P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


12 state babus put on poll duty
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
It’s election duty time, for at least 40 IAS officers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The Election Commission today released the list of observers to be deployed in the six states where elections are due next month.

Himachal Pradesh would be sparing 11 officers for election duty while 12 officers from Punjab would be put on poll duty. Haryana would have to do without 17 of its officers for the almost three-week long election duty.

Majority of the Punjab IAS officers have been put on duty in Madhya Pradesh. These include Kirpa Shankar Saroj who would be observer for the Betul constituency in MP. Secretary, industries, Punjab, S.S. Channy would be deputed in Badwani in MP while Hussan Lal would be posted in the Datia constituency. The other officers from Punjab, Dilip Kumar, Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, Vikas Pratap and Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, will also be put on election duty in Madhya Pradesh.

Two IAS officers of the state have been posted as observers in Rajasthan. V.K. Sharma would be in charge of the Hindoli, Keshoraipatan and Bundi constituencies. Chhabilendra Roul would be observer of the Bandikui, Mahuwa and Sikrai constituencies.

While Punjab officers have been spared duty in Mizoram and Chhattisgarh while two officers would be posted in Jammu and Kashmir. C.S. Talwar would be observer at the Wachi constituency while Raj Kamal Chaudhuri would perform duty at Reasi.

Bibekananda Sarkar, at present secretary, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, would be sent to Delhi’s Jangpura constituency.

From Haryana, seven officers would be sent to Madhya Pradesh. Anil Kumar would be posted at Bhagwanpura, Subash Chandra at Sanchi, Balraj Singh at Hoshangabad, Raj Rup Fuliya at Saunsar, Harbaksh Singh at Dimni, Suprabha Dahiya at Vidisha and Pushp Raj Singh at the Gandhwani constituency.

Hardeep Kumar of the state would be observer in Rajasthan in the constituencies of Mavli and Vallabhnagar. Maha Singh would look after the Dampa and Mamit constituencies of Mizoram while Sarban Singh would be observer at the Tuirial and Kolasib segments in Mizoram.

For Jammu and Kashmir, Rajinder Paul Gupta would be posted at Pulwama and Rajpora while M.S. Sehrawat would be posted at the Gool Arnas constituency.

Four officers of the state would be posted at Chattisgarh. These include Siddhi Nath Roy, M.P. Bansal, H.S. Malik and Balwan Singh.

From Himachal Pradesh, Trilok Chand Janartha, Anuradha Thakur, Bharat Harbanslal Khera, Dr Desh Deepak, Prabodh Saxena and Anita Tegta would be sent to Madhya Pradesh. Ajay Mittal would be observer at Chittorgarh in Rajasthan while Prem Chand Dhiman has been put on duty at Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir Chand, V.C. Katoch, Ajay Bhandari have been chosen from the state for Chattisgarh elections. 


Exemption of Trust Land
Punjab contemplates further action
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
After deciding to revoke the notification granting exemption from land acquisition to Veer Colonisers and Builders Private Limited, Punjab intends to contemplate further action, at least this is what the state has told the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The controversy over the exemption of 32.10 acre, granted way back in January 2006, had eventually led to Punjab’s former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh ouster from the Vidhan Sabha.

As the matter came up for hearing, Punjab, in amended written statement filed before the Division Bench of Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Jora Singh, said: “The Vidhan Sabha committee was constituted by the Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, to inquire and report the facts and circumstances leading to the grant of exemption from acquisition of 32.10 acre, within the scheme boundary of 188 acre, owned by Veer Colonisers.

“The committee has already submitted the report inter alia contending that the government decision dated January 13, 2006, of exemption of 32.10 acre from acquisition was illegal”.

Taking on record the statement, the Bench admitted a bunch of petitions against the State of Punjab, Amritsar Improvement Trust and other respondents and also directed the continuation of an earlier interim order on the maintenance of status quo.

As the matter came up for hearing, the Bench observed: Amended written statement has been filed in the court. In a paragraph, it has been stated that the government’s decision of granting exemption of land measuring 32.10 acre from the acquisition process was illegal, mala fide and bad in law, and even FIR number 3 dated September 11 under the provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act at police station vigilance, phase one, Punjab at Mohali, has been registered.

