P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Govt gets 5-star response from hoteliers
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) has received a good response from hoteliers across the country for setting up five-star hotels in Bathinda, Amritsar and Mohali.

The Taj group, the Intercontinental Hotels and Hyatt group are the companies which have sent an expression of interest (EOI) for these hotels in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

PIDB chairman Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu said the response was encouraging for the state’s hotel and tourism industry.

The largest among the five-star hotel projects in Punjab is the five-star hotel and convention centre at Phase VIII, Mohali. A first of its kind in north India, the 3000-room hotel here will have convention centre too with 5,000 seats. The 16-acre site is located next to YPS Chowk. The site plans have been finalised by Jurong the Singapore-based consultants of GMADA. For this Rs 350 crore project, the PIDB has received EOIs from Asian Hotels (Hyatt Hotels), Emaar MGF Land , Omaxe Limited, Chalet Hotels (K Raheja Group), Unity Infrastructure Projects Limited, Hindustan Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), KRS-KIIM Corporation and Soma Enterprises.

Another five-star hotel has been planned at the New City Centre, Amritsar, on 3.5 acres. Top names in the hotel industry have shown interest in this site. The Indian Hotels Company (Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces), Nehru Place Hotels (with intercontinental hotels), Emaar MGF Land, Omaxe Ltd (with Hyatt group), Chalet Hotels, Bird Hospitality Services Private in collaboration with Arnadeus India and Dusit Thani Hotels and Resorts Bangkok, Unity Infrastructure, AB Motions are some of the companies having offered to take up the Rs 250 crore project.

A three-star hotel spread over 2 acres has also been planned for the same area in Amritsar. Most of these companies have also sent an expression of interest for this Rs 175-crore project. At Bathinda, a five-star hotel has been planned near the thermal lakes area. The 200-crore project has also managed to gather interest from companies like Vipul hospitality, Chalet Hotels and Spirit Global constructions.


3 elected to GND varsity Senate
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 2
The Guru Nanak Dev University Senate today elected orthopaedic surgeon Dr Hardas Singh, N.S. Rattan, a retired IAS officer, and surgeon Dr Santokh Singh as Syndics till June 30, 2009.

With this, the position of Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor, who recently was “target” of the state government, stands strengthened.

The Senate also co-opted professor emeritus Dr Harjit Singh, Dr Hardas Singh and N.S. Rattan as members of the Senate of the university till June 30, 2010. Economist Dr S.S. Johl, former vice-chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, and Principal Jagdish Singh have been elected members of the Finance Committee. The meeting also approved the annual report for 2007. The meeting was presided over by Dr Jai Rup Singh, while Dr R.S. Bawa, registrar, presented the agenda.

He informed the members that the university had decided to introduce short-term self-financing courses in Punjabi conversation, Punjabi language, Punjabi writing, Punjabi folklore, Punjabi culture and literature for Punjabis settled abroad. He said video-conferencing facility had been provided to the media centre established on the ground floor of the Senate Hall. Four video calls and one audio call could be made at a one time. This facility would help conduct viva and important meetings online.

The vice-chancellor said during the Afghanistan war, radiation weapons were used on a large scale. Consequently, apart from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal were affected. Cases of chest and kidney diseases had been detected in these states due to the explosions. GND University had decided to set up a radiation laboratory to measure the level of radiation.

Dr Jai Rup Singh said eight students of PhD and MPhil had been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship. The vice-chancellor told them that Prof Kanwaljit Singh, director, Sports of the university, had been nominated on the selection committee for Dronacharya Award by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Welfare. Similarly, Dr Kamaljit Singh of Applied Chemical Sciences and Technology had been selected for the bronze medal for contribution in his field, he added.

The Senate accorded approval to change the nomenclature of diploma in air hostess and stewards to diploma in air hospitality.


State set to introduce microchip
Tracking High Milk Yield Animals
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
Punjab is set to introduce a microchip which can be tagged on its premium buffaloes and cows to ensure online record of progeny as well as ability to track high milk yield animals.

The introduction of the microchip in the form of a tag which will be clipped onto the ear of the animals is a complete change from the earlier scheme started last year whereby the same micro chips were being injected into the necks of the animals.

