C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Southeastern sectors quake prone
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Southeastern sectors of Chandigarh like Sectors 47 to 51 and Sectors 15 and 38, besides Kaimbwala (near Sukhna Lake), Jagatpura and eastern part of Mohali have come under earthquake-prone areas.

According to a recent study by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), this part of Chandigarh is more vulnerable as compared to its vicinity.

Residents of Panchkula, Manimajra and Mansa Devi Complex can breathe easy as this area is “considerably tremor free”.

One of the fastest growing cities in the country, Chandigarh has seen a boom in multi-storeyed construction over the past two years with many people moving into high-rise buildings. GSI experts, who have categorised the country into various seismic zones, have alerted the city to take adequate precautionary steps in this regard.

Chandigarh falls in seismic zone IV, which is considered the second highest risk category. It is close to the high-risk Kangra area of Himachal.

The GSI deputy director-general, northern region, P.N. Razdan, said the administration and the civic bodies should immediately undertake the redesigning of buildings and structural rules should be followed.

Amitabh Sarkar, deputy director-general of the GSI, Chandigarh, has urged the administration and the local authorities to consider the GSI report before sanctioning new building plans.

He said the GSI had prepared derivative maps that categorised Chandigarh in hazardous zone.

No one could avert an earthquake, Prabhas Pandey, director, GSI, Lucknow, said. But steps must be initiated to minimise the losses.

After Jabalpur, Delhi, Sikkim and Guwahati, Chandigarh was the eighth place where the GSI released its report on “seismic micro zonation” of the city today. The report was released by Pradip Mehra, adviser to the UT administrator.



Protector of emigrants in CBI mesh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The CBI today arrested protector of emigrants, K.P. Tiwari, a clerk in his office and a conduit while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2.50 lakh for granting an emigration clearance certificate to a private firm.

Sources in the CBI said the accused was caught while taking a bribe at his office in Sector 9. A trap was laid following a complaint by Keshav Kumar, an employee with BE Enterprises Agency that deals in manpower recruitment.

He told the CBI that Tiwari was demanding a bribe from him for clearing 300 cases. The officer allegedly threatened him that he would not clear their cases if he failed to get the money.

The CBI caught Tiwari along with clerk Rajesh Sinha and conduit Rajesh Kumar. The raid was conducted after the registration of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI sleuths had earlier arrested J.K. Sahu, protector of emigrants, in 2005 while accepting a bribe of Rs 60,000.

On June 25, 2005, Ranbir Singh was arrested for clearing 340 cases while in September 2005, P.C. Bharadwaj was arrested for clearing 106 cases.

Sources said Chandigarh was said to be a prized posting as a large number of people from here aspire to go abroad.



Sharma’s conviction
The family is cursed, says neighbour
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 18
Even as a Delhi court convicted the suspended IGP, R.K. Sharma, in the murder case of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar today, his neighbours were concerned for the “wonderful family”.

“It is God’s curse that the family, particularly his wife, had to endure such hardships,” Varsha Sood, a neighbour, said.

Before the murder hit the headlines in 2002, the couple was quite popular in the neighbourhood “Even after Sharma was jailed, Madhu, his wife, put a brave front and was the source of strength for the whole family. In fact, she went about her daily routine, including social service, in an unfazed manner,” she added.

Another neighbour, requesting anonymity, said given the Sharmas zeal for social service, his involvement in the murder seemed to be questionable. Madhu and her daughters could not be contacted for comments.

Gobind Niwas, the house of the Sharmas, was swarmed with the media following the surrender of Sharma in Ambala in 2002, in the wake of Madhu’s allegations against BJP leader Pramod Mahajan for his alleged involvement in the case.

The house wore a deserted look today. Though a picket of the Haryana Police is still posted outside the house, Madhu had apparently left for New Delhi a few days ago, a security guard said.

Off late, Madhu has been spending most of her time at Bal Niketan, a home for destitute children founded by her father-in-law in Sector 2.

Neighbours said she was staying alone in the house after the death of her mother-in-law over a year ago.



