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35 pc seed of wheat, rice needs replacement
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
For ending stagnation in production in the agricultural sector, there is need to replace 35 per cent of the seed of paddy and wheat in Punjab.

Most of the available seed of wheat and paddy has lost its optimum potency. Keeping this factor in view, there is immediate need to make available the required fresh seed. A plan in this regard was recently submitted to the state Planning Department by the Agriculture Department, it is learnt. For the wheat crop, about 34 lakh quintals of seed and for paddy about 5 lakh quintals is utilised by farmers every year in the state.

Over the years, the quality of the available seed stocks of various crops has deteriorated. There is need for improvement in the seed preparing technology. To achieve the desired results, Punseed, a government organisation that provides some part of the seed stocks to farmers, requires to be overhauled and modernised.

Meanwhile, to achieve a higher growth rate in the farm sector, the Punjab government has decided to revise its annual plan for this sector to Rs 104 crore. Earlier, the provision in the plan was of Rs 50 crore, it is learnt. Besides, the state government has decided to prepare an agricultural plan for the next five years for each district.

Sources said the plan for the sector was being redrafted in the light of the discussions held by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a meeting of the National Development Council and with the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India in the last week of May.

The commission has planned an investment of Rs 25,000 crore to enhance the growth rate in the farm sector to 4 per cent and for food security. It has told the state governments concerned to redraft their plans with regard to the sector to achieve a higher growth rate.

In the redrafted plan, stress will be laid on enhancing the state share to Rs 22 crore to get a grant of Rs 150 crore from the union government under the national horticulture mission.

There is a proposal to set up 20 state-of-the-art laboratories- one in each district- for providing help to farmers in the testing of soil and related facilities.

For better planning in the agricultural sector in the state, an apex agriculture committee set up under the chairmanship of Dr G.S. Kalkat, head of the Punjab Farmers Commission, will prepare an agriculture plan for each district separately.

 

Drama in Court
Dimpa fails to surrender
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Baba Bakala, June 9
A high drama was enacted outside the court of the sub-divisional magistrate here when security arrangements and police nakas "stopped" the absconding Jasbir Singh Dimpa , a former Congress MLA from Beas from from surrendering today .

News spread in the morning that Dimpa, who was declared proclaimed offender by the court would appear in the court by arranging "show of strength". So much so the family members of Dimpa themselves informed the media he would appear in the court today.

Senior Congress leaders, including former ministers , MLAs including Sardul Singh Bundala , Harpartap Singh Ajnala , Sukh Sarkaria , Lali Adampur , Love Kumar Goldi, Tejinder Singh Bittu and members of the Dimpa family, including his mother and wife were also present in the court complex to mark the "surrender" .

The police , led by DSP Ram Singh Bhandal swung into action and forced supporters of Dimpa to leave the court complex when they got the information he might come here to appear as per directions of the Supreme court . The Supreme Court had directed Dimpa to surrender in the trial court which would decide his bail application.

The police also checked buses and vehicles, coming from different directions.

The Congress leaders on this occasion said it was "mockery of the democracy" that the person who wanted to appear in the court was being stopped from doing so . They claimed Dimpa had already reached Amritsar and wanted to appear in the court being a "law- abiding citizen".

Rajinder Singh Tapiala , a confidant of Dimpa, said the former MLA changed his mind at the 11th hour when he was told the police might "nab" him on the way to Baba Bakala .

The court turned down the application of Dimpa yesterday , seeking exemption from personal appearance and for permanent exemption till disposal of the cases, registered against him. They had also sought withdrawal of proceedings regarding proclaimed offender.

 

Contribute for development: CM
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mahuana (Muktsar), June 9
Making a significant departure from his traditional style of handling the public, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked people to contribute their share in the process of development.

Badal, who held sangat darshan in five villages of Muktsar district today, said if people, who were bound to contribute their share in any development project, did not do the same, it would be difficult for the state government to provide them facilities.

He urged the panchayats to contribute 10 per cent and 5 per cent shares in installing water supply and sewerage projects, respectively in their villages. He added that unavailability of potable water and poor sanitation were the main causes of various health problems in rural areas. Village ponds also required cleaning.

