C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anuradha Murder
Noor arrested
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Her arrest had become necessary to tie the loose ends in the murder investigations to nail Baljinder. She was not co-operating with us and she knows a lot, say cops

Chandigarh, May 23
After dilly-dallying for five days, the Chandigarh Police today arrested the controversial city-based model, Noor Kataria, who was allegedly having an affair with Baljinder Singh Sandhu, the mastermind in the sensational Anuradha murder case.

Though Noor’s name had figured in the police investigations on the day of the murder itself, as Baljinder had spoken to her minutes after purportedly discovering the body of his wife in their Sector 38 residence, she was booked on charges of possessing a fake driving licence.

According to police sources, Noor was arrested from Sector 44, while she was on way to her Sector 45 residence. She had been absconding since the day of the murder and her house was reportedly lying locked since then. Incidentally, despite having her own house, she had been staying at Baljinder’s flat in Sector 38.

A search of the flat had led to the recovery of certain documents, including a copy of Noor’s licence, stating her residential address in Amritsar. Subsequent investigations by the police revealed that Noor had never stayed there and had given a fake address to obtain the licence.

Senior officials said though the charge of “fake licence” against her is as such not of a grave nature and she could possibly have an explanation for it, her arrest had become necessary to “tie” the loose ends in the murder investigations to nail Baljinder. “She was not co-operating with us and she knows a lot,” said an officer.

Incidentally, the cops, for the first, admitted to Noor’s relations with Baljinder, when the public prosecutor (PP), Ashok Lohia, told the JMIC first class, Praveen Kumar Lal, about her. The PP had even mentioned that she was not joining the investigations and was untraceable.

It is being said Noor was “the closest” person to Baljinder and perhaps would know the truth behind the crime. After the discovery of the murder, Baljinder was in constant touch with her. “The first call he made was to the police and the second to her. And then they were in touch off on the entire night,” said an official, who was privy to the call details of Baljinder’s mobile.

The police is now on the lookout for Noor’s brother Sanki, who was said to be present at the flat in Sector 38 on the night of the murder.

A case under Sections 467,468 and 471 has been registered against Noor.

Later tonight, she was taken to Government Hospital, Sector 16 for medical check-up examination. Then she was sent to the police custody in Sector 39 police station.



Who’s Noor Kataria

Noor Kataria, the 22-year-old model is a student of BA-II in Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and has recently given exams of Bachelors of Arts. Her name seems to be synonymous with controversies if her past record is considered.

Noor was asked to leave SD School, when she was in Class 11 th for misconduct.

Thereafter she was forced to leave Moti Ram School in Class 12 th on the same grounds. After dropping a year, she joined GCG, Sector 11, and now is studying in the 2 nd year.

Noor again came to limelight after her sister’ s (Bulbul Kataria) involvement with Dr Amit Kumar of Delhi, who was the kingpin of the kidney transplant scam. Bulbul was allegedly helped Dr Amit to flee before he was arrested.

Sources revealed that she knew about his plan of killing his wife. Baljinder used to pay a pocket money of Rs 20,000 to the model the reason for which the police was yet to investigate.

According to her friends, Noor was addicted to high-profile parties and get together. Baljinder was one of the sources of income for Noor. Since the time she passes 10 th , she had built a huge friend circle. Noor was recently seen at a party organised by Baljinder at a farm house in Khuda Lahora on May 16 where a close friend of hers, Joanna, was also present. When Joanna was contacted by the Chandigarh Tribune, she said, “I have nothing to do with Noor and I don’t know her.”

Interestingly, the renowned model was seen moving around in the courts complex after Baljinder was arrested. She was accompanied by her brother and a friend. Noor was the first to receive a call from the prime accused, Baljinder, after the murder of his wife Anuradha.



Three days’ police remand for Baljinder
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
High drama was witnessed at the district courts when Baljinder Singh Sandhu, prime accused in the Anuradha murder case, was produced before the court of judicial magistrate, first class, Praveen Kumar Lal, today.

Anuradha’s sister, Rekha, and her brother, Harish, who were present outside the courtroom pounced on Baljinder as he reached there. Rekha told him that both children must stay together. With tears rolling down his cheeks, Baljinder said he was not in favour of separating the children. He said, “The children will be together as per your wishes.

Baljinder Singh claimed innocence while talking to his sister-in-law Rekha outside the court premises. He added, “I swear upon Savi (Osean) I am innocent. How can you think that I can kill my wife?”

Rekha, elder sister of Anuradha, said she would pray from him if he (Baljinder) was not involved in the crime.

Thereafter Baljinder along with the other two accused, Vijaypal and Ashok, was produced before the court. The prosecution demanded police custody for seven days. The public prosecutor Ashok Rohilla stated, “The police is yet to determine the motive of the murder and to discover the source of the money that was recovered from the accused. He was having an affair with Noor Kataria who is yet to be arrested.”

While the defence lawyer A.S. Sukhija argued that the prosecution had not changed the grounds on which it had sought police remand. Last time Baljinder was sent to police remand on the same grounds.

Judicial magistrate, first class, Praveen Kumar Lal sent Baljinder Singh Sandhu to police custody of three days. The other two accused Vijaypal and Ashok were sent to judicial custody by the court.

Earlier during the day, all the three accused came for medical examination at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.

Meanwhile, talking to The Tribune, Vijaypal, alias Nikku, who allegedly killed Anuradha, confessed to the crime.

Even in the hospital, Baljinder kept on pleading his innocence before the media. He claimed that he had no hand whatsoever in his wife’s killing.

Baljinder’s relatives alleged that he was being framed in a false case. “Being politically involved, our family is being framed”, said Karmajit Singh, elder brother of Baljinder Singh.

According to SS Srivastava, SSP, “ We are investigating Baljinder’s source of income, with how many girls was he involved, call details, including the private number that he had, the mystery behind Noor’s driving licence, from where did he got the dollars.

The police has recovered the weapon and the injection that was used to kill Anuradha.



Rise in Violent Crime
Are we living on short fuse?
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
A 16-year-old girl strangulates her mother to death in Ropar.

Reason: The woman was objecting to her inter-caste love affair.

A realtor husband allegedly masterminds the murder of his wife in Chandigarh and uses the services of his servant to execute the crime.

Reason: Strained relations owing to the husband’s wayward life style.

A young naval officer along with his fiancé slay a 25-year-old. The duo chop his body into pieces for nine hours and then burn them in thicket on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Reason: The Lieutenant suspected the youth of having relations with his fiance.

