SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Assembly
Bill on offices of profit passed

Chandigarh, March 24
Minutes after the Haryana Assembly passed a resolution hailing the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for her resignation from the Lok Sabha and the National Advisory Council, it passed a Bill with retrospective effect to amend the existing Act on offices of profit that an MLA was allowed to hold.

Bill to hike stamp duty cleared
Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Assembly today passed the Indian Stamp (Haryana Amendment) Bill paving the way for enhancing the rate of stamp duty in the state in the case of affidavits and transactions by special power of attorney and general power of attorney.

Board exam result on March 29
Bhiwani, March 24
The Haryana School Education Board will declare the result of the examination of middle class conducted during the month of February on March 29.

Godown owner held with banned drug
Bhiwani, March 24
A special team of the police department yesterday seized banned oxitoccin injections in huge quantities during a raid conducted at a godown in Siwani town of this district. About a dozen gas cylinders were also recovered.

Arrangements made for solar eclipse
Kurukshetra, March 24
While addressing a press conference at the Conference Hall of Kurukshetra Development Board, here yesterday, Dr Mahavir Singh, Commissioner, Ambala Division, called upon religious and social voluntary organisations to extend cooperation to the solar eclipse mela administration. He said this could put Kurukshetra on the world map.


Stories from Haryana towns falling in the National Capital Region are put in
 Delhi & neighbourhood.

YOUR TOWN
Ambala
Bhiwani
Chandigarh
Kaithal
Kurukshetra
Sonepat


EARLIER STORIES

 

HC restrains Haryana on selection of Sainik Board secretaries
Chandigarh, March 24
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has restrained the Haryana Government from making selections for the posts of secretary of Zila Sainik Boards.

Haryana to get its HC: Bhardwaj
Chandigarh, March 24
The Union Law Minister, Mr Hansraj Bhardwaj, today said Haryana had the right to have its own High Court. Mr Bhardwaj, who was in the Haryana Assembly here to collect his certificate of election to the Rajya Sabha from the state, said he would ensure that Haryana got its High Court at the earliest.

INLD boycotts day’s proceedings
Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Vidhan Sabha today witnessed a verbal clash between INLD MLAs and the Speaker, Dr Raghbir Singh Kadiyan, and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, which ended in a boycott by the main Opposition party of the session for the entire day.

2 more held for trader’s murder
Kaithal, March 24
The district police yesterday arrested two more persons, including a local transporter, allegedly involved in the murder of plywood dealer Narinder Arora last Friday.

Norms on change of land use relaxed
Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Cabinet today decided to relax norms on the change of land use in the industrial areas of Yamunanagar, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat and Panipat.

Councillors seek vigilance probe
Ambala, March 24
Three councillors of Ambala Sadar today demanded a vigilance probe into development works which had been initiated during the tenure of the MC president, Ms Neelam Sharma.

Demolition drive in Bahadurgarh
Jhajjar, March 24
The district administration today launched a demolition drive against the unauthorised constructions in Bahadurgarh subdivision and started demolishing three school buildings, a filling station and many houses.

Youth murdered
Sonepat, March 24
Shamsher (27) of Bainyapur village was murdered allegedly by three unidentified persons while he was reportedly taking liquor with two other persons, Pankaj and Bhan of the same village, at a shop at Harshana Kalan Mor on the Sonepat-Rohtak highway late last night.

Protest by Youth Congress
Ambala, March 24
Youth Congress activists today held a demonstration in front of the Delhi-bound Jan Shatabdi at the Ambala Cantt railway station in connection with the Sonia issue.

Yoga camp
Ambala, March 24
A seven-day yoga camp, "Yoga Pranayam and Savras Chikitsa Shivir," will be held at SD College, Ambala Cantt from March 26 to April 1.
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Assembly
Bill on offices of profit passed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Minutes after the Haryana Assembly passed a resolution hailing the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for her resignation from the Lok Sabha and the National Advisory Council, it passed a Bill with retrospective effect to amend the existing Act on offices of profit that an MLA was allowed to hold.

