Friday, January 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Land dispute: SSP questions villagers
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Jaspal Bangar (Ludhiana), January 16
The controversy regarding the possession of 120 kanals of agricultural land in Jaspal Bangar village near here continuing, the district police chief has initiated a fresh inquiry into the case. Villagers say that the land was given to their ancestors by Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, who visited the village today, inspected the land and listened to rival parties. The statements of both parties were recorded on the spot. The SSP questioned several villagers and spent nearly two hours in the village.

The controversy over the “mahant” land had erupted in December 2002 when a group had, allegedly, tried to plough it in the presence of 18 persons. The opposite group had complained to the police and the Shimla Puri police had, then, registered a case against the 18 persons. Four rifles, two tractors and a car were seized from them.

The SSP said he had questioned the persons concerned and recorded the statements of both parties. He would go through the revenue records and the present the status report on the long legal battle between the parties.

He said he would be able to give details only after the report of the inquiry was out. Now he could only say that the land could not be given on lease, as it was mahant land.

Both parties belong to the same family; and the accused and the complainant are distant cousins. The land given to the family ancestors by the ninth Guru was a declared Waqf property. The guru had left some memoirs with the villagers, that are, now, in the possession of the family of Sher Jung.

While the complainant, Dilbagh Rai, has been alleging that the land belonged to him in records, the villagers say that it has been in possession of Sher Jung and his family for the past hundreds of years. It was given on lease by Dilbagh Rai to an NRI, Ms Baldev Kaur. The villagers said this land was a part of 2000 bighas given by the Sikh Gurus in 27 villages.

The villagers had alleged that Dilbagh Rai had illegally executed a registered lease deed for 99 years in May 2002 in favour of an NRI. The villagers had also written to the Chief Minister that Sher Jung Singh and his family objected to it on grounds that religious institutions could not be disposed of by mahants of these institutions. The SDM of Ludhiana, after upholding the objection, had rejected a mutation in this regard on October 8, 2002, they said.

Dilbagh camp had denied the allegations and said no inquiry had ever been conducted by any SDM into the matter and the lease had never been cancelled. The dispute forced the police to register a case against Sher Jung and his brothers, but the charges were, later, dropped.

The villagers had, then, written to the CM, who had, in turn, told the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana to probe.



Six of family injured in attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
A minor argument between families of two neighbours at New Janta Nagar on Lohri evening took a serious turn late last night when a group of about 25 persons attacked the family of a scrap dealer and left at least six persons injured besides damaging the house and looting away some gold jewellery and a mobile phone.

The Shimla Puri police has registered a case against four persons by name and against several unidentified persons. Police sources said the case has been registered under Sections 452, 323 and 324 of the IPC. The medical examination report of the victims was still awaited. The names of the accused could not be confirmed.

The injured have been identified as scrap dealer, Ratan Pal Moudgil (60), who suffered head injuries, his daughters, Suman Moudgil, Sonali and Lata. All these women suffered head injuries and Lata also of a fracture in her arm. The legs of Hemant Moudgil, dealer’s son, were fractured and Dimpy another relative, received injuries on the face.

Police sources said the families were not on good terms with each other. They had an argument over some issue on Lohri evening. Other neighbours had pacified them but late last night, Moudgil family was attacked.

The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital and all except Rattan Moudgil, were discharged by today evening.



PF scam: MC men to face action
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 16
The charge of embezzlement of Rs 6.18 lakh in the provident fund (PF) account of the Municipal Corporation employees here, having been prima facie established in an inquiry conducted by the Assistant Commissioner, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, has taken up the matter with the Examiner Local Fund Account of Punjab, seeking the mandatory sanction for the registration of a case against Mr Sanjay Lekhi, the prime accused.

The others, against whom, department action has been recommended by the civic administration include an Executive Engineer (O and M), two Deputy Controllers (Finance and Account), an accountant, a superintendent and a Medical Officer of Health, who have been charged with dereliction in the discharge of their duties.

