Wednesday, February 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rustication issue makes students, teachers restive
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, February 19
Some of Panjab University faculty members have threatened to go on strike if the Department of History or any other department take back students whose names were earlier struck off due to shortage of lectures.

Names of eight students of Department of History were struck off for having failed to attend the minimum number of lectures. However, a student leader, whose name was also struck off, was allegedly pressurising the authorities to take him back. It is learnt that a political party has decided to take up the case with the department and the Vice-Chancellor.

Members of this party have already visited the department and allegedly asked the students to boycott classes. The department has said to have convened two meetings of the board of control of the department.

Sources in the department said that department authorities were seriously considering to ‘‘take back the students’’ whose names had been deleted from the rolls.

When contacted, Prof Kamlesh Mohan, Chairman of Department of History, said ‘‘It is a departmental matter and we do not want to go to the Press’’. Prof R.J. Hans Gill, Dean, University Instructions, when contacted, said that the matter was not in her knowledge.

A senior teacher and a member of Senate, Prof Keshav Malhotra, while talking to The Tribune, said that he would sit on strike if any of the students, whose names had been struck off, were taken back on rolls. Prof Satya Pal Gautam of Department of Philosphy, was of the view that the students and authorities should stick to the rules of the university.

On the other hand, ‘Students for Probity’, a students organisation has also threatened to go on strike if students are not readmitted and their hostel facilities restored. Mr Vijai Singh Majeethia, president of the organisation in a statement, alleged that authorities of the Department of History are not taking action against the student leader. The organisation has also reportedly approached the Dean, Students Welfare.



, they watched....
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Rustic notes of folk instruments and melody of folk songs came alive at Tagore Theatre on the second day of the 43rd PU Inter-Zonal Youth Festival with dance items slated for today.

Amidst aesthetically decorated surroundings, complete with earthen lamps, flowers and dancing peacocks painted as the backdrop, participants put up a spirited performance for a jam-packed hall.

Festivities and joy, the essence of today’s programme, were staged well whether it was ‘Braj ki Holi’, a riot of colours, or the dance by Banjaras or the ‘giddha’, each item stood out.

While it was a splash of colours as the participants in the festival played Holi, the Banjaras, dressed in black, gave an awesome dance presentation as they balanced earthen pots with fire on their heads and picked up swords with their mouths. The Ghoomer dance of Rajasthan and the Jhoomer dance Punjab were all thoroughly enjoyable for the audience.

The festival was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Prof K.N. Pathak, who was given a traditional welcome with a folk song by students dressed in Punjabi attire.

Addressing the students, Professor Pathak stressed the need for nurturing youth, who are the future of the nation, through such festivals.

The Principal, Dr Satinder Dhillon, welcomed the chief guest.

Literary contests

At the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, contests in poetry recitation, debate on “Indo-Pak Relations — Is war the best option”, and quiz were organised. Other competitions held at the college include rangoli-making, landscape and clay modelling.

These competitions were inaugurated by the Chairman of Baba Farid Chair of Panjab University, Dr Deepak Manmohan. He also gave away prizes.



Coop bank amendment struck down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Declaring illegal an amendment in the common cadre rules for cooperative bank staff, providing a quota of 30 per cent to employees upgraded as grade-A secretaries, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed that the state of Haryana and other respondents “to proceed to consider the claims of all eligible persons in accordance with the common cadre rules”.

Delivering the verdict on three petitions, Mr Justice Gupta ruled: “These petitions raise a common issue relating to the validity of the Haryana State Central Cooperative Banks Staff Service (Common Cadre) — (First Amendment) Rules, 1999. By this amendment, it was provided that the grade-A secretaries shall be entitled to a quota of 30 per cent for promotion to the posts of junior accountants.... The sequence of events clearly show that unequals have been treated equally. Persons working on inferior posts were granted a higher scale with effect from April 29, 1995. Thereafter, they were given an exclusive right to be considered for promotion to the posts of junior accountants in suppression of the claims of the persons who were senior to them”.

The Judge added: “It is the admitted position that in the process persons like the petitioners who were senior were likely to be superseded. This was in clear violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Claims of the persons who were senior in the cadre were liable to be ignored on the allocation of the quota to grade A secretaries. The amendment in the common cadre rules is declared illegal”.

DAG given time on proxy replies

The High Court has taken a serious view of the fact that written statements on behalf of the official respondents were being repeatedly filed by junior officers of the departments concerned in a number of court cases.

Referring to one such case filed by three Jhajjar district residents seeking the registration of a case against a Station House Officer and four other police officials, Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sud of the High Court observed that the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police, along with the Senior Superintendent of Police, had been made parties in the matter, but a reply was filed on their behalf by a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Taking up the petition, the Judge also granted Haryana’s Deputy Advocate-General time for filing affidavits of the respondents concerned and fixed February 22 as the next date of hearing.

Order reserved on Bansi Lal’s dues

On a petition by Haryana’s former Chief Minister seeking the release of salary and other benefits for the period he stayed Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the High Court today reserved orders.

