P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Vidhan Sabha session unlikely in December
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
There is no possibility of holding the much talked about session of the Punjab Assembly on December 20 and 21. The session will probably be held in February when the Budget will also be passed.

Responding to the demand of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had announced two weeks ago the dates of the session for holding an extensive debate on development issues .

The SAD has been saying that the government has done nothing for the development of the State. However, the ruling party asserts that it has done a lot in this regard. Mr Badal had urged the Chief Minister to hold a debate in this regard in the Assembly and the latter had accepted the suggestion.

Sources in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha said today that no formal notice had been sent to MLAs and others concerned regarding the convening of the session till this afternoon. “All MLAs and others concerned have to be informed officially at least 15 days in advance with regard to the holding of the session. But we have not sent any letter to any one till this afternoon in this regard,” a senior official of the Vidhan Sabha said.

“Of course the Speaker has the power to convene the session within 24 hours under special circumstance but there is no such possibility because the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Secretary of the Vidhan Sabha will be busy in an Asian conference of these officials at Delhi from December 16 to 20,” Vidhan Sabha official said.

Asked whether any direction has been given to the Vidhan Sabha staff by the Punjab Government with regard to the convening of the proposed December session, the official said that there was no intimation from the Government in this regard yet.

Moreover, it has been reported today that accompanied by a number of Ministers, Capt Amarinder Singh will be flying to Dubai on December 18 to see the infrastructure developed by a private company there and also to take part in a Doon School Alumni meeting. He is to come back on December 20.

Official sources in the State Government said that the session may now be held in February when the budget would also be passed.

“The Chief Minister has a very busy schedule in December. So, in these circumstances, the holding of a session in December appears to be a remote possibility,” a senior officer of the State Government said.


Officials told to inform MEA of foreign trips
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Issuing an advisory on unplanned and wayward foreign travel by politicians and bureaucrats in Punjab, the State Government has issued instructions that all foreign visits must be brought to the notice of Ministry of the External Affairs (MEA) in advance.

The order dated December 2, has been circulated to the office of the Chief Minister, ministers, Financial Commissioners, Principal Secretaries and the Administrative Secretaries. It says the MEA has specified that all visits must be brought to its notice without fail. The order in Punjab comes close on the heels of instructions issued by the MEA with regard to foreign travel to all State Governments.

Wording its instructions carefully, the MEA had told the State Government that a number of instances have been brought to its notice that Indian missions abroad had no inkling when a dignitary was visiting. The MEA had asked that such instances should not be repeated.

It may be re-collected that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had also gone off to Dubai without informing the MEA. This had generated a huge political controversy. The permission was taken on a post-facto basis — meaning after the visit had been completed. Now, for the Chief Minister’s scheduled visit to Dubai in the third week of December, the Punjab Government has sought the permission of the MEA, sources confirmed. This was in line with laid down protocol and the recent letter of the MEA.

In Punjab several senior bureaucrats have been on foreign visits in the past few months. They normally take permission from their parent department and fly -off, officials confirmed. This will have to curbed now and the MEA will have to be informed about any official engagement.

Also the MEA has pointed out that the Indian mission in other countries are not involved before ministers avail of invitations and hospitality from foreign organisations during visits abroad. In other cases the programmes of officials are finalised in direct contact with foreign organisations. The order further says it was necessary to provide advance information on the broad contours of the visiting official’s purpose, their travel plans and also the official engagements.

Also the MEA has said that the visiting delegation should avoid using the VIP lounge at the Dubai, Frankfurt and Sydney airports, respectively. The facility of VIP lounge was not offered free to people who have no official engagement in the UAE, Germany or Australia, respectively. In future all approvals for foreign visits should include the payment of fee for using these VIP lounges.

The MEA has established a special communication link and all information has been sought through fax.


Nirmaljit not ‘real’ mother of Simran
Varinder Walia and Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, December 7
In a startling turn of events 13-year-old Simran was caught amid a maternity battle when she found that she was not Nirmaljit Kaur’s daughter.
The apex court had directed (Gurcharanjit Singh Batra) in-laws of Nirmaljit Kaur to produce the ‘real Simran’ in court who had been allegedly snatched away from her mother after the death of her husband and allegedly sent to the USA in a custody battle.

