C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Get set to tap rainwater
Admn to make harvesting apparatus must for houses
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
With the issue of augmenting the water supply from the Kajauli water works likely to become a contentious matter with Punjab in the coming years, the Chandigarh administration has finally woken up to the need for conserving water.

Soon, it will be mandatory for city residents to install rainwater-harvesting structures in their dwelling units.

“It was being made mandatory for plots of 250 sq yd and above. The provisions are being included in the building bylaws to be notified soon”, confirmed a senior official in the administration.

The clause will apply to all type of buildings like residential, commercial and institutional.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra said the municipal corporation was also striving for adopting rainwater conservation measures.

The ministry of water resources has been repeatedly insisting upon the state governments and the union territories to undertake massive rainwater harvesting measures.

A committee, comprising officials of the engineering department, urban planning, estate office and other experts, is learnt to have recommended the mandatory provision in the building bylaws.

Reports of the central ground water board (CGWB) on the decreasing availability of ground water have also formed the basis of involving city residents in water conservation.

Studies conducted by the board reveal that water table in the city is depleting due to over-pumping and urbanisation. This results in more stress on ground water and decline in the water levels, particularly of deeper aquifers, which sustain the tube-well discharge.

The cost of the rainwater harvesting structure will have to be borne by plot owners. “The minimum cost to install a roof-top rainwater harvesting system costs around Rs 50,000. The cost goes up with the depth of the rainwater harvesting well,” said sources in the board.

It is, however, not clear if the existing plot owners will also be asked to install the rainwater harvesting apparatus.

“Instead of asking each plot owner to install the system, the project should be shared by a group of house owners and it should be installed at a common place. This will divide the cost and yield better results,” said CGWB officials.

So far, rainwater harvesting projects have been set up at eight different public places by the central ground water board with funding from the ministry of water resources are in bad shape. There are rainwater-harvesting wells in Leisure Valley, Panjab University and roundabout of Sectors 19, 27, 20 and 30.



ID not an issue with city cyber cafés
Arif and Latasha

Chandigarh, May 31
The Chandigarh police as well as most cyber cafés owners in the city seem to have not taken any lessons from the recent Jaipur serial blasts. During a random survey of cyber outlets in the city, Chandigarh Tribune found that owners were flouting guidelines issued by the police regarding ID proofs of the users with impunity.

After the May-13 Jaipur serial blasts, the Chandigarh SSP had issued a proforma to all cyber café owners to strictly verify the identity of users.

In this proforma, released on May 15, the café owners were asked to maintain various details of the users, including name and address, date and time of login, photocopy of identity proof, time of log out, machine ID number and signature of the visitor.

It was also stated that the department officials when required would check their data to verify the implementation of these instructions.

On a visit to three different cafés in various sectors, these correspondents registered fake identity in the proforma available with the café. But none of the owners asked them to show identity proof.

At Cyber World in Sector 19-D, a correspondent registered himself (serial No. 10, Cabin 5) with a fake name, Omar Abdullah, with a false address and telephone number and made an excuse that he could not produce any ID.

The owner of the café, without bothering about the identity, made no objection and allowed him to login.

Similarly, at Safari Graphics Cyber Café, Sector 15-A, fake personal details with name “Yaseen” were entered in the register but the attendant failed to verify the inputs.

While Omar Abdullah is the president of the Jammu and Kashmir’s National Conference, Yaseen is a senior JKLF leader.

At other cafés, the attendants didn’t bother to ask for an ID and allowed the correspondents to use their computers without filling out the mandatory verification proforma. In fact, most of them did not maintain registers at the counter to record the details. Such cafés include Mondeo and NAIN Graphics in Sector 14, Chand Communication Centre and Krishna Cyber Café, Sector 11 and Akarshan & JD in Sector 35.

Even though a majority of cafés are not following the instructions issued by police, there are owners of few cafés in Sectors 17, 21, 22 and 27 that are adhering to the instructions.

