C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Only 70 oustees found eligible
HUDA plots’ draw on Sept 18, 19
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
In a significant decision, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), today, ahead of the draw, found just over 70 eligible oustees among the 235 oustees who had applied under the category. Applications of the remaining oustees, it was decided, would be added to the general category. Now, there would be nearly 500 plots available for the draw in the general and reserved categories.

Sources in HUDA said of all the oustees who had applied for plots, some were found ineligible on grounds that they did not belong to Sectors 27 and 28, where plots would be allotted. Initially, the Land Acquisition Committee, which screened the cases of oustees, had cleared 182 names for allotment of plots.

This number was brought down to nearly 70 eligible oustees today, though their plot size was not known. Most oustees had applied for allotment of 10-marla or one-kanal plots, which have maximum applications in the general category as well.

While there was reason to cheer for the general public, which would have 500 plots available for the draw, the decision drew flak from the oustees. They said HUDA was playing dirty by rejecting their claims.

They maintained that land for Sectors 27 and 28 was acquired as a part of Panchkula extension and they were not informed about the location of their plots. “We did not know if our plot was in Sector 26, 27 or 28.

We missed the chance then and were availing ourselves of it now since the HUDA policy laid down that we could apply for a plot in the adjoining sector also. We will drag HUDA to court for this injustice,” an oustee said.

As a part of the arrangements for the draw, the HUDA authorities arranged for a seating capacity of 2,500 people on the two days of the draw, while this would be aired live through the local Panchkula cable for the convenience of the applicants.

Two screens would be put up at the venue, one at the entry and another at other end of the building, so that more people could be accommodated.

For the first time, transparent drums would be used to conduct draw in Sector 27 and 28.

Two drums had been bought for the draw, which had elicited tremendous response from the public.

A total of over three lakh applications had been received by HUDA for 574 plots in the two sectors, 218 of which were in Sector 27, while there were 356 plots in Sector 28. This number was inclusive of the oustees’ quota.

The Estate Officer, Mr S.P. Arora, withdrew his application. He would be one of the officers supervising the draw, slated for September 18 and 19.



CET faux pas
Syndicate ignores panel’s report
Tribune News Service

Some syndicate members also pointed towards the unhealthy trend of faculty members resorting to filing frivolous complaints against their colleagues due to personal enmity.

In some cases the complainant had also not even signed the complainant. They added that since inquiries are marked at the drop of a hat without even going into the authenticity of the complaint, it leads to a waste of the university’s time and effort of the inquiry officer.

The VC at this point stated that he had ordered that no complaints from faculty members would be admitted unless these are given in the form of an affidavit which is acceptable in a court of law.

Chandigarh, September 16
In a controversial decision, the Panjab University Syndicate today decided to release Rs 11 lakh as part of the pending dues of the question paper printer deployed by the university. The printer (whose name has been kept confidential) had been mainly held responsible for the CET faux pas that occurred in the university this year and had led to the cancellation of the test.

The K.K. Bajaj Committee that had filed a report on the issue had recommended that the printer be proceeded against as per the university rules, adding that the extent of wasteful expenditure was an important issue worth investigation for fixing the responsibility on the printer “as it was his duty to have ensured the timely delivery of the material in the university.”

The decision to give half of the pending amount was taken even when a committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor to decide the issue had recommended that no amount more than Rs 5 lakh should be given to the printer who had claimed Rs 22 lakh for the printing of question papers for various examinations of the university.

Sources added that the committee which had Justice S.K. Jain, Mr G.K. Chatrath, Mr Prabhjit Singh and Mr Sodhi Ram as its members had in fact initially decided to give only Rs 3 lakh to the printer keeping in mind that the Bajaj committee had recommended that he be penalised for the damage to the reputation of the university for delaying the question papers.

However, it was on the insistence of the Controller of Examination, Mr Sodhi Ram, that the committee decided to increase the amount of Rs 5 lakh. The Syndicate members today seemed to have taken a lenient view of the matter.

Also the Syndicate members deferred a decision on the inquiry committee report submitted by Mr G.C. Garg looking into the allegations levelled by Mr V.K. Chopra, a faculty member of the Department of Evening Studies, against Ms Santosh Gupta, a former head of the department.

The report filed by Mr G.C. Garg gave a clean chit to Ms Gupta and termed the complaint of Mr Chopra as false and childish.

