Sunday, December 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Patrolling pattern of PCRs changed
Tribune News Service


  • Now PCR staff will be at the disposal of the SHOs from 10 pm to 5 am.
  • SHOs have been asked to be in the field from 6 pm onwards.
  • Duty Officers to check the duties of the staff on PCR vehicles
  • PCR vehicles to be stationed outside parks, dividing roads, markets, girls’ schools and colleges at different time intervals.
  • Operational structure of the PCR network redefined.
  • Wireless sets of the beat staff to be upgraded.

Chandigarh, December 14
To prevent the increasing incidents of crime, especially late night burglaries in the commercial pockets of the city, the men and machinery of the Police Control Room (PCR) will now be at the disposal of the Station House Officers (SHOs).

The new strategy is different from the earlier practice when the staff on the PCR vehicles moved from pre-determined static points after every three to four hours. In a significant decision taken by the top brass of the Chandigarh Police today, the 65 odd PCR vehicles have each been given beats covering an area of two to three kilometres. Each PCR vehicle will now be covering an area of two to three kilometres starting from a base point.

Sources in the police said as per the new strategy, the duty schedule of the PCR vehicles had been divided into eight parts, depending upon the nature of duty. For example, the PCR vehicles would be positioned outside parks in the morning and in the evening the PCR staff would be positioned in the markets. An official said PCR vehicles would be on the move after brief intervals.

Earlier, the Inspector General of Chandigarh Police, Mr Rajesh Kumar, had said the basic aim of the entire exercise was to prevent crime and project force.

According to information, in the meeting of the SHOs and the PCR officials called by the Senior Superintendent of Police, it was reportedly decided to integrate the force in the police stations with the PCR staff. The aim is to ensure that the beat constables from the respective police stations and PCR staff criss-crossed during their patrolling. While the administrative structure of the PCR wing has not been distributed, its operational side has been redefined.

In another significant decision, the duty officer of the respective police station will be checking the duties of the PCR staff in their respective beats. From 10 pm to 5 am, the SHOs have been empowered to change the locations of the PCR’s. The official said the SHOs have been asked to supervise the PCR staff during the night hours.

It has also been decided that the SHOs would be briefing the staff on the PCR vehicles at 8 am and 8 pm. Earlier, the staff on the PCRs changed shifts at the static locations. Now the PCR staff would change their shift in the police stations of their respective beat. A proposal to increase the petrol limit of the PCR gypsies from 10 litres and motorcycles from 2.5 litres was also under consideration.

Residents of the city have been demanding that the PCR vehicles stationed at pre-determined points in the city should change their location regularly.



MC to go ahead with octroi contract auction
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 14
In what could lead to a stalemate between the Municipal Council of the township and its political head, the MC President has decided to go ahead with the auctions for privatisation of collection of octroi scheduled to be held on coming Monday despite a decision conveyed to the contrary yesterday by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

In a press note issued today, the MC President, Mr Kulwant Singh, has reiterated that the auctions will be conducted as scheduled on Monday morning at Ludhiana as no written, verbal or telephonic order from any one in the local government has been received by the council’s office.

Stating that although the final decision to privatise octroi collection lies with the Municipal body itself, the MLA today confirmed that an order to postpone these auctions had been taken yesterday at the level of the Chief Minister, Punjab, who in turn had asked the Principal Secretary to the CM, Mr S.K. Sinha to pass on these orders to the Secretary, Local Government, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal. ‘‘I personally received information from the Deputy Director, Local Self Government, Mr Kler, posted at Ludhiana, who was to conduct these auctions, that a decision to postpone these auctions has been taken, followed by a similar piece of information received from the Executive Officer, MC, SAS Nagar, Mr J.K. Sharma,’’ said Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

The MC President however, stated that he had received no information about the postponement or the fact that a meeting had been organised by the MLA with the Municipal Councillor to review the decision of privatisation of octroi in SAS Nagar.

When contacted Mr Kler refused to talk about the matter stating that he was on leave from yesterday. Mr B.R. Banga, Director, Local Self Government, too refused to comment on the matter. Neither Mr Sarvesh Kaushal nor Mr S.K. Sinha could be contacted.