Mr S.K. Sharma said, in the wake of several complaints of unauthorised deductions in the disbursement of non-refundable PF loans, especially the ones given to Class IV employees, an Assistant Commissioner had been asked to take in custody the PF-loans record and submit a detailed report.

The interim report had indicted one superintendent (accounts), an accountant and a provident-fund clerk for not maintaining the PF-loan record as prescribed. The inquiry had also established that, in at least nine cases, the clerk had forged the signatures of his senior officials to grant the loans. On the basis of the inquiry report, all erring employees were placed under suspension.

The inquiry had also revealed that Rs 6.18 lakh had been withdrawn from the consolidated-provident-fund account of the employees for onward payment to the 29 employees as non-refundable loan, but the clerk had not made the entries of the amount paid to each of the employees in their individual records. An establishment clerk of the health section was found to have withdrawn the salary of an employee for two months after the employee concerned had died. After coming to know that the matter was being probed, the clerk had deposited this amount back into the Municipal funds without taking the necessary permission. The Commissioner has ordered that this act may also be reported to the Examiner Local Fund Accounts of Punjab.

According to the MC Commissioner, directions have been issued to the Deputy Controller (Fiancee and Accounts) to tell the indicted 42 employees to refund the excess non-refundable-loan amount drawn by them in the year 2001-02. The Deputy Controller (Finance and Accounts) has been asked to ensure that the loan taken by 12 employees who are not entitled to it is recovered and deposited back into the respective provident-fund accounts. A show-cause notice is also being issued to a provident-fund clerk, who was, earlier, placed under suspension. Till now, he has not handed over his charge to the new incumbent.

Mr Sharma said, to check the recurrence of such irregularities in future, henceforth, all payment of the provident-fund loan or the other payments would be made through accounts-payee cheques, so that there could be no unauthorised deduction. “We have ordered a thorough examination of the PF record of the previous five years,” said Mr Sharma.



Shopkeepers’ ultimatum to govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
The Luxmi Shopkeepers Union and various political parties, which are supporting shopkeepers’ stir, today issued a two-week ultimatum to the state government to do justice with the shopkeepers and order a CBI inquiry into the alleged land scam of Rs 40 crore, failing which the agitation would be intensified. Meanwhile, chain fast that had been going on for the past six days has been called off for the time being.

Mr Sat Pal Gosain, former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly and convener of the 20-member action committee formed by the shopkeepers and political parties, said if the government failed to respond, the action committee might have to give a bandh call.

Prominent among those who took part in the chain fast on Wednesday were Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, district president, BJP, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, group leader and SAD councillors, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Dua, president, Youth Wing (SAD), Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Saluja, general secretary, Youth Wing (SAD), Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhola, councillor, Baba Ajit Singh, chairman, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Mr Gurpreet Singh Dharampura, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, Mr Amarjit Singh Happy, Mr Bhupinder Singh and Mr Gurdeep Singh Neetu, BJP councillor.



Missing society secy reappears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Lachman Singh, a secretary of the Dehlon Co-operative Society today reappeared as mysteriously as he had disappeared on January 11 early morning, allegedly with Rs 50,000 of the society.

Lachman Singh, appeared before the DSP, Raikot, Mr H.S. Brar, today afternoon after contacting him on phone. The SSP, Jagraon, Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, said the police questioned him for few hours, but he could not give any satisfactory answer about how he disappeared, where he lived all these days and where was the money.

On the request of his family and elders of Sherpur village, the police let him off in the evening. Mr Chhina said Lachman Singh was making contradictory statements.

“We could not infer anything from his statements and let him go so that he can have some rest. Members of his family have assured that they will tell the police the facts of the case tomorrow morning,” he said.



Special session on SYL welcomed
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The convening of a special session of the Punjab Assembly on the sensitive SYL Canal issue has been welcomed by various outfits even as the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) — on behalf of the Opposition parties — will file a separate petition before the Supreme Court (SC) soon. The organisation has not only appealed to the PM not to intervene in the matter in the larger interests of the people of both the states, but also questioned the rationale behind the alternative plea of Punjab, that in case the SC decides that the accord is valid, then the agreement should be accepted in toto.