Claiming to have been recognised as the Leader of Opposition by the Vidhan Sabha Speaker with effect from July 25, 1999, Mr. Bansi Lal, in his petition against Chief Minister O.P. Chautala, had stated that the facilities, including free accommodation, electricity, water and telephone, were not provided despite a letter to Mr Chautala.

The Haryana Chief Secretary, he had added, in a letter dated February 16 informed him that he was no longer the Leader of Opposition since the Vidhan Sabha had been dissolved with effect from December 14, 1999.

Going into the background, counsel for the petitioner had contended on his behalf that a resolution was passed by the Haryana Vikas Legislature Party requesting the Speaker to recognise Mr. Bansi Lal as the Leader of the Opposition was as it was the single largest party in opposition.

Give reasonable opportunity to debtor

In a significant judgement, the High Court has ruled that a reasonable opportunity must be given to “a citizen burdened with the liability to pay a substantial amount of money”. The orders were passed by Mr Jawahar Lal Gupta on a petition filed against a Joint Secretary in the Haryana Government holding an employee liable to pay Rs 44, 388, along with interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Justice Gupta observed: “When a citizen is burdened with liability to pay a substantial amount of money, it has to be ensured that he has been given a reasonable opportunity to meet the claim.... In the present case, it is clear that even a copy of the claim petition was not furnished to the petitioner. The original record was not shown. The manner in which the amount was worked out was not made known to him. In such a situation, it can not be said that the petitioner was granted a reasonable opportunity to meet the claim. The writ petition is allowed”.



Witness testifies in Beant case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, February 19
One of the witnesses in the Beant Singh assassination case today made statement before the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, that he had identified the body of the driver of the former Chief Minister of the Punjab, who was killed in the bomb blast that took place in front of the UT Secretariat on August 31, 1995.

The witness, Mr Bhupinder Singh, brother of the deceased, said before the judge in a special court at Model Burail jail that he had identified the body of his brother on the day of the incident and recorded his statement with the police at General Hospital, Sector-16. Later on September 1, he had again identified the body before the post-mortem examination in-front of the doctors. He said his friend, Mr Jaspal Singh, had accompanied him when he had identified the body of his brother.

Hearing adjourned

Acting on the complaint filed by Captain Amarinder Singh through his counsel for quashing of a defamation case filed by general secretary of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the hearing in the case against him was adjourned till February 28 by a local court. The court had also directed the general secretary, Mr N.S. Minhas, to file the reply on the same date and for further argument.

1-yr RI

An accused, Satpal, was today sentenced to one year rigorous imprisonment in a case of dishonouring of cheque by a local court. He was also fined Rs 2,000 by the court. The complainant alleged that the cheque of Rs 5,000 issued by an accused was dishonoured by the bank due to insufficient funds.

One acquitted

A resident of Hisar, Baljit, was today acquitted by a local court in a case of cheating and forgery. The accused was acquitted as the prosecution failed to prove the charges levelled against him. The case against the accused was registered on May 9, 1999 on a complaint by Mr H.S. Nagara. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who was a driver, had forged his permit.

Bail granted

An accused, Harpreet Singh Ahuja, was today granted bail by a local court. The accused was arrested by the Economic Offences branch of Chandigarh police for impersonating as director on January 9.



Plea against compulsory retirement quashed
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, February 19
“Only efficient and honest officers are to be retained while persons of doubtful integrity or inefficiency are to be dispensed with. The government can take a decision to chop the deadwood or get rid of the persons who are corrupt or whose integrity is doubtful,” said Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT) in a significant order while rejecting the petition moved by an Estate Supervisor with the Indian Institute of Advanced Study Society Rashtrapati Nivas, Simla-5.

“Even an officer who is assessed to be good may still be retired if the government forms an opinion that they have a better officer available who can in public interest give better performance and was more efficient” ruled a Bench of the CAT comprising members, Mr Jasbir S. Dhaliwal, and Mr G.S. Maingi.

The Bench further said “the nature of delinquency and whether it is of such a degree as to require compulsory retirement are primarily for the government to decide upon. The courts will not interfere with such exercise of power, if arrived at bonafied and on the basis of material available on the record. It also means that in relation to public administration only efficient and honest officers are to be retained while persons of doubtful integrity or inefficiency are to be dispensed with.

The applicant had filed a petition against the Indian Institute of Advanced Study Society (through Secretary) Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla, Director Indian Institute of Advanced Study Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla-5, and the Union of India (through Secretary) Ministry of Human Resource Development Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi-1 for quashing the order passed by the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study whereby — he has been compulsorily retired from service under fundamental rule. He had also made a plea in the petition for further direction to let him continue in service till he attained the actual age of superannuation.

The applicant had stated that he had initially filed the case before the Himachal Pradesh High Court. The writ petition was later on transferred to this Tribunal and registered as transferred application. He had made a plea that he had qualified the UPSC stenographer’s examination and was working in different ministries of the Government of India. At the time of filing of the writ petition he was working as Estate Supervisor in the office of the Indian Institute of the Advanced Technology.

The applicant stated in the petition that he had unblemished service record of 29 years and there was no adverse entry in his annual confidential rolls and no adverse entry had ever been conveyed to him during entire period of his service at the institute. However, he was retired on September 16, 1995, without assigning any reason.


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