P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Saving Rajasansi
Central panel for drastic steps
Varinder Walia and Ashok Sethi

Rajasansi, December 16
The high-powered parliamentary panel on civil aviation, at a meeting held here today, decided to take drastic corrective measure to pave way for the creation of a conducive environment for airlines to re-start their operations at the Rajastansi International Airport here.

The termination of international flight operations by Jet Airways and the proposed withdrawal of flight operations by Singapore Airlines by February next had led to the formation of the panel of parliamentarians comprising of Dr M.S.Gill , minister of state for sports, Tarlohan Singh, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Navjot Singh Sidhu besides chairman designate of the Airports Authority of India, V.P. Aggarwal and D.S. Kohli, regional director of Air-India, North Zone, along with other senior officials for taking immediate measures to restart the cancelled flights.

Dr Gill said he had been in touch with Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways, to reconsider its decision to restart the flight operations in view of the conducive atmosphere being created at the Rajasansi Airport. Dr Gill said he would talk to the defence minister and the Chief of the Air staff in connection with the expansion of the airport.

To develop the City side development project on 27 acres, he said fresh bids from private parties would be invited under public-private partnership module to exploit the commercial aspect of the airport.

The ministry of finance has already given clearance to the Customs officials to install EDI (electronic data interface) for speeding up the clearance of duty drawback claims filed by exporters.

Dr Gill said this process had already been set in motion and was likely to be commissioned by the end of this month with proper networking with national server of the Customs Department. The airport has already allocated a special room for the setting up of the EDI system. Local MP Navjot Sidhu said the step would attract leading exporters to send their cargo from this airport. He said he would urge the leading industries, including Ranbaxy, to despatch their cargo from this airport.

In view of the strategic and sensitive location of the airport, the government has taken a significant decision to install highly sophisticated radar system with a range of 300 nautical mile-range. The airport authority would soon acquire land for this radar installation.

Dr Gill said the issue of bonded trucks laden with export cargo would also be cleared from this airport as he ensured to take up the matter with the Delhi Customs Commissionerate to allow free movement of trucks from this airport.

Dr Gill informed that the members of the committee were fully impressed with ongoing construction works worth Rs 144 crore for the upgrade of infrastructure at the airport and said they were assured by the airport management that it would be completed by the February-end. He further said the committee would make its detailed recommendations for the overall development of the airport within a week to the civil aviation ministry.

Describing the AAI totally supportive and cooperative, Gill further said the district administration had assured the committee to provide 44 acres required for the expansion and setting up of certain facilities within a month.


Power Bill Arrears
Punjab police, MC waterworks major defaulters
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Considering the Punjab police’s standing, it may not send shock waves, but the organisation is among the prime defaulters of electricity bills. The number one position has been bagged by the state’s MC waterworks.

The electrifying facts were placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a public interest litigation seeking the recovering of Rs 176 crores, pending towards power bills.

As the matter came up for hearing before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh, it transpired the total amount to be recovered by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) was less than half.

The details placed before the Bench showed Rs 1332.50 lakh was pending towards MC waterworks, followed by the Punjab police with Rs 1250.64 lakh. The public health has to pay Rs 1172.24 lakh, while a payment of Rs 814 lakh has to be made by the PSTC. PUDA complex owes the PSEB Rs 9.02 lakh, while MES/BSF have to make a payment of Rs 64.87 lakh.

The good word, however, is that the Punjab government has undertaken to make the payment by January 31 next year. Appearing before the Bench, state advocate-general Hardev Singh Mattewal said as on October 31, just over Rs 67 crore was due to the PSEB by the government departments.

The advocate-general also assured the Court that the amount would be released within six weeks to the authorities concerned to enable the payment of the arrears.

After taking on record the statement, the Bench observed in the open courtroom that the departments could make the payments by March 31 next year. The Bench also made it clear that further default in payment would make the defaulter liable to face power supply disconnection.

The Bench, on Monday, had directed PSEB chairman and chief engineer to remain present in the court. The directions were issued on a petition filed by Bassi Pathana resident Kehar Singh.

He was seeking directions to the state, the board and other respondents to take effective steps for recovery of amount unpaid by government departments. The petition has been based on a news report in the Punjabi Tribune.

