P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Farmers’ Plight
Presidential Address disappoints Sukhbir
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 25
President of the SAD Sukhbir Badal has expressed disappointment at the Presidential Address in Parliament, which he said had ignored reference to the plight of farmers who were committing suicides owing to financial debt. He said this only indicated that the present UPA government had no concern for the nation’s peasantry that was facing difficult times.

Speaking to mediapersons on the eve of the Insaf Rally scheduled to be held here tomorrow, the SAD president said, “It was unfortunate that the Central government was ignoring the needs and requirements of farmers and the industry in Punjab and at the same time encouraging a separate gurdwara management committee in Haryana”. He said the SAD-BJP leaders would submit a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister tomorrow, demanding a package for farmers, industry and the formation of an all-India gurdwara Act.

Commenting on tomorrow’s rally, he said it was in the interest of national economy to check flight of industry from Punjab to neighbouring states by offering them tax and duty exemption benefits, adding that it was the nation’s duty to compensate industry that was bearing the brunt for being on the border.

Lashing out at the Punjab Congress for what he called “spreading canards about the performance of the SAD-BJP government on the eve of the rally only shows the frustration and nervousness in the Congress camp. We had even requested the state Congress leadership to join us for the rally and strengthen the state’s case before the Central government. However, instead of doing so they have unfortunately resorted to a negative and vilifying campaign” he said.

Sukhbir further said the objective of the rally was limited to three agendas - farmers’ problems, industrial crisis and creation of a separate gurdwara parbandhak committee for Haryana.

Tomorrows rally would be addressed by most top-rung SAD leaders from Punjab and BJP national leadership, including L.K. Advani and BJP president Rajnath Singh. 


Sorry, no additional water, Punjab to Rajasthan
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
The Punjab government has rejected the Rajasthan government’s demand to supply 20,000 cusecs of canal water over and above the existing use of the water for irrigation purpose through the Rajasthan feeder being made by it.

Sources said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje had written to Parkash Singh Badal for additional supply of canal water during February and March for the rabi crop. Even the Rajasthan Irrigation Department had contacted the Punjab government in this regard.

However, the sources said the Punjab government had decided to write back to the Rajasthan government that it could not spare additional water. Punjab, in fact, itself was facing problem to meet its irrigation requirements through canal water in absence of adequate rainfall in the region during this winter. Except light rainfall near the Shivalik foothills, there was no rainfall in the countryside. More over, the level of water is also low in the various dams. During the summer availability of water from the dams for irrigation would be less this year. Keeping in view these circumstances, the state government had decided to refuse the additional water.

Rajasthan had been alleging for the past several years that Punjab had been using its unutilised share and it should be compensated for that. However, Punjab had been saying that the flow of water in the rivers had come down by 3 MAF over the years. Even the BBMB and the Central Water Commission (CWC) was aware of this fact.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government had also decided to oppose the second barrage on the Ravi-Beas waters. Sources said the state government would seek the CWC report prepared with regard to the leakage of water to Pakistan from the river water systems. There were reports that the CWC had found that there was no such huge leakage of water from the river systems to Pakistan. Hence there was no need to construct the second barrage. Moreover, Punjab had not been taken into confidence before taking a decision regarding the barrage by the Union government. As Punjab was a host riparian state, the Union government could not execute any barrage like project without its consent.

The sources said the Haryana government had given a concept paper to the CWC for constructing the barrage.


Check on Cops
Rights panel to inquire misconduct with woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the ADGP of the commission to hold an inquiry against police personnel following a complaint by a Mohali based women who alleged them of outraging her modesty.

According to the complaint, the lady stated that her husband was a man of vices. She averred that he was apprehended by S.I. Charan Singh who took a bribe of Rs 5,000 in order to let him off. The said S.I. then demanded Rs 5,000 from her husband per month. She alleged that the SI threatened her husband that if he would not pay the amount then he would put him behind bars. It is alleged by the complainant that when the ransom was refused, the SI came to her house.

She alleged that the police personnel had seen her for the first time. Thereafter he locked her in-laws in a room. He along with eight police officials started misbehaving with the complainant and outraged her modesty by pulling her from long hairs and grappled her. As a result her clothes were also torn.

She went to the police station with an application, but her complaint was not registered. The commission stated that the allegations against the police personnel were serious in nature and the act by the police has directly violated her dignity and life.

