Sunday, May 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CBI fails to get Gupta’s police remand
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
The CBI today paid the price for its negligence in a corruption case involving two judicial officers when a local court turned down its request for further police remand of the suspended Jalandhar District and Sessions Judge R.M Gupta and remanded him in judicial custody till May 30.

Coming down heavily on the CBI for its negligence in allowing the suspended Judicial magistrate (First Class), S.S Bhardwaj, slip away from its custody, the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mr C.L Mohal, said the CBI claim that Bhardwaj might surrender soon and police custody of Gupta was required in order to confirm Bhardwaj’s statement with that of Gupta seemed to be hypothetical one. For its negligence , Gupta can not be further remanded in the police custody.

After hearing the arguments from both sides for half an hour Mr Mohal remanded Gupta in police custody till May 30 and directed the police to produce him before the UT CBI Special Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, on the same date.

While passing order the CJM said Under no circumstances should an accused person be remanded in the police custody unless it is made clear that his presence is actually needed in order to serve some important and specific purpose connected with the competition of the inquiry. A general statement by the officer applying for the remand that the accused may be able to give further information should not be accepted”.

Giving details, the CJM said.” Where the object of the remand is merely the verification of the prisoner’s statement he should be remanded in judicial custody”.

The CBI officials sought the police custody of Gupta on the ground that Bhardwaj, might surrendered soon and the custody of Gupta was required to cross-check the statements of Bhardwaj and Gupta in the case.

The CBI claimed that the complainant in the case today handed over number of audio cassettes containing the conversation of Gupta with other persons, therefore the custody of Gupta was required to record his voice and match it with audio cassettes.

Opposing the CBI request for the police custody of Gupta, the defence counsel, Mr A.S Sukhija, argued that the CBI was making hypothetical claim and on the basis of such claim Gupta could not be remanded in the police custody. Regarding the CBI plea to record Gupta voice to match with the cassettes, the defence counsel argued that the CBI could record the voice of Gupta in the presence of the magistrate and there was no need of the police custody.


Black films: UT seeks list of users from Haryana
Tribune News Service


The police has got some samples of black film approved by the Central Science Instrumentation Organisation (CSIO). Alternative to check the percentage of visibility a black film allows is through a special instrument.

As per Section 100 (2) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989, the windscreen and rear window of every motor vehicle shall be maintained in such a condition that the visual transmission of light is not less than 70 per cent. The glasses used for the side windows are to be maintained in such a condition that the visual transmission of light is not less than 50 per cent and it shall confirm to Indian standards.

Chandigarh, May 17
After the Punjab police giving permission for only 18 vehicles of the VIPs to have black film on the car windows, the Chandigarh police has sought details about the permissions given by the Haryana police. The Haryana police has been asked to give a list of vehicles for which the permissions have been granted.

A senior police official said that the Punjab police had cancelled all permissions given till date after finding that the permission overlooked the conditions of visibility in accordance with conditions laid down under the Central Motor Vehicles Act.

Once the list of the permissions granted by Haryana police were received, the city police would start penalising those vehicle owners of Haryana who violated the visibility clause. Already, nearly 300 owners have been fined for the misuse of the permission to have black film on car windows. A number of VIPs of Punjab had been challaned in the past few days, said the official.

The traffic police has begun a drive to ensure that those seeking the permission do not use jet black films. It has been observed that most of the permission holders, including the VIPs, are using jet black film. The traffic police was also reforming the permission sticker to prevent its unauthorised use. The use of jet black film is in violation of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989, which say that the film on the car windows has to allow a minimum percentage of visibility. A number of bureaucrats, police officials and politicians who had secured the permission from Haryana and Punjab live in the city.

Though the city police was yet to consider the scrutiny of the permissions (nearly 200) issued by it, sources said the permissions had mostly been given to judicial officers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Now, the minimum conditions of visibility and the hologram of the Chandigarh police were being printed on the stickers. The city police had asked the neighbouring states to ensure that they also put the visibility clause on the permission stickers being issued by them.


Combat aircraft parked in open
Blast pen shelters yet to come up
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
On account of changes in the concept and scope from time to time, which are prima facie indicative of deficiencies in planning and lack of clarity in regard to operational requirements, blast pens (BPs) for housing frontline aircraft in a forward operational airbase in the western sector are yet to be constructed even more than a decade after the project was initiated.

