|P U N J A B||
Thursday, November 19, 1998
Playing onion politics
ADAMPUR (Jalandhar), Nov 18 Country liquor and onions is a curious mix. But parties here are expecting it do wonders for their candidates in the next week's Adampur byelection to the Punjab Assembly.
court in dire straits
preparing ground for son: Amarinder
to conduct in-depth studies
People's panel sitting on November 28
working of NRI Sabha
flays Congress for wrong policies
held in fraud case
panel rules in doctor's favour
in Education Department
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 Flouting rules, the State Education Department has appointed 11 teachers in primary schools, among them three relatives of a minister in the SAD-BJP government.
Not only did the Education Department not advertise posts for these vacancies, but the appointments were shown made under the "handicapped" category when none of the appointees suffer from any disability.
Even the degrees they hold are from Magadh University, Bihar, and are not recognised by the government.
Reliable sources in the Education Department allege the department, violating norms, has appointed Mr Matesh Johar, son of Mr Satpal Johar, H.No. 426, Tugal Gate, Banga, as teacher at Jandal Kalan but the Johars do not live on the furnished address.
The second appointment is of Mr Karnail Johar, son of Mr Proshotam, at Government Middle School, Chakgur, Nawanshahr. In this case too the address given is false as is the medical certificate issued by the Chief Medical Officer, Jalandhar. The degree Mr Karnail Johar holds is awarded by Magadh University, Bihar.
Ms Neelam Rani, wife of Sodhi Ram of Behram, has been appointed a JBT teacher at Government Primary School, Kharpur, Nawanshahr. The JBT certificate is from an institution in Bihar not recognised by Punjab.
The appointment of Mr Varinder Kumar, son of Mr Satpal from Nawanshahr, has been made under the "handicapped" category when he is not. He does not even fulfil the basic criteria for the post. He has submitted his matriculation certificate when the requirement is a plus two certificate with a diploma.
Similarly, Mr Mulkraj and Mr Rakesh Kumar have been appointed at Government Primary School, Goindpur, under the "handicapped" category on JBT posts. The appointment of Ms Dalbir Kaur at Saiwal Kagha is also incorrect as the JBT certificate submitted by her is from Bihar University.
The Block Education Officer, when contacted, said the appointments had been made by the DO, Nawanshahr. When contacted, the DO was evasive in his reply to queries.
The Education Department was recently involved in a recruitment scam. Teachers and 46 Class IV employees had been appointed violating rules. Mrs Usha Khandotra, Circle Education Officer and inquiry officer, indicted the then District Education Officer here.
Playing onion politics
ADAMPUR (Jalandhar), Nov 18 Country liquor and onions is a curious mix. But parties here are expecting it do wonders for their candidates in the next week's Adampur byelection to the Punjab Assembly.
In rural Punjab, it is not uncommon for villagers to chew a slice of onion with a dash of salt after every swig at liquor. Its pungent taste supposedly takes the edge off the equally pungent country liquor.
Pollsters here argue that shortage of onions and their high price have caused discontentment not only among housewives but also among those who like to have a couple of pegs of the drink that cheers. Not many among housewives and drinkers are, therefore, likely to have kind thoughts for the ruling Akali Dal (B)-BJP combine. Its rivals are trying to exploit this issue to their advantage in the byelection.
The local unit of the BSP had alleged that certain political parties are trying to influence voters, particularly, those belonging to weaker sections of society, by supplying liquor and onions to them free of cost. Mr Tarsem Lal, a local leader who is also sarpanch of Khurdpur village, alleges that country liquor as well as onions have been supplied to several localities of Dalits in the constituency. He points the accusing finger at the government.
"By supplying free onions to voters, the ruling combine is trying to kill two birds with one stone", claims Mr Tarsem Lal. "Not only are they trying to cover up their failure to keep the prices of the items like onions and potatoes in check but are also trying to influence housewives and those who love their drink. We are going to make a complaint to the Election Commission.
Of the 1.32 lakh voters in Adampur Assembly constituency, the Scheduled Castes constitute a sizeable 38 to 40 per cent. This is the chunk on which the BSP nominee, Ms Vidwant Kaur, is banking. Any swing in their mood could alter the poll outcome.