DSP crime K.I.P. Singh, in charge of cyber crime investigation cell, said: “It’s a serious issue and a lapse on part of the SHOs concerned. SHOs of various areas have been given clear instructions regarding the verification process that cyber cafés ought to follow and any negligence will be considered a serious crime.”



Cops in Dock
Sloppy job invites pay cut
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Additional and district sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal today imposed a cut in the salary of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Nand Kishore and SHO police station-11 Ramesh Kumar over sloppy investigation in a murder case of a guard, Top Bahadur.

The court had issued summons to witnesses and the complainant to depose but these were not served. The order stated: “It appears that the police officials are not anxious to see the success of this serious case and are not acting responsibly.”

A copy of the order has been sent to UT police IG S.K. Jain, SSP S.S. Srivastava and investigating officer of the case. During the last hearing on May 16, the court had asked Srivastava to depose before court as the summons were not being served.

But the SSP sought exemption from court as he had to attend some meeting. Yet again the summons were not served on the complainant, Lal Bahadur, who is in Nepal.

The police took the plea that the summons were not served as they had received these late at 9.30 pm yesterday.

Coming down heavily on the lackadaisical attitude of the official concerned, the court observed that it was the duty of the police to get the summon served, not the court.



Rash Driving
Rich & powerful override law
Akash Ghai & Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Recent criminal acts involving VIP brats

  • Rahul Chauhan, son of Shimla-based former MLA Kewal Ram Chauhan, was arrested last year along with two other friends for allegedly assaulting a Sector 49 resident
  • Yuvraj, son of a former Khadur Sahib MLA Ranjit Singh Chajjalwaldi, was booked on charges of beating up a shopkeeper and his son in Mohali
  • Bunny Dullo, son of former Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo, was booked for unauthorised use of red beacon atop his vehicle in Sector 36
  • The local police again booked Bunny for violating traffic rules. The luxury Hyundai Elantra car (PB 26 D 0005) being driven by Bunny was found having tinted windowpanes. Bunny also failed to produce driver’s licence

Chandigarh, May 31
The yesterday’s rash and negligent driving incident, involving kin of influential politicians, is not new to the city and its police.

Rash driving of Innova car (HR 26 AE 6047) by Harveer Inder Singh, grandson of a former Akali leader — with Sehaj and a class X student, who is the son of a Punjab MLA, as its occupants — not only gave a tough time to the police chasing it but also put several lives on the line.

The pursuit lasted over 30 minutes on the busy roads of Sectors 15 and 16.

The car had cut in on the vehicles of Chandigarh SSP, following which the police pursued the speeding vehicle and challaned the offenders after rounding them up at the police station-17.

However, the problem has been on the rise, as such fines and challans have acted as a little deterrent to such offenders violating law. Paying a couple of thousand rupees is not much of an issue for these rich and influential youngsters.

“While driving in swanky SUVs, these brats don’t care two hoots about the safety of other motorists on the road. The police, too, seems to be helpless in such cases, as these youngsters, with influential background, use their clout to hush up cases against them,” says Anurag Gupta, a resident of Sector 11.

“The pub and disc culture has aggravated the problem. Value for life and fear of law are the last things on their mind. Moreover, they have influential parents to back them up, as the latter also seem to show scant regard to unlawful activities of their wards. In yesterday’s incident, influential persons mounted pressure on the police but we did not buckle down and challaned the vehicle,” said police station-17 SHO Kulwant Singh Pannu.

“In the city full of VIPs, flouting of rules by brats is not a new thing. It’s a dangerous trend. I think no one has forgotten the Nandas — involved in the infamous BMW case in New Delhi. Strict action should be initiated against such youngsters so that the lives of common people is not put on the line,” said Prof D.P. Singh.

On the other hand, Dr D.N. Jauhar, a law professor, says in spite of adopting stern measures, parents and teachers should play a role in reforming such youngsters through counselling.

“Spending time with them and sharing important things is the way to bring them on right track,” feels Dr Jauhar.



