Sunday, December 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CBI fails to pay rent for 4 years
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Dec 9 — The CBI is in the web of controversy as its team which has been occupying two airconditioned rooms of Sainik Rest House since February 12, 1996, has not paid the rent so far. Neither has the team vacated the rooms despite repeated reminders.

The CBI took possession of two airconditioned rooms on the direction of the then district magistrate, Mr Karnbir Singh Sidhu. Though the team was allotted two rooms, it had pitched a tent outside the newly built Sainik Sadan without any sanction. The electricity bill of the ‘tent’ has also not been paid so far.

The principal secretaries/secretaries, defence services, have been sending communications to all concerned to get the rest house vacated but in vain. A letter by the then Principal Secretary, Mrs Gurbinder Kaur Chahal, to the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, dated April 15, 1998, reads, “Two airconditioned rooms of Sainik Rest House were booked on the request of the then SSP through (District Magistrate) in February, 1996. No rent was paid to Sainik Rest House despite repeated reminders. Since Sainik Rest House is meant for ex-servicemen and serving officers, the officials have been facing a problem of accommodating them. Since the CBI had not made the payment so far, the maintenance of the rest house was not being carried out.”

According to sources, the district police chiefs, from time to time also took up the matter with their superiors, including the DGP, for releasing funds for making payment to the Deputy Director, Sainik Rest House, but no action has been taken in this regard.

Mr J.S. Mann, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, confirmed that a rent of Rs 3 lakh was still outstanding against the CBI team. He, however, refused to give details of the correspondence.

According to sources, the CBI has been camping here in connection with the inquiry of cremation of unidentified bodies during the peak of terrorism in Punjab.

Sources point out that though the state government had clarified that the sainik houses should not be requisitioned under any circumstances, the district magistrates have been forcing the respective deputy directors for the requisitions.

A visit to Sainik Rest House revealed that the wards of ex-servicemen and serving Army officials who have been getting training in the Sainik Sadan get disturbed due to the presence of security personnel. The foundation stone of the Sainik Sadan was laid by then Chief Minister Beant Singh in March, 1994.

Sainik Rest House here is the biggest in the state. However, the airconditioned rooms occupied by the CBI team present a shabby look these days.

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