The delay has resulted in the base being deprived of an essential operational facility. Combat aircraft are being parked only in the open, exposed to the vagaries of weather, apart from their safety being severely compromised upon in the event of raids by enemy aircraft or other subversive activities. Besides, stores valued at Rs 49.20 lakh procured for the purpose also continue to be held unutilised.

Hauling up the Western Air Command on this account, the Comptroller and Auditor General has, in its latest report, stated that as early as in 1987, an "essential and inescapable necessity" was felt by the Air Force to construct seven over-the-ground BPs at a forward operating base to house modern aircraft.

The Ministry sanctioned the construction of these BPs in July 1992 at an estimated cost of Rs 4.81 crore. Blast pens are specially designed shelters made of hardened concrete to protect fighter aircraft.

The related contract was concluded in February 1994, and construction of BPs was scheduled to be completed by December, 1995. However, in July, 1994, the then Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, directed the engineers to construct the BPs semi-underground instead of constructing them fully over the ground.

A board of officers convened for the purpose in December, 1994, recommended construction of four semi-underground BPs at an estimated cost of Rs 3.43 crore. Since this involved a major change in scope and design and the revision of the earlier estimates, the contract for the construction of the over-the-ground BPs was cancelled in March, 1995.

An expenditure of Rs 58.38 lakh had been incurred till then on soil testing, procurement of stores, establishment charges, etc., of which a sum of Rs 49.20 lakh represented the value of stores procured, which could not be incorporated in the work.

While the recommendations of the board of officers were sent for approval of Air Headquarters in April, 1997, and the necessary approval to the proposed change in the scope of the work was yet to be approved, the Western Air Command directed the Air Force station, in May, 1998, to convene yet another board meeting to consider the provision of two double-entry over-the-ground BPs in lieu of the seven over-the-ground ones sanctioned by the Ministry of Defence in July, 1992, and the four semi-underground ones proposed subsequently in April, 1997.

The proceedings of the board of officers, assembled in May, 2000, had however, not been completed even till June, 2002, because of the non-availability of sufficient defence land in the vicinity of the air base's taxi track. In the circumstances, the revised design to provide for double-entry BPs had also not been finalised.

The substantial changes in scope and the concept itself notwithstanding, the Ministry did not appear to have been kept informed of various developments since the construction of over-the-ground BPs was sanctioned initially in July 1992, the report has noted.


Plan on sewage plant in cold storage
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Tonnes of sewage emanating from the urban sprawl of Chandigarh seems to be nobody’s baby. A plan to shift the sewage treatment plant from Phase IX in SAS Nagar is lying in cold storage for the past eight months. No formal sanction has been accorded to get the work started, even as authorities in Punjab have been breathing down the neck of the Chandigarh Administration.

Besides making life miserable for persons of Phase IX, this highly contaminated discharge flows down towards the villages of Punjab and affects thousands of persons who live downstream of a natural seasonal rivulet through which the sewage is pushed out. The rivulet drains in the Ghaggar and affects, cattle and vegetables. Excess sewage which cannot be treated is sent down the rivulet.

In August last year, a formal agreement in this regard was reached at a high-level meeting between top UT and Punjab officers. Under the agreement, sewage from Chandigarh was to be treated at a new site where a new plant south-east of Sector 48 near Jagatpura village will come up. The new site is near the upcoming Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link. Punjab will construct its own sewage treatment plant for SAS Nagar near Dehri on the Banur-Kharar road.

It has been 12 years since residents have been demanding that the sewage treatment plant spread across 48 acres in the Industrial Area Phase IX be shifted out. The matter has been hanging fire and no concrete decision was forthcoming till August last year. “An order was passed by the Chandigarh Administration, following an approval from its Standing Finance Committee, however, no action has been taken on it,” sources told ‘Chandigarh Tribune’.

On the ground, survey has been completed, maps have been drawn, estimates have been sent, but a formal sanction to start the work is awaited. Chandigarh authorities had demanded that Punjab should help them set up a plant of 30 MGD capacity, which is the capacity of the existing plant also. The idea is also to construct smaller sewage treatment plants.



Badal’s guards create scene
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
High drama prevailed on the district court premises in the morning for about half hour when an altercation took place between NSG commandos attached with the security of former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and a security guard deployed at the entrance gate of the court complex.

