Thursday, October 4, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Case against Wintech for duping franchisee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The city police today registered a case of breach of trust and fraud against Wintech Computers for duping its franchisee of lakhs of rupees.

Wintech Computers and its sister concern, Zap Infotech, had gone into an agreement with Mr Anil Chaudhary, proprietor of Kshittu Solutions and local franchisee of the two companies. He alleged that proprietors of Wintech Computers had breached the contract between them.

He stated that according to the agreement, all earnings of the franchisee were to be pooled together and then split up . While Mr. Chaudhary had reportedly deposited his earnings, these were reportedly siphoned off. A case under sections 406 and 420 of the IPC was registered against Mr Murtaza Mathani of Wintech Computers, alleged to be an associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The said firm had reportedly duped around 300 students in the city to the tune of Rs 75 lakh, with Rs 25,000 on an average being taken from each of these 300 students. Thousands of students all over the country had been duped of over Rs 200 crore. One of the other centres of Wintech Computers in Sector 8 was closed down in March this year and 200 students enrolled here were left high and dry.

All over the country, around 20 branches of the computer centre had closed down and thousands of students had been left with unfinished courses. The arrests of three Delhi -based executives of Zap Infotech, a sister concern of Wintech, in June this year, had blown the lid off a multi- crore computer education racket, in which more than 2000 persons from 300 centres had been cheated.

Students not only from the city, but also from Panchkula and SAS Nagar, had enrolled in this institute for seeking quality computer education. The computer firm that had set up its offices in the city last year had promised in foreign countries and more attractive jobs.

Lured by the advertisements in a cross- section of the media, students had enrolled themselves in the institute in droves. Students had reportedly coughed up around Rs 17,000 to Rs 35, 000 a year for a variety of courses.

Students enrolled in the two centres here complained that the Sector 8 centre of Wintech Computers had been closed down without any warning. Though trouble at the centre had been brewing for quite some time, no one had seemed to be bothered. Reports of centres in other cities being closed down were being reported. The faculty here was also leaving the centre for greener pastures as their salaries were not being paid.

Between the two of them, Wintech and Zap Infotech, they had franchised about 300 centres across India’s major towns and cities.

While the onus for recruiting the faculty, providing the infrastructure, machines and promotional expenses lay with the franchisee, the two companies were only to pay the salary of the faculty and to lend its name.


Computer education programme opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Internet has revolutionised the governance of civilisation. This was stated by Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, Governor of Punjab, while inaugurating a computer education programme at the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

The Governor said first it was the printing technology that had brought the world out of the dark ages and now it was the Internet that was bringing information available at the click of a mouse. The UT Education Department had tied up with Tata Infotech for the course.

General Jacob said the UT Administration was committed to promote IT enabled services, such as call centre, medical transcription, data transfer and software development. The IT park was in an advanced stage in the city, he added.

Earlier, the Governor planted a sapling of ‘gulmohar’ on the campus. Welcoming the Governor, Principal Vijayalakshmi said the number of students enrolled for the course were expected to increase. Ms Neeru Nanda, Adviser to the UT Administrator, and Mr K.A.P. Sinha, DPI (Colleges), were also present.

Addressing a press conference later, Mr V.K.Malhotra , senior vice-president of Tata Infotech, said computer courses were being started in four local colleges, including GCM, Sector 11, GCG, Sector 42 and Government College, Sector 46. As special packages, premier IT courses would be offered at Rs 1788, payable in instalments, he said.

He added that 5 per cent of the total enrolled students would be given free education. Mr Malhotra said the college would have special batches for other courses in the evening session. There was a response of about 1,000 students for the courses. The Governor interacted with the girls in NCC uniforms after the inaugural session.


Another day of kids’ creativity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
For the fourth day in succession, children spilled unlimited joy on the Sukhna Lake premises. As the children’s theatre festival, being organised at the lake by Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA), entered yet another exciting day, a bigger gathering was witnessed on the three important corners, the one where the plays “Aqal di Gal” and “Somnath Crorepati” were being staged, and the other two, namely puzzle corner and open forum.

To begin with, the scene was dominated by kids, as always. The first play of the evening being sponsored by CITCO and The Tribune, was presented by 22 children of C.L. Aggarwal DAV Model School, Sector 7. This play had a lot of information base in the sense that the children learnt a lot about their bodies while they enacted sequences. The story rested on how the bodies of the two participating characters expressed their disgust on being maltreated by them and how then they revolt against the characters in question.