Her real identity came as a shock to Simran today who was told that she was reportedly the daughter of Kuljit Kaur (biological mother). She was born in 1992 and was given away to Nirmaljit, as the former had got divorced.

Mr Batra and his wife Harbans Kaur had to reveal the bitter truth to the teenager.

However, the couple confessed that they had made false declarations on her passport by changing her name to Harsimran and showing her as daughter of their son Arminder and daughter-in-law Ranjit Kaur, who planned to settle in the USA in 2000.

“Since our son and daughter-in-law had raised her as their daughter, she too addressed them as mummy and daddy”, says Harbans Kaur.

Gurcharanjit while presenting hospital documents regarding the place of birth of Simran and the affidavit of a teacher.

Ms Tripta Sharma, who had witnessed her “adoption”, stated that facts were being concealed.

The court had stated that the girl child, Harsimran, produced before it on July 15 proved to be fake as the DNA test ordered by it proved that her blood samples did not match with that of Nirmaljit Kaur.

Unable to undertake the burden of keeping the truth from her in-laws Nirmaljit had to tell Simran that she was actually adopted.

Talking to The Tribune a ‘shocked’ Simran studying in class VIIIth of Model Study School said she was completely stunned by the turn of events. She, however, refused to acknowledge Niramljit as her mother.

Seeing the documents pertaining to her birth at Muni Lal Chopra Hospital on New Year’s day in 1992 has upset Simran. “The prospect of facing my friends and the talk about court cases in the house has shattered my peace”, says Simran with tears streaming down her eyes.


Sharp rise in cotton prices
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 7
Though inclement weather in September has ruined cotton crop on thousands of acres, it proved a boon for the farmers whose crop survived nature’s fury. Drastic fall in cotton production in north India has pushed up its prices which now hover around Rs 2,100 to Rs 2,200 in the region.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Ashok Kapur, chairman, of the Exports Cell of the North India Cotton Association, said cotton production in north India would be anywhere around 41.5 lakh bales against the expected figure of 50 lakh bales. Punjab’s cotton production was down to 20 lakh bales against the record expectation of 22 lakh bales. Similarly, Haryana’s production was down from expected 17 lakh bales to 13 lakh bales and Rajasthan’s dropped to 8.25 lakh bales against the expected figure of 10 lakh bales. He said the sharp rise in cotton prices had surprised many, as it was too high too soon. The farmers, who were at the mercy of government agencies in the beginning of the season, now are cashing in on upward trend of the market. Many of them are holding back their stock anticipating further increase in prices and this trend has been reflected in a gradual decline in cotton arrival, which has come down from 40,000 bales in October end to 30,000 bales this month. He said the millers would bear the brunt of price rise, as their margin of profit would suffer drastically. He said September rain wreaked havoc and the damage was more than visible. He said at present Gujarat and Punjab were the only “feeding bowls” and the momentum of cotton arrival was yet to pick up in states like Maharashtra and MP. He said the all India figure of cotton arrival stood at 1 lakh bales, of which Gujarat was contributing 40,000 to 45,000 bales and north India’s share was 25,000 to 30,000 bales. Lack of competitive cotton prices had led to exit of exporters from the market, which now is thriving on domestic purchase.

Though normally cotton season comes to an end in March, but Mr Kapur says if the pace of arrival was maintained it could be curtains for cotton before that. He ruled out any possibility of decline in cotton prices in the near future.

On the other hand, a miller from Gidderbaha said cotton fetched an impressive price of Rs 2,175 in various markets of the cotton belt today and the prices would increase further.


Sukhbir wants CM’s Dubai trip cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Former Union Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Sukhbir Singh Badal today expressed “alarm and disbelief” over Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s proposed trip to Dubai reportedly to look at Emmar Group’s infrastructure projects.

Mr Sukhbir Badal, in a statement released through the party office here today, said he wanted the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to intervene directly to ensure that the trip was either stopped or put under strictest surveillance by a central agency.

The trip seems as a follow-up to his controversial and hush-hush trip to Dubai sometime back, Mr Badal said.

