C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Snarl-ups, chaos in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The ‘chakka jam’ call given by the VHP against the revocation of the land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board by the Jammu and Kashmir government spelled chaos on city’s Madhya Marg here today.

The Sector 7-8 chowk and transport chowk, Sector 26, bore the brunt of the jam with the VHP and the BJP activists blocking the traffic for two hours from 9 am to 11 am.

The chakka jam was a result of a two-hour nationwide bandh called by the VHP. Hundreds of activists gathered at the transport chowk, Sector 26, raising slogans against the government and blocked the traffic for over two hours.

The police resorted to a mild lathi charge on the agitating activists, who created chaos on the city roads.

While addressing the activists, Col Dharam Vir condemned the government for revoking the allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

On the other hand, the city police arrested 368 BJP workers who were protesting over the revocation of land allotted to the Amarnath shrine at the roundabout of Sectors 7 and 8. The BJP workers gathered at the roundabout this morning. They were arrested after they tried to cross the barricades. The police had to use water canons to disperse the crowd.


Residents of Panchkula faced inconvenience when members of the BJP held a dharna at the roundabout of Sectors 7, 8, 17 and 18 here this morning.

The BJP members, who were around 50 in number, came at 9 am to the spot and sat in the middle of the road, resulting in disruption of the traffic flow for over half an hour.

The protesters were led by V.K. Sood, senior vice- president of the National Farmer Cell while many BJP leaders, including Shyam Lal Sachdeva, Sanjay Ahuja and Davinder Dhawan, also participated in the protest.

A large number of police personnel were deputed to prevent any untoward incident. Long lanes of vehicles, stuck amidst the jam, were seen on the road, leading to Housing Board Chowk, Chandigarh. Policemen were busy clearing the way by diverting the traffic to alternative routes.

"It is ridiculous on the part of authorities as they always take delayed action. When they (the police) knew that the roundabout was blocked by the protesters, why didn't they stop us before", said Rohit, who was in hurry to reach a function.

Meanwhile, dharnas were also held in the four blocks of the district - Raipur Rani, Barwala, Pinzore and Morni.


Members of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) blocked traffic near the Phase VI Civil Hospital here today on a call given by the BJP in connection with the Amarnath land row.

The traffic on the road from Chandigarh to Mohali got disrupted because of the blockade and a large number of vehicles could be seen stranded on both the sides. The blockade, which lasted for about 15 minutes, was lifted after the police intervened.



Custodial Death
Police seeks copy of inquiry report
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The UT police has requested Judicial Magistrate first class (JMIC) P.K. Lal to send a copy of the inquiry report into the death of Inderjit Singh who died in the custody of the Industrial area police on July 28.

P.K. Lal has submitted his inquiry report to the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

According to sources, P.K. Lal, in his report, has given a clean chit to the then SHO, Jagir Singh, who is at present under suspension. In his report, the magistrate mentioned that both SHO and additional SHO were not present in the police station at the time of the incident. Lal, who recorded statements of around 15 persons, including SHO, Inderjit’s father and two local residents, termed Inderjit’s death as unnatural. However, no one was held responsible.

Further, he stated that Inderjit had been mentally upset and was under depression, which could be one of the reasons of him taking the extreme step. Though, there was no provision of a CCTV camera on the women desk where the deceased hanged himself, but the CCTV footage revealed that at about 7.15 pm, three policemen, including the munshi, was seen running to the women desk, said the report.

The CCTV footage clearly shows that father of the deceased Sudama Singh came to the police station to meet his son at around 5.30 pm. Inderjit was given water at 6.30 pm, he added.

Since it was a case of unnatural death, the police was liable to initiate a departmental inquiry. 



Admn’s initiative to empower street kids
Training centre comes up at Maloya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
To empower street children and to ensure their rehabilitation as productive members of society, the Chandigarh administration has earmarked 4.5 acres of land at Maloya to set up a vocational training centre.