The Opposition INLD had earlier boycotted the day's proceedings and was not present in the House when the Haryana State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006, was taken up. Mr Ram Kumar Gautam of the BJP was also not present as he had earlier left the House protesting against the criticism of the BJP leader, Mr L. K. Advani, by Congress members. The INLD legislators talked to reporters in the press lounge and said the Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Haryana should resign from his office as well as from the Assembly by following in the footsteps of Ms Gandhi.

The amendment passed by the Assembly listed the office of Chief Parliamentary Secretary as among “certain offices of profit” which would not disqualify an individual from being a member of the legislature. The amendment came into effect from January 13, 2006.

The state government had on January 18 passed an ordinance carrying out the amendment to the Act. On January 14, one Chief Parliamentary Secretary and seven Parliamentary Secretaries were inducted into the government.

However, it was the timing of the amendment — coming within 24 hours of Ms Gandhi's resignation from the Lok Sabha for holding an office of profit — and not its content that made it look conspicuous. The original Act, passed in 1974, had already included the Parliamentary Secretary and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the list of offices of profit that an MLA could legitimately hold.

The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Randeep Surjewala, who later addressed a press conference after a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), cited provisions in the Act to say that today's amendment was only in the nature of a clarification.

Mr Surjewala said the broad definition of a Parliamentary Secretary would ideally include a Chief Parliamentary Secretary. This was accomplished through the amendment, he said.

The CLP meeting was held to pass a resolution to compliment Ms Gandhi on her “sacrifice”.

In the Assembly the Congress members did not miss any opportunity to show their reverence for Ms Gandhi. Mr Gautam's innocuous suggestion that there should not be a proliferation of institutions or schemes named after the Gandhi family attracted an angry protest from the Revenue Minister, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav. Ms Sharda Rathore, a first-time MLA, and several other Congress MLAs also got agitated at Mr Gautam's remark.

Other than Congress members, three Independent members, Mr Tejinder Singh Mann, Mr Radheshyam Sharma and Mr Naresh Yadav, also spoke when the resolution on Ms Gandhi was moved in the House. Mr Yadav, however, took a tangential line, but that part of his speech was found objectionable by the Speaker and expunged.

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Bill to hike stamp duty cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Assembly today passed the Indian Stamp (Haryana Amendment) Bill paving the way for enhancing the rate of stamp duty in the state in the case of affidavits and transactions by special power of attorney and general power of attorney.

According to the Bill, the rate of stamp duty in the case of affidavits would go up to Rs 10 from Rs 3. Stamp duty for special power of attorney would become Rs 100 from Rs 3 while stamp duty in the case of general power of attorney would be Rs 300 instead of the existing Rs 15.

The Bill, proposed by the Revenue Minister, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, said the existing rates of stamp duty had been in force since the inception of the state. There had been a considerable hike in the price index since then. In view of this the new rates were proposed.

The Assembly also passed the Haryana Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill to give the divisional commissioner the power to hear appeals against orders of the commissioners of municipal corporations for demolishing structures. The power now lies with the District Judge. “It not only creates a hindrance but also delays matters for years”, the Bill stated.

The Assembly, before it was adjourned sine die today, also passed the Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Bill. This Bill debars false caste certificate holders from contesting elections for at least six years and removal from the post if such a person is found to have got elected. The Bill also prevents the participation of convicted criminals and government employees in municipal elections and prescribes various other methods for free and fair elections, including the use of electronic voting machines for polling.

The Assembly also passed the Haryana Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill. This Bill debars arrest by the police of cooperative loan defaulters. The step was earlier announced by the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, at a rally held in Hisar to mark the completion of one year by the present regime. The Bill also lays down a time-frame of one month for the registration of cooperative societies by the office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies. If an application is kept pending for a span of time exceeding a month, the society will be deemed to have been registered.

The House also passed the Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar (Amendment) Bill to change the name of the university to Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology.

Earlier, the Assembly, by voice vote, passed the Appropriation Bill and gave its stamp of approval to the Budget proposed by the Finance Minister, Mr Birender Singh. Several members participated in the discussion on the Appropriation Bill and the discussion was wound up with a reply by the Finance Minister.

Mr Birender Singh announced that the Chief Minister had decided that only women teachers would be recruited in girls’ schools. If a man was needed to be recruited, he must be above 50 years of age.