One of the major issues before the House will be to repudiate the Rajiv - Longowal Accord and that is the reason why the state has challenged Sections 78 - 80 of the Reorganisation Act, 1966, invalidating all previous awards and agreements. It may be recalled that the issue had earlier too come to a head in 1979 when Haryana had filed a petition (Suit 1 of 1979) in the SC which was challenged by Punjab (Suit 2 of 1979). The suits were later withdrawn in an out of court settlement on February 12, 1982, following an agreement reached on December 31, 1981, to allegedly avoid the apex courts verdict on the constitutional matter. Ironically, at this juncture Rajasthan was added as a third state although is was not a successor state of Punjab.

Commending the state government on the SC suit, Mr D.S. Gill, Chairman of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) - which has been authorised by the opposition parties to pursue the issue - said “ there was great need to challenge Sections 78 - 80 of the Act since the Indira Award of 1976 and the 1981 agreement will be ineffective and it was proper for the Assembly to pass a resolution on November 1985 repudiating the 1981 agreement. Even otherwise, the agreements were a result of undue influence and coercion exercised upon Punjab, since the contract was ab initio for want of consideration under the Indian Contract Act of 1872,” he pointed out.

Mr Gill said “interestingly, the SC decision on 2002 says that it is true that the aforesaid agreement (July 24, 1985) was entered into by Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, the then President of the SAD, and as such had no constitutional sanctity to bind the state of Punjab. But having regard to the fact that in terms of paragraphs 9.1 and 9.2 of the accord, a tribunal was constituted and even the provision of the Inter Water Disputes Act, 1956, were amended, thereby granting parliamentary recognition to the so-called agreements, the terms of the agreement cannot be thrown out as a piece of paper only.”

“The net result of the political shortsightedness and expediency has been that the state subject of irrigation and hydel power have virtually been unconstitutionally transferred to the Centre, thus, sabotaging the riparian rights of the Reorganisation Act, 1966. As per Seventh Schedule of the Constitution (Article 162), river waters and hydel power have been kept as state subjects upon which only the said state has exclusive legislative and executive powers,” he added.

Commenting on the previous awards, he said Mr Badal - for concerns of his had now joined the issue with the Congress when all along he had allegedly been watching the interests of Haryana. It is a matter of record that Mr Badal had endorsed the accord at the meeting of the party executive held at Anandpur Sahib on August 1985. He also did not contest the case properly when he was in power, he stressed.

“In light of the above, the state has nothing to fear from since the SC decision is based on the unequal, illegal, unconstitutional agreements, which are anti-national and anti-international laws and practices. We have started afresh and challenged the very vires of the so-called agreements and awards in order to re-establish the correct constitutional status of Punjab rights over its rivers,” he added.

Mr Gill said “unfortunately, Punjab has been a victim of discrimination on several accounts, especially over its waters, disregarding its right over waters without any consideration (Article 31). Over 75 per cent of its waters are being looted under the garb of so-called arrangements, awards and agreements, including the unconstitutional laws and amendments made to deprive it of its natural wealth, despite the fact that Punjab needs more water than that of its own three rivers.

“The rhetoric of politicians of bloodshed bore an ominous portend for the people especially Punjab, which had to face a turbulent period for the past two decades. Thousands of people, including personnel of the security forces, were killed in the political conflict that had basically started to stop the digging of the controversial SYL canal.



PMCs’ panel rejects MC appeal
Seeks immediate release of dues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
A panel of representatives of park management committees (PMCs) today rejected the appeal of the Municipal Commissioner to revive the committees by changing the agreement signed at the time of constitution of the committees.

The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, had in a specially convened meeting on January 14, appealed to the PMCs to resume their working for the maintenance and upkeep of around 400 parks in the city. He had assured them that they should take the charges at the rate of Rs 1,000 per month and the MC would release arrears of maintenance charges without any delay.

