the present status of both the projects. They informed Patil that they had started physical demarcation of the Metro routes. The Administration is demarcating the Metro routes, as they had received representations from the residents of Sector 35, 21, 22 etc. The UT has plans to acquire land in these sectors for Metro routes.

Regarding the master plan, an official of the UT Administration said that they were preparing the final copy. Recently, Patil had told the UT Chief Architect to submit the final copy of the master plan.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the UT Administration to complete the master plan. The Administration had to seek several extensions for its completion.



panchayat polls
80,013 wards set up in 22 districts of Punjab
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
With the creation of 80,013 wards in 22 districts of the state, the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department has completed the delimitation (wardbandi) process for the upcoming panchayat elections.

“Now, the ball is in the court of the Election Commission as it will set the election date. We have also sent a communiqué to the Commission in this regard. The entire data related to “wardbandi” will be sent to the Commission by January 31,” said Jaspal Singh, deputy director (panchayat).

He said as many as 375 new gram panchayats had been created. “With the addition of new gram panchayats, now the number of total panchayats in the state is 13,095,” said Jaspal Singh.

Earlier, the number of panchayats in the state was 12,775, out of which 46 have already been merged with their respective municipal councils.

With a total of 7,824 wards, Hoshiarpur district is at the top of the table, followed by Gurdaspur with 7,279 wards. Barnala district is at the bottom of the table with 1,270 wards.

The villages having population of 300 or above have been divided into minimum 5 and maximum 13 wards. The villages with population less than 300 have been merged with other villages for the purpose. In the villages where the Scheduled Castes comprise of more than 30 per cent of the total population, two seats out of the five have been reserved.

The department has received as many as 5,227 objections against the “wardbandi”.



For Moniti Kapoor’s mother, it’s third tragedy in a row
Tribune News Service

randfather and mother of Moniti Kapoor, who died due to cardiac arrest during school hours, grieve at GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Tuesday
Grandfather and mother of Moniti Kapoor, who died due to cardiac arrest during school hours, grieve at GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 29
For 40-year-old Sonia Batta, life seems to have lost its meaning, as she after having recovered from the grief of losing her husband and 15-year-old son, lost her 14-year-old daughter today.

Her daughter, Moniti, a student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, died of cardiac arrest while she was attending the school today.

Her son died under similar circumstances one-and-a-half-year ago.

“Sonia’s husband also died of cardiac arrest two years ago. He first suffered a paralysis attack and then died due to cardiac arrest,” said Sonia’s mother with whom Sonia was living with her two children.

“Bring back my daughter. I have nothing left with me now, ”cried Sonia as she rushed to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, where Moniti’s body was taken after her death.

“My daughter was so cheerful this morning. I cooked her favourite dish for lunch. For whom will I live now? There is nothing left for me in life, I do not want to live,” she cried aloud.

JK Batta, gandfather of the deceased, said that it was the responsibility of the school officials to attend to her timely. The school authorities, however, said that they took her to the hospital immediately after she collapsed.

The postmortem report revealed that she died due to sudden cardiac arrest. The viscera has been sent for CFSL examination.



Her friends in school are shocked
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
It was difficult for friends of Moniti Kapoorto believe that she was no more,when she suddenly collapsed while on her way to her classroom. Her friends tried their best to revive her by sprinkling water on her face but to no avail.

The incident inside the school premises has left her four friends in a shock of state.

“Everything happened suddenly, we had lunch, went to the washroom and on our way to the classroom, she collapsed. White froth was coming out from her mouth, there was blood on her tongue” said Divya, one of her friends.

The incident took place at 11.40 am and later at 2pm, the police officials approached the school to record the statement.

“We thought it was a fit. Soon after we realized that she was unconscious, our teachers took her to the hospital. And now, these officials informed us that she is dead. She was a very good friend”, said Komal, another friend.“We don’t know what to say. She was with us today. The police personnel told us about her sudden death” said Deepinder and Komal.Her class teacher, Sheetal, added, “She was an average student, but had a cheerful personality. Her sudden death has left us in a shock. She never complained about any illness”, she said.