Mr Badal was in the court today to appear in a case filed against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The incident took place when Mr Badal’s car escorted by six commandos entered through a gate meant only for judges. Mr Badal arrived in a Mercedes and had the permission to come to the court premises in the car on medical ground. He, however, did not have the permission to park the vehicle there.

When the security guard deployed at the entrance gate told Mr Badal’s driver to take the vehicle outside, the commandos objected to it and started arguing with the guard and refused to park the car outside the court premises. Later, the authorities concerned were informed about the incident and the car was taken outside.

The UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S. Bhalla, said a counsel for Mr Badal and an Akali leader met him and apologised for the incident. He said representatives of Mr Badal informed him that the incident took place due to a communication gap as the NSG commandos were not aware of the court orders.

Mr Badal’s counsel, when contacted, said Mr Badal was in the court when the incident took place. Later, when he came to know about the incident, he asked us to apologise.

Mr Badal has filed a criminal complaint and a defamation suit against Capt Amarinder Singh, accusing him of publishing false reports about his assets and properties. He has sought Rs 5 crore as damages. The case has been adjourned till June 7.


HC may cut Division Benches to 3
Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
In an attempt to reduce the number of pending cases, the Punjab and Haryana High Court is considering cutting down the number of Division Benches.

According to sources, the high court is planning to have just two or three Division Benches to take up constitutional matters, public interest litigations cases, those involving vital legal issues and certain other matters.

At present, there are nine or 10 Division Benches taking up civil writ petitions, including cases involving service law, tax matters and criminal appeals. When the number of Benches is reduced, at least seven judges will be free to take up these cases.

The move is significant as over 20,000 civil writ petitions are filed in the high court every year and around two lakh cases are pending. Sources assert that regular second appeals dating to the early 80s are pending and accident cases involving compensation are pending since the mid 80s. Though the exact data is not available, criminal appeals against acquittals are pending since the late 90s. Some “old cases” are even found to be infructuous by the time they are taken up for hearing.

The sources reveal that the high court rules will have to be amended so that the cases taken up by the Division Benches can be heard by a single judge. Sources further reveal that the sitting of the court can only be changed after carrying out an amendment in Rule 25 of the Writ Jurisdiction (Punjab and Haryana) Rules of 1976, published in Chapter 4 (f) of Volume 5 of the Rules and Orders of the Punjab High Court.

As per the rule, every civil writ petition shall be laid for motion hearing before a Division Bench of two judges and before a single Bench when there is no sitting of a Division Bench.

They assert that every high court, under Section 122 of the Civil Procedure Code, has the power to regulate its own procedures and that of the civil courts under it. A Rule Committee comprising three judges, two lawyers and other members deals with such matters.

A section of lawyers is, however, skeptical of the move. They assert that the reduction would rather multiply the work as appeals against the orders of the Single Judge would still be placed before a Division Bench.

This is not the first time that the high court has initiated steps to deal with the pendency problem. In an attempt to reduce the pendency, the judges are already taking up the “old cases” on Wednesdays.

The high court has also recommended the constitution of a special cell for chalking out a programme to list old cases on a priority basis. A committee of three judges had suggested that “two officers of the Punjab and Haryana Superior Judicial Service may be appointed for the purpose”.

The committee had also suggested that the cases pending before the subordinate courts, in which the high court had issued stay orders, “may be listed for hearing on a priority basis before all Benches on Fridays”. Two Benches could be left out of the process for deciding urgent bail matters after hearing the arguments, the committee had further suggested.

It had also requested judges “not to give fresh dates for Fridays so that the old cases could be taken up for hearing”. The authorities had also been directed to prepare “a consolidated list of cases in which proceedings had been stayed by the high court, but cases were still pending before the subordinate courts.”


Accused continue to elude police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
For the 10th day today, a Sector-49 based woman, her son and a property dealer continued to elude the police in a case of cheating a Canada-based NRI.

Sukhpreet Singh Rana, husband of the woman who was in police remand for three days, was sent in judicial custody by a local court last evening.

A Canada-based NRI, Mr Ranbir Singh Dhanjal, was cheated to the tune of Rs 12 lakh in a property deal relating to a house in Phagwara.

A senior official of the Economic Offences Wing of the police said today that they were still on the hunt for the main accused Devinder Kaur Rana, her son Rajiv Rana and property dealer Maan Singh of Pinjore.

