C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Anti-smoking drive turns to ashes
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The anti-smoking drive of the Chandigarh Police seems to have gone up in smoke. The drive, which was launched with fanfare on July 15 to make Chandigarh the first smoke-free city in the country, is gradually losing steam.

Figures available from July 15 to October 31 reveal that the police booked 1,175 persons for violating the provisions of the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. But only 15 violators have been prosecuted till date.

The number of persons booked for breaking the law is dismally low in October. A police officer said no serious effort was being made to enforce the law. It was only when senior officials asked to launch a drive, the policemen booked the violators.

In all, the police booked 108 shopkeepers for violating the law. Three out of the four police stations of the South sub-division, including Sectors 31, 36 and 39 police stations, have failed to catch a single shopkeeper violating the Act.

Roadside cigarette and tobacco products’ vendors continue to sell intoxicants to minors and some are running business near educational institutions. Their presence indicates that they are rarely fear policemen on beat duty.

During the first four months of the drive, the East sub-division of the Chandigarh Police booked a maximum number of persons (467) for smoking at public places. As many as 65 shopkeepers not complying with the provisions of the Act were also booked. At the South subdivision, 363 persons were booked.

A resident of Sector 33 rued that the market had become a nuisance for residents as it had become a haven for smokers. The police beat box in the market notwithstanding, the smokers enjoyed their puff, much to the chagrin of the passersby. 

Police station/persons booked 
                      in October

Sector 19/13
Sector 26/22
Industrial Area/9
Mani Majra/ 15
Sector 11/ 10
Sector 3/ nil
Sector 17/ 1
Sector 36/ nil
Sector 31/ 16
Sector 39/ 27
Sector 34/ 3



Post of Director
Six GMCH dept heads
file plea with CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Six heads of departments of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, have moved the CAT, Chandigarh, contesting the validity of the manner being adopted by the administration in appointing the director principal of the medical institute. Making the administration, union minstry of home affairs, secretary, medical education and research, UPSC, and the MCI respondents, they have contested the appointment of director, medical education and research, saying the post could not be held by a non- medico.

The administration had appointed Raji P. Srivastava, special secretary, finance and health, as director, medical education and research, earlier this month. The CAT had asked the administration to file a reply to the petition by tomorrow.

Dr Harsh Mohan, medical superintendent, had filed a petition on November 5, on the plea that the appointment of director principal through deputation was in violation of the Constitution.

The medical superintendent pleaded that Article 14 of the Constitution provide the right to equality. Filing a plea on similar lines, Dr K.K. Continued on page 3



Ban on rituals at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
In an attempt to maintain the eco balance of Sukhana lake, the Chandigarh Administration has prohibited the performing of religious ceremonies and rituals at the lake here. District magistrate R.K. Rao issued the prohibition orders under Section 144 CrPC here today.

This orders also prohibit floating of lighted earthen lamps using mustard oil and bursting of crackers at the site.

Performing of various rituals cause noise and water pollution, besides disturbing the eco balance in the Silence Zone of the lake.

The order will come into force from zero hours on November 20 and will be effective up to January 18, 2008. 



Brinder ineligible for exam, says PU panel
Yet roll no. sent
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Nov 19
The controversy surrounding the admission of Brinder Dhillon in the department of laws, Panjab University refuses to die. After his alleged admission in first year to the department against PU regulations on November 4, after the classes for first semester were over, the debate has now erupted on whether he should be given a roll number or not. The examination for the first semester begins tomorrow.

The decision was to be taken by three statutory committees of Panjab University-board of control, academic committee and admission committee of the department of laws.

In its report submitted today, the 16-member committee recommended that the candidate is ineligible to sit in the examination for three reasons. First, he has not yet submitted his character certificate, which is mandatory; second he doesn’t meet the criteria of 75 per cent attendance in each subject ‘during the semester’; and third he doesn’t meet the criteria of attending classes during the semester with 70 per cent attendance in each subject as laid down by the Bar Council of India.

Despite the committee’s strong recommendations against issuance of roll number to Brinder, it has been learnt that his roll number was despatched from the examination branch after 5pm today, after the department was closed. Since no clerical staff was available at that time, the roll number was not been accepted by the department. Whether he appears in the examination tomorrow or not is to be seen. Joint controller of examinations, V.Kapoor was not available for comment. 



Contract Breach
ICL notice to Mohammad Yusuf
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The ICL today sought that a severe penalty be imposed on Mohammad Yusuf for breaching the contract with it.

Talking to mediapersons at a local hotel here today, Ashish Kaul, executive vice-president, said: “We have served a legal notice on the Pakistani batsman and the matter is pending with the sole arbitrator in Mumbai. It would come up for hearing on November 21.”

Slamming the BCCI for obstructing the league, Kaul said the board had gone to the extent of threatening players, who had signed up with the ICL. On the signal of the BCCI, many stadia had backed out from holding league matches, said Kaul.



Registration of Flats
Residents for joint action against notice
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
The office-bearers of the group housing societies today condemned the public notice regarding the registration of their flats with the Haryana Urban Development Authority.