A spirit amputated
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Ganesh (19), a physically challenged youth, has decided not to take his next examination, owing to the “callous” attitude of the principal and staff of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-B, Chandigarh.

In spite of 100 per cent permanent disability of his lower limbs, Ganesh wanted to take the matriculation examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.

The board had allotted him an examination centre close to his house after turning down his request to appear for the examination from home.

Shocked at the incident, the DPI (S), who was not in town, said he would inquire into the matter. His doctor at the GMCH, Sector 32, has prescribed him total bed rest.

On March 14, against all odds and accompanied by his parents, Ganesh showed up at the examination centre to take the English exam. Due to his illness, he wrote the paper lying down on the floor.

Despite special permission for an extra hour by the chairman of the board, his answersheet was reportedly snatched 15 minutes before time.

Dejected, he has decided not to appear for the next paper. He alleged that the principal and the Sanskrit teacher ignored the orders issued by the education department to take extra care of him.

“The principal, Prem Joshi, and a Sanskrit teacher, Swayamber Dutt, were supposed to supervise me. They humiliated me and my parents, who were allowed to accompany me as I cannot move on my own,” he alleged.

The parents claimed that they were not allowed to give him medicine, what to talk of giving him water to drink.

The requests of his father, B.D. Sharma, a heart patient, went in vain. “I was to be around my son to clean his wounds that bleed, but they did not allow me to do so even though he was bleeding profusely,” he said, breaking down.

“The teacher virtually pulled me from my arm and asked me to stay away from the examination room, saying that my son’s behaviour was ‘made up’,” Ganesh’s mother rued.

While the teacher, when contacted, denied the allegations, saying that it had been concocted, the principal refused to talk on the issue.



Consumer Courts
Jetlife told to pay Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The District Consumer Redressal Forum has directed Jetlife India Limited, New Delhi, to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation to a Sector 28 resident for deficiency in service.

The forum also asked Jetlife to pay Rs 2,500 as costs of litigation. The petitioner, Rohit Grover, stated that he had booked four tickets for his family from Delhi to Kolkata scheduled on December 24, 2005.

The petitioner claimed that he was going on a holiday with his family. He along with his family went to Delhi a day prior to the flight on December 23, 2005.

Late in the night on December 23, the petitioner called the customer care to confirm if the flight was on time. Grover was informed that his tickets were not confirmed. He requested the officer to confirm the booking of the ticket.

He was suggested by the officer to go to the airport and see if something could be done.

After confirming if the flight was on time, Grover reached the airport at 5 am only to discover that the flight was delayed by three hours.

He was then told by officials at the airport that his ticket had been cancelled.

Grover requested the officers of the airlines to arrange a flight for him. He was finally offered two boarding passes and his two sons were given infant passes.

The children - Raghav Grover (5) and Mehul Grover (2) - had to travel sitting in their laps throughout the journey, it was alleged.

Grover averred that he was given security pass under fictitious names, which was treated as security hazard and they could have been charged for breaching airport security. The airlines stated that all allegations levelled against them were false and fictitious.

They argued that the petitioner was given business class seats that had ample space to adjust two people.

Moreover, the processing fee of the tickets was much more than the price of the tickets he had purchased.

The forum stated: “The price value of two tickets of business class seats in which the complainant and three of his family members were accommodated also could matter little as per the perception of the complainant as he had booked four tickets. Facts remains that something did not work behind the scene by surreptitiously concealing and hiding the identity of minors.”



Paid Parking
Major changes in contract terms
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Parking at paid parking lots in the city is set to go people-friendly and hassle-free. In a bid to streamline paid parking, the municipal corporation today proposed major reforms.

These included yearly passes for two-wheelers and four-wheelers and installation of CCTV cameras at parking lots.

At a meeting here today, the paid parking committee of the MC proposed major changes in the terms and conditions for paid parking contractors.

Now, contractors would be liable for theft of vehicles from parking lots. A provision of hefty fines for violations of terms and conditions of the contracts had also been introduced.

