Friday, November 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No change in Admn stand on Rent Act
Tribune News Service

The joint action forum of the Property Owners Association will hold a meeting on Friday at 2 p.m. at SCO 40, Sector 26, Madhya Marg to dispel apprehensions in the minds of the public about the outcome of the recent notification amending the rent Act.

Chandigarh, November 14
The stance of the Chandigarh Administration on the amendment carried out in the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, is not going to change despite demands from a section of tenants of commercial property. Yesterday thousands of traders had assembled in Sector 17 and had given a 72-hour ultimatum to the Chandigarh Administration to withdraw the amendment or else the agitation would be intensified.

Well-placed sources said Finance Secretary Karan Avtar Singh has briefed the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), about the various points raised by the delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. The General had asked the Finance Secretary to clear the apprehensions in the minds of the traders, if any. The amendment does not mean that there would be any magical powers in the hands of the landlords to evict tenants, said Mr Karan Avtar Singh. The judicial system will take note of several factors before deciding on the merits of each case. There is no need to panic, he added. A meeting between the traders and the Finance Secretary is scheduled for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal today said that both factions of the Beopar Mandal, Punjab, led by Mr Madan Lal Kapoor and Mr Jagmohan Sharma, respectively, had sent fax messages extending support to the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. The Mandal condemned a section of people, saying “they are self-styled so called social organisations, who are misguiding the Administrator for their ulterior motives.” The Mandal will also send a delegation, led by Mr Diwakar Sahoonja, to Delhi to seek the support of the All-India Beopar Mandal and also the Delhi Beopar Mandal. He will also be asked to seek an appointment with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The MHA is the controlling ministry for Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the joint action forum of the Property Owners Association met the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and also the Finance Secretary in separate meetings to welcome the notification and not to succumb to pressure tactics of the tenants lobby. The Adviser assured the delegation that there is no move to rollback the notification, a spokesperson of the forum said tonight. The meeting on Friday will be open for all landlords.



Eviction won’t be easy: expert
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Dr D.N. Jauhar, Professor of Law at Panjab University, has described as "illfounded" the fear of the tenants that the amendment of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restrictions Act carried out by the UT Administration last week will enable the landlords to throw the tenant out overnight.

In an interaction with the TNS, Dr Jauhar, who is an authority on rent laws and is the author of the book entitled "Rent Matters on Trial", points out that the landlord will still have to litigate through the court process to evict his tenant which in turn will be a prolonged affair. As the landlords and the tenants in Chandigarh by and large come from the same strata of society i.e. the middle class, it is totally irrelevant to call them landlord (rich, haves, affluent, exploiter) and tenant (poor, have-nots, deprived, exploited). For social harmony, which is the dire need of the day, they could be seen as owner and occupier. The law would serve its purpose if it aims at harmoniousing the owner-occupier relations and regulate the same.

He recalls that the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act was extended to the UT of Chandigarh in 1972. Through a notification the Chief Commissioner, Chandigarh, exempted new buildings from the Rent Act in 1973. This notification was challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1979. The Administrator of Chandigarh (UT) has now exempted tenancies fetching monthly rent of Rs 1500 or more from the Rent Act through his order of November 7, 2002. Consequently, the premises fetching monthly rent of Rs 1500 or more shall be at par with the newly constructed buildings and the tenancies of these will be governed by the regulatory law i.e. the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

This shift will result in the following:

1. The status of the tenant in such premises will be that of a contractual tenant instead of a statutory tenant under the Rent Act.

2. The litigation to evict the tenant will be through an ejectment suit in a civil court instead of the eviction through the Rent Controller.

3. The ejectment case will pass through the normal procedure of a civil suit including its appellate stages i.e. first appeal, regular second appeal in the high court and special leave petition in the Supreme Court.

4. The “protective umbrella” of the Rent Control will no longer be available to such tenants. Their tenancies will be governed essentially by the terms of their agreement.

5. The tenant will be liable to pay mesne profits (that amount which a person would earn in the ordinary course of management of that property) to the landlord, offer termination of lease by a notice, during the pendency of the litigation.

6. The landlord cannot eject a tenant himself. He will have to take recourse to the court process under the Transfer of Property ‘Act to divest the tenant of his possession.

On the positive side, he says, one would expect a fall in the quantum of litigation in the courts especially in tenancies of residential premises. Secondly, the shortage of accommodation will get reduced as those landlords who preferred to keep their premises vacant (in disuse) rather than letting it our because of the fear of rent act will be willing to letting them out to those who require it.



