Saturday, May 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


High Court judge accuses CBI of “interference’’
Judge was told to handle petition of former ED official with care
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
In the backdrop of the arrest of former Delhi High Court judge Shamit Mukherjee for his alleged involvement in the DDA scam by the CBI, a sitting judge of the high court today alleged an official of the agency had asked him to be “careful” while dealing with the petition by former Enforcement Deputy Director Ashok Agarwal, who is facing a corruption case.

Without naming the CBI official, Mr Justice R. S. Sodhi made the disclosure during the hearing of the petition by Agarwal when the latter’s counsel Ram Jethmalani was arguing the matter in his court today.

Coming down heavily on the CBI during the hearing of the petition, Mr Justice Sodhi said such behaviour by the agency’s official amounted to “interference” in the court’s functioning.

Narrating the incident, he said recently a CBI official “called on” him and “sort of conveyed” to him a message that he should be careful while hearing the petition of Agarwal. “I asked him to behave and warned him that he was interfering with the course of justice,” Justice Sodhi said.

Agarwal was charge-sheeted by the CBI in a corruption case and a case related to the alleged frame-up of a city businessman in a FERA case.

The accused had filed the petition in the high court, accusing the CBI of “cooking up” some documents leading to his longer period of detention, and had sought an inquiry against the agency’s officers, who had probed the cases against him.



Mukherjee seeks bail, pleads wife, mother are ill
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, MAY 2
Former Delhi High Court Judge Shamit Mukherjee, who was arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the DDA scam, today moved an application in the high court, seeking bail on the ground that his wife and mother are ill.

Justice R C Chopra, who heard the plea, issued notices to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and fixed Monday for hearing of the bail application.

The Investigation Officer (IO) in the case was asked to be present in the court along with the case diary when the case comes up for hearing on Monday.

In his bail application, the former judge said that his presence at home was required following the serious illness of his wife and mother.

He assured the court that he would cooperate with the CBI in the investigation and make himself available as and when required.

On Wednesday, the CBI sleuths raided 11 premises belonging to Mukherjee, some lawyers and others.

The same day he was arrested in the CBI headquarters where he was taken for questioning. Earlier, the agency had recovered certain case files from the residence of DDA middleman and main suspect Dharam Bir Khattar, who is in CBI custody.

Mukherjee resigned immediately after the scam broke and has denied any involvement in the case.

The former Delhi High Court judge had cited the illness of his wife as the main reason for his resignation. However, it is believed that CBI director P C Sharma had met the Chief Justice of India immediately after the agency recovered some important files from the guest house in Asiad village.

Soft drink racket busted in Noida

The Noida Police have unearthed a fake soft drinks factory and seized 35,000 bottles of various brands along with various gadgets and equipment for manufacturing and bottling the drinks.

Two persons, including a state general secretary of Youth Samajwadi Party, have been arrested.

According to S P City, Vijay Bhushan, the police had received a tip-off that some people were manufacturing and marketing duplicate cold drink bottles of well-known brands in B-53 in Sector-7.

The police have arrested Ravinder Chaudhry of A-1053, Mayur Vihar, Phase –III, Delhi, and his partner Manoj Pandya alias Manoj Sharma of D-177, Sector-27, Noida, who is said to be a state general secretary of Youth Samajwadi Party. OC



Egg on face, FRRO seeks changes in emigration laws
J. T. Vishnu
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
The Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) has expressed serious concern over the growing nexus between travel agents and emigrants travelling on forged documents and has sought additional teeth to deal with such offences.

This has put the officers in a piquant situation as sometimes the prolonged verification process at airports puts the genuine passengers to great inconvenience.

The recent deportation of a large number of illegal immigrants of Indian origin from countries like Germany, England, France, Singapore, Australia, Russia and South Africa, has also put the authorities in an embarrassing situation since they had been cleared from airports and exit points here.

The FRRO officials claim they are still not adequately equipped to deal with such large-scale forgeries, which are obviously a part of an organised racket.

What has really amazed the FRRO officials is the fact that while on an average at least 500 emigrants are detected travelling on forged documents only 5 per cent of the travel agents and tour operators are identified.

This is because of the assurance given by them that even if caught, the emigrants would be looked after by their agents and a second trip arranged free of cost subsequently.

The travel agents charge as much as Rs 5 lakh each to send these unwitting persons mostly to European destinations.

Senior FRRO officials said because of the loopholes in the emigration laws the travel agents and tour operators, even if caught, go scot-free, subsequently only to return to their nefarious trade.

