Friday, June 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Coveted chairs in PU remain unoccupied
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Coveted chairs meant for further academic excellence and debate-culture in key areas identified by Panjab University lie vacant more than a year after their creation due to the non-availability of suitable “guiding lights” in the areas concerned.

The Senate of May 2001 gave formal clearance to details of setting up five chairs. These included Jawaharlal Nehru Chair Professor in Technology, Lal Bahadur Shashtri Chair Professor in Public Administration, Sri Aurobindo Chair Professor in Philosophy, Dr B.R.Ambedkar Chair in Political Science and Sarojini Naidu Chair Professor in English. However, these “visiting faculty” posts remain unoccupied.

Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, confirmed that the chairs had been vacant till date. “The university did not want to fill the specially created chairs with “someone common” just to complete the formalities. There were numerous contenders but the university wants to pick only the best for promoting academic debate”, Professor Pathak said.

He said that the university had written to Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the chair in technology. However, a reply was still awaited and with him “nearly sure” as the next President, the university will have to look elsewhere. The university has now contacted Prof D.P. Chattopadhaya for the Chair Professor in Philosophy and he is likely to make it to the campus.

The university, meanwhile, has commenced hectic activity to spot prominent personalities from different walks of life to boost a healthy academic culture on the campus.

The Senate had decided to fund the specially created chairs out of the “Fund for higher education and research”. The university will strictly maintain the “dignity” of these chairs by not appointing full-time faculty but regularly appointing “leading geniuses” in their fields concerned for a short period to keep the academic waters continuously flowing. It was pointed out that new academic lights are bound to give an impetus to fresh research and innovative theories.

The Vice-Chancellor had constituted a special committee to work out the details concerning the chairs. It has been recommended that : professor of eminence be invited and be paid a fixed renumeration of a professor’s grade (Rs 22,400); and department where he is invited will provide him a furnished office for independent work profile.

Certain other prominent recommendations include : The visiting faculty will be invited during academic session when normal classes are being conducted and not during the examination days or the vacation; lectures delivered by professors will be published by Panjab University; minimum duration of the faculty’s stay will be two months, which can be extended up to an year; and more than one person can be invited for a short period who could give a series of lectures against a chair.



PU student leaders remanded
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 20
Three student leaders of Panjab University, Santokhwinder Singh Nabha, former president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC), Malwinder Kang, president of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), and Harveer Singh, who were arrested by the UT police in connection with the attempt to murder case registered against them, were remanded in judicial custody today by a local court. The three were arrested by the UT police on Tuesday from Sarojini Hall.

Meanwhile, the court has issued a notice to the UT police on the bail plea moved by Nabha for June 24 for filing a reply. The police had registered a case against them on March 8 following the clash that took place between the supporters of two main organisation — SOPU and PUSU. The police had registered a case against them under Sections 147, 148, 159, 324 and 307, IPC.


PU results

Panjab University on Thursday declared results of annual examinations of certain postgraduate courses conducted earlier this year.

These courses include : MA I (geography), MA II (public administration), M Sc (statistics) (IInd semester) and M Sc I (honours) in bio-physics. TNS


Sekhon’s appointment stayed till July 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
In just over two months after Justice J.S. Sekhon was appointed Chief Commissioner for Gurdwara Elections, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the operation of a notification issued in this regard.

Pronouncing the orders, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, ruled that the notification, issued on April 24, appointing Justice Sekhon as Chief Commissioner would remain stayed till July 12 when the case would come up for a final hearing. The judges also directed the Union of India to produce the complete record before the court on the next date.

In their 11-page order, the judges held, “From undisputed facts, what has emerged on record is that a fax message was received by Justice Sekhon on April 9 in relation to the approval of his name as Chief Commissioner. A notification was issued to that effect on April 23. The appointment was made with effect from April 12. Justice Sekhon submitted his resignation on that date, which has admittedly not been accepted till today.