On reports that the Chief Minster was proceeding on the trip to examine infrastructure projects by the Emmar Group, Mr Badal said: “It was amazing that within 10 days of the PUDA warning to the Emmar Group to halt its activity or face criminal prosecution, the Chief Minister is not only embarking on another controversial trip to Dubai but is also compromising the dignity of the State Government by carrying on board the Chief Secretary, the Finance Minister and other important official functionaries”.

It may be recollected that the PUDA had warned the Dubai based group from issuing advertisements to book plots when they did not have any sanctioned plan for development. The group had told PUDA that some property dealers had issued advertisements on their own.


Discrimination against Punjab:
MP to raise issue with Centre

Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, has decided to raise the issue of alleged discrimination against Punjab by the central government. In a press note today, Mr Sidhu alleged that the central government had been discriminating against Punjab by blacklisting it till today under the Disturbed Area act since 1983, which was affecting growth.

He alleged Punjab was suffering from stepmotherly treatment as per as central financial aid was concerned. He demanded that if the Union Government persisted in keeping the status quo, then the state should be given special financial incentives.

He expressed fear that the Disturbed Area tag to Punjab would hamper growth of Amritsar as a commercial hub and gateway to trade with Pakistan and other CIS countries.

He expressed happiness at the Indo-Pak trade fair held in Amritsar. He pointed out that the hosts had to suffer embarrassment as several Pakistani businessmen were unable to procure visas for the fair due to policy of the centre.


CM has dual policy on corruption, says Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 7
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister of Punjab, here today lashed out at Capt Amarinder Singh for his dual policy regarding corruption. He said while on the one hand, the Chief Minister was challenging the Opposition for an open debate in the Assembly regarding corruption and development in Punjab, on the other he was sleeping over the open charges of corruption levelled by his own MLA Bir Devinder Singh against his senior Cabinet minister.

He said if Capt Amarinder Singh has the courage, he should convene a special session of the Assembly and should hold an open debate on the alleged charges of corruption.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh was here to preside over the meeting of district Akali leaders and workers, called at the residence of Kanwar Rajesh Pal Singh Lalli, senior SAD (B) leader.

It was after a long time that all leaders belonging to different factions of SAD(B) in the district were present at the same meeting.

The meeting was called for the preparation of political conference during the annual Saheedi Jor Mela.

He called the next meeting on December 15 at Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara.

Mr Didar Singh Bhatti, Mr R.S. Cheema, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, Mr Ranjit Singh Libra, Mr Daleep Singh Pandhi, Mr Balwant Singh Sahpur and Mr Bhajan Singh Chanarthal also addressed the meeting.


Cong creating social tension, says Kainth
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 7
Mr Satnam Kainth, former MP and president, Bahujan Samaj Morcha, addressing a district-level rally here yesterday to mark the Nirvana Divas of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, lamented that political parties had been using the name of Dr Ambedkar to woo Dalit votes. These parties had done nothing concrete for the social and economic welfare of the Dalits and Backward Classes. He also accused the BSP of deviating from the ideals of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

Mr Kainth said the philosophy of Dr Ambedkar had been wrongly interpreted by associating him with Scheduled Castes alone. Dr Ambedkar was a champion of social and economic equality.

He accused the ruling Congress of creating social tensions among the Dalits and upper caste people by adopting a dilly dallying attitude on the implementation of 85th Constitutional Amendment.

Mr Kainth said the Bahujan Samaj Morcha would organise rallies in all Assembly segments in March and hold a state-level rally in September next in a bid to galvanize support and turn the morcha into a formidable third force in the next Assembly elections.

Mr Raj Singh Kheri, former MLA and general secretary of the morcha, Ms Naresh Kumari Bawa, president women’s wing, and Dr Kamal, district morcha chief, also addressed the gathering.


Avtar holds meeting with Calcutta
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December7
In a significant development, Mr Avtar Singh, SGPC President, had a closed-door meeting with Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a Shiromani Committee member, at the house of the latter here today.

