C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Law student stabbed in exam hall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Simrandeep Singh Sandhu, a law student, was seriously injured by a group of students inside the examination hall of the law department at Panjab University here this morning.

He was rushed to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, from where he was referred to the PGI.

A group of eight students with sharp-edged weapons entered the examination hall where Simran was taking his VIth semester exam.

The incident is said to be premeditated as the group knew the room number of the victim. Old enmity is said to be the reason behind the attack.

He was stabbed in the back and stomach. They dragged him from the first floor and also trashed the director of the department when he tried to stop them. They also beat up a security guard at the entrance of the department.

An eyewitness said the group beat up the victim for about seven minutes. One of his nerves was cut during the attack.

The condition of the victim is said to be critical. He has undergone surgery on his lungs and intestines.

Harjinder Singh Sandhu, the victim’s father, told the Tribune that he had requested the SHO concerned to provide his son security today, but no policeman was present there. 

He was worried but did not know such an incident would happen in the exam hall. The incident was a result of a previous clash that two groups had last month, he said.

Ramesh Chander, SHO of the Sector 11 police station, said a case had been registered on the statement of Ramandeep Singh, a law student, against Harpreet Multani, Gursewek Singh, Jugar Singh, Vickramjit Singh and four others who were yet to be identified.

Gory PU

A group of students with sharp-edged weapons entered a hall where the victim was taking his exam. They dragged him from the first floor and also trashed the director of the law department when he tried to stop them. The condition of the student is stated to be critical.

Attackers suspended

A committee set up by the VC has decided to suspend all assailants immediately. Their entry in the university has also been banned. The VC said in future, if an FIR was registered against any student, he/she would be suspended until the case was cleared.



Attack on Student
Question mark on PU security
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Failure of the university authorities to pay heed to the intelligence reports nearly caused a PU student his life today.

The victim, Simrandeep Sandhu, a student of semester VI at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) is battling for his life at the PGI after he was attacked by a group of students while he was taking exam in the morning.

For almost a month back, the report submitted to the PU authorities suggested that miscreants could anytime use the adjoining jungle area of Dhanas village as a safe passage and a barbed wire be put immediately.

Today’s incident is the first of its kind wherein a student was attacked while he was taking the examination.

It also shows that fear of police is the last thing on the minds of students. These assaulters entered the examination hall armed with swords, batons, daggers and other sharp edged weapons.

The incident at the same time exposes the hollow claims made by the university in ensuring security on the campus.

Few days back also, a minor theft had occurred at UILS and the miscreants had used the same passage to commit the crime.

Even after this was brought to the notice of the vice-chancellor and the dean students’ welfare, no efforts were made to safe guard the area.

At the time of the incident, there was only one private security personnel deployed and as per the sources, two of the miscreants got hold of him while the rest went inside to commit the crime.

This also points outs at the failure of the system that the conduct branch of the university follows for all the examinations that are held at various centres.

As per the university sources, before the commencement of the examination, the conduct branch sends a letter to the area SHO and a copy is sent to SSP, Chandigarh, for adequate security measures.

In addition to university’s own security men, there are 100 private security men hired by the authorities for its security.

Moreover, the university had recently installed CCTV cameras to monitor the activities and even the UILS has cameras installed on every floor.

Surprisingly at the time of the incident, none of the cameras were working. As a ground rule, the VC formed a committee headed by former DIG T.C. Dogra.

Not only has the incident like this and in the past has put fear in the minds of serious students, but even the residents of the campus are terrified.

“The incidents of violence have become so common now that we don’t feel like sending our children outside to play. Who knows, tomorrow, the offenders start attacking them also”, says a resident.



TV assembly unit gutted
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 3
Property worth crores of rupees was destroyed in a major fire in a TV manufacturing unit here this afternoon. No loss of life has been reported.

The source of the fire was the wild growth in an adjoining greenbelt. The fire soon spread to the industrial unit and went out of control as the material inside the factory was highly combustible.

Fire engines were called from the local fire brigade, Chandigarh and Dera Bassi. The fire started around 2 pm, but could be controlled only around 6 pm.

