Thursday, May 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


N.K. Jain reverted to Haryana
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The Union Home Ministry tonight ordered immediate reversion of Chandigarh Home Secretary N.K. Jain to his parent State of Haryana. In an order endorsed to the Haryana Government, the Home Ministry also wanted a fresh panel of names sent to the Chandigarh Administration for appointment of a new Home Secretary.

No decision has been taken as yet about the suspension of Mr N.K. Jain who has been in police custody since his arrest by the CBI on May 10. His extended police remand ends tomorrow.

It may be mentioned here that the Special Cell of the Central Bureau of Investigation had registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against him on April 6 on the basis of a confessional statement made by the UT Office Superintendent K.B. Goel before the Subdivisional Magistrate Ashish Kundra on March 14 at the UT Guest House.

The CBI team made raids at four places, including the official residence of the Home Secretary in Sector 7 on April 7 but his house was found locked. Subsequently, the CBI searched his house on April 10 when N.K. Jain returned to the city. He, however, failed to keep his date and did not appear before the CBI on April 13.

Bail applications of Mr N.K. Jain were rejected by the Special CBI Court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered his custodial interrogation.

After his plea for bail application and Special Leave Petition had been dismissed by the Supreme Court, the Home Secretary surrendered before the CBI on May 9 and he was formally arrested the same evening at about 6 p.m. after a medical examination at the Sector 16 General Hospital.

In between his incomplete applications for extension of his leave were referred by the Administration to the Union Home Ministry on which formal decision is still awaited. The Administration had sanctioned him leave from March 21 to April 11. He had been on leave since then.

Though according to Civil Service rules, any official who remains in police or judicial custody for 48 hours or more is deemed to be suspended from the time of his or her actual detention, no formal orders have been passed as yet about his suspension. Instead, the Home Ministry tonight ordered his immediate reversion and asked the Administration to relieve him forthwith.

The Haryana Government is expected to send a fresh panel of names for the post of the Home Secretary to the Chandigarh Administration in a day or two.

Counsel yet to make list of Jain’s papers 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The inventory of documents contained in the briefcase which Mr N.K. Jain’s counsel consented to surrender in the court here on May 15, is yet to be prepared. It may be mentioned here that the case had taken an interesting turn, with Mr Jain’s counsel producing the briefcase containing certain documents related to his property in the court of UT Chief Judicial Magistrate Sant Parkash. The Magistrate returned the same directing the defence to make a list of documents contained therein. Mr Jain had mentioned to the police that he had kept certain documents concerning his property with his defence counsel.

His police custody was extended for another three days by the court the same day. He is again to be produced tomorrow. Objecting to the CBI’s request for a seven day extension in police remand, the defence counsel had surrendered the briefcase in the court along with an application that some documents which could be used at the time of defence were available with him. He, however, submitted to the court that the documents be sealed because there was likelihood of their being not available at the time of trial in case the CBI takes the custody.

He stated that there were some documents which serve the purpose of defence and go on to show that no property held by Mr Jain was illegal and that the IT returns concerned had been filed.

Taking up the application, the court gave the briefcase back to the defence counsel, with a direction that an inventory of documents contained therein be prepared. The defence counsel today informed that an inventory would soon be submitted in the court.Back


Ranjit Bajaj also involved in a case of kidnapping
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — Although the sons, wards and relatives of wards of VIPs living in the city have been known to act as a law unto themselves, and instances of their being involved in one incident or the other have been routinely highlighted by the media, some people “never learn”.

The latest incident involves Ranjit Bajaj, the son of Mr B.R. Bajaj and Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj, a senior IAS couple of Punjab, who reportedly kidnapped Sunny Bajaj, the son of a wealthy industrialist, and allegedly demanded Rs 20 lakh as ransom after keeping the complainant confined in one of the top floor rooms of the official Bajaj residence in Sector 16.

It may be recalled that Ranjit is already wanted by the police after a foreign made 9 m.m. pistol, seven live cartridges, two empty gun holsters and two swords were reportedly found in his car which also bore CHI 1, a fictitious registration number on May 6 in Sector 18.

