C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Jaunt-y babus cost you Rs 50 lakh
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Austerity has no place in the cash-rich Chandigarh administration. So seems from the way it has been footing hefty foreign travel bills of senior bureaucrats, who live life king size when abroad.

UT babus have blown up public money to the extent of Rs 50 lakh on their frequent foreign jaunts. While home secretary Krishan Mohan leads the pack having splurged Rs 19 lakh on four visits abroad, his junior Vivek Atray tops in making the maximum foreign visits, spending Rs 16 lakh in all.

Former finance secretary S.K. Sandhu during his four overseas trips spent about Rs 9.5 lakh, while CITCO managing director J.S. Bir spent about Rs 4 lakh on his solitary trip to Europe.

Information technology (IT) director Manjit Brar also made a three-day visit to the US; it cost the exchequer Rs 1lakh.

Ever wondered how and where precious public resources were drained? A study of 200 pages of travel bill claims of UT officers obtained by R.K. Garg, a Sector 27 resident, under the RTI Act, reveal startling facts.

While a common man would look for the cheapest air ticket and hotel accommodation abroad, UT officers opt for the opposite. The home secretary spent a whopping Rs 55,000 per day while abroad; Sandhu and Bir Rs 40,000 a day each; Atray spent Rs 33,000 per day on foreign land. Most bureaucrats took their families along; splurged on airfare and local travel, hiring cabs as many as five times in a day.

Where economy return air ticket to any destination in Europe costs around Rs 30,000, Krishan Mohan spent an exorbitant Rs 2.52 lakh on business class travel to the UK from November 3 to 12, 2006, for attending World Travel Mart (WTM), London, along with a study tour to Paris.

Last year, his air ticket to WTM London cost Rs 2.30 lakh; it was Rs 1.85 lakh when he travelled for International Tourism Bourse (ITB) to Berlin in March 2006.

Krishan Mohan, however, travelled on ordinary air ticket of Rs 36,812 when he went for WTM in 2005, his first foreign trip after joining the UT.

During this eight-day visit to London and Paris, he spent Rs 2.13 lakh. A year later, the cost of the same tour tripled to Rs 6.49 lakh. In 2007, he again spent Rs 5.79 lakh on his eight-day tour to WTM, London, and a study tour to Rome and Venice.

In March 2006 Krishan Mohan went for the ITB to Berlin and a study tour to Zurich, Vienna and Amsterdam. He spent another Rs 4.32 lakh. On this tour he was accompanied by the CITCO MD.

Atray’s air travels are no less expensive though he travelled by economy class. He spent Rs 1.53 lakh on his air ticket to attend WTM, London, in November 2006; Rs 1 lakh to travel to Paris for a heritage conference in September 2007; another Rs 1.42 lakh to travel for WTM, London, and a study tour to Europe last year. Interestingly, his air ticket cost Rs 1.24 lakh in March last when he travelled by business class to attend the ITB in Berlin.

The UT babus spent generously on ultra-luxury stay in four/five-star hotels at every destination. Krishan Mohan and Atray’s hotel bills cost the administration Rs 2.19 lakh each for their eight-day stay in London, Venice and Rome during the WTM in 2007.

These officers had spent even more a year earlier - Rs 2.9 lakh each on hotel accommodation for a nine-day stay in Edinburg, London and Paris. Their travel claims to not carry the requisite permission and purpose for the Edinburgh trip. Earlier during his March 2006 visit to the ITB in Berlin and a study tour to Europe, Krishan Mohan spent Rs 1.65 lakh on his nine-day stay in five-star hotels.

Bir’s hotel bills during his 12-night stay in Europe cost the state coffers about Rs 2 lakh.

Most officers were accompanied by families on official foreign jaunts. Every penny spent on stay, travel, food and entertainment (shows/movies/theatre tickets and guided tours) was reclaimed from the state exchequer.

Travel bills indicate that Krishan Mohan and Atray hired the highest-end hotels costing Rs 38,500 per room per night, or Rs 34,500 per room per night in London; in Edinburgh they hired a room per night at the rate of 34,500 each. In Venice again each of the two officers stayed for Rs 26,500 per room per night; in Rome each spent Rs 18, 000 per night on hotel accommodation; in Paris the cost was Rs 25,000 each.

Their bills further indicate that hotel rooms did not have single occupancy on many occasions; in the travel claims too, there is proof of Krishan Mohan, Atray and Bir travelling with families on some official trips.

