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High Court
Poll commission suffers setback on hoardings
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 8
In a setback to the Election Commission of India (EC), the Punjab and Haryana High Court today held that the hoardings put up either by parties in power in Punjab and Haryana as well as the Chandigarh Administration or any other political party on or before November 30 would not be removed. However, the court upheld the validity of the EC direction for removal of all existing hoardings that came up after December 1.

Passing an interim order on a writ in public interest filed by the National Consumer Awareness Group, challenging the order of the EC on the plea that the direction, if implemented, would result in a huge loss to the public exchequer, a Division Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant Sharma also said that the EC would not coerce anybody to remove the hoardings.

In its petition filed through his counsel the petitioner stated that the hoardings were erected with public money so that the state governments can highlight their achievements. The petitioner also said that as per the Freedom of Information Act, 2002, the public has the right to know about the policies and functions of the government.

Appearing for the petitioner counsel contended that Article 324 of the Constitution did not vest any arbitrary power with the EC to issue sweeping instructions and that any order issued by the EC could not be the law or in violation of any statute.

Counsel for the Punjab and Haryana Governments also informed the court that instructions have already been issued to the officials for immediate compliance for the EC directive.

The Bench later adjourned the case to April 15.

Jailbreak case

The UT Administration on Thursday submitted copies of the challan and the chargesheets against the accused in the infamous Burail Jailbreak case before a Division Bench of the High Court.

Resuming the hearing in a pubic interest petition filed by Mr Viresh Shandilya of Ambala, who claims to be the President of the All India Anti-terrorist Front, in which he has sought that the investigation of the Burail Jailbreak case be handed over to the CBI, the Bench comprising Mr Chief Justice B.K. Roy and M Justice Surya Kant fixed April 19 as the next date of the hearing.

In his petition, Mr Shandilya has alleged that the investigations being conducted by the UT Police into the case were nothing but an eyewash. He has also alleged that high profile inmates such as the alleged killers of the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, could not have escaped from prison without the active connivance of the prison staff.


Taking up the petitions filed by Satbir Singh, a former Tehsildar of Dabwali, and Rajbir Singh, a former SHO of Dabwali police station, and another, the High Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on a plea for quashing of the January 1, 2003, order of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Sirsa, in which non-bailable warrants were issued against them in a case under NDPS Act.

In their petitions, the three have challenged the legality of the Additional Sessions Judge’s order of January 29, 2003, in which they were found guilty and convicted. Asserting that the order is an abuse of the process, arbitrary and illegal as it was not passed in a bona fide manner, the petitioners have sought that it be quashed.



New Release
“Masti” promises to be complete entertainer

WHEN Indra Kumar’s laugh riot ‘Ishq’ hit the silver screen, the Indian audience were dazzled by its impressive show of cinematic technique. Unperturbed by the debacles of Aashiq, Mann and Rishtey, Indra Kumar has pinned high hopes on another comedy ‘Masti’. Publicised as the most powerful laugh-riot ‘Masti’ is complete entertainer and is reportedly a perfect comedy different from the run of the mill. The film will be release today at Piccadily, Chandigarh and Fun Republic, Manimajra.

This laugh riot stars Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani, Ritesh Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, Amrita Rao, Tara Sharma and Genelia D’ Souza. If you have seen the promos you would have guessed that ‘Masti’ is a fun film that is contemporary fresh and very very young. A story about three married men who stray, is produced by Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria. This one is directed by Indra Kumar. It is a Maruti International’s presentation, Sameer has penned the lyrics. Music is by Anand Raaj Anand. If the ‘Masti’ promos are any indication director Indra Kumar is on the right track as far as his film career goes. — DP



Style i
A subtle & elegant designer
Geetu Vaid

What’s in

  • Traditional and classical pieces using precious stones like rubies, emeralds.
  • Classical look of 60s.
  • Diamonds, especially big diamonds in rose cut.
  • Ear rings with antique carvings around rubies.
  • White gold and platinum. Almost skin-toned gold.
  • Acquamarine, blue and pale blue precious stones.
  • Very light neck pieces.
  • Straight and simple lines

What’s out

  • Chunky, heavy jewellery.
  • Too many rings.
  • Tight and heavy neck pieces.
  • Bright yellow gold.