Mr Tarsem Lal also accuses the ruling combine of misusing official machinery in the byelection. "The constituency is crawling with official vehicles. On the date the Akali candidate filed his nomination papers, he was accompanied by a procession of nearly 400 vehicles of which more than half were government jeeps and cars. In my own village, Khurdpur, development work like paving of streets and widening of sewerage lines is being carried out without my knowledge or approval, although I happen to be the sarpanch of the village", he complained.
Somewhat similar sentiments are being expressed by former Punjab Congress ministers, Jagmohan Singh Kang and Khushal Bahl. "All Punjab ministers have been camping here for the past few weeks. They are doing their best to influence the voters. Government employees belonging to the Health Department and electricity board posted in the area have been asked to fan out in the area for canvassing".
But they have no doubt in their mind that this alleged ploy of the ruling combine will not succeed. "Voters of Adampur are educated and would not be taken in by such tactics. The issues like rising cost of living and scarcity of items of mass consumption like onions and potatoes would dog them throughout the constituency for which they have no answer".
They are, therefore, confident that a united and rejuvenated Congress party under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh would win the seat for its nominee, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli.
The Akali Dal (A), headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, which is working for the success of its nominee, Mr Anoop Singh Minhas, is firing salvoes, at the Dal (B)-BJP alliance as well as the Congress party. Mr Mann holds the "traditionalists" i.e. Dal (B) leaders and the Congress responsible for all ills in Punjab.
These charges are, however, stoutly denied by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. "There is no question of our misusing official machinery or supplying liquor and onions to any section of voters to influence them. The fact is that our opponents are fighting a losing battle and they know it. A telegram a day is being sent by them to the Election Commission just to hide their frustration".
Paddy procurement stopped
MOGA, Nov 18 Even as more than 1.50 lakh bags of paddy are lying unsold in the five grain markets and purchase centres of this district, its procurement by government agencies has been stopped by Deputy Commissioner Kulbir Singh Kang.
Official sources said Mr Kang had stopped the procurement to prevent substandard paddy from other districts from being sold at these purchase centres.
Sources said Mr Kang issued orders stopping the procurement of paddy in Nihalsinghwala, Bilaspur, Raunta, Manuke and Chirk centres on November 13. About 70,000 bags of paddy were lying at Nihalsinghwala, 85,000 at Raunta, 30,000 at Chirk and 30,000 at Bilaspur.
The bags had not been sold as no auction had been held at these centres since November 13. At the Manuke purchase centre, about 40,000 bags of paddy which had been procured by government agencies was yet to be lifted.
Mr Kang, when contacted, said he had deputed Additional Deputy Commissioner D.K. Tiwari for an inquiry to determine if the paddy lying at these purchase centres had come from places outside the district.
He said procurement would start within two or three days after the inquiry was over. He said the paddy belonging to farmers of this district which met the specified standards would be procured by the government agencies.
However, the sources said some commission agents in connivance with officials of procurement agencies were selling substandard paddy to the government at the minimum support price of Rs 470 after purchasing it at Rs 300 per quintal from rain-affected farmers in the district.
Mr Inderdeep Singh, Deputy Director, Food and Supply Department, who had conducted a probe into such incidences, had submitted his report to the authorities.
The sources said about half of the bags lying in the five purchase centres were carrying substandard paddy. At Manuke about 21,000 bags procured by one of the government agencies did not meet the specification.
Mr Kang, however, said there was no truth in the allegation that certain commission agents in connivance with the officials of procurement agencies had been selling the substandard paddy on MSP to the government agencies. He said that an inquiry into this incident would clear all the things.
He said about 5.58 lakh metric tonnes of paddy had been procured in this district so far and procurement was going on at 47 purchase centres in the district.
The sources said some of the commission agents with different political affiliations were creating hurdles in the smooth procurement of paddy by government agencies for "illegal and unjust" benefits.
AMRITSAR, Nov 18 The Centre should built super-speciality hospitals at Anandpur Sahib and other major towns to commemorate the tercentenary of the Khalsa.
This was stated here yesterday by the president of the SGPC, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, after the release of a Times Music audio cassette, "Bole So Nihal".