“The government has decided to revoke the notification dated January 13, 2006, issued under Section 56 of the Act, and even further action is to be contemplated as per the law in terms of the decision of this court in the instant petition…. We are of the view that the matter requires consideration at length. Therefore, we admit these cases to the division bench.

In one of the petitions, the petitioners had earlier alleged that Veer Colonisers and Builders Private Limited was shown undue favour by the authorities and 32.10 acre out of the total 188 had been exempted for it to develop a private colony.

The petitioner had added notification dated January 13, 2006, granting exemption of 32.10 acre should, as such, be quashed. Directions for quashing another notification dated December 21, 2003, under Section 36 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, was also sought on the ground that the basic layout plan of the “188 acre development scheme” had been changed.


Experts start restoration work at Baba Atal
During previous kar sewa, wall paintings had been replaced with bathroom tiles
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 11
For the first time, the renovation work of priceless frescos of Baba Atal was started by world renowned heritage experts engaged jointly by the district administration and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) here today.

However, the experts have been finding it difficult to restore the frescos which were vandalised during the previous kar sewa which replaced the priceless wall paintings of the Sikh School of Arts with bathroom tiles.

Visitors who come to Amritsar do not realise that some of the finest architectural marvels and Sikh religious places are being steadily defaced. Amritsar is replete with a number of historical, archaeological, religious and scenic places, which have not been given their due attention.

Deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu, who took the personal initiative to convince the SGPC that the restoration of the frescos should be done by experts instead of traditional kar sewa, told The Tribune that the heritage experts had a vast experience of carrying out restoration/renovation work of national monuments, including the Red Fort etc. SGPC chief Avtar Singh held a meeting with heritage experts and the deputy commissioner to work out the details of the restoration work.

Earlier, the kar sewa carried out to repair the age-old murals at Gurdwara Baba Atal and repair work of the historical Ramgarhia Bungas had earned flak from heritage lovers. Shockingly, during the previous kar sewa carried out in 1992, bathroom tiles had replaced the frescos on the walls of the ground floor.

Interior walls of the first floor were adorned with murals depicting Sikh history. Less than 100 panels of murals had been left on the first floor of Gurdwara Baba Atal, while the rest of them have been obliterated beyond recognition.

Action sought against Pasricha for ‘distorting’ history

SGPC member from New Delhi Harinder Pal Singh today lodged a written complaint with Akal Takht seeking stern action against P.S. Pasricha, a former DGPC, Maharashtra, and chairman, Takht Hazur Sahib Committee, for allegedly distorting Sikh history.

In his petition, Harinder alleged that Pasricha, in an interview published in a national English news magazine, stated that the Tenth Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh, visited Nanded to seek help from Marathas against Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. He said it was recorded history that Aurangzeb had died in February 1708, while Guru Gobind Singh went to Nanded in October 1708. He urged the Jathedar to take action against Pasricha. 


Moga scam: Barjinder gets bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Punjab's former minister-cum-senior SAD leader Tota Singh’s son Barjinder Singh was today granted regular bail in the Moga sex scam by the high court.

In the two-page order, Justice A.N. Jindal ruled: “Without delving deep into the merits, it transpires that the allegations against the petitioner are that he, in conspiracy with senior functionaries, has been extorting money by threatening implication in false cases.

“The petitioner was not holding any official status at the time when he was alleged to have committed the crime. Therefore, the offence under Section 7/13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act is not made out against him.

“There is no direct evidence that the petitioner has been participating in the commission of extortion from any of the complainants or other persons, but it is alleged against him that the co-accused have extorting money at his behest.

“This court has not been taken through statements of any witnesses, who stated that he saw or perceived that the petitioner participated in the commission of crime. Even during the four days remand, nothing was recovered from the petitioner.

“The petitioner is an advocate and ex-president of Moga municipal committee. There are no chances of his absconding from the process of law”. Allowing the petition, the Judge added: “The petitioner is directed to be released on bail on furnishing personal bond and surety to the satisfaction of Special Judge, CBI, Patiala”.

