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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

Centre told to file reply
Selection of CAT chief
Shimla, August 12
The Himachal Pradesh High Court yesterday directed the Central Government to file reply to the petition wherein appointment of Justice Bakshish Kaur (retd) as Chairman of the State Administrative Tribunal has been challenged.

Centre rapped for lowering EPF interest
Hamirpur, August 12
Mr Rajendra Rana, BJP media in charge, today accused the UPA government of cheating the employees by lowering the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rates by 1 per cent. He said the EPF was the only hard saved amount for their old age.

Manikaran accident toll 11
Kullu August 12
The death toll of the bus accident near Jari in the Manikaran valley in this district reached 11 with one more person succumbing to his injuries at Zonal Hospital here last night.

Youth ‘abducts’ girl, marries her
Solan, August 12
In a rare case a youth of Kinnaur ended up marrying the girl he had allegedly abducted last month. While there is visible discontentment in the Police Department, which appears to have been befooled in the matter by first chasing them and then being asked to let go them as they had got married.

Entry tax at barriers evokes resentment
Nurpur, August 12
The vehicle entry tax imposed by the state government on the inter-state barriers through private contractors, has evoked resentment among the local vehicle owners.



YOUR TOWN
Hamirpur
Kulu
Shimla
Nahan
Nurpur
Solan


EARLIER STORIES
 

3 die as van plunges into khud
Nahan, August 12
Three person died on the spot and three others injured when a pick-up van (HP-18A-1594) met with an accident at Teilla, about 100 km from here, yesterday. According to information the van, on the Solan-Pulbahal Road rolled into the deep khud near Teilla.

Doctors call off strike
Dharamsala, August 12
Following the constitution of a three-member committee to look into the incident of beating up of canteen employees by medical students of Dr Rajinder Prasad Medical College, Tanda, the Resident Doctors Association called off its week-long strike today.

Wild mushrooms make 8 ill
Nahan, August 12
Eight persons of a family of Janot village under Rajgarh tehsil fell ill after they consumed wild mushroom on the night of Tuesday. They have been admitted to the Solan district hospital with symptoms of vomiting, giddiness and dysentery. They are reportedly out of danger.

Dr Singhal nominated for ‘Himachal Gaurav’ award
Solan, August 12
The Himachal Government has decided to award the prestigious Himachal Gaurav Puraskar to Dr M.P. Singhal, the local medical specialist whose timely diagnosis saved many lives last year when a mysterious fever gripped the state.

K.C. Sood sworn in HC Judge
Shimla, August 12
Mr Justice K.C. Sood of the Himachal High Court, was today sworn in as a permanent judge of the High Court. Earlier in February, 2000, he was elevated as Additional Judge of the High Court.

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Centre told to file reply
Selection of CAT chief
Legal Correspondent

Shimla, August 12
The Himachal Pradesh High Court yesterday directed the Central Government to file reply to the petition wherein appointment of Justice Bakshish Kaur (retd) as Chairman of the State Administrative Tribunal has been challenged.

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mr Vinod Kumar Gupta, and Mr Justice M.R. Verma observed that if reply was not filed then the Secretary, Personnel, to the Government of India would remain present in the court on September 15.

The appointment of Justice Bakshish Kaur has been challenged in a public interest petition alleging that the government had not adopted the fair process for the selection of the Chairman. The petition said initially the government had written to the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court to recommend the name of a sitting judge of the high court. It was further mentioned that the Governor approved the said name but suddenly the government withdrew this name and recommended other name to the Governor.

The Governor rejected this name and mentioned that person having eight to 10 years experience as judge and preferably from Himachal may be appointed as Chairman of SAT, said petition.

The petitioner further said that the respondent had been a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for three years and would retire in July 2005 as Chairperson of the SAT.