Acting on repeated requests from the public, the committee decided to issue yearly parking passes for two-wheelers (Rs 1,200) and four-wheelers (Rs 2,800).

Public could also get six-monthly passes for two-wheeler (Rs 700) and four-wheeler (Rs 1,500). The monthly pass would continue to be made at Rs 300 for car and Rs 150 for two-wheelers.

“The new facilities have been added following feedback from public to make parking a less taxing exercise,” mayor Pardeep Chhabra told Chandigarh Tribune today.

It is felt that the installation CCTV would help regulate parking in a better way. Besides, the new system would also check malpractices at parking lots, which were detected by Chhabra and nominated councillor M.P.S. Chawla from Sukhna Lake and Fun Republic parking lots recently.

Keeping in view city’s emergence as a popular destination, the corporation has decided to extend the parking timings till midnight.

Besides, appropriate signboards with reflective paint would have be be put up by contractors. Underground parkings would have security staff provided by the civic body.



BPL beneficiaries get stipend, certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The City Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, today distributed certificates, stipend and 52 sewing machines to 128 beneficiaries living below poverty line at Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Sector 38, here.

The beneficiaries completed their courses in refrigeration and AC technician, cutting tailoring and computer application courses.

These courses were of six months duration and organised by the Jan Shikshan Sansthan in collaboration with Municipal Corporation under Swaran Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana scheme.

Harjinder Kaur, former mayor, was also present besides the members of board of management of Jan Shikshan Sansthan, on the occasion.

Pardeep Chhabra addressed the participants and appreciated the work being done by the sansthan for making these people self-reliant to BPL beneficiaries. Pardeep also told that the MC will open ‘Seva’ centre in Sector 25.



Illegal migration forced UK to tighten
visa norms: Stagg

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The illegal migration to the United Kingdom has forced the government to tighten the visa norms. This has led to a visa rejection rate of 15- 16 per cent.

This was stated by the British High Commissioner, Sir Richard Stagg, while talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a session on ‘Strengthening Indo - UK Bilateral Trade’, organised by the CII, northern region, here today.

Explaining the reasons for a high rejection rate, the High Commissioner said the aim was to have in effect a fair way to migration and dissuade people from joining hands with the ‘organised illegal migration racket’ to reach the UK.

Earlier, while addressing the delegates, he said the UK values India as a strategic and long term business partner, and they were committed to maintain a close and mutually beneficial relationship.

“The UK business environment offers every opportunity for bilateral trade, because there is so much in common in both the countries which can be used as a platform for a winning business partnership,” the High Commissioner added.

Showcasing the UK as an ideal destination for Indian companies, the High Commissioner said, “The UK is the world’s fifth largest trading nation, and the second largest outward investor and second largest global recipient of inward investment. Further, the UK inflation rate is currently the lowest in 30 years and the employment rate the highest in 40 years,” he said.

“With a deregulated, dynamic economy, skilled and adaptable workforce, world class R & D and an attractive tax regime, the UK business environment offers every opportunity for Indian companies to thrive,” stated Jane Owen, Counsellor, Economic Commercial, UK Trade and Investment, who accompanied the High Commissioner.

Impressed with India’s phenomenal growth, Owen said, “India and the UK being engaged in one of the most profitable and significant bilateral trade and investment partnerships in the world, increasingly, most major British companies consider it “business critical” to have partnerships in India. India too is now one of the biggest investors in the UK.”

Top sectors for UK FDI to India include pharmaceuticals, IT & software, automotive components and security services. The UK is keen to see more cooperation in infrastructure, advanced engineering, retail and agriculture, financial services, she added while deliberating about the facilitator’s role of the UK trade and investment.



Draw of lots for LIG flats today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 18
The draw of lots for LIG flats in Phase XI here would be held tomorrow. Over 14,000 applications had been found to be in order for the draw.

Estate officer of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority Sukhvinderjit Singh said over 20,000 applications had been received for 144 houses offered by the authority.