One of the two characters is a lazy man and another is shown to be a computer freak. The two are perturbed on losing their body parts and that is when they understand the role played by various parts. In the end, “Aqal di Gal” was about learning physiology in a light way.

The second presentation of the evening was an all-time hit produced by CEVA. With all elements of theatre blended amazingly well by children, the play proved addictive for the visitors to the lake. Conceived and developed by the children of Guru Harkishan Singh Model School, Sector 38, “Somnath Crorepati” analyses the psychology of an average human being who is caught in the mad race for money. The key character Jaswinder, a Class VI student, brings home the theme perfectly.

The script means serious business, although it has been put forward in the most possible hilarious fashion. Ramkali, Somnath’s wife, is played by Manish Chaurasia. The other characters are played by Nidhi, Dheeraj, Rakesh, Amrira, Gurpreet, Shruti, Vishal, Sumit, Ajay, Raman, Komal, Nisha, Peeyush, Aarti, Chanpreet and Kiran.

The mention of the festival and its spirit would not be complete without a word about the puzzle corner and the open forum which drew families in large numbers. At these two spots, CEVA’s resource centre put up games and puzzles to help people pick up mathematics, language skills and analysing abilities.

Tomorrow’s plays: “Hip Hip Hurray” at 5.15 pm and “Raja Kithe So Gaya at 6 pm.



Science Olympiads planned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
Science Olympiads for Classes IX and X at different centres as per the syllabus of the CBSE throughout India will be conducted by The Educationists a voluntary organisation .

English Olympiad for Classes XI and XII has been introduced for the first time all over the country. The test will be held separately for Classes XI and XII. The paper will consist of questions which will be based on the course syllabus as per the CBSE and on general proficiency. The test will be of three-hour duration.

The first three toppers of each class will be awarded trophies, merit certificates, subject books and cash prizes. Top 20 position holders will be invited for a free coaching camp in Chandigarh and Delhi. Merit certificates and study material will be given to the camp participants.


Implead Sehajdhari body in enrolment case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Allowing an application, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the impleading of the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation as a respondent in a case seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents against enrolling Sehajdhari Sikhs as voters for electing members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

In a ruling, Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, observed that the federation was a “proper party” as the final decision on the issue raised by the petitioners might adversely affect the members. Fixing November 6 as the next date of hearing, the Bench also directed the respondents to file a written statement by October 15.

During the proceedings, the Gurdwara Election Commission, in its reply to an application for restraining the Union of India and other respondents from enrolling Sehajdharis as voters, stated that the process had already started from September 3 and was likely to continue till November 2. They added that the entire election process was expected to take another nine months meaning thereby the that polls would be held sometime in the middle of year 2002.

Counsel for the respondent further stated on the commission’s behalf that form 1-A, for registering Sehajdhari as voters, could be segregated in case the writ petition was allowed by the High Court, thereby debarring them from exercising their right to vote. It was added that the commission had no objection if the High Court took up the petition for final adjudication at an early date.

Octroi case hearing

In an affidavit submitted before the High Court, Punjab’s Principal Secretary for Local Government Mr Rajesh Chhabra, today stated that the Local Government Minister had more than once publicly stated that octroi would be abolished from October 1.

The Principal Secretary pointed out that the issue regarding the abolition of octroi was to come up for discussion and a decision at a Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on September 27, but the High Court on September 26 restrained the respondents from taking any step in the direction. He added that octroi had been abolished in most of the states and at present was being levied by only four or five states.

After going through the affidavit, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, fixed October 8 as the next date of hearing.

Notice to Punjab in ex gratia case

Taking up a petition filed by a Gujarat resident seeking directions for the payment of Rs 2 lakh as ex gratia following death of his kin in the Khanna rail accident, a Division Bench of the High Court on Wednesday issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and the Union of India for November 5.

In the petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, counsel had stated that the petitioner’s wife, son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter had died in the collision between the Sealdah Express and Frontier Mail near Khanna.

Notice to KU

Mr Justice K.S. Kumaran and Mr Justice J.S. Khehar of the High Court today issued notice of motion on a petition challenging the appointment of Kurukshetra University Registrar, Dr Hawa Singh. In his petition, the Reader of Physical Education Dr O.M. Ghlawat had contended that the Registrar was not possessing the requisite experience.

