C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Centralised exam up to Class VII from this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
On the lines of the examination system of Class XI, the education department has decided to introduce centralised examination pattern up to Class VII from this session.

The DPI (S), S.K. Setia, said, “We are bringing in this change in the examination pattern to bring uniformity in the assessment level.”

It means

  • The date-sheet and question papers would be the same for all schools
  • There would be an observer at the vice-principal level in addition to the centre superintendent
  • The marking and compilation of results would be undertaken at the schools itself

The examinations up to Class VII in all government schools of the city would be centralised and under the control of the district education officer. The date-sheet and question papers would be the same.

There would be an observer at the vice-principal level, in addition to the centre superintendent of the school concerned, just like in the board examinations. However, the marking of answersheets would be undertaken in the school itself.

The same policy would be adopted for marking and making results and this would be implemented in all government schools with immediate effect.

Centralised examination system for Class XI would be conducted by the department from this session. Setia said the new system would not be implemented for board classes.

In another significant decision, the education department has decided to honour board toppers of government schools with laptops. The board classes would include Classes V , VIII, X and XII.

The toppers would be honoured during a state-level function which would be organised at the beginning of the new session.



Education offices get their facts wrong
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Chandigarh administration, it seems, is not sure about the number of schools in the city if one goes by the information available in education offices. The figures on display in the offices of the DPI (schools) and DEO, the official website and even the sarv shiksha abhiyaan survey report do not match.

A chart displayed in the DEO’s office puts the number of government model senior secondary schools operating in the city at 20 while a huge board in the office of the DPI (S) and the official website of the department puts it at 19.

Figure it out

The information on the number of schools in the city doesn’t match at the offices of the DPI , DEO or for that matter, the official website of the education department

As far as government primary schools are concerned, the DPI and DEO offices put the figure at 21, but the website says the figure is 20.

The sarv shiksha abhiyaan survey, however, says there are 25 primary schools. As regards, government senior secondary schools, the DEO office chart puts the figure at 10 while the DPI (S) office and the website state it to be 9.

There is also disparity in the figures pertaining to government model high schools. According to the DPI(S) and the DEO offices, there are 20 schools, but the website mentions 22 such schools.

The DEO’s office states that there are 29 government high schools, but the DPI office and the website state the figure to be 30.

The number of senior secondary schools also vary in the records of the three information sources. The website and the DEO’s office put it at 17 and the DPI’s office at 16.

The DEO’s office and the website put the number of recognised middle schools at five, but the DPI’s office claims that there are just three such schools. Again, both offices claim that there are 20 recognised high schools, but according to the website, there are 19 such schools.

Also, the names of some schools in the DPI’s office have been spelt incorrectly. St Stephen’s School has been spelt as “St Stepha’s School” and Strawberry Fields as “Strawberr Fields”.



Centre nod to project report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Chandigarh administration has said that the city people will be able to travel on Metro rail in future as the Government of India has given the go-ahead for the preparation of a detailed project report for a grade separated Metro for the city.

In a press note today, the administration said the decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of union secretary for urban development M. Ramchandran recently.

A group chaired by Punjab Governor and Chandigarh administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) and consisting of adviser to administrator and chief secretary of Haryana and Punjab would guide and coordinate the process for finishing of the project timely.

An expert in urban planning said Metro and light rail were the same thing, only difference being the higher passenger carrying capacity of the Metro. Both systems run on rail tracks on the ground or elevated structure. The Metro also runs underground.

Many vital decisions were taken in this regard at the meeting. The DPR will be prepared by the Chandigarh administration.

The Metro will initially be along two corridors, running east to west and north to south, as per expert committee’s earlier suggestion.

These corridors will link Panchkula and Mohali also. The Metro will be underground in areas that form part of the heritage of the city.

Stations will be provided with enough space for parking and fare integration will be planned with other modes of public transport.

The committee will deal with issues relating to planning and implementing of the Metro and other MRTS initiatives relating to whole Chandigarh urban complex.