Mr Tohra said a lot of money was usually spent on such functions and suggested that the government should spend more on projects for the welfare of the common man. The BJP-led government should spare at least Rs 50 crore or more on hospitals.
The SGPC chief said the five head priests should resolve their differences and attend a function in connection with the laying of the foundation stone of the Khalsa heritage memorial complex on November 22 at Anandpur Sahib.
Mr Tohra refused to comment on the Ajooba project, but added he would give his views later.
To questions about the SGPC being ignored about the tercenetery celebrations by the Punjab Government, Mr Tohra said the state government was spending a huge amount on infrastructure for providing facilities to the public and was doing a commendable job.
CM preparing ground for son: Amarinder
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 The PPC chief, Mr Amarinder Singh, has asked the Chief Minister to show results or resign.
Alleging that the Akali-BJP combine was sheltering "corrupt" officials, he said the funds on rural development land reclamation were being diverted to Malout and Muktsar with the sole objective of preparing political ground for his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, in anticipation of a mid-term poll to the Lok Sabha.
He said industry in the state was facing a slump. Many manufacturing units had been closed during the one-and-half-years regime of Mr Badal. He said setting up of industrial units in the state was not viable due to frequent hikes in the power tariff and difference in sales tax vis-a-vis neighbouring states on Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
He feared an increase in unemployment. He said the SAD-BJP leadership had so far made no concerted effort to raise states issues in Parliament.
He said the Congress would continue to fight for the demands of Punjab. Referring to river waters, he said riparian law did not allow sharing of river waters with Haryana. Moreover, Punjab could not spare a drop of water.
He accused Mr Parkash Singh Badal and members of his family of corruption.
He alleged that Mr Badal
had planned no strategy to save farmers from extreme
measures like suicide to escape debt. Among others spoke
on the occasion were Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Avtar Henry, Mr
Amarjeet Singh Samra, and Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa.
Bureaucrats to conduct in-depth
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 As part of the on-going bureaucratic exercise to "sustain" the image of the Punjab Government blurred due to slowing down of activities as a consequence of financial crunch and calamities suffered by farmers and corruption, specific departments have been identified for a detailed study.
It is learnt that the administrative secretaries have been informed that the image of the administration itself stands "tarnished" in the eyes of the public, the press and the judiciary for corruption and the finger was being pointed towards the bureaucracy for not only permitting large-scale corruption but also for indulging in it.
"Collectively the system has acquired a bad name" though individually the reputation of the officers may be quite clear. There is also concern over "lack of motivation and commitment" for toning up the administration. Thus faced with such a challenge and in the context of discussions held by the administrative secretaries on October 26, it has now been decided to focus on five departments where public interface is maximum and so is their harassment value. Senior officers have agreed to present their views on how to restructure these five departments in a bid to refurbish the image of the government.
Sources told TNS that for Revenue, the in-depth study would be done by Mr NK Arora; Transport by Mr CL Bains with Ms Ravneet Kaur as associate; Controller of Stores study would be by Mr IS Bindra and Mr Rajan Kashyap, Excise and Taxation by Mr YS Ratra and that of Local Government by Mr KR Lakhanpal.
These officers, it is learnt, had "volunteered" to study the system and submit reports in about three weeks. The aim, it is said, was to "minimise" public harassment. The other worrying factor which had damaged the SAD-BJP politico-administrative image is the system of "transfers". "This has created a cesspoll of corruption" and the policy available is being implemented in the breach.
There was a need to examine existing rules, regulation and transactions where citizens suffered. The need was for a time-frame to help people overcome their problems. In fact besides the five specific departments other administrative secretaries have also been asked to prepare "citizens' charters" for an efficient and effective delivery system.
Sources revealed to TNS that what eventually emerged from such an exercise undertaken with the concurrence of the Chief Minister remained to be seen. But the "consensus" among the senior public servants was that transfers should only be ordered by the authority designated for that purpose, according to standing orders or the service rules of various categories.
To give such a consensus a "full status", it was felt that ministers and elected representatives (MLAs) should also be involved in the process of formulating a transfer policy. There was also a view that if there was "merit" and "transparency" much of the bad publicity will be taken care of. Why not fix a duration of posting and also fix the time frame for transfers? Suggested some officers.