Meeting between both leaders over breakfast was held close on the heels of the meeting of Mr Calcutta with Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

The SGPC chief reportedly sought the cooperation of Mr Calcutta for the smooth running of the Shiromani Committee in view of his experience. Earlier, Mr Calcutta had expressed his dissension over the appointment of Mr Avtar Singh as President SGPC, apart from describing him as a novice and “political lilliput”.

During his interview with Mr G.S. Lamba, Editor, Sant Sipahi, Mr Avtar Singh had admitted that he was appointed as SGPC member for the first time during the previous general election and had never held any high position in the Shiromani Committee.

When contacted, Mr Calcutta refused to divulge any details and said it was just a “courtesy call”.

It is learnt that Mr Calcutta had assured that he would be readily available to help in streamlining the committee without prejudice. He reportedly told the new SGPC chief that he had nothing personal against him or the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Avtar Singh had also held a meeting with his predecessor, Bibi Jagir Kaur, immediately after his appointment as SGPC chief.

Meanwhile, highly-placed sources revealed that Mr Badal was contemplating to appoint a retired Sikh IAS officer as Officer on Special Duty to the SGPC chief . If the move works, the OSD would be the overall incharge of administration . After his appointment, Mr Avtar Singh had failed to order any major reshuffle in the administrative wing of the Shiromani Committee. So much so, he could not appoint his regular personal assistant.


SGPC to review ‘illegal appointments’ by Jagir Kaur
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 7
The first SGPC Executive Committee meeting, held under the presidentship of Mr Avtar Singh, here today, decided to review all appointments (about 1000), made during the presidentship of Bibi Jagir Kaur.

A sub-committee has been constituted to review the ‘controversial appointments’. Though an executive member pointed out that the case was pending before the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC) hence no decision should be taken yet there was consensus that these appointments be reviewed in the larger interest of the Shiromani Committee. The SGJC had imposed a ban on fresh recruitment in the SGPC on the basis of petition filed before the election of Shiromani Committee chief.

In yet another setback to Bibi Jagir Kaur, the decisions taken in the previous Executive Committee meeting held on November 2 could not be confirmed at this meeting. 


SGPC chief’s removal sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
The Khalra Mission Committee (KMC) has filed a petition against the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Mr Avtar Singh in Sikh Gurdwa4ra Judicial Commission for participating in function organised by a Jalandhar-based newspaper and describing those persons as ‘shaheeds’ who were not ‘shaheeds’ as per the SGPC, Akal Takht and Sikh Panth.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Dalbir Singh, patron, KMC, alleged that the act was very much against the panthic cause and was contradictory to the stand of Jathedar, Akal Takht.

He alleged the said organisation had termed Sant Jarnial Singh Bhindrawala as a terrorist and had justified the operation Blue Star and subsequent demolition of the Akal Takht. He alleged in earlier functions, the group had honoured persons who had killed Sikhs during terrorism in the state.

The KMC demanded the removal of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar from the post of the SGPC chief and asked him to apologise from Sikhs.


SGPC aid for Rajasthan Sikh family
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 7
The SGPC will provide Rs 1 lakh each to the families of three Sikh brothers killed near Alwar in Rajasthan and demanded swift action against the perpetrators of crime. Mr Avtar Singh, president, SGPC, here said today that Rs 50,000 each would be given to three other brothers who got injured in the fight.

This was decided at a executive committee meeting of the SGPC. It denounced the killing of the Sikh brothers in Rajasthan. The SGPC president said financial help would be given to the Sikh family of Uri sector in Kashmir who lost two members in the earthquake after an enquiry.

He announced a grant of Rs 50 lakh to Miri Piri Medical College, Shahbad Markanda (Haryana).


Lambi rally put off to Dec 17
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, December 7
The ruling party’s first electoral rally to be held in Lambi has been postponed once again. It will now be held on December 17, according to Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang here today.

Mr Kang said the party had to put off the rally twice due to some compulsions. The rally was first scheduled for November 14 and was postponed due to state mourning following the demise of former President Mr K.R. Narayanan.

Later, there were speculations of the rally being held on November 17 and 26. Sources said it had now been rescheduled owing to code of conduct for the ongoing local gurdwara elections.

The minister held a meeting with party leaders and workers from Muktsar and neighbouring districts.