“In other words, on the date of approval, date of notification and date from which the appointment was made effective, Justice Sekhon was a member of the Punjab Human Rights Commission. While holding such an appointment, the respondent could not be given any other appointment under the provisions of the relevant Act and, even otherwise, also under the general rules. We are not able to appreciate at this stage how could Justice Sekhon just put in his resignation and consider that he had ceased to be a member of the human rights commission. We are also unable to appreciated how a notification could be made effective retrospectively in regard to an appointment for which the issuance of a notification was a pre-requisite, more particularly when admittedly on April 12, Justice Sekhon was a member of the Punjab Human Rights Commission”.

In his petition, the President of the All-India Human Rights Watch, Col N.S. Pandher, had earlier challenged the appointment of Justice Sekhon as Chief Commissioner, claiming the same to be “illegal”, “void” and “without jurisdiction”. Giving details, the petitioner had submitted that Justice Sekhon was not entitled to any assignment under the Punjab and the Union Governments as he had served as member of Human Rights Commission. Elaborating upon his contention, he had added that according to Section 24 (3) of the Human Rights Commission Act, a member could not accept any government assignment after serving in the commission.

Going into the background, Mr A.P.S. Shergill had added on behalf of the petitioner that Justice Sekhon had retired in 1994 after attaining the age of superannuation. He was subsequently appointed member of the Punjab Human Rights Commission by the previous Akali government in 1997. Justice Sekhon was, however, appointed Chief Commissioner for Gurdwara Elections by the Union of India while he was still serving, he had concluded.

Vigilance officials’ explanation sought

Asking Punjab Vigilance Bureau officials to be present in the court on the next date of hearing in the warrant officer assault case, Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta today fixed June 26 as the next date of hearing.

The officer, appointed by the high court for securing the release of Sher Singh, alias Shera, an accused in the Langah corruption case, was reportedly assaulted by officials of the Vigilance Bureau on June 15 after being allegedly detained for over two hours.

Taking a serious view of the matter, Mr Justice Mohunta had, on the last date of hearing, directed Vigilance Bureau’s Superintendent of Police Surinder Pal Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police Gurmukh Singh and Head Constable Baldev Singh to be present in the court for “explaining their conduct”. The Judge had added that no action would be taken against the warrant officer on the basis of a complaint registered against him by the Vigilance Bureau officers till the next date of hearing.

Notice in ex-Judge case

Issuing notice for June 27 on a petition for grant of anticipatory bail in a corruption case filed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge-cum-Chairman of the Oil Selection Board, Justice M.R. Agnihotri, Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta today directed that he should not be arrested till then.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Justice Mohunta also asked the former Judge to join the investigation as and when required and also permitted his counsel to accompany him. Justice Agnihotri, along with two others, were earlier booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation, for cheating and other offences under Sections 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, besides the Prevention of Corruption Act on June 10. His anticipatory bail plea was on Tuesday rejected by the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ms Sneh Prasher.

Langah denied bail

Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta on Thursday dismissed a petition for anticipatory bail filed by Punjab’s former minister Sucha Singh Langah in a corruption case.

The minister was earlier booked for cheating and other offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, besides under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act on May 16. Seeking the grant of pre-arrest bail, his counsel had contended that the former minister was being implicated in a false case registered with a view to harass him and malign his image. He had added that Langah had nothing to do with the purchase of JCB machines and had no shares in any shipping company. 


Kandola to replace Bharti as SDM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
The Sub Divisional Magistrate (South), Mr Gyanesh Bharti, following his transfer, will be replaced by Mr H.S. Kandola. An order to this effect was issued today by the Chandigarh Administration. Mr Bharti, a UT-cadre IAS officer of the 1998 batch, has been shifted to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Mr Bharti was given a formal send off today and he leaves tomorrow. He is proceeding on a 15-day leave of absence and will come back on July 10 to formally hand over the charge to Mr Kandola. His work as the Land Acquisition Officer and the Additional IG Prisons will be handled by the SDM (Central), Mr Prithi Chand.

The work of the Joint Chief Electoral Officer and Joint Registrar Co-operative Societies will be looked after by the Additional DC, Mr Gurmail Singh.


Africo-Latin tunes captivate visitors at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
It sounded like the music was composed of feeling, finesse, and fear. As Mansour and Montrichard, French partners in rhyme, got together on the makeshift stage at the Sukhna Lake to lend meaning to the Music Day celebrations this evening, the notes kept getting higher enrapturing the visitors with their intensity.