Officials confirmed that the construction of the first phase was in the final stage and was likely to be handed over by the end of September this year.

With the completion of the second phase, the centre would be in a position to cater to at least 900 children.

The department of social welfare would run the centre through the Chandigarh child and women development corporation (CCWDC).

The initiative taken by the administration will help street children in developing a sense of self-worth, confidence to face the world and generate livelihood for them and their family.

The administration is seeking help from NGOs, child development project officer and labour department for identifying and motivating street children to join the centre.

In the first phase, around 250 children in the age group of five to 18 years would be imparted training.

The training, under the aegis of department of technical education, would be given in various trades like electrician, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, cutting, tailoring and embroidery, plumbing, motor vehicle mechanic, welding, computer technician and carpentry.

The department of technical education would extend its support for the training.

Home secretary-cum-education secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “ Any child referred by the child welfare committee, runaway children, children working on the streets, children of single parents working on streets, children displaced due to natural disasters, orphans/handicapped and children having the impact of HIV/AIDS on the family would also be admitted to the centre.”

The administration has constituted an advisory committee consisting of 10 members under the guidance of managing director, CCWDC, to take important decisions, formulate rules and regulations and make any amendments/deletions to the rules pertaining to the institute.

For the overall personality development of these children, facilities like games and cultural activities were also on the agenda list.

“Facilities for games like volleyball, basketball, badminton, etc. would be provided on the centre premises in association with the sports department. To develop the inherent talent of the children in cultural activities, a tie-up with the North Zone Cultural Centre would be made. Besides, proper medical facility would also be provided for children on the campus”, said Sanjay Kumar.

Further, children would be provided with nutritious diet and as per minimum nutritional standards the menu would be prepared with the help of nutrition experts or doctors from the general hospital, Sector 16.



False kidnap alarm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
High drama prevailed after a taxi driver informed the police that a woman had been kidnapped by a group in Sector 45, here this morning.

Sources said a taxi driver informed the police control room that a group of four, including a woman, had allegedly kidnapped a woman and her child and were taken away in a vehicle. On receiving the message, area SHO and DSP reached the scene. The vehicle used was registered in the name of Manjit, a Sec-29 resident. After investigation, the police confirmed that the allegations were baseless, as it was the outcome of a dispute between two families.

The families clarified they were sitting in the vehicle, when their woman member got off. The other members sitting in the car made her and the child sit in the vehicle and left.



‘Misbehaviour’ by guest lecturer
PU law students go on flash strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A group of students of the PU department of laws of the evening batch, who were joined in by some regular students, went on a lightning strike and sat outside the department throughout the day. The students were alleging that a guest faculty member had misbehaved with a final-year student, Prashant Sharma, last evening.

According to sources, the provocation began at 7 pm when the class was about to begin. Prashant went inside the class and started persuading students to leave the class in view of the mass leave. When nobody got up, the teacher, advocate AmarVivek, practising High Court and Supreme Court lawyer, asked him to leave the class and let others study. After the class got over at 8.45 pm, Prashant again entered the class, accompanied by two or three more students, and started questioning the students as to why they did not come with him earlier. He didn’t let the students go and asked them forcibly to wait and listen to him. At this, the teacher came inside and asked Prashant not to bully the students. When Prashant blocked the way for other students to go, the teacher tried to push him to make way for others.

At this, the students became agitated and boycotted their classes this morning. To discuss the matter, the chairman called a meeting of all the faculty members in the afternoon and asked Amar Vivek for his reply. Advocate Amar Vivek has given the entire incident in writing to the chairman.

Even after repeated requests by the chairman and the faculty members, the students refused to leave from the department’s porch. It is alleged that in the evening, the agitating students, who sat on a dharna outside the department, did not allow other students to attend classes.

The chairman of the department, Shashi K Sharma, said, “We tried to talk to the students and I even asked them to come inside my office where the entire administrative committee was sitting. But they refused. Now we have again called a meeting of the faculty members tomorrow for the same”.