These officials said the authorities concerned were being kept informed and requisite amendments in the relevant acts sought to help stop this illegal trade in human beings.

To detect such forgeries and ensure quick clearance, the FRRO has installed four computer passport-reading machines at Indira Gandhi International Airport here on trial basis.

The facility will be expanded once the system is fully tested, official sources said.

Other technical gadgets like magnifying glasses, ultraviolet lamps and closed circuit televisions have also been installed to help the officers detect forgeries.

Apart from these forgeries, the officers also look for wanted persons who are banned from leaving the country.

An average of 8,000 to 10,000 notices are received every year with inputs from at least 50 checkpoints. Such notices are issued by the police, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the Customs and Income Tax Departments and tribunals. 



Carrier channel from Haryana to meet Delhi’s water needs
Our Correspondent

Panipat, May 2
In order to meet the drinking water requirements of Delhi residents, the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, will lay the foundation stone of a carrier channel on West Yamuna Canal (WJC) near Binjhol village here on May 4. The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, will also be present on the occasion. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. R.Anand, disclosed that the carrier channel, which would be used for carrying the Yamuna water to meet the drinking water requirements of Delhi residents, would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 314.75 crore and the entire expenditure would be met by the Delhi Government.

He disclosed that the construction work of this 102.44-km-long channel would be completed within three years. In order to check any seepage of water from the channel cement and concrete would be used. The channel from Munak up to Khubroo Fall (Jhaal) will have a carrying capacity of 2,823 cusecs of water and from Khubroo to Hyderpur Water Treatment Plant in Delhi its carrying capacity will be of 707 cusecs. According to the DC, a road connecting the areas between the Delhi Branch of WJC and this carrier channel would also be constructed with the aim to minimise traffic congestion on the GT Road.

Sonepat: According to official sources, the Delhi Government has already provided Rs 30 crore for the construction of this new canal.

After receiving the first instalment of the amount from the Delhi Government, the officials of the Irrigation Department have already started the construction work on an aqua duct near Garhibala village. The construction work is in progress on the diversion drain No 8 which will enable the new canal to pass through it. Officials of the Central Water Commission had inspected the work twice in recent months and expressed their satisfaction at the pace and quality of the work.

Meanwhile, the officials of the vigilance wing of the Irrigation Department have failed to inspect the ongoing work for the construction of the aqua duct.



BJP dismisses high-capacity buses as Cong pipedream
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
The BJP has dismissed the much-hyped Transport Policy of the Government of NCT of Delhi as a gimmick and said the decision to introduce high capacity bus system was an eyewash.

Spokesperson of Delhi Pradesh BJP Mewa Ram Arya on Friday said the high capacity bus system was a mere “announcement.” “At the fag end of its five-year tenure, the government has started misleading the people in the name of introducing high capacity bus system which will remain a mere announcement,” Arya alleged. Joining issue with Transport Minister Ajay Maken, who on Wednesday had questioned the credentials of Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana and others for criticising the transport policy, Arya said the remarks were uncharitable and were motivated by the realisation that the Congress government had failed in augmenting the transport sector and that it needed to do something to woo the electorate.

“What expertise do they have in transport affairs?” Transport Minister Ajay Maken had shouted at critics of the government’s ambitious-and-still-to-be-implemented Transport Policy. The critics at the receiving end of Maken’s tongue-lashing were Khurana and BJP Parliamentary Party Spokesperson VK Malhotra.

He had ridiculed the BJP for criticising the much-hyped Transport Policy, particularly the Metro and the high-capacity buses, and told media persons, “The BJP does not want us to perform because of the Assembly elections.” The BJP, he had added, was opposed to the Metro and the high-capacity buses. Khurana, he alleged, was trying to “derail” the Metro and that he (Khurana) had tried it even when he was Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi.

The BJP has responded by citing the Congress’ failure to streamline the transport sector. Arya said the Congress government had failed on all fronts; the transport system had become chaotic and was causing hardship to the commuters. The Metro, he asserted, was the brainchild of the BJP work which, he said, had been set in motion in 1998 by the then BJP government in NCT of Delhi.

Listing the salient features of the BJP’s action plan for solving the transport problems of NCT of Delhi, Arya said the party had envisaged that instead of depending on road transport, other modes such as the ring railway should be augmented and the Metro extended to cover the whole of NCT of Delhi. “Currently, only two per cent of the population uses the ring railway whereas in Mumbai the figure was as high as 60 per cent,” he said.