The Chief Minister, while addressing people of Mahuana, Sehna Khera, Adhnia, Khudian Mahan Singh and Khudian Gulab Singh, pointed out that the process of redressing grievances would be made more effective and systematic soon.

Badal said he had given directions to the officials concerned of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to release power connections to the farmers of water-logged areas on priority basis. The Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 2 crore for different works of these villages. He also announced that the state government would fund the expenditure of the education of Veer Singh, a student of the area, who had stood first in plus II exams, apart from making a mark in the field of sports. He said Veer would be given admission in Sports College, Jalandhar.

 

Panjpeer Mazaar Complex
Wakf Board in dock for changing lease
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 9
The Punjab Wakf Board is in the dock for changing the lease of the historic Panjpeer Mazaar complex here.

Senior police officials on Thursday visited the complex and deployed force at the place to avert any clash between the family, which had been taking care of mazaars for the past 55 years, and the new lessee, as hundreds of devotees had thronged the area to pay obeisance at the venue.

According to information, the board had issued lease document in favour of Mohinder Singh for one year, reportedly against a payment of Rs 2.10 lakh. He claimed having given a donation of Rs 50,000 in addition to the lease amount.

On the other hand, Bool Chand Sama said his family, after migrating from Pakpattan, the sacred land of Baba Farid in the West Punjab province, had been in lawful possession of the complex and took all pains in its development. The mazaars were located on sandy deserts.

Bool Chand said he was ready to increase the annual lease amount from Rs 1.70 lakh to Rs 2.10 lakh at par with Mohinder Singh, who had otherwise no association with the place of worship.

There was no locality around the complex a few years ago, but certain people in connivance with the department of custodian of government property and the Waqf Board allegedly got land transferred in their names and developed a colony without proper planning, leaving it to the municipal council to provide all amenities.

As the Panjpeer Mazaar complex gained reference in websites globally, the state government in 2005 initiated a move to bring it on its tourism map, but no progress was visible after the visit of director, Tourism, Jagjit Puri. Now the Punjab Wakf Board by changing the lease has opened the Pandora’s Box. The board, in a letter to the tehsildar here on May 31, wanted that physical possession of the complex along with 20-kanal land in the surrounding area should be transferred to Mohinder Singh.

 

Plethora of complaints against Punjab Police
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Punjab Police figures prominently in the list of cases instituted by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) for the period starting 1997 till March 31,2007. In fact, being involved in a whopping 55 per cent of the total cases instituted by the commission, it has no rival in the not-so-flattering statistics.

The PSHRC data spanning a decade, in possession of The Tribune, throws up some interesting facts relating to the contours of human rights violations in the state and the factors obviously or latently responsibly for the same. The entire data is coded with code figures starting from 100 and going up to 2115.

The statistical summary reveals that the commission is flooded with the complaints against the Punjab Police for violations human rights. From 1997 till March 31,2007, as many as 48,288 cases have been instituted by the PSHRC against the police.

A perusal of the data discloses that in 1997, there were only 57 cases against the police and the number started escalating phenomenally thereafter. In 1998 only, there were 492 complaints showing a steep rise of almost 400 cases within a span of one year. And then what followed over a period of eight years was a deluge of cases against the police.

Figures rose exponentially and while in 1999, there were 1,094 cases instituted by the commission against the police, the number touched 2,401 in 2000. In 2001, the cases hovered at 3642 and the year 2002 culminated with 4,344 cases against the police.

The year 2003 recorded 6,442 cases, 2004 saw 9,661 cases and the year 2005 ended with 9,835 cases. In 2006, the number was pegged at 8,852 and the current year has already (till March 31,2007) witnessed 1,488 cases against the police.

Not all cases are genuine. Some of these could be based on fake or motivated complaints and hence rejected. Thus, institution per se is not indictment of the police force, says a PSHRC official. Nevertheless, the maximum number of complaints received have been against the police only, he asserts.

The statistics related to the police, under Codes 800 to 823, implying 23 heads of items, reveal that the maximum number of the complaints (19003) against the police, from 1997 till March 31,2007, were related to ‘failure in taking action’. The Punjab Police has often been blamed of laxity or refusing to register FIR and the PSHRC data only corroborates this belief.

