RTI uncaps IT Act violations at head post office
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
In a revelation made possible through the Right to Information Act, it has been found that officials of the savings bank of the city head post office have been allegedly violating the Income Tax Act by making payments exceeding Rs 20,000 through cash rather than by cheque.

The allegation has been confirmed in a reply filed by the public information officer (CPIO)-cum-senior superintendent of post offices (SSP) to the RTI application given by Sukhdip Singh, a lawyer in the district courts, on May 4 seeking information on violation of the act in April 2007.

The SSP has even given the names of five officials working at the discharge counters who were responsible for violating the act. Three officials are of the APM ranks and two are holding the PA rank.

He, however, has not given the details of the persons to whom the payment has been made and the amount paid saying that it could be a violation of Post Office Savings Bank Act.

While the applicant has asked as to what action would be taken against the officials, the SSP has said: “Suitable departmental action will be taken against the officials at fault.” Rajinder Bhatia, another lawyer, however, has said that Section 271 (e) of the Income Tax Act called for a provision of penalty equal to the amount of transaction.

Further asked as to when the information would be given to the income tax department, the SSP has said: “Under section 8(1)(e) and section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005, amended that no such private information is to be disclosed unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information and disclosure of such information would not cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual.

“Under the RTI Act, the appellant has the right to appeal against this decision to the director (staff and vigilance) of the Punjab Circle at Chandigarh which is the appellate authority.”

Bhatia has said that the information provided by the central public information officer to the applicant, Sukhdip Singh, is incomplete. But there is sufficient evidence that a number of payments have been made in cash against the rules of the I-T Act.

Sukhdip Singh has now filed an application before the appellate authority saying that the information had been denied arbitrarily as the CPIO seemed to shield the officials of his department denying the information sought by him.

He has even pointed out to Section 8 of the RTI Act saying that information which cannot be denied to Parliament or a state legislature could not be denied to any person.

Bhatia said on June 9 he had written a complaint on behalf of his associate Sukhdip Singh regarding corruption in the head post office.

He had called for a punitive action against the officials in the interest of healthy economy of the country.



Police trying to hush up case: Victim
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
Manu Chhabra of Preet Nagar area has alleged that SHO Satinder Chadha was trying to hush up the case of attack on him by Vipin of the same locality.

He alleged that Vipin his associates, including Goldy and Vicky had attacked him and his friend Bachittar Singh with sharp edged weapons after criminally trespassing his house on the night of June 6.

Despite repeated attempts SHO could not be contacted. Dr Surinder Kumar Kalia, SP City I, told The Tribune that he had asked DSP City I to look into the case. Denying any political pressure, he said justice would be done after receiving report of the enquiry.

The victims after being discharged from the hospital along with representatives of the area brought the matter to the notice of IG Sanjiv Kalra on Wednesday.

Manu alleged that he was attacked because had asked Vipin and his associates not to sit on the cemented seat built outside his house because they used abusive language and allegedly made indecent comments on women passing by.

The matter was reported to the police and ASI Surinderpal Singh visited the spot. An FIR under Sections 323, 324, 148, 149, 452, 341 and 506 of IPC was registered against the accused on June 7.

Manu and Bachirttar alleged that now the SHO was trying to hush up the case at the behest of a local SAD leader as when they contacted him to know the progress of the case, he said that section 452-which deals with non bailable offence-had been wrongly added in the FIR and the police would remove it from the FIR.



PUDA Wakes Up
After two years, treatment plant to get operational
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 14
After long hue and cry of the residents of local Urban Estate, Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) announced to start much-awaited sewage treatment plant in the area from June 26 as it was lying uninstalled without a valid power connection.

PUDA additional chief administrator S Kulbir Singh today visited the Phagwara Urban Estate to assess the problems and grievances of the residents and assured them for early cleaning of the blocked sewage in the locality within one week.

Urban Estate Residents Welfare Association headed by Gursondeep Singh Malwai urged him to make arrangements for repairing of the roads and proper drainage of rainy water, which was assured by ACA to solve within one week.

He assured to spend a sum of Rs 94 lakh for strengthening of the roads in Urban Estates. He also assured to remove the congress grass from the locality and providing of proper streets lights in Urban Estate.

It may be mentioned here that Rs 2-crore sewage treatment plant was set up in urban estate two years back, but the PUDA authorities had not be able to get power connection for the unit, and the residents alleged that in the absence of a functional disposal system, sewage is being diverted to various parks in the area, where deep ditches have been dug. The result is that the residents are forced to live amidst foul smell and the fear of disease.

It was revealed that PUDA signed a contract on September 6, 2004 with a Pune firm to install a sewage treatment plant, which had to be completed within 14 months, while the machinery was installed, it has not been commissioned as power supply was still awaited and the authorities have also not been able to make arrangements for the drainage of treated water.