The petitioner had, while expressing concern at the situation prevailing in the board, sought directions for taking effective steps for the recovery of arrears against the state government departments.


A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Excise and taxation officer Parmjit Singh today clarified that he had given up charge as president of the ETOs Association of Punjab and that he had not demanded stoppage of postings of PCS officers to the department.

Parmjit Singh said he had handed over the charge as the president of the ETO Association in September to G.S. Bal.

He said he had not demanded that PCS officers not be posted as assistant, deputy and additional commissioners in the department.

The ETO had been contacted on his mobile number for his comments on problems affecting the Excise and Taxation Department.

Parmjit Singh during his period as the chairman of the association had given a written submission signed by him to the chairman of the fifth Punjab Pay Commission stating ETOs were “a victim of another injustice” whereby “PCS (executive branch) officers were still posted to the department as assistant, deputy and additional excise and taxation commissioners” despite the fact that the department had its own cadre.



Bhattal supporter is dist youth Cong chief
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 16
In the elections held here today for the post of president of the Sangrur District Youth Congress (DYC), Poonam Kangra, a candidate of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s faction and wife of local Congress municipal councillor Darshan Kangra, emerged victorious by defeating Rajvir Kaur with a margin of five votes. Poonam got 58 votes, while Rajvir polled 53 votes.

After the declaration of results for various posts, district president of the Congress party and MLA Surinder Pal Singh Sibia said there was a neck-and-neck fight between the Bhattal and Amarinder factions. But, the Bhattal faction emerged victorious as its candidates captured five posts (out of seven), president (Poonam Kangra), vice-president (Gurtej Singh) and three general secretaries (Harpal Singh, Shubpreet Kaur and Sukhpal Singh).

District returning officer (DRO) for these elections Jatinder Khaire from Maharashtra said the post of Sangrur DYC president was reserved for woman scheduled caste (SC) candidate, for which he received two nominations from Poonam Kangra and Rajvir Kaur.


UPA defaming state govt: Sukhbir
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 16
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal today accused the Congress-led UPA government of trying to defame the SAD-BJP combine government by suddenly changing the cotton procurement policy that has created problems for growers.

Sukhbir, who was talking to mediapersons at Ramdittewala in Mansa district, said he and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and seek solution to the problem.

He said it was unjustified for the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to alter procurement rules in the middle of the season and ask growers to produce their land records for this purpose.

Sukhbir Singh inaugurated the railway over bridge and the bypass. He said that the UPA government was anti-farmers’ as remunerative price was not being given for their produce.

He said a meagre minimum support price of Rs 850 per quintal of paddy has caused loss to the growers.

The SAD chief said the government was aware of the problems being faced by the people of the area and had initiated steps to remove the bottlenecks.

He said steps had been taken to remove drinking water problem and 52 purified water systems were being installed in the district. Besides, 71 new water supply schemes were in the pipeline.

He said all small towns in the state would have a sewage system within next three years. Four thermal power stations were being constructed so as to supply uninterrupted electricity to consumers in the state.


Think tank to guide planning of Punjab cities
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 16
In a unique experiment, the social and private economic sector is being involved in chalking out the future of cities in Punjab.

Aimed at preparing a long-term vision, 2031, of the cities, Punjab chief secretary has directed all deputy commissioners to set up a think tank of enlightened citizens and various stakeholders to study the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their respective cities.

Fixing deadlines, the chief secretary has asked to the deputy commissioners to debate various issues that could go in preparing master plans of cities being undertaken by the state government. The district town planners would act as member secretary of the think tank.

Sources reveal that many of the cities had already prepared an outline of the prospective members of think tank as December 15 was the deadline. For preparing the issue paper of each city and calling the first meeting of the think tank, the deadlines are December 21 and January 1, 2009. The members of the think-tank group would have to hold subsequent meetings in January to arrive at some strategy.

A senior official said apart from public sector bodies like local government, health, education, transport, civic bodies, the deputy commissioners have been asked to involve large, small and micro-scale entrepreneurs, financial institutions, private architects and town planners, media persons and social sector elements like residents welfare associations, NGOs , community service organisations and cultural groups.

