P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Stop free power: Panel 
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, February 18
The free-of-cost power to agriculture sector and Scheduled Castes (SCs) or below poverty line (BPL) consumers in the state will go from March 1. The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board ( PSEB) to charge full tariff from the said subsidised categories from March 1 following the failure of the government of Punjab to reimburse subsidy to the PSEB.

In an order, a copy of which is with The Tribune, the commission has held that the Punjab government has defaulted in the payment of subsidy to the PSEB despite an undertaking. In the event, the Electricity Act does not envisage subsidised tariff being continued in the state.

This will mean that agriculture sector consumers or tube well connection holders will have to pay Rs 236 per BHP per month as per last tariff order, from March 1. The SCs or BPL families getting 200 units of free-of-cost power will also have to pay on a par with other consumers.

The present order of the PSERC has also set aside the recent hike withdrawal from urban customers. The Punjab government, after the recent hike in power tariff under pressure from the BJP, had also decided to subsidise the hike for urban customers. However, with the government failing to reimburse subsidy to the PSEB, the commission order makes its clear that power rates as decided in the last tariff order will be applicable in the state

The PSERC, in its tariff order on September 17, 2007, decided the tariff for different categories for 2007-08. At that time the Punjab government agreed to pay subsidy of Rs 2,528.73 crore to the PSEB on account of free power for tube wells and SCs/BPL families in the form of an undertaking by the chief secretary.

The Punjab government was directed by the commission to make the payment of subsidy in advance in quarterly instalments at the beginning of each quarter. However, as the Punjab government failed to make the payment, the PSEB Engineers Association on November 23, 2007, moved the PSERC seeking direction to the Punjab government for the release of subsidy.

Admitting the petition, the PSERC issued notice to the Punjab government and the PSEB and directed them to file a reply by January 8, 2008.

The PSEB during hearing submitted before the PSESC that out of the Rs 2,548.73 crore the Punjab government had released only Rs 704.64 crore and balance Rs 1,844 crore was still payable. The PSEB also maintained that the Punjab government was also required to refund an additional amount of Rs 487.96 crore paid by the PSEB as excess interest to the government on a loan amount as calculated by the PSERC. The Punjab government, however, failed to file reply on January 8.

The PSERC gave another opportunity to the Punjab government to reply the petition on the next date of hearing fixed on February 5, 2008. Again the Punjab government failed to give any reply.

Instead, the chief secretary wrote a letter on February 8, 2008, that the government had released further Rs 390.54 crore against the outstanding subsidy and allowed the PSEB to retain electricity duty on its behalf till March 31 that would amount to Rs 375 crore.

However, the commission observed there was no explicit order on record from the government regarding allowing the PSEB to retain electricity duty. The PSEB has paid a subsidy of just Rs1,470 crore against due of Rs 2,548.73 crore that a violation of its own undertaking due to which continuation of subsidised power cannot be allowed to continue in the state.

The sources here apprehended that the Punjab government might have deliberately not contested the case before the commission to get rid of power subsidy that was eating into the finances of the state. The Chief Minister and the finance minister had already stated that free power to farmers could be withdrawn any time. 


Media has a vital role in safeguarding democratic institutions: Dua
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Mr H.K.Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune group of publications, today said that the media had an important role to play in safeguarding the democratic institutions in the country in view of many ills afflicting the political system. Mr Dua said it was unfortunate that Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary were distant from the common man. The people were looking to the Press for voicing their grievances.

Mr Dua said assaults were made on the role of the Press during the Emergency in 1975 but people showed more faith in the Press than leaders, policy-makers and politicians. "The role of the Press has further increased as the other functionaries are not that capable of realising their responsibilities. The Press has to realise its responsibility to become voice of the people. Instead of rushing towards covering activities merely of shining India, the Press has to focus on the reality that 33 crore people in the country still live below the poverty line.Social evils like casteism, female foeticide, unemployment, superstitions and poverty need to be properly highlighted", said Mr Dua.