The commission observed: “The complainant’s modesty has been outraged by the police officials. Taking a serious view of the matter, the Commission orders for an inquiry by resorting the provisions of Section 17 (ii) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and investigation pertaining to inquiry is entrusted to the ADGP of the Commission, who shall investigate the entire facts personally and then submit a report to the Commission within one month from the receipt of copy of the order.”


Illegal de-addiction centre raided, 33 rescued
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 25
Thirtythree out of 65 addicts of the border belt, who allegedly were being tortured by musclemen, were rescued following a raid by the additional deputy commissioner, the civil surgeon, doctors of the Institute of Mental Health and officials of the Red Cross Society at Gaunsabad village, a few kms from here, today.

They were taken to the government-run de-addiction centre in official vehicles in the presence of ADC Parmjit Singh, SP Surjit Singh and civil surgeon Dr Lehmbar Singh. The raid was made on the direction of Laxmi Kanta Chawla, health minister, who spoke to deputy commissioner Kahan Singh. The illegal de-addiction centre, Navjeevan is run by ex-serviceman Gurdevinder Singh Cheema without having proper infrastructure and paramedical staff. The owner was making profit of Rs 4 lakh a month by charging heavily.

Director of Institute of Mental Health Dr B.L.Goyal said the centre was opened in violation of the Mental Health Act, passed by Parliament in1987. He alleged the “fake de-addiction centre” had also admitted a number of patients in violation of the parameters or rules, prescribed for registered medical practitioners. As per rules, nobody can give prescription in case of simple temperature, he said. The owner of the de-addiction centre also violated the human rights by forcibly keeping them in the rented building. “In this way, the owner had deprived the patients of freedom and liberty” , he said .

Chawla said action would be taken against the owner and his associates for charging hefty amount from the parents of the addicts.

Some of the inmates of the centre alleged they were dumped in the centre by their brothers or parents following property disputes. Deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu said he would write to the government for enforcing certain provisions of the law for action against such illegal health centres .

The modus operandi of the de-addiction centre was the owner would send his musclemen to pick up addicts on the request of their parents by using force. Any addict who opposed musclemen was beaten up.

The civil surgeon said with the help of some former addicts, the injections or drips were being administered to the addicts, which was a crime. However, the owner claimed he had one BAMS doctor who visitedthe centre thrice a week. 


Nanded Sahib Airport
Badal urges PM to rename it
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and urged him to name the proposed airport at Nanded Sahib as Guru Gobind Singh Airport.

According to Harcharan Bains, media advisor to the Chief Minister, Badal handed over a written request on behalf of “people of Nanded Sahib, all Punjabis, the entire Sikh community and, in fact, the whole mankind” requesting Prime Ministerial intervention in the matter.


Khera on Insaf Rally
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 25
Chairman of the Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission Balwant Singh Khera, in his letter addressed to the Governor of Punjab, demanded an inquiry into the alleged unconstitutional and illegal conduct of the state government, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC officials, into the jamboree being organised tomorrow in Delhi.

In the letter, released to the media here today, Khera stated that the reports appearing in a section of the press stated that deputy commissioners and district transport officers had arranged around 3,000 vehicles for transporting workers of the SAD-BJP to the venue of their proposed rally in Delhi on February 26.

Instead of wasting this huge amount of money, the state government should implement welfare schemes for the poor.


Kandi canal breach submerges hundreds of acres
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Talwara, February 25
In nine months, another major breach developed in the Kandi canal (stage-I) flooding hundreds of acres in Asifpur, Shekha-Matta, Gagarh, Badhalian and nearby villages this morning. The nearly 100-foot-wide breach developed in the canal bank between Asifpur and Gagarh villages causing panic among villagers. 

The breach hit irrigation in over 200 villages. Water flooded fields, choes and natural drains in Shekha-Matta causing huge loss. However, no loss of life, cattle and immoveable property was reported.

Passers-by noticed the breach and informed the police and villagers. The information then was passed to officials of the Irrigation Department.

Kandi canal (stage-I) executive engineer Ashwani Sharma, along with sub-divisional engineer S.K. Sharma, reached the site, along with team and the water flow in the canal was stopped from the road distance zero (RD0) of the canal.

Hoshiarpur deputy commissioner N.K. Badhawan and additional deputy commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth also inspected the breach and met villagers. The DC has marked an inquiry into this, besides ordering special girdawri of the affected area for loss to crops.