The state government, in a reply to this petition, said this petition was not maintainable. The reply further added that the procedure for appointment to such high offices is subject to modalities and procedure. It further said that the scope of judicial review has been specifically delineated limiting it to want of consultation with constitutional functionaries or lack of any condition of eligibility and not on any other ground, including that of bias which is in any case excluded by the element of plurality in the process of decision making. Senior Advocate H.S. Matewal representing the state government contended that this decision-making process was not itself amenable to judicial review. It was further contended that the executive action could only be assailed if the authority concerned has violated the constitutional or statutory provisions.

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Centre rapped for lowering EPF interest
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, August 12
Mr Rajendra Rana, BJP media in charge, today accused the UPA government of cheating the employees by lowering the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rates by 1 per cent. He said the EPF was the only hard saved amount for their old age.

In a statement here, Mr Rana said the UPA government was going to increase the petrol and diesel prices for the third time during its short tenure, adding that the inflation rate was also hovering above 7 per cent. He said if the UPA government continued to adopt anti-people policies, the life of the common man would become more difficult.

Mr Rana also blasted the UPA government, especially the HRD Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, for levelling baseless charges against the RSS and its off-shoots. He said the RSS was a nationalist organisation working for the benefit of the common man.

Mr Rana said Mr Arjun Singh was once again trying to change the Indian history which was earlier rectified by the NDA government. He said leaders of the Congress and Left parties were trying to remove the names of those freedom fighters that had links with the Sangh parivar.

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Manikaran accident toll 11
Our Correspondent

Kullu August 12
The death toll of the bus accident near Jari in the Manikaran valley in this district reached 11 with one more person succumbing to his injuries at Zonal Hospital here last night.

A private bus fell into a deep gorge last evening near Jari in the Manikaran valley here in which 10 persons were killed on the spot.

According to officials sources, the injured admitted to Zonal Hospital here were 37, while six seriously injured have been shifted to Indira Gandhi Medical College-Hospital, Shimla.

Mr R.D. Nazim, Deputy Commissioner, said the seriously injured were given a relief of Rs 5,000 each, while others were given Rs 500, each.

Ten of the dead were identified as Rajinder Singh, son of Budhi Singh of Shamshi village, Kaushlaya Devi, wife of Gokul Prasad of Lanka Baker, Maya Dharan, son of Mukund Lal of Nagoli Kotihar Kandi village, Dili Devi, wife of Dharam Chand of Pathla village Aparita, daughter of Piyare Lal of Mohal, Chein Lal, a driver in Malana Hydro Electricity Project at Jari (all in this district), Guddi, wife of Kartar Singh, Lucky, son of Kartar Singh of Jimjima, Jogindernagar in Mandi district, Gulam Nabi Rahim Lone of Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, and an Australian woman, Gussi Elina. Another foreign national, who was dead, could not be identified immediately.

The Deputy Commissioner further said that next of kin of the deceased, Gulam Nabi, would be given Rs 20,000 while next of kin of all the others would be given Rs 15,000 each as relief. 

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Youth ‘abducts’ girl, marries her
Ambika Sharma

Solan, August 12
In a rare case a youth of Kinnaur ended up marrying the girl he had allegedly abducted last month. While there is visible discontentment in the Police Department, which appears to have been befooled in the matter by first chasing them and then being asked to let go them as they had got married.

The boy, a student of MN DAV Dental College, Tatul, here was arrested by the Kinnaur police officials along with the girl. Presently out of jail on bail and married to the girl they are now pursuing a request for withdrawing the case. The Superintendent of Police, Kinnaur Mr Gyaneshwar Singh, stated that the ongoing police case could be withdrawn only in court where the girl’s mother could plead in this regard for the release of her son-in law.

The girl, a student of an Ambala college, had eloped with her boyfriend, from her hometown Kinnaur, and reached Solan and had demanded a ransom of Rs five lakh from her parents. The mother of the girl had lodged a police complaint at Kinnaur and they were traced in Solan.

Enquiries revealed that the parents of the girl, who had earlier opposed their marriage, later accorded consent and got them married at Kinnaur.