Sources added that during the course of the meeting some members even went to the extent of casting aspersion on the “fairness of the report” alleging that Mr Garg and the husband of Ms Gupta were colleagues at the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Some others raised objections on certain technical points of the report demanding that more information be gathered over the issue and the matter be put up again.

In another interesting move, Syndicate members decided to allow Mr J.P. Sharma, Reader, Department of Physical Education, to sit for his viva since he had submitted his PhD thesis. Mr Sharma was facing allegations of having plagiarised a part of his thesis.

Similarly, Syndicate members deferred the decision regarding the recovery of “misappropriated amount” from Prof Ajmer Singh former Director Department of Sports. The Syndicate in its last meeting had decided to frame charges on the basis of the findings of the inquiry report filed by Mr H.L. Sharma. However, the VC said he had received another letter from Mr Sharma the contents of which he did not know and as a result, a final decision on the matter should be taken later.

Members also approved the decision that the printing of course material of the Department of Correspondence Studies be outsourced. The head of the University’s own printing press had shown his inability to get the work done within the university. The members also granted provisional affiliation to master in final arts (final year) course being run by Government College of Art Sector 10. However, the college cannot admit students to the first year till the fulfillment of the conditions laid down by the inspection committee.



Gaganjit case hearing tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The bail application of Gaganjit Singh Barnala, MLA from Dhuri, will now come up for hearing before the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana, on September 18.

The application came up for hearing today. But it was deferred for next Monday after the medical opinion, sought by the police authorities from General Hospital, Sector 16, was not received.

Though the public prosecutor had sought two hours’ time as the report was awaited, the court announced to take up the case on September 18.

A resident of Nayagaon who worked as a masseur in Barnala’s house was allegedly raped on August 12.

In light of the inconclusive DNA report, the police had requested the hospital authorities to comment on whether excessive bleeding could have resulted in traces of semen being washed away. The hospital authorities have replied that the possibility could not be ruled out, sources said .

A police official said there was sufficient evidence of Gaganjit’s involvement in rape. The victim’s statement to the police that Gaganjit Singh had raped her is enough in this case.



J&K sex scandal case hearing on Sept 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The infamous Jammu and Kashmir sex scandal case will come up for hearing before the District and Sessions Judge Mr B.S. Mehndiratta, on September 25. The next date was given after the Jammu Jail authorities failed to produce the accused due to security reasons.

The Jammu jail authorities had reportedly intimated the local courts authorities only last evening that the accused could not be produced today. Fresh production warrants were sent to the jail authorities to bring the accused to the high security Burial jail. The accused would be lodged in the Burail jail. However, the decision as to who would hear the case was yet to be taken.

When the case was taken by the District and Sessions Judge today, the investigating officer of the CBI, DSP S.L. Gupta, and the public Prosecutors of the CBI, Mr R.L. Negi, and Mr P.K. Dogra, were present there. One of accused, Mohammed Iqbal Khanday, a bureaucrat on interim bail due to health grounds, was present in the court.

It is reliably learnt that due to security reasons, the CBI could move an application before the High Court to hold the trial of the case in the high security Burail jail. Other alternative was to beef up security every time the accused were brought to the court. But this would put the common man to a lot of inconvenience, said an advocate.

Sources in the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Police told Chandigarh Tribune that no request had so far been made for beefing up security at the courts. “Additional police force would be put at the courts whenever the case would come up for hearing”, said a senior police official. Arrangements for lodging the accused at the jail had been made.

It is learnt that some of the well-connected accused were engaging eminent lawyers.

On September 4, the Supreme Court, while taking note of the hostile atmosphere prevailing against the accused in the valley, had transferred the cases of 14 persons to Chandigarh.



Farmers’ plea to MLAs on amendments
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 16
Members of the Kisan Hit Bachao Committee have appealed to MLAs to rise above the party level and stop the government from carrying out amendments in the Punjab Regional Development Act, 1995, which would adversely affect the interest of farmers.

The members also appealed to MLAs of the opposition not to allow the government to carry out the proposed amendments, which were being done to allegedly please the rich.

They said farmers should be allowed to sell their land in the open market and the government should not forcibly acquire their property and that too, at throwaway prices.

Mr Baljit Singh Kumbra said officials of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) were planning to acquire land for Sector 81 of the town at a price varying between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh per acre in public interest.

He said let the Chief Minister, ministers and senior officials sell their property at this price in the interest of the nation and set an example so that farmers also did not have any objection to land acquisition.