Counsel for the petitioner had earlier claimed it was a case of political vendetta and there was nothing against the accused. Moreover, the prime accused in the case had already been released in the bail.

Sukhbir meets accused in Central jail

Patiala: Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal visited the Central jail here today and met Barjinder Singh, alias Makhan Brar, son of former Punjab minister Tota Singh. Barjinder is an accused in the Moga sex scam.

Sukhbir reached the jail at around 10 am and met Barjinder in the room of jail superintendent Jiwan Garg.

What transpired between the two could not be ascertained. Jail sources, however, said Sukhbir merely enquired about the well-being of Barjinder in the capacity of the latter being the son of a senior Akali leader. Sukhbir came to the jail almost unannounced as he was said to be on his way to Bathinda.

Inmate commits suicide

Meanwhile, Meet Ram, an inmate in the same jail committed suicide in barrack No. 50 in the afternoon. Meet Ram, according to Garg, was lodged in the jail since 2004 and convicted for seven years in a rape case. Meet Ram, a resident of Jind in Haryana, attempted suicide at around 2.15 pm and died later after being taken to the hospital by the jail authorities.

The reason behind the provocation for taking the extreme step could not be ascertained immediately, but the authorities pointed out that he could have been undergoing a phase of depression.

Interestingly, a packet of around 10,000 capsules of some drug were thrown into the jail from across the boundary wall by some unidentified persons and the consignment was recovered by the jail superintendent.  



Sukhbir to choose next SGPC head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The core committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has given full authority to party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to choose the next president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

According to a party statement here today, the decision was taken at a meeting of the core committee last night.

The note said the core committee had also given Sukhbir the authority to nominate office-bearers of the party at the meeting of the SGPC slated for November 22.

It said the party president had also been given the authority to choose and announce the names of the remaining party candidates for the coming parliamentary elections.

The SAD core committee also decried the refusal of the Centre to decrease the prices of petrol and diesel despite the fact that the international prices had come down by nearly half. It said a party deputation would meet the Prime Minister to demand that the prices be reduced immediately. It also expressed concern at the shortage of DAP due to slow release from Central companies. 


LS Polls
Muslim party backs SAD
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 11
The All-India Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind (AIMAIH), a Muslim party, has decided not to support the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections either in Punjab or at the national level. The Muslim body, however, said the support to the BJP could only be extended on certain conditions.

The statement was made by national president of the Muslim body Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sa-ani Ludhianavi, while coming in support of Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, an SAD candidate from Jalandhar (reserve) parliamentary constituency here today.

The Shahi Imam, Punjab, Ludhianavi, said the Muslim body would stand by the SAD in only 10 Lok Sabha seats where the party was contesting the elections independently.

Shahi Imam said his party could consider supporting the BJP only after the party leadership ensured that atrocities against Muslims be probed and action taken against the guilty persons.

“Our party will always stand by the BJP when the question of national security and integrity arises,” said Shahi Imam. The party had decided to support the SAD as Punjab having 25 lakh Muslim population (nearly 50,000 in Jalandhar only) was the only state where not even a single incident of atrocities against Muslims had come to light during the SAD regime in the past over two years, he added.


Cong leaders seek action against Bir Devinder
Want Anandpur Sahib seat for Ambika Soni
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Punjab Congress leader and former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh is in a spot with legislators and former MLAs from nine Assembly constituencies of the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency, from where he wants to contest election, calling him a
“turncoat” and urging the party high command to 
allocate the seat to Union tourism and culture minister Ambika Soni.

The Congress leaders also condemned what they called “utterings” of Bir Devinder against Soni in a section of the press and claimed that these were “politically motivated”. They also accused Bir Devinder of polluting the political environment and urged the high command to take strict disciplinary action against him.

The Congress leaders included Charanjit Singh Channi, ex-MP, Jagmohan Singh Kang, Rana K.P. Singh, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Romesh Dutt Sharma, Lov Kumar Goldy, Tarlochan Singh Soond, Parkash Singh Saini, Santosh Kataria, Ram Krishan Kataria, Col C.D. Singh Kamboj and Ram Parkash Balli Nangal.