Further, Arya said, in the NCT of Delhi about 40 railway stations could be used as transit centres for the commuters. “The action plan drafted by the BJP would be self-sustaining and generate resources on its own”, he added.



One can get away with anything in Panipat
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 2
Even as big-time crime staged a comeback with a daring daylight robbery here on Wednesday, Panipat district seems to have become a haven for criminals. The spiralling crime graph has spread panic among residents of the affluent industrial city even as the police grope in the dark.

In fact, the local police seem to have got its priorities wrong. While major crime threatens to get out of hand the whole energy of the police force seems to have been diverted to challaning persons for various traffic offences under the ongoing Operation Speed-Breaker. Even as the complaints of motorists’ harassment pour in, the success of the special operation is debatable.

However, what is giving people sleepless nights is the fact that the record of the police in working out cases of heinous crime has been dismal.

Only half of the 14 murder cases had reportedly been worked by the police during this year. The less said about other crimes the better.

If the situation is not brought under control soon law abiding citizens will be at the receiving end of both the police and the anti-social elements.

While the routine crime keeps the police on tenterhooks, it is the occasional regular major daylight robbery that is giving real nightmares to the police. Wednesday’s dacoity near the busy GT road came as a bolt from the blue to the beleaguered police. At least seven armed desperadoes barged into the house of a prominent exporter and made away with cash and jewellery worth several lakh rupees after ransacking the house. As usual, they walked away without the police having an inkling of their whereabouts.

After the dacoity, the new IG of Rohtak Range, Mr Sharad Kumar, took stock of the law and order situation at a meeting of senior district police officials.

The IG reportedly pulled up the police officials over the worsening law and order situation and ordered them to pull up their socks.

Meanwhile, expressing concern at the deteriorating law and order situation in the district, Mr Surinder Ahlawat, general secretary of the youth wing of the HVP, alleged that on account of the lackadaisical attitude of the police the crime graph was soaring.

Electricity equipment like transformers and wires worth crores of rupees had been stolen by the anti-social elements, disrupting the power supply.

Such thefts were a routine affair and the police preferred to turn a blind eye to this. Even after several months the equipment had not been replaced, putting the villagers to a lot of inconvenience, he alleged.

Coming down heavily on the Chautala government for its failure on all fronts, Mr Ahlawat said all sections of society were fed up with the present government.

He said the Fatehabad byelection would be a referendum on the working of the Chautala government.



Haryana Cong leader clamours for workers’ rights
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 2
The Rewari District Masons and Labourers Union organised a special convention on May Day here on Thursday. It was attended by several hundred masons and labourers from various parts of the district.

The Deputy Leader of Haryana Congress Legislature Party, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, criticised the labour policies of the government. He demanded full protection of the workers’ rights as well as cessation of the ongoing pernicious round of retrenchment in various government departments.

He also promised that his party would provide all possible co-operations to the labourers in their struggle for justice and dignity in the society. Mr Sardar Singh, president of the union and the Rewari district Congress chief Mr Harish Saini, also addressed the convention.

Similarly, representatives of workers, employers and youths also organised a seminar, which was chaired by the Haryana Janata Dal (U) president, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi.

Flaying the anti-labour policies of the government Mr Vidrohi said that on the one hand the increasing network of the multinational companies was proving baneful for the workers and on the other hand the reckless sell-off of the public sector units to private companies at throwaway prices was heaping untold miseries on the hapless workers. He called upon the workers and youths to put up a bold and united fight to ensure the protection of their rights. The participants also observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the known and unknown martyrs of the labour community.

Somany remembered

Rich tributes were paid to the late R. D. Somany, a freedom fighter and educationist of the Rewari region, at a function organised to mark his 83rd birth anniversary in the Somany Institute of Technology and Management here today.

In his presidential address, veteran freedom fighter Mr Ganpat Singh lauded the efforts of Mr Ashok Somany and Dr Vijay Somany, both sons of the late R. D. Somany. Both sons of R. D. Somany said that they had virtually turned their father’s dream into a reality by establishing here the Somany Institute of Technology and Management (SITM).

Highlighting the achievement of the SITM, the Principal of SITM, Mr I. D. Bansal, said that it was a matter of pride that the college had carved out a niche for itself among the engineering colleges of Haryana on the basis of the outstanding performance of its students in academics, sports and cultural activities.