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Board exam result on March 29
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, March 24
The Haryana School Education Board will declare the result of the examination of middle class conducted during the month of February on March 29.

Informing this here today, a spokesman for the board said all necessary arrangements had been made in this regard. He said the results were being declared in a short span of five weeks after the conclusion of the examination.

The spokesman Principals of the schools could collect the result gazette from the concerned District Education Officer at 11 am and display the same in their respective schools at 3 pm on the same day.

He further stated that the marks or grades would also be available on the website of the board www.results.nic.in and www.hbse.nic.in. The students could also chat with the secretary of the board at resultthroughbinocular@yahoo.com. 

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Godown owner held with banned drug
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, March 24
A special team of the police department yesterday seized banned oxitoccin injections in huge quantities during a raid conducted at a godown in Siwani town of this district. About a dozen gas cylinders were also recovered.

The police nabbed the godown owner on the spot and registered a case against him.

Ram Niwas, owner of the godown was arrested and a case under Sections 35, 7, 10 and 55 of the IPC Act and Section 18A/18C of the Drugs Act registered.

In another case, the Siwani police stopped a Maruti car and seized 5 kg of poppy husk. The accused, Prem Kumar and Subhash of Mangali in Hisar district, were arrested.

In another incident, Bond police arrested Hari Prakash of Sanwad village on a charge of possessing illegal 
arms and seized a khukhari.

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Arrangements made for solar eclipse
Our Correspondent

Kurukshetra, March 24
While addressing a press conference at the Conference Hall of Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB), here yesterday, Dr Mahavir Singh, Commissioner, Ambala Division, called upon religious and social voluntary organisations to extend cooperation to the solar eclipse mela (fair) administration. He said this could put Kurukshetra on the world map.

The organisations should ensure maximum facilities to the pilgrims reaching here from various parts of India and abroad on the occasion of the solar eclipse falling on March 29.

He said in comparison to the last time, three times’ parking places had been earmarked so that the pilgrims would have to walk the minimum to reach Braham Sarovar and Sannihit Sarovar. Some link roads around these sarovars were being four-laned, he added.

About the security arrangements, the Ambala Range Inspector-General of Police, Mr S.S. Deswal, said this time anti-bomb squads, and Army would join the Haryana police jawans. 

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HC restrains Haryana on selection of Sainik Board secretaries
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has restrained the Haryana Government from making selections for the posts of secretary of Zila Sainik Boards.

The government had amended and doubled the minimum age required for recruitment to the aforementioned posts from 25 years to 50 years, following which ex-servicemen sought legal recourse as it prevented a large number of them from applying for the posts.

The government had earlier issued an advertisement mentioning the minimum age for recruitment as 50 years which, it was contended, was contrary to the rules which stated the minimum age to be 25 years. While the new eligibility criteria was under challenge in an earlier petition, the government had amended the rules in retrospect to make 50 years the minimum required age.

There was large-scale discontentment among ex-service officers in Haryana because only a handful of officers in the age bracket of 50 to 55 years could apply. Officers who left the Army pre-maturely after attaining pension and ex-serviceman status were rendered ‘‘underage’’ and officers retiring in the normal course of time were rendered ‘‘overage’’.

During court proceedings, the Haryana Government had maintained that it had raised the minimum age to 50 years to prevent ex-servicemen from earning a second pension from the state government.

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Haryana to get its HC: Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Union Law Minister, Mr Hansraj Bhardwaj, today said Haryana had the right to have its own High Court. Mr Bhardwaj, who was in the Haryana Assembly here to collect his certificate of election to the Rajya Sabha from the state, said he would ensure that Haryana got its High Court at the earliest.

“The logistics of a High Court for Haryana would have to be worked out,” Mr Bhardwaj said and added that there should not be any problem in locating the High Court at Chandigarh.

Asked about his earlier opposition to the demand for a separate High Court for Haryana, Mr Bhardwaj said that at that time the demand was not properly made. “I am in favour of every state having its own High Court. I have even suggested separate High Courts for the small states in the north-east,” he said.