The secretaries also applied their mind to method of "recruitment" for scandals which eventually surface were due to both ministers and bureaucrats. Computerisation and immediate declaration of result of tests which experts must conduct was also suggested.
The Education Department's working is also one major area of concern. The administrative secretaries have, it is learnt, decided that teachers who retired in the middle of the academic session will be "re-employed" for the remaining period of the session on the last pay drawn, to avoid any break in the children's education.
Primary schools, especially in different areas which chronically suffer from lack of teachers, should be put under the charge of local community institutions for hiring suitable teachers from the local area to man them. These areas are border, Bet and Kandi.
It was also felt that
where primary schools have been upgraded to the secondary
level, the primary schools should be merged with the
secondary schools so that there was better distribution
of teaching staff for all classes.
appeal to Sikh scholars
PATIALA, Nov 18 The SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, today appealed to Sikh scholars to exercise restraint in their writings as an atmosphere of politics was being created in the "guise of self-criticism".
Delivering his presidential address at the inaugural function of the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations seminar at Punjabi University here, the SGPC chief said such writings only caused harm to the interests of the Panth.
Mr Tohra also came down on academic institutions, saying these had encouraged a drift from religion. He said religion was being seen as an impediment to progress and educational institutions by excluding stories linked with religion from the syllabi had not played a positive role.
The SGPC chief stressed the need to popularise the Gurmukhi script, saying in coming times it would be difficult to remain a Sikh without knowledge of the script.
He said gurdwaras should be involved in the teaching of the script on the occasion of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa.
Delivering his inaugural address, Yogi Harbhajan Singh of the Sikh Dharma, USA, said the future of Sikhism was not in danger but Sikhs were.
In his keynote address, Dr Prithipal Singh Kapur, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, said modern human thought had its genesis in the teachings of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh. He said Guru Nanak's concepts of God and universe were essentially futuristic as he saw God through a wide spectrum which would remain relevant for all times.
Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University Dr Joginder Singh Puar, said the Sikh Samaj could be maintained only if Sikhs outside the country were taught their mothertongue. He said the university was starting crash courses in Punjabi for foreign groups.
Labour court in dire straits
PATIALA: The labour court here, the only one in four districts, is presently passing through a rough phase.
Already, it has been fighting for years for a change in its present location from beside a stinking fish market near the Fountain Chowk here to some better surroundings, or at least for some repair of the building. But now the entire functioning of the court has been held up for the past three months due to the vacant posts of an English stenographer and a reader.
Consequently cases are piling up due to the delay in trial cases thereby causing harassment not only to the litigants but also to the advocates and other existing staff of the court.
The posts of an English stenographer and a reader are two of the most important wings of any court for its smooth working. While a stenographer is essential for the speedy typing of judgements, the reader is required for issuing certified copies to the persons concerned.
According to authoritative sources in the court, more than 3,000 cases are pending. The prime causative factor are the two vacant posts. The sources point out that the government had deputed a Punjabi stenographer in August against the post of an English stenographer. The incumbent has in writing expressed his inability to take notes or type in English. Things have come to such a pass that the judge himself writes the judgement! As four copies of a judgement are required, it is not feasible for the judge to devote so much time to the process. Whatever substitute arrangement has been made by the court authorities has remained a stop-gap arrangement and not yielded the desired results.
The Bar Association, Labour Court, has been sending representations to the government, but none has borne fruit so far. Mr Balbir Singh, convener of the association, showed The Tribune a file of such representations and said their clients were suffering a lot due to the delay in the disposal of cases. He also said the whole work of the court was held up in the absence of the reader as he was the only one authorised to issue certified copies of judgements, without which no relief could be claimed.
Another contributing reason to the slow disposal of cases is that the labour court is the only one in four districts, namely Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala and Sangrur. As litigants from these places come here for the redressal of their grievances, there is obviously a huge rush of cases.
A senior bar member recalled that some years ago a similar situation had arisen when over 4,000 cases had piled up in the labour court. At that time some other districts also used to come under the jurisdiction of this one court. That crisis was, however, solved due to setting up of a separate labour court at Bathinda.