19 to be honoured on I-Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh administration has decided to award commendation certificates to 19 persons, including employees for their outstanding service, during the Independence Day function on August 15. Gaurav Sharma, D.S. Kapoor, R.K. Bagga and Namrata have been selected for their outstanding work in the field of art.

P.K. Rekhi, sub-inspector Amanjot Singh, head constable Gurdial Singh, constable Lakhwinder Singh, Dev Ranjan Negi, Mohammad Akram and Punam Malik will get commendation certificates for meritorious services.

Bir Singh Yadav, Sumeet Passi, Arshee Khosla, Oscar Bansal and Baljit Singh have been selected for their exceptional contribution in the field of sports. Moon Sharma, Anshul Arora and Bhanu Priya will also be awarded.


UPA mulls loan waiver for SC/STs, landless
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
It is sop time again for the Congress-led UPA government. Close on the heels of about Rs 61,000 crore loan waiver for the farmers, the Congress-led UPA government is mulling a proposal to wave off loans disbursed by the Central government, the state governments, banks and and cooperatives to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes and landless labourers.

This has been conveyed to Santosh Chaudhary, chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, by the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in a recent communication.

The proposal would go a long way in giving relief to the underprivileged sections of society, besides projecting the "pro-aam aadmi" image of the Congress and its allies in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

"Since these sections of society were hit hard by the spiralling prices on account of the burgeoning inflation, the relief would help the Congress stand in good stead in the next elections," party sources said here today.

Earlier, Chaudhary, a former Hoshiarpur MP, had represented to the UPA chairperson to consider the waiving off the loan as these sections were not in position to repay the loans advanced to them on account of extreme poverty.The loans had been advanced to them for a variety of purposes like constructing houses and starting businesses.

"The money received under loans was rarely fruitfully utilised in the wake of improper handling by the agencies concerned. The waiver of the amount would relieve the beneficiaries of continuous tension as the amount to be waived off was not much," it added.

Meanwhile, Ram Lubhaya, a former Shamchaurasi MLA, has urged AICC president Sonia Gandhi to personally intervene in getting loan waiver for these sections as a majority of the beneficiaries were below poverty line.



I-Day Celebrations
Participants have dry run
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A full-day rehearsal of the Independence Day celebrations was held at Parade Ground in Sector 17 today.

UT IG S.K. Jain was present. At least 56 parade contingents, including four from the UT police, two from Haryana and two from Punjab, took part. ASP Madhur Verma was the parade commander.

Officials said, the Governor would distribute medals and prizes during the function.

Police officials said tight security arrangements had been made for the function. 



Protests hamper I-Day vigil of police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Ongoing protests in the city are impeding the efforts of the city police in providing security arrangements for the Independence Day.

The protests organised by the BJP and other organisations has put the police on the back foot by restricting their areas of operations.

Sources in the police headquarters said at least one-fourth of the UT police force was engaged in handling the protests. No only constables, even officials like SHOs and DSPs were busy controlling the protesters.

As a result, the police has been forced to engage its reserve force, including commandos, to maintain law and order here.

Senior officials of the city police have admitted that the protests have become a problem for them in terms of providing security for the Independence Day.

“Security arrangements are a major concern for us but these dharnas and protests are distracting us and keeping us busy,” said a senior official.

The recent three-day protest by BJP workers or two-day dharna by anganwadi workers from Haryana in Sector 34 has kept the police busy.

SSP S.S. Srivastava said: “Though the BJP protest consumed a lot of energy and resources, it ended peacefully. Around 30 per cent of our force was engaged in handling the protesters, which could have effectively been used to carry out search operations and make other security arrangements.”



INIFD’s show to be medley of glamour, creativity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Inter National Institute of Fashion Design, Chandigarh, is going to organise annual passing-out fashion show, INIFD Designer Medley, on August 14, 2008. Models will present the creativity of budding designers of INIFD during this show.