But the panel of representatives of the PMCs at a meeting held here today rejected the proposal of the Commissioner and stated that they would resume work only after the payment of dues at the rate fixed in the agreement were cleared by the MC. They stated that the MC was bound by the law to make payments as per the agreement at least till its expiration.

Moreover, they insisted that in the wake of increased cost of maintenance, labour and other inputs, they should be paid at the rate of Re 1 per square metre and anything less that that was not acceptable to them.

Talking to the TNS here today, Mr H.K.L. Verma, convener of the panel of PMCs, stated that the proposal was not acceptable to them. He said the MC had signed an agreement with around 125 PMCs in the city entrusting the maintenance of parks in 1999. The PMCs were promised a payment at the rate of Re 1 per square metre per month. In addition, a sum of Rs 2,400 was to be paid yearly towards cost of plants, fertilizers, tools and implements. The MC had entered into agreements with the PMCs, which clearly laid down the rates at which payments were to be made.

Mr Satnam Singh Khera, president of Resident Welfare Society, Urban Estate-II said the MC had stopped paying anything to the PMCs after February, 2002 and most of the PMCs had gone defunct. While for once the city parks had been completely transformed, all with lush green gardens, shady trees and flower beds were in the state of neglect now.

The PMCs and MC authorities have been locking horns over the issue for quite some time. Almost all the PMCs had gone defunct due to the non-payment of maintenance charges for more than a year and the parks and green belts in the city had become a picture of neglect.

The state government’s instructions that the PMCs be paid at a rate of 50 paise per square yard and that monthly payment for the purpose should not exceed Rs 1,000 per park, irrespective of the size of the park, threw a spanner in the works. The government further wanted that of the total payment claimed by the PMCs, 50 per cent should be contributed by the area residents. Since the PMCs refused to accept these terms, their monthly payments were stopped by the Audit Department from October, 2001 onwards.



Delimitation of MC wards
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 16
Delimitation of municipal wards in Khanna Municipal Council area was finalised at a meeting of the Delimitation Board members at Municipal Office today. The meeting was chaired by the SDM, Mr Manvesh Singh Sidhu, who is also the Chairman of the board. The delimitation of wards was finalised despite strong opposition by four associate members belonging to the opposition.

The board has five associate members, Mr Jaspal Singh Lotey, (BJP), Mr Lakhvir Singh (SHSAD), Mr Harjap Singh (SAD), Mr Ashok Tewari (Congress) and Mr Vijay Sharma (Independent) who do not have the voting rights. The members who have the voting rights are: the president, Mr M.C. Khanna, EO, MC Khanna, Deputy Director Local Bodies, Ludhiana, representative of DC Ludhiana, one nominate member, local MLA and the Chairman of the board.

In the last meeting, which was postponed on December 23 after taking the decision to divide the city into three zones, it had been decided that wards would be formed by natural boundaries.

The associate members raised objection during the meeting that the delimitation of wards was being done to benefit the ruling party candidates.

The SDM said some objection were raised by associate members but the delimitation of wards was finalised by all official members unanimously.

In today’s meeting, ward nos. 1,4,7,10,13,16,19,22 and 25 were reserved for women, while ward nos. 5,6,12,15 and 18 were reserved for SC men and ward no. 25 was reserved for BC men.



I will remain Indian to the core: Dosanjh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, a former premier of the Canadian province of British Columbia, has a deep sense of guilt for having left India and not fighting the battle against the ills that still plague the country.

Talking at a reception hosted in his honour at the Park Plaza here yesterday, Mr Dosanjh said it was quite an irony that he was honoured by the Indian government on the same day when years ago Mahatma Gandhi had returned from South Africa to lead the battle for the freedom of the country. “I felt a deep sense of guilt that I am being honoured by the people of my country on a day when Mahatma Gandhi returned”, he confessed, while pointing out: “Gandhi returned to the country to fight the battle against various ills, while I am not”.