An organisation will be set up on the lines of National Capital Region Planning Board for the Chandigarh urban complex.

It was also decided to develop a comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) and a region-wide mass transport network parallel to Metro project.

There will be a mix of modes for network connectivity and phasing up of investment. The CMP will also cover connection up to Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.

Decision has also been taken to set up a modern city bus service to provide seamless connectivity across the Chandigarh urban complex which will also start operating on the seven corridors. The routes will be modified after the commencement of Metro.

The Government of India has also accepted the views and recommendations of the expert committee regarding improving paths for pedestrians, non-motorised transport, roads connecting towns around Chandigarh and restraining private transport, etc.

These suggestions will also be implemented in time-bound manner.



Reliance Power IPO
Late investors scurry for exit
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The crash in the stock markets has dealt a severe blow to the Reliance Power IPO, as a large number of investors have decided against investing in the shares.

The investors who had put in their money on the last day of the IPO, have now asked banks to stop payment for buying these blue chips.

According to information available with Chandigarh Tribune, a number of investors called up their banks and asked them to stop payment for the Reliance Power shares.

Though January 18 (Friday) was the last date for filing applications, the cheques of investors, who had applied for shares on the last day could not be cleared from their accounts.

Saturday was a holiday on account of Moharram, which was followed by Sunday. On Monday, as the Sensex nosedived, investors decided to pull out of the IPO.

A senior official in a leading public-sector bank told the TNS that since yesterday afternoon they had been receiving a lot of calls from investors, enquiring if the payments for the Reliance IPO had been withdrawn from their accounts.

“Since some payments had not been cleared on account of two holidays, they asked for the payment to be stopped,” he said. This was true in many private banks in the tricity as well.

It may be noted that the Sensex continued its downward trend on the second day today, plunging by 875 points to close at 16,729 points.

The National Stock Exchange’s (NSE) Nifty closed at 4899, down 309 points from its previous close on Monday.

On account of the downslide in global stock markets, the Sensex had plunged by 1,408.35 points yesterday, which was the biggest-ever single day fall.

In the past 10 days, the Sensex has plunged 3601.42 points or 16.98 per cent from a record high of 21,206.77 on January 10, 2008.

The investors in the tricity, who have withdrawn from the Reliance Power IPO, have done so in order to pick up shares of other listed companies.

Sources in the stock market said these investors were keen on buying shares of telecom companies, IT companies and banks.



GMADA scheme runs into rough weather
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 22
The innovative ‘garbage bin free’ scheme initiated by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for new sectors here has run into a storm, with a confrontation building up between private safai sewaks and a Jaipur- based organisation that have been assigned the sanitation job.

The free of cost door-to-door garbage collection scheme is facing opposition to such an extent from private persons collecting garbage that vehicles of the Jaipur organisation were allegedly gheraoed and its employees threatened several times. Strangely, the local administration has taken no action against those responsible for obstructing work assigned in Sectors 66 to 69 to the Centre for Development Communication, Jaipur, by GMADA authorities. Even the police are reportedly reluctant to take action against individual garbage collectors claiming, according to GMADA officials, lack of adequate force to accomplish the task.

GMADA had allotted the work of sanitation in the four sectors to the Jaipur organisation for a period of 29 months, beginning November 1, 2007. The organisation was assigned the task of collecting garbage and dumping it in covered vehicles at appropriate sites, eradication of wild growth from road berms, removal of carcass and its suitable disposal, and daily sweeping of roads.

The work was to be executed as per the provisions of Municipal Solid Waste (management and handling) Rules, 2000, notified by the Government of India in Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Earlier, private safai sewaks used to collect garbage from each house on a monthly payment basis. Now, these workers have allegedly started obstructing the work when the Jaipur organisation started its activities in the area by resorting to threats and gheraos. Efforts of GMADA officials to bring the situation under control have proved futile.

