Sunday, April 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Free power in Punjab may go
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, April 13
The Congress government in Punjab is unlikely to continue giving free power to farmers in the state with the party chief ministers, at the their meeting here, resolving to pay “the highest attention to reforms in the power sector to ensure reliable and adequate supply of power at the earliest.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi did not mince words on the issue when she said the party was forced to repeat the promise of free power to farmers in Punjab as it was faced with a situation where the previous government had given free power.

Panel records staff statements
Burning of PPSC record
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 13
There was renewed activity at the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) today with the inquiry committee to look into the burning of some record of the commission, including the PCS (Executive) examination sheets of 1998 — holding a meeting at the commission headquarters here, besides recording the statements of various employees.

In a related development newly appointed PPSC Secretary Satwant Singh today circulated the agenda for the meeting of the commission, which is to take place on April 15 in which the report submitted by the inquiry committee into the burning of records will be discussed. Besides, the agenda includes discussion on the need for reviewing the past PCS, DSP and BDPO examinations as well as the method adopted to appoint experts by commission Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu, who is currently in jail on graft charges.

The inquiry committee today recorded the statements of certain employees and also asked some other employees to submit written statements by tomorrow. Sources said the committee would submit its report to the commission on April 15 when it will be taken up for discussion.

The inquiry committee has reportedly also asked for a report of the screening tests during the same period which have not been burnt and why they were not burnt. It has also asked for the criterion under which the record of the commission was burnt.

According to sources, all employees who have given their statements in the case have claimed that they had orders to burn the record of the commission from above. The inquiry committee is also reportedly quizzing them on the written orders for burning of the record to ascertain exactly when the orders were passed.

PPSC chief’s touts evade arrest
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 13
Randhir Singh Gill, who is said to be one of the ‘touts’ of beleaguered Ravinder Paul Singh Sidhu, Chairman, Punjab Public Service Commission, and his father, Kirpal Singh Gill (80), a Manager of the local Sri Guru Arjun Dev Khalsa Senior Secondary School, who was once Personal Assistant to former Chief Minister, Partap Singh Kairon, have gone underground to evade arrests. The police has conducted numerous raids to arrest Randhir Singh Gill, but in vain.

After coming close to Ravi Sidhu, PPCC Chairman, Randhir Singh Gill was able to build a palatial house in Kirpal Singh Wali Gali (Jeewan Singh Nagar) here. Interestingly, Randhir has named the lane after his father.

The native village of Randhir is Shahabpur, about 6 km from Tarn Taran. However, the family has huge property in Tarn Taran, too. The house has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1 crore, according to sources. This has been confirmed from the municipal record also.

Randhir is one of the four persons named by the PPCC Chairman during his interrogation. Sidhu had reportedly told his investigators that he used to get bribe through Randhir, Prem Sagar, Shamsher Singh and Parmjit Singh.

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