The (dis)honour is closely followed by another feather in the police’s cap. As many as 11,968 complaints have been filed against the force (from 1997 to 2007) for ‘abuse of power’. In fact, till March 31, 2007, 408 complaints have already been received by the commission.

 


Retrenchment fear grips Sugarfed workers
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 9
The Punjab government was contemplating retrenching employees of sick sugar mills in the state. Indication to this affect has been given in a letter written by the Punjab State Federation of Cooperative Sugar Mills to the general managers of Faridkot, Jagraon, Zira, Patiala and Tarn Taran.

In the letter, a copy of which is available with The Tribune, the general managers of the said cooperative sugar mills have been directed to asses the liabilities of salary and other dues of their employees. They have also been directed to ask the accounts department to compile all data of pending salary, retaining allowance and liabilities if the workers are retrenched as on May 31.

This has created panic among the employees of the said mills. They are alleging that the SAD-BJP government was going back on its election promise. The parties in their election manifesto had promised to revive the sick sugar mills. However, just two months into power they are planning to sack the employees. They have threatened to block traffic on the Patiala-Nabha road on June 11 in this regard.

Minister for cooperation Kanwaljit Singh, however, stated that the concerns of the employees were unfounded. The government was in fact planning to revive the sick mills, he added.

For this purpose the government was appointing profession consultants, who will be asked to work out a package. The union government has decided to allow the sugar mills to produce ethanol that can be used as fuel, he said.

When asked if private investment would be called for reviving the mills, he said it would be decided later as per the advice of the consultants. In some of the areas where sugar mills were successful, the area under sugarcane crop had increased, he added.

About the employees, the minister said the government would protect their interests.

 

Develop infrastructure, demand hoteliers
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 9
At the receiving end of the paucity of basic amenities, hotel and banquet owners of Zirakpur have sent an SOS to the Punjab government to develop infrastructure in the township to give a fillip to the hotel industry.

"The Zirakpur hotel and banquet industry which caters to the needs the region besides tricity needs a special package to live up to expectations of the visitors and people," Pradeep Aggarwal, president of the Hotel and Banquet Association, Zirakpur, told The Tribune here today.

Making a fervent appeal to Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Cooperation Minister and the Banur MLA, to rescue the hotel industry, Aggarwal demanded that there was an urgent need to speed up the laying of sewerage lines in the township.

Besides, a sewerage treatment plant was the need of the hour to save environment.

Association vice-president Parminder Singh said the power situation needed immediate streamlining and all banquet halls should be provided single phase connections up to nine kw. Similarly, water connections should be given to the marriage palaces on a priority basis.

Even as the hotels enjoyed industry status in Punjab, there was a wide disparity in the incentives given to this industry as compared to neighbouring states. While in Himachal the hotel industry was charged VAT at the rate of 4 per cent, in Punjab the rate was as high as 12.5 per cent, secretary Avtar Singh complained.

The association rued that connectivity problems dogged the township as it had only Yadvindra bridge connecting the two parts of townships between the Zirakpur-Kalka highway.

There was a pressing need for at least one more link between the two areas to avoid traffic snarls for the convenience of the general public.

Meanwhile, a memorandum to Capt Kanwaljit Singh demanded the opening of a branch of the State Bank of India for depositing government taxes and duties as the currently the facility was available only at Dera Bassi.

With the water table in Chandigarh's periphery going down, the government should make it mandatory to start rainwater harvesting for all group housing societies and commercial buildings to converse rainwater, the memorandum added.

Since Zirakpur is now a part of Mohali district, the telephone code should be same as that of Mohali, it was demanded.

 

Staff upset over govt dithering on demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
A vast section of the government employees is upset over dithering by the SAD-BJP government with regard to the enhancing of the retirement age of employees from 58 to 60 years and implementing other demands.

There is no definite move on the part of the government to increase the retirement age though the SAD-BJP combine had specifically assured the employees that it would follow the central government in all respects in the matter.

The central government had already enhanced the retirement age to 60 years. However, after making the promise in the manifesto, the SAD-BJP combine had now become silent on this issue.

Sources said a meeting on this issue was held under the chairmanship of finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal recently . Senior officers of the Finance Department attended the meeting. However, after the meeting, a note was forwarded by the department to the Personnel Department opposing the raising of the retirement age.