There were very few employees inside the unit when the fire broke out as the industry had its weekly power cut today.

Walls and the roof of the unit were badly damaged. Blasts were heard when picture tubes burst due to the fire.

Those in nearby units noticed the smoke billowing out of the unit and informed the fire brigade.

They alleged that the fire brigade had not immediately responded to the call and reached late. Fire officials have, however, denied the allegation.

People were seen trying to save parts of TV sets. A fork lifter was also pressed
into service.

The fire reportedly destroyed the production hall, CPT hall, generator room and the accounts room. Finished goods were also destroyed.

Officials of the fire brigade alleged that the unit lacked fire-fighting arrangements and there was no storage of water or fire extinguishers.

The factory in charge was not available for comments. The unit assembles colour TV sets for Onida, Sansui, Suntek, Beltek, SVL and T-Series.

Manjeet Singh, owner of a nearby factory, claimed that last week he had requested the MD of the PSIEC to get the wild growth removed from the greenbelt as it could lead to fire, but no action was taken.



Tricity fire-fighting services ill-equipped
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Severe shortage of staff threatens to cripple the efficiency of the UT Chandigarh fire department.

The preparedness level of the fire departments in the neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula has gone from bad to worse.

Fire tenders are taking long time to respond to fire calls. With summer around, raging incidents of fire are exposing the chinks in the fire shield of the department.

Not only is the department facing inadequate manpower, but it also lacks latest equipment. In some cases, firemen sustain injuries during rescue operations as they are ill-equipped.


A number of firemen complain that due to extended duty hours they were overworked. Sources in the UT fire department said presently there were 45 vacancies of firemen, and six of drivers.

The department is in the dire need of staff as in some cases they have to send fire fighting teams even without the leading fireman.

The department has seven fire stations in the city, but has only two fire station officers. Out of these, one is on ad-hoc basis.

Also, five water tenders and two emergency tenders were condemned in June, last year. The department is yet to purchase the replacement.

The firemen have 14 safety suits against 45 needed. chairman of the Fire and emergency services committee chairman M.P.S. Chawla told the TNS that the committee had decided to purchase a thermal imagine camera that would help firmen detect the source of the fire in thick smoke.


In Mohali, the department is being forced to make do with ageing fire tenders. “We are managing with less than 30 per cent of the total staff requirement. There are just four vehicles to respond to fire calls from the entire district,” said an official of the department.

Against a requirement of 46 firemen, the department has 11 firemen. Four drivers share the workload of eight drivers.


There are only four fire tenders for the entire district. Forest fires have been giving sleepless nights to the firemen.

To manage fires in high-rise buildings, there is no machinery. Against a requirement of 72 officials, the department just have 30 men.



Army called in to control Pinjore fire
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 3
The Army was called in to help the district administration to control a massive fire that broke out in the forests adjacent a residential school in Pinjore today.

It was around 1 pm when the civil administration decided to request the Army for its help when the fire started spreading towards Alpine School near Bhawana village.

“There were around 250 children in the school when the fire started spreading towards the school. Forest fires were being reported from the district for the last 10 days.

It was around 9 am when the fire was reported at five spots between Toran and Khoi Bagarnin villages, posing danger to a village, a health resort and a school.

More than 200 Army personnel with 20 fire engines reached the spot in the afternoon and it took more than five hours to control the fire.

Divisional forest officer Rajesh Gulia, along with his staff and villagers, and the police tried to control the fire. The SDM, Monica Malik, and tehsildar Naresh Kumar were also present.



Man, grandson killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 3
Sixtyfive-year-old Chaman Lal and his grandson Aashu were killed when their scooter was hit by a speeding truck here today. His granddaughter Vaishali was seriously injured.

They were on their way from Zirakpur to Mubarakpur when the accident took place. While Chaman Lal died on the spot, both children were rushed to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where Aashu succumbed to his injuries. The condition of the girl is stated to be critical.

The truck driver is absconding, but the police has impounded the truck and registered a case against the driver.



Probe into Forest Hill violations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The forest department has marked an inquiry into the violations made by the Forest Hill Golf and Country Club at Karoran village.