A group of students enter the UILS examination centre on the Panjab University campus in broad daylight and brutally thrash a student.

Reason: The assailant and the victim were friends but had fallen out due to the respective political leaning in the university politics.

Groups of young men thrash a youth and shoot him in the leg at North Park Hotel in Panchkula.

Reason: The victim had a minor altercation with the owner of the newly opened night club on the issue of payment of a ticket.

While these are some of violent happenings that have grabbed the headlines in the recent past, the list of such incidents is endless. Incidents of road rage, people resorting to fist fights in public over trivial issues and honour killings are becoming an order of the day. But why so? Are we all living on a short fuse, taking law in our own hands to settle scores, rather that opting for civilised ways to resolve disputes?

Yes, believe it or not. But it’s true. The hectic lifestyle, stress levels combined with exposure to violence are responsible for this, say experts. All examples are of one moment when they lose their cool and become destructive. Obviously, murder is not a part of stress but extreme impulsiveness can be fatal. According to the experts, those who do usually have personality disorder can take this kind of extreme steps (murder).

"Impulsive behaviour is often described as a tendency to act or react with little thought or concern for anyone or anything," explains senior consultant psychiatrist, Dr Hardeep Singh, Fortis. He said, "A person suffering from impulsive behaviour is not able to control his or her actions at a given moment. And the act is often followed with regret and guilt.

According to psychologist, Dr Adarsh Kohli, PGI, “Tolerance levels in people have decreased considerably. We're living in times where people want a quick fix for every problem. And when they don't get it, the results can be fatal." Even they cannot take “No” for an answer and it makes them lose their temper.

Though there are no concrete studies, the experts believe that impulsive behaviour has gone up in recent times, on a global level.

"An exposure to violence on television is also responsible," says psychiatrist, Dr B.S. Chawan, GMCH-32.

And where lies the solution? "The solution lies in identifying and nipping the problem in the bud. Parents and spouses play an important role in identifying such traits. And it is important that these issues should be addressed and acknowledged by the family rather than be ignored," adds Dr Chawan.



Murderer daughter raped by 2 youths
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 23
The murder of a woman by her 16-year-old daughter at Sialba Majri village took a curious turn today with the revelations that the girl was raped after committing the crime when she attempted to flee. The girl murdered her mother yesterday following her objection on affair with a boy of different community.

The girl told the police that after she murdered her mother at around 10:45 pm, she left the house. When she was going on the main road, she met two youths from Majri village, who offered her lift in their Indica car.

She was well-acquainted with the two, Yadvinder Singh and Jaswinder Kumar. The duo allegedly took her to their printing press shop in the village and raped her. She was confined for the whole night in the shop.

In the morning, the duo dropped her at Kurali bus stand from where she boarded a bus to Dosarna village. She called up her lover from Dosarna seeking help and was traced by the police.

None of the youths, who are believed to be influential, have been arrested so far.

Her medical check-up was conducted at Kurali civil hospital today. The police is yet to get the report. She was produced before a court from where she was sent to 14 days judicial remand. She has been sent to Gandhi Vineeta Ashram in Jalandhar. Meanwhile, her mother Karamjit Kaur was cremated today.

The girl had strangulated her mother on Wednesday night at around 10:45 pm.



Ness, SSP have a showdown at PCA
Chitleen K. Sethi and Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Ness Wadia
Ness Wadia

RS Khatra
RS Khatra

Mohali, May 23
It seems to be a bad time for IPL teams owners. First, it was Shah Rukh Khan, who had a tough time with the ICC anti-corruption cell and today it was Ness Wadia at the receiving end.

The Bombay Dyeing scion had a major showdown with SAS Nagar police chief RS Khatra during the Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers IPL match at the PCA stadium here this evening.

Ness who has been levelling allegations against the Mohali police and making his unhappiness public since the May 3 match, apparently could not stop himself from doing some “straight talking” with Khatra this evening. However, the two ended up having a heated verbal spat that left onlookers stunned.

While Ness Wadia later stated that nothing had happened, the SSP said he did not want to comment on the incident.

Eyewitnesses, however, related that the two had a heated exchange near the main reception of the PCA stadium around 9pm when the first innings was in progress.

When the SSP entered the stadium, Ness Wadia told him that he wanted to have a word with him following which he broke into a tirade of allegations. He alleged that the Mohali police was selling IPL tickets in black and also helping in the unauthorised entry of spectators into the stadium. He also alleged that his own securitymen and bouncers posted at the gates were “terrorized” by the police. Visibly upset over the behaviour of the Mohali police Wadia was heard shouting, “then arrest me, arrest me.”

The SSP who reportedly also raised his voice, demanded that Ness give him specific instances in written complaints, assuring him of action against any erring police officer.

Sources added that Ness had been upset about the Long room being frequented by policemen during the various matches. He had also alleged to a PCA official following the May 3 match that liquor and T-shirts lying in the Long room had been pilfered by policemen.

The eye-witnesses added that the SSP was unhappy with these allegations and spoke in the same tone during the spat. When Ness pointed out that he was unduly supporting his staff, SSP retorted that till any of his men were found guilty he would continue to support them.

It is reliably learnt that following the verbal spat PCA President IS Bindra rushed to placate the two. Preity Zinta, according to eye-witnesses, was also very disturbed following the incident and was not seen anywhere enjoying the match.

Ness, who was contacted through a PCA official, said nothing had happened. The SSP, however, said he did not want to comment on the incident but added that if the organisers or the owners or the local hosts have anything against the Mohali police, they should give it in writing.



Ill-treatment to Mayor
Bansal targets bureaucracy
Asks commissioner to issue white paper
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Pawan Kumar Bansal, union minister of state for finance, today condemned the UT Administration for trying to demolish the democratic system in the city.

Taking a strong exception of the ill-treatment meted out to the mayor of the Municipal Corporation (MC) of Chandigarh by neglecting him in the run-up to the inauguration of the municipal solid waste processing plant in Dadu Majra, Bansal said the bureaucracy in the UT administration was bent upon blowing the democratic set up in the city.

Extending support to the mayor, Bansal said he would also have boycotted the function in similar manner, had he been treated in similar fashion. He added on the one hand, they were struggling for more rights for the corporation and other elected bodies, on the other bureaucrats in the city humiliated the mayor.