Inquiries made at the hotels where these officers stayed further reveal that good rooms were available at cheaper rates.The officers, however, preferred high-cost accommodation in London, Edinburgh, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam and Rome.

Incidentally, UT’s officers travelling abroad use the services of only one Sector 17-based travel agent-Khanna Enterprises. None of the officers has under the RTI provided original hotel bills to confirm their stay in the hotels or original air tickets/boarding passes on which they travelled.

Travel claims have been made on the basis of travel agents’ bills; they have been passed despite UT administration’s orders mentioning that officers would be reimbursed expenses against production of bills in respect of room rent, local transport etc.

Interestingly, Khanna Enterprises has, on the behalf of client officers, charged the administration heavily on many occasions. For instance, Krishan Mohan and Atray through the travel agent claimed a visa fee of Rs 7,500 for the UK ,Rs 6500 for Italy, Rs 11,271 for UK/France and Rs 6,000 for France on separate occasions.

Atray for his part claimed visa fee twice within three months. Though he travelled from September 9 to 15, 2007 to France and claimed Rs 6,000 for his France visa, he again claimed Rs 6,500 for the Italy visa and Rs 7,500 for the UK visa when he travelled in November the same year.

At many places, along with visa/ticket fee, the travel agent has slapped heavy service charges, duly reimbursed.

Interesting to see is another of Vivek Atray’s claims — 300 pounds for hiring a hostess at the WTM, London, last year. No supporting bill for this service accompany his claims.

In many cases, Atray and Krishan Mohan have made claims against expenses for which no bills have been produced.The officers have simply stated “bills lost”. On his trip to Berlin in March 2006, Krishan Mohan got his entire family insured on UT’s expense.

Strangest part of the officers’ foreign trips are their so-called “tourism study tours”, which have borne no fruit for the city, either by way of promoting it as a tourist destination abroad or by improving its tourism infrastructure at home.

The officers are serving the UT administration on deputation temporarily. They will soon be returning with their “rich experience” to their parent states of Punjab and Haryana.

Long struggle for information

It took Sector 27 resident R.K. Garg five months to get information regarding foreign trips of UT officers along with details of their travel expenses (TA bills).

He has still not got the original bills of hotel accommodation and air travels. Information technology department for its part is yet to provide details of travel expense/TA bills of former IT secretary S.K. Sandhu, former IT director Vivek Atray and present IT director Manjit Brar. 



Preity-Ness to visit PCA 
They were definitely worried when they learnt about the fire incident
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 11
Bollywood star Preity Zinta and scion of the ‘Bombay Dyeing’ family Ness Wadia, will visit the Punjab Cricket Stadium here on February 17.

The celebrities, who successfully bid for the Mohali team during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction at Mumbai, will study the facilities at the Mohali stadium and give their suggestions.

PCA president I.S. Bindra, at the stadium today, said: “Being a franchisee of the Mohali team, Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia will oversee the facilities here. During the matches, top industrialists and film personalities will be present. Providing them top class facilities is the responsibility of the franchisee and the association.”

Asked if the recent fire at the stadium was why the actress had planned to visit the stadium, Bindra said Preity and Ness were “definitely worried” when they learnt about the incident.

“We were at the IPL meeting in Mumbai at that time. Anyway, their visit was due. If they want some changes or more facilities, they have to tell us now. As facilitators, we have to hand over the stadium before April 4,” said Bindra.

If Bollywood stars would perform on stage like during the ICL matches at Panchkula in December last, Bindra said: “Undoubtedly, with the involvement of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity, a lot of actors are expected to attend the matches. But they will act as cheerleaders alone. The focus will remain cricket and only cricket”. 



‘PIB man’ nailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Baltej Singh of Sector 35-D landed in police net when he tried to intimidate a motorist by impersonating as Press Information Bureau (PIB) official here today.

The police said 25-year-old Baltej Singh, who runs Zonal Institute of Technology and Services (ZITS) in Sector 35, was arrested on the charges of impersonating a public servant and reckless driving under various provisions of the IPC on a complaint by Bhupinder, a correspondent with a private news channel.

Baltej Singh’s Maruti Zen car and “escort pilot” on its rear and carryied a “Press” sticker. A search of his vehicle led to the recovery of a fake identity card of the PIB mentioning his designation as “duty assigning officer” and stickers issued by the traffic police.