But the sense of belonging still persists. And it will continue to remain there. “No matter when we left the country, the fact remains that we are basically Indians and our roots lie here only”, he said, while maintaining that most of the non resident Indians (NRIs) have a deep urge and longing for India.

He admitted that at times, he and several others like him have been critical of the system prevailing in the country. Particularly referring to corruption, which has got into the roots of the system, he asked: “But what is the system?... who constitutes it…we …each individual among us is the part of the system. So instead of blaming the system, we should go for introspection and look within ourselves”. He said he had been critical of the system because he felt bad about it.

He pointed out that there were so many people who, after leaving the country, had reached phenomenal heights. “Why is it so?”, he asked, while adding, “it is quite possible to achieve in India itself…we have a great civilization, history, literature, manpower, natural resources and so much to be proud of…it seems we are failing our history… If our great ancestors could do it, why can’t we”.

Mr Dosanjh also sought to break the myth about foreign investments in China. When asked as to why Indian diaspora had not been able to make as much investment as Chinese in China, he said: “This question has been frequently asked and I want to clarify that it is not the non resident Chinese who have made the investments, but the multinational companies that prefer China to India”. Again, he pointed out, it is the question of the system, which attracts more investors than India.

Mr Dosanjh evaded a direct reply to a question on whether he thought he could have achieved the same heights had he stayed back in India. He said: “Wherever I go and whatever heights I achieve anywhere, I will continue to remain an Indian to the core”.

He was accorded rousing reception by the local MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, Congress leaders, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Jassi Khangura, Ms Gurdial Kaur, Mr Gurinder Grewal, Mr Gurbhej Chhabra and several others. Mr Dosanjh expressed his gratitude to the people for the love showered here on him. Later in the night, the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, hosted a dinner for him.

Earlier in the day, Mr Dosanjh was honoured at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy. Dr G.S. Aujla, Director of the academy, while highlighting the achievements of Mr Dosanjh urged the trainees to learn from the examples set by him.

In his address to the trainees of the academy, Mr Dosanjh gave an elaborate account of the functioning of the Canadian law enforcement and justice system. He emphasised that functional autonomy and thorough professionalism were the hallmarks of the Canadian police organisation, while commenting upon the vital role of the police functionaries.



Rally by Class IV employees
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 16
The Class IV Government Employees Union Fatehgarh Sahib held a rally in front of the municipal council complex and organised a protest march here yesterday in support of its demands. This was stated by Mr Hari Chand, District president of the association, in a press release here today.

They were demanding to revoke resolution number 216 passed by the Municipal Council on November 30, 2002, and to withdraw the octroi collection policy through private contractors. Addressing the rally, the president announced to hold a protest rally at Bassi Pathana on January 24. Besides, the agitation against the local municipal council would continue.

The rally was addressed by its general secretary, chairman, Mr Shiv Datt, vice-chairman, Krishan Singh, Narinder Khullar, council’s sub-committee president Kashmiri Lal Gagal, Amloh’s president Somnath and Mohan Lal Singla Bassi, unit’s president.



DCC (U) meeting on January 17
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
A meeting of the District Congress Committee (Urban) will be held at Congress Bhavan here on January 17 to chalk out a programme for Republic Day.
According to Mr K.K. Bawa, president, DCC (U), Mr Lakhwinder Singh, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, will attend the meeting. Others expected to participate included Mr Gurcharan Singh Gahlib, MP, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Ludhiana, party legislators, councillors and office-bearers of the DCC, the Youth Congress, the Mahila Congress and different party wings.



Trust celebrates Shri Vivekanand’s anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
Shri Vivekanand Swarg Ashram Trust, Model Town Extension, Ludhiana, celebrated the birth anniversary of Shri Vivekanand at their ashram yesterday. The president of the trust, Shri Ram Parkash, recited the holy “mantras” wherein all members of the sabha, trustees etc participated.

Around 200 monks had gathered to celebrate the anniversary. The elderly people of the ashram also participated in the function. Community kitchen and tea was arranged and clothes and eatables were served to the monks and elderly people of the ashram.