They had been booked under Sections 420, 467, 468, and 120B, IPC on May 8. The official said the investigating team had obtained documents relating to the case to prove that the accused had cheated the NRI.

A xerox copy of the cash receipt signed by the woman for accepting money from the NRI with regard to the sale of house and a xerox copy of a fake power of attorney on the name of her brother had been seized. The police had got the statement of Kulwinder Singh, brother of Mrs Rana, that he had not signed the power of attorney.


Development plan of Haryana will ‘kill’ Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Naya Gaon resident Dr B. Singh produced a development plan of Haryana. Describing it as “death warrant”, he said the plan would stop the inflow of rain water into the Sukhna Lake, rendering it a dumping ground for waste material.

Dr B. Singh asserted that Haryana wanted its own lake within the state territory. He alleged that the Chandigarh Administration, under the influence of the Haryana Government, was maintaining silence and was not taking any measure to stop the implementation of such plan.

Taking up the petition, Chief Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice H.S. Bedi issued notice to the Haryana Advocate-General for May 23. Giving details, Dr B. Singh stated that the Sukhna was the pride of millions and lifeline for the people living in and around the city.

He also produced letters from the Prime Minister and Union Minister of Urban Development, issuing directions to the governments of Haryana and Punjab not to indulge in the urbanisation of the periphery area around Chandigarh.

According to him, former Haryana Chief Minister, Bhajan Lal and a former Punjab Governor, during Governor’s rule in 1985 left the matter of the urbanisation in periphery area to the Prime Minister as per provision in the Periphery Act. Accordingly, the Prime Minister directed the states of Punjab and Haryana to develop and urbanise periphery area as per the guidance of a co-ordinating committee set up by the Central Government.


Save Sukhna Debate

THE TRIBUNE will organise an interactive session on measures to conserve the Sukhna lake. All those who have participated in the Save Sukhna debate published in these columns, are invited to attend the session which will be held at Nepli Forest Inspection Hut in Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, near Suketri village, on Sunday, May 18, 2003, at 10 a.m.

The session will be attended by Mr Ishwar Singh, Deputy Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden, UT, Chandigarh, who will give details of the conservation and afforestation measures taken by the Administration in the catchment areas of Sukhna lake.


Seminar focuses on environment
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
Hari Bhari National Environment Protection Society organised a seminar on environment protection here today.

The seminar was part of the third annual function celebrations of the society and was inaugurated by Justice R.P. Sethi, former SC Judge the at CII auditorium.

Giving an account of legislation dealing with environment-related problems, Justice Sethi suggested remedies for such issues.

Mr Justice Binod Kumar Roy, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who presided over the function, emphasised on the need for generating a mass movement to protect the environment.

Mr Justice V.K. Gupta, Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, who was the guest of honour, expressed concern over environment degradation and suggested measures to meet the challenge. Dr P.C. Sobti, member of the society, spoke on the health problems related to pollution.

Mr Justice Ashok Bhan, who was the chief guest, released a book titled “Death Demystified” by Ishar Singh Sobti.

The book elaborates on topics like the body, mind and soul, suicide and living beyond body, besides describing the major religions of the world.


Restrict entry, Sec 17 parking contractor told
Tribune News Service


* The traffic police says that, in case a visitor does not find a parking slot, the contractor is bound to refund the parking fee.

* Parking contractor asked to keep some parking slots empty for emergency

Chandigarh, May 17
The contractor managing the paid-parking lot in Sector 17 has been asked to restrict the number of vehicles to the space available in the parking zone concerned.

After protests by shopkeepers and visitors to Sector 17 on being fined for wrong parking in spite of being allowed entry by the private contractor, the Chandigarh police has asked to the Municipal Corporation to direct the contractor to restrict the number of vehicles.

A senior police official said, when the traffic police had begun penalising drivers of wrongly parked vehicles, there had been protests from all sides. Officials of the traffic police and the corporation visited the problematic spots to solve the problem.

Now, the corporation has been asked to issue non-numbered tokens, so that, the staff of the contractor had a fair idea of the available parking slots. The problem was being witnessed at the parking lots near the Chandigarh Medical Centre (CMC) in Sector 17.