The Dairy Development Board (DDB) is considering this shift keeping in view international norms as well as the fact that the new procedure is easier to conduct and monitor.

Last year, the board had injected 12,000 animals in the neck with microchips, which were as small as a rice grain. Though the procedure is completely safe, the Board realised through feedback that the outer identification of animals became difficult when in herds.

France-based multinational Allflex, which is one of the leading companies in this field, has approached the Board. Its chip includes an all-weather tag, which is clipped higher up in the ear so that it is not completely exposed to the elements. The radio frequency reader in the form of a hollow rod is also weather-proof and can read the chip number from a distance of 30 cm.

DDB director Inderjit Singh said the chip had a unique number that could not be replicated. He said the chip had a country code and state, district and tehsil codes. It was also very easy to clip onto the ears of buffaloes or cows.

The DDB has a target of tagging 12,000 animals this year. Sources said this was very inadequate even though only young animals were being taken up for this exercise. The state presently has a herd population of 60 lakh buffaloes and 15 lakh cows.

The efforts of the DDB are going to be supplemented by the Punjab Livestock Development Board. Board CEO Vinod Kumar Gupta said it was going to use the microchips from this year.

Its efforts are directed at developing its own bank of bulls so that it can have better quality semen for artificial insemination.

Under the scheme, the Board will undertake progeny testing by first identifying quality bulls after making use of microchips to trace the progeny of buffaloes and cows.

“The aim is to first record the mother’s milk and then the daughter’s milk to check how much milk production character is being inherited,” Gupta said. After these processes, semen doses of bulls that could successfully transfer high milk yield characteristics would be preserved for artificial insemination.

Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Usha R. Sharma said the scheme, besides increasing milk yield through progeny testing, would also ensure development of the state’s own bulls rather than relying on imported bulls.


Fake currency: Dist-level panels to keep tabs
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
A sudden spurt in smuggling of fake currency from across the international border in Punjab has got the Punjab Police and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) into a tizzy. The two agencies have decided to set up district-level committees to keep tabs on the problem.

Sources in the Punjab Police said though fake currency entering the state from Pakistan could not be quantified and the seizures were just the tip of the ice-berg, there had been an increase in the fake currency being pushed here from Pakistan. As against Rs 84.15 lakh fake currency seized last year, the police has seized fake currency notes worth Rs 80.51 lakh so far this year. “We have been able to catch the currency only.

Much before the seizure of the fake bank notes from the State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank in Uttar Pradesh, the Punjab Police had received intelligence inputs that fake currency would be pushed into circulation through banks and post offices. A senior police official said a report was prepared in December 2007 and all intelligence officials posted in border districts were told to keep tabs on banks and post offices, especially those in the hinterland, but having large cash transactions.

A number of people visiting India from across the border are allegedly acting as carriers. They reportedly carry small quantity of fake currency (not more than Rs 15,000), so as not to alarm the authorities.

Meanwhile, sources in the RBI said they had recommended to the Punjab government to set up district-level committees under the chairmanship of district police chiefs or district collectors, with representation from the Army, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and banks. "These committees will monitor the market, and any surge in counterfeit currency will be reported to the state-level committee on fake notes. These committees will also analyse the origin of forged notes, whether these are being made within the country or smuggled from across the border," said the officer.

Though counterfeit notes of 100, 500 and 1,000 denomination are in circulation, the maximum counterfeit notes are of Rs 100 denomination. The fake notes of lower denomination are negligible. "To ensure these fake notes are not put into circulation through banks, we have ensured all 360 currency chests in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh have note-sorting machines to detect these notes," said the official.


Writer books himself for trouble
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

“Punjabio Marna Hai Ke Jina" by Jaswant Singh KanwalAmritsar, September 2
The Punjab government is in a fix as Kiranjot Kaur, a senior SGPC member, has sought a ban on the book of noted Punjabi writer Jaswant Singh Kanwal, “Punjabio Marna Hai Ke Jina,” for using “highly objectionable” language against Panth Rattan Master Tara Singh and the Akali Dal.

Kiranjot is also a member of the 32-member advisory committee of the Punjab Language Department that cleared the name of Kanwal for the Punjabi Sahit Rattan Award, a prestigious award of the state government. Kiranjot said the state government should withdraw this award from Kanwal for blaming the Akalis and the Shiromani Akali Dal for the perennial problems of Punjab and Punjabis.