Sources said some party leaders were unhappy with the postponement and insisted on one final date as repeated change in programme was creating chaos among the party workers. They said former MLA also questioned the choice of venue for the rally, terming it as improper for accommodating a massive crowd. He said there was a highway on one side of the venue, while on other sides SAD president Parkash Singh Badal’s aides had their plots. He expressed his apprehensions that Akalis might create trouble at the time of the rally and suggested an alternative site. Some party leaders rued that even after four years of Congress rule in the state Akali workers were getting their work done ahead of them in the area. Reacting to it, Mr Kang said they would ensure due respect to the party workers at government offices and officials ignoring their genuine works would be taken to task. 


INTUC wants contract system to go
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 7
Activists of District INTUC today took out a protest march and later staged a dharna in front of the Mini-Secretariat here.
Employees of a number of government departments, including PRTC, PWD, Health Department, State Bank of Patiala, ITI, Milk Plant, Thermal Plant, FCI, Fire Brigade, Post Office, and Public Health Department participated in the protest.

Addressing the protesters, Mr P.S. Brar, INTUC, urged the government to do away with the contractual recruitment and regularise employees.

He sought the constitution of Fifth Pay Commission and ban on privatisation of transport, electricity board, education and technical institutions.

He demanded 15 per cent house rent for the employees posted in Bathinda and termination of contract system in Punjab State FCI and other food agencies.

He also demanded immediate payment of DA dues to milk plant employees.


Three of marriage party drown
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 7
Three members of a marriage party were drowned and three injured when a Tata Sumo vehicle (HR-02G-5602) carrying 12 persons fell into the Kandi canal near Datarpur in Hoshiarpur district at about 7.30 last evening. According to police sources, the deceased were identified as Ashok Rana, Pradeep Kumar and Sukhdev Raj. The injured, who were admitted to BBMB Hospital, Talwara, were identified as Dev Raj, Tirath Ram and Raj Kumar.

The sources said the marriage party had come from Tiora village in Himachal Pradesh to Dalwali, near Datarpur. After the marriage the barat was going back to Tiora.


Punjabi play staged in Central Jail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 7
The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS), in collaboration with the Central Jail authorities and the State Bank of Patiala (SBOP), yesterday organised the 25th show of the Punjabi play “Takey ser bhaji takey ser khaja” at the Central jail to mark the completion of the National Integration Theatre Campaign-2005.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pran Sabharwal, Director of the NTAS, lauded the efforts of Mr G.S Sidhu, Superintendent of the Patiala Central Jail, and Mr Yogesh Aggarwal, Managing Director of the State Bank of Patiala, for promoting theatre in the region.

Mr J.P Singh, Additional Director, Central jail, apart from giving away the prizes, also inaugurated an open air stage on the jail premises.


18 marriages solemnised
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 7
Eighteen marriages of youths belonging to poor families were solemnised at Chohla Sahib today. The function was organised by Mr Amarjit Singh Kang, an NRI of Pakhopur village, 20 km from here.

Mr Kang said he was being supported by Mr Kulwinder Singh Sandhu and Mr Sukhraj Singh from the USA. They were solemnising this type of marriages regularly for the past three years.


Cops escape Vigilance raid

Sangrur, December 7
A team of the Vigilance Bureau yesterday laid a trap at the Bhawanigarh police station to catch havildars Pritpal Singh and Shiv Kumar, who had demanded Rs 5,000 from Mr Gurjant Singh, a resident of Bhawanigarh. They had also kept the motorcycle of Mr Gurjant Singh in their custody at the police station.
On seeing the Vigilance team, the havildars fled the scene, throwing away the cash. They have been booked on graft charge. — TNS


high court
Cancer patients may get Mediclaim policies
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 7
The Punjab Government today informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it is planning to provide subsidised medi-claim insurance policies to patients suffering from incurable diseases like cancer. To start with, the government has decided to contribute 50 per cent of the premium of the policies.

This information has been provided by the Punjab Government in its reply to the PIL filed by Cancer Peedit Kisan Committee through its President, Mr Balkar Singh of village Husnar in Muktsar, seeking direction to the government to take immediate remedial measures to tackle the menace of incurable diseases like cancer in the context of recurrent reports of cancer deaths in the rural areas of Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa districts.