The traffic police has segregated the parking space for four-wheelers and two-wheelers. Policemen have been deployed there to strictly enforce the proper parking of vehicles. A senior official said: “It had been observed that visitors tended to park their vehicles at a wrong place so as to be near their offices.”

The contractor had been asked to always keep at least four parking slots empty for emergency.


Municipal corporation wants cost of plot written off
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 17
The municipal council here has appealed to the Punjab Minister for Local Government to either get the cost of the Rs 2-crore plot allotted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to the council for building its office here written off or ask PUDA to charge only the amount at which the land had been originally purchased by it.

Mr Kulwant Singh, council president, in a letter to the minister, said PUDA should in fact give the 1.10 acre plot free of cost at the office building would be for public utility. This could be done under PUDA’s schemes covering public-utility buildings. He said the council had made pleas to PUDA in this connection on several occasions but to no avail.

He said the civic body made the payment of the first instalment of the plot and took over the possession of the land for the office building in Sector 68. The payment of the second instalment of Rs 55,80,739 had also become due. Besides, heavy expenditure would be incurred on the construction of the new office building. He said as the financial condition of the council was not good it would become very difficult for the civic body to pay the instalments to PUDA and also manage to bear the expenditure on construction.

The president said the only source of income for the civic body was octroi. The town had been exempted from house tax. The council did not have any property from where income could be generated. For the development of the town it was necessary to look for other sources of income. The president brought to the notice of the minister that in Haryana HUDA was giving 75 per cent of the income collected as building fee and extension fee to the Panchkula Municipal Corporation.

Mr Kulwant Singh appealed to the minister to get some action initiated so that the HUDA pattern could be adopted in the town and PUDA also started giving 75 per cent of the amount collected as building fee and extension fee to the council.


Paying lakhs for streetlights that don’t work
Our Correspondent

The traffic lights installed on the Chandigarh-Ambala and Kalka-Patiala highways have been functioning on a “kundi” connection for the past several months. Following the non-payment of over Rs 45, 000, the PSEB had earlier disconnected the power supply.

Confusion over the jurisdiction and ownership between the Punjab Public Works Department and the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat regarding the traffic lights, led to the non-payment of the bills.

However, pressures from politicians that the non-functional traffic lights were hazardous, PSEB officials at Zirakpur had to do the needful, causing huge losses to the state exchequer.

Zirakpur, May 17
Residents of the area are up in arms against the non-functioning of streetlights even though the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat authorities had paid the necessary charges to the PSEB over a year ago.

Despite charging the security deposit, the board aurthorities have failed to provide electricity connections and services to the residents.

Sources in the civic body revealed that the nagar panchayat had sought 15 power connections for making the streetlights functional last year. The civic body authorities had paid the required security amount for the connections, but so for only four connections have been released.

The PSEB has also not released connections for two deep-bore tubwells at Bhabhat and Dhakauli villages.

At a meeting with the PSEB employees, councillors raised these issues and demanded the release of the connections on a priority basis.

Mr Narinder Sharma, president of the nagar panchayat, complained that the department had not been providing them services though Rs 6.25 lakh was being paid to the PSEB as maintenance charges annually. He also pointed out that the PSEB had deployed only two staffers for the maintenance of over 4,000 electricity poles which was inadequate.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, who presided over the meeting yesterday, directed the PSEB officials to release the power connections soon.


Plea to excommunicate Namdharis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The central coordination committee of all gurdwaras and Sikh institutions of Chandigarh has urged Akal Takht to excommunicate Namdharis from the Sikh Panth.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, Chairman of Coordination Committee, said the Guru of the Namdhari sect Jagjit Singh was trying to defame the Panth.

He said the Namdhari Guru was trying to create an atmosphere of unrest among the peace-loving Sikh community in the country and around the globe.

He said the controversial book, “Purakh Guru” had intentionally been written and published at the behest of the Namdhari Guru to defame the Sikh Panth by distorting facts of Sikh history.

The members of the committee who met here today at Guru Teg Bhahadur Gurdwara, Sector 15, also decided to constitute a committee of local Sikh politico-religious leaders who would go to Amritsar to request the Jathedar of Akal Takht to summon the Namdhari Guru to the highest Sikh temporal authority and punish him accordingly.

Mr Riar claimed that most of the historical facts written in the book had been distorted.

He said that he would soon disclose all distorted facts of Sikh history after studying the contents of the book.