On why she had not opposed name of Kanwal at the advisory committee meeting, she quipped she had not read the book of Kanwal by that time. “Moreover, I wanted this award for writer Kartar Singh Duggal, but nobody supported me because the committee is dominated by Left-leaning members ”.

She, however, said the question should be asked from Dr Upinderjit Kaur, minister, higher education and chairperson of the committee, why she wanted Kanwal to get this award ? She said the minister herself held Master Tara Singh in high esteem and this “blunder” should be rectified by withdrawing the award from Kanwal .

In “Punjabio Jina Hai Ke Marna,” Kanwal has accused Master Tara Singh of sabotaging talks with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, who was ready to help Sikhs by creating a buffer state for the community between India and Pakistan. He alleged that the entire family of Hira Singh was got wiped out at the behest of Master Tara Singh .

In the beginning of the book, Kanwal wrote there was hardly any Akali leader who could think about the future of the Sikh community, while there were many (Akalis) who removed the turbans of one another. He wrote he was an employee of the SGPC and drew a salary of Rs 90 per month and knew the actual character of this party from close quarters. In the book, Kanwal called upon the youth of Punjab to grab political power from the “blood-soaked hands” of the Congress and the “senseless Akalis” if they wanted to save Punjab.

Kanwal also accused the Shiromani Akali Dal of having truck with the RSS and the BJP. Kanwal also accused the Akalis of violating the tenets of Sikh Gurus for vested interests and called upon them to snap ties with the BJP.

Quoting former Chief Minister Gurnam Singh Grewal, Kanwal said he once had told Sant Fateh Singh that the members of the Akali executive were on the pay roll of “Intelligence Bureau”. In another chapter of the book, Kanwal wrote the Akalis should be compelled to board the “broken ship” and then thrown into the middle of the Indian Ocean one by one as food of fish.



Assembly session likely to be stormy
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Opposition in Punjab is getting ready for the coming monsoon session with a renewed vigour after an administrative overhaul of the party structure. After a day’s appearance by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the last Assembly session, both he and Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal will leave no opportunity to take on the government on the floor of the House when it meets on Thursday.

Party sources say the success of the recent Lambi (Muktsar) rally organised by the Congress in Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s home turf has infused fresh energy among the legislators and party workers. “With the presence of the newly appointed in charge of the campaign committee in the House and support of other Congress MLAs, the Vidhan Sabha will not be as insipid as before”, a senior Congress leaders said.

After the reorganisation in the Congress setup, Bhattal has already adopted an aggressive posture, while Capt Amarinder Singh has boosted the morale of the cadres by lending moral support. The three-day monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha will be in session thrice till September 10. The Congress is collecting details to corner the government on the issue of what it calls “mishandling of floods” in Punjab.

The SAD-BJP government on the other hand is keen to wind up the session quickly to avoid any awkward cornering by the Opposition. The day one of the session will only see obituary references, leaving just two days for regular business. While, the Congress proposes to raise the issue of floods, it will also draw its attention to what Bhattal calls “deteriorating law and order situation in the state”. The attack and subsequent death of Ajit Singh Poohla in the Amritsar jail is also likely to come up to highlight the point of “need for jail reforms”.

The government has scheduled a Cabinet meeting for tomorrow where the agenda of the session will be finalised. Certain Bills that have been drafted will be put up before the Cabinet and if approved by the Cabinet they will be placed on the floor of the House.

The two Bills that are being placed before the Cabinet pertain to the use of Punjabi for teaching in schools and penal action for non-use of Punjabi in offices.

The Congress is also likely to raise the issue of “withdrawal of no-objection certificate” for granting Central varsity status to Panjab University.

Bhattal has already demanded that the session be extended so that various issues pertaining to the state are discussed. Bhattal, who says that the party high command has already defined the role for each Congress leader in the state and as Leader of the Opposition, she will try her best to make the government accountable to the people.

The SAD-BJP has a strength of 68 members (SAD 49, BJP 19), while the Congress has 44. The remaining being independents have a strength of 117.