Chemists sell generic drugs for big profits
But doctors don’t prescribe them
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Next time you get a 20 per cent discount on the MRP of a medicine, do not feel happy, for the chemist will still be making a profit of over 250 per cent.

Chemists in the tricity are selling “branded generic” medicines at almost the same price as branded medicines. Generic medicines are supplied to retailers at a nominal cost by pharmaceutical companies, albeit with a high MRP printed on it.

Pharmaceutical companies have introduced generic versions of their branded medicines to provide a better business opportunity to retailers and dispensing doctors (doctors who also retail medicines). The profit margin on branded medicines is fixed at 16-20 per cent while the margins allowed on generic medicines is sometimes as high as 320 per cent. Though these are cheaper, doctors do not prescribe generic medicines.

Since pharma majors do not spend any money in the marketing of these products, they supply these to a retailer at a very nominal cost. For example, the MRP of 10 tablets of Ciprobid 500 (branded), an antibiotic, is Rs 65.87 while the MRP of its generic version, Ciprodac 500, is Rs 68.56. While Ciprobid 500 is supplied to a chemist for Rs 53, it is sold to a customer for Rs 60. Ciprodac is supplied to a chemist for Rs 16 and sold to a customer between Rs 40-66. Thus, the chemist earns more profit by selling generic medicines.

A drug wholesaler in Ambala says, “Doctors do not prescribe generic medicines. They generally prescribe branded medicine which is more costly. Even if we earn more margin by selling generic medicines, at least the customer pays less.”



2 yrs on, post of addl MOH lying vacant
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Even as the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had created a post of additional medical officer health citing “heavy workload” two years ago, the same is lying vacant since then.

According to MC sources, the authorities are sitting over the matter and are not making any serious effort to fill the post. This despite the fact that the medical officer health (MOH), Dr G.C. Bansal, himself admitted at the recent general house meeting that he could not go to the field for inspection due to excessive workload.

During a house meeting, a councillor raised issue of the MOH not going to the field for inspection even as there is a rise in absenteeism among the sanitation staff. Citing cases, the councillor informed the house that it was either chairman of the sanitation committee or MC commissioner, who caught sanitation staff absent during an inspection.

“Not only this, there are other wings under the MOH, including maintaining of cleanliness, health and sanitation, registration of births and deaths, slaughter house, cattle pounds, vaccination, unauthorised slaughtering of animals, pest control, issuing of licenses to pet dogs and sale of meat, removal of deal animals. To supervise all these wings properly is not an easy task for a single officer, as the job included both field and the office work. Thus the house decided for additional post”, said Surinder Singh, former mayor, during whose tenure the agenda was passed in 2006.

City mayor Pardeep Chhabra admitted that there were lot of projects under the MOH and the functioning of the corporation has adversely affected due to the overload on the MOH. A single officer cannot manage the affairs of such a huge department keeping in view the burgeoning growth the city has been witnessing over the years. He added he would take up the issue with the authorities.

Secretary P.K. Sharma told TNS that the post was created long back and the MC had sought permission from the UT administration early this year, which was yet to be received.



Walkathon at Sukhna pulls large crowds
Tribune News Service

Vendors challaned

In a special campaign carried out today, the Chandigarh municipal corporation issued as many as 61 challans to the roadside cigarette and tobacco vendors in different parts of the city. This drive was carried out in the evening under the supervision of the MC secretary.

Chandigarh, May 31
Walkathon, organised by Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula, to mark World No Tobacco Day saw participation of hundreds, including leading medical practitioners from the tricity, here today.

The Walkathon, which started from Sukhna Lake and concluded at Rock Garden, was organised to make people aware of the ill-effects of active and passive smoking. The walk was flagged off by Sunil Nath, executive director, Alchemist Hospital. Enthusiastic youngsters, females and elderly citizens formed a considerable part of the swelling crowds which gathered at Sukhna to sensitise the public about the hazards of tobacco use. Nath said tobacco was a major cause of death and almost half of the 650 million smoking population faced would face the danger in the next few years.

