P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Withdrawal of Excise Relief in HP
Govt happy, but says it’s awaiting concessions
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Centre’s decision to withdraw Central excise duty exemption to industrial and other units which are not into manufacturing activity in states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand has gladdened the Punjab government, but its demand to give concessions on par with hill states to promote industry in the border state has not been addressed yet.

Punjab has been seeking excise duty, income tax concessions for the industry in the state on the pattern of Himachal Pradesh and other hill states. Concessions were announced for a period of 10 years by the Vajpayee government in which the Shiormani Akali Dal (SAD) was a coalition partner. Punjab has been arguing that it was border state has remained backward as far as industry is concerned. It should be given a package of concessions to promote industry.

With the announcement of concessions for the hill states about seven years ago, Punjab was hit the most. There has been a steep fall in the collection of Central excise since the announcement of concessions. In 2002-03, the collection of central excise in Punjab was Rs 2,654.86 crore and Rs 2,786.46 crore during the next financial year.

However, in 2004-05, when industry started flying from Punjab to Himachal, Uttarakhand, the revenue from the Central excise in the state came down to Rs 1896.99 crore. In 2005-06, it fell to just Rs 819.21 crore. Till September this year the collection from the Central excise was just Rs 385.07 crore.

Interestingly, most of the Punjab-based industries had partially shifted their base to Himachal Pradesh and were taking advantage of tax concessions.

Sources said many industries were actually manufacturing goods in Punjab, but packaging, repackaging and labelling etc was being done in Himachal Pradesh to avail tax concessions. Some of the pharmaceutical units were resorting to such a practice, it is learnt.

That is why the Centre has issued notification to stop concessions to the industrialists which are just despatching goods from various addresses in Himachal Pradesh and other states, but the actual manufacturing of goods was being done by them elsewhere.

Justifying the withdrawal of the concessions for non-manufacturing industries, the Centre has stated that its objective to give concessions was to promote the manufacturing sector in hill states to ensure actual growth of industry and not to promote partial industrial activity.

Because of only packaging, repackaging and labelling etc neither Himachal Pradesh and other hill states nor the Centre was gaining anything, but on the other hand industrialists were enjoying exemptions from various taxes. 


Industry hails move
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The withdrawal of area-based excise concessions from industrial units in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand has been hailed by the political powers and doyens of industry in Punjab and Haryana. 

Upbeat over the removal of regional anomaly, the two states are hopeful that this will contain the flight of industry to the neighbouring tax-exempt hill states.

Ever since the tax concessions were announced for the hill states, a number of industrial units from the two states, which are surrounded by Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, had been the worst sufferers. No big industry set up shop in Punjab and north Haryana, and even the existing industry shifted base to these hill states to avail concessions.

Talking to TNS here today, Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, hailed the decision of the Government of India on withdrawing area-based central excise duty. “We had been demanding the removal of regional anomaly for long. We had also raised the issue that similar tax concessions be granted to the backward areas of the state, especially in the Shivalik hills area (bordering Baddi- Barotiwala and Poanta Sahib in Himachal) and also in the Mewat area. All states should be given a level playing field so that they can attract investments. We have far better infrastructure than Himachal Pradesh, but because of tax holiday, everyone was investing in the hill state,” he said.

Supporting his views, Punjab industries minister, Manoranjan Kalia, said this decision would help in curbing the flight of industry and could also see some of the industries coming back to Punjab. “We have always been demanding that the Central government formulate an industrial policy of giving concessions keeping in view the natural potential of the state . For example, hydro power generating units could be given tax concessions in Himachal, thermal power units could be allowed a tax holiday in Chhattisgarh, while agro- based industry in Punjab could be accorded benefits. This would help in increase the GDP, whereas the haphazard concessions have created havoc with the economy,” he added.

The industry, too, is upbeat after the tax anomalies have been removed. Jagdeep Singh, president of Punjab Drug Manufacturers Association, said that tax holiday in the hill states had created a disparity, which in turn was creating a lot of unrest in industry and industrial workers. “With the government finally waking up, the MRP based regime for goods would finally be successful and industry would return to the taxable states,” he said. 