Employees, who favour the enhancing of the retirement age, say Badal and his colleagues in the government had got the votes of employees on the basis of the promise to raise their retirement age.

 

Kartar Singh’s death anniversary
Govt, SGPC seem to have forgotten him
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 9
Giani Kartar Singh, a prominent figure in the history of modern Punjab, seems to have been forgotten by the SGPC and state government. This can clearly be seen from the fact that the state government has not organised any official function on his 30th death anniversary tomorrow, at his native village Nagoke in the district.

Despite the fact that Giani Kartar Singh contributed to state’s development in a big way either as the SGPC member since its inception from 1925 to 1960 or as a minister from 1948 to 1951 and from 1957 to 1963, except for a few months in 1959.

Besides this, Giani Kartar Singh would always be remembered for helping in rehabilitating refugees from areas of the state that later became Pakistan. When contacted, SGPC president Avtar Singh confirmed that no official function was being organised by the SGPC in memory of one of its most illustrious members. “I have received an invitation from the family but since I’m away to Jammu, I will not be able to attend the function,” he added.

Asked if any SGPC member would attend on his behalf, he said he would try sending the SPGC secretary as representative of the committee. Meanwhile, Atma Singh “Khaira”, who also belongs to the Nagoke village and is instrumental in organising tomorrow’s function, demanded that both state government and the SGPC should organise some function to pay tributes to this great leader of the state.

“He was a rare politician who did not enter politics for any material gains or to amass wealth. Like most other families from Nagoke, his brother has also shifted to Tanda now. But people who have known gianiji make it a point to gather on his death anniversary to recall his contribution,” he said.

“It is a pity that such a great leader, who played a crucial role in the socio-political life of Punjabis has been forgotten by the SGPC and the state government,” said Atma Singh.

 

Chahal denied lawyer during questioning
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
A city court today declined the plea of B.I.S. Chahal, former media adviser of Capt Amarinder Singh, that his lawyer be allowed to remain present during questioning by the Vigilance Bureau at its local office tomorrow in connection with the City Centre scam.

The orders were passed by judicial magistrate Kuldeep Singh. Chahal had moved the application today. Special public prosecutor M.L. Solanki opposed it on the plea that the accused had been granted anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court order no where permits him to be questioned in the presence of his lawyer.

Meanwhile, special judge Gurbir Singh today reserved the order on the bail application filed by Chetan Gupta, a Delhi-based businessman who was arrested rfom Delhi on May 17.

 

Akali leader shielding murder accused: Bajwa
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 9
Alleging highhandedness by the Shiromani Akali Dal, former PWD minister Punjab Pratap Singh Bajwa said the government had been harassing Congress workers of his assembly constituency.

Bajwa told reporters Sewa Singh Sekhwan, a former Akali minister, had been shielding the suspects - Kirpal Sigh alias Palli, Karam Singh and Wasakha Singh- in the Balkar Singh murder case. Balkar Singh, a resident of Roranwali village 35 km from here, was stabbed to death allegedly by the trio on Wednesday. Kahnuwan MLA Pratap Singh Bajwa added Sekhwan had given the murder suspects shelter in his hospital. The hospital is run by a trust in the name of Sewa Singh's father.

The MLA alleged though four days had passed yet the police had failed to make any arrest in the murder case.

A case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered against Kirpal Sigh alias Palli, Karam Singh and Wasakha Singh all of Roranwali village at Kahnuwan police station. 

 

Barnala’s mother-in-law dead
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 9
Daljit Kaur (92), mother-in-law of Tamil Nadu Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala, died at her residence here today. Deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal laid a wreath on her pyre on behalf of the state government.

She is survived by three sons and two daughters, including wife of Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala.

 

PSEB to hold bijli darbars
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 9
After the sangat darshan programme of the state government and lok adalats of the Punjab aids free legal services authority, now it is the turn of the Punjab state electricity board (PSEB) to resolve complaints and grievances of the people by holding bijli darbars throughout the state. The PSEB organised a bijli darbar at Phagwara in which deputy chief engineer B.S.Sekhon listened the complaints of consumers. Nineteen out of the 20 complaints were resolved on the spot during the darbar organised at the PSEB office here today.