During hearing before the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, it was also stated that a high-powered committee under Chief Minister, Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, has been constituted to go into the question of curbing the growing incidence of incurable diseases in the state.

An expert group comprising Dr K.K. Talwar, Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh and Dr S.S. Johl, Vice-Chairman of the Punjab Planning Board, has also been constituted, it was stated.

Counsel for the government also submitted that facilities for the treatment of cancer are available in the state-run medical colleges and hospitals at Faridkot, Patiala and Amritsar. The Directorate of Health has also taken measures to create awareness about cancer among the people.

However, counsel for the petitioner was not satisfied with the decision to extend subsidy on insurance premium, saying the government must file a detailed response in the matter. Hearing will now resume on March 2.


Old-timers recall association with HC
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Mr Paira Singh with his treasure, the invitation and the programme itinerary that he was sent for the inaugural function
Mr Paira Singh with his treasure, the invitation and the programme itinerary that he was sent for the inaugural function.

Mohinderjit Singh Sethi
Mohinderjit Singh Sethi

D.S. Nehra
D.S. Nehra

Chandigarh, December 6
Mr D.S. Nehra probably handled the first-ever service matter in India in 1952. At that time, he was a young lawyer practising at the Pepsu High Court, Patiala. He won the case. The case was a trendsetter of sorts as there was a deluge of service cases in almost all High Courts in the country after the judgement of the Pepsu High Court.

Incidentally, the first fee that Mr Nehra earned was just Rs 10 — Rs 5 when he was engaged and Rs 5 if he won the case. "I got the balance as I won the case," he adds.

One of the most important cases that Mr Nehra handled related to the Pepsu High Court ceasing to exist.

"What had happened was that the High Court had been constituted on August 20, 1948, following the formation of Pepsu after the merger of the princely states. The High Court was constituted on the basis of an ordinance. However, after six months, when the ordinance lapsed, the High Court ceased to exist. For two-three days, there was no High Court," he recalls.

For people like Mr Nehra, December 10 will be a day they will not easily forget for the rest of their life. For, on that day, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association will formally honour them for completing 50 years as lawyers.

Among those who will be honoured are Mr H.L. Sibal, Mr Mohinderjit Singh Sethi, Mr Naubat Singh Panwar, Mr Gurbaksh Singh Gyani, Mr Raj Kumar Aggarwal, Mr H.N. Mehtani, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, Mr U.D. Gaur, Mr Joginder Singh Wasu, Mr Harbhajan Singh Sandhu, Mr Balbir Singh Wasu, Mr Subash Chander Khunger, Mr Shanti Sagar Mahajan, Mr Hari Mittal, Mr Daljit Singh Chahal and Mr Prem Nath Aggarwal.

But, not many of these "seniors" are ready to hang their black gowns.

Take Mr Harbhagwan Singh, Mr Mohinderjit Singh Sethi, Mr Joginder Singh Wasu and Mr Daljit Singh Chahal. All of them continue to prastice till date.

Mr Sethi remembers: "When this High Court was new, the Judges were all stalwarts in the legal field. Unless a lawyer was well-prepared, he would stand exposed before the Judges."

Incidentally, at one point of time in his career, Mr Sethi was simultaneously handling the petitions challenging the elections of Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh and the Leader of Opposition from the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Another person who has fond memories of the High Court is Mr Piara Singh, a former Punjab Government engineer. And, why shouldn't he? After all, he was the site engineer when the building was being constructed.

He still treasures the invitation sent by the Registrar of the Punjab High Court to him and his non-existent wife ( he was unmarried then) to attend the opening of the High Court at Chandigarh by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on March 19, 1955.

"When Chief Justice A.N. Bhandari, who used to visit the under-construction building often, came to know that I had not received any invite, he immediately asked the Registrar to send me one," he says.

Mr Piara Singh still remembers the cost of each and every material used in the construction of the High Court building." The tapestries that hang in the courtrooms were specially got hand-woven for Rs 2,200 each," he tells you.

Yet another person who has memories about the initial days of the High Court is Mr Gowardhan Dass Aggarwal.