The statement of the council president issued today and the complete silence of the various officers of the local government has confounded the issue. While the representatives of the Industries Association and the traders union still feel that official orders will reach the MC office before the time of auction on Monday, as far as the MC here is concerned the privatisation of octroi collection in SAS Nagar is on.

According to sources, auction of octroi collection contracts are being sought to be postponed in view of the forthcoming elections in a large number of cities in the state and the resentment of the business community towards it.



Police ‘stops’ probe into working of 6 cos
Japan Life Ltd, others spring again
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
With the intervention of the Union Ministry of Finance, the Economic Offence Wing of the Chandigarh police has reportedly decided to stop its investigations against six multi-level marketing (MLM) companies — Golden Trust Finance Services,, Amway India Enterprises, Japan Life India, Best Internet Services and Cossets India Ltd. — which were allegedly violating the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banking) Act, 1978 by exploiting agents and consumers.

According to sources in the Economic Offence Wing of the local police, the regional office of the RBI had opined that the UT and state administrations could initiate action against these companies under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banking) Act, 1978 since the companies were exploiting innocent customers by recruiting over one lakh persons in the region. According to opinion of the legal cell of the RBI: “These companies were selling products like a mattress at Rs 80,000 to 95,000 to customers by offering commission ranging between 21 and 49 per cent to members. However, a large section of members was unable to even earn a fraction of the security amount, that they were asked to pay by the companies.’’

On the behest of the UT Administration, the Economic Offence Wing initiated investigations into the modus operandi of these companies. The accounts of Japan Life Ltd., worth over Rs 50 crore, were freezed throughout the country. The operations of Japan Life Ltd., Amway and other multi-level selling companies are under investigation in Kochi, Kerala and Belguam Karnataka, as well.

The management of the company came into action and approached the Union Minister for Finance and Company Affairs, urging him to intervene claiming that: “The RBI has no authority to act in the manner as we do not fall under its purview, and the regional office has overstepped its authority.” Company claimed that the MRTP Commission had already completed its investigations and did not find anything wrong.

According to sources in the Finance Ministry, Mr Vasant R.Pandit, proprietor, Frontier Trading, which claims to have distribution rights of Japan Life Ltd., approached Mr Jaswant Singh, on December 4. Consequently, Mr Alok Kumar, Secretary in the Ministry, asked the Governor of the RBI, Mumbai, to handle the case personally. Later, a senior official in the RBI’s non-banking companies division, along with Mr Pandit reached Chandigarh and reportedly had a sitting with the officials of the Economic Offence Wing on December 10, resulting into the de-frezzing of the account. The police on the recommendations of the RBI headquarters and UT Administration has allegedly decided to stop investigation and the companies have been again allowed to operate.

Though the police officials involved in investigation are tight-lipped, claiming that investigations are still going on, sources said after registering cases against these companies, the police was backtracking due to political pressure.

What is a pyramid scheme?

Legal experts feel that action could be initiated against these companies, involved in illegal schemes, banned under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banking) Act, 1978. Lakhs of people have already lost crores of rupees in India in these scheme. The company encourages the potential members, generally by organising a party meet, to join as a distributor by paying hefty amount. They are offered to earn lakhs per month by simply recruiting other members and earn a share up to 49 per cent of the membership fee. The company would get the money for running the scheme and for offering a product/service at much lower price to the members.

A large number of people at the bottom of the pyramid pay money to a few people at the top. Each new participant pays for the chance to advance to the top and profit from the payment of others who might join later. The members at the top would earn till the membership grows. Later, the officials of the company may run away after collecting crores of rupees.

As per Section 3 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banking) Act, no person shall promote or conduct any prize, chit or money circulation scheme, or enroll a member to any such chit or scheme promising remittance of money in pursuance of the scheme. They can be punished with imprisonment for a term up to three years.



Chrysanthemum Show lures thousands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (retd.), today inaugurated Chrysanthemum Show at Terraced Garden, Sector 33, Chandigarh.

As the Governor cut the ceremonial ribbon to inaugurate the Chrysanthemum Show-2002 , a full bloom of marigold, salvia, verbena, allysum along with hundreds of varieties of flowers blooming in thousands of potsgreeted visitors. Going by the response of the people the show scheduled to end tomorrow has been extended to December 18, when Mayor Lalit Joshi will give away the prizes to the winners of the Crysanthemum contest held by the Municipal Corporation.