The inquiry was marked following a news report carried in the Tribune last month regarding the violation of the Supreme Court orders by the club.

Chief forest conservator B.C. Bala said the inquiry had been marked to the district forest officer, Ropar.

The apex court had banned the club from hosting parties and commercial events. Sources said the inquiry report was expected to be submitted before the next hearing of the case in the Supreme Court on May 6.

A brochure was sent by the club in March to inform its members about a function that was organised on the occasion of Holi.

The apex court had allowed the club to host get-togethers for its existing members during the pendency of the trial.

It was also permitted to serve refreshments in the form of tea and coffee, besides snacks. For this, the facility of kitchen/pantry could be used.



Hottest day at 42.6 degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The city experienced the hottest day of the season today with the temperature touching a high of 42.6 degrees, 6 degrees above normal. The minimum temperature was 23.8 degrees.

The heat wave conditions are likely to continue for the next two days, as per the met department.

The temperature was likely to decrease by next week following duststorms
and thunderstorms.

Met records of last year show that the maximum temperature around this time was 34.6 degrees and there was light rain.



Sec 28 -D
Road expansion draws opposition from residents
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Road expansion project in Sector 28-D here could hang in balance following stiff opposition to the project from a section of residents.

The divide among residents over the issue of expansion of roads in the area was witnessed during an animated debate held in the presence of the area councillor.

Those opposing the proposal of the Chandigarh municipal corporation to widen the roads alleged that it was nothing but a way to disburse surplus funds of the corporation.

While others said they would be subjected to unnecessary inconvenience with the digging of roads in front of their houses for months even as expansion of roads was not their immediate need.

Gap between the younger and the older generation was another discernable feature of the debate with the older people opposing the road expansion citing the change in the original master plan of the city.

The younger generation was for a change and wanted development of infrastructure foreseeing the increase in number of vehicles in future.

They held that the proposal would help ease traffic congestion and provide additional space on roads to park vehicles.

K.L. Arora, a resident of Sector 28-D, while opposing the proposal said the expansion would curtail the 10-foot-wide road berms in front of their houses, thus reducing the gradient.

They would be forced to make the gradients steeper and in some cases level of the houses would have to be reduced to maintain the level.

The uprooting of trees resulted in reduction of green cover in the city. Traffic hazards would also increase, as the road-ends would come closer to houses, he added.

A resident added that mechanics of nearby motor market used sectorial roads for carrying out test drive of vehicles. The widening of roads would translate into increase in traffic chaos in the locality.

Expressing surprise over opposition to expansion of roads, area councillor Davinder Singh Babla said he was for development of the area.

He, however, stated that the residents should reach a consensus first and then decide whether they wanted expansion or not. He stated that he would represent their wishes.



Man dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Jeevan Singh, a resident of Panchkula, was killed in a road accident near CTU workshop, Industrial Area, Phase 1, late last night.

The 28-year old was way back home when the incident took place. Jeevan lost control of his vehicle, which rammed into a tree.

The victim was taken to the Multi-Specialty Hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead. After the post-mortem examination, the body was handed over to the family.



Plea of 3 college employees dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
An administrative error committed by the principal of Chandigarh College of Architect (CCA) has cost three employees dearly.

A decade after issuing erroneous promotion orders on the basis of notification of Punjab Government, the principal had reversed the orders of the three employees.

Challenging the orders of reversion, the three CCA employees had appealed before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

Dismissing the plea of the employees, CAT has observed: “The re-designated posts against which the applicants were promoted have been held to be void and an administrative error, which has been corrected by the authorities concerned. In these applications, orders were passed by the principal of the college, upgrading by re-designation of the posts, to posts that did not exist. Such orders were not within his competence and thus were void including grant of higher scale of Rs 1,800 to Rs 3,200.”

The three applicants are Paramjit Kaur, Ashok Kumar Malhotra and Hari Chand, all working as senior assistants in the college.

Following the Punjab pattern, the existing designation and pay scales of the applicants had been revised and they had been promoted.

As per the Punjab rules, the posts of accounts clerk and cashier were given revised pay scale.