36 rescued from de-addiction centre
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Banur, January 21
Thirtysix youths were rescued from a drug de-addiction centre on the Rajpura-Zirakpur road by the Global Human Rights Council, an NGO, which raided the centre following complaints of inhuman treatment of inmates by the centre authorities.

The council team found 36 inmates of the Sanskar Drug De-addiction Centre, were living in appalling conditions. The inmates had complained of illegal confinement and inhuman treatment by the centre management. As the council descended on the centre,with a police team, the staffer of the centre fled . Later, a case was registered against the owner of centre.

Arvinder Thakur, president of the council, stated the centre authorities had no permission from competent authority to run the centre. The inmates were being charged Rs 5,000 per head and in return they were being subjected to brutal treatment, he said.

The centre violated provisions of the Mental Health Act, 1987, as there was no qualified psychiatrist on the centre premises. The centre did not even have valid licence or a qualified psychiatrist.

Five youths had to be taken to the Civil Hospital of Rajpura as they were severely beaten up. The youths stated that beatings and torture were routine for them. The inmates stated they were made to sleep without beds on cold floor. They were even made to wash toilets and in case of refusal, were awarded corporal punishment frequently.

They were also not allowed to meet their families and made to do odd jobs at the centre and kept locked in rooms.

The rescued youths were allowed to go back to their parents. 


PIDB Sale List
BBMB property figures on it 
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 21
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) property, including residential colonies at Nangal township, figure in the list of properties to be sold for commercial use.

The BBMB properties that figure include 926 acres at Talwara and Dobeta villages on which the residential colonies of the board are located. The banks of two canals, including Anandpur Sahib hydel and Nangal hydel, are in the name of the Irrigation Department. As per a report prepared by the PIDB the said land is owned by the Irrigation Department.

The Punjab government acquired the land from locals on behalf of the BBMB at the time of the construction of the dam. After acquiring the land the BBMB raised its colonies and other infrastructure there. However, in revenue papers the land remained in the name of the state government or Irrigation Department.

Owing to this, even after 50 years the BBMB is not the owner of the land and it has figured in the PIDB list of vacant Punjab government properties. The failure of the BBMB to get the land transferred in its name has also led to large numbers of encroachments. Over 3,000 acres is under encroachment at its various project sites.

Sources in the Revenue Department said the land could be transferred in the name of the BBMB if their officers provide old records regarding acquisition of land and cost delivered to the owners. The state government during the Congress rule raised a hospital, tehsil complex and shopping complex on the BBMB land. BBMB officials said they had no knowledge about this. 


Bureaucracy ponders over Punjab’s downslide
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Why did Punjab take so long to link its just 300 educational institutions with Edusat whereas Haryana is moving far ahead?

Why has Punjab not been able to set up 2,200 information centres so far?

Why has Punjab not been able to put its various districts etc on the fast information net-work based on information technology?

These were some of the questions asked by chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh at a meeting of the administrative secretaries convened for what is being described a soul-searching and self-introspection exercise.

Sources said the chief secretary was a bit upset over the way some of the administrative secretaries are handling the tasks assigned to them. He was frank to tell them in as many words what people say about the administrative set up in the state.

While other states especially Haryana is marching ahead on the path of development at a jet speed, Punjab is virtually down in dumps.

Its schools and colleges and medical education is facing a serious crisis in the absence of adequate number of teachers and monitoring system.

Most of its health institutions are in coma. Urban areas are fast turning into living hells.

Administrative machinery has become so lethargic and uncaring that it has stopped responding to even most genuine grievances of people.

More and more of people are approaching courts to seek justice and to get even minor cases resolved in the absence of adequate response from civil administration which at one point of time was known as most efficient and committed to the cause of the state.

Along side politicians, people have been equally holding the state administrative machinery responsible for Punjab’s poor development graph compared to states like Karnataka, Gujarat and Haryana.