The scheme was advertised on September 22 last year and the last date for submitting the applications was October 25. However, the last date was extended till October 31.

The authority had offered three types of flats on various floors. The prices range from Rs 7.65 lakh for a flat on the second floor to Rs 8.5 lakh for a flat on the first floor. Both are sized at 525 sq feet.

A flat on the ground floor is priced at Rs 9.35 lakh and sized 490 sq feet. The applicants had to pay Rs 93,500 as earnest money along with the application.

The scheme though launched for providing affordable houses for the lower income group (LIG), seems to have attracted numerous applications from investors who can effort to submit multiple applications.



P’kula MC Poll
109 file nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 18
A triangular contest is on the cards on a majority of seats in the 31-member municipal council (MC), elections to which are scheduled for March 30.

According to information, a total of 109 candidates have filed their nominations for the elections till the last day of filing nominations today. Scrutiny will be held tomorrow and names could be withdrawn by March 20.

Meanwhile, prominent among those who filed their nominations include Congress rebel candidate Sumati Sondhi from ward number 3 and independent candidate Anjala Kataria from ward number 30.

Three main parties - the Congress, INLD and BJP - are contesting the elections on their party symbols this time. Candidates from all parties are likely to face tough competition from their rivals as well as from rebels within the parties.



New day care centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
A new day care centre, Bubbles, was inaugurated at the Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, on Sunday.

It was inaugurated by Sanjay Tyagi, additional director and centre head, Software Technology Park of India.

The centre will also reach out to corporate clients to provide a safe and growth-oriented environment for their employees’ children.



BSNL's customer care year

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has declared year 2008 as ‘customer care year.’ The BSNL has offered a scheme, Free Personal Accidental Insurance, for the customers of working Landline, wireless in local loop and post-paid mobile connections for accidental death and permanent total disability due to accident.

The scheme has come into force from January this year. The Bajaj Allianz Insurance Company has been authorised to settle all claims directly. The customers can download forms from the BSNL website www.bsnl.co.in and send it to the insurance company for settlement of the claim. The company will settle the claim within 14 working days.

This scheme will help the BSNL customers in case of accident will get Rs 50,000. The BSNL authority should insure that the said money is paid to the concerned customers.

M. L. Garg, Chandigarh



Learning German made easier
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Learning German language is not a difficult job now as Chandigarh is coming up with a centre recognised by the German government at Sector 34.

Named as Goethe- Zentrum Chandigarh, this would be the only authorised German language learning centre in the North, which would be run in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi Open University, New Delhi.

This centre would cater to the Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, besides Chandigarh.

Eberhard Weller, regional language director South Asia, Goethe-Institute Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, inaugurated the institute today.

Briefing mediapersons, here, Weller told that out of forty schools all over India, there would be two schools from where the teachers would be short listed for undergoing training in German Language.

“After completing the learning phases here in India, the teachers would be sent to Germany for extensive course,” he said.

Starting from the month of July, there would be no eligibility criteria for learning the language, there is no age bar too.

“We would admit those students instantly who have knowledge about the alphabets or script of the language,” told Weller.

About the fee structure, Surinder Singh Makan, director told that Rs 2500 per month would be charged for six level German Language learning programme bifurcated into 18 months.

Wilhelm Austermann, a representative of the German government for selection of schools for future partnerships with Germany said,

“We are also looking forward for involving the students from the government schools or the students from the economically weaker section.,” said Austermann.



From Colleges
805 students awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The 32nd annual convocation of GGDSD College, Sector 32 C, Chandigarh, was held on the college premises, here today. Prof Mool Chand Sharma, vice-chairman, UGC, New Delhi, presided over the function.

Principal Dr A. C. Vaid conferred degrees on 805 students. It was a day of jubilation as 26 students of MCom, 13 of MSc (IT), 6 of MSc (Bio-info), 18 of MSc (Bio-tech), 21 of BSc (Hons.) Bio-tech, 21 of BSc (Hons.) Bio-info, 88 of BCom (Hons.), 54 of BCom, 121 of BSc, 231 of BA, 49 of BA (Hons.), 40 of BBA, 37 of BCA, 41 of PGDCA, 9 of PGDMC, 5 of PGDPM&LW and 25 of PGDMM were awarded degrees.