However, the principal erroneously re-designated the posts of accounts clerk as senior assistant and post of cashier as senior assistant and placed them in wrong pay scale.

When the mistake came to the notice of the authorities concerned, the orders
were reversed.



Firemen set to get insurance cover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
During a meeting of officials of fire and emergency services of the Chandigarh municipal corporation on Wednesday various agendas were passed including the one to provide firemen with an insurance cover.

Giving details, M.P.S Chawla, chairman of the fire and emergency services of the Chandigarh municipal corporation, said one more thermal imaging camera and three fire proximity suits would be purchased to enable firemen to penetrate into fire zones.

P.K. Sharma, chief fire officer, S.K. Gosain and M.L. Sharma, fire station officers, Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri (retd), P.K. Mukherjee, Sheela Devi and Gurcharan Dass Kala attended the meeeting The committee also decided to provide insurance cover to firemen and decided to call quotations from various insurance companies.

The committee also passed the agenda for purchasing high quality walkie-talkie hand free sets.

Chawla said it was also decided that an expert would be deployed at the control room to guide the caller about safety measures to be taken till the fire tender reaches the spot.

The fire department would write to CTU authorities to upgrade fire safety measure in buses following an incident of fire in a bus a few days ago.



Consumer Courts
PU asked to refund fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on Wednesday directed Panjab University to refund Rs 21,020 deposited as fee by a law student along with Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.

Petitioner Sumit Bakshi, a resident of Haryana, had taken provisional admission in BA LLB (honours) in Panjab University in April 2006 and deposited a sum of Rs 74,720, including admission fee, hostel charges and mess accounts.

He stated that due to some personal problems, he had to withdraw his admission to the course after three days of depositing the fee.

Thereafter, he requested for fee refund. An amount of Rs 45,000 was refunded out of Rs 69,650 deposited on account of admission charges.

The university stated that Rs 45,000 were refunded as per official guidelines. It was further added that the refund was made as per provisions of the university and the institute was not deficient in service.

The forum stated: “The petitioner did not occupy any room in the hostel and did not use the mess and canteen. Therefore, he is not liable to pay any charges.”



Residents’ body meets finance secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A delegation of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) met UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar yesterday.

Under the stewardship of its chairman P.C. Sanghi, a retired chief engineer and former councillor of municipal corporation, they apprised him of various outstanding demands of the residents of the city.

“We demand abrogation of obsolete building bylaws framed in the early 50s and permission to need-based changes in marla/kanal houses, CHB flats, cheep houses and industrial workers’ houses,” said Sanghi.



29 beneficiaries get cheques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Punjab National Bank today organised a function for disbursement of loans sanctioned by all banks under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana (PMRY).

Union minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest who distributed cheques amounting to Rs 15 lakh among 29 beneficiaries.

Bansal appreciated the banks for their efforts in achieving targets under the scheme in the city.

He appealed to bankers to identify more beneficiaries under the differential rate of interest scheme (DRI) and extend benefits to beneficiaries for setting up small enterprises in view of change in guidelines of DRI scheme.



‘Didi’ remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A condolence meeting was organised by Yuvsatta and Peace Club of Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36.

They paid homage to departed senior Gandhian peace activist and member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Dr Nirmala Deshpande, popularly known as Didi.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, union minister of state for finance and parliamentary affairs, chaired and mayor of municipal corporation Pardeep Chhabra co-chaired the meeting.



Parking woes

There has always been paucity of parking space in almost all the sectors and no measures have been taken to deal with the existing parking woes.

Congested streets and parking problem can be tackled by developing community parking lots in each ward.

The open empty spaces should be identified and then be used for parking of vehicles. Instead of most vehicles being parked on the roads, these would be parked at one slot.

But the security of the vehicles also needs to be ensured by hiring security guards. Only then, this proposal will be acceptable.

Apart from this, setting up of a unified parking body by the MC will help to regulate parking norms all over the city. Also, development of underground parking facilities on plots reserved as recreation grounds and playgrounds would be helpful.

Existing and new societies should install mechanised multi-storeyed car parking facilities on open space.