Sources said that the Jaipur-based organisation then gave a written complaint to the police on December 7, seeking protection to avoid any untoward incident while carrying out sanitation work. A demand for registering an FIR against Sachin, Naresh, residents of Jagatpura, Darshan, a resident of Kumbra, and Balwan, a resident of Nehru colony, was also made for allegedly obstructing the work and threatening employees of the firm with dire consequences. Copies of this letter were sent to the deputy commissioner, the SSP and chief administrator, GMADA.

According to sources, GMADA officials have now asked the chief engineer, in a letter written yesterday, to request the SSP to take some action in the matter so that the organisation could carry out the work allotted to it by the authority in a proper manner.



Bitter pill for Hallomajra residents
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
After euphoria over getting exemption from provisions under the periphery Act, Hallomajra residents are now feeling the heat.

Notices for violation of the Act are being served on residents who have undertaken construction in the extended “abadi” area of the village.

Residents have been asked to appear before the land acquisition officer (LAO) on February 15.

Last year, the Chandigarh administration had merged the habitation with the extended “abadi” and the area under Deep Complex with the MC. But some “khasra” numbers had been excluded from exemption under the Act.

Sources said there was confusion over the inhabited area (outside the lal dora) that had been exempted from the Act.

As the land had been included in the MC, the residents had submitted building plans for approval.

“The manner in which the khasra numbers have been included and exempted needs to be probed,” said B.S. Rawat, a resident.

While areas where houses had been constructed several years ago have not been exempted, areas with less population have been exempted. The residents have written to the MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, to look into the matter.



DC meets traders, welfare bodies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
In a move to create awareness among public regarding the dangers and ill-effects of polythene, deputy commissioner-cum-commissioner, municipal corporation, R.K. Rao today held a meeting with presidents of market associations and sector welfare associations/manufacturers of plastic bag associations to discuss the issue of making the city polythene-free.

Rao stated that polythene bags were one of the major sources of pollution and unsanitary conditions in the city and sought cooperation and involvement of public to successfully tackle the menace.

Representatives of resident associations and FOSWAC suggested the corporation to create adequate infrastructure to manage and control plastic littering.

This included provision of adequate number of bins in parks and other areas that were prone to public litter and their regular picking.

The representatives appreciated the move of the administration to ban recycled polythene bags. But they were of the view that plastic bags above 30 microns should be allowed in the city.

They stated that due to lack of enforcement mechanism, several traders indulged in malpractice by purchasing sub-standard material from outside the city and using it here.

They agreed to cooperate with the authorities in creating public awareness and enforcing bylaws regarding use of plastic bags.

They suggested the use of banners at rotaries, marketplaces and other prominent areas to create awareness on sanitation and environmental problems created by indiscrete use of plastic bags and their hazardous effects on human health.

The association representatives pledged cooperation to the administration in its campaign to make the city plastic-free.

They agreed to make penal provisions in the law more stringent to act as a deterrent.

Rao said the corporation would soon come up with stricter penal provisions and and an effective mechanism to regulate these.

He expressed confidence that the involvement and effort of representatives of market committees, sector welfare associations and NGOs would help achieve the goal of making the city polythene-free.



Beggars teach education department a lesson
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
In a bizarre finding, after 10 days of the campaign started by Sarv Shiksha Abhyan of the education department, Chandigarh, all the beggars in the city disappeared suddenly. This leads to so many questions about the beggars.

According to the sources from the department, there may be mafia behind the beggars or there may be some other driving force behind them.

According to S.K. Setia, the DPI (S) and also the Project Director of the SSA, this campaign was started with the aim to stop child labour and bring back the beggars or disadvantaged children to the main stream.

“One reason could be that they fear of losing their small time jobs. But we understand that it will be their top priority to persist on their livelihood. Our endeavour is to put them in specially created centres and we would also create jobs and make them self reliant within these centers”.

To rehabilitate these children, they will be provided with education facilities, they will be sent to schools, the beggars will be given bread, butter and clothes along with Rs 250 per month so that they may stop begging.

To make this campaign more effective, two inspectors along with 8 supervisors and SSA coordinators were put on duty to trace beggars in the city at different places. According to the inspectors, 40 beggars had been traced in the beginning but suddenly the remaining beggars disappeared from all places.