The situation was equally alarming for passive smokers, added Nath. “Women and kids are particularly vulnerable to passive smoking,” he pointed out.

The event concluded with a free medical examination of the participants by doctors of Alchemist Hospital.



Disco owners make hay

Having a puff of cigarette at city’s discotheques can make a big hole in your pocket.

After smoking was banned in the city, some of the top discos created separate smoking chambers on their premises in order to facilitate their smoker guests. But as nothing comes for free, the smokers are charged heftily for using these chambers. The owners of the discos are, thus, making a lot money.

One of the nightclubs of the city in Sector 8 reportedly charges Rs 500 per person for using its ‘smoking lounge’ while attending a party at their disco. Not only this, the guests are not allowed to carry their pack of cigarettes on the premises and have to pay double the amount to buy it from them.

Another famous disco in Sector 26 has even employed bouncers to keep an eye on the guests so that nobody carries their cigarette stock with him while entering the disco. For each packet, which normally costs Rs 80 to 100 in market, the disc is charging almost triple the amount.

“They are virtually making most of the ban on smoking at public places. If they are allowing the people to smoke on their premises, what is the logic of charging money for using smoking chamber? Why don’t they allow their guests to carry the cigarettes inside when they themselves are selling the same stuff on exorbitant rates?” said Rahul Sachdeva, a reveller.

The authorities must do something to stop the discotheque owners from indulging in such malpractices, said another partygoer Aman.

(Inputs from Anuja Jaiswal, Akash Ghai and Aarti Kapur)



Building Bylaws
Residents seek one-time relaxation
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, May 31
A delegation of the Chandigarh Marla Houses Residents Welfare Association, in a memorandum submitted to the finance secretary, have sought one-rime relaxation in the building bylaws.

President of the association Surinder Pal Chauhan said the marla house owners demanded that the need-based changes already made by the residents within the boundary wall of the plot area be regularised.

The president said these recommendations were also made by the Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs in its report submitted in 2006. “By deleting rule 20, the owners can be allowed to construct balcony/cantilever in front and backside of the plot in its full width and not in fractured form, bridging gap to floor area ratio in Phase 1 and Phase 2 sectors,” he suggested. “A comprehensive survey of all marla houses needs to be done as the need-based changes have been made in 99 per cent cases whereas notices have been issued to a few on the pick-and-choose basis, he alleged.

The delegation rued that the Chandigarh administration was not paying any heed to the recommendations of the Parliamentary committee. The administration, instead of implementing the said recommendations, had issued resumption and demolition notices to the residents of marla houses.



Rain brings respite
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
After two days of scorching heat, the city today witnessed rainfall which gave much-needed respite to its residents.

A Met official said the change in weather was due to the movement of upper cyclonic conditions in central Pakistan adjoining northwest Rajasthan and North Pakistan.

He said such a long-duration rainfall had not been recorded in May in the past five years. He said this year there was low dryness and high humidity due to frequent rainfall.

The city’s weather calendar for the coming week shows scattered thunderstorm and rainfall. As per the met department, the city would witness dust storm or thunderstorm with light to moderate rainfall in the next two days. The maximum temperature recorded today was 40 degrees while the minimum temperature was 24 degrees.

As per the report of weather.com, the city would see high-velocity winds and rainfall during the whole week. The temperature in the city would vary between 33 degrees to 37 degrees.



Residents rue power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Tall claims of the Chandigarh electricity department regarding no power cuts this summers seem to have fallen flat as the residents Sector 44 have been facing frequent power cuts for the past one week. Residents complained that the last whole week, the power supply remained erratic in the name of maintenance. Today, the power supply was suspended on account of shutdown, they rued. “The department should carry out repairs in advance so that residents do not face inconvenience,” said Jai dev Sharma, a resident of Sector 44.

An official of the electricity department said the power supply remained suspended to Sectors 44, 48, 55 and 56 due to maintenance works.



