C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbers shoot at man
Meanwhile, main post office ransacked

Archit Watts

Panchkula, January 4 
Robbers stalked the city last night as two incidents of attempt to rob were reported to the police. In one incident, robbers fired at a man outside his Sector 16 house in a bid to loot him while in another incident, the main post office in Sector 8 was ransacked. The security guard deployed at the post office is missing since last night. 

According to the police, two unidentified motorcyclists stopped Raj Bhatia outside his house at around 10 pm on the pretext of asking an address. Bhatia was holding a bag in his hand and as soon as he went near the accused, they tried to snatch the bag. At the same time, Bhatia’s family opened the door of the house and he threw the bag containing Rs 40,000 inside the house. His relative, Sunil Juneja, told The Tribune that the youths pulled out a pistol and fired a shot at him, but it missed the target. 

Bhatia’s son, Kunal, who was accompanying his father, caught hold of one of the accused and they shot Kunal in the abdomen. They then sped away on the motorcycle which was without a number plate. Bhatia runs a confectionery shop in Sector 19, Chandigarh. Kunal was rushed to the PGI, where he was operated upon. His condition is stated to be stable. The SHO of the Sector 14 police station said they had taken samples from the spot and registered a case. The other incident came to light in the morning when Mahinder Singh, a security guard, reached the post office for his shift. He found the office ransacked and the security guard on duty, Harjinder Singh, could not be traced. 

The postmaster, YK Bhushan, informed the police. The cash kept in the office was intact, he said. The police said about Rs 20 lakh was lying in the office. The police is trying to trace Harjinder Singh even as forensic experts examined the spot. Even though it is the main post office, the authorities have not provided any weapon to security guards. Terming it as carelessness on the part of the authorities, the police said the office should provide firearms to guards as huge amounts of cash was kept in the office. A case has been registered.



Rodrigues-Mehra Tussle
Revive post of Chief Commissioner: JP

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
In the backdrop of the slugfest between UT administrator SF Rodrigues and his adviser Pradip Mehra over the administration’s controversial mega projects, the demand for the revival of the post of Chief Commissioner (CC) is gaining momentum.After the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC), the local unit of the Janata Party has batted for the revival of the post, which was scrapped in 1984.

The revival of the post would defuse the present crisis as the senior IAS officer as the executive head would apparently be more accountable than an unelected administrator, the local unit of the party president, Ajay Jagga, said in a representation to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.In the wake of the passage of the Punjab Disturbed Areas Act and the Chandigarh Disturbed Areas Act in 1984, Punjab was put under Governor’s rule and the Punjab Governor was made the UT administrator. 

The post of the CC was converted into adviser to the administrator. However, with the return of normalcy and installation of a democratically-elected government in Punjab, Governor’s rule was done away with while the post of UT administrator remained.The administrator is appointed under Article 239 of the Constitution, where a Governor so-appointed exercises his functions as administrator independently of his council of ministers. In such a scenario, the matter rests with the Central Government, the representation said.

Even otherwise, the administrator is “inaccessible” for the public since he is also the Governor. Therefore, in the interest of the Constitution, there was need to revert to the original system. Since the Chief Commissioner would be a public servant, he would be answerable to the public, the representation contended.Recently, the Congress had demanded the abolition of the post of administrator on the plea that mega projects were allotted to some favoured real estate players in a “non-transparent” manner. 

The “duality” of power seemed to be the root of the Rodrigues-Mehra tussle.Starting with medicity project, Mehra had raised objections to several key decisions taken by Rodrigues like extension to UT chief engineer and the warehousing complex. The flashpoint was when Mehra demanded a probe by an independent central agency into alleged irregularities in the film city project allotted to real estate giant Parsvnath Developers.



Cop hurt as gun goes off accidentally
 Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, January 4
A head constable of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had a narrow escape when a pistol went off accidentally when another policeman was cleaning it at the CISF camp near the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat here this morning. P Tungamani was rushed to the PGI and discharged after first aid. According to the police, the incident took place at around 8.30 am when weapons were given to securitymen at the time of change of duties. Sub-inspector Mohainder Singh was checking the .9 mm pistol allotted to him when it went off. The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said no offence had been made out, but a daily diary report had been recorded in this regard.