Delivering the inaugural lecture at national seminar dedicated to the memory of Dr M.S.Randhawa on "Media and Rural Development-Challenges and Opportunities", organised by department of Agricultural Journalism, Languages and Culture, PAU,today, Mr Dua said that the 9 per cent growth rate had no meaning unless all sections of society were covered. He said the economic growth must be all inclusive. He pointed out that a country with a vast number of youth unemployed cannot remain indifferent to their plight.

Lauding the role of PAU in helping the country achieve food security, Mr Dua recalled that there was a time when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,who had gone to the USA to seek foodgrains, was kept waiting by President Johnson and felt humiliated. This made the PM realise the urgency of having self sufficiency in food production. And the PAU dutifully helped the country realise the dream of the Green Revolution.

Talking about Dr M.S.Randhawa, who was a renaissance man, Mr Dua said the former was the first Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, "the city beautiful", which owes its green cover to his dedication and love for landscape and plants. "Today, Chandigarh is proud of its greenery and plants, that were passed on to it by Dr Randhawa", he said.

In his address, Dr M.S. Kang, Vice Chancellor, PAU, said in developing countries, media had a constructive role to play as a social monitor, a constructive critic, a stimulator of debate on public issues and a vehicle for feedback while balancing the wheel of the government structure. He said that national integration, social discipline and economic progress was not possible without the active help of mass media, for in a country as vast as India, only mass media can communicate information to the inhabitants of the rural areas. Dr Kang added that symbiotic relationship that media shared with democracy can not be ignored which is instrumental for empowerment of the weak. 


Budget session likely to be stormy
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
The Insaf rally by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janta Party (SAD-BJP) alliance in New Delhi on February 26 and rallies by the main Opposition party, Congress, at all district headquarters on February 25, may only be a trailer of fierce debates and stormy sittings which the state Legislature may witness during its Budget session starting on February 29.

Tentatively, there will be a minimum of 15 sittings of the House as the 13th Vidhan Sabha holds its fourth session since the Assembly elections last year.

The Congress will insist on more sittings to highlight deterioration in law and order situation, poor power supply situation and worsening fiscal health of the state, besides backdoor levy of new taxes.

While the SAD and BJP want the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to take cognizance of long-standing problems and issues facing the border state at its Insaf rally, the Congress has chosen February 25 to hold demonstrations throughout Punjab against the “total failure” of the ruling alliance on all fronts.

The most important will be the Budget. For finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, it will be his second successive Budget, which he would love to keep free from new taxes in view of the coming general elections.

After the Governor’s Address on February 29, the opening day of the session, the House will break for holidays on March 1 and 2 and reassemble on March 3 to pay tributes to its members, old and sitting, besides freedom fighters and Parliamentarians who died since the last session of the House.

Discussion on Governor’s Address will start after the ruling alliance proposes a motion of thanks on March 4. Debate on the Address will continue on March 5 and again on March 10 after the House breaks for an off-day and three holidays.

The Budget for 2008-09 will be presented on March 17 after holidays on March 15 and 16. Discussion of budgetary estimates will begin on March 18 and continue the next day and again on March 24. In between, there will be non-official business day on March 20 and holidays from March 21 to 23. On the last day of the session on March 24, there will be some legislative business before the House is adjourned sine-die.


Bank says no to misprinted note 
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 18
In violation of the directions of RBI, an SBI branch has allegedly refused to accept a misprinted currency note of 500 denomination.

Sunit Kalra of the Charanjit Pura locality said he had gone to the Imam Nasir branch of the SBI with the misprinted note (bearing number 9 DL 444075), but the employee at the counter refused to accept the note.

When he contacted branch manager GS Sarangal for accepting the same, he got the currency note checked from a machine to verify whether it was a fake note, he added.

Kalra further said Sarangal confirmed after verification that the note was not fake, but he refused to accept the same.

The Tribune correspondent tried to contact Sarangal, but no one picked up the phone.

Chief manager at the main SBI branch Suresh Goel said no currency notes except fake or forged ones were rejected by the banks.

Goel asked this correspondent to send Kalra to the main branch to re-check the note from a sophisticated machine available there and added “will change the same.”