General Jacob also released a folder giving the propagation practice of growing Chrysanthemum for the benefit of growers. Accompanied by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, General Jacob had a round of the show. He appreciated the entries and was surprised to see the response of the public to the Chrysanthemum Show.

General Jacob said as response of public to the show was encouraging, the show must be extended upto December 18, 2002.

Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, informed the Administrator that during the show competition of chrysanthemums grown in pots was held today, 470 entries were received for both categories i.e. for organisations as well as individuals. Organisations such as Chandigarh Housing Board, PGI, Chandigarh, A.G. Punjab, A.G. Haryana, CITCO, Punjab Warehousing Corporation, Institute of Microbial Technology etc. participated in the show besides a lot of individuals. The level of participation revealed interest of the people of the city in growing flowers. The prizes will be given for first, second and third winner in each category separately for organisations and individuals. The Horticulture Wing of the corporation had displayed about 4,500 pots of about 130 different varieties of chrysanthemums in the show and overall about 8000 pots of 190 varieties were on displayed.

Besides large number of chrysanthemum pots displayed in the show, topiary figures of various animals beautifully decorated with flowers and photographs of selected varieties of chrysanthemum were added attractions for the visitors.

Later, the Morning Walkers Association submitted a memorandum of demands to the Governor. They pointed out that a statue meant for children was lying half built in the garden for the past four years. General Jacob directed Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, take a decision in this regard within three days. He said Commissioner, Municipal Corporation should also take Morning Walkers’ Association into confidence before taking any decision in this regard. General Jacob also interacted with children and spent about 40 minutes in the garden.



Restoration work at Mansa Devi shrine complete
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
The restoration work of murals on the ‘Singh Dwaar’ of the 175- year- old Sri Mata Mansa Devi shrine has been completed, while the murals in the ‘parikarma’ of the temple are nearing completion.

The restoration work of these murals (which belongs to Kangra School of Art) is being done by a team from Archaeological Survey of India, comprising two Assistant Archaeologist (Chemists) Mr R.S. Bisht and Mr M.K. Bhatnagar, a senior artist Mr Ranjan Chakravarthy and the artist-cum-modellor, Mr H.S. Yadav .

Long neglect, detachment of plaster, cracks, vandalism (in case of paintings at head level), defacing , deposition of dust, soot and salt , and loss of pigment etc. had led to decay of these exquisite paintings over the years. The Sri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board had been requesting the ASI for almost four years to take up the restoration work of the temple.

After the board had deposited Rs 1.21 lakh with the ASI for carrying out the restoration of these murals, the work began in August. Mr R.S. Bisht said the reason behind the decay of the temple was pulverisation due to water seepage and human neglect. “Almost 50 per cent of these murals had been damaged over the years. Restoration required analytical, scientific and artistic skills.”

The work involved colour integration and matching with the remains of murals on the ‘Singh Dwaar’ and in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. “Wherever the murals had been completely erased, we have just matched the colour with the murals so that it does not appear as an eye sore,” said one of the artists from the ASI. The chemical treatment and preservation of these murals, included removal of superficial dust, secretions and cob webs from the surface; modelling of lossely plastered area/ replastering of arches; chemical cleaning of the paintings and strengthening of loose plaster surface area; and, preservation of total surface of the painted area with coats of polymer.

Mansa Devi is situated on the foothills of the Shivaliks. The main temple was built by Raja Gopal Dass of Mani Majra, while the Patiala temple was built later by Rani Raj Kaur of Patiala. Ever since a board was constituted by the state government extensive work on its maintenance has been carried out. However, the exquisite paintings had got decayed over the years.

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple as well as the ‘Singh Dwaar’ have as many as 10 panels of the Kangra style of paintings. The paintings, in different colours, adorn the upper walls and ceilings of ‘parikarma’ of the sanctum sanctorum. The paintings depict Hindu mythological legends, mainly those of Mother Goddess in her various manifestations.

While legends on Mother Durga , as Asur Vardhini , are depicted in most of the murals, paintings depicting legends related to Goddesses Saraswati and Lakshmi can also be seen at a few places. Geometric patterns, floral designs and paintings of animals can also be seen here.



