|P U N J A B||
Wednesday, September 2, 1998
1 held in
fake court decree case
not to be abolished
World Bank rejects audit of
refuses approval to principal's sack
Fish park in a state of
Arrow Division raising day celebrated
postings and transfers
Farid varsity begins work from OPD complex
for probe into Deans' action
to provide jobs to 40,000 SC youth
1 held in fake court decree case
PATIALA, Sept 1 A racket of fake court decrees has come to light with the arrest of a suspected swindler, who along with an accomplice, was working as munshi with various lawyers at the district courts here for the past over 25 years.
While the main suspect, Rajinder Singh, has been remanded in judicial custody till September 11, his co-accused, Balwant Singh, is yet to be nabbed, the police said here today.
These two, according to the police, have been accused of preparing a false court decree way back in 1972, against Mr Amar Singh of Kartpur Churrian village, near here. Mr Amar Singh was locked in a legal battle with Balwant Singh, who allegedly used the fake decree to his advantage.
Suspicions about the court decree were aroused when Mr Amar Singh contested it in a court of law. His complaint led to an inquiry by a magistrate in the district courts here. The inquiry indicted the two for the crime, the police said.
Subsequently, the Chief Judicial Magistrate here ordered the registration of cases against the two.
Mr Param Pal Singh Sidhu, SSP, said it was possible that the two accused had forged other court documents also. The police was carrying out a thorough investigation into the case. However, no other cases of the use of fake decrees had come to light upon questioning Rajinder Singh.
On the orders of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the police had registered a case under sections 465, 466, 471 and 120 of the IPC on August 20 this year. Rajinder Singh was arrested yesterday.
The two accused had been
working as munshis of various lawyers at the district
courts here for the fast more than 25 years. The police
has, however, so far not found any employee of the
district courts or lawyer to be involved in the racket.
World Bank rejects audit of
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The World Bank has refused to accept audit certificates submitted by the Punjab Health Systems Corporation for the expenditure it made during the past two years in setting up this new corporation.
The World Bank has also made it clear that no money would be released until audit certificates for the expenditure incurred during the past two years are submitted by the Accountant-General (Audit).
Punjab also runs the risk of not getting reimbursement for the expenditure incurred by it from 1987-88 to 1996-97 on the "National programme for the control of blindness" under a Danish Government aided programme. The reason being that the state Health Department is unable to meet the mandatory requirement of furnishing Statements of Expenditures (SOEs) for the entire duration of the project.
At present, the audit of accounts of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation is done by private chartered accountants. Under the provisions of the agreement, the reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the state government or any of its public undertaking on the externally aided or World Bank-aided project can be claimed only after the audit certificates are issued by the office of the Accountant-General (Audit).
Investigation reveals that at the time of signing the memorandum of understanding, the World Bank had insisted that it would send its own auditors for all its projects in India. The Government, however, opposed this cause on the plea that it had a ful-fledged institution of Comptroller and Auditor-General of India for auditing of all accounts of the federal and state governments. Further, the cost of foreign auditors would be exorbitant compared to Indian conditions. The World Bank agreed on the plea that audit certificates issued by the office of the CAG would be acceptable.
But a number of public sector undertakings of the Punjab Government, including the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, have no enabling clause in the Acts under which they were set up to enable the CAG audit.
At present, there are 11 such corporations and boards in Punjab where accounts are not audited by the office of the CAG. They are the Punjab Mandi Board, Punjab Women and Children Development and Welfare Corporation, Punjab School Education Board, Punjab Rural Development Board, Punjab Ex-servicemen Corporation, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Punjab Urban Development Authority, Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation and Punjab Health Systems Corporation.
The Accountant-General (Audit), Punjab, Mr Balwinder Singh, confirmed that the issue had been taken up with the Punjab Government at the highest level.
At present, there are 11 World Bank-aided projects being executed in Punjab and claim for reimbursement by the state government are to be raised before December 31 this year. Under the rules, the statements of expenditure (SOEs) are required to be sent by executing agencies to the Accountant-General (Audit) by July 31 this year.