Suicide: a socio-legal perspective

THE number of suicides in the city is increasing at an alarming rate. At least 23 cases of suicide have taken place in the month of April, 2003 (as reported in ‘The Tribune’ dated 01.05.03). Every act of suicide may appear as a manifestation of one individual’s temperament, but in reality it is nothing but the result of exterior manifestation of a corresponding social situation.

Suicide is primarily a social phenomenon. In other words, it is entirely due to social causes. There may be other reasons also in certain isolated instances, but chiefly all the principle types of suicide are due to the disintegration of collective consciousness among the members of the group, mainly the primary group to which one belongs. The individual who commits suicide must be living under negative social pressure. For example there is a high suicide rate among the persons living in a state of abnormal marital status because of the disintegration influence of a disorganised family group. Durkheim, a sociologist, explained suicide as primarily social phenomenon in terms of breakdown of the vital bonds of group life. Durkhiem analysed three types of suicides — (i) the egoistic suicide (ii) the anomique (iii) the altruistic suicide. The egoistic suicide occurs when an individual feels himself too much isolated from the social group. Under such a situation every individual is over busy in his own way, and cares for none; so much so that individuals feel isolated, slighted, hurt and ignored and, therefore, commit suicide finally to save themselves from such a state of isolated life.

The anomique suicide is due to a sudden breakdown of the social equilibrium which arises from business depression, inflation etc. In such situations many persons are unable to adjust themselves to such sudden and violent change in their life. The altruistic type of suicide occurs when the integration of the individual and the group is too close and intimate so much so that he is controlled completely by the group without any regard for his personality or individuality. In this situation, the self destruction is caused under the pressure of the social need.

The present society is characterised by impersonal self-centred and secondary associations and controls which leaves the individual socially isolated and entirely cut off from the normal contacts of intimate, personal and primary group life. This is the reason, no doubt, a number of suicides are a result of this situation. In other words, suicide is both concomitant of and an index to the relative degree of social disorganisation in modern society. Merton another sociologist also explained suicide in terms of functioning of social and cultural structures, occurring particularly when there is disjunction between cultural norms and goals and the socially structured capabilities of the members of the group to act in accordance with them.

From the legal point of view, the act of suicide is offence under section 309 Indian Penal Code. Under the legal provision, attempt to commit suicide and doing any act towards the commission of the offence is punishable with simple imprisonment for one year, or fine or both.

Section 309 is the only section in the code which punishes an attempt to commit an offence, but which cannot punish the offender if the offence attempted is completed. The obvious reason for this is that if a person succeeds in committing suicide, he dies, and therefore, he cannot be punished. The important question is: Does man have a right to end his own life? Recently a lot of controversy has been generated on the desirability of retaining section 309. It was urged that the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution includes a right to die and consequently the court struck down section 309, IPC, which provides punishment for attempt to commit suicide by a person as unconstitutional and it was held that everyone should have the freedom to dispose of his life as when he desires.

 — Tejinder Kaur Soni


Summer workshop opens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
A five-day Gandhi Darshan Summer Workshop for children was inaugurated by Gandhian and naturopath, Dr S.S. Goindi, at Kala Sagar in Sector 36 here today. The workshop is being organised by ‘Yuvsatta’, a voluntary organisation, in collaboration with the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti of New Delhi.

About 40 children from two slum schools — Aasha schools at Janta Colony, Sector 25 and Colony No. 5 — and a few students from Government Model High School of Sector 36 took part in the workshop. The workshop aims at promoting peace, tolerance and reconciliation through craft, drawing, painting, games, meditation and prayer.

Children are being taught how to make art pieces out of waste material by Mr Vijay Goel and his wife, Ms Madhu, creators of Kala Sagar. On the inaugural day today, children were taught how to recycle waste pipes, tubes and tapes to show that nothing is waste in this world and one needs only a little bit of imagination and positive attitude to turn waste into art.

“We cannot expect children to adopt the Gandhian philosophy of love and compassion for all, but we are sure that, from now, these children will be at least familiar with Gandhiji,” said Mr Pramod Sharma, Coordinator ‘Yuvsatta’. The workshop will conclude on May 21.


Residents’ help to eliminate congress grass sought
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 17
The district administration has urged the welfare associations of various sectors and the general public to help it eliminate congress grass from the township.