Council to provide free legal aid to Pak prisoners
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 2
The Global Human Rights Council (GHRC) will provide free legal aid to the Pakistani prisoners lodged in the Amritsar Central Jail and who have completed their sentence.

Stating this to media here today, Arvind Thukral, chairman of the council, said the Pakistani prisoners who had completed their sentence and were not being deported to their country would be provided free legal aid to make way for their early return.

He said there were around 21 prisoners lodged in the central jail who, in the absence of any legal remedy, were being forced to live in the custody.

Thukral was here to launch the Amritsar chapter of the council and has appointed Gurnam Singh Rajput as the head of the local unit.

He said they had also met the jail authorities here and had sought information about the foreign prisoners lodged there. The GHRC has also complained against jail superintendent S.P. Singh for the recent happening in the jail complex to the ADGP for transferring him. He said if he failed to take action against the official concerned, they would be forced to move high court.

He further announced that their organisation would work against the illegal de-addiction centres being run in Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts. He alleged that the owners of these centres were fleecing people in the name of curing their wards, besides torturing the drug addicts.


Punjab set to get first AC ‘sabzi mandi’
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 2
The new state-of-the- art and Punjab’s first air-conditioned vegetable market on the outskirts of the city on the Sanaur road will have five pavements for farmers in its first phase of construction which will take off immediately after its inauguration by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on September 17.

The new air-conditioned ‘subzi mandi’ will not only be a boon for farmers and will effect a change in the existing and age-old vegetable marketing style but will also benefit consumers who will have the option of lapping up almost farm fresh vegetables without paying any extra charges. Based on European pattern, the new vegetable market, it is learnt, is the first of its kind in Punjab as it will be the only air-conditioned vegetable market in the state. It is being built at a cost of Rs 22 crore. The mandi is being developed at the initiative of the Punjab Mandi Board after the Chief Minister had shown his keen interest to provide a better and world class vegetable buying-selling experience and platform to both farmers and consumers.

The Mandi Board officials disclosed that the vegetable market would have a two-storied building and would be one of the most sophisticated mandis in Punjab. “We are going to set up at least five huge pavements in the first phase of its construction. The mandi would be completed within a period of one and a half years. The shops would be given out on auction basis,” said a Mandi Board official. The air-conditioned storage facility in the market, however, would be provided in the second phase even as the entire construction of the market would get completed within a period of one and a half years.

Once the mandi turned operational, congestion in the Raghomajra area of the town, where the existing mandi was located, would get reduced considerably and hence, residents would face less degree of inconvenience as flow of traders, farmers and consumers would be diverted to the Sanaur road. The proposal to shift the mandi out of Raghomajra was mooted a long time back but due to certain technicalities the proposal could not be implemented. Besides, “technical problems”, a section of commission agents were said to be not in favour of moving to the new site.

Things, however, started moving ahead when the SAD-BJP alliance came to power and the government decided to shift the mandi out of the city.


Farmers forge national alliance
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 2
In an attempt to promote the common interests of the farming community, farmers’ organisations from all over the country have resolved to form a National Alliance of Farmers Associations (NAFA).

Disclosing this here today, Satnam Singh Behru, president of the Indian Farmers Association and prominent NAFA leader, said first meeting of NAFA was held in New Delhi and was attended among others by T. Haque, former chairman of the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU), Prabhakar Reddy of the Confederation of Indian Farmers Associations and leaders from the Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan and the Kisan Jagriti Manch.

The leaders decided to put forth the demand for the implementation of remunerative prices for all farm products as recommended by the National Commission of Farmers. They also decided to demand autonomous status of Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices. The leaders sought interest-free loans to farmers and adequate and timely supply of quality inputs at reasonable prices, including seed, fertilisers, water and electricity.

Among the objectives of NAFA are to promote unity, welfare and progress of farmers and others in rural areas, to analyse both positive and negative aspects of government policies that influence the interests of the farming community and to formulate alternative strategies for the development of ‘grameen Bharat’. NAFA will have an executive council.


Gill for uplift of rural girls
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, September 2
Dr Manohar Singh Gill, union minister of state for sports, today urged the state government to set up hostels for rural girls so that they could excel in higher education.