No such reports of at least seven of these projects about expenditure incurred on them until March, 1998, had been received until end of last month.
In one case, the "National Programme for the Control of Blindness", the SOE has not been submitted by the Director of Health Services, Punjab, since 1987-88 onwards though the Comptroller-General of India and the Union Ministry of Health have been repeatedly reminding the State Governments and UT Administrations about "inordinate delay" in submitting of SOEs.
Some weeks ago, even the Additional Secretary and Project Director of National Aids Control Organisation, wrote a letter to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, that in pursuance of para 6 and Article 8 of the Danish (Government of the Kingdom of Denmark) Agreement, within nine months of the expiry of the financial year, the state AGs shall furnish to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and to the Danish Government, the statement of financial accounts of the project together with an audited certificate from the statutory audit authority, inter-alia, whether the resources were used for the purpose of the project and whether the financial statement is correct.
The Phase II of the project expired on November 6 last year. In the absence of required audit certificates, we could not get the disbursements in respect of expenditure incurred by the states or union territories on Danida components. The Danish Assistance to National Programme for Control of Blindness have now intimated that they shall close the Phase II budget on September 30 and shall not accept any more audit certificates if they are submitted after that date, the letter said.
DPI refuses approval to
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 1 The Director Public Instructions (Colleges) Punjab has refused to grant approval to the award of proposed penalty of dismissal of Mr D.L. Anand, principal of DAV College, Hoshiarpur as requested by the Managing Committee of the College.
The DAV College Managing Committee Hoshiarpur on February 12, 98 sent proposal for the approval to the dismissal from service of Mr D.L. Anand, principal, to the Director Public Instructions (Colleges) Punjab. The Management chargesheeted Mr Anand on September 20, 97 in which five allegations were levelled against Mr Anand.
The management alleged that Mr Anand violated provisions of code, lack of supervision and administrative control, non-maintenance of cash book, misuse of powers and non-maintenance of receipt accounts. The reply submitted by Mr D.L. Anand was not found satisfactory by committee and an inquiry was conducted, report of which was submitted on February 6, 1998.
Against the above proposal of the management Mr Anand had made a representation to the Director Public Instructions (Colleges) rebutting the charges against him as false and not justified by the facts of the case.
The director after the consideration of the records of this case and the arguments of both parties opined that no case is made out against Mr Anand. He stated in his judgement on August 28, 98 that no documentary evidence has been produced to prove the charges.
He stated that the management had not produced the account books/record of the accounts branch before him inspite of the fact that he directed it to bring the record. He stated that even the inquiry officer had recorded in his findings that "the management has not been able to produce any documentary evidence to show that the State Bank of India, the PSEB and GNDU made actual payments to the principal for hiring on rent the accommodation of the college,".
As such the inquiry
officer has rightly recorded that the charge against the
Principal was not proved. He stated that he had reached
the conclusion that the college management had stopped a
biased approach and the charges against Mr D.L. Anand
have not been accurately scrutinised and specifically
proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence he refused to
grant his approval to the award of proposed penalty of
dismissal, as requested by the college management.
Octroi not to be abolished
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon has virtually ruled out abolishing of octroi in the state. He was addressing a press conference here today.
He said that teams of officials concerned had been sent to various states where octroi had been abolished in recent years to study what alternative measures had been taken by those states to raise funds.
On the basis of reports collected by officials from octroi-free states, Mr Tandon said that he could say that the chances of abolishing octroi in Punjab were very "bleak". He said that alternative steps, taken by octroi-free states to raise funds, if implemented in Punjab after abolishing octroi would create more problems for traders, shopkeepers and the business community.
He said that certain states had levied entry tax in place of octroi while others had increased the rate of sales tax. In certain states tax had been imposed on the total turnover. He said that if such steps were taken in Punjab while abolishing octroi, these would prove more cumbersome for all concerned.
Mr Tandon said that several steps had been initiated to improve the lot of cities and towns in the state and to make the administration of municipal committees more responsive and active. He said that officials had been told to earmark time from their working hours to meet people and attend to their grievances.