In his convocation address, Prof Sharma stressed upon the role of youth and universities in fighting ‘the emerging epidemic of corruption, consumerism and violence’ which according to him is a challenge to democracy.

As a special gesture, in the current academic session 30 meritorious students of the college had donated their scholarship money to their needy classmates.

Earlier, the programme commenced with the entry of the academic procession followed by the Saraswati Vandana. Principal, Dr A.C. Vaid presented the annual report.

Seminar: Kusum won the prize for scripting best slogan during the seminar cum workshop on ‘Water scarcity and its judicious use held at Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

Veenapani won the prize for best message, Sonali for best water conservation tips whereas, Deepika Chauhan and Inderjeet went home with best poster award.

Promila Kaushal, principal of the college inaugurated the programme and read out the annual report of the activities of the society was also presented.

The participants also visited the water works, Sector 39, where they received information on varied aspects of augmentation water supply scheme.



PU Notes
200 delegates to participate in seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
As a part of the ongoing diamond jubilee celebrations, faculty of Languages, PU, is holding a one-day special seminar on “Making of India as a nation: An inter-language dialogue” on March 20.

The seminar, seeks to explore the possibilities of dialogue among languages and language departments in the academia so that an inter-language frame of nationalism could be harnessed within the imperatives of composite past, and globalised future.

The seminar involves as many as eleven language departments of English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Persian, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit, and the speakers of national and international acclaim from these disciplines are invited to participate in the day-long deliberations.

Prof Aijaz Ahmad, a renowned Marxist scholar and a cultural analyst, would deliver the inaugural address.

Prof Ahmad’s works such as ‘In Theory’, ‘Lineages of the Present’, ‘In Our Time’, ‘Iraq’, ‘Afghanistan and the Imperialism of Our Time’ are indispensable to a mature understanding of the cultural politics of pre and post- 9/11. More than 200 delegates are expected to participate in the academic event.

Seminar: “Libraries shape the personality of its users and take them to the next level of consciousness. To make our libraries dynamic knowledge centres, these must be modernised to facilitate teaching, learning and research across the globe,” said Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, Chandigarh administration, in his inaugural address of the seminar on “Trends and strategic issues for libraries in global information society” being organised on March 18-19 by the department of library and information science, PU.

In his key note address, Dr R.K. Chadha, joint secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi, said the ICT must be used to empower the info-poor by providing access to literacy, education, cultural diversity, gender equality, sustainable development and environment protection. Prof Jagtar Singh, the guest of honour said efforts must be made to provide massive low-cost access to quality information to all the information seekers.

A seminar volume and proceedings of the “National workshop on quality indicators and best practices for academic libraries,” published by the department of library and information science, Punjabi University, Patiala were also released.

Symposium: A two-day diamond jubilee symposium on ‘Statistical techniques: Recent trends and advances’ was inaugurated by Prof S.K. Kulkarni, dean university instructions in the department of statistics, PU.

More than 35 teachers and research scholars are participating in this symposium from all over the country.



High Court
Sale of drugs can’t be banned under general laws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant judgement, today held that the issuance of a notification under general laws, prohibiting the sale of certain medicines by chemists without prescription, was void.

In a ruling on a petition filed by a registered pharmacist, a Division Bench of the high court, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice T.P.S. Mann, held: “The petitioner’s stand is that the District Magistrate did not have a valid reason to issue the notification in exercise of powers under Section 144 of the Cr.Pc with regard to the sale and distribution of medicines as the same is governed by a special Act. The argument has merit in it”.

In their detailed order, the Judges observed: “The legislature has already enacted the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, besides framing rules there under to regulate the sale and distribution of medicines. Under these circumstances, the issuance of a notification under the general law would be rendered void as it would tantamount to encroachment upon the field earmarked for the special law.”