The Union Law Minister said the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had apprised him about the necessity of having a separate High Court. “The elevation to judiciary of the members of the bar gets stuck and there are also a lot of other reasons for the state seeking its own High Court,” he said.

He added that the proposed law institute at Gurgaon would be a world class institution with scholars from Harvard and Yale visiting the institute. “I have already spoken to the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram about my plans for the institute,” he said.

Talking about Ms Sonia Gandhi’s resignation from the Lok Sabha, he claimed there was never any plan to bring an Ordinance to protect Ms Gandhi from getting disqualified for holding the office of Chairperson of National Advisory Council. “An Ordinance could be issued only if the Parliament was prorogued. But the Parliament was not prorogued,” he said.

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INLD boycotts day’s proceedings
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Vidhan Sabha today witnessed a verbal clash between INLD MLAs and the Speaker, Dr Raghbir Singh Kadiyan, and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, which ended in a boycott by the main Opposition party of the session for the entire day.

The INLD members were listening to Mr Surjewala’s intervention in question hour without resorting to the symbolic boycott of the Minister. But as soon as their Deputy Leader, Dr Sushil Indora, who had gone out of the House, returned, he goaded his colleagues to “boycott” the Minister. Mr Surjewala, who had been making fun of the INLD members’ boycott for several days, retorted: “Yes, aap kaan pakariye aur murga ban jaiye.” This infuriated the INLD members, who walked into the well, protesting against Mr Surjewala’s remarks. When Dr Kadiyan’s repeated pleadings failed to placate them, he added fuel to the fire by saying: “Why are you shouting like jackals?” He also warned Dr Indora and Mr Sita Ram. The INLD members walked out of the House. They returned shortly and declared that they were boycotting the remaining session for the day. The Assembly adjourned sine die today.

Mr Karan Singh Dalal, Congress MLA from Palwal, is making good use of parliamentary tools to continue his six-year-old tirade against the previous Chautala government. Today again he put a question on the acquisition of over 400 acres by the Haryana Urban Development Authority for developing a residential sector in Sirsa during the tenure of the previous government.

In his reply, Mr Surjewala admitted that a private developer had moved an application for a licence to develop a colony in that sector. Mr Dalal said if the licence had been sought by Mr Gopal Kanda, it should be denied because he (Mr Kanda) had allegedly illegally occupied a piece of land belonging to the Haryana Power Utilities and was still to be arrested. When Mr Surjewala said the applicant was Mr Gopal Goel, Mr Dalal said he was the same person to whom he was referring.

Knowledgeable sources say Mr Dalal, who in his capacity as the Chairman of the Estimates Committee of the House had gone into the alleged encroachment of the power utilities’ land in Sirsa, had made his point by suggesting that the present administration was not taking action against the guilty.

The Environment Minister, Mr Venod Sharma, told the House that the Haryana State Pollution Control Board had got 10 stone crushers closed under Section 31A of the Air Act, 1981, for endangering the environment. These crushers were operating in the villages of Dholera, Bigopur, Jainpur and Nizampur and Mahendragarh tehsil.

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2 more held for trader’s murder
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, March 24
The district police yesterday arrested two more persons, including a local transporter, allegedly involved in the murder of plywood dealer Narinder Arora last Friday.

The police released the photographs of the remaining accused and announced rewards for providing clues for their arrest.

Superintending of Police Navdeep Singh Virk told mediapersons here that those arrested were Darshan Singh of Andhli under Kaithal Sadar police station and Rajesh Kumar of Ismailabad village, Kurukshetra district.

Later, Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Pratap Singh remanded them in police custody for three days.

Darshan Singh is a former president of the Kaithal Truck Operators Union.

The total number of persons arrested in the case has gone up to nine, including two who were brought on production warrants from Karnal jail.

The police released the photographs of the four remaining accused — Baljeet, alias Jeeta, of Barhsikri village in Kaithal district, Manjeet Singh, alias Vicky of Narwana in Jind, Rajesh Kumar of Baddanpur village in Jind and Joginder Singh of Geong in Kaithal.

Rewards of Rs 1 lakh for providing clues about Baljeet, alias Jeeta, and Rs 75,000 for each of the remaining accused have been announced. The SP said the police had solved the case but divulging any further information might hamper the investigations.