The leaders claimed that earlier also Bir Devinder had tried to create fissures in the relations between Congress Legislature Party leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. They alleged that Bir Devinder had blemished the image of the Congress party and due to his such misdeeds, the Congress high command did not give him ticket from the Kharar Assembly constituency during the last election.

The Congress leaders said Soni during her previous and present tenure in the Rajya Sabha had contributed a lot towards the development of Punjab, especially grant of Rs 200 crore provided to the Punjab government for the development of Sri Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo, Rs 20 crore grant for the development and setting up of historical museum at Khatkar Kalan, Nawanshahr, to commemorate the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and release of commemorative coin to mark his birth centenary. 


CPI to contest Bathinda, Faridkot seats
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 11
The Punjab unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has decided to form a front of Left and democratic parties to defeat the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress party in the ensuing Lok Sabha (LS) elections. This decision has reportedly been taken by the CPI keeping in view the on-going alleged communal danger and terrorist activities in the state.

The CPI has also decided to contest Bathinda and Faridkot Lok Sabha seats, for which the names of the party candidates will be announced in a few days.

Talking to The Tribune today, a member of the national executive, CPI, Dr Joginder Dayal, said CPI and CPM leaders would meet soon to form the alliance.

Dr Dayal said the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Lok Bhalai Party and other Left groups would be considered for forming the alliance.

He said the CPI would also explore possibilities of contesting more LS seats by holding consultations with some of its district units.

Dr Dayal also said the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress party were generally pursuing the same economic policies, which fulfilled the desires of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank. He said these policies were not only crushing the common man, but also affecting badly the middle class, farmers and traders.

Dr Dayal said the Badal government had “failed” to implement most of the promises made to people in its manifesto during the previous Assembly elections. Due to this, agrarian crisis was prevailing in the state. 


Avinash seeks train between Anandpur Sahib, Patna
Megha Mann/Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, November 11
Member of Parliament Avinash Rai Khanna has written to the Union railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav demanding a train between Anandpur Sahib and Patna.

Khanna said cities around Anandpur Sahib, including Ropar, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur, are home to many people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, especially those working in the establishments of Ambuja Cement, Thermal Power Project, DCM Engineering, Ranbaxy etc.

In their representations to Khanna, these people have stated that they face difficulties while commuting to their ancestral homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. "These people have to change their trains from New Delhi, which is a big headache. Many a time their belongings are stolen and it is very difficult for women to travel all alone," Khanna said.

Keeping these persistent representations and demands in mind, he has written to the Railways minister demanding a train from Anandpur Sahib to Patna. Also a train is needed in the light of the religious importance of the two places.


Half-day holiday in Punjab today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The state government today declared holiday for the second half of the day on Tuesday in all Punjab government offices, boards and corporations and its educational institutes in Chandigarh and Mohali to enable its employees to participate in nagar kirtan on the eve of the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev.

According to an official spokesman, state government offices, boards and corporations and education institutes located in other parts of the state would observe half-day holiday for the second half of the day tomorrow.

Photo poll rolls to be revised: CEO

Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) Kusumjit Sidhu today said the draft photo electoral rolls with reference to January 1, 2009, as the qualifying date, had been published on November 10 by electoral registration officers at the designated locations.

Sidhu said eligible voters were requested to check their names in the rolls. She said in case their names did not exist in the electoral roll of their area, they could register their name by submitting Form-6 to the booth level officer or the electoral registration officer of the area. 


Panel to coordinate PUDA, other bodies
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
In a controversial decision, the Punjab government has constituted a special committee for coordination among PUDA and different local area development authorities at Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Jalandhar and Amritsar. The committee will set up its office at PUDA headquarters here.

A non-existing mechanism for coordination among different authorities has resulted in an embarrassing situation for the Akali government on a number of occasions and framing uniform policies was a problem, claim officials.

“First, the government constituted local area development authorities for focused development by usurping powers and assets of PUDA and now it feels that PUDA should coordinate to ensure their smooth functioning. There is more than what meets the eye”, said an official on the condition of anonymity.