As most people prefer to park their cars near their houses, parking space will also increase if the encroachments people have in front of their houses are removed.

There is an immediate need to deal with the problem of parking. With the number of vehicles increasing day-by-day, this problem has to be dealt with urgently.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula



Making envelopes from newspaper
Education dept begins project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Chandigarh Education department commenced its project of making envelopes out of newspaper wastage at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, here today.

As many as 45 students of Class VI and VII learnt the knack of making envelopes of different sizes under the supervision of Zulfikaar, a social worker.

The DPI (S) S.K. Setia while inaugurating the project said, “This project has been initiated under the skill development idea where these children would be paid 10 paisa per envelope. Moreover, the children would be free to use these envelopes for their own use like wrapping up their lunch boxes or anything like that”.

“We have already placed an order for 5 lakh such envelopes with Zulfikaar, who has engaged street children and drop out school children to make them. It would be a double benefit for them. This way they can also learn a skill and can even earn their livelihood”.

Principal Sunil Kumar said it was a welcome step to spread a message of “Say No to Polythene” and instill a feel of self-made product, which hardly need any infrastructure to raise to.

“Even the adhesive has been provided by the school, besides newspaper wastage. The funds are being met from the works experience head”, he said.



Now, govt school students can choose shoe colour
Non-model school kids to get black canvas shoes for free
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Students of government schools can wear the shoes at their discretion. It would be their preference to be dressed in black leather shoes or canvas shoes of either black or white colour.

These instructions, issued by the Chandigarh Education department, would be applicable to students of model schools and senior secondary schools. The students of non-model schools (Class I to VIII) would get the black canvas shoes free of cost.

The education department is working on the modalities to invite bids for canvas shoes for around 60,000 such students studying in non-model schools of the city.

Confirming this, the DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, “The idea is just to switchover gradually from leather made shoe to canvas shoe because canvas shoes are more environment friendly, easy to maintain and light in weight. However, the students of senior secondary schools and higher class students of non-model schools have not been asked to purchase new pair of shoes. They are free to wear their old black leather shoes or white canvas shoes. Once their shoes get worn out, they should purchase new shoes according to the latest specifications”.

“We have never recommended any specific brand of school shoes. It was only the changeover from black leather shoes to canvas shoes of black colour and that too, for the students of Class I to VIII studying in non-model schools. The department would purchase new canvas shoes for them but the whole process of finalising the things would take a month’s time”, he added.

Setia said the department would contact the manufacturers directly for supplying black canvas shoes for around 60,000 students of non-model schools.

He said, “We are also working out on the probability where the manufacturers should apply online to place their bid. We would put the application format on our website where the aspirants would furnish their details and offer. The condition we are putting ahead is that the manufacturer should have turnover of Rs 50 lakh per annum. They would also have to furnish a security of Rs 1 lakh each while submitting the tender.”



From Schools
Children plant saplings on Mother’s Day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 3
Mother's Day was celebrated at Shemrock Smiles Preparatory School, MDC, Panchkula, here today.

The children welcomed their mother’s with flowers and various activities were organised for them.

As part of ‘Save the Environment’ campaign children were told about the importance of saving trees, water and other energy resources.

They were taught to keep their surroundings clean. Children also planted saplings and fed the birds, while pledging to save the environment.

Children also took a round of the the local Mansa Devi Swastik Vihar shopping complex and distributed paper bags that they had made themselves, with messages such as ‘Say No to plastic’, ‘Go Green’, ‘Avoid Pollution’ etc on them.

Orientation programme

An informative programme was organised to make parents aware of old and new norms laid by CBSE Board for the students studying in classes IX and X at the Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, here today.

Filling of performa for the registration card, marking scheme, distribution of marks in the papers, importance of projects and practicals, passing percentage in various subjects and attendance required to be able to appear in board examination etc, were discussed in details.

Due importance were given on time management, healthy diet, exercise and physical activity of the students.

Parents were guided to give quality time to their children and to appreciate their true knowledge rather then the percentage of marks scored by them.

The school doctor explained common problems which the students face and how parents can overcome them and make their kids stress-free.