Baltej Singh conducts IELTS and TOFEL classes in his institute. A graduate, he lives with his mother, who was also travelling in the car when the incident took place.

SHO of the Sector 17 police station inspector Kulwant Singh Pannu said Bhupinder Singh told the police that he was driving his car on the road diving Sector 16 and 17. He tried to overtake a Maruti Zen car (CH-01-W-1821), but its driver speeded up and began to drive recklessly.

An altercation ensued and the police was informed about the incident, which reached the spot and took the car driver to the police station.

When Baltej was asked about the PIB card issued by the “ministry of information and broadcasting”, he failed to give a satisfactory answer. The police called the PIB director in Chandigarh, who said there was no designation as “duty assigning officer” in the PIB.

The accused will be produced before a local court tomorrow for police remand. The police said it would also investigate whether he had used the fake I-card to gain access to places where entry is restricted.



Allotted sites in tangle
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Allotting land to institutions without studying their feasibility has landed the administration in an embarrassing situation. It has allotted sites which are not free of encumbrances- some sites are with encroachers and others lack basic civic amenities.

Without the mandatory physical verification, 25 per cent of the land cost has been realised by the estate office from the allottees. The finance department in one case had to seek the approval of the Administrator to allot an alternative site to the allottee.

The situation has arisen due to lack of communication between the finance department and the engineering department.The former has to seek an ‘encumbrance free’ certificate from the latter while allotting land to an institution.

While allotting land to the ministry of defence, Labour Bureau and government of Punjab, the estate office informed the finance department that the sites were not free from encumbrance.

The estate office faced a similar predicament during the auction of commercial and residential sites in December last. A number of sites put up for auction were withdrawn after it was fund that these were not free from encumbrances.

The status of the sites was not communicated to the estate office by the engineering department despite repeated reminders. 



Sanjay Public School derecognised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The UT education department has withdrawn recognition to Sanjay Public School for various acts of omission and commission. The DPI (S) said today the school was running without renewal of recognition since 1996. It was granted provisional recognition for three months, but did not approach the department for renewal.

He clarified that the land allotted to the school was for the construction of a primary school alone. Moreover, the school had not submitted details of 15 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections as per a UT notification.

The case for cancellation for allotment had been forwarded to the UT estate office and the case forwarded to the CBSE. The DPI warned parents, the public and students against taking admission in the school. However, keeping in view the interests of students of Classes X and XII appearing for the board exams, the DPI allowed them to appear as a special case for the session 2007-08.

The education department has sent a list of fake universities to all government, aided and recognised schools of Chandigarh and warned those teachers and lecturers who have been appointed on the basis of degrees from these universities. 



Conference to turn city child-friendly 
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
After becoming a ‘smoke-free’ city, Chandigarh may soon become India’s first ‘child-friendly’ city on the lines of Europe and Germany.

And to deliberate on the modalities, the Centre for Canadian Studies, Panjab University, along with the students of University College of Fraser Valley, Canada, is working towards the goal of making the conference scheduled for February 13 a success.

A first of its kind, the conference that will have town planners, policy makers, academicians, students and administrators on a common platform with child-friendly experts aiming to sensitise city planners to design cities with focus on the needs of children.

Two of the 13 students of the Fraser Valley College have been working on the conference since September 2007.

The rest joined them later along with their faculty members — Professor Satwinder Bains, director, Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, Canada, Cherie Enns, professor of geography, UCOFV, and another professor of anthropology from Canada.

The students are here as part of a MoU signed between Panjab University and UCOFV in 2004.

“The students are here for the first time. Earlier, it was only the exchange of faculty,” said Prof B.S. Ghuman, Centre for Canadian Studies, PU.

The students are also conducting workshops in three schools in the city to get the response of children in regard to child-friendly measures.

Michelle, one of the visiting students said the concept of child- friendly cities came from Article 12 of the United Nations that talks of child rights.

“The idea is to visualise the city from the point of view of a child like the colours of the buildings, different shaped blocks in road berms and location of schools near residential areas et al.”



Fire breaks out due to LPG leakage
No one hurt in the incident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Household articles were reduced to ashes when a fire broke out following leakage from an LPG cylinder in Hallo Majra village this evening. No one was reportedly injured in the incident.

