Friday, May 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Is ‘marriageability certificate’ valid?
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Ever heard of a ‘’marriageability certificate’’? Well, this is one document that deputy commissioners in Punjab are known to be issuing, as ex-officio Marriage Officers, so designated through a notification (No-J (c)-55/1765, dated January 19, 1955) under Section 3 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Earlier, these certificates were issued by the Executive Magistrates under Section 4 of the Act. But a letter from the Deputy Secretary, Department of General Administration, Overseas Indian Cell, in May 1992, put a stop to this instructing that the deputy commissioners sign marriageability certificates.

All these years, hundreds of marriageability certificates have been issued in the districts, particularly in Doaba, on the basis of the May 7, 1992, letter, without anyone ever caring to study the Act. That letter from the Deputy Secretary was in response to a communication (March 31, 1992) received from the Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar.

In the process of seeking and giving this certificate, ‘’touts’’ have minted money. Each certificate carries a handsome price tag. The going price, per certificate, is between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000, say sources. But who pockets the money? Certainly, not the government treasury!

This is a certificate mostly required by Punjabi boys/girls abroad. An application or affidavit for obtaining a marriageability certificate is usually submitted by the parents, brothers or other relations of the boy/girl concerned. No application or affidavit is usually filed by the incumbent. Once a report is sought from the Revenue Department and an advertisement inserted in a newspaper, the required certificate is issued.

Interestingly, though this practice has been in vogue for over a decade, a close study of the Act shows there is no provision under which a marriageability certificate can be issued. There are three Acts — the Foreigners Marriage Act, 1969, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. In none of these Acts is there a provision for issuing a marriageability certificate. What has been happening is on the basis of the government instructions of May 7, 1992 alone. These instructions, to say the least, are ultra vires the Act.

In fact, a form has also been locally designed in the districts to meet the requirement of the boys/girls who need such a certificate abroad. Such a certificate, inter alia, states: ‘’He/she is fit for marriage according to Chapter II, Section 4, sub-section ‘C’ of the Special Marriage Act, 1954’’. That there is no provision in the Act for the issuance of a marriageability certificate is also evident from the fact that no such form is appended to the Second Schedule of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

When contacted, the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, said he would ask the Department of Home Affairs and Justice to look into the matter. Someone, perhaps, misinterpreted the Act and issued instructions in 1992.

The deputy commissioners, sources said, without ever bothering to go into the details of provisions of the law, have been regularly and routinely issuing marriageability certificates all these years. Were they oblivious of the large sums that were usually charged by ‘’touts’’ for the certificate?

Enquiries by TNS revealed that the need or demand of Punjabi youth abroad for such a certificate could be genuine. As such, the government could consider the matter afresh and issue comprehensive instructions on the issue of marriageability certificates. Such a step will not only regularise the issuance of such certificates, save non-resident Punjabis from exploitation (as is happening at the moment) and fetch government revenue.


Cop gets 10-yr RI for Kulwant's murder
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 2
The District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, Mr Maghar Khan, today sentenced an Inspector of the Punjab police, Arvinder Bir Singh, to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment in the Kulwant Singh Murder case. Three others accused in the case, DSP Jaspal Singh and two ASIs Darshan Singh and Balwant Singh were, however, acquitted.

Kulwant Singh, a Ropar-based advocate, was murdered along with his wife and one-year-old son in 1993. His murder evoked large-scale protests from lawyers all over the state. The said police officials allegedly implicated Harpreet Singh, alias Lucky, a Ropar resident, in murder case of the advocate and his family.

Lawyers had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, demanding a CBI inquiry into the Kulwant murder case. The high court, however, rejected the plea. The lawyers then approached the Supreme Court, which held that Harpreet Singh was falsely implicated in the case. It also directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the murder of Kulwant and his family.

The CBI inquiry accused said the police officials of murdering Kulwant Singh and his family and their implicating Harpreet Singh in the case. A case of raping Kulwant Singh's wife before murdering her was also registered against the accused police officials.

The CBI enlisted 226 witnesses to prove the case. Of them, just 187 appeared before the court and more than 50 per cent turned hostile. The public prosecutor of the CBI, Mr H.S. Oberoi, told The Tribune that due to a large number of witnesses turning hostile, the prosecution had to rely on circumstancial evidence to prove the case.

In the judgement, which was mainly delivered to decide the sentence for fabricating the official record in the case, the Judge sentenced Arvinder Bir Singh, who was the SHO, Ropar, at that time guilty in the case. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of seven years and fined Rs 5000 under Section 193 of the IPC, 10 years under Section 194, IPC, and Rs 5000 fine, seven years and Rs 500 fine under Section 211 of the IPC and three years and Rs 3,000 fine under Section 218 of the IPC. Default in payment of each fine would result in six months of further imprisonment. All sentences would run concurrently.

The murder case of Kulwant Singh is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A large number of Punjab police officials were present in the court complex. A scene was created when the sentenced inspector, Arvinder Bir Singh, refused to go with CBI officials to the Patiala jail.

The CBI council then reported the matter to the Sessions Judge who directed the Punjab police officials to allow the naib court of the CBI to accompany the accused to jail.


Face regular trial in graft case, Bhattal told
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 2
The corruption case against the Minister for Panchayats and Rural Development, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, took a new turn today when the Special Judge, Mr B.C. Rajput, ordered her to face regular trial in the case after allowing the application moved by Vigilance Department officials on March 27 in connection with the withdrawal of application which they moved on January 2 for the return of challan presented against her on December 27, 2001.

On hearing the application moved by the Vigilance Department in connection with the withdrawal of earlier application moved for the return of challan in the presence of Mrs Bhattal, who appeared in person, Mr Rajput ordered the Vigilance Department that a copy of the challan should be given to the accused and she be put to face the trial. The next date of hearing has been fixed for August 17, 2002.

The case was registered and subsequently a challan was presented in the court of Special Judge by officials of the Vigilance Bureau during the SAD-BJP combined rule in the state. However, the Vigilance Bureau officials, who presented the challan on December 27, 2001, moved an application on January 2, 2002, for the return of the challan in the court of Special Judge by showing undue haste allegedly under pressure from their political masters.

However, the case took a new turn when under her own government, the Vigilance Bureau moved another application in the court of Special Judge for withdrawing the earlier application moved in connection with the return of the challan.