UT official website frozen in time
GS Paul/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4 
Who is the Managing Director of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO)? In all probability, the answer should have been DK Tiwari.But, it seems that the Chandigarh administration has not yet come out of its hangover of retaining Jasbir Singh Bir as Managing Director of CITCO. 

For, even after the culmination of deputation period with Chandigarh in April last year, Bir is still holding the position of CITCO’s MD in the official website of the administration. Bir was replaced by Niharika Rai, but she also gave up the charge and another Punjab cadre IAS officer, DK Tiwari, took over the post recently.The latest anomaly belies administration claims about its action plan for the next five years to empower all sections of society with Information Technology (IT) revolution. 

It continues to misinform residents through its official website.The official website — www.chandigarh.gov.in — of the administration has been developed by the department of information technology.Also, the website shows Vivek Gogia as the DIG (Intelligence) while the administration relieved him on December 10 from the post. Gogia has since taken up his new assignment with the Delhi administration.

There is no mention of the current incumbent Mahabir Singh, who has been looking after the charge for past one month.Under its IT vision-2010, the administration had implemented e- Governance for the benefit of the city residents, where all departments of the administration were to be automated and information relating to each of the services provided by these departments was to be made available ‘online’.


Unending police excesses
Raveen Thukral

Writing a weekly column, like my chief once told me, makes one a "slave of days". Every Saturday morning I get up and the first thing I do, even before getting my daily dose of news from the bunch of newspapers, is to pick my laptop and start tapping, since its no longer penning, my thoughts.

In my last column I had written my wish list for 2009 and had hoped for better law and order and a responsible and responsive police force in the coming year. Since the column was written before I had read the papers, I wasn't aware in detail about the accusation made by a Sector 17 shopkeeper, Arvind Kumar Pandey, that he was beaten up by ASP Madhur Verma or else I would have added the words "a humane force" too to my list.

I am no one to comment whether the allegations against Verma are correct or not and while only a fair probe can reveal the truth, there is no denying the fact that men in khaki often act in a highhanded manner. Almost every one of us would have faced their arrogance in some manner or the other - the most common being herded like cattle by the lathi wielding escort personnel of some VVIP or their kith and kin.

Pandey, on whose complaint the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested the police post in-charge of Sector 17, Sanjeev Kumar, in a corruption case in November, had alleged that Verma, along with his gunmen, had bashed him up in the latter's office on December 26. He claimed that he had gone to meet Verma, who lost his temper as he suspected him of carrying a tape recorder and ordered his three gunmen to remove his pullover and thrash him.

Pandey subsequently informed the CBI, who took him for a medical examination and later also faxed a complaint to the residence of the SSP informing him about the incident. An inquiry was subsequently ordered by DIG Mahabir Singh and SP security, H S Doon, has been entrusted with the task.

Verma has rubbished these allegations and claimed that Pandey had come to him seeking his help in getting his booth vacated, which he refused.

If readers will recall, another incident of blatant official highhandedness had occurred in May 2007 when SDM, Anurag Garg, allegedly beat a 13-year-old boy during an agitation in Nayagaon. Photographs of Garg kicking the boy in the stomach had appeared in a section of the press, evoking sharp criticism from all quarters.

The incident occurred when about 2,000 residents of the Janata Colony, Nayagaon, turned violent while protesting against the construction of a wall. They pelted stones in which some police personnel, including Garg's PSO, were reportedly injured.

To avenge the assault the police resorted to a brutal cane charge and literally dragged residents from outside their houses and mercilessly beat them. A dalit boy, Bittu, was also pulled out and was beaten up by Garg and his men. According to reports, he was hurt so badly that there were bloodstains in his urine and he was also booked on charges of rioting and attempt to murder.

Even edits were written in leading newspapers deploring the act but the officer was let off by the administration with a mere "advice". The then UT Adviser Lalit Sharma, was quoted saying, "the officer has been given a wrap on the knuckles. He has been advised not to be carried away by a situation."