According to sources in the Industrial Area Fire Station, they received a call at 6:42 pm that a fire had broken out in a house following cylinder leakage. Three fire tenders reached the spot and extinguished the fire within 30 minutes. A TV set, four quilts, two beds and other articles were destroyed in the fire.

The officials said the occupant of the house, Ganesh, said he brought a refilled LPG cylinder and after attaching it to the stove he began cooking. As the regulator was not properly fitted, the gas began leaking, sparking off the fire.

A fire officer said they reached the spot just before the cylinder was about to burst due to high temperature in the room. They sprinkled water on the cylinder and a major tragedy was averted. 



Valentine’s Day can dig a hole in your pocket
Jasleen Kaur

Chandigarh, February 11
Valentine’s Day celebrations may bring to mind the picture of youngsters enjoying and partying but this time the occasion can be heavy on your pocket. For youngsters, it’s another chance of wooing their love interests and for the older ones it’s about reviving love again.

Shops decorated with beautiful gifts and ample schemes to attract customers are visible in the city. Lovers are purchasing expensive gifts and finding novel ways to express their love. Shopkeepers are taking undue advantage of it by raising the cost of gifts. The cost of a rose stem has risen from Rs15 to Rs 50. A worker of Flora and Ferns, Sector 10, said, “This is one time when there is a high demand for roses.” Bouquets range from Rs 400 to Rs10,000.

In Archies gallery, the Valentine Day cards range from Rs 25 to Rs 400. A big teddy in a mug is one of the major attractions. Heart sticks, stuffed toys, candles, heart-shape photo frames are selling like hot cakes (ranging from Rs 40 to Rs 2,500).

Confectionery shops are doing roaring business by baking heart-shaped cakes costing 350 per kg along with various imported chocolates especially for this day.

Jewellers have launched special items for this occasion. Sabby, owner of Silver Haze, said, “Bracelets, earrings and heart- shaped pendants have a great demand(ranging Rs 250 to Rs 3000).” Even eating joints are not left behind. KFC and Hot Millions have introduced various schemes to attract customers. This is one day when men, too, expect gifts.

Celebrating this day affects the pockets of both the genders but still couples try to perfect the art of loving.



Mass marriages: 275 couples tie knot 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 11
As many as 275 couples tied the knot at a mass marriage ceremony at the Parade Ground in Sector 5 here today.

Union minister of state for housing and poverty alleviation Selja, who blessed the couples, lauded the efforts of various organisations, including the Ambala division, Aggarwal Kalyan Sangh, Red Cross and PC Jewellers in organising the mega event for the welfare of the poorer strata of society.

Calling upon the government agencies and NGOs to wage a war against such social evils as female foeticide, the minister wanted more such events to be organised in future.

Addressing the function, president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) Phool Chand Mullana stressed the need for coordination between different agencies in organising various social activities.

Commissioner of Ambala division Mahavir Singh, while underlying various schemes for the underprivileged sections of society, said articles worth over Rs 80 lakh had been gifted to the newly-wed couples.

It was stated that the marriages were registered and the registration certificates were handed over to the couples on the spot.

Meanwhile, managing director of PC Jewellers, Balram Garg, said their support was part of their corporate social initiative. 



Drop unearned income clause: Minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The minister of state for finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal, in a letter written to the UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has sought that the clause of “unearned income” should be dropped from the substitution policy of the cooperative house building societies.

The minister, who is also the local MP, in his letter, said the purpose of the populist decision was defeated by introducing the clause of charging the unearned increase from the GPA holder who apply to transfer the ownership of flat in their name.

The original allottee, who sold the flats, has nothing to pay and it would be the GPA holder who has borne the burnt.

The transfer should be permitted against a nominal administrative fee.



Tributes paid to Upadhaya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
The local unit of the BJP today observed the death anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya as “samarpan divas” at the party office in Sector 33.

Kamla Sharma, president, presided over the programme. Sharma, accompanied by Yash Pal Mahajan, former BJP president, and other office-bearers paid floral tributes to Upadhaya.

Sanjay Tandon, general secretary, Arun Sood, secretary, Amrit Lal Goyal and Satinder Singh were prominent among those who spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, a two-minute silence was also observed in the memory of Baba Amte who died recently.