Water supply to remain erratic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Water supply throughout the city will remain suspended on June 2 and 3 owing to repair works.

According to officials of the Chandigarh municipal corporation, the water supply will remain erratic throughout the day on June 2 and 3. There will be no water supply during the afternoon. However, in the evening from 6 pm to 9 pm, the water pressure will remain low.



Tribune employee retires

K.K. Sharma
K.K. Sharma

Chandigarh, May 31
K.K. Sharma, senior foreman, Advertisement Department, The Tribune, retired here today after serving for 42 years in the institution.

He joined The Tribune at Ambala on June 14, 1966.

He was given warm send off by his colleagues.

A farewell party was also arranged in his honour on the office premises.




Traffic lights with inverter

By closing the small rotary of Sector 34, Sector 35 crossing the pressure of the traffic has fallen on the round about of Sector 34/35 and Sector 43/44. To channelise the traffic the administration has installed traffic lights which control the flow of traffic. But in case of electricity failure, like what happened on May 30, 2008, at 2030 hrs, there is a chaos at the traffic point in the absence of traffic police manning the round about. Every one is in a hurry to reach home whether on a cycle or two-wheeler.

To overcome this problem and to ensure the continuity of power supply the traffic lights should be fitted with inverters. In case of a power failure, the inverter will take over the power supply, and the chaos will be avoided.

Wg Cdr J.S. Bhalla (retd)

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



No relief for ‘teaching shops’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has shut the chapter on “academic indiscipline”. A Division Bench has made it clear that “commercial shops” enrolling students at the fag end of academic sessions will not get any relief from it.

The ruling will affect colleges using “career of students” as a pretext to seek the High Court’s intervention for condoning their lapses.

In an eight-page judgement on a petition filed by the Maa Saraswati Educational Society and others, the Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia has asserted: “It has been generally noticed by this court that colleges, without adhering to the rules and regulations of the university and standards of merit, have been making admissions, enrolling students. At the fag end of the academic session, they approach this court solely on the ground of equity that since the career of the students is involved; this court should condone their lapses and direct the university to allow the students to take examination. As a result, academic excellence has become causality.”

The Bench ruled: “We are conscious that various colleges in the region have mushroomed as commercial shops…. We are of the view that academic autonomy is to be ensured as required by the university. It is for the university authorities to take decision whether students of the college are entitled to be registered or not.”

“While exercising writ jurisdiction, we cannot direct the university to ignore various lapses on the part of the educational society and conduct examination of the students, whose preparation to appear in the examination is half-way, especially when the university has specifically pointed out lapses from time to time,” the Bench added.

The Bench observed: “The petition has been filed by the Maa Saraswati Educational Society, along with 25 students of M.Ed, who were admitted by the college on their own, without counselling having been conducted by the university and against the norms/ procedure prescribed for admission by the university.”

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Ahluwalia held: “The petitioner-society is one of those errant colleges, who had opted not to follow the academic discipline and had made admissions on their own despite the university warning.



Career Fest-2008 delves into IT avenues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Real estate is thriving, retail is taking off, textiles are in, but the hottest sector as far as the job market is concerned continues to be information technology. From software professionals to networking specialists, the most sought after destination seems to be IT.

To tap this boom NIIT organised a Career Fest-2008, here today, to showcase career opportunities in the IT sector for aspirants who passed out their Class XII.

The head of NIIT Chandigarh Janpreet Bedi said, “Through this fest we aim to educate students about the growing demand for skilled IT professionals globally and the opportunities that exists in this profession.”

The number of enthusiastic students, who aim at earning while learning, attended the fest in large numbers. “These days simple graduation will not lead us any where, a professional course like GNIIT empowered us with knowledge and latest technology thus making us capable of securing jobs,” Karanpreet Sandhu studying in BCA, GCG 11, said.