Waiting for martyr’s memorial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Governments, social and political leaders never forget to project martyrs as role models for generations but suffer from amnesia when it comes to setting up memorials to motivate future generations.

Faced with this situation is Ms Santosh Devi, the wife of Havildar Rajpal Singh who attained martyrdom on August 27, 2001, in Naushera while fighting terrorists, whose dream of installing a statue of her husband at Barwala college in Panchkula district, still remains unrealised.

It is not that the government machinery has not sympathised with the woman and the proud villagers, but the speed at which things are moving is what is causing agony to villagers and the wife of the martyr.

“I wanted a statue of my husband to be installed in the college of the village for students to remember one of the old students of the college to inculcate a feeling of sacrifice in the new generation and the whole village supported it but things are not moving at the desired pace,” Ms Santosh Devi told the Chandigarh Tribune here.

Ms Santosh Devi had yesterday been honoured by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha along with others in the local BJP office.

She said as soon as she met the then Deputy Commissioner he approved the proposal of villagers but after this the file got stuck somewhere.

The woman, who is a source of inspiration for villagers, said she was recently informed that a cheque for the installation of the statue of Havildar Rajpal Singh had reached the BDPO but she was still waiting for the statue to be erected in the college.

Villagers had also demanded that the school which has now been upgraded as a college be named after the martyr but this too had not been done, she said.

Ms Santosh Devi said she was assured of all help apart from the one government extends to the families of martyrs when Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala came for the cremation of the soldier but the government still remained stuck in the time consuming procedures.

Accompanied by her brother-in-law Raj Kumar, after being honoured by the BJYM, she approached former local BJP MP Satyapal Jain to help her get dream of the village realised.

She said she could not avail of the offer of a plot in Delhi at a concessional rate of Rs. 3.7 lakh as the emotional support of the villagers and her bond with her husband’s village stopped her from migrating to any other place.

The wife of the martyr said she also did not avail of the offer as she had four unmarried daughters and two sons, who would require the support of their kin in the absence of their father.

Ms Devi said the government could have offered her a plot somewhere near her village.



Anomaly in recruitment procedure alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
As per allegations in an application filed before the Central Administrative Tribunal, the Chandigarh Administration filled 113 “excessive” posts of lecturers by way of direct recruitment, while 116 posts of lecturers from the promotion quota were left “short”.

In their application, Mr Yash Pal Sharma and 55 other school lecturers claimed that as per a notification, 75 per cent of the posts were to be filled in by promotion among persons already serving, while 25 per cent were to be filled in by direct recruitment. The petitioners, as such, were required to be promoted, but the UT Education Department did no do so.

Giving details, the petitioners claimed that they possessed the required seven-year experience and were, therefore, entitled to be promoted as principals. However, vide orders on August 12, 1996 and February 14, lecturers junior to the petitioners were promoted to the posts of principal. The petitioners added that the lecturers were promoted by adopting a pick-and-choose method, despite their representations being pending .

Seeking directions to the Union of India and other respondents to appoint them as principals, besides granting them their requisite seniority, counsel added that the petitioners — appointed between 1970 and 1985 — were “aggrieved by the inaction of the respondent department in not finalising the seniority within the lecturer cadre for promoting them to the posts of principal”.



Cong failed to solve Kashmir issue: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Senior leaders of the BJP here yesterday sought to score a political mileage over the Congress by accusing Indira Gandhi of failure to solve the Kashmir problem by letting off 91,000 Pakistani POWs during the 1971 war for alleged “vote bank” consideration apart from international pressure.

“Ms Gandhi released these Pakistani soldiers without forcing a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem for becoming popular among Muslims,” BJP national Executive Member Satyapal Jain told a gathering called here today to celebrate “Anti-Terrorism Day”. He further alleged this “mistake of Ms Gandhi” had encouraged the onslaught of terrorism unleashed by Pakistan.

Seeking to expose the “pseudo-secularism”, he said while she did not keep in mind the national interest in this regard buckling under international pressure for seeking to “become popular amongst a section of minorities.”

Mr Jain said contrary to this situation Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee did not give in to the US pressure during the Kargil war and had refused to talk with Pakistan till cross-border terrorism was stopped.