Similarly, Kalra said employees at an Orient Bank of Commerce branch near the Kapurthala chowk refused to accept an old currency note of the denomination of 500.

“The bank employees there asked me to bring a wad of such types of 100 currency notes for getting them changed,” he added.


Former Cong MLA joins SAD
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 17
In a setback to the Congress in the Malwa belt former MLA Jasmail Singh today joined hands with the SAD (B) when Sukhbir Badal went to his house to enquire after his well-being. Jasmail underwent heart surgery recently.

Narrating grouses against former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Harpreet Singh Laadi, son of Jasmail said, “The Captain betrayed us as he had promised to give me party ticket from the Nathana constituency in the Assembly elections. But after I made so much effort, he allotted the Congress ticket to Ajaib Singh Bhatti at last.”

“It was embarrassing for our family as my father was the only one to have stood by the Captain in his bad days. But if he can betray our trust what can a common man expect from Amarinder,” rued Laadi.

About joining hands with the SAD (B), he said, “As the parliamentary elections are near, so the Badal family needs support in the Bathinda constituency. Sensing the situation, Sukhbir visited our house, which was a laudable on his part.”

About formal declaration on joining the SAD (B), Laaddi said, “We have plan to announce the joining around March 20 when at least 10,000 voters and supporters will mark presence.”


Leaders arrested to foil today’s bandh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
The Punjab government today detained several leaders from the 17 pro-kisan organisations on the eve of the Punjab bandh tomorrow. This anti-privatisation lobby of kisan wings of parties, trade unions, etc has given a joint bandh call for February 19 against the “government's privatisation initiatives”.

Determined to make the bandh a success, leaders from these organisations have gone into hiding, according to Hardev Singh Sandhu, a member of the Anti-Privatisation Coordination Committee.

The 17 organisations are protesting the government's move to privatise the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), put up toll plazas in Punjab under the build operate and transfer (BOT) schemes and sale of public property to generate revenue. Criticising the move of the government to prevent these organisations to observe a peaceful protest in the form of a bandh, Sandhu said the SAD-BJP government had failed to fulfil its promises to the people of Punjab. Now, it was using high-handed tactics to prevent the protest. He appealed to the people to support the band tomorrow to “jolt the government out of a slumber”.

Members of the anti-privatisation coordiantion committee said the band would be peaceful. They clarified that emergency services, baarats for marriage, press, etc would be exempt from the bandh.

The participating organisations include the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Bharti Kisan Union, Bharti Kisan Committee Central Trade Union, etc.


Chawla, Sidhu, mayor hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 18
As local BJP MLA Anil Joshi locked horns with the district police chief, senior BJP leaders, including Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP of the party, and mayor Shavet Malik held a closed-door meeting in the Circuit House here today to resolve the matter.

According to party sources, three senior BJP leaders took strong notice of the “immature” approach of the young MLA for acting like “an Opposition leader”.

Joshi had staged a dharna in protest against the “erring police official” for challaning the vehicle of his confidant.

The senior BJP leaders said Joshi should behave like mature politicians to get his demands conceded.


His score: 23 in a day
Sukhbir on stone-laying spree
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 18
Pointing to the anomaly in the right to purchase property by outsiders in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, SAD president Sukhbir Badal said today that his party would raise its voice against it. The SAD chief pointed out that while purchase of property by outsiders in Rajasthan and Himachal was not allowed, the case was different in Punjab. “As India is one country, we must also get the right to purchase property in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, or else, a similar ban should be imposed even in Punjab,” he demanded.

Sukhbir, who was here on a foundation laying spree, 23 stones for various projects, including 14 for road reconstruction and two for power grids at Model Town phase III and Sanguana Basti, was accompanied by local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia.

Making light of the reported strain in the SAD-BJP relationship, he said, “All important decision will be taken jointly.”

Sukhbir stated that Parkash Singh Badal had met Tourism Ministry officials in Delhi and had got approval for setting up a hotel management institute in Bathinda. 