Fauji Beat
Internal duty: Army must not be ‘first option’

Defence minister A.K. Antony said in New Delhi on February 4: “I am totally opposed to the Army being moved against Naxal elements. The Army should be called in only as a last resort”. No doubt, the Army whose primary role is to fight external aggression should be used for internal security duties only as a last resort. That too, when the situation goes beyond the control of the states’ police forces and the paramilitary forces. But in actual practice, this does not happen. The Army instead of being the last resort has become the “first option” for the last few decades and is called out at the drop of a hat.

There is no reason why the police and paramilitary forces should not be able to control internal disturbances. But they often fail to measure up to this task because they know that the Army is always there to handle it. The civil administration has also developed a mindset of getting out of such knotty situations by summoning the Army prematurely.

Let the Naxalities’ problem states become the first example where the Army is not deployed under any circumstances. The Army’s help should at best be sought to train the states’ armed police forces. We had brought out in this column on January 29, that the Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh, was already training the Jharkhand Armed Police to tackle Naxal problem in the state.

Counter-insurgency school

After the induction of a number of infantry battalions into Mizo Hills, now Mizoram, in 1967 to quell insurgency, it was realised that the troops would perform better if they were given some pre-induction training in counter-insurgency. Hence, a jungle training school was started on an ad hoc basis in 1968. at Veirangte, Mizo Hills. In May 1970, this school was upgraded to category ‘A’ establishment and named as Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare (CIJW) School, with its motto as “Fight the guerrilla like a guerrilla”.

The school conducts pre-induction training for all units before their induction into the insurgency areas. The school evolves and reviews tactical doctrine and technical aspects of counter-insurgency operations. Its present capacity is to train 120 officers and 460 JCOs/NCOs. Personnel from paramilitary forces and friendly foreign countries also get training at this school. Twentyfive soldiers from Maldives National Defence Force and 13 soldiers from the Royal Cambodian Special Force attended a four-week course at this school in November and December last year, respectively.

Chandigarh polyclinic

The Chandigarh Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic, which was established in Sector 11, in mid-2004, has got its fourth officer-in-charge (OIC) in just three-and-a-half years. The OIC polyclinic is vested with the responsibility of efficient functioning of the polyclinic both technically and administratively. Changing the incumbent in this appointment frequently hampers the functioning of a polyclinic.

No doubt, this appointment is subject to review after every 11 months and can be terminated with a month’s notice by either side. But this does not mean that it should be made a transitory post. Placing an officer in this appointment temporarily without his having been selected for the post as was done in the case of the last incumbent, should be avoided in the interest-patients.

— Pritam Bhullar



Traffic mess

Mohali roads are becoming congested with the ever-increasing vehicular traffic. The roads, particularly the one connecting Sectors 60 to 65, have become highly accident prone due to congestion. This road has not been designed to cater to the growing traffic needs and does not even have the scope of being widened.

Due to long power cuts, the traffic signals remain non-functional. Even when operational, the commuters show utter disregard to these signals. Not only this, no traffic cops are deployed there. In these circumstances, driving for the disciplined and law abiding citizens is a nightmare.

GMADA must take necessary measures to curb traffic chaos. The Mohali traffic police must ensure discipline by booking the offenders and penalising them as being done by the Chandigarh police.

S.S. Arora Mohali

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Colleges withhold info, served notices
Told to reply or face cut in aid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Not providing information to the applicants under the RTI Act (2005) has landed MCM DAV College, Sector 36, and DAV College, Sector 10, in trouble. The CPIO of the office of the director, higher education (colleges), UT administration, has served notices on the principals of the two colleges to provide information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act-2005 to applicants Prof R.P. Singh, Arun Kumar and Avanindra Chopra within 10 days failing which the grant-in-aid to the colleges will be withdrawn.

The order assumes significance after the refusal of MCM and DAV colleges of Chandigarh to provide information. The applicants had sought information on annual fee structure, contributory provident fund and expenditure incurred on advertisements by the colleges.

The director had earlier issued an advisory to S. Marriya, principal, DAV College, Chandigarh, to abide by the provisions of the Act. Later, she had even appointed the principals of all seven aided colleges of Chandigarh as chief public information officers (CPIOs) of their respective colleges. But the two DAV colleges ignored these orders and denied information.

Prof Uma Joshi, president, MCM DAV College Teachers’ Union, said, “The managements of the colleges are flouting all rules, regulations and instructions issued by the director, higher education, UGC and PU vice-chancellor in many cases, including CPF on total salary and encashment of earned leave.”