Affected residents, including Harbansh Singh, Rajender Singh and Jodha Singh, lamented that their wheat crop and cash crops had been destroyed due to the breach. "The crops have been submerged in ankle-deep water. If the water is not drained in a day or two, the farmers will face major losses," lamented farmer Kartar Singh.

XEN Sharma said the cause of the breach could not be ascertained. He, however, claimed that burrows by rats and other reptiles could be the main reason.

The XEN admitted regular maintenance of the canal could not be done due to shortage of funds and it was also the major reason for the breach.

He said the department would take more than a week to plug the breach, as the department had to transport material to the site located in the difficult terrain.

A 60-foot-wide breach developed in the same canal adjacent Datarpur village on May 20 last year. The department had plugged the breach after a 

The canal has been benefiting over 215 villages of the Kandi area and irrigating over 2260 hectares.


Unbundling of power board: State seeks extension
Starts steps to clear subsidy arrears
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
While the Punjab government has urged the Union Power Ministry to give it another extension for unbundling the Punjab State Electricity Board, it has started the process to clear Rs 1,361-crore subsidy arrears to the board as directed by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

A few days ago, the commission had directed the government to clear the subsidy dues. In case of failure to clear the dues, the PSEB should be asked to charge for power from farm sector and other sections of society getting power free of cost from the PSEB.

Sources said the subsidy arrears would be cleared on February 29. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, had given the go-ahead to the authorities concerned for clearing subsidy dues.

The sources said he had even cleared the file moved by the Power Department in this regard.

The state government would raise loan of Rs 1,000 crore to clear the subsidy dues. In fact, the state government is yet to avail itself loan of Rs 1,700 crore from Rs 5,000 crore, which it had planned to take during the current year. It has already taken about Rs 3,300 crore loan from Rs 5,000 crore, it is learnt.

Meanwhile, in a reminder to the Power Ministry, the Punjab government had listed reasons and difficulties in its way to unbundle the PSEB. Asking for the seventh extension to enable it to decide about the unbundling of the PSEB, the state government had urged the ministry that it should be given six months for unbundling.

Earlier, the ministry had given extension till February 29. However, it is expected that the ministry will give three months that is till May-end.


PSEB, a haven for retired engineers, officers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
While qualified youth have been finding it difficult to get jobs in Punjab government departments, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) virtually has become a haven for retired persons, especially top-level engineers.

Sources said there were several chief engineers and senior officers who had been re-employed after retirement in the PSEB. Though most of them have been re-employed advisers, they are handling jobs meant for engineers to be promoted .

Opposing re-employment of senior engineers as advisers, the PSEB Engineers Association has written to the state government and the chairman of the PSEB. “We have opposed such a regular practice in the board. It is having demoralising effect on our ranks,” said H.S. Bedi, general secretary of the association.

He confirmed that the association had given in writing to the chairman and the state government to stop appointing retired persons as advisers. Even certain retired persons had been included in the special-purpose vehicles set up to build Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura.

There are three retired chief engineers as advisers for three years or so. And then there is one financial adviser appointed after retirement. Besides it, there three superintending engineer-level retired engineers. Apart from them there are certain doctors re-appointed.

The PSEB authorities otherwise say the board was running in a big loss and there was a need to increase power tariff and withdraw subsidy to farm and other sectors to meet financial requirements. But while giving re-employemnt, the PSEB does not bother about fiscal health.

Sources said the issue of re-employment after retirement was discussed at a meeting of the board on October 29 and it was decided not to re-employ any engineer or any other officer after retirement. However, that decision has not been enforced.

The Punjab government is not enhancing retirement age from 58 to 60, though it promised to do so in its election manifesto, taking the plea it would affect job opportunities of youth, but it was re-employing retired persons. Obviously, those re-employed have political and other influence. Re-employed retired engineers and other officers were entitled to almost all pay and perks which they were getting when they were in service.


15,000 health activists to be appointed
PPSC to select 147 specialist docs by Apr
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 25
Under the National Rural Health Mission Scheme, 15,000 accredited social health activists (ASHAs) will be appointed by the Health Department in the state to look after pregnant women, educate women on diseases and advise them on the care of newborns in rural areas.

The ASHAs will also handle other health issues like sanitation and distribution of free-of-cost medicines to be provided by the department etc.