The centre head of INIFD stated that INIFD Designer Medley will be a different affair where the top models and bollywood stars will display student designer garments in a very pioneering and novel style. She said 19 different collections of the students, which basically highlighted traditional and western garments to define fashion in an artistic manner, would be presented.

Bollywood actresses and top models of the country, like Sakshi Gulati, lead of Ram Gopal Verma’s, “Contract” and “Fashion”; Sandhya Shetty, of M.F. Hussain’s movie “Meenaxi”; Simran Kaur, Femina Miss India Universe 2008 and models of fashion week fame like Montu Tomar, Kajal Srivastava and Anusha Chauhan, will set the ramp on fire by displaying student’s creations. 



Sanskrit Day celebrations at akademi
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, August 13
The Haryana State Sanskrit Akademi celebrated the ‘ Sanskrit Day’ by organising a poetic symposium and seminar at their complex here today. Akademi director, Dr RD Sharma, offered an overview of the achievements and future plans for the Sanskrit language.

The chief guest, Braham Swaroop Maharaj, former vice-chancellor Uttrakhand Sanskrit university offered financial help to scholars desirous of doing research work. Dr Shashi Prabha, Head Advanced Sanskrit Center JNU, Delhi stressed on the need to upgrade Sanskrit as a compulsory subject in schools and colleges.

The akademi honoured 41 school teachers from the state for excellent results. CR Moudgil and Desh Nirmohi graced the function.

As many as twenty eminent Sanskrit poets recited their verses in the Sanskrit Kavi Sammelan which otherwise is a rarity in the region. President’s award winner poet Dr Mathura Dutt Pandey, Dr Indermohan Singh, Dr JP Semwal, Dr Madan Lal Verma, Dr Krishan Murari and others graced the symposium compeered by Dr Vikram Viveki.



FM station’s ‘RJ Marathon’ ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
With Beijing Olympics taking centre stage, an FM radio station - BIG 92.7 FM - in a first-of-its-kind initiative held an Olympiad of its own.

As part of the “RJ Marathon”, radio jockeys (RJs) Anubhav and Pankaj completed over 100 hours of record “RJying” today. The two had gone on air on August 8 at 7 am and signed off at 11 am today.

During their endeavour, they stayed in the studios and had their meals there itself. They had undertaken throat exercises to keep fit during their feat.

“Hundred hours of non-stop ‘RJing’ is the biggest thing we have ever attempted. It called for a lot of determination. It was only because of the support of listeners and FM team that we stood by our commitment and successfully completed the task,” said Pankaj and Anubhav after completing the feat.

“This was a lifetime experience, something which we will always remember. The city responded to the RJ marathon in a great way. We received a record number of messages and phone calls all through the period, which kept us going,” said Pankaj.

The two also had a host of celebrities visit their studios, including singer Harbhajan Mann and comedian Rana Ranbir, to wish them luck.



Industry told to conserve energy
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
In an effort to conserve energy, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), has designated nine industrial sectors for initiating steps to conserve energy. These sectors — cement, textile, steel, aluminium, power, fertiliser, railways, pulp and paper, alkalies and textile — will conduct energy audits as per the Energy Conservation Act.

Talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the power conclave for northern states, director-general, BEE, Ajay Mathur, said these designate consumers will now have to appoint energy managers, so that the large power consuming industry can operate as per the energy efficiency norms.

“The list of the designate sectors is complete and a notification will be issued shortly,” he said.

Mathur said as global awareness about conservation of energy gained ground, the BEE was now trying to promote energy service companies, who could provide energy efficient devices and help in bringing down the energy consumed.

“We are now creating an energy efficiency financing platform, which will help extend finance to these energy service companies. Generally, these companies lack capital as they are unable to get advances from bank for failing to provide collateral. The financing platform that we are creating will finance their projects, after examining the project report,” he said.

He said though most electronics goods manufacturers were now trying to make their goods more energy efficient, the government has now made it mandatory for all those manufacturing air-conditioners, refrigerators, transformers and motors for proper labelling of devices with specifications of energy consumed by these.