The Judges added: “The petition is allowed. The promulgation order dated May 27, 2005, issued by the Mansa District Magistrate is quashed. Similarly, the first information report number 128 dated June 16, 2005, at city police station, Mansa, under Section 188, IPC, and all other proceedings taken there under against the petitioner are also quashed and set aside.”

In his petition against the state of Punjab and others, Jiwan Kumar had stated that the District Magistrate had earlier promulgated an order under Section 144 of the Cr.PC that no chemist in the district, whether wholesaler or retailer, would sell any drug or medicine mentioned in a document without prescription from a registered medical practitioner.

He had added: “Under the garb of the order, the police registered an FIR on the allegation that it had received information regarding the sale of narcotic drugs with prescription slips.”

After hearing rival contentions, the Judges also observed: “It is clear that prosecution against the petitioner under Section 188 of the IPC has been initiated on the basis of FIR and not on the basis of any complaint in writing by the public servant concerned as required under Section 195 (1) (a) of the CrPCr.”

The registration of the FIR and the launching of the proceedings thereafter against the petitioner was not permitted by the code and, thus, could not be allowed to be sustained.

Chimney Heights: govt order stayed

On a petition against State of Punjab’s move to cancel the change of land use (CLU) of “Chimney Heights” resort owned by family of Punjab’s former police chief Sarbdeep Singh Virk, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the operation of a communication dated November 15, 2007, in this regard.

The stay was granted till further orders by a Division Bench of Chief justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh after the preliminary hearing on the petition filed against this by Col R.D.S.Virk. The bench has also issued notices for July 30 to the State of Punjab, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) aand others.

The petitioner has alleged that there were 29 such resorts in the area under GMADA, but only his resort was asked to pay external development charges (EDC), CLU charges and the license fee totaling about Rs.86,86,125.

The only other resort run by the family of current Punjab police chief N.P.S.Aulakh has obtained CLU. However, even Aulakh’s resort has not paid EDC, CLU fee or licence fee, the petitioner added.



CJ asks govt to identify site for judicial complex
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 18
Chief Justice Vijender Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the Punjab government to identify a site in Mohali for setting up of the judicial courts complex.

The Chief Justice was in Mohali this evening for the inauguration of the court of additional district and sessions judge within the makeshift court complex.

The court complex is running from a community center in Phase 3B1 and houses the courts of two sub-divisional judicial magistrates.

The court of one of the SDJM has been shifted upstairs to make room for
the ADSJ’s court.

Talking to media persons later, he said he had asked principal secretary (home) B.C. Gupta to identify a piece of land within a month in Mohali where the complex could be shifted.

The site earlier identified for the construction of an administrative and judicial complex at Sanetta village is under review.

Majority of the municipal councilors of the township have protested against the shifting of the complex.

Sources said SAS Nagar deputy commissioner H.I.S. Grewal informed Gupta and the judges during the function this evening that the site at Sanetta was available.

He also pointed out that the location had got the nod of Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh who had also visited the site.

The DC later said the site at Sanetta had been finalised and even the building plans of the proposed complex were ready.

When contacted, the chief secretary, however, said the site had not been finalised and was just under consideration.

Legal remembrancer of Punjab Rekha Mittal said the site was yet to be finalised as a visit of the members of the building committee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the site was still pending.

Interestingly, the eight acres of land that had been set aside in the heart of Mohali for an administrative complex in Phase VIII right next to the PUDA building is being ignored as an option by the district administration.



CJ Jain asks lawyers to sink differences
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 18
Three judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, including the Chief Justice, today exhorted members of the SAS Nagar Bar associations to resolve their differences and unite.

Chief Justice Vijender Jain, Mr Justice Jagdish Khehar and Mr Justice M.M Kumar were addressing a gathering at the make-shift court complex following the inauguration of the additional district and sessions court here this evening.

Stating that the future needs of the judicial system cannot afford to have lawyers fighting, Justice Jain asked the lawyers to instead focus on equipping themselves to deal with the needs of changing times.