Sunrose Singh, a NIIT pass out is currently working as network executive in VSNL internet services said, “Even I graduated in simple Arts but I am earning 13,000 per month, it became possible only because I chose to do a specialised course.”



UIFT explores various facets of fashion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Keeping in view the way the Indian Fashion and Apparel Industry is making its name at the national and international platform and the growing demand for trained manpower in this field, Panjab University, launched the University Institute of Fashion and Lifestyle Technology on its campus last year.

The institute offers a self-financing five-year integrated BSc. and MSc. degree course in fashion and lifestyle technology. The program is laid out in a semester system and has 40 seats. Students can culminate their study after three years of the course followed by 6 weeks of industrial training and obtain a bachelors’ degree. They can continue to take the two years masters’ program comprising extensive specialised project-based study followed again with six months apprenticeship training in the corporate sector or the industry.

“The students are given hands on experience in learning pattern making, apparel manufacture, fabric science, knitting technology, weaving technology, fashion illustration, computer aided designing, fashion photography and fashion journalism,” said Dr Rita Kant, senior faculty.

The course aims to prepare the students for employment in the industrial and corporate sector to work as fashion innovators, fashion marketers and advertisers, pattern developers, fashion event managers, fashion illustrators, fashion choreographers, fashion journalists and editors, fashion stylists, fashion coordinators and fashion forecasters to name a few, she added.



Learning Networks Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
AIESEC, a student organisation, today held a “Learning Networks Day” at the Panjab University.

The event aimed at providing a platform to the youth to connect with organisations around on global issues such as child rights, education, entrepreneurship and technology, HIV, rural and the community development and youth personal responsibilities.

Around 300 students from various schools and colleges came to attend these interactive sessions.

The sessions included lectures and workshops conducted by various NGO’s and other partnering organisations.

Besides various students present from the colleges and schools from in and around the city, international interns from countries such as the USA, Canada, Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Germany were present at the event.

They are here on an AIESEC - Global Internship Program and are working with various companies, NGO’s and schools partnering with AIESEC.

The session on ‘child rights’ was conducted by Manveer Singh Grewal, president AIESEC, Chandigarh.



Depts of edu, pol science sit on PUTA fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Teachers and research scholars from the department of political science and education today sat on the chain fast. Dr Ashutosh Kumar, along with research scholars Sunil Kundu and Rajnish Saryal, Dr H.S. Bajwa and Dr Kirandeep accompanied by two research scholars, Abha Sharma and Pratibha Sharma, for the fast.

Sharing his woes with the media Dr Ashutosh Kumar, former chairperson, department of political science, disclosed that the financial crunch of the university is jeopardising many research projects in the department.

For instance, a proposal of cross border study, involving both east and west Punjab and J&K, is struck at the moment for want of funds. Books bought during the last financial year are lying scattered on the floor of the departmental library, as there is no fund for the purchase of shelves to display them.

Dr Kirandeep, department of education, claimed that the department has produced renowned education experts such as Prof B.K Passi, former vice-chairman, National Council of Teachers’ Education, and Prof J.N. Joshi, Prof. Emeritus who is presently director educational development in IDC, Chandigarh.



‘Hamari Kaksha’ students visit geology dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Around 65 students from nursery school ‘Hamari Kaksha’, Sector 7, attended the open house fortnight of World Environment Day in the department of geology, Panjab University, today.

Prayaas-Chandigarh Infosys undertook this initiative. Prof A.S. Ahluwalia from the department of botany and PUTA president addressed the students on various burning environmental issues like saving water, shunning tobacco and polythene.



AIMA meet
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 31
An interaction meet of bureaucrats, corporates and academicians was organised by the All-India Management Association (AIMA) in alliance with the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA).

The meet was organised to create awareness about the services offered by the AIMA and to seek suggestions from various stakeholders.



Special children get training in computers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 31
Students of class IX of St Soldier International Convent School, along with teachers, here imparted computer training to 10 special children.

The training programme, which extended for 10 days, was aimed at providing knowledge about computers to children of Vatika School for Deaf and Dumb, Sector 19, Chandigarh, so that they could keep pace with the present tech-savvy world.