These two cases pertain to UT but it's well known that cops in India resort to all sorts of demeaning third degree methods to investigate cases. In the neighbouring state of Punjab even high profile political bigwigs have been subjected to humiliating and nauseating third degree treatment while in custody.

The entire world was shocked by the Abu Ghraib scandal, when pictures of nude Iraqi prisoners being tortured and abused by US marines appeared in the press but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that such treatment is meted out almost everyday to some suspect in some police station in our country. I must confess that I have seen laptops of some senior Punjab police officials containing hundreds of nude photographs of arrested suspects, including some terrorists. Officers confide that taking such pictures is a usual practice since it gave them the leverage to embarrass the suspect.

It is sad that the Indian police has become notorious for use of brute physical power instead of taking recourse to highly refined scientific techniques of investigations. Raw power has substituted professionalism and disturbingly it's not only the undereducated constabulary or those who have risen from the lower ranks but also IAS and IPS officers who show little regard for law.

And what is disheartening is that there are no safeguards for the citizens against such humiliation. There is no fair, just and transparent inquiry mechanism if such allegations are made and since judicial probes cannot be conducted in every case, one has to rely on departmental inquires. But then what can be a justification of an inquiry by a senior fellow colleague or a magistrate who is part of the same system?

Courts are perhaps the only recourse but the judicial process is unfortunately so lengthy and costly that it acts as a deterrent and usually victims learn to live with such humiliations rather than getting into the legal maze. So one can only again wish that our police force attains that humane face and this uniformed arrogance ends.

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com



Protest against bombing of Gaza
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Volunteers of the Voice of Civils, an organisation, staged a protest against the bombardment of Gaza by Israel at the Sector-17 plaza today.

Holding placards that read “Stop Genocide in Gaza” and “Why bomb Innocents?”, the protesters demanded India’s intervention in creating a wave of resentment against the act.

“What is happening in Gaza is unjustified and barbaric. We cannot sit pretty over the issue just because it is happening away from the country as war has global effect,” said a protester.

“Killing innocent people in any part of world is unjustified. Gone are the days when unity was professed within the boundary of a single country. Today if we have to survive we have to be united under the flag of humanity. We are protesting here to sensitise people about the plight of Gaza people,” said another protester.

Various professors from Panjab University also participated in the protest.



Condolence meeting in memory of Manjit Bawa
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi at its office in the Sector 34 state library held a condolence meeting in memory of eminent artist, painter Manjit Bawa, who passed away a few days back after being in coma for three years. Renowned art critic Nirupama Dutt shared the art of Manjit Bawa with audience consisting of various personalities from different walks of life, who gathered to pay homage to the legendary artist. 

She chronicled Manjit's life and art from the point of view of a friend as well as that of an art critic. She put in perspective his place in the history of the modern Indian art.Diwan Manna, chairman, the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, shared the multi-faceted aspects of Bawa's personality, his love for Sufi music, his concern for social events and his unusual organisational skills. 

Others who spoke about their personal encounters with the artist and respect they have for his art include Viren Tanwar, Malkit Singh, Jagdish Garcha and Shiv Singh. Theatre personality Gurcharan Chani, secretary the Punjab Arts Council Rajpal Singh, artist S Raj Kumar, novelist Neel Kamal Puri, radio announcer Vijay Vashisht, secretary CLKA Ravinder Sharma were among those were present to pay tribute to the artist. Neelam Mann Singh Chowdhury, Dr Atamjit, P Khurana and Vivek Atray sent their condolences.



Cannabis junkies have a field day
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, January 4
City has been a junkies’ paradise with easy availability of cannabis (marijuana), popularly known as “sukha”, here and in its vicinity.Hemp can easily be found growing at Panjab University, PGI and in vacant areas of the city as also roadsides. At Dadu Majra and its nearby villages, the wild growth and people addicted to it, including youngsters, can be found in abundance.

Addicts are often drawn to the freely available hemp in the evenings as these places are often found crowded during daytime.