As irate councillors of the ruling party created a din over the issue, MC officials, including the commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria, were caught in a piquant situation and preferred to remain mum.

Even opposition councillors said the bureaucracy should not undermine the mayor. However, Harjinder Kaur, former mayor, said the mayor should have taken the house into confidence over the issue and should take action.

When the officials tried to avoid the queries by saying that the function was organised by a private company, the ruling councillor objected saying the company had no right to do so as the MC had not sold its land to it.

After being twice insisted by commissioner to come out with a white paper on the issue, Bansal agreed to it and said a white paper should be issued into the matter. The commissioner and the medical officer health G.C. Bansal, however, denied any knowledge from where the company got printed the cards, while the mayor claimed that he had full details.

Besides this, BSP councillors led by Jatinder Bhatia walked out from the house following a debate over politics being played into the dumping of garbage in front of shops in industrial area.

Nominated councillor Dr A.P. Sanwaria raised the issue of medical aid for councillors and also providing laptops to them. The house passed four agenda items while the fifth one was taken back, said mayor Pardeep Chhabra after the house meeting.

Meanwhile, M.P.S. Chawla, nominated councillor, said the house faced similar situation, when Harjinder Kaur was mayor and the card were reprinted following protest by the house. There was no need to drag the issue like this, even as the commissioner had said he told mayor that they would reprint the cards.



53 days gone still counting ...
Selection process ambiguous

I think there is too much burden on one man. It was not humanely possible to do justice to the work though the finance secretary may be doing his best to do his job.

The Centre should immediately post the home secretary. Either it should be done at Delhi level or at Chandigarh level. This ambiguity in the selection process is harming the criteria of natural justice.

— HS Mamik, a local entrepreneur




Central University Status for Panjab University

For the past one-and-a-half months, Panjab University teachers, under the banner of PUTA, are on a relay strike demanding Central University Status for the premier institution.

They claim the status of a Central University will automatically draw in critical improvement and enhancement to the availability of finances both for research as well as teaching and learning.

They point out that the “status” will also allow the institution to take an added advantage of the experience and skills of its faculty whose age of superannuation will be raised from the present 60 to 65 years. This will be in addition to other substantial benefits for the teaching, research and related faculties.

Curiously though, the Punjab government continues resisting Panjab University's move to a Central Status, no one wants to be quoted on this, the real reasons for the opposition appear to be political rather than academic.

The Tribune had invited views from its readers on the subject and the response has been overwhelming. While most of the readers, not surprisingly from the teaching community, are of the view that such a status will turn things around at the university, there are a few who think that it’ll benefit only the teachers and not the students.

We publish here a selection of your responses.

It’s in Punjab’s interest

Central university status for Panjab University must be a matter of concern to all those who are related to PU and hold it close to his or her heart. Like all other well wishers of the university, I have reasons to be bitterly disappointed over the continuous obstinacy and resistance being shown by the Punjab government in this regard.

It is unfortunate that the governments, both at the Centre and in the state, have turned a purely academic affair into a political matter. Maybe the ambiguity of the status had suited some who are now misguiding those in power.

It should be kept in mind that PU is an inter-state body and is jointly funded by the Government of India and the Punjab government.

The latter is supposed to pay 40 per cent grant to PU each year, but it pays a fixed grant which is much less than that. The state would rather gain if PU is funded 100 per cent by the Centre and the money saved can be spent elsewhere.

It is strange that the state government seeks central grants of hundreds of crores for farmers and for saving the heritage, but on the contrary the same state government is opposing the proposal of central university status for PU. Keeping and saving the heritage must not be limited to forts, monuments and religious places.

Looking at the demand of central status from another angle, when a bright child is awarded scholarship by different agencies for education, parents do not oppose it knowing that it was for the child’s benefit and they will not lose hold on their child.

Punjab will not thus lose Chandigarh if PU gets central university status.

Besides, if students are offered courses which are at present available only in private universities and institutes, they will be paying far less fee here and commercialisation of higher education will be checked.

Dr. I.M. Joshi

Not beneficial for students

Benaras Hindu University is a central university and it is known for its academic excellence. While central university status for PU will benefit the teachers/staff, it will not benefit the students. Central universities get more grants for carrying out research. But does PU have an environment for carrying out genuine research? Having got a Ph.D, how many faculty members of the university have contributed on a regular basis to journals? Do the faculty members of the management department in the university at a senior position have long and recent stints in the corporate world? In absence of academic excellence, how does a student gains whether PU is a central university or not?

B. Singh

Students will have better prospects

In the northern region of the country, comprising four states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, and Chandigarh, PU is the best performing institution. I, therefore, feel that PU has the first right to be accorded the central status. It will help the university to come out of the present financial crunch and also help the teachers and students in achieving academic excellence as more research facilities will be available. Moreover, the students will have better future prospects as a degree from a central institute carries more weightage.

I don’t see any reason of opposing this genuine demand of the PU fraternity. Naturally, everyone strives for betterment. While individuals seek promotions, the institutions try to upgrade. The PU fraternity has adopted a very noble way of protest. While they are protesting the university work is not suffering. It is very unfortunate that the government understands only pressure tactics. When the bank or railway employees go on strike, paralysing the entire public system, the government immediately yields to their demands. The teachers and students of PU have been protesting peacefully for more than six weeks now, but it does not bother the government.

Prof A.K. Agarwal

Good for govt, varsity

The demand of Panjab University students and employees for its central status is appropriate as it is one of the oldest universities of India. The academic achievements of PU are acknowledged globally. The university has attracted faculty as well as students from all over India and abroad, giving it a national character. Besides, the university is made by the Act of Parliament.

Both the Punjab government and PU will be major beneficiaries if the Centre declares it a central university. PU enjoys a unique status of being partially funded by the Centre and partially by the state government. It is an inter-state body corporate. This unique status has, to an extent, proved to be a hindrance in the functioning of the university.

The central university status would have many benefits. The best of faculty members can be recruited and more funds would also be generated, which would be helpful for development. The status also promises to bring along benefits for students as the fees would not be increased. Also the research scholars in central universities would be assured of a stipend every month. Besides, by providing central status to PU the financial burden could be decreased and thereby securing quality higher education for the youth.

Dr. Shruti Kapoor

Quality will improve

Panjab University philosophically, historically and vision wise has all the characteristics of a central university. It is one of the four oldest universities of the country and is sought after for admission from neighbouring states and foreign countries as well. Many departments here have programmes like centre for advance studies, special assistance programme, and centre for potential for excellence in biosciences of UGC.