In the present case, he is said to have intercepted the car of Sunny, (DL 1CF 1777,) at about 11 a.m. near the underbridge in Sectors11/ 15 and forced him to the passenger seat by pointing a gun to his head. He was accompanied by his friends Bobby and Sarwan besides an unidentified youth. While Ranjit drove Sunny’s car to Sector 16, the others followed them in his car. Both were reportedly known to each other for the past one month only.

He was taken to the room and beaten up by the accused. Ranjit later assaulted him with an iron rod. Hearing the cries, Mrs Bajaj came to investigate but was reportedly pushed out of the room by Ranjit. He later made a videofilm forcing him to confess stealing a gold chain belonging to Mrs Bajaj and some other documents besides some other things, Ranjit wanted him to say on tape.

He was repeatedly threatened by the accused and was told that he had to arrange for a sum of Rs 20 lakh for his release since his father had a lot of money. Finally the ordeal came to an end at about 5 p.m. when he was dropped near his Sector 9 residence by Mr Bajaj in a car.

He said a sum of Rs 1. 18 lakh, some cheque books, a cell phone, a gold ring and chain and some important documents were also forcibly taken from his car by Ranjit.

Sunny in his statement said that he was so frightened that he did not inform his parents about the whole incident. Finally he picked the courage and informed his parents on May 16 who in turn contacted the SSP. Following investigations a case under Section 392, 364, 342, 323, 506, IPC, was registered at the Central police station here today. However, no arrests have been carried out.



Ranjit Bajaj denied anticipatory bail
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — Rupan Deol Bajaj’s son Ranjit Bajaj was today refused anticipatory bail by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.C. Godara, who had earlier observed that in case the applicant offers his arrest (which he had stayed till May 16), he could be released on furnishing a bail bond in the sum of Rs 10,000.

Ranjit is wanted by the police, which recovered a .9 mm pistol, seven cartridges, two empty gun holsters and two swords from his car here on May 6. He had filed his anticipatory bail application in the court of ADJ Godara on May 9. The Judge, while staying arrest of the accused till May 16, has also issued a notice to the State for the same date.

The city police had recovered the above mentioned things from Ranjit’s car which bore a fictitious number — CHI 1. The car was being driven by Ranjit’s friend Gursamip Singh in Sector 18 at 3 am in the morning and was stopped under mysterious circumstances. The occupant was questioned as to why he was driving the car at such a.m. odd hour and why had he played music at a very high volume.Back


Warehousing land purchase raises eyebrows
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — Eyebrows have been raised over purchase of 31 acres of land, near Dappar, by the Punjab Warehousing Corporation for its Dera Bassi container depot.

The corporation has purchased this land from two New Delhi-based businessmen brothers at the rate of Rs 17 lakh an acre while a few others have offered their land to the corporation at rates varying between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 14 lakh an acre in the same vicinity.

Mr Gurdial Singh Sahu, a farmer of Lalru, said that he offered his 36 acres of land to the corporation at Rs 9 lakh an acre. Similar offers were made to the corporation in Gulabgarh area, about 1 km from Dera Bassi, where the price quoted was Rs 9 lakh an acre.

Mr Onkar Singh Pasricha of New Delhi offered his 35 acres of land at Rs 17 lakh an acre. It was this offer which was accepted by the Land Purchase Committee of the corporation comprising its Chairman, Mr Sampuran Singh Cheema; the then Managing Director, Mr Karan A. Singh; the Additional/Special Secretary, Agriculture or his nominee; the Director, Food and Supplies or his nominee; Mr Piara Singh (a Director) and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Patiala.

Mr Karan A. Singh said that the corporation adopted an “open, competitive and transprarent “ approach while finalising the deal.

“We had several offers. Some on the main road, some on the link roads. Some did not meet our requirements. The asking rate, too, varied. We had an inter-departmental commitee and the Land Purchase Committee which visited all sites and held negotiations, both at site and in office, before finalising the deal.

“Ultimately when the project comes up, it will be realised that this has been the most ideal and suitable site,” he added.

Investigations reveal that the Pasrichas at the time of making their offer did not own one continuous block of land. In between their land was a two-bigha piece of land which belonged to Mr Kalattar Singh, alias Nachhattar Singh of Lalru. Though the meeting of Land Purchase Committee was held on March 2, this piece of land was purchased by the Pasrichas on March 27 by general power of attorney registered before Sub-Registrar, Dera Bassi.