Because of the lethargic attitude of the administrative machinery, in the last financial year, Punjab was unable to utilise Rs 700 crore allocated by the Union Government under the centrally-sponsored schemes.

How much money Punjab has utilised under the national horticulture mission during the current financial year?

Why has Punjab failed to take advantage of the national urban renewal mission under which the Union Government was to allot Rs 5,100 crore to Ludhiana and Amritsar to upgrade infrastructure.

The sarab sikhsa abhiyan and the rural health mission have also become victims of indifferent attitude of the government machinery.

At the meeting, sources said, one of the secretaries said a sort of fear psychosis had gripped the officers concerned.

They were not ready to take any risk and prefer to push the files from one table to another avoiding the decision taking. The officer appears to be true.

What has been happening in the state for over seven years at the political level, no officer would like to put his head on the chopping block.

The chief secretary, the sources said, told administrative secretaries that they should at least do one job.

That is constant monitoring schemes and of the projects undertaken by their departments.

He told them that the Chief Minister wanted that the administration should be fully transparent, free of corruption and accessible to people.


Ruckus at SAD meeting
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala , January 21
There was rumpus at the of the delegate session of the Shiromani Akali Dal at gurdwara Dukhnivaran Sahib here today. This made Punjab cooperation minister and general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal Capt Kanwaljit Singh leave the meeting.

The meeting was called to elect delegates from Patiala district to elect SAD president. Bibi Jagir Kaur, in charge of the district and former president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, convened the meeting.

According to sources in the Akali Dal, upset over the developments in the meeting, Capt Kanwaljit Singh walked out to register his protest.

The sources said trouble arose when Patiala SAD chief and former legislator Jagtar Singh Rajla read out names of probable delegates from Patiala and missed the name of Capt Kanwaljit Singh. Irked over this, sources said, Capt Kanwaljit Singh questioned Rajla's authority in deleting his name from the list and even tried to snatch papers from Rajla.

This led to uproar at the meeting and Capt Kanwaljit Singh left the meeting hall and came to the office of the gurdwara manager where reporters were waiting for the press conference to be addressed by Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Media persons did not get to know what had transpired at the meeting even as Capt Kanwaljit Singh exchanged pleasantries with press persons. Bibi Jagir Kaur and other senior leaders of the Akali Dal followed Capt Kanwaljit Singh into the manager's office and Bibi Jagir Kaur told present newsmen the meeting was not over and they could ask questions. She announced she had all rights to elect delegates. She said she would finalise the 20 delegates from rural and eight delegates from urban area after consulting senior leaders of the party.

The Bibi, however, denied any controversy to elect delegates in Patiala district. She said 236 applications had been received to elect 28 delegates from Patiala district.

Later, Jagtar Singh Rajla and Bibi Jagir Kaur accompanied by some senior party functionaries held a closed -door meeting with Capt Kanwaljit Singh. However, what transpired at the meeting could not be known.


Cong decries move to sell public property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Punjab Congress has condemned the method adopted by the SAD-BJP government to tide over financial crisis, as reported in the Press, by which it was contemplating to sell 13,413 public property sites lying vacant with various government departments. 

This indicates mala fide on the part of the ruling party of giving these properties to its own henchmen for a song which is against public interest.

Punjab Congress president and leader of Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in a statement here today, emphasised that the state government, instead of plugging loopholes in the tax structure to increase revenue and planning, out of frustration, was resorting to unfair tactics to boost income of the state by selling most valuable assets. “The Punjab government had no vision and was down with mismanagement.” She said, of late, to provide grant of Rs 100 crore for development of Amritsar, the government was auctioning prime land in the holy city.

Bhattal said instead of selling these particular sites, all such properties should be put into a common pool and utilised for public purposes when needed. If these are disposed of, later the government might have to acquire precious land from other sources for public utilities at higher price. 


Abhi to main jawan hoon, claims Badal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 21
Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, is in no mood to retire from active politics. This was reflected in his remarks in reaction to remarks about his old age made by a commentator, Darshan Singh Bari, anchor at the rural sports fair at Gujjarwal village yesterday.