Earlier, the Special Judge issued summons against Mrs Bhattal and then non-bailable warrants against her. The Special Judge, after a few days of the issuance of non-bailable warrants against Mrs Bhattal, ordered the SP (Vigilance) to execute the same against her personally. Mrs Bhattal approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court which stayed the execution of non-bailable warrants against her and ordered the Special Judge to admit her to bail if she appeared before the court on the specified date and furnished the requisite bail bounds to his (Special Judge) satisfaction.

Mrs Bhattal secured bail on February 8 by appearing in the court in person and submitting surety bonds of Rs 15,000 which were verified by Mr Sukhdev Singh.

The case under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 409 of the IPC was registered against Mrs Bhattal when the Special Judge, Bathinda, in whose court a complaint by Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon, President, District Amateur Boxing Association, was lodged in connection with the bungling in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund allegedly by Mrs Bhattal.

The Special Judge ordered the Vigilance Bureau to hold a probe into the complaint lodged by Mr Dhillon. After a few days, a case under the corruption Act and the IPC was registered against Mrs Bhattal on orders of the Vigilance Bureau authorities.


Senior PSEB men lose car facility
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 2
As an austerity measure, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has withdrawn as many as 55 cars from its senior officers, including Chief Engineers, posted here and elsewhere in the state.

In place of official cars, these officers will now be entitled to a lumpsum amount of Rs 2,500 for the maintenance and driving of personal vehicles and Rs 1,470 for the purchase of petrol. The officers will also be entitled to travelling allowance in case they travel beyond 16 km of their place of duty at the rate of Rs 3 per km for their own car and Rs 3.50 per km if they travel by a taxi.

The scheme comes put into effect from today. The PSEB seems to be keen to implement the scheme strictly with provisions also being made for officers who do not own cars. Such officers have been given time till June 30 to arrange a car for themselves and the scheme will be made applicable on them from July 1.

Though the scheme is set to affect a lot of senior officers, it will ensure a whopping saving for the PSEB. Sources said expenditure on each official car of the board accumulated to nearly Rs 30,000 per month if the pay of the drivers was also included. In comparison they said the new scheme would entitle an officer to only Rs 4,000 per car.

The officers who have been taken in the ambit of the scheme are Chief Engineers — Planning, Metering, Civil Design, RE and SIL, HRD, Store, Disposal, Substation, Transmission Lines and DSA, Chief Engineer, Civil Hydel Construction and Design, Chandigarh, Chief Engineer, Workshops and Chief Engineer, Construction, GHTP, Lehra Mohabbat, Chief Cost Control and Reduction, Patiala, Director, Industrial Relations, Patiala, Superintendent Engineer (SE), Civil Construction, Shahpur Kandi, Director, Personnel Director, Technical, Officer on Special Duty to Chairman, SE, DSA, SE, Metering Circle, Jalandhar, SE, Operation and Maintenance, Talwara, SE, Generation Circle, Anandpur Sahib, SE, TRW Circle, Patiala, Ludhiana and Amritsar, SE, Civil Maintenance and Pilot Workshop, Patiala ADIG (V and S), Chief Auditor, SE, Civil Works, Patiala and Jalandhar, CAO/ DSA, CAO, Procurement and Land Acquisition Collector, PSEB, Patiala. Various SEs posted at the Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat projects have also come under the ambit of the scheme.

The board has also clarified that any officer, among those who have been asked to use their own vehicles, intending to go on official tour could be alloted a vehicle from the common pool. However, he would not be required to obtain non-availability certificate in respect of common pool car for drawing road mileage allowance for use of own car or taxi.

It has also been decided to make the transport section in the board more lean and roadworthy by condemning staff cars which have outlived their utility. Efforts are also being made to bring in further economy in the running of vehicles of the board by limiting the journey by staff car for those officers who are still eligible for availing of staff cars due to the operational nature of their work. 


SGPC chief ‘hijacked executive panel’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 2
Castigating the SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, for efforts to place his own confidant as Jathedar Takht Damdama Sahib, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Vice President, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, said the SGPC was trying to hijack all powers of the executive committee of the SGPC and flouted procedures to suit its own ends.

Naming the prospective candidate as Mr Balwant Singh Nandpur who has the support of the SGPC chief for the coveted post of Jathedar which fell vacant after the resignation of Gaini Kewal Singh, he said it had come to their knowledge that the aspirant had a case pending against him for throwing some poisonous substance in the eyes of a rival in a fit of rage.

Procedures had been thrown to the winds to get favourites into position of power by the SGPC chief, who had taken upon himself to take arbitrary decisions.

He pointed out that the ‘maryada’ had already been flouted by the SGPC which was “remote controlled” by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, SAD. He alleged that Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, was never welcomed on his post of Jathedar with the traditional siropa as 10 members amongst those who had elected him were excommunicated from the Panth. Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, too was under a controversy as he was not attending the meetings of the Head Priests. Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Sri Keshgarh Sahib, was involved in a property dispute while Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, had already attained the age of 58 years.

Mr Bhaur further alleged that out of the 489 persons who were to be interviewed to be employed, it was learnt that 200 were already adjusted on ad hoc basis.

Not only this the SGPC institutions were being misused and gurdwara funds were being used to fight personal cases. Similarly ministers and members of the SGPC were misusing their position to get their wards and other kin admitted in the SGPC run institutions. He named Mr Sucha Singh Langah, a former minister of PWD, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, MLA, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, a former minister, Mr Alwinder Singh Pakhoke, Vice-President, SGPC and Tejinder Kaur Setia in this regard. He said he had written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to examine all admissions to the SGPC run institution affiliated to it.

Mr Bhaur threatened to resign from the subcommittee inquiring into the siropa scam if all records of the dealings were not made available to him and said he would place his preliminary findings in the case in which he had found several discrepancies before the media.


Fresh warrants issued against Sidhu’s kin
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 2
Mr Roshan Lal Chouhan, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar, today issued non-bailable arrest warrants against brother, sister-in-law and mother of Ravi Sidhu, Chairman PPSC, against another accused for May 15.

The court today issued non-bailable warrants against Reetinder Singh, Ajinder Kaur, Pritpal Kaur and Gurdeep Singh Manchanda. The Vigilance Department too had earlier obtained non-bailable warrant against these persons but they could not be arrested till today and hence the department had obtained fresh warrants.



CPI, Cong tie up for MC poll
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 2
The state unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) today declared that it would contest the forthcoming MC elections in alliance with the Congress.

Addressing party workers here, the secretary of the state unit of the CPI, Mr Joginder Dyal, said his party would contest the ensuing MC elections in the four municipal corporations of the state in alliance with its traditionally ally, the Congress.