While chairing a meeting of the sector welfare associations and office-bearers of different department of the administration, Ms Satwanti Ahalawat, Deputy Commissioner, stressed the public should come forward to remove the congress grass from the areas adjoining their houses and internal roads.

She also directed the Haryana Urban Development Authorities (HUDA) to prepare sector-wise programmes so that representatives of welfare associations and residents could be involved in the removal of the grass. She also asked HUDA to conduct chemical spray in parts of the city and sectors to get rid of the menace.

To make it a success, students of various schools should be involved in the drive for removing congress grass from the premises of educational institutions. For the purpose, she also advised the District Education Officer to get in touch with principals and headmasters of various schools in the city.

She asked the authorities of the Pinjore and Kalka market committees to prepare a comprehensive programme in this regard.


UT staff stir on May 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Federation of UT Employees and Workers held a meeting today and decided to observe a two-hour pen and tools down strike on May 21. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Public Health Workers Union, in a separate press release, said employees would join the strike.

Among the major demands of the employees is bonus.


Panchkula officer for UN mission to Congo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 17
A Panchkula resident, Major Mohit Verma, has been selected to join a United Nation mission to Congo (DRC). Major Verma, who was commissioned into 57 Field Regiment, later, changed over to Army Aviation.

He has flown extensively in all kinds of difficult terrain and is also a qualified flying instructor.


Governor goes horse-riding
Tribune News Service

A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 17
Justice O.P. Verma (retd), Governor of Punjab, has resumed his favourite hobby, horse-riding. This morning, he chose a horse named “Kiran”. For a few minutes, the horse was reluctant to accept the new rider but after a gentle pat , it trotted along the mango grove in Rajindra Park.

The Governor developed the hobby when he was in the Allahabad Officers Training School in 1960.

“Horse-riding is my passion and I have been doing it since I was 24 years old”, he says.



Alert jawans put out fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) today saved a forest reserve in the city where a fire broke out this morning.

According to a senior official of 119th Battalion of the CRPF posted in the city, fire broke out in the western forest area of the local Municipal Corporation around 11.30 a.m.

Unit personnel immediately rushed to the spot. Water tanks available in the unit were also utilised to control the fire that spread out towards the unit campus. The UT fire brigade was also informed on telephone about the fire incident but the fire-engine from Sector-17 fire station reached the spot around 12 noon. By then, the unit personnel had by and large controlled the fire. The remaining fire was controlled jointly by the officials of the fire wing of the corporation and the jawans of the CRPF. Local people also reached there and helped in extinguishing the fire. However, no loss to human life and government or private property has been reported.



Boy injured in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
A 16-year-old boy, Lakhan Singh of Bhaloonpur village in Ropar district, was critically injured when he was hit by a CTU bus near the bus stop of Maloya today.

The injured boy, a student of Class X was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 16, from where he was referred to the PGI. The accident took place when the boy and his brother were on their way to Maloya on a bicycle, where they used to come for tuitions daily.


Cookery contest at Press Club

Chandigarh, May 17
Ms Ritu Bali was awarded a prize for her triple-decker sandwich, while Ms Megha was adjudged the best for her fruit salad, during the Cremica Cookery Contest at the Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27.

A total of three entries were received. The stuff had been prepared by the participants at home. The competition was not just limited to the preparation of the items, but questions were also asked by the judges. OC


Pilgrims throng temple on Buddha Purnima
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 17
Residents thronged Khudda Alisher, village, about 5 km from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) , to celebrate Buddha Purnima.

Since morning, a convoy of cars and scooters could be seen on the road. A large number of students from Thailand also visited the temple and paid obeisance at the statue of Lord Buddha, who is considered to be the ninth avatar of Vishnu.


One held on forgery charge
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 17
In a case of forgery and criminal breach of trust, the police arrested a man of Chandigarh’s Sector 47, Vikas Sharma, here today.

Mr Trilok Arora, manager UTI Bank in Sector 10, had filed a complaint against the accused that he had tampered with a dividend cheque for Rs 1,261 in favour of his tenant. He had allegedly removed the name of the tenant and over written the name of his mother, Kusum Rani, on it and, later, deposited the cheque in the bank.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code against him at the Sector 5 police station.

Hit and run

The police has registered cases of hit and run against two car drivers in the past 24 hours.