The teachers of some departments are Bhatnagar award winners, the highest scientific achievement award of the country. It has produced alumni who are serving at important positions in government and corporate sector. The teachers and students obtain international scholarships frequently. Despite all this the university is not fully funded by the Centre and is not recognised as central university. The university is still trying its best to maintain these characteristics at its own level. However, synergy from the government will definitely add to its quality. Therefore, the university very much deserves the central status.

With regards
Prof M.L. Garg

Varsity will become self-sufficient

I feel that central status of Panjab University will improve things in manifold. Firstly, every research scholar will be given scholarship. Secondly, the pension benefits of the PU staff will be guaranteed through Central government and the age limit for retirement of the faculty will be increased to 65.

The university will be able to concentrate on academics and administrative staff will manage things in a better way as they would not have to run for the finance from the Punjab government, which is not providing it its share for more than 5 years.

The annual budget will be passed by the HRD ministry and it will be much more than present. We have a precedent of Allahabad University that received Rs 100 crore more after getting central status.

Dr V.K. Singh

People will be benefited

Central Universities are created/declared by the Act of Parliament. PU was created by an Act of Parliament at the time of Partition of the country.

It was given the unique status in the country of inter-body state corporate through the Act of Parliament in 1966. The Chancellor of the central university should be either the President or the Vice-President or the Prime Minister of the country. This also holds true for this university. Regarding funding, the maximum is from the Central government.

Coming to academics, this institute is the pioneer institute as far as teaching and research are concerned. The faculty of this university always strives for the best. Please recall the thinking of Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, the then CM of combined Punjab after Independence, when PGIMER, Chandigarh was created. PGIMER is an excellent central institute only because of the visionary Kairon. He, in spite of the divergent views of the politicians at that time, said PGIMER will be central institute and it is the people of this region who will be maximally benefited from it. So, in my belief, granting central status to PU will have the maximum advantage.

Prof Fateh Singh Nandel

A noble cause

The Punjab University is in news for the last one and a half month as it is struggling hard to get the central university status so that there may be academic improvement for research, learning and teaching with the enhancement of the funds from the Central government.

It is strange that the Punjab government is opposing this legitimate demand of the PUTA, under whose banner all the teachers and the students are fighting for a noble cause so that there may be overall improvement in making it one of the best universities of the country.

This objective cannot be achieved from the meagre funds given by a finance-starved state.

For improving the infrastructure of all the existing departments, starting of new courses of the global standards, setting of modern laboratories to carry out the research works, funds availability is the first priority, which can be fulfilled only if it is given a central university status.

Good sense should prevail and the Punjab government should give its nod to this demand of PUTA so that the Central government shall grant the central status to this premier institution.

Dilbag Rai

Not a pre-requisite for excellence

Amidst the ongoing relay strike by the PUTA, seeking the central university status for Panjab University, I would like to ask whether being a central university is a pre-requisite condition for attaining excellence in research, teaching and allied academic fields?

If one goes by this contention, why the national reputed universities of Mumbai, Madras and Calcutta have been performing so well and achieving significant distinctions despite being state universities?

Agreed that excessive political interference during recent years in the day-to-day affairs of our universities, especially state universities, have seriously eroded their erstwhile elite and exalted status (this bitter fact was even admitted by National Knowledge Commission in its report on higher education), but as far as Panjab University is concerned its position is much better when compared to neighbouring universities, which have since been transformed into a political arena of ruling elites. The vice-chancellors of state universities, for instance in Punjab and Haryana, are changed at the drop of a hat as soon as there is change of regime. Thus the urgent need of the hour is to insulate the higher education sector as a whole from petty political vested interests, both at state and central level.

The UGC, which is the apex regulatory body for higher education in our country, has so far mostly functioned as grant-sanctioning body for universities. It ought to expand its role to an effective and vigilant watchdog for neutral and smooth functioning of universities.

Hemant Kumar
Ambala city

Varsity deserves it

Keeping in view the new challenges of higher education, it would be a timely act to make Panjab University a central university. How long this premier citadel of research and teaching can be subjected to a rather dubious status of inter-state body corporate? What is required is a quick and alert system of administration and not the present cumbersome one, which involves officials of Panjab, UT and the union government.

The state governments have hardly shown any vision of higher education. The way vice-chancellors are appointed and removed in the universities of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal speaks of the utter feudal ways of the regional political leadership. What has rescued Panjab University over the years is the relative inaccessibility of state-level patriarchs in its day-to-day administration.

The central universities have greater academic and administrative autonomy, the working conditions are much better, and above all, the funding is timely and adequate. In case of Panjab University, Punjab Government has not paid its share of 40% ever, which puts serious financial constraints on the everyday working of the university. In case Panjab University is granted the status of central university, its research students would receive fellowships, infrastructure would improve and talented teachers, which of late have started seeking opportunities in other private and centrally- funded institutes, would prefer staying back.

Panjab University has history on its side. Its performance in terms of producing Nobel-laureates, first-rate academicians, politicians of the calibre of I.K.Gujral and Dr Manmohan Singh merits its elevation into a central university.

Dr. Madhu Gupta



Liquor flows in panchayat polls
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
It is branded liquor and not ‘desi tharra’ that is flowing unabated in the villages here in the run up to the panchayat elections. While healthy competition among the candidates has made the voter the king, it seems only the best would do for the king.

Its Indian made foreign liquor replacing the desi, meat and chicken replacing the pakoras and in some cases, even smack replacing bhukki.

Candidates for the posts of the panchs are having a tough time meeting the ever-growing demands of the electors. “Yesterday I had to buy about 15 cases of Officers Choice and Bagpipers to serve my electorate. In the last elections, we managed with the desi liquor,” said a candidate on condition of anonymity. Interestingly, the candidate himself is a teetotaler but has no option but to woo his voters with liquor.

“Liquor is flowing like water in this area. Since the competition is more among general category candidates, they have to spend maximum amount of money and offer the best goodies,” said a political leaders of Majri village.

Evening liquor gatherings at the house of the candidates are now an every day affair. “Women of my household are fed up of serving liquor and snacks and the whole exercise has come down to filling up a camper with liquor and keeping steel glasses next to it. If is too late and the snacks are finished, we keep a pouch full of salt to taste so that no one gets ill,” said another local leader.