He said that Deputy Directors had been told to make inspection from time to time to ensure that citizens face no difficulty in municipal committee offices. Mr Tandon said that the mayors of municipal corporations and presidents of municipal committees had been given powers to initiate the annual confidential reports (ACRs) of senior officials of corporations and committees.
He said that the income of committees and corporations had increased by 20 per cent in the past few months and he was expecting about 25 per cent increase by the end of current financial year in the overall income of local bodies.
He said that in every committee and corporation a complaint box would be installed where people could put in their complaints. Only senior officers would be entitled to open such boxes and take action on the basis of such complaints, he added.
Fish park in a state of neglect
GURDASPUR, Sept 1 The fish park situated in the local Civil Lines which was developed as a centre of attraction for the residents here suffers from gross neglect. The park was inaugurated by Mr D.D. Pandey, former Governor of Punjab, in 1984.
The park has deteriorated with the passage of time. The pavement for walk is broken at many places. Congress Grass has grown near the pavement, posing a health hazard.
The fish pond needs to be strengthened to prevent land erosion due to the stagnant water in the pond. The water emits foul smell. The water also needs periodic changes.
More than a dozen flood-lights have been provided in the park but only a few of these are functional. The park houses a library for senior citizens which has, however, been lying closed for long. The fish aquarium which used to display colourful species of fish is also lying closed.
A small snacks shop in the park has no seating space.
Visitors to the park told
this correspondent that the District Fish Farmers Agency,
under whose jurisdiction the park falls, should get
comprehensive landscaping of the premised and earmark
places for the plantation of flowers, remove the wild
growth and plant trees such as eucalyptus etc.
Desolate War Memorial
ASAL UTTAR (Amritsar): "Here, on this sacred soil rests this brave son of India," reads a welcome board on the Amritsar-Khemkaran main road, a few kilometres from the Pakistan border.
A casual visitor, however, feels disappointed to see the desolate War Memorial of Abdul Hamid PVC (posthumously) who attained martyrdom when he protected his motherland during the Indo-Pak war in 1965. The entire memorial comes under the cover of darkness at night as there is no arrangements for flood-lights to illuminate the memorial. There is no "mali" (gardner) or "sevadar" (peon) for the upkeep of the memorial.
The Battle of Asal Uttar and the saga of Abdul Hamid are recorded in the history of India. It was the Asal Uttar Garrison which withstood the onslaught of Pakistan's Armoured Division and II INF Division from September 7 to 10, 1965, finally forcing Pakistan to abandon its ambitious plans to capture Amritsar. Asal Uttar defenders stood like a rock and destroyed as many as 97 Pakistani tanks, mostly Pattons.
About 100 metres to the west, history was made by Hamid who on September 10 shot down three tanks with his recoilless gun, but was killed while engaging the fourth one. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra (posthumously).
War Memorial was redesigned under the patronage of Major-Gen V.K. Shrivastva and Brig Rattan Kaul in 1994.
Though the memorial is guarded by a group of Army jawans, yet the state government has done nothing to renovate it. So much so, even the state of cleanliness at the memorial is deplorable. It gets a facelift only on the day when Asal Uttar is observed every year.
Golden Arrow Division raising day
FEROZEPORE, Sept 1 The Golden Arrow Division today celebrated its raising day Somewhere in the Western Sector. A thrilling air show and a dare-devil free fall jump was arranged on the occasion.
The air show commenced with a flag past by three helicopters. This was followed by a demonstration of the capabilities of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, including casualty evacuation and carriage of under-slung loads like mortars.
The next event was the hair-raising free fall jump from helicopters at a height of 6,000 feet. A special forces team jumped from two helicopters in groups of three each opening their parachutes at 3,000 feet and making pin-point landings at the place of the function.
The spectacle culminated with formation flying and synchronised landing and switching off of engines by all five aircraft led by Col D. Rathi and a six-member special forces team led by Major S.K. Sah.
Apart from Army personnel and their families, the events were witnessed by a large number of civilians and enthusiastic school children.