Badal opens water purification plants
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Kotli Ablu (Muktsar), February 18
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today inaugurated drinking water plants in Kauni and Kotli Ablu villages in the Gidderbaha Assembly constituency of finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, assuring people that Malwa villages would soon get rid of contaminated groundwater for consumption.

The Rs 3.22-crore project, the first of its kind in Punjab, will have villagers' participation as the panchayats would be providing groundwater for treatment at the micro-units, besides 500 sq ft of land. The state government's Department of Planning has allocated Rs 2.5 crore for the project.

Badal said the Punjab government had signed an agreement with the World Bank (WB) for Rs 1,280 crore the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project to be funded by the WB to the extent of Rs 751 crore. As per the pact, the Punjab government will provide Rs 245 crore and the Union government Rs 207 crore, while the community contribution, in the form of user charges, will be Rs 77 crore.

The CM appealed to the village panchayats to bring round people to contribute their shares of 10 per cent and 5 per cent for the WB's drinking water and sewerage schemes respectively. He clarified that the state government alone could not implement these schemes due to certain terms and conditions set by the WB for contribution by people.

Referring to the revamp of canal network in the Malwa belt, the CM stated the Irrigation Department had undertaken de-silting and lining of the canals at a cost of Rs 3,250 crore.

"You can now get clean drinking water," the Punjab finance minister said on the occasion, thanking the Chief Minister for the government support.

Stating the setting up of the Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purification plants, to begin with in these two villages as a pilot project, the finance minister said it would be expanded across the state where people were consuming contaminated water and suffered water-borne diseases, which also included cancer in many forms.

Water will cost Rs 2 per 20 litres barrel to the villagers, and this user money would contribute to the operations and maintenance of the micro units, according to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which the government signed with the NGO in December last. The MoU has been signed for setting up RO plants in all 53 villages of Gidderbaha block in the first phase. 


Selection Panel Meeting
UPSC told to file reply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
The Central Administrative Tribunal today issued a notice to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to file a reply on an application seeking direction to hold the meeting of selection committee.

The applicant, Arvinder Singh Bains, director, land records, Punjab Jalandhar, along with three other Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officers had moved the CAT seeking directions to the UPSC for convening the meeting of selection committee along with the review selection committee meeting.

The four PCS officers, Arvinder Singh Bains, director, Land Records Punjab Jalandhar, Prabhjot Singh Mand, additional managing director (G), Punjab Markfed, Yash Mahajan, secretary, Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, and S.S. Bains, additional secretary (Revenue), Punjab, had moved the CAT challenging the decision of the UPSC not to hold selection committee meeting along with review selection committee meeting scheduled to be held on February 25.

The applicants have pleaded for issuance of directions to the UPSC for convening the meeting of selection committee for 2007 for vacancies of IAS (Punjab cadre). The applicants stated that the UPSC on February 25 was holding a meeting of review selection committee for years 1992-1993 till 2006.


Punjab govt victimising me, my kin, says IGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
Giving a twist to the cop-versus-cop case, Punjab’s inspector-general of police Rajinder Singh today claimed that the state government and others were “frantically involved” in cooking up “false and frivolous” proceedings against his family in retaliation for the filing of a writ petition by him.

In an application placed before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, Rajinder Singh also asked for directions to the respondents against implicating him or his family in any civil or criminal proceedings during the writ petition’s pendency.

Elaborating on his apprehensions, the petitioner contended that he had reliably learnt that the respondents were retaliating to the petition and were “frantically involved in cooking up one or the other false and frivolous civil or criminal proceedings against him or his family, who were in the service of the respondents”.

He said two of his relatives were in the police service and were posted in Ropar district. His father, too, was putting up in the same area. Also, his younger brother was working in the district.

In the main petition seeking directions to the State of Punjab and the director-general of police to consider him for promotion, along with batch-mate Sumedh Singh Saini and others, Rajinder Singh had earlier stated that while Saini was being promoted for his closeness to the government, he was being victimised for registering cases against SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for election-related offences. He had argued there were serious allegations of abduction and murder against Saini and suspension under the rules had not been contemplated.