Dr Gill, who was here to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, said the prosperity of a society depended on its women and even though Punjab was one of the prosperous states, its women were illiterate compared to other states. He said there was need to improve the educational scenario in the state so that more and more girls could attain higher education.

Lauding the efforts of Cheema, a student of Senior Secondary School at Kairon, who could not win the medal despite her best efforts in the recently concluded Olympics, Dr Gill said he would meet the athlete.

Tarn Taran: The astro turf of the Guru Nanak Dev University’s hockey stadium will be replaced with a new one at a cost of Rs 3 crore, besides the laying of an astro turf track at Government Girls Secondary School, Kairon.

This was announced by Gill after inaugurating certain development works in this border belt.

He said the government was very serious about the development of sports in the country and to achieve results it was concentrating at the grass-roots level.

He said a 60-room youth hostel would be established at Tarn Taran at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. It would be completed within eight months.

Advocating the establishment of a visa centre in Amritsar to facilitate visits to Nanakana Sahib and other Sikh shrines in Pakistan, he said he had taken up the issue with both governments of India and Pakistan.

Later, the minister laid the foundation stone of a girls hostel at Sri Guru Angad Dev College Khadur Sahib.


Flood Relief
State didn’t submit memo to Centre, claims Kaypee
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
Punjab Congress acting president Mohinder Singh Kaypee today claimed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told a delegation led by him that the Punjab government had not submitted any memorandum to the Centre for relief for crop destruction due to floods.

Kaypee claimed that the Prime Minister told the delegation today in Delhi that the Punjab government had only sent a few letters to the Centre on the issue. He said Dr Manmohan Singh also told them that the SAD-BJP government’s claim that norms made by the previous Congress government were coming in the way of flood relief did not have bearing on the situation in the state.

The Congress leader said the Prime Minister said norms could be changed if needed and promised to look into a memorandum submitted by the delegation on the issue. The memorandum demanded that farmers whose entire crop had been destroyed should get Rs 30,000 per acre as relief and those whose houses had been destroyed should get Rs 60,000.

Kaypee added that the delegation had apprised Dr Manmohan Singh that the Punjab government was not putting its due share to initiate projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and urban areas in the state were suffering on this account. The delegation demanded road and water supply works, which needed to be taken up under this mission, should be given to another Central agency.

The delegation, that had Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the party’s campaign committee convener Ashwani Sekhri, Jagmeet Brar and Surinder Singla, besides others, also urged the Prime Minister to waive road tax and toll on goods being taken to gurdwara Hazur Sahib at Nanded on the occasion of the Gurta Gaddi centenary.


Committee to look into flood causes
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 2
The Punjab government has set up a five-member fact-finding committee to ascertain the causes of floods and breaches in rivers and canals in the state.

The committee is headed by Gurdeep Singh Bansal, chief engineer, Vigilance, Irrigation Department, and comprises A.S. Dulat, SE, Sirhind Canal, Ludhiana, Harvinder Singh, SE, drainage circle, Patiala, Manwinder Singh, joint director, DIPR, Amritsar, and Sivinder Pal Singh, director, CDO.


Vigilance nabs 17 corrupt officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The state Vigilance Bureau (VB), in a drive against corruption in public life, nabbed one gazetted officer and 16 non-gazetted officers (NGOs) in 16 different cases last month and was able to secure the conviction of five accused in different cases.

Disclosing this here today Harcharn Singh Bhullar, SSP-cum-joint director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, said the Bureau had put up best efforts to eradicate corruption amongst public servants and others in every sphere in the state.

In this direction, the Vigilance officers had registered trap cases, disproportionate assets cases and criminal cases. They ensured that suspects did not escape judicial punishment in the various courts in the state.

Harcharn said during August, the VB had registered four criminal cases, three Vigilance inquiries and one disproportionate assets case against the suspected officials. In the past month, the special courts had convicted six accused, including five NGOs, after finding them guilty of graft charges and sentenced them to one year to two years jail terms with fine.


SGPC circular causes resentment
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 2
A circular issued by the SGPC, saying that its members living in other states can only recommend the names of the devotees living in Punjab for a visit to shrines in Pakistan, has raised many an eyebrow.