Blood donation camp

The Parent-Teachers’ Association of Hansraj Public School, Panchkula, organised a blood donation camp on the school premises, here today.

For the fourth year consecutively, the response of the parents and staff members was overwhelming as 121 units of blood were donated.

The students and staff of the school, along with the Ex-students association (EHSAS) joined hands to make this camp a success.

The camp was held under the medical expertise and supervision of the department of transfusion medicine, PGI, Chandigarh.

Drawing competition

A drawing competition was organised in Doon Public School, Sector-21, Panchkula, today. Every child was given a participation certificate.

Simran Kaur, Class VIII, Surbhi, Class VII, and Aditaya Mittal, Class V, secured the first, second and third positions respectively.

Speech therapy session

A speech therapy session was organised at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector15, in association with ‘Simply Health Plus’, here yesterday.

Speech therapist Dr Bhavna Jain addressed teachers regarding speech and language disorders and guided teachers on how to screen children having a speech disorder.



4 MAT centres in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
All India Management Association, New Delhi, is going to conduct Management Aptitude Test (MAT) tomorrow at different centres.

Around 450 prestigious business schools from all over India is participating in MAT Test. The three-hour test will be held from 10 am to 12.30 pm.

The four centres scheduled for the test in Chandigarh would be at Panjab University’s Arts Block I and II, Law department and PU engineering wing at Sector 25. Besides this, there would be one centre each at Jalandhar and Ludhiana.



BJP backs central varsity demand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A large number of teachers and students joined in support of those sitting on the fast today for the central university status for Panjab University.

It was the turn of the department of computer Science and applications with chairperson Dr Anu Gupta, Prof Tankeshwar Kumar, director, Prof R.K. Singla, Prof O.P. Kalra, Dr Guldeep Singh, Dr Indu and two students joining in the chain fast beside Prof Amar Nath Gill from the department of statistics.

Satya Pal Jain, dean, faculty of laws, also joined the fasting teachers and students in the forenoon.

Jain said BJP is all for the central university status for PU. When asked that why does he not persuade the Punjab government to give concurrence to the offer of central university from MHRD, as BJP can legitimately ask for the same as coalition partner, he said it was up to the union government to decide whether to sanction a central university for UT or not.

In the afternoon, a delegation of PUTA also met with Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister of state for finance, and submitted an appeal for making active intervention.



Poster making contest on female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The Rotary Club of Chandigarh launched a campaign against female foeticide by organising a poster making and slogan writing competition here today.

A spokesperson for the club said the club received 400 entries from students of 30 schools — 22 government school and eight private — of Chandigarh and Mohali.

The entries have been displayed at the Rotary House here. In slogan writing competition, Mamta of GMSSS, Sector 32, bagged the first prize, while Rajeev of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Secondary School, Sector 35, and Vishal of GHSSS, Sector 29, got second and third prizes, respectively.

In poster making, the first prize went to Tsewang Lama of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, followed by Manisha Siwach of Government Model School, Sector 44, and Harkirat of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School in second and third places, respectively. The director public instructions (school) was the chief guest.



Pension to Freedom Fighters’
HC anguished over government laxity
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Anguished over the country’s failure to honour the heroes of the freedom struggle, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called upon the powers that be to adopt a sensitive approach.

The court has also passed strictures against an under secretary in the central government for his failure to realise the “agony, torture and suffering” of a freedom fighter. He has been suggested to go through the Supreme Court observations in the matter.

In the significant judgement reflecting a deep sense of regret at the state of affairs, Justice Ranjit Singh ruled, “The generation that has to deal now with the grant of such like pensions apparently is totally oblivious of the sacrifices and the hardships that persons had to undergo while fighting for freedom of this country.

Their attitude is such that requests keep on lying for years without consideration and acknowledgment.”

Justice Ranjit Singh asserted the purpose of the Swantarta Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, and the spirit behind it, perhaps, was not being realised by those dealing with the cases.

“They need to remind themselves that such cases are not normal cases of grant of pension governed by any pensionary rules and limitations”, he said.