Taking up the matter, the Bench issued a notice on the application for March 20, while fixing the main case for the same date. The Bench also observed that the matter was under the judicial scanner and was required to be seen in a larger context. It was to be seen whether an officer facing abduction and murder charges should be allowed to sit on a seat involving public dealing.

In a related development, the Punjab government today sought directions for dismissing Rajinder’s petition on the ground that it was not maintainable. In a short reply filed on behalf of the state and the DGP, assistant inspector-general of police Inderjit Singh Randhawa said the Central Administrative Tribunal’s Chandigarh Branch had the jurisdiction to entertain the dispute raised by the petitioner on the matter. As such, the matter was liable to be dismissed.


Fleeing gangster Surti nabbed
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Over 48 hours after eight undertrials escaped from police custody outside Central Jail here, the Amritsar police today morning nabbed one of the fugitives, who is said to be the most dangerous of the bunch due to his reckless methods of killing the victims.

While a statewide alert is on to nab the others before they regroup and script another crime, the police is relieved that at least the major member has been nabbed. The Bangala tribe is accused of killing over 100 persons from 2000 to 2003.

Surti, alias Mental, was nabbed when he was trying to reach Batala, said SSP Amritsar Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh. SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh, who headed the team that had nabbed the Bangala tribemen, also notoriously known as Kale Kachhewala gang in 2003 and 2005, recalled that the gangsters nicknamed him Mental due to his barbaric act of killing the victims.

As per the modus operandi of the gang, Surti rendered the family members helpless by injuring them or tying them after the gang gained entry into the house.

Surti, however, gained notoriety, as he bludgeoned the sleeping victims with iron rods without giving them any chance to move.

According to the police, he became so cruel that he used to forfeit half of his earnings if he did not kill the person with one blow on his head.


‘Life expectancy can be 150 years’
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 18
Life expectancy could be 150 years in the next century, claimed genetic scientists on the second day of the Fifth International Symposium on Genetics, Health and Disease here today.

Prof N.K. Mehra of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, in his paper, said this could be achieved with precision in diagnosis and prevention of genetic disorders.

The scientists also dwelt on issues relating to mental retardation, inheritable psychiatric disorders, type-1 diabetes, pre-natal genetic counselling and genetic therapies for thalassemia.

The Department of Human Genetics and Centre for Genetic Disorders of the University organised the symposium. Seven technical sessions were held today. The plenary session was chaired by Prof M. A. Patton, Department of Medical Genetics, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.

Dr Mehra said India was the genetic capital of type -1 diabetes in the world. Different genes, environmental factors and immune dis-regulation were main causes of type-1diabetes. He said although the IDDM1 gene on chromosome VI had major role in disease causation, there were at least 16 more genes involved for diseased condition.

Pakistan's chairman of the National Commission on Biotechnology Dr. A. Nasim said like other developing countries, people in Pakistan were exposed to environmental pollutants resulting in damage to DNA and genetic diseases. He said according to Islam, cloning, gene therapy, stem cell research, artificial insemination, female foeticide and other advances in human biology should be used for the benefit of mankind.

Prof Dr. R Becker from Germany, revealed by sonographic detection the majority of major anomalies in the foetus, including Down Syndrome, other genetic and somatic diseases, could be detected as early as at 11weeks to 13 weeks scan.

Prof J. Santavy, prof P.J. Hansen, and prof R.D. Wegner shared views on new technologies for preimplantation genetic diagnostics of inherited diseases. Prof J Graw of Germany mentioned the same genes that are involved for childhood cataract, may cause age-related cataract with the involvement of environmental modifiers.

Prof K. Sperling of Germany explained the importance of understanding the NBS gene function. Prof P Malik from the USA highlighted genetic therapies for the thalassemia and sickle cell diseases. He discussed cure of thalassemia using stem cell transplantation.


Thousands pay last respects to Bularia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 18
Residents of Amritsar bid adieu to departed leader Raminder Singh Bularia, sitting SAD MLA, who had died in a US hospital. The body of Bularia was consigned to flames with full state honours. Earlier, an ardas was held at Akal Takht by Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti.