The association states that there is an urgent need to reduce the load of cases on the labour court here. This can be done by opening up another labour court at Fatehgarh Sahib or Ropar.
Several litigants met this correspondent in the court premises and spoke on the condition of anonymity about their grievance against the slow pace of trial.
One such litigant from Ropar said he had approached the labour court nearly two years ago for getting relief from his employers, but the case was till pending. He was not the only one, as a majority of the litigants claimed that their cases were more than two years old.
A senior bar member felt that such pending cases only mocked at the state Labour Commissioner's directive to dispose of a case within three months of its submission in the labour court.
The litigants had another problem. An employer told this correspondent that he was not afraid of losing a case to one of his workers, but of the delay because of which he would have to face an enormous financial burden. Under the rules, if the worker won, the employer or the management would have to give salary for all months for which the employee was out of job. The longer the case, the higher was the arrears of the worker.
Apart from the internal problems, the court is facing some external ones also. The major one being the location of the court premises just beside a fish market. Pungent smell emanates from the fish market which makes it difficult for a person to even stand on the premises of the court. "Rehriwallas" too block the only entrance of the court causing discomfort to all concerned with the court.
Moreover, all waste material of the market is thrown in a drain flowing outside the court. This disposed of material pollutes the surroundings, besides attracting birds, animals, flies etc.
The association members
said their suffering was compounded in the afternoon when
many drunkards, who bought liquor from a wine shop in
front of the court, came to the market to relish it with
fish "pakoras". Besides creating unruly scenes
there, drunkards did not mind urinating in the open and
even against the court wall.
No People's panel sitting on November
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 The controversial People's Commission will not hold its proposed sitting at Amritsar on November 28 for which it had issued notices to as many as 124 Punjab Police officers.
This oral undertaking was given this afternoon by Ms Indira Jaisingh, a senior Supreme Court lawyer, to a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court consisting of Mr Justice G S Singhvi and Mr Justice Iqbal Singh on behalf of the People's Commission.
During her brief arguments, Ms Jaisingh told the Bench that former Judges who are members of the People's Commission told her in no uncertain terms that they would abide by the court's judgement.
She clarified that the People's Commission had not issued summons to the Punjab Police officers. "They were merely requested to appear before the commission to explain certain facts," she told the Bench. And when certain advocates urged the Bench that this statement of Ms Jaisingh should be recorded, Mr Justice Singhvi remarked: "We should accept what counsel says. There is no need to record her statement."
Earlier, the Bench took note of the stand taken by the Punjab Government vis-a-vis the People's Commission. In an affidavit filed before the court, the Punjab Government stated that it was proposed to take up the question of amending Section 36(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which prohibited the state commission from inquiring into any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the action, constituting violation of human rights, was alleged to have been committed. "The state government is of the opinion that this period needs to be extended up to 10 years," the affidavit added.
Counsel for the Punjab Government told the court that the proposed amendment to the Act would be sent to the Union Government within 15 days.
At this stage Mr Justice Singhvi quizzed counsel for the Centre on how long the Union Government would take to consider the proposal put forward by the Punjab Government. He told the court that he would let the court know about this by Friday.
In the light of these arguments given by counsel for the commission and the Punjab Government, the Bench adjourned the case to December 17.
Earlier, counsel for the petitioners, Mr Sudershan Goel, as well as Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Narinder Singh, all residents of Gurdaspur district, advanced arguments questioning the functioning of the commission.
Mr Jayant Das, who appeared on behalf of Mr Sudershan Goel, told the court that functioning of the People's Commission was a direct encroachment on the well-defined jurisdiction of the judiciary. "The constitution and functioning of the People's Commission is subversive to the law of the land, and rebels against the provisions of the Constitution."
Mr Das further contended
that the commission had taken upon itself the
responsibility of probing the mass cremations, illegal
detentions, murders and atrocities allegedly committed by
the police, apart from suggesting a remedy, the sole
concern of the judiciary.
concern over working of human rights bodies
BATHINDA, Nov 18 The Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has expressed concern over the functioning of the national as well as the state human rights commissions.