The ruling came on three different petitions tagged together. Pronouncing a common order, Justice Ranjit Singh observed: “There is nothing common in the facts involved in all three cases, except that these reflect the common least-bothered attitude of the bureaucrats… They need to realise these persons did so much for us all to enjoy the fruits of freedom as we have today”.

“This certainly is not a way to express our gratitude towards those who did not care for their comforts and did something extraordinary, so that we are able to enjoy the flow of freedom,” the Judge added.

The anguish manifests itself in the opening paragraph of the detailed 23-page judgement. “Freedom fighters seem to be standing in a queue, waiting for their turn to await decision regarding their pensionary rights.

“Very recently, this court decided two writ petitions, directing the grant of freedom fighter pension either to the freedom fighter himself or to his family.

While disposing of the writ petition, this court had expressed its concern in a careless attitude and bureaucratic approach adopted by the persons dealing with such cases.

“That approach is clearly noticed in the present three cases, where the claim for grant of freedom fighter pension to the freedom fighters or to their families has been denied with reasons which are not found justifiable, fair or reasonable”.

Referring to freedom fighter Sawaran Singh’s case, the Judge ruled: “Instead of enjoying the comforts of service, the petitioner chose a difficult path for which he faced a court martial and a sentence for transportation of life.

He had undergone an imprisonment of almost seven years and in return, he is just praying for a sum of Rs.200-300 as a samman being a Freedom Fighter Pension.

“Beni Ram, under secretary to the Government of India, who has expressed his regrets and inability to admit the claim of the petitioner can not realise the agony, torture and suffering the petitioner would have undergone for the cause of getting freedom for this nation.

He also needs to go through the observations made by the Supreme Court to understand the nature and purpose of the scheme as well as the object and the standard of proof required in such cases”.

Allowing all three petitions by Balbir Kaur Malhi, Des Raj and Swaran Singh, Justice Ranjit Singh added: “The respondents are directed to calculate and release the pension to the petitioners within a period of three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.

I am refraining from awarding exemplary costs in these cases since I have directed release of pension with interest”.



Disproportionate Assets Case
Hearing adjourned till May 26
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 3
The hearing in connection with the disproportionate assets case against the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, members of his family and others was today adjourned till May 26.

Except Parkash Singh Badal, all others linked with the case were present in the court of the additional district and sessions judge S.K. Garg for the hearing. The wife of the chief minister was exempted from appearing in the court.

It was reported that Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD chief, who was coming from Delhi, would be appearing in the court at 10 a.m.

Senior officials kept waiting for the SAD leader amid tight security arrangements. Later, it was said that he would appear at around 11.30 a.m.

But the mediapersons and others who were waiting to hear the case were disappointed when they got to know that the case would be heard at 2 p.m. as the judge concerned had gone on leave.

However, the judge was available in the court at around 12.30 p.m. and soon after, Sukhbir Singh and others reached the court.

While talking to mediapersons, the SAD chief blamed the Congress party for the power failure in the state.

He said the responsibility for this fell on the former government as the SAD-BJP government could not bring about any positive change in a short period of time. He said the Punjab government would take the responsibility after three years.

Sukhbir said his party was interested in getting free and fair polls conducted for the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections.

Meanwhile, the road outside the court complex in Phase III B 1 was barricaded before arrival of the SAD chief.



2 acquitted of attempted murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today acquitted Subash Chander and Pala in an attempted murder case.

According to the prosecution, the complainant, Geeta Devi, and her husband Sunil Kumar had objected to the playing of blaring music by the accused in 2006.

This had resulted in an altercation between the two sides. Both the accused and the complainants are residents of Kumbhar Colony.

Sunil suffered injuries and a complaint was lodged with the police under Section 307 of the IPC. The accused were acquitted as the witnesses turned hostile.


Kapil Kakkar has been elected to the Bar executive. Kakkar managed to get 1,053 votes. Besides Kakkar, Mani Ram Verma was also re-elected to the executive. He polled 881 votes.

The other members who were elected in the senior category are: P.S. Brar, Jagdish Marwaha, Joginder Sharma, Tribhavan Singla and Jeetinder Jit Kaur.



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