The recommendations of the think tank would also go a long way in helping the state town and country planning department that has been asked to prepare master plans of Malerkotla, Raikot, Chamkaur Sahib, Goindwal Sahib, Shri Hargobinpur, Anandpur Sahib, Talwandi Sabo and Abohar, sources said. The department has been asked to include the towns in the priority list that already includes 30 other towns and cities. The places will have to be notified as local planning areas before initiating the process of preparing the master plans. 


Govt keen on expanding Annual Plan size
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 16
Keen on jacking up its Annual Plan size Rs 7,500-Rs 8,000 crore for the next fiscal year (2009-10), the government authorities will hold discussions with senior officers of the Planning Commission tomorrow in Delhi.

The Plan size for the current fiscal year has been pegged at Rs 6,200 crore. Official sources said the state would put forth at the meeting its various plans for the mobilisation of revenue resources to fund the Plan for the next financial year. In case, the Planning Commission agreed with Punjab’s proposals for revenue generation, then they could give a go-ahead for raising the plan size to Rs 7,500 crore.

However, the sources said the state government was facing problems to even fund the Plan for the current financial year. There had been even delay in releasing a matching grant or the state government’s share for the Centrally sponsored schemes. The government had been holding for “too long” the money released by the Centre to fund various centrally sponsored schemes, it is learnt. The sources said recently, the Centre had released Rs 300 crore for various centrally sponsored schemes for the state.

Asked with regard to Plan size, state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal said he would like 25 per cent increase in the Plan size every year. “Plan of the state like Punjab should not be less than Rs 10,000 crore in any case”, he said. “We could achieve it with a bit hard work on revenue generation.”

In fact, as far as revenue generation is concerned, even the Union Finance Commission, which visited Punjab recently, had expressed its disappointment over collection of various taxes in the state. Members of the commission were of the view that though Punjab figured in the top five states as far as per capita income was concerned, its tax collection per person was low compared to other states. Even it is less than that of Haryana. Sale of various luxury goods is the highest in Punjab but that is not reflecting in collection of various taxes in the state.

Commission members were of the opinion that collection of VAT could be easily doubled in Punjab in one year provided tough measures were initiated to check tax evasion. For the past some years, Punjab’s collection from VAT has been in the range of Rs 5,500 crore. This year, it may touch the figure of Rs 7,000 crore if the current trend in its collection continued. Once the collection from VAT goes beyond Rs 10,000 crore, there will be no problem in raising the plan size, say experts


Docs protest attack on jail officer
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 16
Doctors of the local Civil Hospital today staged a demonstration on the hospital premises by suspending their work for about two hours to register their resentment against superintendent of district jails, Hoshiarpur, Sat Pal Singh for allegedly instigating a prisoner of the jail to assault the medical officer of the district jail, Dr Gurwinder Singh, on the jail premises on December 12, allegedly due to his personal enmity with the doctor.

They demanded his immediate suspension and a probe into the jail record pertaining to the tenure of Sat Pal Singh.

President and general secretary of the PCMS Specialists Doctors Association, Hoshiarpur, Dr Jaswinder Singh and Dr Sat Pal Gojra, respectively, said after the alleged assault on the medical officer, he had proceeded on long leave. On account of the alleged callous behaviour of the jail superintendent, none of the doctor was willing to join duty in the jail. They further alleged that jail superintendent had some enmity with Dr Gurwinder Singh over the purchase of 18 tonnes of gram for the jail in 2007.

Meanwhile, Sat Pal Singh refuted all allegations and said he had no enmity with the doctor and had provided him a security man from the jail staff. The doctor was keen to get himself transferred from the jail for which he was making various excuses. He asked the doctor to give his complaint regarding apprehension to his life in writing, but instead of giving it in writing, he had proceeded on long leave on December 13.


Farmers get paddy bonus by cheques
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The state government today started the process of distributing cheques worth Rs 325 crore to farmers on account of bonus announced by the Centre on paddy purchase, along with a dollop of propaganda hailing its own achievement.

The cheques, which account for half of the total bonus due to farmers in the state, account for the procurement made by the Punsup and Pungrain and will be distributed to farmers through commission agents.

The cheques will be distributed along with a slip attached to them, which has photographs of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as well as food and civil supplies minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon.