Phone numbers changed
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 16
The Telephone Department has changed the telephone numbers of its subscribers connected with the local exchange. The code has also been changed.

According to Mr B.K. Sharma, SDO, outstation callers will have to dial 01675 instead of 0167 as code and first two digits of previous numbers will be replaced with the digit 2.



Aujla arhtiyas’ body chief

Machhiwara, January 16
Mr Tehal Singh Aujla was elected as president of the Sacha Sauda Arhtiya Association, Machhiwara, at a meeting held on Thursday. Though his opponent, Mr Ashok Sood, was not present at the meeting, his supporters demanded postponement of the elections. The meeting was held under the presidentship of Mr Nirmal Singh Nagra, the sitting chief of the association. Mr Aujla’s candidature was proposed by the block Congress president, Mr Surinder Kundra, and seconded by the founder of the association, Mr Amrik Singh Kahlon. OC



Truck cleaner’s death: police conducts probe
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Following a secret information that the report of a post-mortem examination conducted on the body of a Morinda resident, who worked as a cleaner with a truck driver and was allegedly killed yesterday by the truck driver, could have been tampered with, the district police launched an impromptu inquiry to establish the facts.

The SP, Mr Naunihal Singh, said he had questioned several persons, including the members of both the accused and the complainant’s family, police officers concerned and some employees of the Civil Hospital.

Contrary to the reports circulating the city today, Mr Naunihal Singh said no one was picked for questioning and were only called for the inquiry. A para-medical employee of the Civil Hospital, some doctors and police officers of the Division No. 6 police station were also questioned.

There were allegations that the post-mortem examination report was not based on facts. Civil Hospital sources, however, told Ludhiana Tribune that the doctors who had conducted the examination enjoyed good reputation.

The alleged murder case of Bhushan Kumar, a cleaner with truck driver Amarjit Singh, is becoming murkier day by day. First, the deceased died under mysterious circumstances, then the truck driver was booked for murder and then finally, the post-mortem report stated that the man had died due to illness and not because of any injuries suffered by him allegedly due to assault by the truck driver.

The report of the post-mortem examination conducted yesterday had provided a sigh of relief for Amarjit Singh. It stated that the deceased had died of septicaemia and not of any injuries found on the body. The injuries found on the face of the deceased were only bruises and could not have caused the man’s death.

The Division No. 6 police had yesterday booked and arrested the truck driver on the charges of murdering the cleaner. Amarjit Singh had been pleading innocence in the case.

Police sources said the truck driver had not told the family of the deceased about his alleged illness and had allegedly been taking him to some unqualified doctors. This led to the suspicion that he had killed the cleaner and was trying to hide it.

The body was recovered from the truck by family members and handed over to the police.

Sources said the police was going to act accordingly and the case was likely to be cancelled.



Eight cases of assault registered in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
Several persons were booked in eight cases of beating that occurred in the past 24 hours.
The Division No 4 police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 148, 149 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Pink Vihar, against Parveen Kumar, Renu Bhatia, Mani Bhatia, Rinku and around 10 others, all residents of Chhawni mohalla. The woman had alleged that the accused had forced their way into her house, beaten her up and damaged her scooter and cycle.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 324, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harjit Singh, a resident of Kamal Park, against Manjit Singh, Jatinder Singh and their brothers Lali and Jatinder Singh of the same locality.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had forcibly entered his house, beaten him up and threatened him

The Division No 2 police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Muradpura mohalla in the Miller Ganj area, under Sections 324 and 341 of the IPC, against Gurdial Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Tinku, Ashu and Sonu. The complainant had alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road and beaten him up.

On the statement of Mr Sunil Oberoi, a resident of Chander Nagar, the Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341 and 34 of the IPC, against Rajinder Kumar and

Shashi Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the accused had beaten him up.

The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident of White Quarters in Abdullapur Basti, against Pankaj and Sujja Nath, who had allegedly stopped the complainant on the road and beaten him up. The accused had also threatened him, alleged the complainant.