It was learnt that PUDA staff was in process to contact irrigation department for the drainage of treated water in nearby canal.



A hobby makes him popular among tourists
Palak Bajaj

An Indian rupee 10 coin, coin from the time of Alexander, coins with bronze metal in the middle, you name it and he has it.

Coin collection of Keshav Chander Grover
Coin collection of Keshav Chander Grover

The name (of the man) is Keshav Chander Grover and the hobby, not hobby, passion, is collecting coins, stamps, postcards and what not and a noble intent to help the tourists whether foreigner or Indian in the holy city of Amritsar.

It seems the man has shrunk the world into his humble abode.

“How did you start?” was my first question. The man in his early forties, who has been pursuing this hobby for the past 20 years, replies: “I had given my class X examination and there was a scheme of a free flag of a country with a 10-paisa toffee.

We had to paste the flag in a flag album and from there I gained knowledge about many countries and their respective currencies. Soon after that a friend introduced me to collection of coins.”

Since then there was no looking back and today he is the proud owner of more than 1,500 coins and 25,000 stamps.

Ask him if he got any help from his family members and the god-fearing man proudly announces "God" and recalls an incident when one night he sat counting coins.

“The coins were about 99 in number I looked up in the sky and murmured let’s see God where the 100th coin comes from.”

The next morning while offering water on a “Shivaling” he found a rare coin from Thailand and exchanged it with the priest for a genuine amount.

Such is his passion for collecting coins that once while visiting the birthplace of Lord Krishna (Mathura) he was told by someone that he would get rare coins from Agra and the cities nearby.

He left his family while they were paying obeisance at various temples in Mathura and went to Agra, Firozabad and Fategarh and collected 13 coins.

In order to have all possible (existing) coins from round the globe, he interacts with foreign tourists visiting the city and has detailed knowledge of almost every part of the globe.

It seems as if the whole globe is embedded in his brain, for he graphically has awesome knowledge of almost every country on the planet (although he has visited none).

He also accumulates knowledge by staying hooked to Discovery channel and if anything interests him it finds space in his diary.

He then shows us the greetings he has been receiving from his foreigner friends.

Some of the visitors to his house include Bob Lening (traveller) from National Geographic and Jan Berger, a Swiss pilot.

Also a philosopher he was once asked by Douglas Kuch, professor of music, religion and philosophy in Curry College of Milton, USA, to deliver a lecture on peace but he refused for some personal reasons. He then share his views that according to the Hindu mythology after about 84 lakh births one gets body of a human being.

Why not use it constructively? He shakes his head in dejection as he talks about the various perils eating our society. A believer of the saying, “service to mankind is the service to God”, he puts his maximum to help everybody.

He gives the message of peace so that life can be utilised to its fullest and he signs off with a quote, "Yeh jindagi pyar karne ke liye kam hai, pata nahin log nafrat ke liye samay kahan se nikal lete hain. (life is so short to love and be loved, I wonder how people manage to take time for hatred).



Young World
Vacation: Students indulge in hobbies
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
Hobby classes were conducted for students of Seth Hukum Chand SD Public Senior Secondary School during the summer break. Students were imparted training in dance, painting, flower-making, cooking, English-speaking, yoga, mehndi, skating, personality development and computer. The participants were given certificates at the conclusion of the classes.

Campus placement

Crompton Greaves, an electrical equipment giant, held a campus placement for the students at Lovely Institutes. Net solutions, a company dealing in computer software, will hold interviews on June 14 and L&T Infotech will conduct its placement programme on June 20 and 21, said H.R. Singla, director-general of the institutes. He said, “The response from the companies in the current academic session has been enthusiastic.

Many companies offering good pay packages have visited the campus for recruitment.”

Teachers’ workshop

A week-long computer literacy workshop is being organised at CT Public School. All teachers of the school are being trained by Intel Master Trainers programme so that they can easily make presentations of their teaching material. The course includes making of grade sheets and computer-based lesson plans. Principal of the school Lakhvinder Kaur supervised the programme.

New courses

Three new integrated courses have been introduced at Lovely Professional University from the coming session.

The new courses include five-year integrated B.Tech and M.Tech, five-year integrated B.Tech and MBA and six-year integrated diploma in engineering and B.Tech. The diploma B.Tech course can be taken after Class X.

Camps conclude

Various camps being conducted during the summer break at Guru Amar Dass Public School concluded today. School principal Tarlochan Singh and other staff members were present. Art and craft camp was conducted by Kamal with the help of Anil Sharma and Neena Malhotra, dance camp by Pankaj Bacchra and Pritpal Singh and yoga camp by Sonia Rani. An art and craft exhibition was organised on the last day in which five entries were awarded prizes by Camlin

Excellent result

Saint Soldier College (Co-educational) at Basti Danismandan have shown excellent result in the B.Com (III) examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University. A press note issued by the institute said the hard work put in by the students and teachers led to the achievement of 100 per cent result. All 44 students of the institute have cleared the examination. Two students, Ashish Kapoor and Inderjit Singh, secured 69 and 68 per cent marks, respectively. Anil Chopra, chairman of the institute, congratulated students and teachers of the institute.