He further said a Congress MP had purchased 40 acres at Sukhgarh village, near here, at a price of Rs 50 per acre and later sold it to a company without developing it at a price of about Rs 2.5 crore per acre.

Mr D.P. Singh Baidwan, convener, said if the government started the acquisition process for Sector 81 without considering the land pooling scheme, the committee would oppose the Congress government and organise rallies in various towns, asking people not to vote in favour of the Congress.

Mr Tejinder Singh Jakhar, president, said the Kharar MLA should not remain silent when the GMADA was making preparations to forcibly acquire land at Chilla, Mauli Baidwan, Kumbra, Raipur Khurd and Manauli villages for development purposes.

He said the MLA was not reacting to this move of the government, but was busy making preparations for a function to be held in the town on September 27.



‘Beaten-up’ Army officer faces diesel pilferage charge
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The case of beating up of a commanding officer (CO) of an armoured regiment by one of his subordinate officers has taken a new turn with the CO being charged with misappropriation of diesel in his unit.

Meanwhile, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday restrained the Army authorities from passing any final order or judgment in the case of an officer associated with the case facing court martial proceedings.

Sources said the CO, Col K.D. Singh, had presently been attached with an artillery brigade in Faridkot, where recording of summary of evidence (SoE) against him concluded this week. The charges levied against him under Sections 52 and 63 of the Army Act pertained to misappropriation of 3,000 litres of diesel.

Six prosecution witnesses and 20 defence witnesses deposed during the SoE. The officer, while claiming vindictiveness on part of certain senior officers, has written to the Corps Headquarters as well as the Command Headquarters alleging that relevant provisions of Army rules were not complied with during the course of proceedings against him.

The Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.M. Kumar and Mr Justice M.M.S. Bedi stayed the passing of any final order in the case of Lieut-Col Yudhvir Singh.

He is facing disciplinary proceedings for allegedly making false statements during the court of inquiry (CoI). The Bench also issued notice to the Central Government on a separate application filed by the petitioner seeking stay on his attachment to Hisar for facing disciplinary proceedings.

Following an incident at Hisar in December, 2005, in which the CO sustained injuries and was hospitalised, some reports emanating from Hisar suggested that he had sustained injuries in a road accident, while some suggested that he was thrashed by his own regimental officer.

The Army has convened three successive courts of inquiries to ascertain the facts of the case. Following conclusion of the third CoI a few weeks ago, the Army initiated disciplinary action against Lieut-Col Yudhvir and another officer of the same unit, Maj Sandeep Ahlawat.



New power substation boon for 14 villages
Tribune News Service

Lalru, September 16
The 66 kv electricity substation at Jaula Khurd near here, which was inaugurated by the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, will prove to be a boon for at least 14 villages of Dera Bassi subdivision.

With the commissioning of the substation, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has provided a direct urban supply feeder to the residents of the villages, according to official sources.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 2.75 crore, the substation will solve the problems of frequent breakdowns and low voltage in several villages, including Jaula Kalan, Jandli, Bhukuri, Bhagau,Basouli,Jaula Khurd, Shinpur, Dhire Majra and Kasouli.The problem of overloading of 66 kv substation at Lalru and Handesra had also been sorted out.

And for the redressal of customer complaints, a customer care centre with telephone no. 01762-294262 has been established at the substation.

Residents of Lalru village had blocked the Ambala-Chandigarh highway on August 11 alleging bias in electricity supply vis-a-vis the industry.The police had later lathi-charged the protesters and the police action had come in for severe criticism from different quarters.

As part of the relief package, the Patiala MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, had announced the setting up of the substation.

The commissioning of the substation is being seen as the fulfillment of the promise made by Ms Preneet Kaur.



Suspended sarpanch alleges harassment
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 16
Ms Surinder Kaur, a sarpanch of Kumbra village, who is under suspension has alleged that the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), Kharar, was harassing her.

The suspended sarpanch alleged that she was sent a letter by the BDPO asking her to deposit 20 per cent of the income from the shamlat land in the village in his office within a week even when she no longer had the panchayat records with her. Moreover, the letter dated August 29 was sent to her today through a sevadar.

She further said a panch, Ms Naseeb Kaur, had been given all the powers and this was done by the BDPO himself in the presence of panchayat members. Now a letter addressed to the sarpanch (under suspension) was allegedly sent to harass her.