Activists demand release of abducted minor girl
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 2
Large number of activists of different trade unions, including CITU, UTUC (Lanin Sarni), Bhatta Vikas Manch and Janwadi Mahila Samiti staged a protest march in the town on Thursday evening and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of
Police demanding the immediate release of an abducted minor girl of a brick kiln worker, identified as Bhanwar Singh, working at Gayatri Bhatta Company at village Nahri in Sonepat district.

The protestors were led by Shradha Nand Solanki of CITU, Hari Prakash of UTUC, Ram Diya of Bhatta Vikas Manch and Rajkumari Dahiya of Janwadi Mahila Samiti. It has been stated in the memorandum that one labourer, identified as Vinod, had allegedly abducted the minor girl by offering some intoxicant to her on April 17 when her father was at work at the brick kiln.

When all efforts failed to trace her, a complaint was lodged with the police at Akbarpur Barota Police Chowki. However, no action was taken against the accused by the police.

The memorandum further alleged that some influential persons had managed to get the police action delayed. It was also stated in the memorandum that wages amounting to Rs 20,000 that was due to the girl’s father was unpaid to him by the brick kiln owner.



May Day cry: Do care for labour laws
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 2
Like previous years, this May Day on Thursday was observed by the activists of various trade unions who raised slogans and organised rallies against the government and factory management, and submitted memorandums of their demands to the authorities in the district.

But does it make any difference in redressing the grievances of the people for whom the day is observed or has it brought any awareness among them to dare oppose the indiscrimination against them by the employers or does it exercise any pressure on the government agencies to implement the labour laws forcefully? Hardly.

As the first priority of a labourer is to get a job. Secondly, he does not prefer to risk his job at any cost. In fact, most of the laborers are unaware of the May Day or labour laws.

Tall claims are being made by the governments that the life of the labourers is much better.

But, a number of union leaders of the CITU, CPM, CPI and BMS admitted while speaking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, that hardly 70 per cent of the labourers were able to earn two square meals even after working for more than eight to 10 hours.

And 20 per cent of the labourers, mostly casual ones, were not in a position to make both ends’ meet.

The state government has opened labour offices in every district to enforce the labour laws and settle the disputes between the employers and the workers.

But the laws are flouted in one way or the other and the dispute over wages persisted for years simply to exhaust the patience of the poor labourers.

According to information, more than 10,000 labour disputes were reportedly lying pending in different labour courts for want of timely decision.

Out of them, around 20 per cent had been pending for the last 10 years. So far as Sonepat is concerned, as many as 398 cases were brought in the court of the district labour and reconciliation office during the last one year ending in March 2003.

And the officer succeeded in compromising only in 58 cases, the remaining cases were forwarded to the higher authority—Deputy Labour Commissioner at Panipat..

It is not easy for a labourer either to get justice from the courts as both the parties—labourers with support from the labour unions and the employers, generally remain adamant and stick to their guns. They hardly take interest in striking a compromise.

Most of the cases entertained by the courts are related to the payment of wages in according with the rates fixed by the Government from time to time and retrenchment of the labourers and workerss by the employers.

The situation in unorganised sectors is worse. Despite the ban on child labour, a number of young children can be found working day and night at hotels, restaurants, brick kilns, industrial units, tea stalls.

Most of them are forced by the family circumstances to work in this age and earn for their families.

“For us, May Day is like any other day. We cannot leave our work and thereby income of Rs 40-50 to observe the day. If we do not work, from where our family will get food, Babuji,” said Raju, Sunny and Sumit who polish shoes in the trains between Sonepat and Panipat every day.



Farmers sit on dharna for sugarcane dues
Our Correspondent

Noida/Bulandshahar, May 2
The farmers of Kisan Sabha, Bulandshahar, sat on dharna against the delay in the disposal of wheat crops and payment of dues of sugarcane.

The farmers of the Bulandshahar district have also submitted an eight-point memorandum to the UP Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati.

D P Singh, president, Kisan Sabha, said 30 to 40 per cent sugarcane crop was still standing in the fields. The mills are on the verge of closing the season for sugarcane.

There is no sign of payment of sugarcane dues nor are there chances of proper lifting of wheat crop.

D P Singh alleged that the farmers are not getting remunerative price of wheat crop due to indifferent attitude of the state government.

The cost of farming has gone up, but the price of crops has gone down comparatively, Mr Singh said addressing the farmers meeting in the collectorate.

The farmers’ plight is reflected in Central Agriculture Minister showing decline of 2.88 crore tonnes in food production in his report before Parliament.

District Kisan Sabha president Chander Pal Singh criticised the privatisation of power sector.