THERE is more to jewellery than gems, stones and precious metals. It also involves creativity and aesthetics apart from revealing the personality of the wearer. The trend of designer jewellery is fast catching up in India as even the traditional jewellers are now taking help from designers to satisfy clients.

For more and more people the concept of buying jewellery has changed from a traditional investment to an exercise of pleasure.

Poonam Soni is the person who is largely responsible for this change in the attitude as well as for the popularity of designer and customised jewellery. A blend of beauty and subtle grace, Poonam, who started jewellery designing in 1989, is not only India’s first jewellery designer but a style icon of sorts for several around the globe. Her jewellery boutique Signature Line in Mumbai was the first customised jewellery boutique in the country.

In Chandigarh for her first exhibition in the region, scheduled to begin from April 11, she shared her views on style and her designs. ‘‘Jewellery goes much beyond trends as it has to complement a person’s age, hair, outfits and even moods, that is what makes designing jewellery pieces a challenging and exciting job’’, she says.

‘‘Style’’, she says, ‘‘is a personal statement and a stylish person is one who doesn’t fall for fads but develops his/her own sense of presentation that looks classic and trendy at all times. When an individual makes a strong statement through his/her dress sense or accessories, it could be the start of ‘A Style’.

‘‘My personal style depends on my moods. If I’m in a light, easygoing mood, my clothes and accessories reflect that. Once in a while I do wear clothes which are bright and bold. Basically, I would rather be simple and understated and make an impact through subtlety and elegance .

She is all for simplicity and smartness in clothes and accessories (shoes, bags) coupled with light, casual-set diamonds for earrings, rings and bracelets. ‘‘I like to be well dressed and versatile to work so that I can go to the office, workshops, meeting, social occasions all in one day without having to worry about my accessories or how I look’’.

Focusing on rare shaded stones, textures, enamels and polishes Poonam’s Indo-Western designs have an international appeal. In her creations she uses unusual concepts like carving forms on gold, crushing gold to give a crushed paper look, uncommon textures like beating the gold for matte textures, painting gold in bright hues of mustard, green and burgundy.

She also pioneered the multi-dimensional look, mixing concepts to give a stunning effect by using stones like even marble, malacity and lapiz on gold. Her Egyptian, Greek, and Mughal motifs have been well appreciated by clients all over the world. She has also created an intriguing line based on monuments like the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri using innovative features like marble and tanzanite with diamonds.

While talking about her designs she says, ‘‘My jewellery is exotic and mounted with precious stones and diamonds on gold. It is dimensional and mostly Indo-Western so that it is more wearable. I design my jewellery so that the wearer makes an impact at any occasion. My signature styles always feature gold crochet meshes and laces’’.

Indian beauties who have won international acclaim like Miss Universe Lara Datta, Miss Worlds Diana Hayden, Priyanka Chopra, Shamita Singha and several other celebrities have sported exclusively designed jewellery by Poonam.

She is a great admirer of styles of Raghuvendra Rathore and Simi Grewal. She enjoys designing for women with individuality, personality and a style of their own. She loves to design for women ‘‘who can carry my piece with aplomb since my jewellry is bold and unconventional. I love the way Noyonika Chatterjee sports my creations as she breathes life into every stone and weave of the jewellery. Her strong personality and sense of style highlight the jewellery very beautifully,’’ she says.

Her label has won the 2000 International De Beers Award. This year she has been appointed by one of the leading Japanese jewellery lables, Takaya Gems, for creating designs representing India. She has also had offers coming in from Harrod’s and Nina Ricci to launch her jewellery under their label. She has held exhibitions in Mumbai, Delhi, London and has jewellery boutiques in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

According to Poonam, designer jewellery has vast scope worldwide as customers are quite aware of the international trends and have also realised that designer jewellery also means quality and value for money.

Earlier, the jewellers used to take a common man for a ride as far as quality and purity was concerned but with branded jewellery this trend is dying and designer jewellery is the way to go, says this queen of gems.