Interestingly, cannabis has been growing freely without catching the attention of the authorities in the city.A Dadu Majra resident said he had seen small bushes of weed grow in the area a few months ago. These have now spread all around and can be found at all vacant places in the vicinity, especially around the Milk Colony.Addicts can occasionally be seen rubbing the leaves of the weed and then consuming it.

Sources say addicts use the intoxicant in cigarettes, popularly known as “sulfa” or “kartoos”. A student of DAV College says: “One such cigarette is enough to get you on a high for the entire day.”

Some people also cultivate cannabis on their private lands. In spite of the ongoing illegal practice, neither the administration nor the police has made any effort to weed out the menace.

SSP UT SS Srivastva said: “I am not aware of the issue. The administration and the municipal corporation are responsible for curbing the menace. We can only register a case if someone is found using the intoxicant.”

MC Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka said: “If we receive a specific complaint about the growth of cannabis, we will remove it from the scene immediately. Still, we carry out routine checking in the city.”Additional Deputy Commissioner IS Sandhu said: “The cultivation of cannabis is illegal and anyone found cultivating it will be brought to book.”



Defence software institute still nowhere in sight
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Even as the microchip assumes growing importance and relevance in today’s computer-dominated battlefield, the proposed Defence Service Software Institute (DSSI) is nowhere in sight. The institute was envisioned to train service officers and meet specialised software requirements of the armed forces.

Setting up the DSSI was recommended by the Group of Ministers (GoM) in their report on reforming national security in the wake of the 1999 Kargil conflict. The GoM had also mooted the establishment of an Air Force College of Engineering.

While the project for the engineering college has taken wings, the proposal for the DSSI continues to remain on paper.

In today’s era, computer software has evolved to become the backbone of any military’s command and control network as well as logistic management. Software also controls the operations of key weapon systems and operational platforms, whether manned or automated.

With network-centric warfare being the buzzword in the Indian defence establishment, the importance of tailor-made software to meet the requirements across a wide operational spectrum assumes priority.

The government has been maintaining that short-term IT and software needs of the services are being met through a combination of in-service courses and outsourcing. Long-term needs are being addressed as part of the IT consultancy being undertaken by the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) as directed by the Defence Ministry. The training model to meet the requirements for the armed forces would evolve from the recommendations of the consultancy.

In October 2008, the Defence Minister had stated in Parliament that a core team constituted under the IDS had been working on the scope of the detailed consultancy study.

The scope has been forwarded to leading IT companies so as to facilitate preparation of an approach document. Further action will be taken on receipt of the same.

Pointing out that the DSSI project has been lingering for a long time due to preparation of an approach document, The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence, in its report tabled a few days ago, has not found the stance of the government to be acceptable.



Seminar on corporate competitiveness concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
A two-day conference on “Management Accounting for Corporate Competitiveness” organised by The Institute of Cost & Works Accountant of India (northern region) concluded here today.

Over 300 participants from various Indian and multinational companies, were present. Balwinder Singh, FICWA & FCA, elaborated on ‘Convergence to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).’

“It is the much talked about issue in the accounting world today. Many nations have switched over to IFRS, while many others are in the process of converging their national GAAPs to the IFRS. 



Relay fast enters fourth day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
The relay fast of the Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants Association entered its fourth day today. The industrial tenants are demanding rehabilitation of tenants in Industrial Area, Phase III.

However, no representative from the Chandigarh administration has met the agitating industrialist tenants, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Screw Manufacturers Association has joined hands with the association, the press release claimed.



Mission holds meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The Guru Nanak Mission International (GNMI), Ambala, held a general meeting today in the city at its General Secretary office, to bring the developments of the mission to notice of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) and to highlight the purpose of the mission to make society free of intoxication and provide job-oriented education courses.

The meeting started with two minutes silence to pay tribute to Mumbai terror attack victims. In the meeting Gyani Karnail Singh Gareeb, chairman of the GNMI, was honoured for his commendable acts.