Though liquor is the “most effective” barter agent during elections in Punjab, the well-heeled candidates have many more things up their sleeve for the last day of campaigning tomorrow.

A candidate has already ordered 15 fans and ten coolers, which are going to be distributed in his village. “This is nothing. We are a poor lot. In places like Muktsar and Faridkot, even TVs and washing machines are distributed,” said a resident.

The cooler and the fan distribution is a new thing in villages of the Majri, Kharar and Dera Bassi block. “This area used to be poverty ridden till a decade ago. Now it has become very rich because of the land prices having shot up. Moreover in many villages, it is the local property dealer who is funding the candidate,” reported the local leader.

According to some candidates there are voters who have demanded drugs too. “We were told by some candidates that youth in some villages even demanded drugs and some of the candidates have actually arranges smack to compete with the ones who openly offer bhukki,” said the local leader.



Councillors urge DC to hold elections to vacant posts
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 23
Nine councillors, belonging to the ruling group, of the Mohali Municipal Council have urged the deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari to direct the SDM to convene elections to the posts of senior vice-president and vice-president of the civic body which are lying vacant for the past more than nine months.

The councillors- Suresh Kumar Lucky, R.P. Sharma, Gurmeet Singh Walia, Amrik Singh Somal, Gian Chand Aggarwal, Gurnam Bindra Singh, Usha Rani, Manjeet Kaur and Parkashwati- had made a written request to the deputy commissioner to get the day and time fixed in this regard.

The letter was presented to the deputy commissioner here today by Lucky and Sharma.

The letter stated that the then executive officer of the civic body had on July 30 last year brought to the notice of the then deputy commissioner that the term of the senior vice-president and the vice- president of the council was expiring on August 16. As such the needful should be done to get the elections to the two posts convened.

According to a letter of the deputy commissioner dated August 14 the SDM was appointed convener and directed to get the elections conducted. Later, the president of the council also requested the SDM through a letter to get the elections to the two posts convened but no action had been taken so far even as the democratic rights of councillors are being crushed.

On February 25 eight councillors of the ruling group had given a requisition to the president of the council, Rajinder Singh Rana, to get elections to the two posts convened at the earliest.

The posts have been lying vacant after the one-year term of Rishiv Jain, senior vice-president, and Harmanpreet Singh, vice-president, expired on August 16. Both of them were elected for the two posts after council elections were held in the town on July 30, 2006.



Separate pay commission for defence demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Demanding a separate pay commission for defence services personnel, military veterans belonging to various organisations, flayed the Sixth Central Pay Commission for committing injustice to the defence.

Irate over non-inclusion of any member from defence services, the representatives of the various organisations, yesterday announced that they will organise a ‘fast for justice’ at the war memorial in Panchkula on May 27. They further threatened that in case the government fails to move they would be forced to intensify their stir until justice is done to them.

The disgruntled veterans stated that even as the defence personnel comprised 40 per cent of the Central government employees’ strength, why the government not included their representative.

Addressing mediapersons in a press conference at a hotel in Sector 22, Lt. Gen Vijay Oberoi, former vice-chief of the Army staff, rued that the Central government had done gross injustice by not giving them any representation in the pay commission.

Even as review committees were constituted following opposition from various sections, no member from the defence was included in the committee.

The representatives demanded that ‘one rank-one pension scheme’ must be accepted immediately, resettlements of veterans as a large number of them are jobless, representation of soldiers on premier committees, inequities in report of pay commission should be addressed, compensation for war disabled and compensation for early retirement should be paid heed to.

The press conference witnessed a division of opinion as low rank officials objected that only officer rank persons were heading the organisations, thus they were not given proper representation.



Single-window system for film shoots elusive
Cinematic tourism in city lags behind
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Though the Chandigarh Administration dreams big on the cinematic tourism front by proposing to set up a film city, yet the film producers are a harassed lot. In fact, film shooting in the beautiful locales of the city seems to be quite a hassle with single- window clearance for the film shootings yet to take a concrete shape.

In fact, getting permission for shooting at tourist places, including the Sukhna Lake, Kala Gram, the Rock Garden, the Rose Garden, Panjab University and Sector 17 seems to be a Herculean task with different agencies entrusted to give permission for shooting.

"The process to obtain permission leads to wastage of time and energy and adds to film crew's frustration," Darshan Aulakh of the Darshan Aulakh Productions, who was part of several major projects such as "Veer Zaara" and "Namaste London", rued. These films were shot in and around the city.

This was despite the fact that the tourism department ran a Bollywood facilitation cell to provide "single-window system" for grant of permission for shooting at the beautiful locations of the city. However, its efficacy raises doubts if Aulakh and veteran film director Manmohan Singh are to be believed.

The administration, it seems, is yet to get its act together over four years after Yash Chopra's blockbuster "Veer Zaara" was shot here in 2004. Close on heels of "Veer Zaara", a string of films, including Hollywood movies "Heroes" and "Heaven on Earth", have been shot in the city.

Manmohan Singh claimed that there was a definite relationship between film shooting and promotion of tourism. In Switzerland, one permit was valid for shooting at all locations in the country with different government agencies like the fire brigade, police, municipalities and other government agencies extending full cooperation to the film crews.

That was perhaps the reason that cinematic tourism has boomed in several western countries while Chandigarh seems to be lagging behind despite having some of the best locations and infrastructure in the country, Manmohan Singh added.

Meanwhile, Aulakh in a representation to tourism director Vivek Atray said it would be convenient and time-saving if the single-window system was established for film shootings.This will encourage the film-makers to shoot their films in the city boosting tourism and bringing the much-needed employment opportunities.



Tribune Impact
Probe on into pattern behind missing vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Following a report “Serviced vehicles goes missing” published in the Chandigarh Tribune, the crime branch of the Chandigarh police is now investigating the matter.

According to the police sources, the Chandigarh police has marked an inquiry directing the crime branch to investigate the alleged involvement of mechanics of Swami Autos in the Industrial Area. A team under DSP (Crime) KIP Singh would explore the connection in which 10 Mahindra vehicles were stolen in a span of 10 to 15 days after being serviced at Swami Autos.

The crime branch would thoroughly inquire the time period in which these vehicles were stolen after they underwent servicing at the agency. The cops are now trying to unravel the truth behind this peculiar pattern of thefts. Though the crime branch had questioned some mechanics and the general manager of the agency, having no clinching evidence of their involvement, the police had to let the suspects go.