Maximum beggars were found in the Manimajra Area. The other possible areas where the beggars could be found were ISBT, Sector 17, Fun Republic, Colonies, Railway Station, Press Chowk, etc.

The education department appealed to the public to help them in tracing the beggars in the city on Phone nos: 2740411, 5067073, 5067075 so that appropriate arrangements should be made for their education and they may be brought in mainstream. 



Army transfers officer after contempt notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
After contempt proceedings were initiated against it, the Army issued orders to permanently transfer an artillery officer to the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Department.

The officer, Lt Col Mukul Dev, had moved the Delhi High Court about a year ago, alleging that the Army was not transferring him to the JAG department despite a Presidential order. The case came up for hearing before the Delhi High Court yesterday.

In August, a Division Bench, comprising Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice S.L. Bhayana, had directed the Army to transfer the petitioner to the JAG Department forthwith.

Counsel for the petitioner Maj K. Ramesh (retd) said the Army, however, kept dithering over the matter, resulting in a contempt petition being filed against it.

The court on January 3 issued contempt notices to defence secretary Vijay Singh, Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor and military secretary Lt Gen P. Gangadharan answerable for today. Orders issued by Army headquarters on January 18 stated that the petitioner had been posted to the JAG branch at Headquarters Central Command in Lucknow.

The court had also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000, payable to the petitioner, which was also pending.



Special treat for girl child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Volunteers of the Beti Foundation today visited Mother Teresa Home in Sector 23 here and celebrated a girl child’s birthday with the inmate children, especially 10 infant baby girls.

The volunteers spent some time there and cake and sweets were distributed among 30 mentally challenged, orphan and underprivileged children.

Shelly Taneja, general secretary, Beti Foundation, said it was really shocking to see these baby girls left unattended by their insensitive parents. People should change their outlook towards female children, she added.

Sister Welma, the caretaker of the home, appealed to the people to donate unused toys, clothes and other utility items for the children.



Jhuggis in Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
While the Chandigarh administration has intensified its drive against jhuggi dwellers who squat on the government land, it has failed to take notice of encroachment on prime government land in Sector 17.

To house temporary tenements of construction workers, promoters of the upcoming James Plaza hotel have encroached upon a piece of vacant land between the hotel and the RBI complex.

An official of the enforcement department of the municipal corporation said the land was not under its purview and it was for the estate office to take action.



Brig R. Singh takes NCC charge
Tribune News Service

Brig Rajendra Singh Chandigarh, January 22
Brig Rajendra Singh has taken over as the Deputy Director General, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, NCC Directorate. An alumnus of St John’s School, Chandigarh, he was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in 1977.

Besides serving as a commando instructor in the National Security Guards and the Commando Wing of the Infantry School, Belgaum, he has also had a stint as the Director of the Army Adventure Wing.



F&CC Poll
Candidates file nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Nominations for the January 28 elections to the finance and contract committee were filed today.

While Davinder Singh Babla, Vijay Singh Rana and Chandermukhi Sharma filed nomination papers from the Congress, from the BJP-SAD combine Surinder K. Jagota and Jatinder Bhatia of the Bahujan Samaj Party filed their nomination papers.

Nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee also filed his nomination papers. Five will make it to the seven-member F&CC from these nominees, while the mayor and the MC commissioner will be ex-officio members.



Sec-35 Brawl
Police rubbishes robbery theory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
A day after a robbery of Rs 58,000 was alleged at Reliance Webworld in Sector 35, the police today confirmed that it was not a robbery and that it was investigating the case.

Meanwhile, sources said CCTV at the webworld had revealed that it was a minor scuffle and not a major brawl. Also, there was no sign of taking away of cash from the counter, as was made out in the complaint by Satish, cashier at the showroom.