BJYM President Davesh Moudgil and BJP President Yashpal Mahajan’s calls of annihilating Pakistan, the base of terrorism all over the world and the USA criticism for supporting Pakistan, met the approval of families of martyrs who gathered here as part of the programme to honour them.

The BJYM honoured Ms Lilly Bawa, wife of the late Inderjeet Bal Bawa who earned Mahavir Chakra for sacrificing his life in the IPK operation in Sri Lanka, Lieut Col J. S. Kanwar (retd), father of Ashok Chakra winner Maj Sandeep Sankhla, Mrs Raksha and Mr Harbans Lal, parents of Maj Sandeep Sagar, Mr R. C. Bhuchar, father of Maj Deepinder Bhuchar and Ms Santosh Rani, wife of Havildar Rajpal Singh.



Water, sanitation main issues
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
Residents of Ward No. 11 (part of Sector 10) and Ward No. 12 (part of Sector 10 and part of Sector 15) look for a representative who can help provide better civic amenities in their wards when elected as Councillor in the MC elections.

The electorate of Ward No. 11, i.e., Sector 10 (H. No. 1-208, 517-534, 607-835, 847-1359) and Ward No. 12 (Sector 10 H. No. 209-516, 535-606 and 836-846 and in Sector 15 H. No. 1-297, HUDA Colony 2501-2630, EWS Colony 2631-2920, 2921-2954) thinks that the main issue for the elections is proper maintenance of parks and internal roads in the sector, cleanliness, more efficient water supply and better policing.

While, candidates supported by the Congress, the Indian National Lok Dal and Bhartiya Janata Party will have a neck-to-neck fight in both these wards, independents are also likely to play an important role. Till now, three persons from Ward No. 11-Mr S.M. Mongia, Mr Pavan Joshi, Mr Munshi Ram Arora, and Mr R.K. Kakkar have announced their decision to contest these elections, and have already started their campaigning.

As many as 6448 voters (3416 and 3032 in Ward No. 11 and 12 respectively) will exercise their franchise to elect their representative to the Municipal Council. Both Ward No. 11 and 12 are general wards and politicking to field candidates has begun in earnest.

Most residents of these wards feel that civic amenities — better street lighting facilities, cleanliness; water supply and better policing are the main issues they would like to be redressed. A resident of Sector 10, Ms Renu Saini (Ward No. 11), said garbage was hardly ever lifted from the bins and the back lanes of houses resembled a garbage dump. “The roads are in a dilapidated condition and street lights are also almost non functional,” she said.

For the residents of Ward No. 12 one of the main election issues would be better street lighting, regular removal of garbage, and better policing. “Low water pressure in this ward is another major problem. The problem of encroachment of pavements in markets and side berms in the remaining sector would also be an important issue, “ says a resident of Ward No. 12, Mr R.P. Kashyap.



Cong to stay away from MC poll
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
The Congress has today announced its decision of not participating, directly or indirectly, in the forthcoming Municipal Council elections here.

In a press note issued today, the Congress MLA from Kalka, Mr Chander Mohan, has said a decision in this regard was taken after a meeting with state Congress chief Bhajan Lal. He said the decision had been taken in protest against the formation of the Municipal Council and the party would not support any candidate.

The press note reiterates the Congress party’s support for democracy and its support for delegating more powers at the local bodies’ level. “... But Panchkula is not yet a fully developed town and thus not ready for local governance. The party has always opposed the constitution of a Municipal Council here and has filed Special Leave Petitions in Punjab and Haryana High Court . The decision on these SLP’s is still pending...” it stated.

Mr Chander Mohan has also asked the voters of the town not to vote for candidates supported by the INLD and the BJP, as the two parties were against the welfare of the township.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Lok Dal today announced a committee to choose candidates to be fielded in these elections. This committee, headed by Mr Kanti Prakash Bhalla, was announced by Chief Minister on December 12. The other six members announced today are Mr Amardeep Chaudhary State INLD Secretary, Mr Randhir Malik, district President (Urban), Mr Anil Upadhyay District President Youth Wing, Mr Sunidh Kashyap, Mr Narinder Rana and Ms Nirmala.

Ms Surinder Parmar, a resident of Sector 6, has today announced her candidature for the polls in Ward No 4 and Mr Sadhu Ram Jain, a resident of Sector 11, has announced her candidature for Ward No 21.