He said he, along with senior party leaders, would meet Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, next week to discuss about the seat-sharing arrangement.

“Even as we have considerable influence among urban voters in the four cities, the final decision about the seats to be contested by us will be decided after discussing the matter with the state Congress leadership,” he said.

It may be mentioned that the Congress had contested last MC elections in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar in February, 1997, without forging any alliance and had secured considerable seats even during the anti-Congress wave.

Mr Dyal cautioned the people about the anti-minorities role of the BJP-led Central Government, which he alleged had failed to control the violence in Gujarat even after two months of the Godhra incident.

He alleged that the Gujarat Government was not expediting the relief and rehabilitation measures.

“It is high time to join ranks against the BJP government irrespective of political affiliations to remove the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narindra Modi, and maintain peace and harmony in the country,” he said.


Mukhmailpur framed: Akalis
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 2
Senior Akali leaders, including the President of the SGPC, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, a member of the SGPC, Mr Joginder Singh Panjrath, a former MP, Mr Charanjit Singh Walia, and their supporters today gave a representation to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police and the district police chief, saying that former minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur was wrongly implicated in a case of attempt to murder yesterday.

The Sadar police had registered an attempt-to-murder case against Mukhmailpur, his brother Faujinder Singh and five others following a complaint that five persons had assaulted Darshan Kumar with sticks and kirpans after he came out of the residence of the former minister.

Mukhmailpur accompanied the Akali leaders and his supporters to the district police headquarters here. In the representation, Mukhmailpur claimed that he had been falsely implicated in the case by the wife of Darshan Kumar. He said he, in fact, wanted that a compromise should be effected in the case in which Darshan Kumar had been charged with assaulting one Basant Singh around three to four days back. The district police chief, Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, said he had deputed the Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, Mr Rattan Lal Monga, to hold an inquiry into the case. 


Ex-MLAs to boycott Vidhan Sabha function
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
The automony of the legislature has been progressively eroded. The steep fall in the number of sittings of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha per year shows that the members are not being given enough opportunity to represent their constituencies.

Many MLAs and former ministers feel that instead of organising a cultural programme to mark golden jubilee celebrations which is scheduled to be held at Chandigarh tomorrow, the state government should have chalked out year-long programmes, including seminars, so that some introspection could have been done.

Many former MLAs have decided to boycott the celebrations.

Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a former BJP MLA, said she felt disgraced on receiving the invitation from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for making her own arrangement for stay during the celebrations.

Mr Hardev Arshi, a former CPI MLA, has also decided to boycott the cultural programme. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a former Akali minister, said former MLAs of his party too would boycott the celebrations due to the ill-drafted invitation letter sent to all concerned.

Giving details of the fall of sittings of the Vidhan Sabha, Mrs Chawla said that the MLAs, especially from the Opposition parties, were not given proper time to air the problems of their respective constituencies on the floor of the House. In 1956, as many as 44 sittings of the were held. In the following years, the number of sittings kept reducing. In 1998, only 19 sittings could be organised while in 1999 (15), 2000 (20) and 2001 (16) sittings were held which was, perhaps, the lowest number during the time of a popular government.

As per the norms, there must be 60 to 80 sittings of the Vidhan Sabha of small states while the big states (Punjab included) must ensure 100 to 110 sittings.

Mr Arshi, who remained vocal on the public issue during his five-year tenure as an MLA in the last Assembly, said that many of his questions were altered without his consent.


Sikh intelligentsia for Akali unity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
A number of Sikh scholars and activists met here today to discuss the division in the Akali ranks resulting in the defeat of the Shiromani Akali Dal and other Panthic parties.

Principal Bharpur Singh, Mr Darshan Singh Isapore, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, Mr Amarinder Singh (member, SGPC), Mr Surinder Pal Singh Mann, Col J.S. Bala (retd), Mr Gur Rattan Pal Singh, Mr Bhag Singh, and Principal Tarsem Singh Dhugga also attended the meeting.

All were of the opinion that there should be only one Shiromani Akali Dal, which should uphold the traditions, aims and objectives laid down in 1920 when it came into being. The existing Shiromani Akali Dal should be reorganised and restructured.

Participants at the meeting felt that the Akali Dal headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal had become an appendage of the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance. The unprincipled support to POTO and the toeing of political line of the BJP on Gujarat issue by the SAD (Badal) had “blackened” its glorious traditions which always opposed the violation of human rights.

But what has caused greatest damage to the SAD is the latest unearthing of various scams pertaining to the SAD-BJP rule in the state. Many skeletons have come out of the cupboards of former Akali rulers putting the heads of the supporters of the party to shame. In fact, all Panthic organisations, including the SGPC, have been damaged by political vested interests. All these bodies required to be redeemed by intensive overhauling, participants felt.

Meanwhile, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, former President of the All- India Sikh Students Federation, who attended today’s meeting announced the formation of a 10-member committee consisting of Dr Jaswant Singh Neki from Delhi, Dr Santokh Singh from Bhopal, Principal Jaswant Singh Phul from Delhi, Mr S.S. Minhas, former Speaker from Jalandhar, Mr Makhan Singh from Delhi, Principal Bharpur Singh, Mr Gur Rattan Pal Singh, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, Dr Gurbax Singh Shergill and Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan Singh to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the federation, to be held this year.


Irate villagers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 2
Hundreds of irate residents of Mand village near here blocked traffic on the Jalandhar Kapurthala road for about two hours in protest against the failure of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities to restore power supply to the village during the past three days.

Power supply to Mand village was disconnected three days ago, when the distribution transformer, which was supplying power to the village, got damaged due to some technical snag. Though the residents have been regularly complaining to the PSEB authorities about the failure of distribution transformer, the latter failed to rectify the fault.

Perturbed over inaction on the part of the board, the villagers staged a dharna on the busy Jalandhar-Kapurthala road and blocked traffic for about two hours. The residents, led by local BSP leader Balwinder, raised anti-government slogans. The police reached the spot and tried to pacify the agitated residents.

“We are virtually forced to live in inhuman conditions as life has fallen out of gear due to failure of power supply to the village for the past three days. The government should take strict action against the erring officials, who failed to perform their duties in time.” Mr Ram Singh of Mand village said.

The dharna was lifted after the authorities concerned assured the villagers that a new transformer would be installed immediately. Meanwhile, it was learnt that the board did not have a spare transformer to replace the burnt transformer, which has put a question mark on the board’s functioning.