Pension cut-off date held void

Legal Correspondent Adds:
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohonta of the High Court struck down the cut-off date of the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads Employees Pension and Provident Fund Rules, 1999, under which the Punjab Government had decided to give pension to employees of panchayat samitis and zila parishads who were to retire on or after July 1, 1999. But employees who had retired before July, 1999, were denied the benefit of pension.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, President of Punjab panchayati Raj Non-Pensioners Association, challenged the vires of the rules through a writ petition as public interest litigation on the ground that the cut-off date was discriminatory and arbitrary as the government had taken a decision in 1995 to grant pension to the employees of panchayat samitis and zila parishads, but the delay of five years in not framing the relevant rules was not on the part of the employees.

It was also brought to the court’s notice that the government in the case of agriculture marketing board, municipal committees and market committees etc, had given retrospective effect to the rules so that the employees would get pension.

The Bench, after hearing state counsel, struck down the cut-off date in the pension rules and directed the Punjab Government to take decision or cut-off date within a period of four months.


Jail break case accused granted bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
Satnam Singh, an accused of Burail jail break case, was released today after he furnished a bail bond of Rs 25, 000 to the satisfaction of the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal.

The accused was earlier granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 28. The high court in its order said: “The petitioner is ordered to be released on bail on his furnishing sufficient surety to the satisfaction of the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate. This will, however, be subject to further condition that the petitioner shall remain in Chandigarh till the case is finally disposed of by the trial court. He should appear before the Trial Magistrate on all working days at 10 am and 5 pm and sign his presence”.

Satnam Singh was booked by the Chandigarh police under Sections 419, 420, 225-B, 468 and 120-B of the IPC on June 11, 1998.

It was alleged that explosives, to be smuggled into the jail complex, were seized from his possession. More explosives were recovered from his residence at Salimpur village in Ropar district.

The explosives, were allegedly to be used to blow up a portion of the jail complex for enabling former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s alleged assassins, Jagtar Singh Tara and Jagtar Singh Hawara, to escape.

Cheating case

Som Nath and Kanwar, who were booked on charge of cheating and forgery, were granted bail by a local court on Wednesday. A case against them was registered under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.

Judicial remand

Tejveer Singh, one of the Directors of Swarn Bhoomi Group of Companies, was sent to judicial remand till October 17 by a local court on Wednesday in a case of cheating and fraud.

It was alleged that the company was promising huge returns to investors in their agricultural land development projects. The company had huge land at Ambala, Yamunanagar and Sonepat. Thousands of investors had invested their life savings with the company.

The local police has arrested him on September 29 from Karnal. A case of cheating, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy was registered against the company at the Manimajra police station on May 17, 2000.

Ranjit Bajaj case

A local court on Wednesday ordered the release of a car belonging to Ranjit Bajaj, a son of senior IAS couple, in a case of forgery. The car was impounded by the city police after a case against him has been registered under Sections 468, 471 of the IPC in the Sector 3 police station.

Bail plea dismissed

A local court on Wednesday dismissed a bail application moved by the accused, Tajinder Singh, in a case of cheating and forgery. The case against the accused had been registered under Sections 379, 411, 420, 467, 468, 419 and 471 of IPC.

Bail granted

The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhangu, granted bail to Jaspal Singh, an accused in the Sector 17 firing incident in which Mr Shushil Kumar, father of an advocate, sustained bullet injuries on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that three car-borne youths had struck an advocate’s house here and shot at Mr Shushil Kumar (65) from a close range.

Police remand

Ms Preeti Sahni, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, on Wednesday remanded three accused namely Balkar Singh Rasoolpur village, Ravinder Kumar of Bathinda and Gurcharan Singh of Moga in police remand till October 5. They were arrested by the SAS Nagar police on Wednesday on charge of kidnapping Mr Lalit Kumar.


District Magistrate orders tabs on anti-social elements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, today extended his order to ban certain activities north of Madhya Marg. Under the order, which came into force on September 29 and valid for a period of 60 days, the DM banned holding of processions, rallies, dharnas, raising of slogans, making speeches, carrying of lathis and also assembly of five or more persons.

The order shall, however, not apply in case of police or paramilitary or military personnel or any other government servant on official duty. The order will not affect customary and ritualistic processions in connection with weddings and funerals.

The order shall not apply to processions and meetings for which prior permission in writing of the DC or the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).

In a separate order, the DM said to keep tabs on activities of anti-social elements, who disguise themselves as petty job seekers in the city, orders had been issued under Section 144 of the Cr.P.C directing all those seeking employment in petty and non-formal trade or services or to provide contract labour like rickshaw-pullers, rehriwallahs, phariwallahs, washermen or cobblers should provide their particulars along with their passport sized photographs to the local police to enable identification or verifications of criminal elements.