“Mainu tan lagda ke main jawan hee hun hoyan, te tusin mainu bar bar bazurag kaih ke retire karan nun phirde ho. Main har roz ik ghanta warjish kardan, chahe ground wich mere naal bajh ke dekh lai (I feel that I have become young now and you are calling me an old man repeatedly. I exercise for one hour daily. You can run along me if you wish to),” said octogenarian Badal during his speech on the concluding day of the annual sports at Gujjarwal yesterday.

Badal’s statement is being viewed as an announcement about his wish to continue as Chief Minister. According to sources, Badal usually gets up around 4 am and gets ready by 6. Besides jogging, he undertakes lightweight exercise.


Bird Flu
No need for panic in region, says expert
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 21
Bird flu may have taken West Bengal in its grip leading to a countrywide hue and cry, but as of now no case has been reported in the northern states, particularly in Punjab.

Hundreds of exhaustive tests conducted on poultry birds and winged visitors by the Jalandhar-based Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), run by the state Animal Husbandry Department in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, in the aftermath of the bird flu scare, have indicated that there was not even a single case of bird flu in Punjab or in the entire northern region.

The RDDL caters to the diagnostic needs of seven states, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. The first stage examination on samples of birds’ blood collected from all these states was conducted at the RDDL.

Following the detection of bird flu in West Bengal, the laboratory and the department had put itself in a high-alert mode by enhancing its diagnostic activities across the state. Poultry birds were subjected to tests and the droppings of birds were also collected throughout the state for this purpose.

“The outcome of more than 6,000 tests on poultry and backyard birds, mainly chicken, and tests on more than 2,500 samples of droppings of migratory and domestic birds has proved that there is no sign of bird flu in Punjab and North India. Still hundreds of tests are being conducted at the lab to ensure foolproof detection of the disease, if any, in the state. There is no need to get panicky over the disease proliferation in the North-East,” said the disease diagnostic laboratory’s north region director Dr H.S. Sandha.

Alerted over the spreading of disease in West Bengal, the Animal Husbandry Department and the laboratory authorities had pressed its officials into service for the collection of samples of blood serum of poultry and other birds and samples of bird droppings across the state.

“Though a large number of migratory birds are present at the wetlands of Harike, Kanjhli and ponds of Punjab, still tests on their droppings have confirmed that none of them is afflicted with the flu or any other serious disease so far,” said Sandha.


Pollution control board team visits Golden Temple
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 21
A high-level team of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), headed by Dr R.C. Trivedi, additional-director, CPCB, visited the Golden Temple complex here today to make its surroundings free from pollutants on the pattern of the Taj Mahal.

Dr Trivedi said though a preliminary survey was being conducted after installing pollution-measuring gadgets, yet there was a need to restrict vehicular traffic in the 500-m surroundings of the shrine. If these measures were taken, the Harmandar Sahib would be able to retain its golden shine.

The CPCB and the PPCB would conduct a joint scientific study to save the Golden Temple from the ill effects of rising pollution in its vicinity. The team members also suggested to use low-intensity crackers and fireworks during Gurpurb or “Bandi Chhor Divas ( Diwali). He, however, said the use of LPG for cooking of the langar did not cause much pollution. Dr Trivedi suggested that the factories which could not be dislocated from the vicinity of the Taj Mahal were put on LPG.

The PPCB, which has been monitoring environment around the Golden Temple, had found high levels of harmful nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide in the ambient air. The experts had also cautioned that fireworks release these gases which could react with the marble leading to its corrosion and blackening. Miniature paintings and gold plating were also under threat from the harmful gases, the experts added.


Suicide by Farmers
Kin hold rally, want debt waived
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 21
To get the debt written off, Rs 5 lakh compensation and a government job for the suicide-affected families of farmers and agriculture workers, members, including women, of suicide-affected families from Sangrur district, led by state president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) Joginder Singh Ugrahan, held a rally in front of the office of the deputy commissioner here today .