Chhina case reopened; 2 SPs under cloud
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 2
Two Superintendents of Police, Mr Darshan Singh Mann and Mr Jagdish Singh Kahlon, who had recommended the cancellation of an FIR lodged against the beleaguered Mr Surinder Paul Singh Chhina, Managing Director, Central Cooperative Bank here, for allegedly embezzling Kargil funds to the tune of Rs 3.50 lakh have come under a cloud as the district police chief, Mr Narinder Paul Singh, has ordered the reopening of the case.

The first inquiry was conducted by Mr Darshan Singh Mann, the then SP (Detective) who had given a clean chit to Mr Chhina and recommended cancellation of the FIR. However, the complainant moved the court which directed the police to conduct another inquiry. The second Inquiry Officer was Mr Jagdish Singh Kahlon, the then SP (City) who, too, recommended the cancellation of the case. The complainant again approached senior police officers and urged them to reopen the case after the arrest of Chhina by the Vigilance Bureau. The Vigilance Department has already unearthed huge movable and immovable property worth Rs 3 crores belonging to Chhina.


Modi’s resignation demanded
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 2
The ex-servicemen cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee organised a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner office here today demanding the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narinder Modi for his failure to control communal violence.

Addressing the dharna, Capt Parveen Davur, Secretary, AICC Ex-servicemen Cell, lashed out at the fundamentalists of the BJP and its government in centre as well as in Gujarat for their cruel attitude towards the hapless minority community of Gujarat. He demanded the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister and also demanded that the culprits of the Godhra must be punished.

He appreciated the efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, for launching a crusade against corruption in the state, and assured him that the ex-servicemen cell would support his cause against the corruption.

In his address Col Zorawar Singh, chairman, Ex-servicemen Cell of the PPCC, appreciated the efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh, against corruption. The Chief Minister has assured to call a meeting of the ex-servicemen to discuss their problems, he added.

Mr Gurmukh Singh, district president of the cell, also addressed the gathering.


Cheema in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 2
A local court today remanded Bhupinder Singh Cheema co-accused along with former Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, in an attempt-to-murder case involving an attack on a university teacher in judicial custody till May 15.

Earlier, Cheema had been remanded in police custody in the case. It had been alleged by a Reader, Mr H.S. Bhatti that Cheema and five others had attacked him in front of a gate of the university after coming out of the residence of Ahluwalia.


Lawyer seeks probe into appointment
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 2
In a complaint sent to a one-man commission headed by justice A.S. Garg, Mr Jaspal Goyal, a local lawyer, has alleged that an appointment has been made by taking bribe.

He alleged that vide advertisement No. 2/96, the Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board advertised a post of Legal Assistant in the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department in February, 1996.

Again through advertisement No. 5/96, the board advertised two posts of the same category in the Punjab Agriculture Department.

Mr Goyal applied for the first category and interviews for all posts were held on July 5, 1999. He appeared in the interview under Roll No 101.

Mr Jora Singh, Secretary of the board, recommended the names of two candidates for the post of Legal Assistants in the Punjab Agriculture Department and withheld the results for the post of Legal Assistant in the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department.

Mr Goyal has alleged in the complaint that he was the only candidate who appeared for the interview for Legal Assistant in the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department and being eligible he should have been recommended by the board.

Later Mr Goyal approached the board which in turn informed him that the board had never advertised the post but when the interview letter was shown to the Secretary of the board, he replied that the interview had been wrongly held.

Again under the same roll number on November 20, 2001, a fresh interview letter was issued to Mr Goyal for the same post without declaring the earlier interview’s result.

In the complaint Mr Goyal has alleged that the board ‘selected’ another person who never appeared in the interview or applied for the post after taking bribe. He demanded an inquiry into the “appointment” by the commission.


Poor pregnant women get assistance
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 2
Under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme, pregnant women, belonging to households below the poverty line, are being provided maternity benefit to the tune of Rs 500 each in Sangrur district.

The district has received Rs 5 lakh so far under the scheme for distribution to the pregnant women. The first instalment of Rs 2 lakh was received by the district health authorities during the last quarter of the previous financial year. This amount was reportedly disbursed among 400 beneficiaries till March 2002. The second instalment of Rs 2.99 lakh has been received recently by the health authorities for the same purpose.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said he had got the cheque for Rs 2.99 lakh in the last week of April.

Dr Tiwari said out of Rs 2.99 lakh, he had sent Rs 20,000 each to 10 primary health centres situated at Longowal, Dhanaula, Tapa, Mehal Kalan, Fatehgarh Panj Graian, Sherpur, Amargarh, Bhawanigarh, Kohrian and Moonak, for distribution among the beneficiaries while Rs 10,000 each had been sent to five Civil Hospitals, situated at Sangrur, Sunam, Dhuri, Malerkotla and Barnala for the same purpose. The remaining amount of Rs 49,000 would be disbursed to the beneficiaries, later.

Under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme, aid is provided to pregnant women for up to first two live births, provided they (pregnant women) are of 19 years of age and above. Besides, the maternity benefit is disbursed in one instalment 12-8 weeks prior to the delivery. However, the benefit can be made even after the delivery of child, subject to the sanctioning authority being satisfied about the genuineness of the case. 


Stripping case: ASI suspended

Moga, May 2
The Punjab police today suspended an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police for his alleged involvement in an infamous girls’ stripping case in the district.

ASI Gurmail Singh, against whom a case was registered by the police and whose anticipatory bail application was rejected by a court here on April 29, has been placed under suspension by the Muktsar police chief, a police spokesman said here.

The police had registered a case against four persons, including Akali Dal MLA Sadhu Singh, his son Jagtar Singh and two police officials on April 16 at the instance of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A local court had granted anticipatory bail on April 29 to the Akali MLA, his son and the SHO, Inspector Joginder Singh, but had rejected the bail application of the ASI.

The Inspector is in the security of the former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and posted at Muktsar, the police said.

Two daughters of a resident of Rajyana village were allegedly stripped by the police at the alleged behest of the then Akali MLA last year. PTI


Unclaimed suitcase creates panic
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 2
Panic gripped the residents of the local Ganesha Basti when they saw a suitcase lying under a power transformer near a park here. Fearing that it could contain some explosive material, they started running for safety. However, their fears were belied when it was found that the suitcase contained some clothes and other items.

The suitcase, lying near park number 65 in the area, arose suspicion as it had been lying at an abandoned place with no one near it. The residents who first saw it at around 6 p.m. informed other residents of the colony and enquired from them about the same. When no claimant was found, rumour spread that the suitcase contained some explosive material.