The slip contains a message thanking the farmers of the state for their effort in achieving a record harvest and hopes they will continue to cooperate with the state in this regard. It also discloses that the state has become the first to pay bonus directly to farmers through cheques in their names.

Meanwhile, the food and civil supplies minister disclosed that the database had been created through an elaborate exercise conducted by the department and that it had shortened the entire exercise of the distribution of bonus by one year. He said in this way the entire exercise had been made transparent and it was now easier for the state to account for the money to the Centre.

The minister said cheques would be issued to 7 lakh farmers before December 31, along with interest of 11.6 per cent due to them. Meanwhile, secretary, food and civil supplies R. P. S. Pawar disclosed that a total of Rs 650 crore would be disbursed to farmers by December 31.


Himachal, Punjab police discuss Bhakra dam security
Tribune News Service

Nangal, December 16
The Punjab and the Himachal Pradesh police today convened a coordination meeting pertaining to the security of the Bhakra dam here today in wake of Mumbai terror attacks.

During the meeting held at Satluj Bhawan the cops charted out strategy to provide maximum-security cover to this vital installation. It was decided to cover all loopholes in security as well as create awareness amongst people living around the dam and its structures.

Officials at Barmala police post (on the way from Nangal to Bhakra) have been laced with more manpower and more arms, besides ensuring round the clock checking.

Also villagers are being sensitised over movement of any suspicious looking person in the vicinity. The house owners have been instructed to submit verification details of their tenants at the nearest police station.

Some of the important police officials present at the meeting included IG Sanjeev Kalra, DIG Ishwar Singh, SP, Bilaspur, Kuldeep Sharma, SP, Una, Madhu Kumar, SP security Ashwini Kapoor, DGM PACL M.S Saini, chief engineer, BBMB, Baldev Singh and others.


Council strives to make Khalsa College a varsity
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 16
Even as the union government has decided to establish a world-class university here besides granting the Central university status to one of the universities in Punjab, the Khalsa College Governing Council has stepped up efforts to turn the century-old historic college into a university.

Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, honorary secretary of the council, said here today that the council was awaiting nod from the government for the purpose. He added that after receiving the approval they would formulate an Act for the final disposal by the government.

Meanwhile, Satyajit Singh Majithia, president of the governing council, at a press conference here today, said the college management had decided to open a degree college in village Chavinda Devi in the Majitha constituency offering IT courses along with commerce and arts degree-level courses. Among other major decisions, the historic Khalsa College had also decided to start professional and career-oriented courses at its various branches.

Expressing concern over the deteriorating standards in higher education as one of the private universities in Jalandhar had been allowed to admit students after matriculation, he urged the government that other institutions should either be allowed a level-playing field or it should ban admission in private universities after matriculation.

He said this anomaly had landed the government and aided institutions in financial dilemma. These institutions were already reeling under severe resource crunch due to delay and non-receipt of grant in aid. He said the government owed more than Rs 10 crore to the college for the past several months. The college authorities had already shot a letter to the Governor and the Chancellor of the universities to take corrective measures.

Majithia said the government must allow fresh recruitments in various teaching faculties, which had been frozen by the government on pretext of financial crunch. He said the education was in a mess as more than 50 per cent of the posts of lecturer were lying vacant though new IT and professional courses had been introduced.

Among others new projects being launched by the Khalsa College Management Society include opening a college of pharmacy, college of physical education besides starting GNM, BSc and MSc in nursing at the College of Nursing.

The college also plans to introduce MBA and B.Tech classes at its Ranjit Avenue campus. The college has ambitious plans to start new courses, including MBA and MCA at its campus in Mohali, besides launching the training and coaching classes for civil services competitions.


Guv returns file recommending Arora as VC
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, December 16
The Punjab Governor is learnt to have returned, without approving, the file recommending the posting of Rajnish Arora as vice-chancellor of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.

Sources said the Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), had marked the file back to the Chief Minister with a query regarding the “political affiliations” if any of Arora. 

Arora is an RSS activist, a fact, which was objected to by certain quarters when his name was being considered for the post. His appointment was being opposed on the grounds that this would lead to “saffronisation” of technical education.