In a press note issued here today, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, general secretary, PUCL, Punjab, and Dr Vineeta Gupta, member, national council, PUCL, said the government-sponsored human rights commissions depended and trusted the reports of the police about human rights violations and the atrocities perpetrated by the police itself.
They alleged that by adopting such an attitude, the government-sponsored human rights bodies had been failing to deliver justice for which these had been established.
Pointing out a case in this regard, they alleged that PUCL had submitted a list of persons allegedly killed by the police in fake encounters in Bathinda district during 1991-93 to the National Human Rights Commission New Delhi. After an inordinate delay of four years, the PUCL received a communication from the NHRC that all cases had been closed after investigation.
They alleged that the commission only took up two cases of Darshan Singh and Balwinder Singh who were allegedly killed in police encounters in 1993. But the NHRC by trusting the police version in this regard had shown the killing of these persons in police encounters in 1995.
The NHRC had further written in its communication that these two cases had been sent untracted after investigation and courts had accepted the reports.
They said that if the
working of government-sponsored human rights commissions
was not made effective, efficient and transparent then
the need for setting up of non-government independent
commission would gain momentum.
of pension stopped"
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 The Punjab State Pensioners' Confederation in a statement issued here today said that the government treasuries in all districts in the state had stopped payment of pensions and arrears of revised pensions. Mr Ajit Singh Bagri, General Secretary of confederation, said that officials concerned in treasuries were saying that the government had instructed them not make payments to them.
He said that no protest against such instructions, the confederation would hold a march to Adampur constituency on November 22 and hold protest demonstrations to demand merger of 97 per cent dearness relief in basic pension, grant of benefit of travel concession to widow pensioners, medical allowance of Rs 500 and 50 per cent concession in bus fare in state transport owned buses.
However, when government
authorities concerned were contacted in this connection,
they said that no instructions had been issued with
regard to stopping the payment of pension. They claimed
that financial position in treasuries was normal and all
sorts of payments were being made.
KHARAR, Nov 18 Residents here blocked traffic for an hour in protest against the authorities to repair a portion of about 200 yards on the Kharar-Banur road for the past about two years.
Villagers alleged that although the road was very busy, the PWD Department had not repaired it despite several requests.
They lifted the blockage
only after the local SHO and a SDO of the PWD assured
that the repair work would start tomorrow. However, they
threatened to block the traffic on Monday if no repair
work was initiated.
crude oil for Punjab
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 Punjab and other states in the north have now been assured of an additional supply of crude oil in the foreseeable future. This has been made possible as a result of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's efforts in recent months to get the supplies increased at the earliest to meet Punjab's growing demands.
The Indian Oil Corporation has decided to augment the capacity of its Kandla-Bathinda product pipe-line by an additional 1.3 million tonnes to 8.8 million tonnes, annually, by May 2000. Recently its capacity was raised from 6 million tonnes per annum.
Probe working of NRI Sabha
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 Some members of the NRI Sabha and SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa have demanded an inquiry into the working of the Sabha.
The sabha whose patron is Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was criticised by the members who alleged that Rs 60 lakh had been collected by it by promising that cases of non-resident Indians for the possession of their property in the state would be fought by it. But nothing had been done so far, they said and alleged that the Commissioner, Mr B.K. Srivastava, who was the chairman of the sabha, had not resolved even a single dispute.
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 (UNI) The Joint Action Committee of Government and Semi-Government Employees held a rally and blocked traffic here yesterday to press their demands for a master scale and all allowances from January 1, 1996.
The conference, addressed by committee convener Sukhdev Singh Bari and co-convenor H.S. Minhas, also demanded the payment of bonus and dearness allowance in cash and pension as the third retirement benefit for employees of public sector undertakings.
The conference adopted a resolution opposing the privatisation of government boards and undertakings.
Badal flays Congress for
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has held the Congress party responsible for not addressing the problems of the state during its 45-year-rule in the country.
Addressing gatherings in Adampur constituency, he said the Congress was responsible for depriving the state of its natural water resources for the benefit of other states.
Recalling the militancy period in the state he said thousands of youth had been killed in the state due to wrong political policies of the Congress.