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Norms on change of land use relaxed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The Haryana Cabinet today decided to relax norms on the change of land use in the industrial areas of Yamunanagar, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat and Panipat.

The Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, decided to regularise the bifurcation or fragmentation of plots in the old industrial areas of these towns in favour of the allottee or transferee, subject to the payment of the transfer fee. Where service or commercial activities are in progress on the plot or on the divided portion of the plot, conversion fee would be charged and determined by the government, which would be in addition to the transfer fee, if the plot or divided plot is also transferred in favour of the transferee.

The decision meets a long-standing demand of industrial associations of these towns. These four industrial areas were developed by the Industries Department in the 1950s, but over the years, activities in these towns had undergone many changes.

The Cabinet also decided to amend rules 12.15 and 12.16 of the Punjab Police Rules, 1934 (as applicable to Haryana) to enable the Director-General of Police to grant appropriate relaxation in age, height and qualifications and to provide preference or weightage to training and experience obtained by a class or category of persons by giving suitable marks in the interview. This has been done to fulfil a promise made by Mr Hooda to those personnel of the Haryana Industrial Security Force who were rendered jobless after the force was disbanded that they would be given preference while recruiting police constables.

It also decided that the administrative control of the State Land Use Board would be transferred to the Agriculture Department.

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Councillors seek vigilance probe
Tribune News Service

Ambala, March 24
Three councillors of Ambala Sadar today demanded a vigilance probe into development works which had been initiated during the tenure of the MC president, Ms Neelam Sharma.

Mr Omkar Nathi, Mr Babu Kanojia and Mr Vikas Bhateja said the inquiry should be for all development works. They alleged that there might be irregularities in the execution of the works.

They said if the development works were found to have not met the requisite quality, the MC president must resign on moral grounds and if the works were of the requisite quality, they were ready to quit.

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Demolition drive in Bahadurgarh

Jhajjar, March 24
The district administration today launched a demolition drive against the unauthorised constructions in Bahadurgarh subdivision and started demolishing three school buildings, a filling station and many houses.

According to information, the District Town Planner had issued notices to the owners of these buildings as they had not secured the requisite CLU (change of land use) certificates from the department. The boundary walls of Mount View School, Bal Vikas School and Saint Mark School were demolished, while JD Filling Station was also targeted. Some houses constructed on the notified land situated at Sankhol and Jakhoda villages were also brought down. — OC

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Youth murdered
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, March 24
Shamsher (27) of Bainyapur village was murdered allegedly by three unidentified persons while he was reportedly taking liquor with two other persons, Pankaj and Bhan of the same village, at a shop at Harshana Kalan Mor on the Sonepat-Rohtak highway late last night.

On the complaint of Shamsher’s brother, Rakesh, a case has been registered against three unidentified persons. Due to excessive consumption of liquor, the condition of Pankaj who is admitted to the local Civil Hospital is reported to be serious. Bhan pleaded that he did not know about three alleged accused as he himself was under the influence of liquor.

Rakesh has submitted to the police that Pankaj and Bhan might have involed themselves in consprting the murder of his brother by three unidentified persons.

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Protest by Youth Congress
Tribune News Service

Ambala, March 24
Youth Congress activists today held a demonstration in front of the Delhi-bound Jan Shatabdi at the Ambala Cantt railway station in connection with the Sonia issue.

While the activists claimed that they held up the train, railway officials stated that the train was not detained. The duration of the protest coincided with the duration of the train's scheduled stoppage at the station.

The Additional Divisional Railway Manager said Jan Shatabdi was not detained. When the train arrived, the activists led by Ambala Cantt youth Congress president Babu Kanojia started the protest. Some of them climbed the engine while the others raised slogans against the BJP.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders, including former Ambala MP Ratan Lal Kataria, former MLA Veena Chibber, Mr Ravinder Dhawan and Dr Sanjay Sharma, said Ms Sonia Gandhi had resigned as she had no option.

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Yoga camp
Tribune News Service

Ambala, March 24
A seven-day yoga camp, "Yoga Pranayam and Savras Chikitsa Shivir," will be held at SD College, Ambala Cantt from March 26 to April 1.

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