It is learnt that 10 Mahindra vehicles were stolen in a span of 10 to 15 days after being serviced at Swami Autos. While a company official categorically denies involvement of their staff in any manner, the vehicle owners feel that there is something fishy about the entire affair. Adding to this, six cars of Ford make were also stolen since January, days after servicing at the high-profile authorised service station, Bhagat Autos.

According to DSP (Crime) KIP Singh, it is too early to comment on whether the mechanics are involved or not. Investigations are on.



Garbage plant to produce fuel
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The municipal solid waste processing plant at Dadu Majra will produce Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) worth about Rs 3.50 lakh per day from the garbage collected from the city. Besides, the processing of garbage is eco-friendly and helps in eliminating the green-house effect caused by the emission of toxic gases owing to dumping of garbage in open space.

The plant will be operational after about three months. The quality of the fuel will also improve with the proper segregation of garbage at every level. The fuel derived will be used at a thermal power plant in Ropar and a cement plant of Jaypee Group in Himachal Pradesh, said experts.

The plant, a public-private initiative between Jai Prakash Associates Limited and the municipal corporation of Chandigarh, was agreed to be set up on December 30, 2005, and has been completed in a stipulated time. The plant is equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory and minimises environmental hazards. A team of around 80 workers will work under experts and will be wearing masks, gloves, shoes and safety glasses to prevent direct contact with filth.

The plant has a capacity to process 500 tonnes of garbage while at present the solid municipal waste produced in the city is around 380 tonnes per day.

AK Khater, project manager and director, Amrit Non-Conventional Energy System, says the plant will produce 175 tonnes of RDF from the waste collected from the city. The quality of fuel depends upon calories per kg of RDF and the target is to achieve 3,000 calories per kg. At present the amount of calories per kg of RDF is around 2000 owing to high level of undesirable elements, which are around 30 per cent in the garbage.

Khater adds that 3000 calories per kg fetches Rs 2000 per tonne. The RDF will be used in combination with coal and it will help in reducing coal consumption.

The MC has been collecting the garbage in a non-engineering manner and dumping in open space leading to emission of toxic gases, including methane and carbon dioxide, due to anaerobic decomposition of solid waste in uncontrolled open landfill site. Methane is responsible for global warming, 25 times more than carbon dioxide.



MC orders probe into dumping of garbage
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The municipal corporation today constituted a committee to probe the dumping of debris and garbage in front of several shops in Phase II, Industrial Area, on Thursday.

The shopkeepers of the locality told The Tribune that soon after the issue was raised and they resorted to a road blockade, MC officials reached the site and began clearing the garbage. Mayor Pardeep Chhabra and secretary PK Sharma also visited the area to take stock of the situation.

The municipal corporation authorities claimed that it was debris, not garbage, and that it was yet to be ascertained who threw it in front of the shops. The commissioner read out the preliminary investigation report before the house. The authorities said SO Balraj Singh’s name cropped up in the episode and they were probing his role.

The commissioner maintained that offloading of debris along the roadside was a routine and claimed that debris were offloaded at two or three places only. The councillors, however, did not buy the arguments and demanded a through probe in the matter.

Minutes after the proceedings of the monthly general house of the MC were stated, councillor Kamlesh raised the issue asking the authorities to name the culprits, who threw filth outside shops to harass people. The house also witnessed political drama over the issue, when area councillor alleged that politics was being played on the issue as slogans were raised against him at the behest of Congressmen.

The MC authorities tried to underplay the issue by maintaining that the debris were thrown on the road, not in front of the shops, blatantly ignoring the facts. The Tribune has photographs showing heaps of filth at the doorsteps of the shops.

Patting themselves on their backs, the authorities appreciated the task of its team, which cleaned the garbage from the area overnight, but were apparently hesitating to name the guilty.



Mango Garden — an eyesore
Kulwinder Sangha

Heaps of garbage lying in Mango Garden in Mohali
Heaps of garbage lying in Mango Garden in Mohali. — A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 23
The Mango Garden, which had become popular over the years with morning walkers and others looking for a whiff of fresh air, is gradually turning into an eyesore, thanks to neglect by the local civic body.

The scene is pathetic- broken dustbins, damaged night-lights, foul smelling heaps of dried leaves, wild growth, litter, garbage heaps along the boundary of the garden. To top it all, the monkey menace and the fear of getting a nasty bite from the simians is other prominent problem.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority earlier maintained the eight-acre garden, which extends from near Phase I to almost Phase V. It was handed over to the local municipal council for maintenance about three years ago.

Manmohan Kaur, a former municipal councillor, said she used to go for a walk in the Mango Garden but had stopped doing so about six months ago, as the area was in a state of neglect. She said sanitation in the garden was poor. Residents of Phase IV dumped garbage at many points along the boundary of the garden, which led to a foul smell in the area.

Whenever it rained, she said, water collected in the garden in the absence of a proper drainage system. This added to the problems of those who came for a walk. Wild growth was also found in abundance. Moreover, there were many monkeys in the area, which had even bitten some visitors. She said she now preferred to go to the Bougainvillea Garden.

Dr Sameer Kaushal, a resident of Phase I, who also has been going to the Mango Garden for several years, was disappointed with the authorities concerned for failing to maintain the garden properly. He said water taps in the garden were either dry or kept leaking. The concrete platform where the taps were installed was also filthy. Residents were not provided with drinking water in the area. The monkey menace also had not been tackled.

A.K. Kataria, SDO of the civic body, admitted that the garden was in a bad state at present. He said it was handed over to a private party on April 1 for maintenance, which was allowed to put up advertisement boards at some points in lieu of the maintenance work. He said the party had not bothered to maintain the area.

He said a notice was issued to it in this regard. Another one would be given on Monday. He said the civic body would itself take over the work if the private party failed to respond to the notices.



CAT stays cop’s dismissal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
UT police constable Jasbir Singh has moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, challenging the order terminating his services.

The tribunal granting him interim relief has stayed the operation of the order dismissing him from service and directed the UT administration and the SSP, Chandigarh, to reply to the contentions raised by Jasbir Singh.

Jasbir Singh, posted at the Sector 36 police post, approached the tribunal seeking quashing of the order by which he was dismissed from service, with immediate effect, on the basis of his alleged involvement in a graft case registered by the CBI. He maintained that he was dismissed from service without any inquiry and accused the police department of discrimination. Bail granted: Additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today granted bail to a superintendent in the UT Food and Supplies Department, Krishan Saroop Sharma, after furnishing bail bonds of Rs 25,000.