The Chief Minister’s office had recommended the name of Arora to the the Governor last week, said sources. The governor is normally expected to give his silent nod to such recommendations. However, his act of returning the file with the reported query brings to the fore the gravity of the objections against the appointment. 

Simranjit Singh Mann had yesterday demanded that the post should be occupied by a secular person. 


Education Secy bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Parveen Gupta, younger brother of Ashok Gupta, secretary, Education, died this morning following a massive heart attack. He was 45. He was cremated at his hometown Zira in the evening.

Meanwhile, family sources said the kirya of Agyawanti, mother of Ashok Gupta, which was fixed for tomorrow, had been postponed following the death of Parveen. Agyawanti had died on December 6.


List of holidays 

Chandigarh, December 16
The Punjab government today released a list of 31 holidays for 2009. The government will also observe 19 restricted holidays from which each employee can choose two days to observe as holidays.

Public offices will remain closed for Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday (January 5); Republic Day (January 26); Basant Panchmi and Satguru Ram Singh’s birthday (January 31); Sri Guru Ravidas’s birthday (February 9); Maha Shivaratri (February 23); Holi (March 11); Shahidi Divas of Bhagat Singh (March 23); Ram Navami (April 3); Mahavir Jayanti (April 7); Good Friday (April 10); Baisakhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s birthday (April 14) and Parshuram Jayanti (April 27).

May Day (May 1); Kabir Jayanti (June 7); Guru Arjun Dev's martyrdom day (June 16); Shahid Udham Singh's martyrdom day (July 31); Independence Day (August 15), Janamashtami (August 14); Baba Sri Chand’s birthday (September 9); Agarsain Jayanti (September 19); Id-ul-Fitr (September 21); Dussehra (September 28); Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2); Maharishi Valmiki’s birthday (October 4); Diwali (October 17), Vishwakarma day (October 18), Guru Nanak Dev's birthday (November 2); Guru Teg Bahadur's martyrdom day (November 24); Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) (November 28) and Christmas (December 25). — TNS


HC orders relief for victim’s family
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Gurtej Singh’s family is on for relief. Nine years after the youngster died in the custody of Amritsar police, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the payment of Rs 5 lakh as interim compensation.

Taking up the matter, Justice S.D. Anand also directed the payment of the amount within two weeks. Pronouncing the orders in an open court, Justice Anand further directed probe into the matter by an inspector-general of police. He has been asked to complete the inquiry within three months. Less than 24 hours ago, a news report on the issue was carried in these columns.

As the case came up for hearing, Justice Anand was told that the record, sought by the court on the move to cancel the FIR registered in the matter against the cops, was missing.

Justice Anand was also told the District and Sessions Judge concerned had already marked an inquiry into the matter. Taking on record the assertion, Justice Anand asked the judicial officer to submit a status report on the inquiry on fortnightly basis.

The Judge, on the previous date of hearing, had expressed his opinion that the case was apparently being handled in a “lackadaisical manner”.

The police had not only termed Gurtej Singh’s alleged custodial death as suicide, but had also forwarded an untraced report against the police officials allegedly involved in the case.

For “appropriate appreciation of the controversy”, the high court had called for relevant documents regarding the cancellation of the FIR against the cops.

In his petition placed, Gurtej Singh’s father Krishan Singh had earlier sought directions for probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the “unnatural and brutal murder of his son”.

The petitioner had alleged his son had died on December 11, 1999, while in custody in connection with FIR number 193 registered under Section 382/511 at police station “A” division, Ram Bagh, Amritsar. Subsequently, FIR number 194 of 1999 was registered against the police officials concerned.


HC seeks details on cancer hospital project
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court wants to know the details of the steps initiated by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board for the setting up of a super-speciality cancer centre in Bathinda.

The poser follows a petition filed by the Cancer Peerat Kisan Committee into widespread cancer in the area, reportedly due underground pollution because of pesticides.

As the matter came up for hearing, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh took note of steps taken by the government to “grapple with the problem”, but added the details required verification.

The Bench asked the state to inform the court on the time frame required to set up the centre under the public-private partnership. The state was also asked to indicate the reasons behind the delay in the procuring the mammography machine for the mobile medicine unit at Bathinda district hospital. The details of the action taken to expedite the procurement of the machine too have been sought.