However, Mr Kulwant Singh, BDPO, said the letter had not been intentionally sent to Ms Surinder Kaur but it was due to a clerical mistake. The wrong name had been typed in the letter which was being taken back. He, however, could not tell why the letter dated August 29 was delivered on September 16.



Residents’ grouse
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
The House Owners-Cum-Plot Holders Association, Sector 15, today alleged that development works were being shown in progress on papers while the ground reality is different. The Presidents, Mr M.S. Cheema, said the conditions of roads in Sector 15 was very poor, their sector was plagued with non-functional street lights.

“During the rainy season water get collected in pits along almost all roads in the sector. The condition is worse at the tee-points at the dividing road of Sectors 15, 14 and Industrial Area Phase II. The sewerage along the road is also choked. A couple of days ago the President of MC visited the site but nothing has been done to solve the problems till date,” he said.

The road widening works on the ‘B’ roads, started a couple of months ago, is still incomplete.



Body found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
Om Prakash (45) was found dead near Nada village, here today. The body was found in Kharag Magoli by a passerby who informed the police. Though no injury marks have been found on the body, the police has not ruled out foul play. “A number of cigarette and ‘beedi’ stubs were found near the body, indicative of the fact that he was not alone. His body has been sent for a post-mortem examination. The family members do not suspect any foul play,” an police personnel said.

Snatching bid

Two unidentified persons tried to snatch cash amounting to over Rs 1 lakh from Sunil, a recovery agent of a financial institution, by forcing their entry into his housing society, here today. The two boys, who were riding a motor cycle, attacked the security guard and entered the premises. They tried to break open the window of the car which contained the cash. However, the guard raised an alarm. The boys managed to escape.



TN gang involved in bank theft case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The yesterday’s incident in which four persons were nabbed while stealing Rs 8.5 lakh from a Sector 9-based branch of Centurion Bank of Punjab here, investigations by the police revealed that a gang of six persons from Tamil Nadu were actively involved in such incidents.

Few days ago they had booked rooms in a hotel at Kalka. While four persons left for Chandigarh yesterday, others left for Shimla.

The gang had been allegedly indulging in such type of crimes in Tamil Nadu. A police team will leave for Tamil Nadu to dig out more information about the suspects.

One of the suspects came to the bank on the pretext of opening a bank account. As he reportedly involved some bank officials in a conversation, his other three accomplices entered the bank. Noticing big piles of cash on a table.

They grabbed the money and ran out of the bank premises. Bank employee raised the alarm following which people outside the bank nabbed one of them.



Man held in court with opium

Chandigarh, September 16
Bhushan, a resident of Sector 45, was arrested today in the court of the Judicial Magistrate, Mr R.K. Sharma, when eight grams of opium was seized from his possession during routine frisking by the police. He had come to the court to surrender as he was wanted in a case of accident.

After he surrendered in the court the police personnel during routine checking found the opium. He was booked under the NDPS Act and arrested.

Permission not granted

The Deputy Commissioner today informed the District and Sessions Judge, Mr B.K. Mehta, that the administration had not given permission to hold any rally or use loudspeaker to farmers. The District and Session Judge had taken cognizance of noise pollution being created by agitating farmers from Punjab at the Parade Ground here.

He had observed that due to the noise pollution the functioning of the court was being disturbed. — TNS



Proclaimed offender held

Mohali, September 16
The police has arrested a resident of Chandigarh who was booked 13 years ago on charges of indulging in obscene acts and gestures intended to outrage the modesty of women.

According to information available, Harvinder Singh was booked in 1993 under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC. He was a resident of Mohali at that time and later shifted to Chandigarh. He was also declared a proclaimed offender by a court.

The police arrested him yesterday and produced him in a court today where he was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. OC



CITCO to upgrade staff skills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
The CITCO will undertake skill upgradation and training of staff shortly. This decision was taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors of CITCO under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, here yesterday.

The meeting decided that CITCO would continue its initiative to upgrade infra-structure/facilities in its hotels. In this direction, CITCO has entered into an agreement with M/s Avenues, South Asia’s largest integrated e-commerce company, as hospitality marketing and reservation provider for online booking of Hotel Mountview, Hotel Shivalikview and Hotel Parkview through CITCO’s Website citcochandigarh.com.

Skilled manpower shall be hired to provide high quality services to its guests and patrons, said the MD, CITCO, Mr J.S. Bir. New posts had been created to manage “CITCO da Verah” at Baithak, Kalagram, which has become popular for its ethnic ambience and food.



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