The land purchased by the Warehousing Corporation is located at Mauza Dappar while the second part is of Mauza Samelheri. A portion of this land also falls in the nearby rivulet.

Interestingly in November last year, another industrial unit had purchased land at Mauza Samelheri at Rs 5.82 lakh an acre. Similarly, the same company purchased the land on the front facing the road in the same Mauza Samelheri in March this year for Rs 8 lakh an acre.

When contacted, the Managing Director of the Punjab Warehousing Corporation, Mr Arun Goel, expressed ignorance about the land deal.


Chakka jam leaves commuters high and dry
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The 10-day-old dispute over plying of air-conditioned private buses between Amritsar and Chandigarh took an ugly turn today with the employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) “impounding” two buses.

Thousands of commuters, both local and those bound for long-distance, had a harrowing time as they were left stranded at the ISBT for over four hours as the CTU staff resorted to chakka jam in protest against the ‘illegal” operation of private buses by a BJP MLA from Gurdaspur district, Mr Jagdish Sawhney.

The high drama started in the morning, when the CTU staff, alleging partisan role of the local State Transport Authority (STA) in not stopping the “illegal” operation of the private buses, resorted to direct action and “impounded” two buses. The operation of the air-conditioned buses went against a 1966 notification of the Chandigarh Administration and would eat into the profits of CTU, protesters said.

Chaos reined supreme in and around the ISBT as protesters parked the buses haphazardly and virtually blocked all entry and exit points. For over four hours —10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — thousands of commuters were held at ransom. Interestingly, the arch-rivals of the CTU, Punjab Roadways staff, joined the strike, adding to the woes of the passengers.

Traffic to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and other states passing through the city or emanating from here was totally disrupted as protesters did not allow buses to enter or leave from the ISBT.

Moreover, members of the joint action committee, including Mr Narain Singh, Mr Mohar Singh, Mr Vijay Saini and Kanhya Lal, alleged that due to STA’s “inaction”, the state exchequer had lost lakhs of rupees. They threatened to intensify the stir if the “illegal” operation of buses was not stopped.

However, certain inter-state buses, including private buses, left from areas outside the ISBT. The traffic police, which swung into action rather late, had a tough time

in regulating the vehicular traffic since roads near the roundabouts and rotaries around the bus stand were blocked by parking of buses.

Even as bus service resumed following the challaning of buses by the STA, passengers reacted sharply to chakka jam by CTU and PR staff. “holding thousands of passengers at ransom for hours together is no way to protest. The CTU and Punjab Roadways should resolve the issue and spare the common man of the agony,” said 65-year-old Ms Savitri Devi, bound for Amritsar.

“The roadways staff go for a strike at the drop of the hat and ultimately it is the common passengers who are at the receiving end,” said an angry Mr Sunil Kumar from Delhi. He added that instead of opposing the entry of the private sector in the transport sector, state carriages should improve their performance.

The Punjab Government had recently issued an inter-state permit to Mr Sawhney to run air-conditioned buses between Amritsar and Chandigarh. The tussle between the CTU and Punjab started when the former impounded a bus belonging to Mr Sawhney on May 8.

In retaliation, Punjab impounded the CTU buses plying in the state. The CTU also reacted sharply and impounded Punjab Roadways buses in the union territory, which led to disruption of bus services from May 8 to 10.


At least 40 per cent policemen are without accommodation in Mohali
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 17 — Cops not always call the shots. At times they can be at the receiving end too. This has at least proved true in case of government accommodation for Punjab Police personnel posted in this town and its peripheral areas. In spite of sufficient staff quarters, at least 40 per cent of the local staff is without quarters.

Even the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), SAS Nagar, is without official accommodation. Sources in the district police say that though there were at least 140 staff quarters for the non-gazetted police personnel in the town, a major share of accommodation was with “advantaged” personnel attached with senior police personnel at Chandigarh. Some had been allotted accommodation on compassionate grounds.