He said the SAD-BJP government was providing free power to farmers for their tubewells. His government was instrumental in getting a Rs 8500-crore loan waived, setting up of an international air port at Amritsar, and bringing a mega oil refinery to Bathinda.
appeal by CM, Tohra
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 The foundation-stone laying ceremony of the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex will be held at Anandpur Sahib on November 22 at 10 a.m.
The Chief Minister, Mr
Parkash Singh Badal, as President, Shiromani Akali Dal
and Chairman, Anandpur Sahib Foundation and the President
of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, Mr
Gurcharan Singh Tohra, MP, have in a joint appeal asked
the people to reach Anandpur Sahib in large numbers and
receive Guru Gobind Singh's message of service to
MOGA, Nov 18 A number of farmers held demonstrations in front of the offices of the Punjab State Electricity Board at Ajitwal in Moga yesterday in protest against the hike in the power tariff by the state government.
Gang busted, gold worth 1 lakh
LUDHIANA, Nov 18 The police has arrested an inter-state gang involved in defrauding people and a woman member of a Jalandhar-based gang and has recovered gold valued of Rs 1 lakh from them.
This information was given by Mr Dinkar Gupta, SSP, at a press conference here today. He said that the first gang, which comprised of six members, would approach people and pretend to be in dire need of money. They would then ask them to buy some of their artificial ornaments, which looked like gold. These ornaments would also have a small gold bead. The victims after getting the bead tested by a goldsmith would buy all the fake ornaments.
The police has nabbed four members of this gang, Vijay Singh, Ajay Singh, Kishan Singh and Geeta.
State panel rules in doctor's
CHANDIGARH, Nov 18 A significant question on whether a doctor can be held for negligence if his patient failed to carry his instructions was decided in favour of the doctor by a Bench of the Punjab Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, presided over by Justice A.L. Bahri.
The appellant, Dr Usha Gupta of Manik Nursing Home, Batala, feeling aggrieved against the order of District Consumer Forum, Gurdaspur, whereby she was directed to pay Rs 17,000 as compensation to Mrs Satya Devi and Rs 1000 as litigation costs, challenged the same before the commission on the ground of it being erroneous and against the law.
Counsel appearing on behalf of the appelant-doctor contended that the patient did not turn up for check-ups after discharge and no complaint was made about the disease for which she was operated upon. It was further asserted that the patient was operated upon at another hospital for V.V.F without consulting the doctor and that the complaint was lodged at the instance of the hospital out of professional jealousy to spoil the goodwill and the reputation of the appellant.
The Bench after relying on
a judgement rendered in Indian Medical Association vs.
V.P. Shastri case held that operation of V.V.F had no
link with the operation performed by the appellant and
that no expert was produced in the evidence to prove the
negligence of the appellant. The order of the District
Forum was accordingly set aside. The complainant did not
appear at the State Commission hearing.
AMRITSAR, Nov 18 (PTI) The SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, released the audio-cassette "Bole so Nihal" based on the sound and light programme to be presented on the occasion of tercentenary celebrations at Anandpur Sahib in April next at a function held in the Golden Temple complex last evening.
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Nov 18 A no-confidence motion moved against the president of municipal council of Mandi Gobindgarh by 15 municipal councillors was defeated at a meeting held today at Mandi Gobindgarh.
Mr Rakha Singh Jangu,
SDM-cum-Administrator of the council, told mediapersons
after the meeting that only seven members, including the
president, attended the meeting. He said all those
present supported the president.
Six held in fraud case
JALANDHAR, Nov 18 The economic offences wing of the police here has claimed to have arrested six persons accused in a fraud case.
The police after preliminary interrogation of the accused detected an amount of Rs 11.36 lakh in the OBC Railway Road Jalandhar in the name of the main accused Ashok Chopra. Three cars have also been recovered from him.
Ashok Chopra is the proprietor of Ekta Movies Film Distributor at Jalandhar, who allegedly used to collect money from people and used to promise interest on their deposits.
He also allegedly promised visa and employment offers in the USA to many persons who were made to deposit large amounts.
The others arrested are Madhu Chopra, wife of Ashok Chopra, Amit Chopra, Shakti Chopra, sons of Ashok Chopra, Vijay Bhandari and Suresh Balla both residents of Delhi.
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