Besides this, the state government has also given the work of selection of 147 specialist doctors to the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) to appoint them in government hospitals in April this year. Shortage of doctors, especially in the Malwa-belt, will end on priority in April.

Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla stated this at a function here today held to distribute appointment letters among ASHAs of Sangrur and Barnala districts. Appointment letters were given today to 552 ASHAs of Sangrur district and 406 of Barnala district.

The minister said the ASHAs would not be given salary or allowance, but honorarium for the work to be done by them as per the guidelines of the programme. She also said every ASHA would get the name of every pregnant woman registered in her area, and if the child died before birth, she would have to give answer about it. Thus, it would help check female foeticide, she added.

On female foeticide she said if dowry was done away with from society, daughters would not be killed in wombs.

She asked people to discourage female foeticide as it was also crime against humanity. She called upon the gathering to fight drug abuse, female foeticide and adulteration of foodstuff.

Secretary, Health, T.R. Sarangal, Sangrur civil surgeon Satwant Bhalla, district president of the BJP Jatinder Kalra and area in charge of the SAD of the Sangrur Assembly constituency Parkash Chand Garg also were among 
the speakers. 


PUDA eyes prime land to increase revenue
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 25
The Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) will dispose of government land in the elegant Chhoti Baradari area by auction under the Optimum Utilisation of Vacant Government Land Scheme. 

Sources said today that PUDA would benefit from this auction. These plots have been vacant for long and proceeds from these would be spent on development works initiated by PUDA.

Apart from these plots at the Chhoti Baradari, PUDA also plans to sell the Old Courts complex on the Bahera Road, also known as motor market. PUDA would be netting crores by auctioning these plots.

PUDA also has decided to auction plot (No.40D) adjacent to the Improvement Trust building here, which also happens to be prime land.

A top PUDA official said today that the agency would make more than Rs 15.53 crore, which was the reserve price, from the auction of the 40-D plot.

He added this property would not be auctioned in parts and would be given to a single person or institute.
Similarly, the official revealed that the old courts complex on the Bahera Road would also be given to a single person. All proceeds, the official disclosed, would fund development projects in the city.

Like PUDA, the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) too has started an exercise to auction or give on lease prime government land to increase revenue for development works.


Board to protect Punjabi culture, check vulgarity
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 25
To protect and develop Punjab’s culture and heritage in a big way and check vulgarity in songs and films etc, the Punjab government will set up a culture development board soon.

Stating this here on Saturday, Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs minister Hira Singh Gabria said the state government would also initiate legal measures to prevent vulgarity in songs, films etc. He said the state government would also give subsidy and tax exemption on those films which would be made against dowry, female foeticide and drug abuse.

He was addressing the gathering as chief guest at a Punjabi culture items competitions, jointly organised by the local Osho Youth Club and the local Pragteesheel Manch at the Government Senior Secondary School for Boys here. The organisers had conducted competitions in sithnian, ghorian, suhag, all songs sung by girls at Punjabi marriages. Sangrur MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa presided over the function.

Gabria also honoured five outstanding kesadhari (having hair) Sikh players Dalbir Singh, Ramanjit Singh, Parvinder Singh, Mahipal Singh and Jagjit Singh. He also honoured Sherpur naib tehsildar Kanwarpreet Puri for his social services, Rinku Kathuria for donating blood 75 times, Kamal Anand for creating awareness about the Right to Information (RTI) Act among masses, Dr Jasbir Kaur from Punjabi University, Patiala, Parshotam Lal Gupta and Jhangi Ram.

Dhindsa gave away prizes to the winners of sithnian, ghorian and suhag singing competitions.


Spreading Punjabiat through resin statues

Amritsar, February 25
While music is believed to be a major carrier of Punjab’s culture, ethos and folklore beyond borders, the same are also being popularised through resin products in Amritsar. Courtesy, two brothers Tajinder Singh and Manohar Sigh of Amritsar. 

The know-how about the Punjabi way of life and its culture is reaching various homes in different parts of the country and abroad through attractive resin statues.

Motivated by the passion to spread Punjabi culture in the world, the duo is happy that their innovative approach in their business is contributing to Punjabi culture’s popularity. Having started as readymade garment merchants, their talent and passion took them to the art field. After getting into acrylic frames, mementos and related items, both decided to manufacture statues and figurines depicting Punjabi culture and heritage.