The present strength of police force in the SAS Nagar sub-division was 189. On the condition of anonymity, police personnel admit that the problem of housing was certainly there. Enquires reveal that around 120 quarters had been constructed within the complex of the central police station in Phase 8 in early nineties and a number of these were allotted to non-gazetted police personnel posted at Punjab Police Headquarters and at other offices of the Police Department in Chandigarh.

Investigations reveal that at least 35 of such flats are still in possession of the original allottees. Some PAP personnel posted in other parts of the state were also holding the flats. At least two quarters had been given to the local CID wing of the local police and a flat was in possession of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), posted in Gurdaspur district.

The affected cops say that the house rent allowance (HRA) they were entitled to was much less than the rented accommodation available in the town. Either they were forced to hire cheap accommodations in the rural areas adjoining the town or leave their family at their native place, anticipating frequent transfers. The same rationale holds true for the personnel holding on to the flats in spite of being transferred outside.

Interestingly of the 24 flats in the housing complex of Phase 1 police station which were inaugurated by the Director-General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Mr Sarbjeet Singh, in January this year, at least 10 flats had already been allotted to personnel posted at Chandigarh.

Only a few quarters have so far been allotted to cops posted in the town and other parts of Ropar district.

A flat in housing complex had been made in the office of the DSP, SAS Nagar, in the wake of non-availability of official accommodation.

The police officials say the department had fixed a quota of flats for the police personnel posted at Chandigarh due to shortage of residential accommodation there.

They claim that there were few local personnel who had applied for allotment of flats. They admit that the problem could aggravate when additional police force for the town was sanctioned.


Rally by Youth Akali Dal
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The members of the All India Shiromani Youth Akali Dal staged a rally to press for the release of Sikhs detained in various jails for the past many years.

Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, while addressing the protesters, said the statement of the Union Home Minister in this context was very heartening. He said if those detained were capable of the crimes committed by them, they would have actually been punished for the said crimes a long time ago and the sentences meted out to them could have been lesser than the time they have actually been behind bars. In effect, the “cause”’ and “effect” of the matter has evaporated a long time back, he added.

In a memorandum submitted addressed to the Home minister and submitted to the Punjab Governor, the organisation said the purported “guilt” for which they have been incarcerated arose out from the gross injustice meted to the Sikh quom. The successive governments rather than addressing their grievances opted to suppress them with guns. 


Convention centre on the cards
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 17 — A convention centre in the City Centre in Sector 5 is on the cards, with the planning process having been completed and the approval of the Government being awaited.

The centre will be built by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in 5.5 acres, with a covered area of 7,200 sqm. Consisting of a basement, ground floor and balcony, it will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 18.33 crore.

The centre includes an auditorium with a capacity of 2,000 persons, a conference hall with a seating capacity of 40 persons and a seminar hall which can accommodate 150 persons, besides a restaurant and a canteen.

Initiated in 1997, HUDA made a provision of Rs 15 crore for the centre, which was initially approved with a seating capacity of 1,000 persons. Later its seating capacity was increased by 200 persons and again to its present capacity. The final seating capacity is under the consideration of the Government and is the only hitch in the beginning of construction work.

The consultancy for street designing electrification, lighting, air conditioning and purification was given to Punjab Engineering College. The consultancy for fire-fighting acoustics sound system and public address system was given to National Council for Cement and Building Materials, New Delhi, which also finalised the drawings for the community centre.

Speaking about the project, Mr NC Wadhwa, Chief Administrator, HUDA, said the convention centre would be given to government officers and public sector undertakings for holding seminars, programmes and workshops and the fee would be charged at concessional rates. The halls would be rented out for educational and cultural programmes, he added.


SDM sans official accommodation
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 17 — Strange are the ways of the Local Government Department. An officer entitled for official residential accommodation and that, too, earmarked for him still remains without it.

This has happened with the Administrator of the local municipal council-cum- the Sub-divisional Magistrate ( SDM), Mr Jaipal Singh, who joined here on April 27 in place of Mr O.P.Popli. Sources in the council say that the residence earmarked for the Administrator or the President of the council in the council’s residential complex in Phase 5 here had been occupied by a Sub Divisional Engineer (SDE).