“Prepare yourself for disputes in intellectual property rights, patent regimes and dispute resolution through alternate methods. If you keep fighting over small things how will you move forward?” he said. The Bar associations of the district are divided into groups and the court complex here has been the scene of many fights, including ugly altercations.

Justice Jain said judiciary was the foundation of the edifice of democracy and a good society. “All depends on how effective a judicial system you have in the country. A country that plays around with the judiciary victimises democracy and in the process victimises its people,” he said.

He said the lofty dream of making justice reach the unreachable would not be complete if even people who live in the vicinity of Chandigarh had to travel long distances to get justice.

“It is with this dream that we have opened a additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) court here,” he said.

Justice Khehar recalled the beginning of his career from the Kharar court and asked those contemporaries who were practicing members of the Mohali Bar to help resolve the differences among the younger members of the association. “Do your best and make a mark in Mohali,” he told the lawyers.

Justice M.M Kumar who is the administrative judge for Ropar said a long pending demand of the residents of the area was being met today.

“The delay has been the lack of infrastructure and even today we have had to squeeze in another court in this complex,” he said.

He said all appeals relating to Mohali tehsil which are pending at the Ropar ADSJ’s court would be now heard in Mohali from tomorrow.

“As many as 1,066 appeals would be shifted to this court. However, the appeals relating to Kharar cases would still be heard at Ropar to avoid too much burden on the ADSJ at Mohali,” he said.

Justice S.K Garg would be the first additional district and session judge for SAS Nagar district and would begin work from tomorrow.

Justice Kumar also asked the members of the Bar to join hands and work progressively. “Do not be petty minded. No one can snatch anyone’s due. What is destined for you, you will get,” he said.



Notice to ministry on plea for planned growth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
In a public interest litigation, directions have been sought for the preparation of a composite regional plan for the development of the tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

After preliminary hearing of the petition, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh, issued notice of motion for July 31 to the union ministry of urban development and housing.

Notices have also been issued to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, along with the adviser to UT administrator and the town and country planing department.

The petitioner, former professor of economics and the ex-founder principal of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, Gurbakhsh Singh Shergill, said the composite regional plan was necessary so that future planning of the areas lying in the periphery of Chandigarh was done in a planned manner.



Hearing deferred in Pandher case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
A local court today deferred the hearing in a suit filed by Karandeep Singh Pandher, son of Nithari killings accused Mohinder Singh Pandher, till March 22.

Judicial magistrate heard arguments on the issue of jurisdiction of the suit. Karandeep had approached the court seeking permanent injunction restraining the permission, production and release of film “D-5”.

The petition maintained that the film was based on his father Mohinder Singh Pandher, facing trial in connection to the Nithari killings, and as the trial was in the evidence stage, its release would be “causing obstruction in the dispensation of the justice”.

Karandeep has impleaded movie director Yogendra Konkar, actor Raza Murad along with other actors in the movie.



District Courts
Man acquitted of rape charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal today acquitted Vijay Kumar of raping his neighbour as the prosecution failed to prove allegations against him owing to discrepancies in the statement of the victim given from time to time.

Kumar, a resident of Sector 56, was arrested by the police in May, 2003 on the complaint of victim’s father on charges of abducting his minor daughter and raping her in captivity.

The defence counsel had maintained that the alleged victim had eloped with him of her own will and during the statement before Kharar court she had accused her parents of ill-treating her while refusing to return home. She was later sent to Nari Niketan.

According to the ossification test, the victim was found to be over 16 years of age. The court took under consideration that the victim was in consenting age and acquitted the accused.

CONVICTED: Additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal today sentenced four persons to five-month imprisonment for allegedly assaulting a person. The court also asked the accused to pay fine of Rs 500 each.

The four accused — Mahinder Yadav, Ram Singh, Akhilesh, Pawan — and the victim, Sanjay, used to run a school together. Sanjay later opened his own school.

The four accused had a fight with the victim in 2000 after which he lodged a complaint against them.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |