C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man shot at; robbed of Rs 7 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 27
Four car-borne assailants shot at a man before decamping with a bag containing Rs 7 lakh in Sector 4 here this morning. The injured, Dharamveer of Maloya in Chandigarh, was admitted to the PGI, where his condition is stated to be critical.

The victim was riding on a motorcycle with Rajesh Kumar of the same village. Rajesh Kumar, a relative of the victim, supplies fuel for generators to a private telecom company. They were on their way to Sector 4 after withdrawing money from a bank in Sector 11.

The police believes that the accused followed them from the bank and attacked them at a secluded place on the road.

A senior police officer said the modus operandi suggested that it was the handiwork of the gang that was involved in two similar incidents earlier. Eyewitnesses said the incident took place at around 11.30 am when four occupants of a Maruti Zen car knocked down the motorcycle. The victims fell on the road and before they could realise what was happening, two of the assailants tried to snatch the bag from the pillion rider, but he resisted.

At this, one of the assailants pulled out a pistol and fired two shots at Dharamveer who was holding the bag. The shots were fired at his feet to frighten him, but he refused to give the bag. The man then fired a third shot which hit the victim in the chest, the police said, quoting Rajesh.

The SP reached the spot and the exit points were sealed immediately. The victim was shifted to the Panchkula civil hospital from where he was referred to the PGI.



PCA will not foot bill, says Bindra
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 27
“The PCA is a body performing public functions. We are recognised as such by the state government and even the highest court of the land i.e. Supreme Court,” replied I S Bindra, hony president of the PCA, here today.

Bindra was reacting to reports appearing in media implying that the Mohali police has demanded Rs 1.8 crore from the PCA for providing security for the IPL matches.

“Let there be no misconception that the PCA as well as BCCI are non-profit organisations. Most of the money made by the cricketing activities is ploughed back into the game — for the creation of infrastructure, on players wages, their travel as well as the organisation of various tournaments.

“The matter keeps on cropping up every now and then despite that it has been settled conclusively. We are doing whatever is happening everywhere (with other state associations),: Bindra explained.

“In other games, it is the government which spends money on creating infrastructure. Besides, the govt spends money on sending teams abroad. All the other sundry expenditure is incurred by the government,” Bindra, principal adviser-designate of the ICC, emphasised. “We are, in fact, relieving the government of a lot of pressure by discharging such duties,” he replied.

“The only concession we have taken from the government is the possession of the land which has been given to us on lease. And, this is the concession extended to all bodies engaged in public or social services,”

Refusing to agree that the IPL was a commencial venture, Bindra stated, “The IPL is a sub-committee of the board. All the revenue generated goes to the board, which, in turn, puts it back into the game,”

Prodded further, Bindra retorted, “Making money is not an offence. It will be better if those having the cobwebs of any types should get rid of them.”

Ragarding the smoking incident involving Lalit Modi, Bindra replied that it was just a one-off incident over which was blown out of proportion. “Moreover, long room was not a public place. When we approached Modi, he readily agreed to gave it up and and even felt sorry. We follow law in letter and in spirit. We know that it is a high-profile event which will naturally be subject to public scrutiny.”

Bindra refused to divulge anything on the reported spat involving Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia and Mohali SSP R S Khatra.

“This is an issue between two gentlemen. One is the co-owner of the team which has reached number two spot in the IPL and the other is doing his job remarkably well in the smooth conduct of the match. Any further querries should be addressed to Ness or the SSP, he said. “It will not be appropriate for me to speak on someone’s behalf.

Bindra said there were a lot of stake holders in the IPL and the care had to be taken to safeguard the interest of all. “We can’t compronise on the interest of any of these as we believe that all issues can be sorted out through negotiations.”

SSP relents

The SSP, R.S. Khatra, said tonight that security for the IPL match to be played at the PCA stadium tomorrow would be in place. He said he had got written orders from the DC in this regard and 1,200 police personnel would be deployed for security. He said the DC had sent him a copy of the representation that was sent to the Punjab principal secretary, home, by the DC.

Khatra clarified that Rs 20 lakh, which the PCA had to give to the police, was only for refreshments and stationery and not for the services rendered by the police. The police would claim Rs 1.88 crore for services provided to the PCA in accordance with the directions of the DGP and to meet the requirements of the auditor-general, he said.



Payment for security at PCA
Mohali DC writes to principal secy
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 27
Mohali deputy commissioner (DC) Rahul Bhandari has sent a representation relating to the payment of bills to the police for providing security cover during the on-going IPL matches to the principal secretary, home, because the decision on the matter has to be taken at the level of the government even as the PCA will be paying Rs 20 lakh to the police for the services provided.

The DC will not be taking any action on the complaint of Mohali SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra in which he had alleged that IPL Kings XI Punjab owner Ness Wadia had subjected him to “verbal abuse”. The DC, while talking to The Tribune, said the police was demanding Rs 1.88 crore for providing security alleging that the matches were a commercial activity and not part of sports.

He said he had received a letter from the PCA authorities in the afternoon today in which it was stated that a meeting of the organising committee, held under its chairman, had decided to pay Rs 20 lakh to the police for the services rendered.

A sum of Rs 10 lakh, in two instalments, had already been paid and the remaining amount would also be paid.

The meeting of the organising committee was attended by the Punjab chief secretary and DGP among others, where a decision on the payment to the police had already been taken and as such no decision could be taken at his level, added the DC.

Bhandari said the police should provide a proper security cover for the IPL match being played in the town tomorrow as a large number of spectators were expected. Even VIPs, judges and senior officials would be coming for the match and as such the security could not be compromised at any cost.

When asked what action he would be taking relating to the compliant of the SSP in which he alleged “verbal abuse” at the hands of Ness Wadia, the DC said the SSP was empowered to take action in this regard. The police had the powers to take action for various offences depending on the gravity of the offence, he added.

The SSP had lodged a complaint with the DC on May 25 alleging that he was subjected to “verbal abuse” by Ness Wadia.

In the complaint, he had pointed out that “the whole series of the IPL matches have been marred with accusations of racial discrimination, use of liquor and flouting of smoking laws”.

He had also alleged that Wadia had used derogatory language against the administration. The police had also demanded a heavy payment for services provided during the matches.

The SSP and Ness Wadia had heated arguments during an IPL match played here on May 23 levelling allegations and counter allegations against each other.



Smoking during IPL matches
Religious bodies burn Ness’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 27
Members of the Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha and other religious bodies staged a protest outside the PCA stadium here today against the alleged use of liquor and smoking at the stadium during the IPL matches.

The protesters burnt an effigy of Ness Wadia, co-owner of Kings XI, Punjab, and also raised slogans against the PCA authorities.

President of the jatha J.P. Singh said the protest was held in a peaceful manner today, but if the acts were repeated at the IPL match to be held tomorrow, they would be compelled to intensify their agitation. He said tickets for the match were purchased to see that neither smoking was done nor liquor was consumed during the match.

He said the town was named after Sahibzada Ajit Singh and the residents of this town would not allow anyone to promote vices in the name of sports.

The Generation Saviour Association also condemned smoking and consumption of liquor during the matches. President of the association Amteshwar Kaur, at a press conference, said the flagrant violation had been brought to the notice of the World Health Organisation and ministry of health and family welfare.



UK co. complains against Wizcraft
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 27
The allegations of racial discrimination by two black cheerleaders during the inaugural match of the IPL on April 19 has snowballed into a major controversy with a London-based company which hired the cheerleaders formally complaining against Wizcraft International Entertainment to the Mohali police.

George Adlan, CEO of the company, in an e-mail to the SSP, complained of racial discrimination and financial loss as Wizcraft had not paid the cheerleaders.

Recently, two London-based cheerleaders, Ellesha Newton and Sherinee Anderson, had alleged that they were not allowed to perform as “they were not white”. The incident happened on April 19 during a match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Stars at the PCA stadium here.



30 CTU buses not fit for road
But transport dept thinks otherwise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The controversy over the UT transport department wanting its old CTU buses passed took a new turn today.

A few hours after at least 30 buses of the CTU were declared “ unsuitable” by the inspection board of the State Transport Authority at the Sector 42 inspection ground, a senior official of the CTU protested against the decision.

Private commercial vehicles were also inspected.

The inspection was carried out on the orders of the secretary, transport. In wake of the acute shortage of “roadworthy” buses with the CTU, the STA was asked to inspect the buses again.

By allowing the buses to run, the central government guidelines which say that state buses should be discarded after they complete eight years of run or 5 lakh km, had been overruled by the administration.

The inspection board officials found that the buses (1999 model) had several defects even as the transport department claimed that the buses were roadworthy.

Recommending extension for such buses, the home department had claimed that there was no notification under Section 59 of the Motor Vehicles Act and the guidelines being cited by the STA were in fact a letter of the ministry for surface transport in form of an advice to the administration for flowing DTC norms.

A 1995 order of the then UT home secretary, Sanjay Kothari, to adopt the guidelines of the DTC has been ignored by the home department.



Central Status: PU is a house divided
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
There seems to be a vertical split between the Panjab University teaching faculty and the non-teaching staff on the issue of central status for the university.

While the teaching faculty is all for central status and has given representations to the Punjab government, besides sitting on a relay fast, the non-teaching staff is not convinced about it.

As per sources, non-teaching employees are getting Punjab pay scales under which clerical staff gets Rs 3,120-5,160 plus allowances and Class C employees get a scale of about Rs 2,650.

If the university gets central status, the non-teaching employees stand to lose as the central pay scales are lesser.

Dharampal Sharma, president of the Panjab University Federation, said, “The university was constituted with the same status so why are they asking for a central status now? The reason is the retirement age. At present, teachers and non-teaching staff have the same retirement age, 58. Some teachers went to court and got a relief to retire at the age of 62, but we got nothing.

“Moreover, members of PUTA have not told us if we would benefit with central status. Since we don’t know about it, we cannot support it. We are satisfied with the present status.”

Deepak Kaushik, vice-president of the federation, said, “If the university gets central status, the 175 colleges in Punjab will not remain with the university.

It will only be left with 18 local colleges. As far as we are concerned, we have a student-employee ratio and if the university does not have sufficient colleges, the non-teaching staff would be reduced. We do not stand to gain from it.”

However, the general secretary of PUTA, Prof Manjit Singh, said, “We approached the non-teaching association four-five times. We tried to make them understand that if they want, they can continue with the Punjab pay scales.

There will be more job security and a pension scheme after the central status.”

Dharampal, however, denied that PUTA approached the federation.



57 Days gone still counting ...
Unfortunate delay

It is unfortunate that the post has been lying vacant. A lot has been said about the differences between the Chandigarh administration and the Centre.

The issue is giving justice to city residents. If the administration feels that the officiating home secretary is too burdened with work, some of the departments could be handed over to other senior IAS officers.

It would allow the administration to experiment with the new arrangement.

— Mandeep Kaur, a school teacher



Builders hoodwink admn yet again
Building comes up in Sarangpur area; DC serves notice
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Private builders have outwitted the Chandigarh administration in “developing” the Sarangpur area, west of the PGI.

While the administration has planned several prestigious projects in the area, a private builder has yet again taken the lead in starting construction at the site of a proposed multi-storey building. The building is likely to house flats.

The location plan in the brochures printed by the builder, Vista Colonizers, indicates that it is adjacent to the 104-acre botanical garden project of the administration.

Foreseeing development in the area along the proposed Chandigarh-Baddi road, the builder is offering flats there. Apparently using loopholes in the UT building bylaws, the builder has undertaken construction at the site.

A few years ago, a nine-storey building raised by Shalimar Estates at the village was caught up in litigation.

After the administration was issued notice under the Periphery Act, the builder got a stay on dispossession from the High Court.

Unmoved by the stand of the administration, Vista Colonisers has now offered flats in Balaji Apartments.

G.D. Goyal, whose name figures on the brochure, said the Periphery Act was not applicable to structures inside the “lal dora” of villages. “ The project is not in violation of any Act”, he claimed.

On the other hand, the deputy commissioner under the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, today issued notice under Section 12(2) of the Periphery Act to the builder.

It was a misconception that structures inside the “lal dora” were out of the purview of the Periphery Act, said Hargunjit Kaur, land acquisition officer, while adding that construction for the purpose of commercial activity in the controlled area of village was not allowed. It was violative of Section 15 of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952.

Hot Property

After the announcement of early completion of the proposed Chandigarh-Baddi road and prestigious projects like education city, film city and amusement park of the UT administration, chunks of land along the road were selling for a high premium



It’s urban vs rural for market panel’s top post
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Intense lobbying is on for the post of chairman of the cash-rich market committee, elections to which are scheduled for May 29.

And in a break from the past tradition of the Congress versus the BJP, it is going to be urban versus rural for the post.

While the name of Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee general secretary Davinder Singh Babla, who is from the urban background and represents aarthias constituency, doing rounds for the coveted post, the BJP has decided to field Anand Singh, a Congressman representing the rural area.

Traditionally, the post has gone to a director with rural background, as it is considered to be influential in the rural politics of the city.

In fact, five directors, including Babla, met at the residence of minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal to work out a consensus on the post.

The Congress claims to have five directors, with the BJP having four. However, the murky politics of the market committee defies party affiliations and horse trading in the run-up to elections is a routine affair.

However in a bid to ruffle the Congress, the BJP today announced the fielding of Anand Singh, a Congressman, for the post of chairman and Subhash Chand for the post of vice-chairman. “The election of a chairman from the urban area would be a betrayal of Chandigarh’s rural population as a majority of directors represented villages,” Ramvir Bhatti, a market committee director and BJP general secretary, told Chandigarh Tribune.

With budget running into several crores of rupees, the election has a history of horse trading for the post of chairman and the parties vie with each other to grab the post.

Meanwhile, the elections will be held under the supervision of joint secretary finance Pirthi Chand. Official nominee has no vote in the election of the chairman though during the no-confidence motion the official nominee can cast the vote.



Costly equipment rusts sans infrastructure
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The fate of PGI’s Rs 46-crore ambitious project of advanced cardiac centre hangs in balance as it is nowhere near completion even after two years of the expiry of the deadline. As a result, sophisticated and state-of-the-art medical equipment, worth crores of rupees, is lying unused and dumped.

The project at the PGI, which was supposed to be completed in 2004, has not been completed so far. Even after getting one-year extension in 2005, officials related to the project are still not sure when the project will be completed.

Lying unused, the equipment costing Rs 7.5 crore and purchased for cath lab has now been dumped due to delay in project.

“This is a complete waste of sanctioned funds. The machine should not be ordered before the project is completed. There is criminal misuse of funds,” said a senior doctor.

Deputy director (administration) A.K. Gupta said the project had been hit due to delay in formalities required for approval of various things and funds for the project. But it was near completion, he added.

Also, the nuclear medicine department had purchased a diagnostic machine — “PET” — worth Rs 8 crore but the machine is lying unused for over one year, as the project for “PET” centre is yet to take off. “PET” is used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, besides gastro-intestinal and heart problems.

The machine arrived here last year but has not yet been installed because the structure required to house it is not there.

However, department head Dr B.R. Mittal said the centre would start in August. It has been delayed by two months, as the authorities are still awaiting certification from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

However, sources say the project may be delayed beyond August, as the infrastructure has not been completed yet.

Even “Gamma knife”, which is used for treatment on tumors (cancerous as well as benign smaller than four centimeter in size), was purchased by the PGI last year in March but due to delay in completing the unit in the neuro-surgery department, the machine worth Rs 18 crore is also lying unused.



Noor finds jail food unpalatable
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Noor Kataria has been sleeping on the floor of her cell in Burail Jail. Regularly seen at discotheques and parties, Noor has been in jail for the past four days.

She was sent to judicial custody yesterday and with the rejection of her bail plea, she may have to spend some more days in jail.

Accustomed to sumptuous food, she found the jail food unpalatable. The additional IG jails, Navjot Randhawa, said, “Three meals were served to her, but she barely had a full meal. She has been sitting quietly since morning and has made no demands. She has been given four blankets.”

Addicted to parties, She now has nothing to entertain her. She is sharing the dormitory with 14-odd women, and no visitor has come to see her.

According to sources, she refused to get her medical examination done today.

Though she was given VIP treatment by the police yesterday, the jail superintendent claimed that no special facilities were given to her in jail.

Bail denied

Noor Kataria, the city-based model arrested by the police on charges of possessing a fake driver’s licence recovered during a raid in Baljinder’s flat, was denied bail by magistrate P.K. Lal here today. Her bail application was denied on charges under Section 437 and 439. Noor, who recoded her statement before court under Section 164 of the CrPC on Saturday, was remanded in judicial custody by the court, after the remand of three days of police custody.



Order on GPA stirs hornet’s nest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
An order of the additional registrar of the cooperative societies, Chandigarh, in favour of a general power of attorney (GPA) of a flat in Burail Janta Cooperative House Building First Society Limited has stirred a hornet’s nest. The order has raised several questions over the legality of the general power of attorney in relation to the flats of the group housing societies.

Observations made by the additional registrar in the order passed in favour of an added member has exposed the manner in which the office of the registrar, Cooperative Societies, is acting in contradiction to its own orders.

The original allottee, Sandeep Sharma, had moved his appeal before the secretary cooperation, Sanjay Kumar, against the order. Levelling serious allegations against the officials of the Cooperative Societies, the allottee had pointed out that the registrar had acknowledged a third person on the basis of a mere sale agreement with the holder of general power of attorney (GPA). Not even that the department failed to act against the managing committee of the house building society that issued a share certificate to the third person merely on the basis of the sale agreement with the purchaser.

The society, while ignoring the bylaws, accepted the installments and issued a receipt to the third person whereas it has to be issued only in the name of the original allottee. Without getting the list of the substituted members approved from the registrar, the society issued the third person membership (no. 149) against the membership number of the original allottee (no. 169). Though the substitution policy came in 2006, the society gave him share certificate in 2004.

The original allottee, in his appeal before the additional registrar, has sought that the draw of lots of the cooperative society be treated as null and void. He has also sought that the society be directed to hold the draw of lots again by including the name of the petitioner. The petitioner executed a GPA on February 9, 2001, in favour of Madan Mohan Gandhi, but the same was cancelled on January 16, 2006.

When he approached the managing committee of the society for clearing the outstanding dues, he was not entertained as he was told that he had executed the GPA in favour of Madan Mohan Gandhi. But before the GPA was cancelled, the petitioner through Madan Mohan Gandhi entered into a sale agreement on December 20, 2001, to sell the flat to Gulshan Bhatia.

After hearing the appeal, the assistant registrar dismissed the appeal of the original allottee. Before referring the matter to the additional registrar, the registrar of Cooperative Societies, R.K. Rao had stayed the allotment of the flat.



Admn gives school ground to LIC cricket club
Rs 22 lakh infrastructure to be raised
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The Chandigarh administration has added yet another chapter of involving Public private partnership (PPP) with the allotment of ground of the Government Model High School, Sector 26, to a Chandigarh-based cricket club.

The administration gave its nod to handover the school ground to LIC Cricket Club, Chandigarh, which has come forward to raise the sports infrastructure at the school compound with a proposed investment of nearly Rs 22 lakh.

Besides this, the club would be spending about Rs 3 lakh on salaries of coaches, grounds men and would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the ground.

Deepinder Singh, secretary of the club, told The Tribune about this new groundbreaking scheme and their further plans. "Our club has entered into a pact with the administration to run the cricket academy for both boys and girls on 'no profit no loss' basis. We would be providing free coaching, cricket kit etc. to poor talented school children.”

About the maintenance aspect, Deepinder told that the club would be recruiting two full time gardeners and two coaches, which includes one lady coach, to begin with. “We have already started the job at the ground. The mechanised rollers, sprinklers, ground cutting machines and side screens would be installed shortly.”

When asked about raising funds, he said, "We will involve corporate sector for the purpose. We will be holding corporate tournaments during Sundays and Saturdays or on holidays when the schools are closed. Further, the funds collected from them would again be ploughed back for providing facilities to the school children that would be part of the academy."

Confirming the proposal, DPI (S) S.K. Setia said, "Yes, but with certain conditions.

The first and the foremost condition is that school children would, in any circumstances, be given priority to use the ground. Secondly, the custody of the users would be the prime responsibility of the club only. Further, we have instructed them not to retain the school students after sunset.”

But it was not easy to furnish this proposal and give it a practical shape. "For safety, we have requested the education department to provide us with two full-time security guards and raise the boundary wall of the ground by two feet."

When asked, Setia said, "We are ready to provide them two security guards, who would be deputed in two shifts, from 4 pm to 12 am and from 12 am to 8 am. We are thinking to raise the boundary wall upto 5' 11". Rest, whatever, to be admissible or required, would be chalked out with the help of our sports wing."



Beating up of parents
NGO helps resolve issue
Tribune News service

Panchkula, May 27
Relatives and a Panchkula-based NGO came forward to help an elderly couple of Zirakpur who had claimed that they were being ill-treated by their sons.

The couple and the sons were asked to thrash out the issue and it was decided that the couple would stay separately.

The sons would return all the money that they had got after selling a house of the family earlier and the parents would not pursue the complaint filed against them with the police at Zirakpur.

Ashok Raina (60) and his wife had sought police protection against their sons. They had complained that they were being beaten up by their children for property and money.

They said they had three sons and the two who were married were harassing them. Ashok has been bed-ridden for the past year.

An NGO, Jeevan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, along with the relatives of the couple, intervened in the matter today and made the sons and the parents reach a compromise.



Central Status for Varsity
Issue to come up before political advisory committee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The 51st day of the relay fast seemed to be a turning point in the history of the entire agitation of the PU students and teachers demanding Central University status for PU.

“For the first time, we are receiving some positive signals from the Punjab Government. We are told that the issue is going to come up before the political advisory committee very shortly. Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota, fellow, PU, and principal, Master Tara Singh College, Ludhiana, who visited the site of the chain fast also agreed with our reading of the political mood of the Punjab Government. Prof S.K. Kulkarni, DUI, also visited the fasting teachers and students and signed the visitors’ register,” said JAC coordinator Prof Manjit Singh.

In response to a query, Prof A.S. Ahluwalia, chairman, Joint Action Committee (JAC), has clarified that there would be no negative effect of the Central University status of PU on the affiliated colleges from Punjab. “To misconstrue the Central status to PU as ‘handing it over to the Centre’ is an innovation of those mischief mongers who are neither friends of PU nor that of Punjab and Punjabi language,” said Prof Manjit Singh.

Ranjana Vohra, chairperson of the library science department, along with colleagues Preeti Mahajan, Rupak Chakravarty and students Tenzin Mehru, Bhupinder Singh Mann, Kartar Singh and Gurpreet Singh sat on the fast today.



Beggars, vendors flip coins to their favour
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The shortage of coins has proved to be a good business opportunity for beggars and roadside vendors in the region. With banks failing to supply coins to retailers and traders in the city, they have found roadside vendors to ensure a regular supply.

Beggars, cobblers, and juice and cigarette vendors in most sectors of the city and neighbouring Panchkula are now the new “business associates” of retailers.

By accepting a commission of five to 10 per cent, these people are ensuring a regular supply of coins to shopkeepers.

A leading grocery shop owner in Sector 19 here says the beggars who used walk in to seek alms earlier were now offering to supply them with coins.

“For Rs 100, they give us coins worth Rs 90 (of Re 1, 2 and 5 denomination). Not just beggars, cobblers and fruit vendors also are selling us coins,” he said.

Supporting his views, a leading chemist in Sector 9, Panchkula, says these roadside vendors act as agents for getting the coins.

“These vendors go to slum areas and collect coins from small shops that operate there. The shopkeepers there get five per cent commission, while the remaining five per cent is pocketed by these vendors,” he said, adding that they were forced to tie up with these vendors as customers refused to accept sweets or slips as change.

It may be noted that there has been a shortage of coins in the market for almost a year. The recently introduced stainless steel coins are being converted into shaving blades by some unscrupulous persons.

These coins were recently introduced by the Reserve Bank of India, after the earlier cupero-nickle coins were being converted into artificial jewellery and washers, leading to their shortage.

The new stainless steel coins, were issued recently from the mints in Noida, Kolkata and Mumbai. With the price of stainless steel spiralling in the past couple of months, these coins were now being used as low-cost raw material for blade manufacturers.

Sources said a Re 1 coin of around 2 gram could be used to make at least 20 blades. With prices of stainless steel soaring from Rs 65 to Rs 85 per kg and coins being made with pure stainless steel, these served as the best quality raw material. Similarly, the price of nickel has gone up to almost Rs 500 a kg, and thus there is a ‘growing market’ for melting the cupero-nickle coins and extracting the nickel content.



Summer Tango contest winners awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
As many as five winners of the Chandigarh Tribune Summer Tango contest were awarded here today.

The Tribune general manager Sanjay Hazari awarded the winners of the contest launched by Chandigarh Tribune to connect with its readers. The readers were asked to hunt for the ad of the day and complete a sentence.

Those who got prizes included Anandita Munjal, Gurjot Kaur, Vaneet Malhotra, Parinita Dhawan and Rohin Arora.



Book on Soviet collapse out
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 27
Divergent views were expressed at the release function of the book ‘Soviet Collapsed - How and Why’ authored by Dr Prem Singh at Punjab Book Center here yesterday.

Addressing a galaxy of intelligentsia and legal luminaries, chief guest Justice Vijender Jain, Chief Justice Punjab and Haryana High Court, divulged a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He shared his experiences based on close interaction with every segment of the society in the erstwhile USSR during his numerous visits to the Soviet Union. The Justice endorsed author Dr Prem Singh’s views that the then President Mikhail Gorvachov was responsible for the entire collapse because of his dual stand on each issue affecting the nation. He complemented Dr Singh, former officer at the Russian Embassy and auditor of Punjabi Daily ‘Desh Sewak’.

The book, a significant study of the collapse, has elaborated the details and corrective action which Gorvochok failed to initiate.

Former Advocate General R.S. Cheema threw light on the Soviet fall out. Senior advocate Surjit Singh conducted the programme.



Class X result on mobile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
BSNL and Bharti Airtel today announced that its customers will be able to get CBSE class X results on their mobile phones through integrated voice response system and SMS.

The customers will have the option to register their roll number in advance and the result will be sent to them once these are out. The results are expected on the intervening night of May 28 and 29.



Man sets himself afire, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
A 40-year-old man died after he allegedly set himself ablaze at his residence in Badheri village, here this morning.

According to the police, the victim, Mata Prasad, was working as a security guard in a shop. The victim had been under depression following an argument with the shop owner over some issue.

The police received the message soon after Prasad set himself on fire and reached the scene.

The victim was taken to the PGI, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The body of the deceased will be handed over to the family after the post-mortem examination tomorrow.



Fire at incense factory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Incenses worth thousands of rupees were gutted in a fire that broke out in a factory at Hallo Majra village, here this morning.

The fire broke out in the packing unit of Shub Laxmi Herbal Gram Udhyog Dev Darshan Dhup factory in the village around 8 am.

Three fire tenders from Sector 17 and Ram Darbar fire stations were pressed into service to douse the flames.

Sources in the fire department said the information was received at 8:11 am and two fire engines from Sectors 17 and 32 fire stations and a fire tender from Ram Darbar reached the spot. It took fire fighters around half an hour to bring the fire under control.

Though the exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, sources said a short-circuit was believed to be the reason behind the fire.



Fire at crime branch office
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 27
A minor fire broke out in the office of the crime branch of the district police in Phase I here today. According to officials of the fire brigade, an electric panel in the office of the reader on the first floor caught fire. The employees felt panicked and rushed out of the room engulfed with smoke. Important record lying in the room could have been damaged had the fire not been brought under control within minutes.

It is suspected that the fire must have been caused due to a short circuit.

In another incident, a power meter installed in a showroom got burnt in a fire in Phase X. One more incident of fire due to dry leaves was reported from near the tax barrier. 



Pay attention to southern sectors

THE southern sectors from 48 onwards under the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh administration are badly neglected. Residents of these densely populated sectors do not even have a post office at their disposal and have to go to distant sectors.

Secondly, there is not even a single permanent shed erected at the bus stops due to which passengers, especially students, have to wait in the scorching sun in summer and bear with the rains in monsoons. Even the number of buses plying on these routes is less.

Moreover, link roads in some sectors do not have lights at night, which pose a threat to motorists’ lives. The road behind Sector 48, running parallel to the railway track, is nothing less than a deathtrap for commuters as it is full of potholes and there is no provision of lights.

The Chandigarh administration is requested to look into the matter and take immediate measures.

Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Summer camp gets underway at KB DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
A 20-day summer camp 2008 got underway at KB DAV SSS, Sector 7-B, here. To cater to the needs of students and encouraged by the overwhelming response in the previous years, seven different workshops like nritya and sangeet kala, kalakriti, calligraphy, natya rang mahotsav, yoga, skating, table soccer, computers are being run simultaneously on the school premises.

Principal Madhu Behl said these workshops would continue till June 12. “We have engaged the services of expert professionals who, in collaboration with our creative staff, are conducting these workshops. It is an open invitation for all. Apart from our own school students, children from other schools have also joined these workshops.”

Other activities included in this workshop are a movie show, a puppet show, studio visit and a picnic.



CAT upholds teacher’s dismissal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Coming down heavily on school teachers who take unauthorised leave, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has upheld the dismissal of a teacher of Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Ravinder Kaur Bedi, ex-primary teacher, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mullanpur Garibdass, district Ropar, continued to stay on leave even though the concerned authorities did not sanction it. Later, she was dismissed.

The CAT, headed by judicial member Shyama Dogra and administrative member Tarsem Lal stated: “This tendency of remaining on unauthorised leave cannot be tolerated, as teachers are nation builders. In this case also, it is apparent that the applicant has not shown any intention to come and join duties. Rather, she wants that she should be given pension benefits. She even failed to file a reply to the show cause notice.”

Ravinder Kaur appealed to the tribunal that she was not keeping well in 1999 and she was suffering from sarcoidosis. She had been taking treatment from the PGI in Chandigarh for the same. She added that her health deteriorated. Thereafter, the doctors suggested her to take treatment from the US and Canada. Thus, Ravinder was granted leave till June 2001. However, due to medication, she could not come back and requested for extension of leave that was granted up to June 23, 2002. But she was not able to join and a memo was served to her on May 12, 2003 after which she was dismissed.



Denial of increments to 6 teachers
Council told to re-examine anomaly
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Coming to the rescue of lecturers who had not been given increments according to their qualification, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the All-India Council of Technical Education, New Delhi, to re-examine the issue of granting benefit of advance increments.

The CAT further asked the authorities concerned to take appropriate decision within four months.

In an application filed by six lecturers of Government College of Arts, Sector 10, the applicants - Anand C. Shende, Mahesh Prajapati, Anand Sharma, Parmod Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Kumar - had alleged unfair treatment by the authorities. The applicants had been working in the college on a regular basis and had joined service between 2001 and 2005.

The applicants were appointed through the UPSC and possessed bachelor’s of fine arts and master’s of fine arts degrees.

The applicants stated that there were posts of one principal and 24 teacher in the college. The applicants were regular employees, while the rest of the teaching staff was either on ad hoc or on contract.

The lecturers further asserted that though most of them had completed two years of probation, they had still not been issued confirmation letters. Also, the applicants were not being paid annual increments though they were qualified.

The tribunal, headed by judicial member Shyama Dogra and administrative member Tarsem Lal, said: “We find support in the contention of the applicants that by restricting the grant of benefit of advance increments to ME or MTech the authorities were causing discrimination and financial hardship to lecturers of the College of Arts who fulfilled the requisite qualification at the time of appointment.”

Pointing loopholes in the letter issued by superintendent of technical education, Chandigarh, CAT observed: “The letter issued for non-grant of incentives is not found to be in consonance with the details of nomenclature as discussed above. Therefore, in our considered opinion matter needs reconsideration by authorities concerned and since matter has already been sent for clarification we give directions for re-examination of this aspect.”



High Court
‘Corroboration only a rule of prudence’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
A high court Division Bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, in a significant judgement, has held the prosecution’s case, which can be accepted even in the absence of corroboration, if the evidence of a witness is reliable. The Bench has ruled: corroboration is only a rule of prudence; where evidence of one witness is reliable, even in the absence of corroboration, case of the prosecution can be accepted.

The ruling comes on an appeal filed by murder convict Dalbir Singh. He was proceeded against under Section 302, of the IPC, after he allegedly shot his brother on Jaunary 8, 1998. After hearing the arguments, the Bench dismissed the appeal.

Notice of motion to Chandigarh admn

The high court Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh yesterday issued notice of motion for September 2 to the Chandigarh administration, estate officer and others on a petition filed by the Mumbai-based World Renewal Spiritual Trust. It has ben filed through Chandigarh-based Brahm Kumar Amir Chand.

He was seeking directions to quash the administration’s communication of July 18, 2007, and to issue directions to respondents for re-allotments of land in dispute.

He said in 2000, the administration had issued allotment letter that charged the price of the land at the rate of Rs 5,800 per sq yard, instead of Rs 130 as mentioned in the original allotment.



10-yr RI for two in narcotics case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
Surinder Pal Singh, a witness of Narcotics Control Bureau in one of its cases, has landed himself in soup by converting from a prosecution witness for Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to defence witness.

Pronouncing the order in the drug peddling case, additional district and sessions judge R.S. Attri yesterday sentenced Naresh Kumar and Rajesh Kumar to rigorous imprisonment (RI) of 10 years along with a fine of Rs 2 lakh each.

The court also ordered to initiate criminal proceedings against prime witness Surinder Pal Singh (39), who worked as a lecturer in Forensic Expert and Investigator General Insurance Companies, Chandigarh.

This is a rare narcotics case wherein the prosecution witness decided to depose before the court as defence witness.

According to the prosecution, NCB officials arrested Naresh Kumar and Rajesh Kumar with 5 kg heroine during a raid in Sector 42 on August 18, 2005.

Surinder added that after signing the documents he was asked to put August 18, 2005 as date by the board of the NCB officials.

Later, a sting operation by a private channel showed footage of Surinder Pal Singh and a defence lawyer allegedly coercing another witness to retract his statement in a case of seizure of 5 kg of narcotics by the NCB.

The trial of the NDPS case was then held in the court of additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal.



Consumer Courts
Electricity dept fined Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Chandigarh electricity department to overhaul the disputed bills issued to complainant Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, a resident of Sector 38. The forum also asked the department to pay Jaswinder Rs 10,000 in compensation for harassment along with Rs 1,100 as costs of litigation.

The complainant had received an inflated handwritten bill of Rs 32,946 for the period between September 12 and November 12, 2005. He had claimed that from July 2001 to May 2006, he had never received a bill over Rs 2,000.

Jaswinder added that there was no electrical gadget consuming heavy power at his place. He sent the electric meter for examination to the laboratory, but instead of checking the meter, the electricity department fixed a new meter along with the faulty meter and told the complainant that the meter was working properly.

The meter again gave wrong readings and the old meter was sent for laboratory testing yet again.

The electricity department stated that the complainant was dissatisfied with the working of the meter and the same was checked by the department. The department added that the electricity bill was not paid by Jaswinder.

The forum stated: “The electricity department is found to be deficient in service causing great mental agony to the complainant. Thus the complaint is allowed.”



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