Secretary, Kendriya Vihar Apartments, Sector 20, S. Suri, said the prime issue involved is enforcement of Haryana Apartment Ownership Act, 1983.

Through this public notice, the HUDA has “threatened” the apartment owners of Panchkula to pay registration fee, failing which, the water and electricity supply to their premises would be disconnected.

They could also be imprisoned for a period that could extend upto three years besides imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 per day for non-compliance by the office-bearers and apartment owners.

He maintained that even if the law-abiding citizens, against whom this public notice is issued, submit to this unlawful act, they simply cannot submit their deeds and the said amount within the short period of time mentioned in the notice.

“The time frame set out for the society office-bearers is November 25 and December 10 for the apartment owners. Office-bearers present at the meeting held yesterday evening have expressed their helplessness to comply with the orders,” he said. 
The office-bearers of various societies condemned the said notice and it was unanimously decided that a joint approach be taken against the same.

The apartment owners and their society office-bearer lamented that this act was not applicable to them as in the conveyance deed of land.

Even in the allotment letter given to the societies, it was nowhere mentioned that the apartment owners would be liable to pay stamp duty.

The process being followed by the government of Haryana is that the apartment owners register their flats through an L-68 form to the registrar, cooperative societies and once registered with the said regulator, pay Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 or more, as prescribed by the HUDA, after which, their name is registered against the said flat.

The application of this act means duplicity of command or multiplicity of regulators for the registration of the very same apartment which is unlawful.



35 students challaned
Driving without licence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
The traffic police today challaned 35 students for driving to their schools in their personal vehicles without proper documents and for driving two-wheelers without wearing helmets.

The students were challaned outside Satluj Public School, Sector 4, D.C. Model School, Sector 7, and Bhawan Vidyalaya in Sector 15.

“The challaning drive today was only an attempt to make students realise that they ought to follow traffic rules. However, this would be followed up with a session to educate the students about the need to adhere to traffic rules in view of the rising number of accidents,” said ASP Maneesh Chaudhary.

The police, in a communication to the city schools, will write to the principals and ask them for a suitable time to go over to the school and give presentations.

“We want to visit every school, interact with the students and deliver lectures to tell them to restrain from violating the traffic rules,” Chaudhary said.

The students were primarily challaned for not carrying their driving licences and for driving two-wheelers without helmets. 



Cycle rally heads for Pune
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
As part of its the golden jubilee celebrations, the Directorate-General Quality Assurance (DGQA) is undertaking a cycle rally from Chandigarh to Pune.

The rally was flagged off by the additional director-general, quality assurance, V. Uma Maheswara Rao, here today. The DGQA Adventure Sports Cell has also planned a skiing expedition at the Rohtang range this winter.

Passing through seven states, the 25-member team will cover an approximate distance of 1,800 km over 22 days. The cyclists will reach Pune by December 10. On way, the rally will pass through New Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Nasirabad, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodra and Mumbai.

The aim of this expedition is to foster the spirit of adventure and develop comradeship and team building among participants. During the rally, the cyclists will also get an opportunity to experience the pristine beauty of the nation’s rich culture and heritage. The rally also intends to spread the message of reducing vehicular pollution and protecting the environment.



Media’s role in democracy valuable, says ex-VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
In continuation of the special lecture series, the department of correspondence studies, PU, under the chairmanship of Prof Jagmohan Chopra, organised a talk by Radhey Shyam Sharma, fellow, PU, and a former vice-chancellor of University of Journalism in Bhopal, on “Role of Media as Fourth Estate” today.

Sharma dwelt on the conceptual origins of the term “fourth estate” and brought to light the contribution made by various scholars and political leaders.

Sharma said in addition to the three estates of legislature, executive and judiciary, media played a valuable role in democracy, and in that sense, constituted the fourth estate. He opined that in the age of information and communication revolution, media had gained immense importance. Highlighting the importance of print media, he said the medium had always been important and despite the entry of audio-visual media, its significance had not declined.

The talk was followed by an interaction with the audience. Prof Meera Malik commented on the censorship of newspapers, while Dr Kuldip Puri raised the issue of devising a regulatory code of media.



Drive checks parking blues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
In their continuing effort to check the parking problem of the city, MC officials today, along with officials of the traffic police, undertook a drive once again at the Sector 17 Bank Square.

The drive started at 9:30 am before the office staff started coming in, stated an MC official. Efforts were made to guide the people to park the vehicles at the designated places in an organised manner. The drive lasted till noon and also saw the traffic police chipping in.

SP traffic police A.S. Alhawat was also present on the spot and ensured full co-operation for such a drive in the future too. Councillors Gurcharan Das Kala, Jatinder Bhatia, Pradeep Chabbra and nominated councillor MPS Chawla were also present during the drive.



Residents rue poor upkeep of park
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 19
Residents of Phase 3A here have no place to send their children to play. The Freedom Fighter Park, catering to hundreds of residents, has not been maintained for years.