The rally ended when additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Dr Indu Malhotra came to the rally site and received 733 applications of the suicide-affected families from the union leaders to forward these to the Punjab Chief Minister for action. The ADC also received a memorandum, enlisting demands of the union, from the leaders.

These applications had been collected by the union from 77 villages, including Ugrahan, Chhajla, Maidewas, Sheron, Ballran, Tolawal, Dhindsa, Jhaloor, Bhutal, Shahpur and Longowal of the Sangrur district, in which farmers/agriculture workers had committed suicide from 1990 to 2007.

In the applications, the suicide-affected families have mentioned that their family members had committed suicide due to debt/financial crisis, so that they should be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a government job, besides writing off their debts.

Earlier, the protesters held a conference at the New Grain Market here and later took out a march from there to the office of the deputy commissioner.

The union leaders also demanded implementation of government-farmers agreement on the Trident land acquisition issue, framing of pro-farmer policies for making agriculture a profitable avocation.


Authorities doing nothing about threats to me: Bitta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Maninderjit Singh Bitta president,Anti-Terrorist Front today accused Indian politicians of being afraid of speaking up against terror and said he had been receiving death threats for one year from foreign-based people.

At a press conference in Press Club here today he said the authorities were doing nothing about these threats. He had 128 calls in three days earlier this month, he claimed.

"All calls originate from Saudi Arabia, Muscat or Dubai and they want to me to keep quite on the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru”. Guru has been sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in attacking Indian Parliament.

The security agencies are yet to inform me what they found in the investigations and who are these people," he said.

Bitta said he read in newspapers Bollywood actors used to get threats from the underworld, but threats asking me to keep quite are a new trend. He said the last time he got such a threat to keep quiet was in the days before Operation Bluestar 23 years ago.

On inaction against terrorism he said the country had become slave of terrorism, he alleged, maintaining no place in the country was safe from terror attack. He accused the government of lacking will to fight terrorism.

People like Daljit Singh Bittu are roaming free, said Bitta warning terrorism was being revived in Punjab and face of terror this time will be different from what people had witnessed earlier. In Punjab Bitta alleged former DGP S.S. Virk aided by a few senior police officers aided the revival of terrorism in Punjab in a few years. These police officers would have got various political leaders killed, said Bitta refusing to name the others. He said he had the lists of such people typed out in his computer and would release it at appropriate time .

The property of all policemen should be screened to how many made it in the name of fighting terrorism in Punjab. People had made crores , said Bitta.

He did not want enhanced security cover for himself, the peeved Z-plus protectee said if the government wants, it could take away whatever security he has.

Bitta, former Youth Congress president, who has escaped an attempt on life a decade ago. He also showed photos of blast carried out on him. 


Cop suspended: Mixed response to MLA’s dharna
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 21
The dharna staged by BJP MLA Anil Joshi here yesterday against the traffic police for issuing challans against his associate for not fastening his car seat belt and using mobile phone while driving has evoked strong reactions from the general public.

Social worker Brij Bedi said, “The Punjab police should not buckle under pressure from politicians, especially when it was in the right. The MLA had no right to sit on dharna, seeking the suspension of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), who was only doing his duty by challaning erring drivers.”

Gurjit Singh Sekhon, past president, Rotary Club (Civil Lines), said it was a pity that law-makers had turned into law-breakers. The traffic situation in Amritsar is terrible. There is a strong need of discipline for violators.

The violators break all traffic rules, putting lives at great risk. The use of mobiles while driving is rampant. It is unfortunate that when people are caught by the traffic police, they threaten them with their political connections.

On the other hand, former Congress mayor Sunil Datti said, “Both the ASI and Joshi seem to be at fault. While the ASI should have at least spoken to the MLA over the phone, the MLA should not have made it an ego issue and come out on the streets with his supporters.”

“The mass challan drive of the traffic police is also not the correct way of curbing traffic violations. There should be regular challaning so that there is no scare among the common people,” he said.