Workshop for cops
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, January 4
The Chandigarh Traffic Police today organised a first-aid workshop for police control room (PCR) and the Traffic Police personnel at the Traffic Police Lines in Sector 29, here, as part of the ongoing 20th Road Safety Week.

A team headed by Dr Depinder Singh from Fortis Hospital, Mohali, presented slides on first-aid, besides imparting practical training to the policemen.Over 300 policemen attended the workshop. UT SP (traffic) HS Doon, DSP (traffic) Jasbir Singh Cheema and other traffic police officers were present on the occasion.

A workshop for rickshaw-pullers was also held at Children Traffic Park in Sector 23, where SP (traffic) delivered a lecture on road safety and distributed blankets among them.A discussion on road safety was held in which traffic marshals and representatives of the citizens’ welfare association, SP (traffic) and other policemen participated.



Youth falls off second floor, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Yogesh Kumar, in his early 20s, died last night after falling from the second floor of his rented accommodation in Mauli Jagran last night. He was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

According to the police, the incident came to light at around 11.30 pm when someone spotted the body of Yogesh and informed the police.

The police suspected that Yogesh was drunk and fell down. He may have lost consciousness and died of cold.

Yogesh was a painter and was living alone. The police was making efforts to contact his family in his native village.



Police starts SMS, e-mail service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
The Chandigarh police has initiated a round-the-clock mobile SMS service and e-mail facility in addition to existing telephone services provided at the police control room (PCR).

The police said people could send text messages regarding information to the police on its mobile phone (94651-21000). They can also send information through e-mail on the ID of DSP PCR at pcrchd@chd.nic.in

The e-mail would be monitored regularly. In addition, the police would be accessible to public on PCR Nos. 100 and 2749194 and on other helplines, including at 1090 for senior citizens, 1073 for traffic police, 1091 for crime against women cell, 2544444 and 2746280 for cyber crime, 9915973100 for information against drug abuse, 5025000 for passport verification.



Gunshot victim calls it accident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 4
Karan Raj, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, who was injured in a gunfire shot at a house of an arms dealer in Phase 3 (A) here on last Friday night, told the police today that it was an accidental fire. He had gone to the dealer’s house to buy the firearm.

The victim was studying the functioning of the loaded weapon when it accidentally fired. The victim gave the statement after being declared fit by the PGI doctors.

The victim had been admitted at the PGI yesterday with injuries in his abdominal area and was said to still unfit to give statement to the police.

The police was now probing whether the arms dealer was authorised to sell arms at a place other than the shop. The arms dealer Puspinder Jain, has been called by the police.



Night shelters little relief for poor
Many forced to sleep out in open
Priya Chadha

Chandigarh, December 4
The city’s night shelters have apparently failed to provide any protection to the less fortunate of the city from the dipping mercury. The ongoing intense cold wave has specifically been harsh on pavement dwellers, labourers and rickshaw-pullers.

With night shelters in the city staying packed to capacity, the poor and homeless have been forced to spend chilly and foggy nights out on footpaths and roadsides.

Sunita, whose only wish is to be relocated to a decent shelter says: “I went to ‘Raen Basera’, a night shelter near ISBT, Sector 17, but it was already full. Same was the state of other night shelters. I had no option but to spend nights by the roadside.”

“We do not have a shelter or warm clothing to protect ourselves from the icy winds. With limited space at night shelters, we have no choice but to sleep by the roadside or on rickshaws,” says Mangat Ram, a rickshaw-puller.

“With the cold wave gripping the region, we often huddle around fire to keep warm. A torn blanket is not enough to keep oneself warm on a chilly night. With inadequate shelter and warm clothing, we have been forced to keep warm around bonfires,” says Paramjeet, a labourer.

Kamla, a mother of four, is often seen lying on the footpath in Sector 15 in tattered clothes. A migrant, Kamla has been struggling to raise her children and nurse her ailing husband. Her priority these days is to hunt for a roof so that she can protect her family from the biting cold.

“Lack of shelter is worsening the condition of my husband. I have been searching for a shelter for over a month and have not found one yet,” she rues.