Journalist dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
A city-based veteran journalist S.S. Bajwa died of cardiac arrest in Jalandhar today.

Starting his journalistic career in Punjabi language from the Jalandhar-based Quomi Dard, Mr Bajwa remained Chief Sub-Editor with Punjabi Tribune and a Special Correspondent with Akali Patrika.

Mr Bajwa was associated with the Daily Mehnat. The Tribune Employees Union, the Haryana Patrakar Sangh and a host of politicians, including Punjab CM, and journalists have condoled the death of Mr Bajwa. The Press Club of Chandigarh has called a condolence meeting on Monday. His cremation will take place in Chandigarh on Monday at 2 pm.



Rent Act tussle intensifies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The local battle over the rent decontrol notification between bodies supporting tenants and property owners is set to cross the Union Territory boundaries to become a national and even an international issue.

While a delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, headed by its President Jagdish Arora, has approached the National Beopar Mandal president, Mr Shyam Behari Mishra, a Member of Parliament, the Property Owners’ Welfare Association has decided to launch a website to invite NRI investments in the city after the property of the owners becoming secure with the recent notification.

According to a Chandigarh Beopar Mandal press note the delegation of the mandal comprising Mr Arora, vice-president Kamaljeet Panchhi, Diwakar Sahooja and Purushottam, was assured by Mr Mishra that the national body would support them and would discuss the matter with the central leadership.

Mr Mishra assured the delegation that there would be some good news when the National Beopar Mandal chief visited the city to support the total bandh call given by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal on December 19. The mandal also got support from trader bodies of Sector 17 A and B, Sectors 34, 35, 22 B and 19 associations.

The Property Owners Welfare Association, which was born recently to counter protesting tenant traders, sought to devise sops to attract people to the association.

The association decided to take up various matters of public interest with the Chandigarh Administration for making the city user-friendly. It decided to fight for change in the building bylaws in consultation with the existing market, residents’ and housing board residents’ bodies.

The association decided to register with it individual members, residential, industrial, commercial and NRI sabhas and their bodies at sector levels. The body also decided to devise schemes to offer special discounts to members of the Property Owner’s Associations claiming the multi-national companies had assured them concessions.



Rent Act amendment long overdue

THE amendment to the Rent Act in the recent notification is neither against the interest of the tenants nor landlords. These modifications were long overdue for solving the growing demand for additional houses.

There is an urgent need to motivate those who can invest in this sector, specially NRIs. No one would invest his hard-earned money if he is not sure of due returns on a long-term basis. Global outlook and market-driven policies are a must to attract foreign investment, especially in housing and infrastructure sectors. The future growth and development of Chandigarh would largely depend on bold and effective decisions like the recent notification concerning the Rent Act.

Unfortunately, this controversy is being created by some vested interests (unreasonable category among tenants) who have become virtual owners of the property for which they made no investment and are paying unreasonably low rent much below the market rent. They have been taking undue advantage of the limitations/anomalies in the Rent Control Act enforced in the Union Territory of Chandigarh as far back as 1972. Since then no amendment has been incorporated for providing a fair increase in the rent based on the overall increase in the price index.

Now the people who have invested their lifetime savings in the housing sector with a view to getting assured monthly income on a long-term basis are suffering due to limitations in the Rent Control Act. They not only suffered financial loss due to the unreasonable low rent but suffered undue inconvenience and harassment in the courts to get the premises vacated even for their own use. One of my friends narrated a real case where a property occupied by a tenant for well over 20 years by paying just nominal rent was got vacated by the landlord with mutual consent of the tenant. And the compensation paid by the legal owner was almost half the market price of that property!

Previously, there used to be only statutory tenants but now the amended Act intends to regulate the transaction based on mutually agreed contractual terms and conditions. There is no unjustified modification in the notification recently issued by the Chandigarh Administration.

During my stay in Canada, I have seen very smooth and cordial relations among tenants and house owners as all rent transactions are regulated by time-bound lease agreements based on mutually agreed terms and conditions.

If we take a judicious view of this problem, there is nothing wrong with the new notification. The need of the hour is to educate the tenants to remove the panic created by vested interests so that they are persuaded to withdraw their agitation and call off strikes/ rallies. I am sure, good sense will prevail and protesting tenants would gracefully accept the reality of the situation.