Five new cases of swine flu reported in city hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Five new cases of swine flu were reported at city hospitals today. Of these, two cases were from the city, one case was from Haryana and two from Punjab. All the patients are currently admitted to PGIMER. The total number of cases reported at city hospitals, including PGIMER, and GMCH, Sector 32, has reached 45. These include seven deaths, two from city and five from the region and nine cases from Chandigarh.


  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Blood in sputum


Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.


Tamiflu medicine cures swine flu. The medicine is available at all three government hospitals, including the PGIMER, GMSH-16 and GMCH-32, free of cost.



Stay on allotment of houses at Sanetta village
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 29
The director of the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department, SK Raju, has put stay on the allotment of five 5-marla houses for poor at Sanetta village here following the complaints of favouritism in allotting these to the ineligible persons.

While issuing the stay orders, SK Raju directed the District Development Panchayat officer to stop the allotment process of the houses in question. He has also set January 31 as the next hearing in the case.

Notably, the Punjab Government had made a scheme to construct 249 houses on the common land of Sanetta village, located on the Landran-Banur Highway, and gave those to the homeless people of the village.

Two residents of the village, Dr Anwar Hussain and Parkash Malra, lodged a complaint with the director that the village panchayat had given five houses to ineligible persons, who were the members of one family. They also alleged that the houses were also given to some panchayat members, ex-panchayat members and other influential persons of the village while depriving the right of the poor.

“The panchayat had sent a list of 149 persons to the government, while according to the resolution as many as 249 houses were to be given,” said Dr Anwar Hussain while talking to mediapersons here today.

On the other hand, Chaudhary Sanjiv Kumar, sarpanch of the village, termed all allegations baseless and claimed that the panchayat had no role in finalising the list of allottees.

“The government had constituted a committee, consisting SDM and BDPO, which had finalised the list of 149 after various surveys. We (the panchayat) had given the government a list of 249 persons,” claimed the sarpanch.

The complainants claimed that they had also approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this connection. “The court had directed us to approach the director, panchayats, first in this regard,” they said.

Earlier, under the scheme, the government had decided to give the poor and homeless residents of the village 5-marla plots and Rs 1.25 lakh each for construction. But after that, the government decided to handover the constructed houses to the eligible persons.



New IGP to join today

Chandigarh, January 29
The new UT Inspector General of Police RP Upadhaya is all set to assume charge tomorrow.

A welcome parade has been organised at the police lines in Sector 26 to welcome the new IGP.

RP Upadhaya, a 1991-batch IPS officer, was last posted with Enforcement Directorate (ED) as additional director in Delhi.

The post of IGP, Chandigarh, fell vacant after the retirement of former DGP PK Srivastva on November 30 last year. — TNS



1 more suspected case in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 29
With one more patient admitted to a hospital with swine-flu symptoms, the number of such patients, including those from outside Mohali district, has gone up to 24. According to reports, a patient from Baltana, was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, yesterday.

Dr Neelam Bhardwaj, Civil Surgeon, said that 24 confirmed cases of swine flu had been reported from the district. Out of these, only 10 patients were from the district, while 14 were from outside the district, but underwent treatment at private hospitals in Mohali.

She further said that out of the 10 patients of swine flu from Mohali district, three had died while four deaths had taken place out of the 14 patients from outside the district.



Wave Cinema: A whole new experience for movie buffs
Tribune News Service

The lobby of Wave Cinema at Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh
The lobby of Wave Cinema at Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, January 29
Multiplex experience is getting better in Chandigarh. All the four screenings of the recently started Wave Cinema are digitally enabled, making the movie projection a far better experience for cine buffs. Its operation started last month at the newly opened city Emporium Mall located in Industrial Area, Phase I.

“Deepak Kelkar, local manager, Wave Cinema, said, “Two of our four screenings are 3D enabled and ensures a quality movie experience. The placement of screens is one of the special features here. Unlike flat screens in other cinema halls, our screens are tilted inward so that people sitting in the corner seats can watch the movie at ease,” he said. All the screens are disabled friendly here at the multiplex, said the officials here.