Extending hostilities
Preeto Kaur

“MR John Smith is coming to India — He is being our biggest buyer you know”, Ashok Saab said to his secretary. “Come, come take dictation. Look, his letter is saying he is being here in two week’s time. He is writing that he is hoping we are welcoming him. We are having to send reply today only ok? Zara cheti apna pad jya lae aao. This letter is being very important you know. He is bringing always big business so we must extend our heartfelt welcomes to him — its good etiquettes.”

Ms Arundhati brought her secretarial pad and settled down to take dictation. “You are knowing na, the address and all? If you are not knowing, take from this letter of Johnny’s…first get photocopy made — no, two photocopy — one for you, one office copy, original I am keeping with safety-we should respect letter of big buyer” said Ashok saab reverentially fingering the letter from ‘a-broad’

“O.K, now take dictation” he said, noisily clearing his throat a couple of times.

“My very dear Mr John Smith, it’s giving us too much pleyure to know you are wanting to come here again. You are writing that you are hoping you are being welcome here. To this I’m only saying, what you are talking my dear Johnny? We are most cordially extending our hostilities to you. You know, we Indians are known for our warm hostility.

When I am hearing you are coming, I’m telling my missus about it. She’s getting too much happy and we are discussing many discussions on wheyer you are staying. You are saying your secretary is doing your booking in Mount View hottel. But I am saying, ‘nonsense! You are only staying with us. How can we let our brother from a-broad stay in hottel? Are all your brothers in India dead or what?’ You are saying you are being here only for one night. Time is short but nothing matters. We are planning big beat-up-many of my friends comming to party — I am getting good brand Scotch. We Punjabis loving people from a-broad.

Now I am ending. I am writing this letter only two days after receiving yours but still I am knowing it is late. So I am wanting to say I am sorry to keep you pending. We are all waiting for your arrival. Give my hello to sister-in-law (your lady-wife). Tally-ho to you. Your loving Indian brother, Ashok.

Ashok saab rubbed his hands in satisfaction and, dismissing his secretary, said, “Madame, please type this letter and show me before sending. You know you are making too many mistakes in English. After so many years also you are not learning any English from me.”



Overcoming mental challenges
Parbina Rashid

Sixteen-year-old Ajay Pal fancies himself to be Sunny Deol. But he is not harbouring high hopes of setting the silver screen ablaze like his action hero. All he wants in life is to excel in the vocation he has picked up at the vocational wing of Special Olympics and earn his livelihood.

Thanks to the recently established wing of Special Olympics which has given a chance to the mentally retarded children of the city to become self reliant, both socially and economically. Just three months old — the organisation has brought 13 students in its fold and is imparting training to them in weaving, block printing and tailoring.

Brainchild of Ms Chandra Mohan, former Area Director of Special Olympic, the project is being run by a core group of three persons, Ms Jaspreet Gill as the in charge, Dr S N Singla and Ms Mohan at Karuna Sadan in Sector 11, Chandigarh. “What gave us the idea to form a vocational wing was that such children after passing out schools have absolutely nothing to do or nowhere to go. With this vocational training centre they can continue their education and also social contacts,” says Ms Mohan.

Such after school activities at the Sadan is not just an effort to engage such persons with borderline to 50 per cent retardation into some group activities but also to give them some means of livelihood. “We will train them for about two years and after mastering one of the vocations they will be part of our production team and start earning,” says Ms Mohan.

At present the children are involved in making floor dusters which are being supplied to various city colleges, schools, offices and individuals under the brand name “Jyoti”. “We are going slow on marketing since right now we are short on manpower to take care of the production side to cater to a larger community,” says Ms Mohan.

The only criteria for children to be part of the project is that one needs a minimum level of IQ so that he or she understands the language. The child with and aggressive or destructive tendencies is not welcome. “A medical certificate from the PGI, General Hospital, Sector 16 or Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, is essential” says Ms Mohan.