The memorandum had called for government procurement of wheat, ensuring sugar mill operations till sugarcane crop is available, remunerative price for sugarcane and proper storage facilities for potato and ensuring the power supply to the villages



UP farmer wins Haryana ‘uphaar’
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 2
“The scheme was for the farmers of Haryana, but one of the winners is from the neighboring state of UP. Hard to believe! But it is so, according to the results declared by the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board, here yesterday.

The board officials announced the results of the fifth draw of the ‘Krishak Uphaar Yojna’ launched by it. According to these, the winners of the first prize of Rs 40,000 are one Chetram of Raidaska village in the district and one Dev Prakash of Tappal village in the UP.

The second prize of Rs 25,000 each has been won by eight farmers which include Ramcharan of Bhiduki, Rajkumar of Manpur, Vijender Singh of Kithwari, Shivraj of Misha, Chiman Lal of Mawai, Niranjan of Dhatir, Parsi of Garhipatti and Dayanand of Madnaka village.

Names of 12 farmers have also been announced who have won the third prize of Rs 10,000 each.



16 people injured in bus accident 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
Sixteen people, including the driver and the conductor of a private bus plying between Sarai Kale and Ghaziabad, were injured when it collided with a tree while making a U turn near Chandgi Ram Akhara this morning. The injured were admitted to the Trauma Centre. A case of causing injury due to rash and negligent driving has been registered and the driver, identified as Rajesh, will be arrested after the treatment, the police said.

DCPs transferred

Following DCPs have been transferred in the national Capital with immediate effect: Additional DCP South Praveer Ranjan has been transferred as DCP North East; DCP Anti-Corruption Garima Bhatnagar has been transferred as Additional DCP South and ACP Security Bhairon Singh Gurjar will look after the work of DCP Anti-Corruption Branch, a press release said.



Samiti threatens agitation
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 2
The members of the Haryana Karamchari Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti have threatened to go on a strike on May 21 if their demands, including that of adjustment of the retrenched employees of Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (HSMITC) to other departments, were not conceded.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Dhara Singh and Mr Poonam Chand Rati, prominent leaders of the sangharsh samiti, said the samii had no option but to intensify its agitation all over the state. As a part of agitation, a large number of employees of Rohtak division, comprising Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat and Karnal districts, staged a dharna in front of the office of Commissioner, Rohtak division here and shouted slogans against the government today.



Action plans making no difference to Yamuna

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
There has been no improvement of the water quality of the Yamuna river along the Capital despite a series of action plans and enormous funds allocated for cleaning the Yamuna river, the Rajya Sabha was told today. It was pointed out that Yammuna Action Plan Phase I had not resulted into an appreciable improvement of the water quality.

The Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Mr Dilip Singh Judev, told the House that under Phase I of the Plan, funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) through a soft loan assistance of Yen 17.77 billion, a total expenditure of Rs 668 crore had been incurred on pollution abatement works in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Of the amount, Haryana accounted for Rs 218 crore, while Delhi and Uttar Pradesh incurred an expenditure of Rs 180 crore and Rs 270 crore respectively, he pointed out. About the reasons for the partial success of the Phase I, which was completed on February 19 this year, Mr Judev said as against the present sewage of 3300 mld being dumped into the river, the installed treatment capacity was 2300 mld, leaving a gap of 1,000 mld of untreated sewage in the Yammuna.

Besides, out of the 130-km length of trunk sewer, about 90 km required refurbishing and rehabilitation as the sewers were either silted or settled, the Minister said.

He added that out of a total 15 common effluent treatment plants to be constructed in 21 industrial estates, only three had so far been completed while the remaining ones were targeted for completion by the year-end.

Mr Judev also pointed out that lack of dilution capacity in the river, particularly along Delhi, as one of the reasons for the failure of the Plan to improve the quality of the Yammuna water.



Man shot dead in mysterious circumstances
Our Correspondents

Ghaziabad, May 2
A man was reportedly shot dead in Shahpur Chaudhry village under Garh Muktesshwar Police Station in mysterious circumstances at 11: 30 pm on Thursday night.

The incident occurred when the victim, Mahesh Chauhan (30), his wife Guddi and his five-year-old daughter, Anjana, were asleep in their house at Shahpur Chaudhry village. Mahesh was found lying in a pool of blood in the morning. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Chandra Prakash, said the police were looking at different angles of the murder including the possibility of an illicit relationship.