While speaking on the occasion, Major-Gen K.C. Padha, VSM, General Officer Commanding, Golden Arrow Division, extolled the performance of the paratroopers.
The Division was first raised in 1914 in the North-West Frontier Province and saw action in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestines and the Jordan Valley during the First World War.
In World War II, it fought decisive battles at Buthidaung, Kohima and Ukrul and steaming the tide of the Japanese offensive into India, it later spearheaded the counter offensive and established a bridgehead across the mighty Irrawaddy river in Burma.
The Division was re-raised in Ferozepore on July 1, 1963. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, it fought battles in the Khemkaran and Khalra sectors and was awarded the Battle Honour of "Barki".
In 1971 operations it was
awarded the Battle Honour "Sehjra" for the
capture of Sehjra. Apart from this, officers, JCOs and
other ranks of the formation have been decorated with a
large number of gallantry awards.
Teacher jailed for student's rape
MANSA, Sept 1 Mr Sham Sunder Gupta, Additional Sessions Judge Mansa, has sentenced Paramjit Singh, a teacher to undergo rigorous imprisonment and to pay fine of Rs 1,000. Paramjit Singh, who was in charge of Government High School, Khokher Kalan, has been convicted for raping a student of VIII standard of same of school.
Mr Gupta observed that Paramjit Singh deserved no leniency as he was in charge of the educational institution and raped a minor girl taking advantage his official position.
The Mansa police had registered a case on May 23, 1997 under Sections 376/342/506 of the IPC. Paramjit Singh asked the student to bring ice to school at 2 p.m. When the school was closed on May 20, 1997. When she came back after bring the ice, Paramjit Singh took her to a separate room. At that time, Lal Singh, member Panchayat and Sukhdev Singh, both residents of Khokhar Kalan, were sitting at the culvert and they had seen the student enter the room of the accused in the school.
After some time Mr Lal Singh and Sukhdev Singh, knocked at the door of the teacher. Paramjit Singh, opened the door of the room and tried to leave the school after locking the room to cover up the matter. When the student raised alarm, they broke open the room.
The student narrating the
story to the members of his family said that Paramjit
Singh was under the influence of liquor and he had
threatened her of dire consequences if she raised alarm.
The police found a bottle of liquor, a glass, a packet of
bhujia, a plastic jug, broken lock and a cloth sheet from
the room of the accused.
Punjab postings and transfers
CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 The Punjab Government today transferred 13 IAS and 26 PCS officers.
Mr Ashok Kumar Goel has been posted as Special Secretary in the Department of Animal Husbandry while Mr Ranjit Singh has been posted as Additional Secretary in the Department of Education. Mr Anurag Verma goes as Additional Secretary in the Department of Planning and Mr R.K. Verma has been posted as ADC (Development), Nawanshahr.
Mr R.K. Ganta has been posted as ADC at Hoshiarpur while Mr Vikas Partap comes to Sangrur as Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development). Mr D.K. Tiwari has been posted as ADC at Moga while Mr Alok Shekhar has been posted as ADC (Development) at Bathinda. Mr J.M. Balamurugan has been posted as ADC at Mansa. Mr Vivek Partap Singh has been posted as SDM at Rajpura.
Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhari has been posted as SDM at Dhar Kalan and Mr Ajay Kumar Sinha has been posted as SDM at Batala. Mr R.G. Sahota has been posted as ADC at Ferozepore while Mr H.L. Kumar has been posted as ADC (Development) at Ferozepore.
Mr Bhagwant Singh goes as Additional Chief Administrator PUDA at Patiala while Mr J.S. Dhillon has been posted as ADC at Faridkot. Mr Parveen Kumar has been posted as ADC at Jalandhar and Mr Darshan Singh goes to Abohar as SDM and Mr Baljit Singh has been posted as ADC (Development) at Amritsar.
Mr Harbhupinder Singh has been posted as ADC (Development) at Jalandhar, Mr Jaswant Singh has been posted as Joint Development Commissioner (IRD), Mr M.S. Banwait has been posted as Joint Secretary in the Department of Revenue, Mr T.N. Passey has been posted as Assistant Commissioner (General), Gurdaspur, while Mr Harcharan Singh Sandhu has been posted as Assistant Commissioner (General) at Faridkot.