Charas worth Rs 3.35 crore seized
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 14
The Sector 17 police has claimed to have seized 35 kg charas from Pasang Lama, a resident of Kulu, Himachal Pradesh, today. The narcotic drug, which was kept in a jute bag, is priced at Rs 3.35 crore in the international market.

Pasang Lama had brought the charas from Himachal Pradesh to the city in a roadways bus. The consignment was to be delivered at Paharganj, Delhi. However, he was nabbed at about 11.45 am while he was hiring a taxi for Delhi from a taxi stand in Sector 22.

This was stated by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central), Mr S.S. Randhawa, at a press conference here this evening.

He also claimed that it was for the first time that such a large quantity of charas has been seized from a person at one time. The police was looking for an accomplice of Pasang Lama.

A police team consisting of Sub Inspectors Jarnail Singh, Kuldip Singh, Pala Ram, Head Constable Gurvinder Singh Bedi and constables Swaran Singh, Budh Singh and Kapoor Singh, had seized the drug.

Police sources said as per information earlier also consignments of charas had been sent from Himachal to Delhi via Chandigarh.

The seizure was made after police got a tip off.



Date confusion complicates jail break case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, November 14
After four years of frequently making it to the headlines, the infamous Burail Jail break conspiracy case today stands challenged on account of the date of occurrence. Status of the case needs to be determined afresh in view of the statement given by the prime witness Balkar Singh that the date of occurrence of the event, recorded in police files as on June 11, 1998, was actually June 8.

As doubts on the intention of the police loom large, the major issue now is the date of the jail break itself. Where as per the FIR, the conspiracy was hatched on June 11, main witness in the case Balkar Singh, who was then posted in VIP secret security duty at Burail, claimed that the incident happened on June 8. The statement was made by Balkar Singh in an enquiry conducted by the former SSP (Operation), Mr Asad Farooqui. Balkar’s statement is further corraborated by statements of two senior jail officials, who confirmed that the incident took place on June 8. Mr Farooqui had recorded the statement of 14 persons in an inquiry report.

As far as the stand taken by UT police is concerned, it maintains that on June 11, 1998 a team of police personnel had unearthed the conspiracy to blow up the jail by arresting Satnam Singh on June 11. The police had alleged that the explosive was to be used for blowing up a portion of the jail complex to enable alleged assassins of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, Jagtar Singh Tara and Jagtar Singh Hawara to escape.

Statement of then SI, Balkar Singh, VIP Security (performed secret duty in Burail Jail by CBO cell) has raised serious doubts about the police claim that one of the accused in the case, Satnam Singh was arrested by the UT police on June 11. Mr Balbir had made a statement in the inquiry report that on June 8, 1998 one Charanjit Singh (not his real name) came to meet Jagtar Singh Hawara one of the accused in Beant Singh assassination case, in Burail Jail. Later, he was arrested by a team of police personnel from outside the jail. After that he did not know what happened to Satnam.

Later On June 9, 1998 he was deputed on special VIP duty. He further told in the inquiry that after many days he came to know that the FIR against Satnam which was to be registered on June 8, 1998 was actually lodged on June 11, 1998. He added that under pressure from his seniors, he later did not challenge the police story. Later, however, he discovered that his name was also mentioned in the police party that picked up the accused.

The-then Deputy Inspector General of Prison-cum-Superintendent of Model Burail Jail, Mr R.D. Sharma, said on June 8, 1998 Charanjit Singh had come to meet one of the accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, Jagtar Singh Hawara. Later, after investigation it was found that Charanjit had mentioned wrong address in the jail register. Then Mr Rana informed SI Balkar Singh(CBO Cell) and directed him to give the information of the presence of suspicious persons to his senior officers for necessary action in his presence and over telephone. After that police party came immediately. Thereafter he said, “I do not know what happened. It was only on June 11, that I came to know that an FIR was registered in police station in Sector-34 and said Charanjit Singh was arrested whose real name is Satnam Singh of Morinda village”.

The then Welfare Officer, Model Burail Jail, Mr Dalbir Singh, stated that on June 8, 1998 he was posted as in charge of the interviews and about 11 a.m one Charanjit Singh had come to meet Jagtar Singh Hawara. Then the facts of the matter were reported to the R.D Sharma, the Superintendent of the Model Burail Jail. At 11.30 a.m as usual Charanjit Singh left the jail and SI Balkar Singh followed him upto the main gate where the force was already waiting.