BANT SINGH, Patron, Social Welfare Society (Regd) Sector 18, Chandigarh


I am neither a landlord nor a tenant. The leaders of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal wrongly say that old tenants should not be disturbed as it would affect their business. What they should rightly state is that the tenants should not be disturbed provided they pay the rent regularly as per the agreement and at existing rates. Are they selling their goods at the same old rates?

All the political leaders in the city have favoured the Beopar Mandal without realising the facts. What is the use of dharnas/rallies and causing inconvenience to the general public, children, the old and the sick?

I request the property owners not to show any leniency towards recalcitrant tenants and to remain firm on the agreement. Don’t courts know who is a landlord or who is a tenant? The landlord does not even get the monthly rent through the court. Often, he is forced to run from pillar to post, but in vain. Forty-five percent of the civil cases in the courts pertain to this category alone.

Many a time, the owner has to empty his pockets to get his own property. This was prevailing under the Rent Act Law of 1949. Why not welcome the new law? The tenant of today may become the landlord of tomorrow.

Suffice it to mention that there is an excellent relationship between the landlord and the tenant in developed countries based on mutual trust and confidence. Rent is paid regularly. Tenants drop the cheques in the landlords’ letter boxes with absolutely no inconvenience!

Dr U.S. BANSAL, Chandigarh


Ever since my arrival in Chandigarh from Stoke in the United Kingdom a few days back, I have been witnessing a sort of war between various associations of tenants and landlords. The bone of contention is the latest amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, whereby the Act will not apply to commercial and residential properties if the rent exceeds Rs 1,500 per month.

If I am not wrong, a single association has taken up cudgels on behalf of the senior citizens who are among the worst sufferers and victims of perpetual blackmail at the hands of unscrupulous tenants. There have been innumerable cases where the so-called “landlords” have been forced to part with their properties as they were getting little on their investment.

Justice demands that there should be a built-in provision for summary trial as introduced in 1985 for retiring government employees. Senior citizens do not have the stamina or patience to fight long drawn cases in courts. This will not only save the Administration crores of rupees in costly litigation but also help the elderly to spend the remaining few years of their lives in peace.

ANJU BHARDWAJ, Stoke, U.K. Camp, Chandigarh


Even though the Chandigarh Administration has notified the amendment to the Rent Act, the clause “rent above Rs 1,500” has put the landlords to hardship and equally the Beopar Mandal who are agitated against the amendment.

The Chandigarh Administration should announce what is amended of the Rent Act in black and white for public information. It should pronounce the terms and conditions relating to the eviction of the tenants and the procedure to be followed. Some consideration should be given in the case of the elderly, widows, ex-servicemen, freedom fighters, disabled etc.

Is their any clause binding the landlords and the tenants by a compulsory written agreement on judicial paper worth at least Rs 5, which will fetch some revenue to the exchequer? Such a document will be helpful for future litigation in the courts.

The Administration must be specific on what is there in amended Rent Act. The clause “rent exceeding Rs 1,500” be dropped in the larger interest of the public.

Lt Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh


The recent notification on the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, is commendable. It is a step in the right direction and will curb unnecessary litigation.

I am a victim of this Act. I retired from service on August 31, 1998. While I was in service, I rented out my newly constructed house in the plush colony of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, to a bank for housing its branch manager. Before my retirement, I had been impressing upon the bank and its manager to vacate my house so that I could shift there. The bank manager had been assuring me that the house would definitely be vacated well before my retirement, but he did not. On the other hand, he filed a case in the court seeking stay on eviction of the house on the plea that the landlord asked him to increase the rent and on refusal, he threatened him with dire consequences. This case has since been dismissed by the court on December 21, 2000. The bank manager also retired from service on August 31, 1999.

I have also filed a case seeking evictment of my house on the plea that I needed my house for my own residence, and have no other house to live in. This case is pending in the court, while I have been leading an ad hoc life like a refugee for the past four years and four months in my own city. Thousands of people have been knocking the doors of courts to seek eviction of tenants from their respective houses, but in vain.