Having remained clerk with a plethora of leading advocates, many of whom went on to become Judges, Mr Dass vividly recalls how the Judges and lawyers used to often meet at social events. "Now, things have changed. Time is a constraint now," he adds.


Life term for killing wife
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 7
A local court today sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his wife, while three others were acquitted in the case.
Sources said the convict, Naresh Kumar, had murdered his wife in September last year when she resisted his affair with a girl employed at his pathology lab.

The sources said he hatched a conspiracy and lodged a complaint with the police that his shop owner was threatening him with dire consequences.

The accused reported the matter to the police and alleged that his shop owner had killed his wife, while he barely managed to save his life. 


Ex-ASI gets death sentence

Sangrur, December 7
A local court today sentenced retired Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Des Raj to death in a triple murder case of his neighbourers, Manjit Kaur, Bhagwan Singh and Lal Singh at Qila Rehmatgarh village .
The court observed that the accused be hanged by the neck till he was dead, while allowing him 30 days for filing an appeal against the judgement. — PTI


Admn gears up for Jor Mela
Our correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 7
To make adequate arrangements for the Shaheedi Jor Mela starting from December 24 at Fatehgarh Sahib Mrs Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, yesterday issued certain orders by which she has banned that no employee and officer would take leave in the month of December nor they would leave their station. No head would accept the leave of his staff and, in case of emergency, he has to take prior permission of the Deputy Commissioner.

Through another orders she has banned the plying of swings, circus, skill games, amusement games, gambling stalls and sale of intoxicants. To make religious spirit meat, fish and other non-veg. shops, stalls, have been banned. In and around the 3 km territory of gurdwara sahib there would be no sale of liquor and wine shops would remain close during the event.

As more than 20 lakh devotees are expected to pay their obeisance to the sahibzadas from all over the country and abroad, to control the crowd no shops, stalls, conference or community kitchens would be allowed on both sides of the roads from Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib to Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup Sahib and towards Roza Sharif. Through another orders carrying of weapons, playing of loudspeakers has been banned.

She said after identifying the exact time of their bricking alive, the district administration would blow a hooter so that the devotees may pay homage at exact time. She said that the martyrdom of younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, would be commemorated strictly in a religious spirit.

All four entry gates would be decorated. She said that for this, the district administration, had handed over these to Ambuja, PNB, Markfed and others. For the convenience of the devotees special parking sites had been earmarked and to control the flow of traffic service roads would be utilised and repair work on all roads was in progress.

An impressive exhibition depicting various achievements of the state government in different fields and public-oriented schemes initiated by various government departments would be arranged.

A special light and sound programme “Sirhind ki Dastan” would be organised.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, told The Tribune that the police would make elaborate foolproof security arrangements.


Boy freed, 5 kidnappers held
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 7
The district police Hoshiarpur, has succeeded in finding six-year-old Ronek Rawat, son of Vishvanath Rawat of local Sunder Nagar Mohalla,who was kidnapped on December 3. His five kidnappers were arrested today.

Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, Hoshiarpur, stated here that the accused were arrested from a house in Garha area of pollice station division No. 7 of Jalandhar. The kidnappers were identified as Jag Narain of Chakti Chinai, Nand Lal and Jatinder Kumar, both of Nandnama, Triveni of Mastapur and Munna of Kametha, Bihar.

The operation was carried under the supervision of Mr P.S. Gill, DIG, Jalandhar range, Special teams were constituted under the supervision of SSPs of Jalandahr, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur in this regard.

During the preliminary interrogation the arrested revealed that Jag Narain’s sister was a neighbour of Vishvanath and during his visit to his sister’s place Jag came to know Vishvanath and his son Ronek. Jag kidnapped Ronek and demanded ransom from his family. 


Dy Attorney caught taking bribe
Corruption case against two cops
Tribune News service

Patiala, December 7
The Vigilance Bureau, the Patiala range achieved a major success in its anti-corruption drive today when it nabbed K.S. Brar, Deputy District Attorney, of Fatehgarh Sahib district, red handed while taking a bribe from Mr Ranjit Singh for not opposing his bail application submitted in a court in connection with a criminal case registered against him.