Mr D.S. Kharbanda has been posted as SDM, Ferozepore, Mr Puneet Goyal as SDM at Mukerian and Mr S.K. Sinha as SDM, Fazilka. Mr Manjit Singh Brar has been posted as Assistant Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Ms Kanwalpreet Brar has been posted as Estate Officer, PUDA, at Bathinda, Mr Vinay Bublani as SDM at Jalandhar (Ist), Mr Mohan Lal as SDM at Jaito, Mr T.S. Bhatti as SDM at Budhlada, Mr Sukhvinder Pal Singh as SDM at Khandoor Sahib and Mr Jai Pal Singh as SDM at Sultanpur Lodhi.
Mr G.P.S. Sahota has been
posted as SDM at Tarn Taran, Mr Jaspal Mittal as SDM at
Ludhiana (East), Mr S.S. Khara as Administrative Officer,
PWD, at Patiala, Mr G.R. Bansal as Joint Secretary, Local
Government, and Mr Samir Kumar as Additional Secretary in
the Finance Department.
Baba Farid varsity begins work
FARIDKOT, Sept 1 Baba Farid University of Medical and Health Sciences started functioning from the old O.P.D. complex of the local Government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital today.
Seven houses have also been acquired on the college campus for senior officers of the university.
Later, briefing newsmen, Dr L.S. Chawla, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the Punjab Government had allocated Rs 3 crore for the construction of the university. Initially, 30 blocks, including administrative and convention hall, will be constructed to monitor the university work.
Dr Chawla said he had suggested a grant of Rs 15 crore each for the government medical colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot for updating health facilities. Also a member of the Medical Council of India, he expressed the hope that the admission for the second batch for students would start shortly at Guru Ram Das Hospital and College, Amritsar.
Front for probe into Deans'
PATIALA, Sept 1 The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjabi University, here at a meeting today took serious note of grant of affiliation by the Punjabi University, to two professional institutions located in Patiala city owned by the sons of the university Deans, namely, Dean, Academic Affairs and Dean, College Development Council, in violation of university norms, rules and regulation.
Dr Ranjit Singh Ghuman, convener, DTF in a statement, said that these two deans in violation of university norms, put themselves on the two inspection committees set up by themselves for providing affiliation to these two institutions. It amounts to serious lapse on their part which is normally was not expected from the persons in such high position. It also has brought discredit to the university.
He further said that a
representation had been given to the Vice-Chancellor of
Punjabi University, demanding an inquiry into the whole
affair. He demanded that these two deans should be asked
to resign to facilitate a fair inquiry.
Government to provide jobs to 40,000
ROPAR, Sept 1 Forty thousand unemployed youth, belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes, will be provided employment during the current financial year in the state by the Punjab Government.
This was stated by Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, State Minister for Youth Services and Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab, while addressing a gathering at Balamgarh-Mandwarra village, 15 km from here, last evening.
Mr Kanjla said employment would be provided in the shape of self-employment and jobs in different government and semi-government institutions.
The minister said the state government had asked the Centre to provide funds to the tune of Rs 30 crore under a national policy for giving guidance to the youth so that they could be associated in fields like sports, patriotism and social activities to build a constructive society.
Mr Kanjla said the government would set up youth clubs in all villages of the state. Besides, a youth hostel would be built at every district headquarters to cater to the needs of the youth, he added.
The minister said the government would honour all youth who would get married without accepting dowry.
SAS NAGAR, Sept 1 Officers and other staff members of PUDA's head office and SAS Nagar zone held a meeting here yesterday to mourn the death of Mr Sarup Singh, Housing and Urban Development Minister.
The condolence meeting at
the Phase III BI Community Centre was addressed, among
others, by Mr I.S. Bindra, Principal Secretary (Housing
and Urban Development) and Vice-Chairman of PUDA. Two
minutes' silence was observed in memory of the departed
leader and it was resolved to convey the sympathies of
the staff to the bereaved family.
teachers reject appeal
LUDHIANA, Sept 1 Teachers of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have outrightly rejected the appeal made by the Ministry of Human Resources Development to the university and college teachers to call off their ongoing strike.