The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Inderjit Singh, a resident of mohalla Ram Nagar on Tibba Road, against Nitin, Jugal, Lochi, Vicky and three persons. The complainant had alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road and beaten him up.

The Shimla Puri police, on the statement of Mr Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar Gill Road, has registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Dharmender, Vajinder, Dodu, Mahinder, Anil Kumar, Bunty, Vicky, Amra and Roshan Lal. The complainant had alleged that the accused had attacked him while he was standing outside his house. He was injured in the attack, he added.

The Focal Point police has registered a case on the statement of Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of Dhandari Kalan, under sections 341,506 and 509 of the IPC, against Gurjang Singh. The woman had alleged that the accused had teased and threatened her.

Fraud alleged: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of alleged fraud under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Daljit Singh, a resident of Model Gram, against Ranjit Singh, his father Mohanjit Singh, mother Manjit Kaur and son Sukhbir Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who were residents of Sarabha Nagar, were in possession of two ration cards i.e. one with a Bombay address and the other with local address.

Driver booked: The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC against the driver of an unknown truck on the statement of a Nepalese, Ramji Lal. According to the FIR, the driver of the truck had hit a watchman, Deepak Bahadur, while he was going on a bicycle near the Kanagwal T-point, as a result of which the watchman died on the spot. The driver fled the scene of the accident.



Consolidated stock exchange proposed
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 16
The Mayya Committee has recommended that the Indian Stock Exchange be consolidated and called ‘Indonext’ on the pattern of euronext or the ‘Consolidated stock exchange of India’ of the lines of Australian Stock Exchange.

The SEBI had set up a committee under the chairmanship of Mr M.R. Mayya, Chairman, Interconnected Stock Exchange to suggest the consolidation of the Indian Stock Exchanges on the lines of euronext in the Europe.

The Mayya committee has recommended to the SEBI that all securities of companies having a paid capital up to Rs 20 crore may be traded exclusively on this new exchange. Consequently, companies with a paid up capital up to Rs 20 crore presently listed with NSE/BSE will need to be delisted from these exchanges. Such a move will bring all companies having a paid up capital upto Rs 20 crore and which are listed on RSEs of NSE or BSE into the fold of this exchange.

The committees observes that the stock brokers of all stock exchanges in India will automatically be given a right to trade on the indonext be on their registration with any exchange in India. All these brokers will not be required to have any fresh registration with SEBI for trading on the new exchange. In order to get trading on this new exchange, the brokers will move a BMC of Rs 1 lakh onto this exchange from their existing BMC lying with the local exchange.

The committee has recommended that the local stock exchanges will stop trading in their respective markets from the day the new exchange commences trading to prevent any fragmentation of the market. Since the local exchanges will stop trading actively, there will be no need for them to retain the BMC of their members in their local market.

The committee has emphasised that the new exchange will use the existing available infrastructure of RSEs and as far as possible avoid any additional investment.

The committee has pointed out that the Kania Committee has recommended that the exchanges corporatise and demutualise over a period of time eventually equity participation by shareholders other than stock brokers in the exchanges be not less than 51 per cent, failing which the exchanges will have to discontinue operations. This committee has recommended that since indonext will be a demutualised stop exchange with ownership being held by exchanges and not by stock brokers, this exchange may not be asked to divest its shareholders. Moreover, it may be difficult for this new exchange to attract fresh capital in the formative stages from other shareholders, as trading in low capital stocks will not be very high and as this new exchange will get only a part of the trading and listing fees.

The Mayya committee has further recommended that since all stock exchanges will participate in trading on the new exchange, they may technically be assumed to be operating their local market through the consolidated orderbook at a national level.

The committee has also recommended that SEBI should help the new exchange insecuring a grant of Rs 25 crore from the central government from any international multilateral funding agency such as said.

In order to ensure success in generating liquidity in the securities of companies that would be traded on indonext, the committee has suggested that a special group consisting of representatives of stock exchanges, investor associations, industry , SEBI and RBI may be set up.