However the future looks bright for the project as the Special Olympics has recently been given a plot of land in Sector 36 to open a “Vocational, Educational and Sports Centre for the Mentally Challenged”, which, according to Ms Mohan is going to be something unique for this region. “We are going to add a lot more activities like basic education, yoga, vocational courses and sports activities,” says Ms. Mohan. “At a later stage we are also going to help their parents to open co-operative societies so that they can help their wards to establish themselves as entrepreneurs,” she adds.

Prabhjot, Nisha, Chinky, Jasmeen, Ravinder, Varun and Jasleen Kaur who have joined the group are happy doing something meaningful in life. “It is challenging to teach these children the art of weaving and tailoring but with little bit of coaxing and repeated lessons, one can drive home point and the result is absolutely rewarding,” say Swati Sharma, Seema Kumar and Roshan Ali who are contributing their bit to the project as trainers.



Welcoming nature in house
Chitleen K Sethi

THIS is a house that has packed in the future. Every nook and cranny of the house has been planned to accommodate what will be the state of things in the years to come. Light and space has been made a part of this house that rises like a palace in the midst of a group of houses in Phase 10 Mohali. Painted, an attractive beige on the outside, the inner walls of the house have been kept a shade light to let the light reflect through the house giving it a spacious, airy look.

“The best part of the house are its windows. We have wall length windows in the kitchen, the dining hall and the drawing room. It lets in the sky and the trees in side the house and one never feels closed in or claustrophobic,” explains the owner Mrs Harpreet.

The entrance to the house has an attractive mirror on the side wall and Harpreet is on the look out for a water body indoor show piece that will adorn the entrance under the mirror. ‘‘I got a glass wall panel piece made for the drawing room which looks really unique,’’she said.

“The kitchen is open in style and the wood work too is special. We wanted the storage places in the kitchen to match the walls so that these don’t jut out. But trying to locate the matching colours of the ply wood and the wall was a major exercise,” said Dr Manvinder Singh, Harpreet’s husband.

Another interesting dimension added by the thoughtful house owners are the bathroom doors. Concealed as part of the woodwork, the bathroom door looks just like any other almirah door. ‘‘This saved us a lot of space and planning. The bathroom is right behind the wall and the door is just like the rest of the wood paneling used for the almirahs,” said Dr Manvinder.

So if you are able to locate the bathroom door from the rest of the wall wood panels and enter inside, you are in for a visual delight. The bathrooms have been tiled to the ceiling with matching sanitary ware and the latest tap fittings. “We have used glass anti-splash bricks around the bathing area. This gives the bathroom a grand look,” explained Harpreet.

Interestingly the couple’s eye for detail shows in the choice of children’s bedroom door. Of see-through glass, the door of the children’s room ensures that the children are under a watchful eye all through the day. “More than that, when in summers the AC’s are on, the person inside the room is totally cut off from what all is happening outside. Hence the see-through door,” said Harpreet. — TNS



135-year-old building on last legs
Jangveer Singh

THE 135-year-old house of the late Rai Bahadur Dr Ganga Bishan in Sirhind Bazar in Patiala may be razed like many old buildings in the town. Why this hasn’t happened is because the owners don’t have money for the job.

In May,2002, the building seemed to have a life of a few more decades. However the division of the house in 1992 by Raj Korrin’s NRI relative led to the construction of a 12-foot-high wall on the second floor in the one half of the house. Raj is from the family of the late Rai Bahadur.

The wall collapsed in a hall on the first floor occupied by the family of Raj Korrin, a 65-year-old woman. Besides tearing away a section of the roof, it destroyed one portion of the wall and shook the foundation of the house.

Raj Korrin does not keep well due to a heart ailment. She reported the matter to the police which recorded the incident in its Daily Dispatch Report. She presented the case in the “Sangat Darshan” programme of the Deputy Commissioner. Despite promises of an inquiry, nothing was done.

The house was the first house in the inner city to get an electricity meter which is still running. The house is a blend of Indian and English architectures. Besides arches, it also has stain-glass windows.

The hall on the first floor used to be late Rai Bahadur Dr Ganga Bishan’s room. He was a Medical Superintendent in Patiala State. European style royal sofas which once occupied pride of place in the room now lie broken. The Korrin family has put tin sheds on the roof which leaks during the monsoon. TNS


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