Prof Anil Sarwal, president, DAV College Teachers' Union, said, “The colleges are facing severe action from various authorities. On the one hand, Panjab University is contemplating imposition of severe penalties that may result in disaffiliation of the colleges and on the other, the Chandigarh administration is being forced to withdraw grant-in-aid to the colleges.

The issues that have been raised under the RTI Act pertain to fee structure, CPF deduction etc. and concern the well-being of the staff and students and there is 
no reason why such information should be withheld.”



Education dept to inspect sports infrastructure 
To honour principal of best school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
To check the sports infrastructure present in all government schools, the Chandigarh education department will inspect the city schools in the last week of February.

Talking to The Tribune, S.K. Setia, director public instructions (DPI, Schools), said, “The principal of the school with the best sports infrastructure will be honoured with a suitable amount of money along with a trophy during the state annual sports function to be held in March.”

The awards will be given in the rural and urban sectors differently. “The prizes are being given to encourage schools and its children to excel in sports along with studies. The step is being taken by the authorities to improve the sports infrastructure in schools. The focus is on the maintenance of playing grounds presently,” added S.K. Setia.

Last year, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sectors 33, 35 and 40 were declared the best schools by the administration on the basis of their well-maintained grounds, proper markings and infrastructure available.

“One ground man is required in all schools for the maintenance of playgrounds,” says T.S. Bharti, assistant director of sports. Moreover, schools are free to buy the required equipment for which the permission has been granted by the DPI.

The administration is also planning to appoint some private agencies for the better maintenance of the infrastructure in schools. “We are planning to give house-keeping contract to the private agencies keeping in mind the parasitic work being done by our employees,” said S.K. Setia. “We have already dismissed three Class-IV officers in this regard and will take strict actions against anyone taking the assigned work non-seriously,” added S.K. Setia.



City girl corners glory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Pragatti Oberoi, a Class-III student of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, has won the second Primary Plus Multiple Intelligence Kids Challenge Awards 2007 in a contest held in New Delhi from February 6 to 9 this year. The contest was conducted by Primary Plus, a children’s magazine.

She is among five other children from all over the country and the only one from the city to have won the prize which comprises a Fire Fox cycle and a four-day package to Malaysia.

She was tested for multiple intelligence in interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, logical, mathematics, naturalists, spatial, musical spheres. The objective was to recognise exceptional aptitude of young and growing minds. 



Pay-scale issue
HC grants relief to 44 CTU employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
In an order expected to benefit as many as 44 Chandigarh Transport Undertaking employees, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today disposed of their petition with a direction that they “shall be deemed to have been granted revised pay scales with effect from January 1, 1986, instead of November 3, 1989.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Bench, comprising Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice K.C. Puri, added: However, the petitioners shall not be paid the arrears of difference of pay scales, but will be entitled to all other consequential benefits.

In their petition through counsel R.C. Chathrath, Kanhaya Lal and 43 other employees had sought the grant of benefit of enhanced pay scale with effect from January 1, 1986. The petitioner had claimed that the UT Administration had adopted the pay scales of the Punjab Government.

Once Punjab Roadway’s employees of workshop category had been granted pay scales with effect from January 1, 1986, the modifications in pay scales would also be applicable in case of the UT Administration workshop category employees. 



2 acquitted in murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 11
Two residents of Bapu Dham Colony, who were booked for murdering a vegetable vendor, were today acquitted by additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal.

The accused Rain Singh and Pramod were acquitted after the complainant retraced his statement.

As per the prosecution, Gopali was allegedly murdered by his neighbours on the night of March 31, 2007, in the Bapu Dham Colony.

There was some dispute on the parking of the vegetable cart. The complaint stated that there was an altercation between the neighbours. The tussle turned bloody after the accused Pramod hit Gopali with a stick on his head that proved to be fatal. Gopali had parked his rehri in front of the main door of the house of the accused.

A complaint was registered against the two accused on the complaint of Shyam who had alleged them of killing his father Gopali.

The prosecution failed to prove the case after the complainant denied having alleged that the duo had hit his father. Shyam even denied registering complaint with the police.

He maintained that he is not aware how his father received head injury which he was noticed only on the morning of April 1, 2007, following which he was rushed to the hospital where he had succumbed to the injury. He denied having seen anyone arguing or hitting his father.



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