Headed by the chief administrator, PUDA, the nodal office committee has been entrusted the task of coordination and restructuring and promotions of the staff of PUDA, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, Bathinda Development Authority, Jalandhar Development Authority, Amritsar Development Authority and the Patiala Development Authority

The committee would also look in to the utilisation of vacant space at PUDA Headquarters, digitisation of record in all authorities and evolve a system to achieve uniformity in functioning of all authorities.

Earlier, PUDA employees have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking quashing of the notification constituting the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and orders relating to the deputation and transfer of PUDA staff to GMADA. The matter is pending in the court.

The petitioners, the PUDA Officers Welfare Association and others, had submitted that the notification, dated August 14, 2006, through which GMADA had been constituted and established be quashed. They pleaded that the aforesaid notification was in violation of the provisions of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995. It was further submitted that the consequent transfer on deputation of the petitioners and other employees of PUDA was without their consent and thus in violation of the provisions of the PUDA (Employees Service) Regulations, 1999. 


‘Gharana has nothing to do with rise of singer’
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 11
Describing late singer Mohammed Rafi as an inimitable figure and the ‘best singing soul the world has ever come across’, Pakistan-based folk and Sufi singer Ustad Shaukat Ali virtually discarded the age-old ‘gharana system’ by observing that the rise of a singer and his or her subsequent acceptance by the audience has almost nothing to do with a ‘gharana’.

“Gharana system has been a respectable establishment which has been producing singers of quality. But, generally when an aspiring singer turns into an acclaimed singer, it happens only through divine intervention. Actually, the song comes out spontaneously if one has blessings bestowed upon by the elderly and God,” said Ustad Shaukat in an exclusive conversation with this correspondent. Nevertheless, riyaaz is of utmost importance, he added.

Shaukat shot to fame with his evergreen folk numbers such as, ‘Challa’, ‘Kissa yusuf zulaikhan’, ‘Kalam-e-bahu’, ‘Mirza’, ‘Quafian’ and ’Jagga’. What took him to the heights of fame was his song ‘Kadi te hass bol ve’. What is not known to many is the fact that apart from being a singer, Shaukat is also a lyricist and a composer.

The theme song of Punjabi super-hit film ‘Chan Pardesi’, according to him, was based on his composition. Not only this, ‘Neend Udegi’, a song of Hindi film ‘Ram Bharose’, was also “inspired” by his composition. He is currently on a visit to Punjab alongwith his son and co-artiste Mohsin Shaukat.

“There is no parallel of Rafi on the firmament of music. He was gifted with such a sweet velvety voice which has never been owned by any other singer in the world till date. I met him a number of times between 1963 and 1980,” Shaukat said.

It was he who had introduced Ghulam Ali and Mohammed Rafi during one of his foreign trips.

“Rafi sahib even came to my house in Lahore. Our proximity was to such a level that when he passed away in 1980, there was a three-day mourning at my place in Lahore. I kept sobbing all these days thinking that I had lost whatever I had in my life. Rafi sahib was my ideal and I always keep his photograph placed on my harmonium. He was pure-hearted and did not conceal anything from anyone. It was his character that reflected through his zestful songs. He did not belong to any gharana and was son of a barber. Today, he stands tall as the best singer of the nation,” he said.

Virtually scoffing at certain contemporary singers, Shaukat smiled and said, “Building biceps in gym does not make one a singer.”


Surplus border cops for district police stations
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Doraha, November 11
With the government saying no to new recruitments, the state Police Department has decided to depute surplus personnel posted along border areas and other departments to district police stations to strengthen policing.

Talking to The Tribune on Sunday, director general of police (DGP), Punjab, N.P.S. Aulakh said though they had not received any direction from the government on this account, the department was making internal reorganisation to provide adequate security arrangements for major districts that were short of police staff. The entire process would be carried out in phases.

“We have deputed around 800 police personnel in Ludhiana, Ludhiana rural, Gurdaspur and Nawanshahr areas in the first phase. In the second phase we are going to adjust the same number of cops in Mohali, Roop Nagar, Khanna and other newly formed districts,” he said.