Reckless bikers

It was disturbing to see the images of young bikers risking their lives by performing stunts on their bikes. Whether it is for bets or fun; nothing can be valued more than life and limbs. Not only are these young people putting their lives at risk, but of the passerby’s as well. They need to realise the psychological damage they leave behind to their family members when it ends in fatality. Over here in UK, these kinds of bikers are labelled as outcasts of the society. But, people who are following biking as a hobby are welcomed. I am sure Chandigarh police can take strict measures to control this problem.

I can't believe the youngsters in Chandigarh have changed so much in past few years. It seems like a scene from a Hollywood movie.

Sunny Pabla, Derby, U.K.

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PU Notes
Mohanmeet Khosla chairperson of mass communication dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
After a long standing tussle allegedly going on between the teachers in the department of mass communication in Panjab University over chairmanship, the university authorities have appointed Mohanmeet Khosla as the chairperson of the department.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chairmanship had become a bone of contention for the teachers. So much so that one of the professors had even moved to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to stake his claim. However, the petition was dismissed as withdrawn and a committee was formulated again to look into the matter.


The department of correspondence studies, Panjab University, organised a talk by Suresh Seth, a creative writer in Hindi, under the special lecture series. He spoke on ‘Naya Sahitaya ka Nayapan” with a focus on newness in contemporary story writing in Hindi literature.

He said currently a lot was being written on consumer culture, commercialisation, impact of new economic policies on farmers and underprivileged people. All these were new issues in the current literature.

Similarly, enough was being written on the condition of women and female foeticide, he added. However, he maintained that nowadays a balance between sensibilities and emotions was getting lost. ”The realistic writings of contemporary literature have adopted the language of attack. Currently, more significance is being attached to sensationalism”, he asserted. He made a call for waging a struggle against forces that are threatening the existence of current literature.

The lecture was followed by interactive session whereby Prof Jagmohan Chopra, chairperson, department of correspondence studies, talked about the invasion of mysterious internet sites that disconnect people from their close relations.


Students of MCA of the department of computer science along with members of INSO protested against hike in examination fee of Rs 500 from Rs 1100 to Rs 1600, in front of the department today.

The students marched to the vice-chancellor’s office and submitted memorandum in this regard to DSW.



From Schools & Colleges
Shifa best in poster making
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Shifa Mahajan of SD College, Sector 32, emerged winner in the poster making competition held at the Sector 46 Government College here today. The inter-college painting competition was a part of the week-long Republic Day celebrations of Chandigarh Administration on the theme of spirit of nationalism.

A number of other events were also organised by the fine arts department which included collage making, slogan writing competition in which a large number of students from all the colleges of the city participated.

More than 80 artists reached the venue early in the morning. The chief guest Jasbir Singh Bir, MD, CITCO, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Results: Poster making: 1 Shifa Mahajan - SD College 32, 2 Sameer - GC-46, 3 Swati Sharma - GCA - 10; collage making: 1 Sanjeev Kumar - GCA-10, 2 Ariyana - GCG-11, 3 Lovenesh - GC-46; slogan writing: 1 Jatinder Kaur- Dev Samaj College for Women 45, 2 Savita GC-46, 3 Manmeet Kaur- GGSC-26.

Competitions: Kirit Nanuan of Class IX won first place in senior wing essay writing competition while Himani emerged winner in the slogan writing competition organised by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-B, here today. The competition was organised as a part of the awareness drive against female foeticide.

Result: Senior wing essay writing competition: 1 Kirit Nanuan IX, 2 Gurbina IX, 3 Shivani IX, junior wing essay writing competition: 1 Kyba Nanuan VIII, 2 Ruchika preet VIII, 3 Shweta VIII; slogan writing: 1 Himani VII, 2 Ustatleen VII, 3 Priya Sharma VIII; drawing competition (senior wing): 1 Manpreet Kaur, 2 Milandeep Kaur and 3 Amanpreet Singh.

Lecture: The department of sociology, Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Chandigarh, organised a talk on “Women and their Rights in Contemporary Times” in the college today. Prof Sherry Sabharwal, chairperson, department of sociology, the key speaker, said despite being working continuously, the work of women was not recognised.