As there is no problem of rehabilitation of refugees today, the Punjab Government should issue a similar notification. On May 15, 2002, the Supreme Court in Rakesh Wadhwan and others versus M/s Jagdamba Industrial Corporation and others Case had suggested to the Punjab Government to have a second look at the legislation. The Bench comprising Justices R.C. Lahoti and Brijesh Kumar observed: “There are several lacunae in the provisions of the Act creating bottlenecks in their smooth functioning highlighted in several judicial pronouncements and such deficiencies are providing paradise for unscrupulous litigants and to some extent frustrating the very purpose sought to be achieved by the legislation”.

When the late Beant Singh was the Chief Minister, he enacted a Model Rent Act in 1995. This was also accorded assent by the President. However, after Beant Singh’s assassination, successive governments did not issue the notification. It is time either the government issued notification to enforce the said Act or enact a similar Act.

H.S. BHANWER, Chandigarh


The recent rasta roko agitation by the members of the so-called Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, vouching for the tenants’ interest vis-a-vis the enforcement of the latest Rent Control notification in Chandigarh, is in gross violation of the traffic rules. It was an immature way of showing one’s resentment over such issues, for personal gains by pressurising the government to yeild to such unethical tactics.

The tenants, with such a frame of mind, have no right, to compel the Administration to repeal the latest Rent Act, that stands for justice for both the tenants and the property owners, bringing both on an equal footing. The government should also not bow to the dictates of the agitators.

People can understand how much physical and mental torture the tenants have been inflicting on the owners of their rented properties by behaving like owners themselves. Protracted legal procedure is another deterrent for the real property owners, taking years for a final decision.




4 booked in stabbing case
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, December 14
The police has booked four youths, including two college students, for their alleged involvement in a stabbing incident that took place outside the local Government Degree College on Wednesday.

According to the police, Harbaksh Singh, Billa and two other persons have been booked on a complaint of Nitin Narula, a student of BA II. In his statement Nitin alleged that two youths who were accompanying Harbaksh and Billa attacked him with knives and other sharpedged weapons while he was on his way to the college.

The three students — Nitin Narula, Harbaksh Singh and Devinder Singh — of the local Government Degree College had sustained severe stab injuries in a clash that broke out among two groups outside the college campus on Wednesday morning.

Nitin was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, with stab wounds on the right side of his chest, while Harbaksh Singh who sustained wounds on his hips was admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The third injured Davinder Singh was being treated in some private hospital. All four accused are still at large. Cases under Sections 307, 506, 341 and 34 of the IPC have been registered against them in Dera Bassi police station.


One booked: The police has registered a case against Ram Sarup of Palsora village here for allegedly stealing a cheque book belonging to Rakesh Mahajan and withdrawing Rs 78,500 after putting fake signature on it. A case under Sections 379, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC has been registered on the complaint of Mr D.K. Gupta, Manager, PNB, Palsora.

In another case, Ms Parmjit Kaur of Dadu Majra Colony today alleged that Anuradha and Surinder Kumar, both residents of the same colony, had taken Rs 50,000 from her on the promise of providing a job to her brother. The money was reportedly paid in August last year. However, neither the money was returned nor the job provided. A case under Sections 420 and 120 B of the IPC has been registered. Both the cases are being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing of the police.

Booked: A girl of Sector 52 has alleged that Gurmit Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib district, Punjab, tried to outrage her modesty on November 30 here. A case under Section 354 of the IPC has been registered. The police also arrested Bikram and Dopinder Singh allegedly for eve-teasing under Section 294 of the IPC yesterday.



Exhibition on home furniture, security systems
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 14
A three-day exhibition, “Godrej Furniture Expo-2003”, showcasing the latest in home furniture and home security systems started at Hotel Aroma here yesterday.

The company has come up with a complete package for a secure home starting from the main door to an electronic safe. The main door is break proof and fire resistant with a latch and locking system. A private eye video door phone, which monitors all activities at the doorstep, and an electronic door interface unit inside the house are also available. A smoke detector, movement detector and panic button are also being produced by the company. An electronic safe has an electronically monitored locking system.

The company has also put on display a low cost range of almirahs in non-traditional colours like sky blue, pink etc. The exhibition also has a whole range of computer chairs and office furniture units on display. The home production of beds and sofas, which are currently being imported, will start soon, according to the manager.


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