 

Bus service for corpn cities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Punjab government has decided to run a city bus service in all municipal corporation cities on the Indore city pattern.

A meeting in this connection was held here today by principal secretary, local bodies, D.S. Bains, with the commissioners of the municipal corporations of Bathinda, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana. The bus service will become operational by the end of this month, it is learnt.

The government appears to be in a hurry in this regard keeping in view the coming elections in the municipal corporation cities.

 

LIC told to pay Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 9
The Sangrur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India to settle the insurance claim and pay Rs 2 lakh along with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date of repudiation of claim till realisation to Murti Devi (51), widow of Raj Kumar, resident of Shafipur Kalan village in Sunam tehsil of the district.

The forum has also directed the LIC to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation on account of mental tension and harassment, and Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses to Murti Devi.

As per the case, Murti Devi is the widow of Raj Kumar who got himself insured vide two policies for Rs 1 lakh each commencing from October 10, 2005, and October 20, 2005, respectively. All instalments against these policies were deposited well in time. Unfortunately, in March 2006 late Raj Kumar felt pain in his chest and was immediately taken to a private healthcare centre at Sangrur. After treatment, he was discharged the same day. Thereafter, on April 10, 2006, he died due to heart attack at his Shafipur Kalan village, but Murti Devi’s case was that prior to the said episode he was hale and hearty.

Murti Devi, being nominee, lodged the claim with the LIC in time. Thereafter, she, along with her son, visited the office of the LIC at Sangrur time and again for the release of the claim, but their request fell on deaf ears and ultimately LIC authorities repudiated the claim vide a letter dated October 16, 2006.

 

Nurmahal Firing Incident
‘Bribe forced Sukhdev to commit suicide’
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, June 9
Shortage of Rs 40,000 forced Sukhdev Singh to commit suicide as he felt helpless to fulfil the demand of bribery made by SHO Nurmahal Shivdev Singh Kahlon,who was allegedly torturing Sukhdev and threatening to do the same to his family also if he did not pay Rs 40,000. He had already paid Rs 50,000 to the SHO. Surjit Kaur, sister of Sukhdev, said this while talking to this correspondent in Nurmahal today.

Sukhdev was taken into police custody on June 1 and released on June 5 on the promise of bribe in connection with a case of dissappearance of Pooja. She had reportedly ran away with a youth, said to be a relative of Sukhdev.

She said he had approached his relatives in this regard, who collected the money. But it appears that Sukhdev out of fear committed suicide.

Though the administration has announced compensation for the family of Balwinder, no relief was announced in case of Sukhdev.

In case of Balwinder it was sheer bad luck. Balwinder, a student of BA-I, did not went to college on that day. Unfortunately, at lunch he himself asked his father that he would bring ice, but they asked him not to go due to the disturbance after the suicides. But he insisted and went and became the target of police firing.

 

Woman found dead; relatives cry foul
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, June 9
A pregnant woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Guru Angad Dev Colony here today.

Narinder Kaur, who was married to Sandeep Singh about one-and-a-half years back, was allegedly being harassed by her in-laws for dowry, police sources said.

Deceased’s brother-in-law Mehnga Singh said he saw strangulation marks on the body. Narinder Kaur’s father Dilbagh Singh and sister Kanwaljit Kaur have alleged that her in-laws used to torture her physically for bringing more dowry.

Seeking strict action against the accused, Kanwaljit Kaur said Narinder was about seven-months’ pregnant.

Meanwhile, the police has booked Sandeep Singh (husband), Mastan Singh (brother-in-law), Bhajan Kaur (mother-in-law), Paramjit Kaur (sister-in-law) and Gurnam Kaur (husband’s aunt).

A case under Section 304-B of the IPC has been registered and the police is investigating the matter.

 

Armed men storm hospital, beat up 2
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 9
More than 18 armed persons, who came in two jeeps, stormed the Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here after 1 am today and started hitting Devi Lal and his son Lal Chand of Waryamkhera village, in the emergency ward with sticks. This created panic among other patients. The miscreants fled after people raised the alarm for help.

The authorities had sanctioned a police post in the hospital keeping in view of such incidents in the past, but no policeman was found last night. The staff said they had been allotted a room opposite the emergency ward, but the same was later occupied by an NGO forcing the police to take shelter here or there.