Referring to Taliban and its edicts, she said there was violation of rights of women viz. freedom of movement, economic and intellectual independence. She talked about five stages of development but stressed on control over one’s life as the most important step.

She asked the students to assert themselves, develop critical thinking and build positive self image. Dr Ranjay Vardhan welcomed the guest and Dr Jyoti Seth proposed the vote of thanks. Two students Jaspreet and Yashika made their presentations during the talk.

Play staged: A play “MiraBai” was staged by Class IX students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, in the auditorium of Government College for Girls-11, Chandigarh. This play was adaptation of E.L. Turnbull’s play that was choreographed and directed by Manish Gandhi and Rubina Singh. S.K.Setia, DPI (S), who was the chief guest on the occasion, said such plays offer platform for children to show their talent and skills.

Talk session: Prof Arun D Ahluwalia, in charge of PU Environment Outreach and member of Inter-nation OPC, gave in two sessions an interactive talk on Earth and Environment to students, faculty and NSS camp guest students in Sector 23 Government Model School today. Later, Dr Ahluwalia gave away the prizes to the award winners of ten-day long NSS Camp.



International conference on mechanical engg
Tribune News Service

Banur, January 22
The Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology (SUSCET) is going to host an international conference on recent developments in mechanical engineering. The conference is being held from January 23 to 25.

According to a spokesman of the college, the conference would give a wide platform to the academicians, research scholars and industrialists to discuss recent developments in the fields of mechanical engineering.

Dr D.S. Hira, director of SUSCET, said as many as 120 delegates from various states and abroad were likely to participate in the conference.



Delegation leaves for South Korea
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 22
A delegation of Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, Mohali, comprising eight students and seven teachers left for South Korea today on a 10-day trip under the educational exchange programme with Jeong Myeong Girls High School, Mokpo, situated 500 kms from the capital Seoul.

During their stay, the head of delegation Kulwant Kaur, president Paragon Educational Society, would sign a fresh memorandum of understanding for another four years.



Day 2: Lawyers block road, burn effigy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 22
Continuing with the protest against demolition of their sheds at the local court complex on the second day, lawyers here blocked the road to the mini-secretariat by parking their cars near the court complex today. Later, hundreds of them marched towards the residence of deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria where they burnt an effigy while raising slogans against the district administration.

Meanwhile, work at the local courts remained suspended as advocates were on strike throughout the day. The president of Panchkula Bar Association Lalit Kumar Gupta said lawyers in many other courts in Haryana and Punjab would also join the strike soon. On the other hand, the DC has asked lawyers to find a peaceful solution to the problem through negotiation.

In a press release, Kataria said the sheds were demolished as per orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court. In a civil case, members of District Bar Association had assured the high court that they would remove their sheds from the said land.

The HC asked the district administration to submit a report in this regard. When the report was submitted, the administration was asked to take appropriate action and reply to the court on the next date of hearing on February 4, 2008, said the release. A letter written by the advocate-general, Haryana, to the DC, attached with the press release, stated that the court has taken a very serious view of the matter as to why illegal encroachments were not being removed.

The letter further stated that in view of observations made by the HC, removal of the encroachments should be ensured and a status report prepared so that it is filed in time before the next date of hearing.

The bar association president, however, alleged that it was merely an excuse for the administration to legitimise the demolitions.

“There were no speaking orders of the high court to remove the sheds,” said Gupta.



Association flays demolition

Mohali, January 22
The District Bar Association here has condemned authorities for demolishing temporary chambers of lawyers at the Panchkula district courts complex on Sunday. President of the association N.S. Minhas said in a press release here today that even if the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued orders for demolishing the chambers why were they not shown to the lawyers. He said the association had decided to strike work for one day to express solidarity with lawyers of Panchkula. — OC



Entry restriction on vendors
High Court dismisses plea

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Mohali police and city administration’s move to restrict the entry of vendors here has failed to find favour with the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s division bench headed by Justice M.M. Kumar.

The bench disposed of a petition filed by Mohali vendors taking into into consideration the contention that the action of local police authorities, in the absence of any order by competent authorities, was without jurisdiction.