Any breach of this order will invite action under Section 188 of the IPC. Interrogation of criminals by the local police reveals that some of them or their accomplice are from among the migrant labourers and those engaged in petty, non-formal trades and services.

The orders were passed after it was found that such persons do not get their antecedents verified and as a result crime prevention becomes difficult. The order was issued as a remedial step to check breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility.


Saga of Dulla Bhatti’s valour retold
Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
No matter how times have changed, tradition still inspires people. That explains why the gathering at Tagore Theatre today waited for over a hour to witness “Dhamak nagarey di”, a play which celebrated the spirit of valour as embodied by Dulla Bhatti, an unassuming Rajput, who earned his share of fame among heroes by challenging the injustice of Mughal emperor Akbar and defeating him in a battle of conscience.

Written by Sardar Gursharan Singh and directed by Sudesh Sharma (of Court Martial repute), the play recreated the ambience of past days when but to live was to be full of terror, especially for those who did not belong to Lahore and had migrated from other regions. Dulla Bhatti (played by Sunny Sandhu) was a member of a Rajput clan who embraced to Islam after leaving his native town Jaisalmer.

Packed with powerful sequences which even featured fights between the forces of Dulla Bhatti and the emperor, the play was structured perfectly to do justice to the sensitive theme of Dulla’s sacrifice. The plot revolved around Dulla, who, by striking the nagaras, declared war on the emperor, who had done Dulla’s father and grandfather to death. The treachery of rulers was evidenced in the beheaded bodies of rebels, which hung at the Lahore Gate.

That the dialogues were sensitively framed by the writer and equally sensitively rendered by the characters was clear from the impact they made. The gathering clapped after every scene which traced the history of Dulla Bhatti’s tale right from the scene wherein the emperor (played by Parvesh Sethi) was seen mocking the fate of rebels to the scene wherein Dulla trained men of his village Sandal Bar to rise in revolt against those who gave themselves the status of demi-gods.

The soul of Punjab was portrayed in the folk songs which kept interspersing as the play progressed. On the harmonium was Ustad Mehar Chand, a folk artiste from the region. He was supported by Mundari Lal on tumbi, Desh Raj on sarangi, Rakesh Kumar on tabla, and Naveen on dholak. The playback came from Gurwinder Singh and Manleet Meet while the music was directed by Vinod Pawar.

Interesting to learn was the connection between Dulla Bhatti and Lohri. Through the medium of theatre, it was conveyed today that “Sunder munderiye”, the folk song still thick in the airs of the Punjab folk song, would not have been there but for Dulla Bhatti. According to folklore, after Dulla declared war and became a rebel, the Mughal ruler banned distribution of rations to his family. So the members of his village Sandal Bar framed the song “Sunder munderiye ho, tera kaun vichara ho, dulla bhatti wala”. They used this song to ask for alms which they later forwarded to Dulla’s famishing family.

Credits for today’s play were as follows: Rajeev Mehta: production manager; Yugesh Taneja and Yugesh Tungal: programme executives; Dulla’s mother Ladhi: Kulbeer Dhalwal; Mirasan and Noormada: Jaspal Deol; Miyaji: Ramesh Bhardwaj; Ali: Manjit Saini; Mattu, the soldier: Varjinder; Chattu, the soldier: Hitender; Akal Khan: Naresh; Alaudeen: Sukhminder Monu; Noora: Amandeep; and Marasi: Sunil. The play was presented jointly by Theatre for Theatre, Ghoomer Academy and Punjabi Kala Kendra. It would again be staged tomorrow at Tagore Theatre at 6 p.m.



Gakhar’s exhibition inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 3
An exhibition of paintings and drawings in oil, acrylic inks and pen work by Deepika Gakhar was inaugurated by the Principal, DAV School, Sector 15, Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16.

The ideas in the paintings have been projected in a different manner.

The artist, Deepika, says, ‘’ My long-cherished dream has materialised by putting up this exhibition. I am greatly inspired by nature and get carried away by beautiful scenes of nature.’’

Lashkara to hold beauty contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
‘Lashkara’ will organise a beauty contest, exclusively for Punjabis at Ludhiana on December 5, according to a press note issued here today.

The contest, Miss Lashkara 2001, will also have contests for Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Photogenic, Miss Beautiful Skin, Miss Beautiful Eyes, Miss Beautiful Hair, Miss Personality, Miss Perfect 10 and Miss Catwalk. Forms for the contest will be available at Archie’s outlets in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Pune. Forms will also be published in leading publications.

Out of the total number of contestants, 25 will be short-listed for the final contest. During the two-week period preceding the contest, various workshops and demonstrations will be held.

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