Though PGI has its own “Rotary Sarai” for attendants of patients, the pressure on space often forces people to stay on the premises of the PGI auditorium.

“As the number of patients and their attendants is high, we prefer to stay outside rather than stay at Rotary Sarai,” says Bhola Ram, whose relative receiving treatment at the hospital.



Guv’s greetings on Gurpurb
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues has extended his greetings to people on the occasion of Gurpurb of Guru Gobind Singh and called upon them to rededicate themselves to the ideals and goals set out by the great Guru for creating a harmonious society based on values of humanism and secularism.

Rodrigues said Guru, a saint-soldier, symbolised the virtues of truth, righteousness and universal brotherhood.



Streetlights, reality poles apart
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, January 4
Dense fog and poor lighting on roads has made it difficult for residents as they have to drive in poor visibility. In various parts of the city, streetlights are not working and in some areas, lights have not even been installed.

Last year, there were several fog-related accidents, but still the municipal corporation or the police has not taken steps to avoid these. During New Year’s Eve, some accidents were reported due to poor visibility.

The road widening work is also inconveniencing people as reflectors have not been put anywhere. It is dangerous to drive in fog with concrete lying along 
the road.

Mahesh, a resident of Sector 27, said: “We are facing trouble due to the darkness in our sector. The authorities had installed poles last month, but lights have not been fixed yet. It seems they are waiting for a mishap to push them into action.”

A resident of Sector 10 said the road widening work was under progress in the sector and reflectors had not been put.

The road had been blocked by putting construction material on the road. Two cars had collided here last night.

A senior MC official said the poles had been erected and lights would be installed soon.



Punjabi play on today’s Arjun 
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 4
The Punjabi Natak Akademy staged a Punjabi play “Arjun gumm hai” at the Randhawa auditorium here yesterday. Scripted by Dr Gurpreet Singh Sindra the play brought into focus exploitation and corrupt practices adopted by those at the helm of affairs. Playwright had employed the mythological character of Arjuna, the greatest Pandva warrior and a symbol of perfection to augment the contrasting life of a present day Arjuna but depressed and unemployed despite being qualified and competent. 

The play structured in the Mahabharta era as well as modern times attempted to highlight the corruption through various sequences under the able direction of Guarav Sharma.

The play progresses to show Arjuna (Jasbir Kumar) getting a thrashing from Draupadi (Baljinder Kaur) for loosing everything in the gamble and now without a job in the city. Arjuna gets a chance to appear for an interview for job but robbed of his arches, bow and the coronet by the authorities in lieu of an assurance for a job and labelled as a terrorist. Padam Sinra scored the music and playback along with Shikha.

The Punjabi academy honoured local theatre artiste Rajiv Mehta for his contribution to the propagation of theatre in the region. Credited with 1,500 stage performances in India and abroad Mehta felt elated at receiving the award from legendary Gursharan Singh, the chief guest.



e wild wild
Bloggers, beware of copyright laws

Bloggers usually take liberty with perceived impunity while copying photographs and material from anywhere in the ever bulging blogosphere. Majority of them give links or credits to the websites from where they copy the material. However, bloggers seem to be oblivious of the copyright laws. Leave the blogging aside, even the existing copyright laws are not usually taken into cognizance in India where plagiarism has almost become a routine affairs for writers in the absence of awareness about the copyright laws.

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the law to the authors of "original works of authorship", including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, architectural and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Material in the "public domain" is intellectual property that does not come under copyright laws.

Plagiarism is the act of stealing and passing off the ideas, words, or other intellectual property produced by another as one's own. For example, using someone else's words in a research paper without citing the source is an act of plagiarism.

The Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception. The Internet is awash in information, a lot of it with varying degrees of copyright protection. Copyrighted works on the Net include news stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. That can pose problems for the hapless surfer

The unique underlying design of a Web page and its contents, including links, original text, graphics, audio, video, HTML, other unique mark-up language sequences, list of websites compiled by an individual or organization and all other unique elements that make up the original nature of the material.