The police on receiving the information sent an anti-sabotage team to the spot with explosive-defusing equipments. The area was sealed and the residents were asked not to go near the suitcase.

After making all safety arrangements, the suitcase was opened after more than two hours’ operation. It was found containing some dresses and items belonging to a woman.

According to police sources, some thief might have stolen the suitcase from the railway station and when he did not find anything worth taking, he threw the suitcase near the park.


2-yr RI for Xen
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 2
A local court today sentenced Executive Engineer, Sutlej Yamuna Link canal Mohinder Singh to two years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

A case was registered against Mohinder Singh in 1998 by the local Vigilance Bureau for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. Mr Mohinder Singh was then posted as Xen in the Sarala division of the SYL.

Disclosing this here today, Superintendent of Police (Vigilance) Paramjit Singh Grewal said in another case a revenue patwari, Lakhmir Singh, had also been sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 2,000 for taking a bribe of Rs 400 from Kulvir Singh for supplying him a copy of a jamabandi.

Mr Grewal said a trap was also laid under the supervision of DSP, Vigilance, Jaipal Singh, following which sadar Kanungo, Patiala, Hariminder Singh was caught red handed while taking a bribe of Rs 8,000 from Balwinder Singh, patwari, halqa Nabha in lieu of sending his five years ‘jamabandi’ record as ‘good’ to the Deputy Commissioner.


Graft case against doctor: probe sought
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 2
Even as the government health services were paralysed in the district by the doctors who were protesting against the alleged false implication of an eye specialist, Dr Harbhajan Singh Hayer, in a corruption case, the Vigilance Bureau authorities claimed that every accused pleaded innocent after he was caught taking a bribe.

Members of the district unit of the PCMS Association, who held a meeting in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office today, while demanding an impartial probe into the matter in a memorandum to the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, and DGP, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, decided that they would continue their agitation till they got justice. The association would also chalk out its future course of action to protest against the “high-handedness” of the Vigilance staff.

Dr Hayer, eye specialist, Civil Hospital, Talwandi Sabo, who is also the general secretary of the association, was caught while accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from Mr Kartar Singh, a resident of Jiwansinghwala village, on April 30. Dr Hayer allegedly by demanded a bribe from Mr Kartar Singh to treat his son Phool Singh with personal attention. Phool Singh’s one eye was injured in an accident.

On Mr Kartar Singh’s complaint, a team of the Vigilance Bureau laid a trap and arrested the doctor while he was accepting the bribe.

Dr N.K. Bansal, President, PCMS Association, said Dr Hayer did not demand any money from any one and it was forcibly put into his side pocket by a person at a time when Dr Hayer was finishing his work. Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SP (Vigilance), when contacted, said the Vigilance wing had no objection to an impartial probe into the matter.


Woman, girl succumb to burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 2
A married woman and a girl who were admitted to the local Civil Hospital yesterday after they sustained burn injuries died last night.

Khushwinder Kaur, a resident of Rori in Haryana and wife of Tarsem Singh of Ghuman Khurd village, near Maur Mandi, was admitted to the hospital at 10 p.m. yesterday, with 100 per cent burn injuries. Her in-laws said she was preparing food on a “chullah” when her clothes caught fire. They said she had given a statement before a duty magistrate, saying that her clothes had caught fire accidentally. She died at 11 p.m.

In a separate incident, a 16-year-old girl belonging to Mehna village in Muktsar district received 90 per cent burn injuries in a fire which broke out in her kitchen yesterday. After receiving first aid at a hospital at Badal village, she was referred to Civil Hospital, where she died around midnight. Her body was later handed over to her parents.


Councillor among 100 'caught’ stealing power
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 2
Vijay Kumar, a municipal councillor, was among 100 persons caught by the Punjab State Electricity Board for stealing power during a special checking today.

The residents were stealing power by directly drawing power from main lines by putting up a “kundi” or tempering with the electricity meter.

The PSEB authorities said raids were conducted at Parasram Nagar, Partap Nagar, Lal Singh Basti, Amarpura Basti. The raids were a part of ongoing campaign against the power theft.

During a special checking Mr Vijay Kumar, Municipal Councillor of Parasram Nagar, was allegedly found stealing power. The PSEB sources said power meter at the residence of the Municipal Councillor was not working properly. They said that it amounted to power theft. Sources said he had been fined to the tune of Rs 2000.

The PSEB authorities said the raids were conducted at random and they would continue.

Mr Vijay Kumar, however, said the raid at the residence was politically motivated as he belonged to the Akali Dal. He said he had filed an application with the PSEB authorities sometimes back that the electricity meter at his residence was not functioning properly. He said meter was not changed even after so many days. He alleged that he was victimised due to his political affiliation.

The PSEB authorities said such raids were being conducted in other districts also.


Driver injured in train-truck mishap
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 2
A major tragedy was averted when the Ambala-Nangal passenger train collided with a truck near Ganauli, about 10 km from here today. The accident occurred at 8.58 am just after the train had left the Ropar station for Nangal. The assistant driver of the engine received minor injuries in the mishap.

At the unmanned railway crossing, C-51, of Singh (Thali) village, the driver of the loaded truck (PB-12A-7912) tried to cross the railway track before the approaching train. However, the operating end of the electric railway engine collided with the rear side of the truck.

The impact of the collision damaged the train engine and ripped off the rear side of the truck. Engineers of the Northern Railway reached the spot of accident within two hours to assess the damage to the engine.

The accident did not result in the derailment of the train.

The drive of the truck fled the scene after the accident. The guard of the train, Mr B.S. Mand, said the passengers received shock due to the impact of collision.

The accident disrupted traffic on the Ropar-Nangal railway line, stranding commuters for about four hours. The train affected could continue its journey only at 12.15 pm when the engine of the Nangal-bound goods train was attached to it. Rail traffic normalised on the track after that.

The engine that met with the accident had been incapitated and had to be sent to Ambala for repairs.

The accident has brought to fore the problems accruing from the increasing number of unmanned railway crossings.

This is the second accident on the Nangal-Ropar rail track within a fortnight. Earlier, 10 coaches of a goods train derailed near Barhampur village, about 50 km from Ropar. The Railway authorities had ordered an inquiry into the accident whose report is awaited.


MC staff scuffle claims life
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 2
A scuffle between some safai karamcharis and a sanitary inspector of the local Municipal Council, on the office premises today, claimed the life of another sanitary inspector, Baldev Singh Jaura. The deceased was a brother of Mr Sham Singh Jaura, General Secretary of the state BSP.