Adequate space between the seats is another feature here, said Deepak. He said, one of the auditoriums has just 104 seats, specially created to have extra leg space for the moviegoers. The space has been given the paramount importance in other screenings too, he said.

He further said, “Our aim is to set new standards in the multiplex industry in the region.” The officials said that the multiplex too addressed the parking problem here as the multilevel parking of the mall could accommodate 300 four-wheelers and over 450 two-wheelers.



BoD gives nod to discussion with Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
In order to grant six-month extension to the retiring CITCO employees, the Board of Directors of CITCO, in its meeting held at Hotel Parkview today under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Anil Kumar, gave approval for taking up the matter with the Chandigarh Administration.

The Board also approved the annual accounts of CITCO for the Financial Year 2011-2012.

The Board of Directors decided that in order to frame the future course of action, a strategic consultant may be appointed and a sub-committee constituted for the purpose.

The consultant would study the existing systems and give suggestions. The board further gave approval for LCDs and mini bars in the deluxe rooms of Hotel Parkview.

The board also gave its concurrence for taking over the management and operation of Petrol Station in Sector 33, Chandigarh. It further allowed one-year extension for the management of SAIL Stockyard, being run at Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh.



panjab university
6-month extension to PhD students
Those who left doctoral thesis in between can pay late fee to avail of benefit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Research students who left their doctoral thesis in between at Panjab University (PU) have been given a further extension of six months for the completion of their PhD degree. Earlier, these students were given the deadline of December 31, 2012, for submitting their thesis. Now, they can avail of the benefit till June 30.

The decision was taken in the last Syndicate meeting. RPS Josh, a Syndicate member, said in October candidates who could not complete their PhD thesis were given three months to submit the thesis. Many candidates, however, failed to submit their thesis in the stipulated time, following which they were given a further six-month extension, he said.

Officials said candidates who got registered could avail of this benefit on paying a late fee. “There is a nominal late fee that candidates need to pay according to the delay in submitting the thesis,” a syndic said.

The Syndicate, after receiving a communication from the University Grants Commission, has also extended the date for participation in the orientation or refresher courses under the career advancement scheme till December 31. All the PU-affiliated colleges will also be directed to comply with this order, officials said.



from schools
Career counselling

Chandigarh: The St John’s Old Boys’ Association (SJOBA) organised a vocational seminar for the classes X and XI students of the school on Tuesday. Over 300 students attended the seminar. Thirteen experts from various fields, including founder president of SJOBA and an eminent lawyer Mac Sarin and senior bureaucrat NS Kang, discussed their experience with the students. They were apprised of a number of career options including law, engineering, chartered accountancy, commercial flying, defence, public relations and wildlife and environment conservation. School principal Kavita Das told the students to be careful while choosing their career.

Flower arrangement

A flower arrangement competition was held at the Government Model High School, Sector 36, on Tuesday. Headmaster Rakesh Sood appreciated efforts of students. Rajni, Smyle, Vandeep, Laksh and Anjali won prizes in the competition.

Play staged

Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Manimajra, staged a play, “Azadi Zindabad”, at Tagore Theater on Tuesday. The play was based on social issues such as child labour, drug addiction and eve-teasing.

Cross-country run

The Kids ‘R’ Kids School organised a cross-country run for the cause of women empowerment. Children aged eight to 11 years participated in the event. — TNS



Education board sets up cell to redress women’s grievances

Mohali, January 29
To address the complaints of its women employees, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has set up a Women Grievances Redressal Cell here.

The cell was reportedly set up after a recent incident in which some mischievous element wrote objectionable matter related to certain women employees on walls of the office.

“We have about 50 per cent women employees here. So, setting up the cell was need of the hour”, said Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, the newly appointed board chairman.

“We have taken three senior women officers from the office to handle the issues, while two other members from outside will also be roped in,” said Dr Tejpal.

PSEB’s legal adviser and deputy secretary Karan Jagdish Kaur would be the cell coordinator, while the other two members include Bajit Kaur Sodhi and Surjit Kaur Gill, both deputy secretaries.

Complaint boxes would be set up at various points in the board in which the employees could also put their complaints, said Dr Tejpal Kaur. — TNS



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