Dr R.K. Batra, president of the PAU Teachers Association (PAUTA), said in a teachers' rally held at PAU campus today that this appeal was misleading as it did not specify the incentives being given to the teachers. He alleged that the minister concerned had transgressed his official position by tampering with the recommendations of the UGC regarding the pay scales and service conditions of the teachers.
Meanwhile, the PAU
Students Association has appealed to the university
Vice-Chancellor to intervene and order that the viva
voice and thesis seminars of the postgraduate students be
conducted so that students do not suffer because of the
AMRITSAR, Sept 1 (UNI) Assistant Commissioner (Customs) Ranjan Chaudhary and two superintendents have been put under suspension following a high level inquiry into the smuggling of goods from Pakistan at Attari railway station, while the role of the Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was being probed in this regard.
According to customs sources here, Chaudhary was allegedly involved in helping three women from Delhi who came from Pakistan via the Samjhauta Express on June 18 and managed to cross Attari railway station along with 200 bags of dry fruit and 500 bags of poppy worth Rs 75 lakh.
However, the Customs team got alert after the three women managed to escape without clearance and the Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) team successfully traced them and seized the bags containing poppy and the dry fruit worth Rs 75 lakh.
But the three women were understood to be let off by the DRI team as their whereabouts were not known. The Customs Department had already said that there had been no arrest in this case.
involvement in the case was probed by two-member
investigation team of the Customs headquarters in Delhi
which included Mr A. M. Prasad, Member of Vigilance in
Customs, and another senior Customs official Mr K. L.
Verma. The inquiry was ordered by Finance Minister
smuggling gang busted
PATIALA, Sept 1 The Samana police yesterday claimed to have smashed a narcotics smuggling gang which had been operating in the district. Two persons were arrested along with 15 sacks of poppy husk.
Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, Senior Superintendent of Police, said the alleged smugglers, Nishan Singh and Sarupa Singh, were caught at a check-post near Shatrana village.
to inspect college in October
PATIALA, Sept 1 After a gap of five years the Medical Council of India has decided to inspect the local Rajindra Medical College and Hospital in the first week of October.
A letter to this effect was received here today at the college. The officials termed the visit as a regular one, informed sources revealed that the visit assumes significance as due to paucity of staff in various courses many teaching faculties had been affected. Along with vacant posts of teacher in the medical college, there is problem of exodus of specialised doctors from the hospital which has affected seriously medical services in this once prestigious institution.
AMRITSAR, Sept 1 The Rafi Awards were given to Uttam Singh (best music director), Bhupinder Singh Bhupi (best Punjabi pop-singer), Sapna Awasthi (playback singer), Mangal Singh (playback singer), Ranjana Devi (best Punjabi playeback singer) and Gurpreet Singh (best comedian) by the Mohammad Rafi Memorial Society last evening.
"One sitting" degree
PATIALA, Sept 1 A number of candidates for admission to the B.Ed. courses in colleges of education in the state, who had cleared the entrance test conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, have demanded withdrawal of the notification issued by the National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE) which debars "one sitting" graduates from being admitted to the B.Ed. course.
These candidates have maintained in a representation that they had done their graduation under the "one sitting" examination scheme started by Kurukshetra University a couple of years ago. This course was later invalidated, but those who had completed it were given valid degrees.
These candidates had appeared in the B.Ed. entrance examination on the strength of these degrees. But at the time of interview Guru Nanak Dev University had turned them back in view of the NCTE notification.
An official of the university, connected with B.Ed. admissions, confirmed that the university had received the notification.
Commuters seek 2 more trains
JALANDHAR, Sept 1 Persons commuting from Hoshiarpur to Jalandhar have written to the Railway Minister and railway authorities to introduce two more trains to avoid overcrowding on the existing ones.
The trains running between Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur are overcrowded and the daily commuters are subjected to harassment, alleges Mr Janak Saini, a social activist who is spearheading this demand.
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