According to reports, Baldev Singh Jaura, tried to disengage those involved in the scuffle as a result of which he felt pain in one of his arms. He was taken to a private doctor who referred him to another clinic. He was later taken to a private hospital where he died due to a heart attack, said Mr Bhupinder Singh, president of the Municipal Council.

According to reports, today was the pay day for the safai karamcharis. A safai karamchari, Pritam Singh, who was allegedly drunk started speaking in foul language while other safai karamcharis were accepting their salaries.

A sanitary inspector, Mr Rana, asked Pritam Singh not to speak irrationally following which Pritam Singh started abusing him. Mr Rana then slapped Pritam Singh which resulted in a scuffle between the two. Some other sweepers also joined the scuffle. Baldev Singh Jaura, who was present on the spot tried to disengage them.

Mr Bhupinder Singh said he, along with other municipal councillors, tried to control the situation. He said as the matter was settled no legal action would be taken against those involved in the incident.

The cremation of the deceased sanitary inspector would be held tomorrow morning.


HC judge inspects Samana court
Our Correspondent

Samana, May 2
Justice Bakhshish Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court inspected judicial court here today.

Members of the local Bar Association welcomed her. Mr N.S. Ratol, president of the association thanked her for visiting Samana.

Mr Ratol said their long-pending demand of a separate judicial complex had not been accepted so far by the government.

He said there were certain villages which were attached to Samana police station but fell in Patiala tehsil for civil cases. He demanded that these villages be attached to the Samana judicial court.


Job scandal accused remanded

Kharar, May 2
Kharar judicial magistrate Roshan Lal today remanded two senior officials accused in the recruitment scandal in the state’s Rural Development and Panchayats Department, in judicial custody till May 15.

Chief Engineer Baldev Singh and District Development Panchayat Officer (DDPO) Kuldip Singh, whose four-day police remand expired today, were produced in the court of Mr Roshan Lal by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau which sought the extension of their remand as the co-accused were yet to be arrested. But the Magistrate declined the request.

Defence counsel argued that the whereabouts of the co-accused, who included a senior IAS official, were well-known to the state and, thus, there was no need of keeping Kuldip Singh and Baldev Singh in police remand for the reason cited by the prosecution. The two senior officials had been arrested on April 28 in the case of nine illegal recruitments through a handicapped quota in which several of the appointees were not found handicapped.

According to the case filed by the Vigilance under Section 420 of the IPC , one of the nine appointees had not formally applied for the job. UNI


Farmer burnt alive
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 2
Jarnail Singh, a farmer of Gorakhnath village near Bareta town of the district, was burnt alive yesterday while burning stalks of wheat in his fields after harvesting the crop.

According to the information available, he was trapped in the fire due to strong winds.

In another case, about 10 quintals of mustard seed belonging to Vaid Singh Grewal of Kulrian village in the district were burnt. Stocks of wheat chaff laying in the fields in various villages of the district were also burnt.

The victims have demanded compensation from the government for the losses suffered.


Canal breach floods 500 acres
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 2
A breach in the Bhikhi branch of the canal near Kishangarh Pharmahi village in the district yesterday inundated 500 acres. Due to this stocks of chaff lying in the fields were also washed away.

The water from the canal also posing a threat to the houses situated in the fields. The villagers have accused officials of the Irrigation Department for failing to strengthen the embankments of the canal.


Opt for organic farming: experts
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 2
The Biology Department of Kirpal Sagar Academy, near Rahon, to create awareness among students about ill effects of chemical fertilisers and mobilize them to adopt organic farming, organised a seminar on the topic here today.

Ms Evelyn from Austria, who is associated with research on organic farming, and Dr Karamjit Singh, Chairman of the academy, were the main speakers.

Ms Evelyn said that indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers was ‘poisoning’ the soil and thereby also its produce. Due to the consumption of ‘poisonous food’, people were suffering from various ailments, she said adding that in Europe research work was underway on the ways and means to revert back to organic farming. She said the Asian countries should also take steps to create awareness about organic farming.

Dr Karamjit Singh said that good physical and mental health was the primary need of a healthy society. He exhorted the agriculture scientists, teachers and students to come forth and mobilise farmers to adopt organic farming.

He said that an organic farm house had been set up in the academy. The academy was also planning to launch a drive to create awareness, as well as provide training to farmers in this field.

Mr T. Kanan a teacher in the department, said that due to increase in population and urbanisation the land under cultivation had decreased considerably which had forced farmers to use hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers for getting more produce. Mr M. Ramachandran, Principal of the academy, said real role of education was to enlighten students so that they could lead the society by generating awareness.

A number of students of the department, including Jaspreet, Gurpreet, Rajeshwari, Bhawanjit, Jasreet and Manmeet Singh also read their papers on organic farming.


ASI, munshi suspended
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 2
In the reversal of roles, public intervened to settle a police dispute! A piquant situation arose at local Satnampura police station here yesterday when a scuffle started between ASI Satpal and Munshi Raman Kumar over a trifle. It is learnt that the munshi asked the ASI about a case. Having strained relations, the ASI is said to have first used foul language against the munshi and then thrashed him. The ASI even tore the uniform of the munshi and threw the telephone off the table. Another Head Constable Nirmal Singh supported the ASI in the scuffle.

Since the police station is situated on the road, some people are said to have intervened. The matter was reported to senior police officers. The munshi was hospitalised. However, the ASI and the munshi were suspended on the recommendation of the DSP, Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill.

Meanwhile, those at the Satnampura police station tried to play down the matter by calling it a “family affair which had been settled amicably”.


Minor raped in Jalandhar
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 2
Panic gripped the families of thousands of migrant labourers of the city when some unidentified persons took away a four-year-old girl child from beside her sleeping mother and raped her late last night.

What shocked the residents was the brutal way in which the miscreants targeted the house of Mr Raj Kumar, father of the victim, and stealthily caught hold of the girl while she was sleeping along with her mother. The girl was abandoned about 50 yards away from the house in a pool of blood.

As the police has been unable to control the growing crime in the city for the past two months, the incident has generated shock waves among thousands of migrant labourers and other residents of the city.

The police, which is groping in the dark about the culprits, has detained about 24 migrant labourers which has created further resentment among the migrant labourer community. The latter alleges that the police, instead of detaining the real culprits was using third degree methods on any migrant labourer found roaming on the city roads.