But it was during his visit to Mumbai that Tajinder, the younger one, came to know about the manufacturing of statues made of resin.

“When I noticed Chinese products made of resin, I thought if Chinese statues of cowboys, wood cutters and Buddhist prototypes could be in the market, we can also show our culture and rich heritage the same way. And, thus I decided to put my ideas into practice,” he said.

Today, the available range of resin products include Nihangs, a woman spinning a charkha or churning buttermilk and bhangra and Giddha teams, Punjabi bride and groom and so on. The prices of the statues range between Rs 150 to 5,000.

To prepare these statues liquid resin mixed with other chemicals is poured into moulds and dried. These are then given a final finish with colours and polish. Once prepared, these can also be transported to other places with ease.

Our products are in big demand in India and abroad, said Manohar, the other brother. Such figurines are also available in ceramic or clay but resin-made products have a longer life, he added.

Nitin Kumar, a visitor to Amritsar, said he was drawn to the products the first time he saw these. They depicted the Punjabi culture and he wished to take them along with him as a souvenir. Amarjit Singh Chauhan, another customer, said such products indeed had the potential to promote Punjabi culture and values. He said he sends bhangra and giddha teams and Nihangs made of resin to his relatives abroad so that their children could learn about their heritage. — ANI


Hindi writer transliterates Batalvi to Bengali script
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 25
Born in Alipur (North Bengal), daughter of Punjabi parents, Hindi writer Neelam Sharma Anshu (42) has transliterated Shiv Kumar Batalvi, hailed as one of the great Punjabi poets of all times, to Bangla script for the first time.

The project was assigned to Anshu by the Punjab Language Department. The work of Batalvi in Bangla script will be published shortly. She says it needs more energy to translate/transliterate literature than do creative writing.

Anshu has translated a number of noted Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali writers and poets into Hindi. However, it is for the first time that she has transliterated Punjabi songs and poems of Batalvi into Bengali script. She admits that it was difficult to transliterate Batalvi, who is considered a mystical master of words, to any language, especially Bengali.

The versatile Hindi writer has also translated a poetry book of Assamese language.

Talking to The Tribune, Anshu said the hobby of translation and transliteration developed while working in the Directorate of Supplies and Disposals, Commerce Ministry. As a part of her job she has to do lot of translation work for the benefit of non-Bengali consumers who have settled in West Bengal.

She owes her versatility in languages due to the stay of her father late Tarsem Lal Sharma in a number of places while working with a Railway Construction Company. However, despite staying outside Punjab, she did not forget to promote Punjabi, a language of her ancestors. Anshu said she had studied in Balm Girls College (Nawanshahr) only for six years, but it was too short a period to have a complete command on the language . “She, however, did a lot of labour to excel in Punjabi language. She gives full credit to the then Editor of Punjabi Tribune who had published her article after making a number of corrections. “I can’t forget the great gesture of the Editor of Punjabi Tribune which encouraged me to do more service to the language of my ancestors,” she said with great humility.

She said with her latest venture, Bengali-speaking readers would be able to read transcendental agony of great Punjabi poet Batalvi. She said the translation work was quite different from transliteration. However, she took care of the spellings and proper pronunciation while transliterating Batalvi .

Earlier, she had translated “Phoolon Ka Saath,” a novel by Kartar Singh Duggal , “Suron Ke Saudagar,” written by India-based Canadian writer Iqbal Mahal, “Pavitar Paapi,” a famous novel by Nanak Singh, and “Lal Batti,” authored by Baldev Singh. From Bengali to Hindi, she has translated “Kabuliwala Ki Bengali Biwi,” authobiographical novel by Sushmita Bandopadhyay, which was declared best-seller of Hindi since Kolkata Book Fair, 2002 . The Hindi feature film, “Escape from Taliban,” was also made on the basis of the Hindi translation. She has also translated “Ek Akshar Bhi Jhootha Nahin” and “Sattayies Din Title Ke,” written by Bandopadhyay and Subrato Das, respectively.

She has also translated Urdu play “Dahkate Angaray” of London-based Hindi writerwriter Tejendra Sharma to Punjabi. Some of the writings translated from various languages to Punjabi are also in the press.


Langah denies berating doctors, lawyers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Sucha Singh Langah,Punjab agriculture minister, here today said he did not say anything against doctors, advocates and teachers. He had been misquoted in a section of the Press. “I did not use any bad expression against any class of employees and any other section of society,”he said.