‘Markfed to recover losses by year-end’
Tribune News Service

Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Parliamentary Secretary, Cooperation, inaugurates the physical refinery at Markfed Vanaspati Plant in Khanna
Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Parliamentary Secretary, Cooperation, inaugurates the physical refinery at Markfed Vanaspati Plant in Khanna on Thursday. S.S. Channy, Managing Director, Markfed, and MP Shamsher Singh Dullo are also in the picture. 

Ludhiana, January 16
Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Parliamentary Secretary Cooperation of Punjab has said that Markfed, with the restricting of existing plants, rationalisation of work force and fast movement of food grains, is all set to wipe out annual losses and register profit by the end of the current financial year.

Mr Atwal was addressing a huge gathering after inaugurating a physical refinery set up at a cost of Rs 20 lakh at Markfed Vanaspati Plant of Khanna, about 50 km from here, today. The refinery will bring down the process cost and make the plant products more competitive.

Mr Atwal said the Khanna plant had a chemical refinery for neutralisation of raw edible oils; and the process of removing acids from oils, so far, was expensive due to a high use of chemicals. Markfed had, now, installed an alternative method of processing high FFA (Free Fatty Acid) oils at its Khanna plant, where refining of edible oil would be done through distillation at high temperature.

Mr Atwal said Markfed, based on 3000 member cooperative societies, had touched an annual turnover of Rs 8,000 crore. It had established eight soil-testing laboratories in Punjab to provide free service to farmers. Markfed had one mobile soil-testing-laboratory-cum-publicity van and export was another area where Markfed was playing a pivotal role.

Markfed had exported wheat to the tune of 19.10 lakh MT, valued at Rs 865.26 crore, till December 2002, with an export target of another 16 lakh MT in the year 2002-2003. It has also exported non-Basmati rice till December 2002, to the tune of 1,01,451 MT, valued at Rs 66.77 crore. The total service margin on exports would be Rs 7.44 crore. Markfed had recently been recognised as a trading house by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for five years. The Secretary said the recognition was a big achievement. Markfed was also working as a Nodal Agency for setting up agri-export zones for Basmati and potato.

At the function, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, stressed the need for implementing all the new programmes chalked out by Markfed to take Punjab farmers out of the debt rut.

Mr S.S. Channy, MD Markfed, said Markfed had opened new markets abroad for Punjab farmers. He said the Government of India had also approved the setting up of an agricultural export zone for Basmati rice in Punjab and Markfed has been identified as the nodal agency for this.



Permission to set up overseas office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
IndusInd Bank has received the permission of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up its first overseas office through representative offices in Dubai and London, the Manager Operations of the bank has said here today.

The bank began as a central forum for the NRIs to collectively contribute to India’s economic and social development. Today, IndusInd Bank has a large base of NRI customers across 40 countries.

The representative offices are expected to increase public awareness regarding the bank’s products and services among the NRI community, facilitate the addressing of stakeholder issues in these locations, source business opportunities and build the IndusInd brand.

The bank’s range of NRI services and solutions include deposit schemes with attractive rates of interest, portfolio investment services, depository services, instant transfer of funds and Internet banking.

On the corporate front, the bank has shown good yearly results. The bank registered a net profit of Rs 25.38 crore in the second quarter of the financial year 2002-2003, a growth of 100.47%.



CAs to hold seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The Ludhiana Chartered Accountants Society (regd.) (ICAS) will organise the first Punjab State Conference of Chartered Accountants in the city on January 18. The members of the Central Council and the Regional Council of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India will address this conference.

During the conference various technical topics will be discussed viz. New opportunities for the chartered accountants in insurance, information technology, banking and finance sector and international trade.

According to the Ludhiana Chartered Accountants’ Society spokesperson, Value Added Tax (VAT) has been introduced in more than 10 states with effect from January. This is a newly introduced legislation and will affect the gamut of trade, commerce and industry. Under this legislation, Central government has reposed confidence in the chartered accountants and has given certification powers to the CA’s for filing the returns. The CA’s will also discuss VAT and its implications.


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