Meanwhile, statements and documents of the witnesses mentioned in an inquiry report —the then CID branch police personnel (evidence secret diary), Mr Nirmal Singh, a constable, Mr Harbans Singh, an eyewitness constable, Harinder Singh, eye witness mentioned, Mr Gurvinder Singh, then Head Constable, Mr PK Dhawan, Inspector with UT police, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh (PP PGI), C.S.R Reddy then SSP of the UT police supported the police versions that the jail break incident took place on June 11, 1998.



Property dealer missing
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 14
8There is no clue of the Naya Gaon based property dealer Gopal Singh Dhillon (48), who has been reported to be missing since November 5. The police had found his clothes, shoes, mobile phone, some tablets and a suicide note along a canal in Ropar district the following day. On the basis of the suicide note a case of abetment of suicide has been registered by the Ropar police.

Mr Vikram Singh, the only son of Gopal Singh, admitted that the handwriting on the suicide note resembles that of his father. “The police is claiming that they were carrying out their investigations but if my father has committed suicide, his body should have been found”, said Mr Vikram Singh. Gopal Singh was last seen in his office on November 5 and had spoken to his family members for the last time at about 4 pm the same day.

As per the suicide note, Gopal Singh was under tension because of a property deal. He had reportedly entered into a deal with two Panchkula-based persons and paid a huge amount of money to them. But they were neither returning the money nor giving the land for which the money was said to be paid. This was stated by Mr Vikram Singh. No senior police official could be contacted.



Two booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 14
The police has registered a case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC against Vishal Vashisth of Kishangarh village after two cheques for Rs 5.35 lakh issued by him were dishonoured.

He had reportedly demanded Rs 10 lakh from Ms Bhajan Kaur of Sector 22 for sending her abroad. She had paid Rs 5.35 lakh to him. But when he failed to send her abroad he returned her money through two cheques for Rs 2.35 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, which later bounced.

The police has also registered a case against Kailash Sharma of Sector 23 for allegedly duping Ms Sunita Bakshi of the same sector of Rs 15,000. He had taken the amount for sending the complainant’s son abroad. However, he neither honoured the deal nor returned the money. The case has been registered under Sections 420 and 120B of the IPC.

Power theft

On a complaint of SDO Electricity (Operations), Sub-division 9, the police arrested Megh Raj, Vijay Kumar and Ali Hussain, all residents of Kajheri, yesterday for stealing electricity through kundi connections. Cases under Sections 379 and 39 of the Indian Electricity Act.

Scooter stolen

Kuku Ram of Patiala district reported with the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH01J 9105) was stolen from a parking lot at the PGI on the night intervening November 12 and 13. A case has been registered.


Inspector held

The police today arrested Inspector, Mr Rakesh Kumar, on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 50 from a truck driver for letting him pass hassle free from the sales tax barrier at Kalka.

The police had received a complaint about the accused demanding bribes from truckers. The complainant had reportedly told the police that he had given a Rs. 500 note to the said Inspector for getting a sales tax receipt of Rs. 150. However, he returned only Rs 50.

The SDM Kalka, Mr. Sushil Sarwan and DSP Kalka Mr Rattan Singh were informed and a trap was laid for the accused. The cleaner of a truck( HP-51- 1531) , Narinder Kumar, who was carrying potatoes from Shimla, was used as a decoy. Two Rs. 100 notes, after being marked, were given to him.

The accused officer took the money and refused to return Rs 50 after issuing a receipt of Rs. 150. He was nabbed by the police and has been booked under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Wife accuses man of rape
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 14
An SAS Nagar girl has alleged that she was forced to have sex with her husband, Tarun, son of a Sector 22 based businessman, against her wishes.

Based on her complaint, the police has registered a case under Section 376 of the IPC. On the other hand, father of the accused today claimed that the complainant was not married to his son.

The girl in her complaint, claimed that she got married to Tarun on July 7, 2001 and she was being harassed by him. The matter was reported to the police and on March 20, 2002 an undertaking was signed and the two started living separately. The girl further alleged that Tarun continued to compell her for intercourse.

Meanwhile, the father of the accused claimed that the allegations of the girl were “baseless’’. He also claimed that his son was not married to the girl.

“The girl has no proof of the marriage”, he added. However, he admitted that the two had “friendship” but that too ended after an undertaking was signed between the two parties.


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