Sonepat depot betters its revenue collection

The Sonepat depot of the Haryana Roadways has created a ‘record’ by earning a revenue of more than Rs 1 crore and cutting expenditure by Rs 15.30 lakh during the financial year 2002-03.

Mr Harish Chander Jain, General Manager of Sonepat depot of the Haryana Roadways, told mediapersons here today that the Sonepat depot earned a revenue of Rs 26.15 crore after its fleet of 214 buses covered a distance of Rs 239.67 lakh km during the year 2002-03.

This was better than its revenue of Rs 25.13 crore after its fleet of 206 buses covered a distance of 233.47 lakh km during the year 2001-2002.

Mr Jain also disclosed that the average income was Rs 9.07 per km during 1999-2000, which increased to Rs 10.48 in the year 2001-2002 and to Rs 10.91 during the year 2002-2003.



'Baseless’ report on court proceedings

Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune,
First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

WE are surprised to read your article based on a story of the court proceedings. Under the garb of publishing the court proceedings, your report has given false and baseless facts which do not form part of the court record. We request you to refer to the last three paragraphs.

The facts in them do not form part of the court record nor they find any mention in the court record. The complaint filed does not give any reference to the facts mentioned in the report nor do they find mention in the court records. We are surprised as to from where these baseless and imaginary facts have been taken by your reporter. The tenor of the story gives an impression that the facts stated in the story are part of the court record, which is not true. The facts are contrary to what has been stated in the report. The case mentioned in your report is not the first court case. The first case filed by these persons (Mr Panesar and his group of people) was a writ petition before the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh. The petitioners therein managed to obtain an ex parte order against the society. However, after hearing the society, the High Court not only vacated the stay, but also dismissed the petition and passed severe strictures against the persons.

In their mollified attempts, the above group of persons started making false allegations that the society purchased 47 acres of land out of which 12 acres of land has been sold by the Managing Committee.

In a suit filed by the society for damages against the complainant & other persons, the revenue department ‘patwari’ made a statement before the court that the society purchased only 36 acres before 1995 when the licence was granted to develop the colony, out of which two acres of land was acquired by the government and the rest of the land is with the society. The patwari has categorically stated before the court that no land has been sold by the society. Mr Panesar and his group have been making these allegations knowing well that the society purchased only 36 acres (approx) of land because Mr Panesar was the president of the society when the land was purchased. The very purpose of making these allegations was to obtain a stay against the project of the society. They first obtained stay from the High Court of Punjab of Punjab & Haryana, which was vacated and strictures were passed against them. Thereafter they complained to the department of co-operative societies, detailed inquiries were held then and ultimately the case was closed.

In the present case also, the society was not present and hence, the court could not be informed of the facts. The court has issued the summons to the office-bearers of the society and not given any judgement. The office-bearers of the society would put in appearance and bring to the notice of the court the facts of the case and hope that the present case would also meet the same fate as the earlier cases filed by this group. Recently Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies also dismissed the appeal of two expelled members, R P Sharma & Bharat Bhushan of this group on merit after hearing both the parties on 21.4.2003.

Your reporter has also mentioned the directions of the hon’ble High Court to the Superintendent of Police to investigate the matter. In fact, the facts are that the petition filed by Bharat Bhusan in the High Court was not admitted by the court and was dismissed. However, the High Court asked the SSP to look into the matter. The SSP, Gurgaon has held a detailed inquiry and did not find anything wrong about the working of the society. Your reporter has mentioned half-baked facts and not given complete facts. The facts mentioned in the report have been made only to damage the image of the society.

Your reporter has wrongly mentioned further that 97 per cent of the land has been given to the builder and the society has been left with 1.5 acres, whereas the fact of the matter is that the society flats are constructed on 10 acres. These allegations have been levelled by the above-referred group of persons before the High Court as well as before various other authorities.

After detailed enquiry, the same have been found to be untrue and incorrect.

In the circumstances, at this stage we request you to publish the facts as stated above.

(For and on behalf of the Indian Airlines Pilots Cooperative House Building Society Ltd)

Capt A. S. Malli

No male teacher please, it’s a women college!

The Government College for Women at Rohtak has its claim to fame as perhaps the best college exclusively for women in Haryana. In the decade-old history of this important educational institution, no male has ever been posted either as a lecturer or as a principal. However, the sanctity of this prestigious women college has been ‘slain’ by posting a male as its principal.

It is rightly said that everything unnatural is immoral.

There is a lot of resentment among the teaching staff, the students and the public since the male domination of this highly trusted and patronised women institution has hurt their feelings.