The parents of both had approached the Kinnaur police earlier with a request to withdraw the case but the police had already sought judicial remand for the boy and there was no option left for the families but to knock at the door of court.

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Entry tax at barriers evokes resentment
Our Correspondent

Nurpur, August 12
The vehicle entry tax imposed by the state government on the inter-state barriers through private contractors, has evoked resentment among the local vehicle owners.

The Kandwal toll-tax barrier, set up in this subdivision on Pathankot-Mandi National Highway No 20, had been auctioned for over Rs 1 crore to a private contractor. The Excise and Taxation Department has authorised the barrier for collecting toll tax from the vehicles coming from other states to Himachal Pradesh.

Another similar barrier has been set up on the Lodhwan-Kandwal link road which allegedly sans any authorisation.

There is resentment among the local residents who used to ply their vehicles from the Bhadroa, Damtal and Lodhwan areas of this subdivision to reach Nurpur via Kandwal. There is a public outcry against the forcible collection of toll tax from the local residents. The altercation between the contractor’s staff and vehicle owners has become a common feature on such unauthorised barriers.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Dharamsala was not available for comments.

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3 die as van plunges into khud
Our Correspondent

Nahan, August 12
Three person died on the spot and three others injured when a pick-up van (HP-18A-1594) met with an accident at Teilla, about 100 km from here, yesterday.
According to information the van, on the Solan-Pulbahal Road rolled into the deep khud near Teilla. The deceased were identified as Shyama Nand, Shyam Singh, both residents of Dhali village and Tula Ram resident of Charna village.

The driver of the van, Mr Surinder Singh, resident of Dhali village, Mr Lacchi Ram and Mr Tula Ram both residents of Padher village, were seriously injured. They were rushed to the district hospital, Solan. Cause of the accident could not be known immediately. The police is investigating the case.

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Doctors call off strike
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, August 12
Following the constitution of a three-member committee to look into the incident of beating up of canteen employees by medical students of Dr Rajinder Prasad Medical College, Tanda, the Resident Doctors Association called off its week-long strike today.

The committee, including the Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police and the Principal of the medical college, will examine the charges of the damage of public property against the seven students, said a spokesman of the association.

The decision to call off the strike was taken at the general body meeting of the association held after a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Shrikant Baldi, yesterday.

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Wild mushrooms make 8 ill
Our Correspondent

Nahan, August 12
Eight persons of a family of Janot village under Rajgarh tehsil fell ill after they consumed wild mushroom on the night of Tuesday. They have been admitted to the Solan district hospital with symptoms of vomiting, giddiness and dysentery. They are reportedly out of danger.

The vice-president of the Kotla Bangi Panchayat, Mr Amar Singh Thakur told this correspondent that the family had plucked wild mushroom from the nearby forest and cooked it for their dinner. Six of the patients are between the age group of eight to 17 years, he added. 

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Dr Singhal nominated for ‘Himachal Gaurav’ award
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 12
The Himachal Government has decided to award the prestigious Himachal Gaurav Puraskar to Dr M.P. Singhal, the local medical specialist whose timely diagnosis saved many lives last year when a mysterious fever gripped the state.

Dr Singhal, who had diagnosed the fever as scrub typhus, did not confine himself to treating patients in his clinic alone but took the initiative to inform the medical fraternity about his findings.

The Chief Minister, Mr Vir Bhadra Singh, would present the award to Dr Singhal on Independence Day function at Bharmour, in Chamba district. 

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K.C. Sood sworn in HC Judge
Our Correspondent

Shimla, August 12
Mr Justice K.C. Sood of the Himachal High Court, was today sworn in as a permanent judge of the High Court. Earlier in February, 2000, he was elevated as Additional Judge of the High Court.

The Chief Justice, Mr Vinod Kumar Gupta, administered the oath of office. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by High Court judges, senior executive and members of the Bar.

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