The father of the victim is working as a labourer in a factory in the Industrial Estate and living in a rented house near the cremation grounds of Industrial Estate. The child was raped in a nearby house by some unidentified persons. She was admitted to the local Civil Hospital today. The doctors confirmed that the girl had been raped.

According to eyewitnesses the accused had left behind the child presuming that she was dead. Mr Raj Kumar, a migrant labourer from Nepal, said, “The incident has ruined the future of my daughter and my wife is still in a state of shock.”


Impostors’ gang busted; 3 held
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 2
The district police has claimed to have busted a gang of impostors, who used to pose as policemen and rob people by erecting fake nakas at night. Those arrested are Narpinder Singh of Raipur, Dharminder Singh of Raipur and Devinder Singh of Kotla Bjwara villages of Fatehgarh Sahib. The police has recovered a Maruti car and the robbed amount and a case under Sections 384,170,341,34 IPC has been registered.

Mr B.Chandra Sekhar, SSP and Mr Inderjit Singh Randhawa, SP(H), said that the police had been getting complaints that certain policemen on a naka on the Sirhind-Chandigarh road used to extort money from people. The policemen in plain clothes were deputed to verify these complaints.

The SSP said that the police got a similar complaint from Paramjit Singh of Attewali, who alleged that while he was going to his village in car, three policemen stopped his car and started checking the documents and car.

They also took the entire money from his pocket and his driving license. Next day, when Paramjit Singh went to a STD booth opposite the Engineering College, he saw that the PCO owner was one of these so-called policemen, who had extorted money from him on Tuesday night. Paramjit Singh then informed the police and the SSP directed the police to immediately nab that person, who was identified as Dharminder Singh running a PCO. Dharminder Singh on interrogation, revealed the identity of two of his other accomplices, who were also arrested.

The SSP further said in another case that the district police have also traced a girl, who was abducted by Vinod, alias Guli, from Mandi Gobindgarh two days ago. He said that Vinod had abducted a minor girl (17) and took her to Delhi. He said that police got information and recovered the girl and arrested Vinod Kumar from Delhi. He said that a case under Sections 363,366,376,342,506, 34A IPC has been registered and the girl had been sent for medical examination.

He said that the Sirhind police has arrested two smugglers of poppy husk and seized 50 kg of poppy husk from them. Two persons, held on a charge of theft, identified as Paramjit Singh, resident of Tarkhan Majra and Ram Singh of Bhatto in the district and a LML Vespa scooter along with the large number of keys and other tools meant for theft were seized from them.


Two more held in paddy scam
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 2
The district police today arrested Harish Galhotra and Amit Galhotra, partners of a rice mill, located at Goniana Mandi, 15 km from here, for their alleged involvement in the paddy scam.

Ashok Kumar, another partner out of total seven has already been arrested after a case against them was registered by the police under Sections 408 and 120-B of the IPC for their alleged bungling in the supply of rice to Markfed in lieu of paddy given to the rice mill being run by them.

The accused namely Ashok Kumar, Amrit Galhotra, Akash Galhotra, Rupinder Kumar, Harish Galhotra, Anju Galhotra and Ashok Kumar had allegedly misappropriated rice worth Rs 22,59,321.

Sources said though the complaint lodged to the police authorities by Markfed was very old, the case was not registered against the guilty due to their clout in the corridors of power.

The district police chief, Mr Ishwar Singh, when contacted, said a case was registered against the quilty on April 5, 2002, and Ashok Kumar was arrested on April 8. The two other accused had still been evading arrest.

He added that on October 11, 2002 Markfed entered into an agreement with Shri Ganesh Rice Mills, Harraipur under which the Markfed gave 20475 bags of paddy for milling. The firm was to return more than 6,478 quintals of rice to FCI in account of Markfed.

The accused, however, delivered only 4867.60 quintals of paddy. He added that 1119 bags of mix rice, 90 bags of paddy and 70 bags of rice powder had been recovered from Ashok Kumar. Further investigations were on. 


Man found dead, one booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
A middle aged man was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Haibowal today. The police has registered a murder case against a woman, with whom the deceased was allegedly having an illicit relationship.

According to the Haibowal police, 35-year-old Sunil Kumar’s body was found lying near a bridge in the same locality. There were no injury marks on the body. A post-mortem examination has been conducted and the viscera sent for further investigations.

The police said that according to a complaint filed by the relatives of Sunil, he was having illicit relationship with Rajni. The police said that Rajni allegedly poisoned Sunil when he went to meet her. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against Rajni. No arrest has been made so far. 


Delhi burglar’s accomplice held
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, May 2
Gurmeet Singh, son of a landlord in the district, who was an accomplice of Devinder Singh, alias Bunty, known as “Burglar No. 1”, arrested by the Delhi police four days ago, has been arrested by the local police after five weapons, and four vehicles were recovered from him.

Devinder Singh was arrested in Delhi on April 29 after continuously dodging the authorities in various states over a decade. Luxury cars, electronic gadgets, music systems, paintings and antique worth more than Rs 4 crore were recovered from him. Devinder Singh was involved in more than 500 cases of burglary.

Mr K.J.S. Pannu, district police chief, when contacted, said a police party from Delhi and the local police conducted a raid on the house of Gurmeet Singh and recovered four cars and five weapons.

He said the cars were taken away by the Delhi Police. He said he was sure that two weapons were illegal while Gurmeet Singh failed to produce documents of other weapons also.

He said one weapon belonged to a terrorist, who was killed about 10 years ago and was a frequent visitor to Gurmeet Singh’s place. Gurmeet Singh had prepared a fake arm licence from Ferozepore.

He said a case under the Arms Act was registered.


Travel agent held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 2
The Phagwara police has arrested a travel agent, Jaspal a resident of Pandori village under Bholath police station, on the charge of duping Mohinder Paul, a resident of Balalo village of Phagwara, of Rs 5 lakh for sending him abroad.

In a press note issued today, Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, said the complainant, Mohinder Paul alleged that about two years ago Jaspal Singh told him that the maternal uncle of his wife, Manjit Singh, was working as a travel agent. Jaspal demanded Rs 5 lakh to send him abroad. The complainant alleged that he first paid Rs 1 lakh along with his passport to Jaspal Singh and Manjit Singh and later gave Rs 4 lakh after selling his land.

He alleged that after receiving the money they took him to Delhi but neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. The complaint of Mohinder Paul was probed by officials of the anti-fraud cell of the CIA staff police and the allegations were found to be true, following which a case under Section 420 and 406 of the Indian Panel Code and Section 24 of the immigration Act was registered against Jaspal Singh and Manjit Singh. Efforts were on to arrested Manjit Singh, the police said.