In public relations, women professionals have the ability of communication, presentation, understanding, and above all, feedback analysis. These attributes make them more successful in a women institution.

The government of Haryana is urged to appreciate the sentiments of the people and do away with the male domination with immediate effect in the aforesaid women college.

Sarswati Punia, Nehru Colony, Rohtak

Kindly review house tax formula

The house tax in Haryana was being levied in all fairness on the rental value of the building. The ‘building’ as defined in the Haryana Municipal Act 1973 does not include the element of land on which it is constructed.

Contrary to this legal position, the Nagar Parishad, Rohtak perhaps under the directives from the Government of Haryana, changed the concept of rental value of a building to its market value though with permissible amount of depreciation for the recovery of house tax from 2001-2002 and also included the cost of land arbitrarily and irrationally, knowing little that the cost of land has inflated manifold since its use for the building and it has always been swinging up in the built-up areas of the city. The cost of land element invoked in the house tax is not only harsh but would make the tax structure always changing to the disadvantage of house owners and the time might come when they would feel as if they are tenants in their own house. To confirm these apprehensions, the Nagar Parishad, Rohtak has now sent the house tax bills for 2002-03 which are three to four times of the bills for the last assessment year exclusively on the plea that the cost of land has increased. What a mockery made of the helpless masses?

Not only this, a new tax called the ‘Fire Tax’ has been levied over and above the house tax, including on the cost component of the land, as if the land supporting the building has to be protected from fire. It needs no emphasis that there is no justification in the levy of fire tax as the citizens are entitled to this municipal service etc. against the payment of house tax.

The Nagar Parishad, Rohtak has slapped the people with house tax bills for 2002-2003 which are three to four times of the bills for the previous assessment of 2001-2002 without any notice for this abnormal increase.

It is provided in the Municipal Act ibid that in the event of increase in the assessment, the Nagar Parishad is required to give public notice of a time not less than one month to the owner or occupier of the property to file objections. Normally, the assessment has to be adopted for five years, such a high quantum jump in house tax just within couple of months of last assessment has created a panic among the people.

The Government of Haryana is urged to review its house tax formula so as to exclude the cost of land of building subjected to house tax. The levy of fire tax is also wholly unjustified and may be withdrawn to make the system of taxation people-friendly.

H L Pawan, Secretary, RWA, Rohtak.

Racket in sale of children

Most of us have become rats in the mad race of growing rich. We hear the shocking news of fraud, deception or moral turpitude of innovating kind almost every day.

It is not only the men who are the culprits; women, too, considered repository of kindness, do not lag behind.

The reported news of 58-year-old Dr Ish Aggarwal’s arrest for handing over a baby girl for money is the worst racket of its kind. Her confession to the crime is mind-boggling.

The childless couples who became the recipients/custodians of such children of the unwed mothers or the poor couples, may feel possessive and jubilant yet the so-called doctor cannot escape the long arm of the law.

Kudos to the police for unearthing the racket and nabbing the culprit and the touts.

Ujjal Pal Singh, NIT, Faridabad

Kudos to DFS for sealing high-risk buildings

It was heartening to hear that the Delhi Fire Service authorities will seal six high-risk buildings in the Capital as they have failed to comply with the guidelines issued by the DFS.

The residents near these places have also been wreaking havoc. Space is narrow.

Vehicles carrying water cannot reach the spot of mishap. Safety of human being should be a priority.

There should be no compromise on it. The said buildings must remain under seal until they take complete fire safety measures.

Subhash C Taneja, MDU, Rohtak

Banish the virus of red tape

This is with reference to ‘Face to Face’ with Mr Vijay Shakar Pandey, Jt Secretary, HRD Ministry, government of India and Secretary of All India IAS Officers’ Association and Administrative Officers of the Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi, (NCR Tribune April 15).

It is stated that Mr Pandey came to limelight on a national level in 1995, when he and some like-minded young IAS officers of UP, dared to select three most corrupt IAS officers through a unique voting system, but this exercise could not last beyond two years, because of immense pressure.

In this connection, I wish to say, that Mr Pandey as Secretary of All India IAS Officers’ Association, should please make efforts to banish the ‘virus of delay’ from the government offices, organisations, corporations, boards, public sector undertakings and bodies etc, headed by bureaucrats, as delay is the deadliest form of ‘denial’ and breeds corruption. Justice delayed is justice denied.

If delays and red tape are eliminated from day-to-day working of the government offices, about 70 per cent of the battle for the eradication of corruption, is likely to be won.