In the petition against the State of Punjab, deputy commissioner and senior superintendent of police, petitioners Anurudh Kumar and others had sought directions to allow free entry of vendors in the residential areas and to issue identity cards to them as proposed earlier.

Notice to rly ministry

A Punjab and Haryana High Court division bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia has issued notices to the railway ministry and others on a petition challenging the action of Northern Railway authorities in permanently blocking the passage between Kathgarh village on one side and Dhakoli village on the other of the railway line connecting Chandigarh with Ambala and Delhi.

The petitioners, Gurinder Pal Singh and 11 others from Kathgarh and Dhakoli villages had earlier claimed that the blockage was adversely affecting the movement of residents.

Seeking immediate removal of the blockade, they also sought erection of suitable gates for the level crossing and manning staff to assist crossing.



Molestation case: Ex-RBI official pleads innocence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
Reserve Bank India’s (RBI) former deputy manager S.K. Sharma, accused of molesting a German national, today stated in court that he had been falsely implicated in the case. German national Karin Fichtner had accused Sharma of allegedly misbehaving with her during her visit to the city in August, 1999.

Fichtner had yesterday deposed before the court after nine years. Walking out of the court after cross-examination with her friend Harbet, she said: “I love India. My visit to the country nine years ago was terrible. The deputy manager had asked me personal questions and on reaching my hotel I saw him standing outside my room.”

On being asked about her visit to the city after nine years, Fichtner, with tears in her eyes, said it had been a better experience this time.

A gardener by profession, Fichtner said: “I am grateful to the Chandigarh administration for financing my visit and stay here.”

Fichtner has been given security by the administration. In September, she had forwarded a letter to chief judicial magistrate Y.S. Rathor for giving the airfare for the visit. “My parents didn’t want me to come here again as they were scared. But I am happy I did.”

According to the complaint, she had alleged that she had visited the RBI office in Sector 17 to get dollars exchanged. She met the accused there.

She was allegedly asked by Sharma to come to his office after which she went in with Harbet.

Sharma asked Harbet to wait outside the office. He then offered Fichtner coffee and allegedly asked her questions about her personal life.

He told her that he would visit her at her hotel.

Sharma visited her hotel that evening, where he was arrested by the police on Fichtner’s complaint.



Consumer Courts
Aggarwal movers penalised Rs 1.3 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Aggarwal Packers and Movers, DRS Transport Private Limited, to pay Rs 1.3 lakh as compensation for the loss of a Maruti 800 car belonging to an SAS Nagar resident.

The forum asked the company to pay Rs 2,200 as cost of litigation and Rs 30,000 as compensation for harassment, which will be adjusted against the arrears of transportation charges.

The petitioner, Paritosh Jain, had approached Aggarwal Packers and Movers in August, 2006 for transporting his Maruti 800 (1996 model) car to Chandigarh from Thiruvananthapuram.

He handed over the vehicle along with necessary documents to the packers. While the company assured him of delivering the vehicle in Chandigarh around 10 days after the date of booking, they failed to do so.

After approaching the company several times for its failure to delivery the vehicle, the former through a letter informed the complainant that the vehicle in which his car was transported caught fire on the way to Chandigarh at Dhar Ghat (Near Indore), Madhya Pradesh, and the car was damaged.

The company also denied any deficiency in services. It stated that cars were transported in special carriers and services of specialised car carriers were availed to ship vehicles.

It also pointed out that the complaint was filed only to avoid making balance payment of Rs 30,000 as transportation charges.

The forum, however, observed: “Mentioning of owner’s risk does not mean that the opposite parties could damage the car or allow it to be damaged. Unknown cause for alleged fire is presumptive proof of negligence of carrier.”

The forum maintained: “Even if goods are damaged and destroyed on account of accidental fire, the same would not absolve the carrier from liability.

Nothing has been placed on record to prove the cause of fire, therefore, it emerges that the vehicle caught fire due to the negligence of the opposite parties and their agents, thus they are liable to pay compensation.”



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