The Bench also directed the state to place on record the details of the norms framed for enabling people below poverty line to take financial assistance from the state illness fund.

The state public health laboratory too was asked to file a report on the number of tests conducted to check water quality for detecting the presence of poisonous substances like arsenic, copper, cyanide and chromium.

Before parting with the orders, the Bench asked PGI director to submit a report on the satisfactory functioning of the regional cancer centre for Punjab at the institution.

He was also asked to inform the court on deficiencies, besides the need to augment manpower and machinery. The Bench directed the state to do the needful within six weeks. The case will now come up for further hearing on February 27 next year.

The development is significant as the problem has attained alarming proportions in Bathinda and other parts of the state. The results of a fresh survey ordered by the state are awaited. But, only last year Baba Farid University of Medial Sciences, Faridkot, had taken into consideration the high incidence of cancer in the region and had submitted a detailed proposal to the government of India, department of health and family welfare, for setting up of an oncology wing/radiotherapy unit at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot.


Moga case: Bail plea of main accused rejected
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected the bail application of Shinder Singh, the main accused in the case of sexual exploitation of a Dalit woman of Ghal Ghalan village, near here.

The incident came to light when the victim stripped in public in May to get registered a criminal case of sexual exploitation against the culprits. She is undergoing medical treatment in the district hospital here for the past two months. The culprits attacked her with acid on October 13 in which she suffered burns on both legs, feet and stomach.

When the application of Shinder came up for hearing in the court of Justice S.D. Anand yesterday, Chandigarh-based NGO, the Dalit Movement for Human Rights and Dignity, opposed granting bail to him. The court, while agreeing to the arguments of the NGO’s counsel, rejected the bail application of the accused.

Earlier, the High Court had granted bail to the co-accused Soni. He was in the jail along with two of his associates in the acid attack case.

The state government had marked another inquiry into the exploitation of this Dalit woman despite the fact that these cases were pending before the SP (City) of Ludhiana Harsh Kumar Bansal and SP (D) of Jagraon Pritam Singh had recorded the statements of villagers, who had alleged that the woman had lodged false complaints against the village youths. The people had given statements against the woman, revealed police sources.

A magisterial probe was also conducted into the alleged sexual exploitation of the woman, on the basis of which, the SHO G.S. Bhullar was immediately removed and a departmental inquiry was ordered against him. Later, after the acid attack, another SHO was removed from his post.

The Social Welfare Department had given a compensation of Rs. 25,000 to the victim. The district administration had also arranged for her treatment in the hospital free of cost.


Punjab to take back anganwari supervisors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Punjab is all set to take back the anganwari supervisors. As a bunch of petitions against their termination came up for hearing before the high court, Division Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Rajan Gupta, Punjab advocate-general Hardev Singh Mattewal informed the Court that as many as 50 supervisors would be adjusted against the posts meant for direct recruits after amending the relevant rules.

Mattewal said the move was one-time arrangement by the state, keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the matter. It could not be treated as a precedent.

In all, the services of 59 anganwari supervisors were terminated. The state said it was not in a position to adjust the remaining nine, as eight belonged to ex-servicemen category. The sports certificate of one was not above suspicion.

The supervisors had earlier sought directions for quashing the action of the state and other respondents. They had contended the termination orders were non-speaking and cryptic without taking into consideration the points raised by them.

In one of the petition, it was contended a writ petition filed earlier in the matter was disposed of. It was incumbent on the respondents to give them due opportunity of hearing as per the orders, but the petitioner was shocked to receive a notice asking her to show cause why services be not terminated because it was not found to be proper as per the report of the committee headed by IAS officer Satish Chandra.

Polls in 48 hours

Punjab government’s failure to abide by repeated assurances for holding election of the president and vice-president of Mandi Gobindgarh municipal council today resulted in the issuance of directions to the deputy commissioner concerned to conduct the poll within 48 hours.

The Division Bench of Justice Satish Kumar Mittal and Justice Jaswant Singh observed the inaction of the authorities amounted to contempt of the court. The order follows a fresh writ petition filed by 13 of 20 municipal council members elected during the general elections held in May this year.


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