In another case, a case under prevention of corruption act was registered against two head constables of the Punjab Police posted in the police station, Bhawani Garh town for their alleged involvement in taking bribe from Mr Gurjant Singh by holding a threat to him to implicate him in a false criminal case.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, Patiala range, taking to TNS, said that deputy district attorney Brar demanded a bribe of Rs 2000 from Ranjit Singh, sarpanch of Shergarh village for not opposing his bail application moved in a court in connection with a criminal case registered against him.

He added that Ranjit Singh had already secured an interim bail in a criminal case registered against him and he had moved an application for a regular bail. Mr Brar was supposed to oppose his bail application as per his official duty and he demanded Rs 2000 as bribe from Mr Ranjit Singh for not performing his official duty on one hand and to extend benefits to him ( Mr Ranjit Singh) on the other.

He said that bribe money was recovered from the office of accused situated in the Fathegarh Sahib court complex .A case in this connection has been registered by the vigilance Bureau.

He said in another case, two head constables identified as Pritpal Singh and Shiv Kumar were booked for corruption as they took a motor cycle and Rs 5000 from Gurjant Singh by holding him a threat to implicate him in a false case. He said that while the motor cycle was recovered from police station and bribe money was recovered from some other place.

He pointed out that when the house of head constable Pritpal Singh was searched by the vigilance bureau team, 23 live cartridges of 7.62 calibre, whose possession was illegal, was recovered. A separate case under the Arms Act had been was registered against Head Constable Pritpal Singh. Some other documents were also recovered from his house. He added that efforts were on to arrest the two accused.


Two professors invited to present papers
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 7
Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, Head, Postgraduate Department of Commerce, Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Prof Kashmir Singh, Senior Lecturer in the same department, have been invited to present papers on ‘Financial Capital to Knowledge Capital: The Search for a New Paradigm in Accounting’ in the All-India Accounting Conference being organised by the All-India Accounting Association on December 10 and 11, at Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune Dr Ubha said as the world had been fastly changing from an industrial to a knowledge economy, it had become imperative for our country to place itself in the field of knowledge.

He said India was being seen as the emerging laboratory of the world, a country where high-tech companies from Intel to Microsoft and Nokia had set up R&D labs.

He said India had become a global hub for the back-office operations of several multinationals companies because of its cheap English-speaking workforce.

He further said it was not an exaggeration to say that India was on the threshold of becoming a knowledge superpower because one of our strongest assets was the inventiveness and creativity of our people.

He stressed that we must remember that people with knowledge were the critical factors of the future.

Dr Ubha said he, along with Prof Kashmir Singh, had tried to suggest certain important parameters in this regard for the accounting of knowledge capital and assigning it a place in the balance sheet of corporations and business firms.

He said accounting bodies at the global level should join heads to develop an internationally accepted valuation system of knowledge capital in order to give it a concrete shape and meaning.

He also said we always blamed our over-population for the ills of the nation and termed it as a liability.

He asked why we could not turn it into an asset because all these human resources were depositaries of knowledge.

He said it was possible only if we developed a precise and concise method of measuring this ignored asset of knowledge capital.


Singla’s assurance to teachers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 7
A state-level function was organised by the Punjab Aided School and other Employee’s Progressive Front (Punjab) which was attended by hundreds of teachers from different parts of Punjab.

Addressing the gathering, the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Kumar Singla, assured the disbursement of salaries on the every first of the month and said that other demands like the merger of 50 per cent DA in the basic pay and pension to the retirees after May 31, 2003, will be approved by the Cabinet. He declared that it was only today that he had taken the consent of the Chief Minister.

The Finance Minister also condemned rumours about cut in grants and assured that 95 per cent grant to schools would continue in future. The Deputy Speaker, Punjab, Mr Darbari Lal and Transport Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, who also attended the function, said the demands of these schools were genuine and that they would be extending all their help to get all their demands approved in the Cabinet.

The state president of the front, Mr Upjit Singh Brar, thanked the Punjab Government for implementing the demands as approved in the past and hoped that the remaining demands which were discussed at a meeting held on November 28 would be approved and implemented as the Chief Minister had already given his consent to the same.

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