Robbers take away Rs 8.7 lakh
Our Correspondent

Makhu (Ferozepore), May 2
Some armed persons took away Rs 8.7 lakh at gunpoint from four employees of the Irrigation Department in broad daylight here today.

According to information, the four employees — Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, both JEs, Mr Vinod Kumar, SDC and Mr Dev Raj, TA, withdrew the amount from the local branch of the State Bank of India this afternoon for the disbursement of salary to the employees of the department. As they were returning in their vehicle, a car in which some armed persons were boarding hit their vehicle on the outskirts of the town near Ice Factory on the Jalandhar road. The armed persons took away the cash from them at gunpoint.

The employees told the police that the robbers were travelling in a Maruti car bearing registration No DL 4C-1658.


Father kills infant in fit of rage
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 2
In a stunning incident, a man killed his two-month-old son in a fit of rage here last evening.

According to reports, Gurnam Singh of Deh village in Majitha police district, has a quarrel with his family over a minor issue. After sometime when his wife Gurjit Kaur gave her son to him to hold, he threw the baby against a wall, due to which the baby got serious head injury and died in Civil Hospital, Ajnala.

A case under Section 304 of the IPC has been registered.


Question paper outside syllabus, exam cancelled
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 2
Students of MA-I (Punjabi literature) taking the modern Punjabi poetry (option-I) examination at local colleges today were taken aback when they found that the question paper was not as per the syllabus. The students raised a hue and cry, forcing the authorities to cancel the examination.

Confusion prevailed at the colleges in the afternoon session when the students complained that not even a single question was from the prescribed syllabus.

When the examination staff contacted the control room of Punjabi University, officials expressed ignorance of the matter. However, after an hour, the university confirmed that the question paper was as per the syllabus of 2000 and not this year's and declared it cancelled. After taking the signatures of students to mark their presence, they were allowed to go.

However, confusion prevailed for more than two hours as the phone of the university control room remained engaged after 2 p.m., with various colleges trying to contact the university.

Ahluwalia recruited ‘favourites’
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 2
As a crusade against corruption has been launched by Capt Amarinder Singh, more and more affected people, are coming forward with their complaints of highhandedness during various recruitments.

Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, a former head of the department of commerce of local Mata Gujri College and at present Principal of SGH College of Information Technology, in a letter to the Chief Minister, has brought to his knowledge, misdeeds of ousted Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University Ahluwalia.

Giving details he said that in last August three posts of lecturer of Commerce in the university were filled through interviews. Twentytwo candidates were called for interviews, among whom 18 were called at the behest of the screening committee constituted for this purpose and four were called by the Vice-Chancellor on his own. Three candidates out of 18 had doctorate degrees including himself (Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha). He claimed that he had the overall highest merit among all candidates; besides this he had written various books on commerce subject, which have been recommended in various colleges at undergraduate level and other creative books.

He said that one of the three candidates selected was the sister of the steno of Vice-Chancellor, who only had an M.Com. from Shimla University through correspondence course with quiet low marks and having teaching experience of only one session. She was the weakest candidate among all candidates. The screening committee did not even find her fit to be called for interview, but she was selected by the Vice-Chancellor by using his own discretion and was given the post of lecturer in university. The second candidate selected belonged to Lambi constituency, which former CM Badal represented, she was also only M.Com with two to three years’ experience at that time. The third candidate selected was a close relative of a former minister in the Badal government. She was also only M.Com with two to three years’ experience.

He has demanded a probe in the recruitments done in an arbitrary manner by ignoring the three P.hd. degree holders. He has mentioned that he could not raise the banner of protest as he is serving in a college affiliated to Punjabi University and apprehended that an adamant and vindictive Vice-Chancellor could harm his future. He has written that now the people have realised that the justice would be done and the corrupt would be put behind the bars, so he has raised the issue.



Sabha suggests SC candidates for VC’s post
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 2
The president of the local Valmik Dharam Sabha, Mr Lal Chand Dhariwal, in a letter to the Chancellor, Punjabi University, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has listed nine names of luminaries belonging to the Scheduled Castes for the post of the Vice-Chancellor of the university presently held temporarily by Mr N.S. Rattan.

In his letter Mr Dhariwal has stated that there is a provision for reservation of the Scheduled Castes in services and that Article 335 of the Constitution makes it mandatory that a claim of the members of these castes shall be taken into consideration in making appointments to services and posts.

Claiming that no VC or Registrar from these castes had ever been appointed in the four universities of the state, he has listed nine names which can be considered for the post of the VC.

These include Mr Swami Ram Bharti, IAS (retd); Dr Tarsem Dhaliwal, Principal Government College, Ropar; Prof Mukhtiar Singh, Principal (retd), Government Mahindra College, Patiala; Dr Amrit Paul, Director All-India Radio Bathinda; Mr S.S. Chohan, Principal (retd); Prof M.S. Khatra, Government Ranbir College, Sangrur; Prof Chaman Lal, Government College, Hoshiarpur; Dr Jai Kishan; Prof and Head of the Department of TB Hospital, Patiala; and Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examinations, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Future of polytechnic institute hangs in balance
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, May 2
The future of the employees of the Thapar Polytechnic here hangs in balance as the management has refused to revive admissions to the polytechnic for the current academic year and is even considering its closure in view of the withdrawal of 95 per cent government grant to the Thapar Polytechnic and the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The management of the institute has appealed to the state government to restore the 95per cent grant to the polytechnic, stating that the Institute for Engineering and Technology would be able to survive without the grant but admissions to JET (joint entrance test) for the polytechnic would not be conducted as the polytechnic might have to be closed down in the absence of the grant.

Mr Om Parkash Sharma, president of the employees association of the institute, has threatened that the employees would hold a dharna in front of the residence of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on May 4 in support of the release of the grant and revival of admissions in the Thapar Polytechnic for the current academic session.

He said the closure of the polytechnic would not only mean loss for students but also loss of livelihood for its staff.

The Akali-BJP government had passed orders curtailing the grant by 33 per cent every year beginning year 2000, according to which the grant would end in totality by 2002-2003. The state government was, however, forced to reconsider its orders on the persistent demand of the employees and announced the restoration of 95 per cent grant to the polytechnic till year March 2002.

The association claimed that Captain Amarinder Singh had promised the continuation of the 95 per cent grant to the polytechnic in his election manifesto. It appealed to him to implement the same in the interests of both students and the staff.

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