In the first case, a Maruti Car (HR-20E-2425 hurt Ms Mamta, a senior citizen of Khatauli village. The car driver sped away after the accident. A case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Sandeep Kumar of Naggal village.

A case of negligent driving has been registered against the driver of a car (HR-42B-0068) on the complaint of Ms Kamlesh Khosla, a Sector 4 resident. In her complaint to the police, the complainant said the car had hit her when she had been walking near the Sector 4 roundabout. A case has been registered at the Sector 5 police station in this regard.


Car thief arrested
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 17
The police has arrested a car thief and recovered a vehicle which had been stolen by him from Chandigarh.

In a press note released here today, Mr H.S. Bhullar, SP, said Mahesh Kumar, alias Monty, a resident of Phase III-A was nabbed by Inspector Pritam Singh at the T-point of Phase II and Phase IV.

The SP said on questioning Mahesh had admitted that he had stolen the car from Sector 40-D, Chandigarh, in October and used to roam around in the vehicle after putting a fake number plate on it with an intention of selling it.


Man injured in attack
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 17
Three persons of Dappar village reportedly assaulted Mr Babu Khan of the same locality here today.

In a complaint to the police the victim alleged that Pankaj, Nanoo and Kala attacked him with sticks when he was on his way back home from his fields. He also sustained injuries on his head and ear.

On Babu Khan’s complaint, a case under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered with Lalru police station, but no arrest has been made so far.

Clerk assaulted: Some persons attacked a booking clerk of a cinema located on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road, and left him injured, besides snatching a mobile phone and a sum of Rs 5,000 from him on Friday night.

The injured Ashok Kumar was later admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. The police has registered a case.


L’Oreal salon in Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
One would wonder why L’Oreal, the internationally acclaimed fashion brand, would prefer Chandigarh to Bangalore as a lucrative market for its fifth collaboration beauty salon. A second thought to the issue would yield all answers.

Attractive, with its ever-expanding market structure and its “in sync with the world” residents, the city is indeed beating other happening places in the country when it comes to wresting the attention of celebrated brands, looking for an informed, aware, curious clientele — ready for experiments.

The opening of Tress Lounge, a L’Oreal Professional collaboration beauty salon in Sector 8-C on the Madhya Marg — today marked another occasion that spelt “pleasant change from routine” for the city’s fashionable people, who were among the first in the country to try hair colours.

Structured in style, the 2000 square-feet salon spanking interiors and world-class beauty and fashion services.

The salon was inaugurated by Mr Vismay Sharma, Director, L’Oreal Professional Products Division, India. “Currently we have two salons in New Delhi, one each in Mumbai and Kolkata. Chandigarh salon is the fifth in the row. The idea behind the opening is to introduce world-class fashion services in the city, which is open to experimentation,” he said.

The staff of the salon has been trained by Melroy Dickson, who is a name to reckon with in the world of creative training services. With an experience of 13 years in the field, Melroy conducts special workshops and seminars for the staff. Mr Sharma said: “Training of the staff will be a regular feature. Our experts will also keep visiting the city to offer expertise. This will be an ongoing process.”

Another feature of the salon is its informal ambience that befriends the visitor almost instantaneously.

The formal inauguration this afternoon was marked by local models displaying a range of hairstyles. The salon is operational from today.


City ‘biggest’ market for legal cell phones
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Helped by a high rate of literacy and a discerning, alert and sophisticated consumer, Chandigarh has emerged as the biggest Legal market for mobile handsets in the country.

Giving this information here, Mr Pankaj Mahindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), told mediapersons that 75 per cent of mobile handsets being marketed in Chandigarh came through legal channels and were sold against receipt. He also said the mobile penetration in Chandigarh was also one of the highest in the country.

The ICA which represents manufacturers, distributors and service companies has set up its first chapter outside Chandigarh with the election of Mr Jaspreet Singh as chairman, Mr Sandeep Bansal vice-chairman, Mr Anil Sharma, general secretary and Mr Jagjeet Singh, treasurer.

Mr Sunil Dutt, Head of Sales, Nokia India, and a managing committee member of ICA, said ICA had decided to have a special focus on Chandigarh. He assured the people of Chandigarh that from now onwards they would get genuine products at an authorised price.

After sales service would be available at the Authorised Service Centres. He also said that ICA, through its Chandigarh chapter, would specially monitor the activities of operators in the grey market.

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