“While most of the large manufacturers were doing this labelling voluntarily, it has been made mandatory so that even the small players in these categories follow suit. As a next step, we will be encouraging similar labelling on gas stoves and ceiling fans,” he added.

The director-general said that usage of CFLs was now gaining popularity as was evident from the rise in its sales (from 20 million in 2002 to 120 million in 2007).

“As many as 320 buildings across the country are being constructed as per the specifications of the energy conservation building code. This will lead to a 40 per cent energy saving in these companies,” he said. 



Seized liquor worth lakhs destroyed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
The excise and taxation department (taxation) of Panchkula district, destroyed liquor worth Rs 31lakh at a forest area near Ghaggar river here today.

A total of 24000 bottles, which were being smuggled from Chandigarh to various parts of the country, mainly Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, were seized by the department officials during a four-month span from April to July this year.

District excise and taxation commissioner of Panchkula Ashok Yadav along with AETO Hemant Kumar, inspector Amit Kumar and Naib tehsildar Chander Mohan Bishnoi, was also present at the spot.

The department has also charged a fine of Rs 3,14,200 to the smugglers.

According to the sources, a chunk was seized at the Mauli village ‘naka’. Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered at the spot to see the proceedings there. 



Boy thrashed by neighbour
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Inder Kumar (15), a resident of Gandhi Colony, Mansa Devi Complex, was admitted to hospital following brutal thrashing by a resident of the same colony here today. The teenager, son of a labourer, Shankar, entered the verandah of the house of the accused, a milkman, while chasing butterflies.

According to sources, the incident infuriated the milkman so much that he not only slapped the boy but also hit him against a wall repeatedly. After beating him up, the milkman threw him on the road after he fell unconscious, the sources added.

The boy, who got several injuries on the face. He was still unconscious till the filing of the report. Meanwhile, the police did not file any case against the accused. 



Waste disposal

Every day, tonnes of rubbish, which could easily have been recycled, goes straight to landfill sites. Land filling as a means of waste disposal should be discouraged as it produces dangerous emissions and toxic deposits which threaten environment.

The municipal corporation would do well to recognise that there is a need to introduce an integrated plan for the city that places much greater emphasis on reducing, re-using and recycling waste and that sees waste as a resource, not as a problem.

The plan should reflect local needs and views. To facilitate this, authorities should introduce comprehensive collection of sorted household waste.

This should be supported by information and education campaigns with an aim to educate people about minimising the volume of waste generated. People need to recognise that sorting the paper, plastic and metal in one's trash takes only five minutes more a day than throwing it all out together.

Given that, landfills undermine the efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle waste by creating a permanent market for it and hence a need to produce waste. Chandigarh could set an example for other cities to emulate by launching a recycling programme.

Rajesh Krishan, 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



DAV-15 students excel in NTT exam
Tribune News Service

Chanidgarh, August 13
All the top places in the second semester of the Nursery Teachers’ Training (NTT) course have been won by the DAV Model School, Sector 15-A, students. 

Shikha Rishi of DAV-15 topped in Chandigarh with 98.54 per cent marks. The second place has been secured by Supriya Goyal by obtaining 97.81 per cent marks. The third place has been jointly shared by Sapna and Gayatri Kapoor with 97.45 per cent marks. The results were declared by the education department here today. 



UIET students meet VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Mechanical engineering students of the UIET, who protested against the Panjab University authorities for not providing them adequate faculty and infrastructure yesterday, met the vice-chancellor and apprised him of their problems today.

Expressing their resentment, the students said that since the beginning of the session this year, there had been no classes for the students of mechanical engineering in the absence of regular faculty. PU vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti assured the students that all their grievances would be redressed by September 30. 



INSO puts demands to VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A delegation of Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) held a protest demanding improvement chance in examinations to students of all the departments, scrapping of internal assessment system in the arts faculties, reading room facility in all the girls hostels, implementation of Group Insurance Policy from this academic year, proper functioning of Wi- Fi system in every hostel and interim arrangement for hostel facilities.