Sources said Devi Lal was admitted yesterday, along with his son, with injuries and alleged that some persons had tried to run them over under a car. This enraged the persons named in the FIR and they attacked the complainant last night causing more injuries.

 

Boy beaten to death
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 9
Tinku, a resident of Tung Bala, was beaten to death allegedly by Baljit Singh and his son Simarjit Singh, residents of Preet Nagar over a minor dispute here today.

The police has registered a case under Section 304A of the IPC at Vijay Nagar police station. No arrest has been made.

Veeran, mother of the deceased, in her complaint stated the accused had old enmity with her son. Yesterday, the accused took Tinku to his home when he was going for some work. She alleged they beat up the victim badly. He was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.

 

Two IAF personnel crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 9
Two Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel, identified as Ravinder Nath Sahu and Amitabh Kumar, were crushed to death by a speeding vehicle on the Bathinda-Malout road late last night.

Vijay Goyal, president, Sahara Jan Sewa, NGO, in a press note issued here today, said the bodies of the two were taken to the Civil Hospital, Bathinda. A case under Section 304-A,IPC, was registered in this connection.

 

Extra 15 pc marks to PGET candidates
Baba Farid varsity moves SC against HC order
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9
The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, has moved the Supreme Court seeking the quashing of the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, dated May 24, whereby the clause 37 notification issued by the Punjab government on March 21 had been set aside.

The notification had authorised the university to conduct postgraduate entrance test for admission to PG courses for the academic year 2007 for the government and private medical colleges against medical and dental seats in PG courses.

The clause 37 of the notification stipulated that the candidates who had passed their graduate degree from medical or dental colleges situated in Punjab, except CMC, Ludhiana, and had qualified the Postgraduate Entrance Test (PGET-2007) should be given additional 15 per cent marks of the total marks obtained in the PGET.

The said clause was challenged in the High Court, which on May 24 struck it down terming it as contrary to the law laid by the Supreme Court in Magan Mehrotra’s case and also reiterated in Saurabh Chaudhary’s case and being ultra vires to the Article 14 of the Constitution.

The High Court, however, granted the liberty to the Punjab government and the university to reserve, by way of institutional preference to the exclusion of the petitioners who had challenged the clause, 11 out of 21 seats available for general category candidates.

The university has pleaded in the petition filed before the apex court that the High Court order was contrary to the judgment of the apex court given in State of Rajasthan Vs Dr Ashok Kumar Gupta and others’ case.

The university has further submitted that the reservation order of the High Court, too, was violative of the Supreme Court judgment in Dr Pradeep Jain’s case (1984), which had been affirmed by a Constitution Bench of the apex court in Saurabh Chaudhri’s case (2003).

The case is listed for hearing on June 11.

 

VC firm on teachers’ suspension
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 9
Punjabi University vice-chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai remains stuck to his stance of suspending two senior professors who have been spearheading agitation against him despite objections raised by senior syndicate members.

In a press note issued here today he had said the suspension of social work department’s professor Manjit Singh and history department’s reader Kulbir Singh Dhillon had been ratified by the syndicate as required under university calendar rules.

Earlier, the vice-chancellor had suspended Manjit Singh and Dhillon on May 8 and April 27, respectively, using powers vested in him by Clause 7 and 8 of the Punjabi University Act 1961, Section 9 (A) coupled with syndicate’s decision of March 29, 2005, for their “anti-university activities”.

The approval of suspension orders of the two faculty members was sought from the syndicate members “through circulation” which empowers the vice-chancellor to take such action provided the matter, inter alia, is of “non-controversial and urgent nature”.

Besides this, the syndicate in its meeting of July 21, 1984, had authorised the vice-chancellor “to take any disciplinary action, including suspension, against those, whose acts amount to creating unbefitting atmosphere on the campus”.

The vice-chancellor has made it crystal clear that the actions of these two teachers, on the basis of which they were suspended, were of shocking nature demanding urgency.

The agenda note has been approved by majority of the syndics. The two syndics have asked the vice-chancellor to take up the issue in a formal syndicate meeting.

While nine of the 13 members, who have replied to the circular, have approved the action taken by the vice-chancellor, three expressed dissension over the issue.

 





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