“I have great regard for doctors, advocates and teachers and there is no reason to speak against them in any manner from any platform,”said Langah. He said he was aware of the contribution made by teachers, doctors and advocates to society. “Though I have not used any expression against any section of society, if anyone feels hurt because of the statement wrongly attributed to me, I regret the same,”he said.


3 teams formed to nab undertrial
Our Correspondent

Nabha, February 25
Three teams, comprising 25 persons, led by three SHOs, have been constituted to nab Manoj Kumar, son of open jail superintendent of Nabha, who escaped from the custody of the Chandigarh police in town. 

Manoj, an undertrial in a kidnapping case, was being escorted to his residence by three jawans of the Chandigarh police in the open jail with the permission of the court to see his ailing mother, when the incident happened.

He fled in a waiting Indica car parked near the residences of the jail superintendent and the deputy jail superintendent.

Sources in the open jail alleged that Manoj had visited some time earlier also, but unofficially, perhaps while being shifted to Burail jail in Chandigarh. However, his father Jagwant Sharma denies it, but admitted that Manoj, who was lodged in Sangrur jail, was shifted to Burail just 10 days back.

Manoj, alias Monte, was one of the accused in kidnapping the son of Joshi Autozones of Chandigarh.


High Court
Punjab rapped for shoddy investigation procedure
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25
Expressing exasperation over the manner of investigations carried out by the police in a murder case in Punjab, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called upon the “quarters concerned” to “set their house in order”.

The significant judgement that is being seen as a reflection on functioning of the police in the state comes on an appeal filed by Barnala resident Gurchet Singh and his wife Amarjit Kaur. The two were held guilty by the trial court for murder and common intention under Section 302 and 34 of the IPC. The prosecution had claimed that the duo had murdered Harjinder Singh, who was a close relative.

Taking up their appeal against the state of Punjab challenging the trial court’s order of sentencing them to undergo imprisonment for life and pay a fine of Rs 5,000, the High Court Bench, comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice S.D. Anand, ruled: “Though the courts are sentinels of justice, our job of dispensation of justice is impeded by many factors. Deficient investigations are one of the causes which hedge appropriate dispensation of justice.”

“This observation of ours is obviously related to the manner of investigation in the present case and is based upon whatever we have discerned while disposing of this appeal,” the Judges added. “We do hope and expect that our feeling of exasperation would alert the quarters concerned to set their house in order and do whatever is required to stem the rot”.

Referring to the probe carried out by the police in the matter, the Judges added: “The investigation of the case in terms of quality leaves much to be desired”.

Reversing the orders pronounced by the trial court after going through the defence and the prosecution evidence, the Bench held: “In the light of the discussions, we find that the prosecution has not been able to prove the case against the appellants beyond reasonable doubt”.

The Judge further held: “The appeal shall stand allowed. The judgement of conviction shall stand set aside. The appellants shall stand acquitted of the charge”.

ADJ promotions notified

On the recommendations of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Governors of the two states have notified the promotions and postings of Additional District and Sessions Judges.

The judicial officers promoted as Additional District and Sessions Judges in Punjab, along with their places of postings, are: K.C. Gupta (Jalandhar), Manju Rana (Hoshiarpur) Narinder Kumar (Amritsar), Kishore Kumar (Ludhiana), Paramjit Singh (Chandigarh), Pritam Singh Dhanoa (Ludhiana), Harpal Singh (Patiala), Amarinder Singh Grewal (Ludhiana), Harpreet Kaur Randhawa (Ropar), Ramesh Kumari (Muktsar), Jagjit Singh Chohan (Ferozepore), Nirmal Singh (Ferozepore), Sunita Kumari (Amritsar), Asha Condal (Sangrur) and Kuldip Kumar Kareer (Amritsar).

The judicial officers promoted as Additional District and Sessions Judges in Punjab on ad hoc basis for fast track courts are: Surinder Mohar (Gurdaspur), Manjinder Singh (Ludhiana), Harbhajan Dass (Gurdaspur), Arunvir Vashista (Kapurthala), Ravinder Singh (Jalandhar), Sanjay Kumar (Bathinda), Gurmail Singh (Gurdaspur) and Baljinder Siddhu (Sangrur).