3 Ropar thermal plant units trip
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 21
Three generating units of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) tripped this morning, leading to generation loss of 610 MW from the grid.

Sources available here said generating unit No. 1 tripped early in the morning. At about 8.15 am the unit No. 3 and 4 also tripped.

The generating units tripped due to some fault in the bus bar equipment that connects the units with the grid.

The tripping led to more power cuts in the state. The units were put back into operation by 2 pm.

The sudden tripping of thermal plant units here have put a question mark on the electric maintenance jobs.


Media society instead of corpn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Instead of media corporation, the Punjab government has now proposed to set up a media society, it is learnt. The society, if it is approved by the Cabinet, will be headed by the public relations minister, it is learnt.

Sources said the Finance Department and the Law Department had cleared the proposal. Whether the proposal will also be approved by the BJP remains to be seen.

The Public Relations Department will also continue to handle the job of publicity, it is learnt.


Govt to float Rs 456-cr loan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Punjab government, in line with the Reserve Bank of India, has proposed to float a state loan of Rs 456.101 crore to raise part of the borrowings through auction system.

A spokesman of the government said the consent of the central government had already been obtained to the floatation of this loan required under Article 293 (3) of the Constitution of India. The stocks would be of 10-year tenure and the tenure of the stock would commence on January 25, 2008. The loan would be repaid at par on January 25, 2018, he added. The interest, however, would be paid every half yearly on July 25 and January 25.

No sangat darshan

A spokesman of the Punjab government said here that there would be no sangat darshan at Chief Minister's residence on January 22, as Parkash Singh Badal would be busy due to some pre-scheduled engagements.


5 lakh for playwright’s treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the treatment of Ajmer Singh Aulakh, an eminent Punjabi playwright. Badal said he was pained to learn that Aulakh was suffering from cancer. He wished him speedy recovery.

Eminent folk artistes and writers, including Gurdas Mann, Harbhajan Mann, Bhagwant Mann and Dolly Guleria, the Punjab Arts Council and other organisations of writers and farmers had appealed the state government to extend financial help to provide the best treatment available in the country to Aulakh, who have immensely enriched the Punjabi literature with his plays most of which depict Punjab’s rural life aptly. Winner of several state and national awards in literature, Aulakh is a popular name as writer not only in Punjab, but also at the national level.

Aulakh, who was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute in Delhi, was discharged today.

In another significant decision, the Chief Minister announced an increase in the monthly pension allowance of Gurcharan Kaur, daughter of Punjab's famous freedom fighter Sewa Singh Thikriwala, from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 per month. @


Don’t charge sheet dera chief, Punjab told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 21
Taking up an application filed by Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the state of Punjab against filing a chargesheet in a case registered against him at Bathinda in May last year on the allegations of harming religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

In the application before Justice L.N. Mittal of the High Court, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had sought stay on further proceedings the case.

Directions were also sought for staying the filing of chargesheet in the matter by the police till a decision on his petition for quashing the first information report (FIR) registered against him.

He had contended that the police, for mala fide reasons, intended to file the chargesheet in the matter, even though the petition seeking the quashing of the FIR was still pending before the court.

Describing the FIR as abuse of law, counsel for the petitioner had contended that the same was initially registered under section 294-A of the IPC at the behest of the ruiling SAD-BJP combine as the party members wrongly attributed their defeat in the Malwa area to the dera’s support to the Congress party. He had added that the bare perusal of the FIR would reveal that no offence is made out against him. 


Jail libraries: Notice issued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
On a petition filed in public interest for providing reasonably stocked libraries to the prisoners and undertrials in Punjab jails, Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Mr Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia have issued notice of motion for April 29.

In his petition, advocate H.C. Arora said jail at Gurdaspur had 12 books in English and two in Hindi, besides usual books catering to school syllabi. The jail had 231 convicts and 653 undertrials as on January 14. The central jail at Ferozepore had books catering to the academic needs of students of Class 1 to 12, apart from 24 copies of other books.


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