In order to press their demands, a delegation today called on the Panjab University VC Prof R.C. Sobti who assured them that committee would be formed to consider the demand of changes in the revaluation system so that students are not made to pay for revaluation in case their marks are increased and improvement in papers to students of all the departments.

Prior to the meeting with the VC, the INSO activists marched to the VC office to press their long pending demands. 



HC dismisses PIL challenging UT memo to schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Describing as “absolutely misconceived” a public interest litigation challenging a UT Administration memo asking city schools to remain open for two hours on August 15 to celebrate Independence Day, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the same.

In his petition placed before Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Surya Kant, Sunil Singh of Chandigarh had challenged the impugned memo of the district education officer (DEO).

The petitioner, through advocate I. William Gosain, argued that August 15 was a gazetted holiday. As such, the DEO was not justified in issuing the directions.

He argued that the memo had made it compulsory for the school authorities to keep their respective institutions open.

Taking up the matter, the Bench observed there was no merit in the contention. Moreover, there was no illegality of any kind in the memo of the UT Administration.

The PIL was absolutely misconceived and abuse of the process of the law, the Bench observed, while asking the counsel if he wanted to withdraw the petition.

As the counsel for the petitioner initially refused to withdraw the petition, the Bench dismissed it with costs of Rs 10,000.

At that stage, Gosain sought permission to withdraw the petition "unconditionally".

The controversy over the date of celebrating Independence Day in schools dates back to 2002.

The High Court had taken cognizance of the fact that the flag was unfurled in certain schools on August 14, instead of Independence Day.

As such, the High Court had asked Punjab and Haryana's directors of primary and secondary schools, besides Chandigarh's director of public instruction (S), to indicate whether the national flag was unfurled in all schools on August 15 on Independence Day.

The Bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Kiran Anand Lall had also asked the authorities to give details of the steps proposed to be taken for celebrating Independence Day on August 15, and Republic Day on January 26, if the national flag was not unfurled that day. 



Graft Case
Non-bailable warrants against complainant
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The CBI court has issued non-bailable warrants against the complainant in a graft case for not appearing before it.

Taking a strong note of failure on part of the complainant, Rajiv Puri, to appear before it in a corruption case against a sub-inspector, the CBI special court issued non-bailable warrants against the complainant.

The complainant had been summoned several times to depose before the court for cross-examination but he failed to appear.

Rajiv, who worked as managing director of Mudra Associates, a private firm, had complained against sub-inspector Sukhdeep Singh to the CBI, which laid a trap on May 18, 2007.

Rajiv had stated that the sub-inspector had demanded a bribe of Rs 15,000 for giving a report in favour of the private company.

The sub-inspector was supposed to give a report of verification pertaining to the firm sought by the passport office. Thereafter, a head constable, Iqbal Singh, a subordinate of the sub-inspector, settled the deal. The complainant agreed to give Rs 12,000 in bribe to the sub-inspector.

Rajiv failed to turn up for his cross-examination today.

Thereafter, the court directed to initiate proceedings under Section 350 of the CrPC against the complainant. The case has been adjourned to September 17.

The section pertains to summary procedure for non-attendance by a witness in obedience to summons.

According to the CrPC: “The court may take cognizance of the offence after giving an opportunity of showing cause why he should not be punished under this section, sentence him to fine not exceeding Rs 100 rupees.”



Former PGI doc gets his due after legal battle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Former superintending hospital engineer of the PGI Dr J.C. Mehta had to struggle for years to get certain monetary benefits and pension.

Civil Judge Junior Division Amarjit Kaur has entitled Dr Mehta to pension and other benefits by counting his service till October 7, 1992, including his entire period of suspension as service.

Dr Mehta joined services at the PGI in 1969 against Class-I post of hospital engineer-cum-estate officer.