Baldev Singh Sirsa of the SAD (Amritsar, Presidium) said here yesterday that as per the circular issued by Harbeant Singh, SGPC secretary, on August 1, the committee members could recommend the names of seven persons for visiting Nankana Sahib in Pakistan to celebrate the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev.

He said the second clause in the circular mentioned that they could only recommend the names of the devotees who belonged to Punjab while the members from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh could recommend the names of Punjab residents only (para 8).


Probe panel finds Virk’s house locked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The one-man panel, headed by Patiala SSP S.K. Asthana, who is probing the disproportionate assets case against former DGP S.S. Virk, yesterday gave Virk one week’s time to facilitate the assessment of the cost of his house in Sector 27 here.

The SSP visited the former DGP’s residence yesterday for the purpose, but it was locked. The team gave a notice to the security in charge of the house requesting Virk to facilitate assessment work on the team’s next visit on September 8.

The panel had been set up by the state government on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court had taken away the case from the Vigilance Bureau following an application moved by Virk.


Aided schools’ staff to take mass leave
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 2
To protest the non-revival of pension scheme for the staff of aided schools in the state, around 8,000 teachers and other employees of 484 government-aided schools will go on mass casual leave on September 5.

Talking to The Tribune here today, chief adviser of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union Manohar Lal Chopra said as part of their agitation, around 10,000 teachers, employees and retirees of the aided schools would hold a rally at Mohali on September 5 where a state-level function to mark Teachers’ Day would be organised. Men would wear black turbans/black caps while women would take black “dupattas”. He said the SAD had stated in its manifesto that the pension scheme for the aided-school teachers, employees and retirees would be revived.


High Court
Election of MC chiefs stayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
Municipal councils across Punjab, which are yet to elect presidents, will have to wait for court orders before going ahead with the election process.

In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed till further orders the election of presidents in all such municipal councils.

The order was issued by a Division Bench, comprising Justice Satish Kumar Mittal and Justice Jaswant Singh on a writ petition filed by O.P.Gupta and nine other members of Mandi Gobindgarh municipal council.

The petitioners had challenged the validity of a rule providing for reservation of municipal council president’s office for women, Scheduled Castes and backward classes. He claimed the rule should have been framed in Punjabi, and not in English.

Elaborating, petitioners’ counsel Satya Pal Jain argued as per the Official Language Act of 1967, all the orders and rules by the State of Punjab have to be in Punjabi.

However, the state government in 1994 framed the rules in English, which was illegal in the eyes of law because as per provisions of the Act, it has to be in Punjabi, and not in English.

He added there was no justification for preparing the list of municipal councils in English, when the entire election work, right from preparation of electoral rolls to nomination forms was in Punjabi.

The counsel further stated there was vast difference between the alphabets of English and Punjabi.

On the other hand, Punjab Deputy Advocate-General and counsel for the respondents said the validity of the rules could not be challenged now, since these were framed in 1994.

The Bench after hearing the two sides adjourned the hearing till September 8 to enable the counsel for Punjab to seek further instructions in the matter.

Plea on ‘blanket bail’ for Chahal

Punjab has sought the High Court’s indulgence in recalling an order resulting in the grant of “blanket bail” to former chief minister’s ex-media adviser BIS Chahal.

The High Court had, on August 29, directed the state to give three working days advance notice to Chahal, if he was wanted in any case to be registered against him.

The state today claimed the order amounted to blanket bail. In its petition placed before Justice S.D. Anand, the state said: The direction amounts to granting blanket anticipatory bail to the petitioner.

The state added no accused could seek anticipatory bail in case which was yet to come into existence. The order, it was further added, was not in consonance with the law settled by the High Court and the Apex Court in such matters. The matter will now come up for hearing on Wednesday.


Couple, girl hacked to death

Ferozpur, September 2
A couple, along with their 10-year-old daughter, were hacked to death by assailants in Dhingawali village, near Abohar, last night, the police said here today.

According to police officials, the assailants probably barged into the house when the family was asleep. Each of the three bodies were cut into three pieces.

The victims were identified as Ranbir Saharan, his wife Suman and their daughter Sumit.

The second daughter of the couple, Raveena, had left earlier in the day with her maternal grandparents.

The motive behind the crime was not known yet. The police has registered a case and begun investigation. — UNI


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