O P Sharma, Faridabad

After rain, the chaos

If summer comes, can rainy season be far behind?

The main grouse of the public in summer is related to the unavailability of quality water to them. The image of public health department depends on two aspects: potable water and disposal of water via sewer.

In Rewari, the main drain around Bal Bhawan gets filled with garbage thrown by the Rotary Club Rewari.

The entire drain emits unbearable stink.

If the drains are choked and filled with garbage, then rains will naturally cause chaos.

Dhiraj, Rewari



Case registered in connection with looting
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 2
The police have registered a case against three persons, including a woman, in connection with the looting case reported from Sewli village in this district on Wednesday night.

According to a report, the suspects were identified as Hirender of Seweli village, Vinod a Nepali national and his wife, Apsara. The suspects are still at large and the police have launched a massive hunt to apprehend them.

The alleged suspects are reported to have attacked two farmers, namely Gobind and Siyyaram, while they were counting cash brought from Azadpur Mandi (Delhi) in the evening. The attack resulted in the injuries to the duo and thereafter, the suspects snatched the money and escaped. Both the injured persons were hospitalised and are stated to be out of danger.

Scooter stolen

A scooter was allegedly stolen from a dhaba on the G.T. Road near Biswan Meel village, about 15 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, the owner of the scooter, Mr Ashok Kumar of Jakhauli village has lodged a complaint with the police in this connection. Further investigations were in progress in this matter.

Rail traffic disrupted

Rail traffic on the Sonepat-Delhi section of the Northern Railway remained disrupted for a long period following the breakdown of a `kanta’ on the track near Samalkha Railway Station, about 50 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, several incoming and outgoing trains were delayed and these include the Amarpali Express, Kalka-New Delhi Shatabadi Express, 2 KDM and 4 KDM. Services on this section were later normalised when the railway officials removed the defects on the track.

Body recovered

The Government Railway Police, recovered an unidentified body of a man lying on the railway track between Rajlu Garhi and Ganaur railway stations, about 10 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the body still remains unidentified. The GRP believes it to be a case of suicide.

Looting bid foiled

The Rai police foiled an attempt of criminals to loot a petrol pump on the G.T.Road near Bahalgarh village and arrested five suspects after a hot chase last night. According to a report, the arrested persons include Joginder of Mehndipur village, Manoj of Nangal Khurd village, Mahinder of Qumashpur village and Virender of Bhainswal village. The police also seized a country-made pistol from the arrested suspects. A case has been registered against them. The suspects, during the course of interrogation, have confessed that they had murdered one Yoginder of Pipli village in the Nangal Khurd village.



ISI agent involved in train crimes arrested
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police today claimed to have worked out several heinous cases with the arrest of an inter-state criminal who reportedly worked for the Pakistan’s ISI. The arrested criminal was involved in bomb blasts in Siliguri in West Bengal. The suspect, identified as Salim alias Bacchan Mian alias Sharifuddin was arrested from the Nizamuddin Railway Station where he alighted to meet his associates to advise them of the modus operandi of the gang, the police said.

The police said that he was involved in 32 cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery, Arms Act and Explosive Substance Act of Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The Special Cell received a secret information that an inter-state gangster, Salim alias Bacchan Mian, robbed passengers travelling in trains by giving them food and drinks laced with sedatives.

He was arrested yesterday after surveillance was kept at various railway stations in the Capital. Sedative pills were recovered from his possession, the police claimed.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he entered the crime world in 1982 with cattle thefts from his native place in district Kishanganj, Bihar. He later formed his own gang, which committed dacoity, murder, robbery and other heinous crimes in Kishanganj and various places in West Bengal.

In 1983, he shifted his base to Siliguri in West Bengal due to police pressure. In 1988, he shifted to New Delhi and formed another gang and started looting passengers in trains by giving sedatives laced with tea and other eatables.

The West Bengal Police believe that the suspect worked for the ISI of Pakistan and had committed several subversive acts in their area, the police said. 



Two assailants barge into scribe’s house
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 2
Two unidentified armed assailants this morning intruded into the house of a senior journalist, K. K. Katyal, in Gulmohar Park in South Delhi. The incident took place at around 10 am when Katyal was having his breakfast. The intruders, immediately after entering the house (A 31), went up to the kitchen and gagged his daughter Anita. Anita, on seeing the duo armed with screwdrivers, started screaming. The duo got scared and one fled through the main gate and the other escaped by jumping off the boundary wall. The police have launched a manhunt to trace the culprits.


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