Swings are in bad shape and many places in the park are dotted with garbage.

Grass and other green vegetation have also not been pruned and some areas of the park have become unusable. “The park was named Freedom Fighter Park because I, along with some others, had played an important role in the freedom struggle,” said Satya Dev Sharma. He now rued the condition of the park.



Safety measures on Diwali

Diwali festival ended leaving more than 150 persons of the city with eye and burn injuries. Four of them lost their one eye, which is not a minor tragedy. But as usual the Chandigarh administration remained a silent spectator taking no concrete steps to prevent such occurrences in future.

On the eve of every Diwali, the administration announces that there will be a ban on crackers but every time there is sale of crackers for thousands and thousands of rupees. There is no monitoring of fire-safety measures. This endangers the lives of people, especially children, who go for Diwali shopping.

G.K.Chopra, Chandigarh 

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Transit remand for CAT accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Two youths Gaurav Midha and Narinder were arrested yesterday by the Kolkata police for taking the CAT as impersonators. They were arrested from the DAV College, Sector 10, here. They were sent on transit remand for three days by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Y.S. Rathor today.

The accused would be produced before the Alipore Court in Kolkata on November 22.

The two accused were produced before the duty magistrate, who then sent the case to CJM.

The Kolkata police claims to have traced a network of impersonators taking CAT. The accused had been accused of submitting a number of forms by furnishing wrong information.

Defending Gaurav, an engineering student from NSIT, Delhi, on submission of multiple forms his lawyer A.P.S. Shergill said that there was a provision in the CAT prospectus that the appearing candidate can fill more than one forms.

While requesting the court for transit bail, advocate A.S. Sukhija said the accused had no intention of impersonating as they had pasted their own pictures and signatures on all forms submitted. He added that they have been arrested on mere suspicion.

Public prosecutor Manish Dua, however, said , “Both the accused have filled five forms of CAT with different addresses. If their intentions were not malicious then they should have given the same address on all forms.”

Specifying on the provisions mentioned on the CAT prospectus he stated, “It is mentioned on the prospectus that if the applicant had filled the prospectus wrongly then he can deposit another prospectus. But in this case Gaurav had filled six forms while Narinder has submitted five.”

Narinder is an engineer, who had graduated from Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh.

Perveen Kumar Tripathi, ASP, South 24 Pargana, said, “We had information that 10 such impersonators were appearing for the exam here and were a part of a bigger network. Both the culprits had submitted five forms each to get consecutive roll numbers by providing wrong information.”

He said a case had been registered on the complaint of IIM Kolkata officials a few months back, when during scrutiny of forms they found that some applicants had submitted multiple forms.

The two accused have been booked under Sections 419, 465, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC.



Man caught red-handed stealing cell phone
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A Mohali resident was allegedly caught red-handed while stealing a mobile phone. Rakesh Popli of Sector 16 reported to the police alleging that Harpreet Singh of Phase I, Mohali, was caught red-handed while stealing a mobile phone from Sector 15 market on Sunday night. A case has been registered in this connection.

Vehicle stolen

Manjit Singh of Patiala reported to the police, alleging that his Hero Honda motorcycle (PB-11-Q-1790) was stolen from Sector 22 on Saturday night. in another incident, Sham Lal of Sector 47-D reported to the police alleging that his Bajaj Super Scooter (CH-01-2414) was stolen from Sector 46 on October 26.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Raju of Sector 56 from road dividing Sectors 55 and 56 while allegedly carrying 16 nips of country wine on Sunday. A case the Excise Act has been registered in the Sector 39 police station.

Junk dealer looted

An man robbed a junk dealer of Rs 1,500 and his motorcycle at knife point near Colony No. 4 this afternoon.

Ashok Kumar told the police that an unidentified person met his brother-in- law Raj Kumar, who collects scrap, in Phase VI, Mohali. The man offered to sell him a lot of junk lying in Colony No. 4. When Raj Kumar reache there, he tooke him to the jungle are where he reportedly loot him of his belongings. 



Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 19
A 24-year-old married woman allegedly committed suicide here by hanging herself from the hook of a ceiling fan at her residence this morning. The victim, Pinky, was reportedly depressed as she was keeping ill health.

According to the police, the incident took place at Savitry Apartments, Lohgarh, at about 9 am when Pinky’s husband Harbans Singh, a financier, had gone out for a shave.

When he returned at 9.30 am, he found his wife hanging from the ceiling fan hook with a dupatta around her neck.

The police said the girl’s father Teja Singh, a resident of Panchkula, said his daughter was suffering from depression. She had two children, a four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. 



Progress of small savings reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Anil Bhattacharya, director and head of the National Savings Institute, today held a meeting with Manjula Prashar, chief postmaster general, Punjab and Chandigarh, and Megh Raj, director, small savings, Punjab.

During his discussion with officials, Bhattacharya reviewed the progress of small savings in the UT and Punjab and also discussed strategies for 2007-08.

It was informed that the institute had fixed a target of 1 lakh new accounts, especially in the rural areas, in the next two months.



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