The occasion was commemoration of a festival which began in France in 1982. Ever since that year, the Ministry of Culture, France, has been paying a tribute to the sprit of music by helping people come together to share music by invading streets, courtyards, squares. Fete de la musique, as it is called, has now crossed the frontiers of France and is celebrated in 100 countries.

This is perhaps the first time the Alliance Francaise le Corbusier de Chandigarh and CITCO have come together to hold a two-day celebrations in Chandigarh. The first day of the festival saw music speak in the language of harmony. As the two members of the French musical troupe GMT performed in the open for visitors at Sukhna, one thing came out clear: “where words fail; music speaks.”

So although a lot of lyrics used by the performers remained incoherent, the crowd enjoyed every bit of fine music that was doled out. The melodies spoke on their own; although the formal language was Senegal. As for music, it sounded like a delightful blend of Latin and African influences. The musicians were perfect at harmony — where Mansour regaled the audience by singing, even while handling the guitar and the mouth organ in the same breath; Montrichard gave him accompaniment with the guitar. Not just that, a city-based tabla player Mehmood added a soulful Indian touch to the Western melodies.

Mansour sung wonderfully in wolof, baring his deep rooting in Senegal. At the same time, Montrichard came along to intermingle his lyrical traits and energies with the guitar. The two make a great team and played on Xavier Petit, acoustics and stringed-instruments. They are working on an album currently. With complete control over their respective rhythms, Mansour and Montrichard made and mixed music that was groovy and marvelously melodic, all sung in wolof (a language spoken in Senegal). The chemistry of the two performers on stage was amazing. Ask them what brought them together and they reply: “We met on the stage.”

Mansour, an ex-Trussart demonstrator opened a trio of guitars influenced by McLaughin or Peter Gabriel for Montrichard’s group called GMT. Gradually the duo took form and surprised each other with their complicity. Mansour mainly embodies as much the energy of Hendrix as the melodies of Kansas and Yes. Montrichard harps on Latin music.

As for today’s show, the duo performed with an Indian musician mixing the delightful tabla tunes with the melodies from the West. Mansour began with a Senegalese song, then presented a fusion; and later went on to sing an English numbed: When I am sad she comes to me. The group held viewers’ attention for over two hours.

Tomorrow, Amit Kumar will perform along with wife Reema and model Aditi Govitrikar at the Plaza carnival at 7 pm.


Masala movie with a difference

The success of Vikram Bhatt’s ‘‘Raaz’’ has spawned a new genre of experimental cinema and it would be a testing time for Vikram Bhatt again with his new Rs 16 crore movie “Awara Paagal Deewana” which is slated for release today at Neelam in Chandigarh, Bassi in SAS Nagar and KC in Panchkula.

If love does not set the box-office alight, there is always action. Firoz A. Nadiadwala, the maker of “Hera Pheri” teams up with director Vikram Bhatt for gritty saga in “Awara Paagal Deewana”. This film is based on Hollywood’s “Charlie’s Angels”. The film has extraordinary stunts, co-ordinated by the team that worked on “The Matrix”. Also watch out for martial arts in this movie. Those who have seen the rushes say the film has shaped into quite a whammer.

This one is produced by Firoz A. Nadiadwala who is one of Khiladi Kumar’s (Akshay Kumar) favourite producers. Belly dancers from Cairo and London have been roped in for a special item song “Ya Habibi...” sung by Adnan Sami. It also has an Arabian singer singing lines in Arabic language. This foot-tapping number has generated a lot of pre-release interest in the film.

Leading the star cast are Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Aftab Shivdasani, Preeti Jhangiani, Amrita Arora and Aarti Chhabria, each boasting of a significant and strong characterisation that is vital to the story. Other important portrayals are Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Johnny Lever, Asrani and Rahul Dev. Catchy music by Anu Malik, lyrics by Sameer, cinematography by Pravin Bhatt, action by Dionlam-Abbas Ali Moghul, choreography by Ahmed Khan, dialogue by Neeraj Vohra, story-screenplay by Anand Wardhan, Mangesh Kulkarni, editing by Amit Saxena and art by Sailesh are the important credits of “Awara Paagal Deewana.” DP

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