Two other officers’ residence had been occupied by the Executive Officer and the Municipal Engineer of the council as per the rules. Inquiries reveal that as per the rules, the accommodation occupied by the SDE should have been allotted to the new Administrator. The Administrator is reported to have taken up the matter with the Executive Officer — responsible for house allotment — and other senior government officials. Sources said there were also irregularities in the allotment of houses to other employees in the colony. 


Parking fee for private buses
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today recommended the levy of parking of monthly fee of Rs 500 on each private bus operator of the city.

Considering a request regarding the holding of a shopping carnival in Sector 17, the committee gave its nod to hold the week-long carnival later this month.

The panel also gave a go-ahead signal to the proposal of Rs 3.45 lakh for replacing the out-dated and damaged PVC pipeline with ductile iron pipe to overcome the routine problems faced by the residents of Shanti Nagar in Mani Majra.

While deliberating on various means and ways pertaining to the development of Sector 17 so that it could be made more attractive to the visitors, the panel referred it to the House regarding the hiring of a consultant to carry out the detailed survey of the market. It also decided to interconnect various offices of the civic body through local area network(LAN). The panel had approved Rs 19 lakh for the first phase of computerisation of various functions of the civic body.

Encroachments removed: The enforcement staff of the civic body today removed over 300 encroachments from Sectors 46-A and 41-A. A team led by Mr Gurinder Singh, SDO, and Mr Kasmira Singh, Inspector, removed over 150 encroachments, comprising hedges, grills and fences, from Sector 46 in the operation, which started at 10 a.m. and lasted for over seven hours.

Similarly, in Sector 41-A, a team led by Mr Yashpal, SDO, Mr Kasmira Singh, and Mr DP Singh, Sub-Inspector, removed over 150 encroahments. There was slight resistance from the residents welfare body, which was overcome with police intervention.


Dowry case registered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17 — The police has registered a case of dowry against a Kurukshetra family on the charge of harassing their daughter-in-law.

According to police sources, city resident Shana Ram reported that his daughter, Madhu, was married to Dera Jairath resident Som Nath in 1997 and she was being harrassed for bringing inadequate dowry from day one. She had been sent home in this context on many occasions. The police has registered a case against her husband and her in-laws under Sections 406/498-A, 341, IPC.

Injured: A Ram Darbar resident, Dharam Pal, was hit and injured by an unknown car CH-OI-W-2221near the press chowk. Dharam Pal was riding a scooter. While the complainant was rushed to the general hospital for treatment, the driver of the car fled away. A case under Sections 279/337, IPC, has been registered.

Arrested: The police has arrested Shamsher Singh on the charges of consuming liquor at a public place in Sector 18. A case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Eve-teaser held: A Hoshiarpur resident Balwinder Singh was arrested on the charge of eve-teasing from the Sector 43 ISBT. He has been booked under Section 294, IPC.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Lakhan, a resident of Bapu Dham, and recovered 11 pouches of whisky from him. A case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered.



Man kills sister
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, May 17 — Jasbir Singh a resident of Akalgarh village of Kharar sub-division, allegedly killed his sister after she reportedly refused to give him money for purchasing intoxicants.

According to information, the accused was in the habit of taking intoxicants. When Jasbir’s sister refused to give him money on May 5, he killed her by strangulating and hitting her on the head. The accused then took her in the bathroom and washed the spots of blood on the floor.

According to the police, Jasbir Singh could not digest this and he told the Sarpanch of the village about the whole story, who informed the police about this. The Kurali police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 201, IPC, against the accused.Back


‘Number of mobile phones up’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 17— Mobile telephones will overtake fixed line telephones by 2007 in India. The number of mobile phones has increased from 10 millions in 1991 to 400 million in 2000. In another three to five years, 65 per cent of domestic fixed line telephones will switch over to mobile phones.

These observations were made at an interactive on mobile telephony, organised as part of the World Telecommunication Day celebrations organised by the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers here today.

The Circle General Manager, Punjab Telecom Circle, Mr R.N. Sharma, was the chief guest. Others present were Principal General Manager of Chandigarh Telecom, Mr Prithipal Singh; Mr K.B. Lall and Mr Vijay Kaul, both Vice-Presidents of the ECL Telecommunications Limited; Dr S.K. Mangal, Chairman, IETE; and Wg Cdr D.N. Misra, Secretary, IETE.

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