A poster making competition was also held and the winners were given prizes.



HC stays notice disallowing house transfer by GPA
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Acting on a petition asking for quashing a public notice disallowing after its publication the transfer of dwelling units by way of general power of attorney (GPA), the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a stay till July 18, the next date of hearing in the matter.

A Division Bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Jaswant Singh has also issued a notice of motion to the Chandigarh Housing Board, the Chandigarh Administration, the Estate Officer and the UT Sub Registrar.

The development is significant as the residents will not be required to pay an additional fee of 5 per cent after three month period, expiring on June 4. Moreover, property can be sold on the basis of GPA/sub-GPA, legal luminaries assert.

In her petition, Rama Shori of Modern Housing Complex, had contended the Chandigarh Housing Board had issued a notice in newspapers, mentioning that transfer under the “general power of attorney transfer policy” shall not be allowed in case of transactions that took place through the GPA, agreement to sell, etc. after its publication.

The notice, dated March 5, was issued on the basis of a decision taken by the board at its meeting held on February 20.

The petitioner added persons already having GPA were asked to get their dwelling units transferred within three months and thereafter they should get it converted from leasehold to freehold, and also execute the conveyance deed.

She added that the notice issued by the board was illegal, arbitrary and against the provisions of the Chandigarh conversion of residential leasehold tenure rules, 1996.

Elaborating, counsel for the petitioner Puneet Bali said under the 1996 Rules there was neither any time limit fixed, nor were transactions through the general power of attorney/ agreement to sell prohibited.

The counsel added the second grievance of the petitioner was regarding the administration’s action banning the registration of the sub-GPA without passing any specific order.

Listing the grounds for challenging the notice, the counsel said the decision and the notice were against the law laid down by the Supreme Court in “State of Rajasthan versus Basant Nahata”. As such, it was not sustainable in the eyes of the law. Quoting statutory 1996 rules and 1979 regulations, the counsel said time limit had not been fixed to get the property transferred through the GPA/ sub-GPA. The notice had been issued without making amendments to the statutory provisions, and it could not override the statutory provisions.

It was further contended that the board had no power to stop the transfer of dwelling units under the GPA transfer policy and fixing the time limit of three months. Only the Administrator was competent to make amendments to the regulation.



SDO’s Arrest
Kin produce Dadwal’s letter in court
Judicial remand for three
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In a new twist to the arrest of SDO A.K. Dadwal and two other MC officials by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the family members have produced a letter in court written by Dadwal on March 19 to establish that he perceived threats pertaining to the engineering department kickbacks case wherein he was prime witness.

He had addressed the letter to the chief vigilance officer and home secretary wherein he sought security.

In the letter Dadwal had stated that he was a witness in a case against former SE K.B. Sharma regarding connivance of middlemen and the SE for getting orders. He claimed that he was being threatened by Sharma. A copy of the letter is in possession of Chandigarh Tribune.

The letter stated that the SE had suspended him on false grounds and with the intervention of chief vigilance officer he was reinstated within three days by the commissioner.

Dadwal stated that he had been tortured due the transfer and withdrawal of work assigned to him time and again.

Sharma had threatened him of ruining his life, including reverting him from the post of sub-divisional officer (SDO). Thereafter, Dadwal was provided with constables of the UT police as security.

While producing Dadwal and the other two before a CBI special court today, public prosecutor Pawan Dogra seeking judicial custody pointed out that in a corruption case CBI sleuths had levelled allegations against Dadwal of threatening investigating officer of dire consequences.

On the allegations levelled against Dadwal, his counsel said: “CBI officials said some mean things and instigated my client to retaliate.”

The CBI had arrested SDO Dadwal, JE Gyan Chand and a store keeper yesterday for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe of Rs 30,000 from a contractor. Trilochan Singh, to clear pending bills and some quotations.

The three were remanded in judicial custody today.



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