Aulakh said the police had introduced two new programmes and community policing and social responsibility had been included in the Punjab Police Act.

He said to discourage smuggling of ammunition and drugs, the police had started attaching properties of smugglers with the case made against them. Properties of as many as 100 smugglers, nabbed by the police, were attached with the cases.

The DGP appreciated the combined effort of the Punjab police and NGOs for traffic awareness. He said traffic rules were made for the safety of the people and these decreased the risk of accident.

Appreciating the role of the NGOs in road safety, the DGP called upon such organisations to come forward to spread awareness among people. He also appreciated the effort made by the highway patrol police. He said in the past one year more than 7,000 people, who met with an accident, were taken to the hospital by the highway patrol police and so far 8,000 accident victims were taken to hospital.

The DGP rewarded 10 police personnel and representatives of NGOs posted in Khanna and Doraha for their efforts in saving accident victims and nabbing highway robbers. 


50 AC buses to ply on roads soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The state government will induct 50 air-conditioned (AC) buses to enable the common man to travel in AC buses at a nominal fare, which was 10 per cent more than the ordinary bus fare in the state. The Chief Minister will flag off eight new buses in the second week of November from Mohali.

Staing this here recently, transport minister Mohan Lal said 50 HVAC (heat and ventilation) buses, 25 each from the Punjab Roadways and the PRTC, would be pressed into service within three months to make their functioning more efficient and economically viable. All these 57-seater HVAC buses would ply on the long routes connecting to the state capital in the morning and leaving to the designated stations i.e. districts/divisional headquarters in the evening, thus benefiting rural passengers, he said.

The minister said the government had not only reduced the fare from two-and-a-half times of the ordinary fare to 10 per cent extra, but had also reduced tax on these buses drastically, making this scheme attractive both for operators and commuters. The basic purpose of the introduction of new fleet of AC buses was to reduce the pollution level on roads and give befitting competition to private buses. 


Case against Amarinder
Badal appears in court
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Amidst tight security and numerous supporters, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal entered the district courts today to get himself cross-examined in the defamation case filed by him against former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The cross examination continued for two hours wherein Badal, citing ignorance, asserted to a number of questions with replies - I am not aware or I don’t remember.

During his cross examination, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo said members and chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) were not working harmoniously. Deposing before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Kanchan Mahi, he stated, “I came to know after 2001 that the members and chairman of the PPSC were not working harmoniously. This has resulted in the suffering of the government’s work.”

He further admitted that there was a fight between the members and chairman of the PPSC that was published in the newspapers also.

When questioned on the area of the Satluj-Yamuna-Link (SYL) falling in Punjab, the CM said details were available with the ministry of irrigation. Badal denied to have received any money from the state of Haryana.

He, however, confirmed that the Congress had appointed Ravinder Pal Sidhu as the chairman of the PPSC. He agreed that the then appointed members of the PPSC had even filed civil writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the working of the then chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu. He claimed that the PPSC was an autonomous body and the recommendations made by him should be accepted. Meanwhile, Badal admitted that he was informed through the newspapers that there was bungling of money in the appointments made by the PPSC but no action could be taken against anybody as no government official or politician informed him about it.

The remaining cross-examination was deferred to January 10, 2009. It is pertinent to mention here that Parkash Singh Badal had got the cross examination done in 2006 last. Varinder Issar was the counsel on behalf of the plaintiff while advocate M.L. Saggar appeared on behalf of the Congress party, the defendants. Talking to mediapersons Badal said, “It is a very old case as I had filed it in 2002. Hope the matter is settled soon.”


High Court
Notification quashed
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The high court today quashed the Punjab government notification banning ‘Bhav Sagar Samunder Amar Bani Granth’ by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. The notification was issued on September 27, 2001.

The Baba, through Counsel V.B Aggarwal and Gaurav Aggarwal, had sought directions to the state and other respondents to inform the court as to how the literary work amounted blasphemy and was responsible for hurting the religious sentiments of any community.

As such, the petitioner had added appropriate order or directions should be issued to quash the notification as it was illegal, ultravires, unconstitutional and violative of Article 13, 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.


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