City students leave for USA to fetch NASA trophy
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
Five students of Apeejay School (junior branch), who have won a trophy in a space design competition organised by the National Aeronautical Space Architecture (NASA), are leaving for the USA to fetch their prize on June 15.

The winners will be led by school principal Ranjana Sud and Emanual Rattan Raj, guide of project “BABEL”.

It is a matter of pride for the Apeejay group of institutes that students of Apeejay School (senior branch) had won another NASA-organised competition last year.

The five students of the junior branch of the school, according to institute spokesperson Loveleen Bagga, are the only group of students of any institute in the country to win the prize in the competion.

“Their project was based on the concept of space settlement or how astronauts could be settled in space in a better manner. Students from 109 countries had participated in the competition,” said Bagga.

Apeejay College of Fine Arts principal Sucharita has congratulated the winning students who will receive their prize at a ceremony to be held at the NASA headquarters on June 19.



New magazine for the ‘real’ dolls
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
Women have proved to be far more than what the profit run ad mad world of business and entertainment would like to portray them as.

For those tired of watching women brought down to mere products Market Informer has launched a new magazine Ladies Special.

The magazine aims to feature girls who are given opportunities to realise their full potential instead of focusing on kitchen, fashion, stitching or knitting.

Hemant Kumar, creative head of Market Informer, says the magazine is a salute to the women of substance.

The magazine aims at bringing out real element of women of today.

In era of a severely skewed sex ratio in the state, the magazine will speak and work towards rebuilding image of the Indian woman damaged due to portrayal of women as glamour dolls, he said.

The real Indian woman can be brought out only by bringing out her strong personality, he added.

“The country has produced many talented women besides Miss Worlds or Miss Universe. Such examples can be seen in across Indian homes, adds Hemant.



Award for NITJ professor
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
Dr Rajiv Kumar Garg of the department of industrial engineering of Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar (NITJ), has been felicitated by Air-India and The Tribune at a function held in Chandigarh on May 26. He was presented the broad outlook learner teacher award. NITJ director Moin Uddin has extended his greetings to Garg for his achievement.



19 pension cases received in sangat darshan
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 14
As many as 19 grievances about different types of pensions were received in a sangat darshan held in Bholath on Thursday.

Presiding over the sangat darshan, ADC Balwinder Singh Multani marked these grievances to the district social security office for disposal.

A total of 102 grievances were presented in the sangat darshan.

Out of them, 29 were marked to the Bholath subdivisional magistrate, 13 to the senior superintendent of police and seven to the DDPO.

Former Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur and officers of all the departments were present in the sangat darshan.

Departments concerned were told to send copies of the action-taken report to the complainant and the deputy commissioner within a fortnight.



Demand to fix ice rates
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 14
After hearing the pleas of residents, Shiv Sena Punjab vice-president Pawan Parbhakar has urged the administrator to fix the rates of ice.

The residents complained that ice being sold at Rs 300 per block is double from the normal rates.

Charge taken

Phagwara SDM Amarjitpaul has taken charge of his additional duty that of a administrator of market committee Phagwara.

The SDM said Rs 25 lakh would be spent on the construction of the roads in grain market, Rs 15 lakh for installation of a new tubewell and Rs 14 lakh for the electrification in the mandi.



EC mulls single voters’ list for all polls
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 14
The Election Commission of India plans to prepare only one voter list which could be considered in all elections including village panchayats, nagar councils, assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

This move is being viewed as an important step in promoting transparency and preventing bogus voting in the elections. It was learnt that the Election Commission has taken the matter seriously and now has initiated steps to make only one photo identity voter card and one voter list for all elections. ECI sources told The Tribune that all Election Commissions of all states have agreed to act on this proposal, which was discussed in details in the two days meeting of all states election commissioners in Nanital recently.



Mann’s judicial remand extends
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14
A city court today extended the judicial remand of SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjeet Singh Mann for two weeks till June 28.

Mann’s supporters raised slogans in his favour while he was being produced in the court amidst tight security.

Talking to media persons, Mann alleged the police was harassing him.

Mann was arrested after he attempted to dishonour late Chief Minister Beant Singh’s statue at BMC chowk few weeks ago. He was also charged with sedition.



Two run over by trains

Phillaur, June 14
Two unidentified persons were run over by two trains at Phillaur railway station today. One person was crushed to death when he fell down from the train while attempting to get down. In second incident, one unidentified migrant labourer was run over by a train when he was crossing the railway lines. The railway police has registered cases — OC



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