He was yesterday arrested by the UT Vigilance in a graft case. He was produced in the district courts here today.



BSP holds rally against fresh taxes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The local unit of the BSP today organised a rally outside the office of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) against the proposal to impose property tax on residential property and in support of other long-pending demands of the residents.

Addressing the rally, BSP convener armohan Dhawan claimed that there was no need to impose fresh taxes as Chandigarh was a revenue surplus state and contributed over Rs 500 crore to the Central Government last year.

He also demanded that duality of taxes such as the property tax on commercial buildings and lease money should be discontinued.

Balanced rent and amendments to the outdated building bylaws were also demanded.

Meanwhile, fresh biometric surveys for slum rehabilitation, market rates for farmers whose land is being acquired by the Chandigarh administration, development of the industrial area and bridging of the north-south divide were the other issues highlighted at the rally.



Visually impaired put on election duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The National Federation of the Blind and the Netraheen Jagriti Sangh today alleged that the Punjab Government was appointing the visually-challenged persons on duty for the local bodies elections.

A press note issued here today said the matter had been brought to the notice of the chief electoral officer.

Meanwhile, the associations have decided to continue the indefinite dharna till the Punjab chief secretary convened a meeting with their representatives in connection with their demands.

Rajesh Mohan, general secretary of the federation, alleged that the Punjab Government was dragging its feet on various long-pending demands of the visually-challenged.



Silence zones
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
The DC of SAS Nagar Rahul Bhandari has declared the area between the Kharar bus stand and the Khanpur bridge and the Kharar bus stand and the Kharar Civil Hospital as silence zone.

The DC has ordered that no horns be used by vehicles on these roads. In a press note issued here today, the DC stated that since there were a large number of government offices, schools and hospitals on these roads, the movement of vehicles caused noise pollution making it difficult for patients in the hospital and students in the school. The order would be in force till July 2008.



Central Varsity Status
Issue being politicised: Khosla
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The faculty members of the department of mass communication volunteered to sit on the relay fast today, seeking central university status for PU. Those faculty members who sat on the fast were Jayanth N. Pethkar, Mohanmeet Khosla and Archana Singh, supported by their students Neha Jindal, Neha Vig, Hemant, Arunpreet, and Deeksha Kadian.

Dr Khosla, chairperson of the department, disclosed that the department of mass communication is the oldest department in the whole of South Asia and was set up in 1941, when PU was in Lahore. During the last seven decades the department has produced a large number of media bigwigs of the stature of H.K. Dua, editor-in-chief of The Tribune, Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of Indian Express, Kanwar Sandhu, resident editor of Hindustan Times, and Pankaj Paul, managing director of Hindustan Times, naming only a few of them, disclosed Dr Khosla.

“It is a tragedy that such an educational institution is falling prey to petty political differences of the parties,” regretted Dr Khosla. She further added that ‘it is indeed a crime when intellect, hard work and the very spirit of enquiry is snuffed out by individual egos’.

About the future plans of expansion of the department, Dr Khosla told that besides the introduction of new courses, the department has plans to set up a community radio station and a TV station linked with the Edusat programme.

There are many other programmes and projects that are, at the moment, in limbo for want of financial resources. That is precisely the reason to protest by shunning food for a day while sitting by the roadside to make the people aware of the crisis-ridden future of the university.



Physics dept to have world-class centre
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The department of physics, Panjab University, is all set to match steps with the national institutes of research in the country with many novelties up its sleeve. The department, which has been the Centre of Advanced Study in Physics since 1991, is all set to establish a world class Panjab University Accelerator Science Centre (PUASC) in its south campus. The proposal is in its advanced stages for funding with the department of science and technology, New Delhi.

“With this, the scope of research would enormously increase and essentially this will fill up for the research work in the region. It will be a national facility on the lines of Nuclear Science Centre, New Delhi. The students and the faculty members will have the opportunity to interact with some of the top scientists of this country,” says Prof Manmohan Gupta, chairman of the department.

The cost estimate (recurring and non-recurring for 5 years) has been projected to be nearly Rs 75 crores for the accelerator machine, along with the building and laboratories, and maintenance for 5 years.

Prof Gupta said the proposed project for tandem accelerator will have a wide range of terminal voltage (600 KV - 6 MV) and would be capable of delivering high beam current.

The facility would complement the research work of the other accelerators in the country. In its initial phase, this accelerator will have beam lines for ion beam implantation, microprobe analysis and a state-of-the-art accelerator mass spectrometry facility.

The department of atomic energy has also planned to establish a national neutron calibration facility using the high beam current accelerator at the PUASC.

Besides this proposal, the department of physics plans to start two new self-financing courses as well, B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. (Hons) in electronics from the coming session.



Parents forced to buy books at higher price
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Giving a true reflection of the well-knit nexus between the private publishers and the schools, certain schools of the city operate in an autocratic manner, putting the parents at the receiving end.

The latest instance is of KB DAV-7 School, where the parents have been forced to buy books at exorbitant price from a particular shop.

The school is also defying the guidelines issued by the CBSE which say that no affiliated school should recommend books other than those published by the NCERT.

The school authorities have prescribed the excessively priced books of either private publishers or those published by the DAV management.

Besides, students have been directed to purchase even the exercise notebooks from this particular shop. The parents complained that since this shop has monopoly over the supply of the books, it is charging unreasonable prices for text and exercise books.

According to an estimate, a schoolbag of Class VI student of KB DAV School costs Rs 2,632 as against Rs 400 (approx) of a student of Government Model School in Chanidigarh.

Principal Madhu Behl agreed that Manchanda Book Store in Sector 19, Chandigarh, has been solely authorised to supply books to the students of the school, but insists that this has been done after seeking approval of the DAV managing committee, Delhi.

“Ours is an in-house system of distribution of books. Our examinations are conducted under the DAV education board and the study material for students from Class LKG to Class VIII is finalised and even published by the DAV publication committee. The exercise books are available at one place just to have uniform school code name. Otherwise, parents can buy these from anywhere.”

DPI (S) S.K. Setia, when contacted, said, “After receiving similar complaints, our officials inquired into the matter and have found that the prescribed list of books by the school not only has overpriced, but has many superfluous books, which are of no use in their curriculum. We will issue showcause notice to the school in this regard.”