Wreaths were placed on behalf of Chief Minister by Bikram Singh Majithia, information and public relations minister. Among those who paid tributes included BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, SAD MPs Rajmohinder Singh Majitha and Rattan Singh Ajanala, health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, SAD MLAs Virsa Singh Valtoha, Amarpal Singh Boney, Malkit Singh AR, Dalbir Singh Verka, Harmeet Singh Sandhu and Manjit Singh Manna, BJP MLA Anil Joshi, Congress MLA O.P. Soni and Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front.

Thousands of people joined the funeral procession, which commenced from Bularia’s residence and passed through Khazana Gate and finally reached the cremation ground near Gurdwara Shaheedan Sahib. Earlier, his body was brought to the city from Delhi after it was flown from the USA.

Shops were closed in the area of his constituency. The offices of the municipal corporation remained closed for the second half of the day.

Meanwhile, the political scene was agog with rumours that Sukhbir Badal would be in fray for the Assembly byelection. However, sources close to the deceased leader felt his son Inderbir Bularia should be fielded.


HC reverses trial court’s order
Says lower court failed to properly appreciate evidence
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
In what can be seen as miscarriage of justice, an accused in a drugs case was convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment nearly 12 years ago following the trial court’s failure to properly appreciate the evidence in the matter.

Reversing the lower court’s order in the case, Justice Sham Sunder significantly held: “Had the trial court properly appreciated the evidence, keeping in view the factors, the result would have been different.”

In his detailed order on a petition challenging the orders of conviction and sentence filed by accused Mewa Singh against the State of Punjab and others, Justice Sunder ruled: “It is held that the judgement of conviction and order of sentence rendered by the trial court are not based on correct appreciation of evidence and law on the point.”

The trial court failed to take into consideration the fact that the possibility of tampering with the case property could not be ruled out; that no independent witness was joined despite availability; and that discrepancies and omissions occurred in the statement of witnesses, which remained unexplained.

The trial court, under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), had earlier convicted Mewa Singh. Moving the high court against the orders of his conviction, counsel for the appellant had alleged implication in the matter, besides claiming discrepancies in the statement of prosecution witnesses. He had argued that the accused was liable to be acquitted in the case following the failure of the prosecution to prove the matter beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt.

In his detailed order, the Judge ruled: “Since the possibility of tampering with the case property could not be ruled out in the instant case, a serious doubt on account of this reason was cast on the prosecution case.”

Accepting the appeal, Justice Sunder directed the setting aside of the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court at Sangrur on August 8, 1995.

Pronouncing the directions in an open court, the Judge added: “The appellant shall stand acquitted of the charges framed against him.”


Medical Reimbursement
Clear file in 4 weeks, Punjab Roadways told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
In a case reflecting the ailing state of affairs in Punjab, a Punjab Roadways employee’s medical bill reimbursement matter was forwarded to director, Health Services, after over a year’s delay and that also after a notice on his petition was issued to the roadways general manager.

Petitioner Mohinder Singh, suffering from a kidney problem, has been advised to undergo treatment till July 24. Currently being treated at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar, he had sought medical reimbursement of Rs 1,97,698.

Taking a serious view of the delay, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, today ruled that Rajeshwar Singh, general manager, Punjab Roadways, Jalandhar-I, would be held responsible, if the file pertaining to the sanction of medical bills was not cleared within four weeks.

Giving details of the matter, the judges observed Rajeshwar Singh, present in the court, stated the medical bill was submitted for reimbursement in November 2006, and the roadways authorities were processing the file. It was sent to the director, Health Services, on February 12.

Fixing April 24 as the next date of hearing in the case, the judges also directed the general manager to be present in the court. Earlier during the proceedings, the general manager handed a cheque of Rs 37,997 as part payment of medical reimbursement.


Punjab appoints Masih, Berry as AAG
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
AG Masih has been appointed as Additional-Advocate General, Punjab. He had joined the Advocate-General.office as Assistant Advocate-General. in 1993 and was promoted as Deputy Advocate-General. Mukesh Berry, Senior DAG, has also been promoted as Additional Advocate-General.


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