Hawara’s plea

An application seeking permission to meet relatives filed by Jagtar Singh Hawara, sentenced to death in Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, was today referred to another Bench by Justice R.S. Madan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In his application against the UT Administration, Hawara had claimed that while his mother Narinder Kaur was allowed to meet him on October 30, his uncle Dev Singh and cousin Gurdeep Singh were not permitted. He added that the two, along with aunt Sukhdev kaur, should be allowed to meet him. Hawara, in the main petition filed through counsel Navkiran Singh, has already sought directions for declaring the action of lodging him and co-accused Balwant Singh in solitude and segregation as illegal.

He has added that the death sentence awarded to him by the special court was yet to be confirmed. In an attempt to substantiate his contentions against the segregation move, Hawara had also quoted apex court judgments. Beant Singh was assassinated on August 31, 1995, in an explosion outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat. While human bomb Dilawar Singh was killed in the blast that also took the lives of 17 others, Hawara and Balwant Singh were granted capital punishment on July 31.

NRI body poll

Taking up a petition for directions to the State of Punjab and other respondents to hold fresh election to the post of NRI Sabha president, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today fixed March 4 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

The Bench also asked the state counsel and the counsel for the petitioner to find out if the matter was covered under any statutory provision.

In the petition filed in public interest, Sabha member Jasvir Singh Gill of Lahore Nangal village in Jalandhar alleged the election held on February 3 was illegal and in violation of the Constitution of the Sabha and the guidelines laid down by the state for the elections.

He also alleged over 350 of his supporters, who had paid the membership fee and other charges amounting to Rs 10 kakh were denied the right to vote because they were not issued identity cards despite directions from the deputy commissioner. He has also prayed for holding elections a month after the publication of the electoral rolls. 


Chahal’s case returns to Sessions Judge
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, February 25
In an interesting development, Additional Sessions Judge A.K. Mehta today returned the high-profile attempt to murder and land-grabbing case, involving B.I.S. Chahal, former media advisor to former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, to the Sessions Judge, Ludhiana.

Sessions Judge G.K. Rai had sent the case file to the court of Mehta today for conducting the trial. However, Mehta asked the accused this afternoon to appear before the Sessions Judge on February 28. It was learnt that ‘due to certain reasons’ he did not want to hear this case.

However, this court exempted the personal presence of Chahal for today. His counsel had moved an application stating that his client was to attend two cases at Patiala, one in the court of the Special Judge and one before the CJM, and, hence, he could not come personally.

On February 12, Judicial Magistrate Harinder Kaur Sidhu had committed this case to the court of Sessions Judge for trial, as the offences under which the accused were charged by the police were exclusively trialable by the Sessions Court.

It may be recalled that Chahal was booked under Sections 307, 452, 379, 148 and 149, IPC, following the complaint of Harchand Singh of Daad village on June 10, 2007, at Sadar police station. He was arrested when he was coming out of the local office of the Vigilance Bureau after joining investigation in City Centre scam.

It was alleged by the complainant that in October, 2006, all the accused, armed with weapons, launched a murderous attack upon them and forcibly took possession of their land situated at Daad village. Since the accused were well connected politically, none of the police officials had taken any action against them.

Some relatives of Chahal, who were also booked in this case, included Jagdish Pal Singh, Kartar Singh Garewal, Jaswinder Pal Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Harjinder Singh.


Abandoning Pregnant Wife
Accused booked for theft only
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Over 48 hours after a pregnant woman was abandoned by husband and in-laws, the police here could only book the accused man, his brother and mother for stealing jewellery and household goods with no relevant section of the IPC detailing an offence of forsaking a wife in such a manner.

The good news for the woman, Amarjit Kaur, who underwent medical examination, was that her baby was safe as per medical tests conducted so far. She underwent the examination at the Civil Hospital here today at the behest of the police. Though the report of some tests was awaited, the doctors said the woman and the baby were safe.

SHO Division No. 7, SI Pawanjit said the accused Mandeep Singh, a hosiery employee here, his brother Harpreet Singh and mother Surjit Singh were today booked under Section 379, IPC.

He said the police had sought legal advice for imposing the sections. "The FIR may be amended later depending on the examination report of the syringes recovered from the house,” he said.

He said the police was also examining if the accused could be booked for cheating in the unique case."They had the legal right to sell the property. We are examining if selling it with the intent of duping your wife can be termed as an offence," he said.

Adopting a humanitarian approach, the SSP has put hold on anyone trying to throw the distressed woman out of the house. 


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