He was suspended on April 13, 1983. Thereafter, an inquiry was held and he was ordered to take compulsory retirement on November 14, 1984.

He fought against the order of compulsory retirement and the appellate authority reinstated him on October 7, 1992, while directing that the period from date of suspension till the date of reinstatement shall be treated as “Dies Non” (which means that this period shall not be treated towards qualifying service for pension).

While pronouncing the orders, the trial court stated that Dr Mehta shall be entitled to subsistence allowance from January 1, 1983, to October 7, 1992.

He would also be entitled to interest at prevalent rates on the said amount of subsistence allowance along with medical facilities at the staff clinic of the PGI, Chandigarh.

Dr Mehta pioneered hospital engineering and medical architecture in India and the WHO, Geneva, also appreciated his model in 1982.



Disabled CRPF trooper fights against discharge
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable, who was grievously injured in counter-terrorist operations, is now facing a different challenge. He is allegedly being pressurised by the authorities to opt for voluntary retirement or be invalided out of the service on medical grounds.

Constable Jaipal, now based at the CRPF Group Centre, Pinjore, had suffered bullet injuries in July 1995 when his party was attacked by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. As a result, his lower right leg had to be amputated.

In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Jaipal has contended that as per the Force’s standing instructions (Order 7/99), which deals with the rehabilitation of disabled personnel, persons disabled due to militant action were to be retained in service till they were totally disabled and they were to be provided “light” duties.

The petitioner has contended that he has been successfully and responsibly discharging such light duties. Further, under provisions of another standing order (04/2005), the Force provides for vocational course at government expenses to such disabled personnel who are ordered to be invalided out.

He has claimed that in utter violation of these instructions and in spite of the fact that he has been diligently and responsibly doing his duties for the past few years, he is being pressurised to request for voluntary retirement.

The petitioner was made to appear before a rehabilitation board earlier this year, where he was told that he could not be retained in service further. This, he said, would deprive him of his sole means of livelihood. He had represented before the authorities several times against his discharge, but to no avail.

He has sought quashing of the orders passed by the Force to the petitioner out of service as well as issue of directions to the respondents to make necessary arrangements and training for his rehabilitation in consonance with the standing orders.



Airways told to pay Rs 50,000 for hurting religious sentiments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Not caring for the religious sentiments of passengers travelling in a British Airways plane has cost the airways dear.

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed British Airways and a Delhi-based travel agency, Dolphin Travels, to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 for deficiency in service by serving non- vegetarian food instead of vegetarian food and hurting the religious sentiments of residents of Sector 19.

The petitioner, Rakesh Kumar Sharma and others, stated that they were teetotallers and vegetarians.Sharma asserted that he had got five tickets booked through Dolphin Travels Ltd, New Delhi, on a British Airways flight from Delhi to London.

As required in column of option of food, “veg or non-veg”, the complainants categorically instructed for “Asian Vegetarian food” at the time of reserving seats.

During the flight, the air hostesses and flight pursers of British Airways served non-vegetarian food to the complainants who, believing it to be vegetarian, consumed part of it.The petitioners averred that their sentiments and religious faith were severely hurt as they were served non-vegetarian food.

The airways argued that the complaint could not be taken up by the the forum which had no territorial jurisdiction.

The forum observed that by serving non-vegetarian food the airways had hurt the petitioners psychologically and should be awarded compensation.



Railways asked to file affidavit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A Division Bench of The Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Surya Kant today directed the railways to file an affidavit within six weeks on possible solutions to overcome the problems of vehicular traffic at Chandigarh railway station.

The directions were issued during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation seeking directions against unauthorized parking fee being charged by contractors at Chandigarh Railway station from vehicle owners using the entry and exit road for dropping or picking up the commuters. The Bench made it clear that the respondent would have to specify in the affidavit if the existing parking area was enough to accommodate the vehicles coming to the railway station during the peak hours.

In case the parking area was not adequate, the Bench directed the respondents to further specify if the railway was ready to augment the parking facilities by creating new lots.



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