CEC gets new principal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
Chandigarh Engineering College (CEC), Mohali has appointed Dr H.S. Saini, as principal of the CEC while it has entrusted policy formation to Dr G.D. Bansal, who has been elevated as director-general, Chandigarh Group of Colleges. Welcoming Dr H.S. Saini on joining the CGC family, Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president, Chandigarh Group of Colleges said with a PhD in fuzzy expert systems, Dr Saini has above 17 years of teaching and corporate training experience. Dr Saini has over 10 years of research experience and has above 20 published articles to his credit. He has worked as principal Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad.



Jean Rodrigues opens exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
President of the council for child welfare Jean Rodrigues inaugurated an exhibition-cum-sale at Panchayat Bhawan, Sector 18 here today. The exhibition was organised by the adult education unit, Sector 42, Chandigarh and would remain open for public from 10 am to 8 pm tomorrow. On the occasion, Rodrigues launched ‘Question Bank’ sponsored by Fullerton India, a non-banking financial company, in collaboration with adult education unit for the academic guidance of the adult education learners.

In the exhibition, soft toys, handmade table cover, stitched suits, painted and embroided pillow cover, paintings, sweaters, jackets, shawl, photo frames, decoration pieces, bags and much more were exhibited at very reasonable prices. The objective behind organising the exhibition was to motivate and empower the learners of the centres to sharpen their skills and exploit their potential to the fullest. Meanwhile, UT home-cum-education secretary Sanjay Kumar inaugurated a wall mural at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, here today.



Summer cool party organised
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
To see off the children for a five- week long summer vacation, summer cool party was organised at Manav Mangal SMART School in Mohali. Children came dressed in cool outfits all set for the party, the best dressed child of each section was awarded the Cool Cat and the Cool Dude award, a mini encyclopaedia which they could enjoy reading during the summer break. A cultural show was also organised.

The director of the institution Sanjay Sardana stated that making some days of the school calendar memorable and full of excitement and joy for the children makes learning fun.



PU CET results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Panjab University has declared the results of the CET 2008 conducted by the university on May 18. The entrance examination was conducted for admission to MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BHMS, B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) five-year integrated course, B.Pharmacy and B.Sc. (Hons School).

The result is available on the university website and is also available at enquiry office at Panjab University.



Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 23
Jan Shikshan Sansthan in collaboration with Shazia cosmetics and ayurvedics, Muzaffarnagar, and Glimpse Beauty Academy organised a one-day workshop on `Hair Cuts & Make-up’ on its campus today. More than 50 professional beauticians, including students of Beauty Culture of the Sansthan, participated in the workshop. Shazia Perveen, a renowned film and TV make-up artist and hair beauty specialist gave demonstration and tips on skin treatment.



HC stays forum’s orders against HUDA officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed Panchkula’s District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum’s orders, sentencing and awarding fine to HUDA Chief Administrator T.C.Gupta and Estate Officer Mahavir Kaushik.

The directions by High Court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh were issued on a petition seeking the quashing of the sentence and fine orders issued under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act.

Staying the operation of order of awarding two-year imprisonment and fine of Rs 10,000 each to the petitioners, the Bench has also issued notice of motion for July 2 to the respondent consumer forum.

Notice was also issued to K.C. Bhatia, an NRI running a unit named Sneh International in Panchkula’s Industrial Area II. It was on his complaint that the sentence was awarded to the petitioner-officers. He had alleged "non-compliance of orders of February 3, 2006".

The petitioner-officers have contended that no such order existed as far as HUDA was concerned.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioners contended that respondent Bhatia had sought allotment of a residential plot in Panchkula, claiming he was entitled for such an allotment under rules, being an NRI.

The forum on November 30, 2007, while deciding the matter in favour of Bhatia, had slapped a compensation of Rs 2 lakh and fine of Rs 11,000 towards legal expenses on HUDA Chief Administrator and the Estate Officer.

HUDA authorities all through maintained that the complainant had no such right to claim a residential plot. It also challenged the consumer forum orders before the state commission, which has issued notices for June 18 to the parties concerned.

The petitioners pointed out that despite the presence of HUDA counsel, the Consumer Forum on April 11 issued bailable warrants against them and also wrote a letter to Panchkula police chief for ensuring the service of the same. On May 6, a head constable from Sector 5 police post reported that the summons/warrants had been served, though there was no such service to the petitioners.

The petitioners also sought directions for taking adequate steps so that subordinate courts in blatant abuse of authority of law are not passed by courts /tribunals subordinate to the high court.



Posting of Employees
CVC’s order creates hurdles
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
Limited options to reshuffle its employees among different departments have become a stumbling block for the Chandigarh administration in implementing orders of the Central Vigilance Commission on posting of their employees.

As per the existing practise, inter-departmental transfers of the UT employees are not being done due to certain technical reasons. An effort to create a regional authority to bring the employees of boards, corporations, estate office and administration under one roof has so far remained a non-starter. Apart from stagnation, the practise has not been able to check corruption. A recent order of the vigilance commission regarding not to repost employees at the place of earlier posting, even after three years, has only been implemented on papers.

Faced with limited options and queries from different departments that were facing problems in implementing the CVC’s orders, the UT’s chief vigilance officer had sought clarification from the vigilance commission. In reply the commission stated, “If the official had been transferred from the station, he could perhaps be posted back after a period of three years but only if that becomes unavoidable and if there is no further option available. Further, if the official had remained in the same location earlier, posting should be avoided even after three years, unless it is unavoidable.”

There were several cases in the estate office, Chandigarh Housing Board, UT engineering department, CITCO and other departments wherein employees were holding on to sensitive posts for long. In case of the UT secretariat, several employees in the ministerial staff were holding on to posts for a long period. “We face a lot of opposition from the employees when any such move is initiated by the administration. Seniority is cited as the reason,” said a senior official.

To break the stagnation, the administration has proposed to frame a policy under which inter-departmental transfers of the UT employees was possible. “We are working on something. It can not be disclosed at this moment,” confirmed a senior official.



PIO to Administrator appointed

Chandigarh, May 23
Following the directions of the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Chandigarh administration today appointed joint secretary (home) as public information officer (PIO) for the UT Administrator.

The secretary to the Punjab Governor has been designated as the appellate authority in pursuance of the provisions under Section 5 (1) and under Section 19 of Right to Information Act, 2005.

In a recent order on the application of the activist Hemant Goswami, the CIC had directed the administration to appoint a PIO.



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