When creating a Web page, one can:

l Link to other Websites. [However, some individuals and organizations have specific requirements when you link to their Web material. Check a site carefully to find such restrictions. It is wise to ask permission. You need to cite source, as you are required to do in a research paper, when quoting or paraphrasing material from other sources. How much you quote is limited.]

l Use free graphics on your Web page. If the graphics are not advertised as "free" they should not be copied without permission.

When creating a Web page, one cannot:

l Put the contents of another person's or organizations website on your Web page

l Copy and paste information together from various Internet sources to create "your own" document. [You can quote or paraphrase limited amounts, if you give credit to the original source and the location of the source. This same principle applies to print sources, of course.]

l Incorporate other people's electronic material, such as e-mail, in your own document, without permission.

l Forward someone's e-mail to another recipient without permission

l Change the context of or edit someone else's digital correspondence in a way which changes the meaning

l Copy and paste others' lists of resources on your own web page

l Copy and paste logos, icons, and other graphics from other web sites to your web page (unless it is clearly advertised as "freeware." Shareware is not free). Some organizations are happy to let you use their logos, with permission - it is free advertising. But they want to know who is using it. They might not approve of all sites who want to use their logo.

However, many aspects of the issue of copyright and the Internet are still not resolved.

In Summary

l These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, and no copyright notice is required.

l Copyright is still violated whether you charged money or not, only damages are affected by that.

l Postings to the Internet are not granted to the public domain, and don't grant you any permission to do further copying except perhaps the sort of copying the poster might have expected in the ordinary flow of the Internet.

l Fair use is a complex doctrine meant to allow certain valuable social purposes. Ask yourself why you are republishing what you are posting and why you couldn't have just rewritten it in your own words.

l Copyright is not lost because you don't defend it; that's a concept from trademark law. The ownership of names is also from trademark law, so don't say somebody has a name copyrighted.

l Fan fiction and other work derived from copyrighted works is a copyright violation.

l Copyright law is mostly civil law where the special rights of criminal defendants you hear so much about don't apply. Watch out, however, as new laws are moving copyright violation into the criminal realm.

l Don't rationalize that you are helping the copyright holder; often it's not that hard to ask permission.

l Posting E-mail is technically a violation, but revealing facts from E-mail you got isn't, and for almost all typical E-mail, nobody could wring any damages from you for posting it. The law doesn't do much to protect works with no commercial value.

In India, the Copyright Act, 1957 has been amended five times, with the amendment of 1994 being the most substantial. It continues with the common law traditions. The Indian Copyright Act today is compliant with most international conventions and treaties in the field of copyrights. India is a member of the Berne Convention of 1886 ( as modified at Paris in 1971), the Universal Copyright Convention of 1951 and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of 1995. Though India is not a member of the Rome Convention of 1961, the Copyright Act, 1957 is fully compliant with its provisions. Two new treaties, collectively termed as Internet Treaties, were negotiated in 1996 under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These treaties are called the ‘WIPO Copyrights Treaty (WCT)’ and the ‘WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)’. The copyright office is at B-2/W-3, Curzon Road Barracks, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110 001. The Copyright law in the USA was recently amended by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, bring the internet under the purview of the Act but India has yet to take any action in this regard. Anilm is an editor with Instablogs




Administration should hasten development works

This refers to the article “Looking ahead for better times” written by Raveen Thukral in Chandigarh Tribune on December 29, 2008. The writer has touched a number of events happened during the year which passed with a bad taste. Global recession has directly affected economy, jobs and industry in India. This year has also saw a number of terrorist attacks and people has condemned the government for the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai in which more than 180 persons have lost their lives. Standard of politics and politicians has also fallen down. Brutal killing of an executive engineer of the Uttar Pradesh public works department is the recent example, who has refused to contribute money for the Chief Minister birthday. UP has a “jungle raj” but these killings have not affected the corrupt politicians. The city has also seen an open Mahabharata between officers and politicians who are fighting on various projects. The working of the administration has stopped to complete the development works. The home ministry in Delhi, who watch the UT affairs setting in Delhi, should become active and take people friendly decisions. 

Sahil Garg Chandigarh 


Towards the last quarter of the year 2008, I was suddenly wishing for the year to end. And then to top it all was the Mumbai carnage and one was desperate to see the end of the year more so because with new beginnings come new hopes. The writer has captured the year in what it was very apt. I only wish to add to his wish list, I wish that we get clean and responsible politicians, who work for the unity of the country and who do not play caste politics and further divide our society. R Singh Mohali 


The year 2008 has passed with bad memories. Global recession has affected the Indian economy and people of the country. The world meltdown sensex, real estate and private sector jobs have affected Indians directly. The Mumbai terror attack has really shaken the confidence of Indians. People have shown their resentment on the government. They have told the government to take an action against the attackers. The year 2008 remained controversial for the Chandigarh city too for their mega projects. There is no coordination amongst UT high officers, politicians and home ministry. They are divided and the city residents are on the crossroads. The home ministry should take positive decisions and deliver results for the city development. 

M L Garg ,Chandigarh 


Undoubtedly, there has been a serious jolt to the developmental works in the city owing to spat between representatives of people and bureaucrats. But total overhaul of the administration is not the solution to the problems as suggested by Thukral. The solution lies somewhere else. A tussle between the representatives of people and the bureaucrats is not new, rather in a democratic set up it is common as both the parties are formulators and executors of the policies, respectively. The problem in the relationship between the political executive and the bureaucrats may be a lack of trust. In the political set up, it seems that the bureaucrats are the stumbling block in the way of executing various schemes initiated by them. On the other hand, the bureaucrats consider themselves as an important instrument of governance. This is the genesis of the mistrust. The cardinal principle of democracy is that a politician, whether the Chief Minister of the state or a Mayor/councilor, can at best announce the policies and gets a good administrative team to implement the policies. Thus there should be both administrative and political accountability. The implementer, the bureaucrat, has to be accountable. The Indian bureaucrat has become not just a symbol of the status quo but has over the years abdicated his responsibilities and handed over the baton to the politician. Unfortunately, barring exceptions, non-performance has become the biggest problem of the entire Indian system. Chandigarh is not an exception and people are suffering because of this malady. The present system of time-scale promotions has made the bureaucrats to secure and relaxed on the basis of the fixed years of service. One can easily imagine, why the taxpayers should continue bear a non-performing bureaucrat in service till his retirement? At the same time, increasing political interference has played havoc with the bureaucracy. In view of the latest scenario of the state, what should be their role? Both claim themselves to be men of masses with proven ability and skills and want the development of the city beautiful. We need to define where it starts and ends. The clear-cut roles of everyone involved in the administrative chain need to be defined. The bureaucrat-politician should stop passing the buck. To bring over all changes in the bureaucracy is not the solution. Only, if we overhaul our system of governance and hold key politician/ administration accountable can we hope to bring about a change, which will reflect on the way we are governed. For the decision-makers, it is high time the two settled the question. As a matter of fact there needs to be a qualitative shift in the administrative reforms to make the bureaucratic more responsive in order to address the social maladies of poverty and unemployment, besides eradicating corruption from the government machinery, including the political set up. Transparency in the functioning is the paramount need of the system. 

S K Khosla Chandigarh 

Our future is always based on our past behaviour and present conditions. I agree that a lot of bad things have happened in 2008 but it does not necessarily mean that it should be treated as a bad year as many goods things have also happened. The year 2008 has become a year of the RTI. There is everything from medicity, theme park, IT park, amusement park to rest house, though SSA was put under scanner. The disclosures about foreign visits and projects made the administration defensive so much so that think tanks lost their power and started acting on applications of persons whose existence has become questionable. At the end of the year, the administration seems to be a disgruntled lot. They have lost faith, as they do not know whom to obey. At the end came the disclosure of the year when “irregularities” at Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board were disclosed. The year 2009 will be an outcome of the happenings in 2008 and I feel that in the next two months we will see some changes for the better and working of the administration will certainly improve. The Central government due to its own political compulsions cannot afford to ignore and tolerate the things for long.

R K Garg Chandigarh



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