C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Job Fraud
Babla gets judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
High drama was witnessed in the court today when Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla was brought there after production warrants were issued against him yesterday. He had moved an application to surrender and the prosecution had expressed its inability to take him in police custody yesterday.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Anshul Berry sent him to judicial custody until January 22 in the case pertaining to the recruitment of the auction recorder, Rajesh Chauhan, allegedly on the basis of fake certificates.

Babla, lodged at Burail Jail in connection with the illegal allotment of shed case till January 15, was produced in court by the police.

The UT senior standing counsel, Anupam Gupta, had moved an application on behalf of the police, expressing inability to take Babla into custody. The application maintained that as the police was contemplating to challenge the orders of this court in the High Court regarding his surrender application, it was unable to take him into custody.

Meanwhile, the prosecution has decided to challenge both orders of the court in the HC -- one allowing his application to surrender yesterday and another of sending him to judicial custody till January 22, which was passed today.

Babla’s bail plea in the illegal allotment of shed case was slated to come up for arguments before the court today, which he withdrew. Earlier during the day, Babla moved an application in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, JS Sidhu, who issued warrants to produce Babla before his court on January 12. Babla had filed an application offering to surrender in the vigilance case against him. 



Kidnap bid ends in car crash
Three of four accused nabbed at Dharampur, hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
Timely action by the police helped foil the attempt to kidnap an 18-year-old girl and it managed to arrest three of the four accused within a couple of hours at Kalka today.

The SP, Manish Chaudhary, said the victim was under shock and not in a state to give any statement. However, it seemed that a rape attempt had been made in the car.

The accused have been identified as Vikram Kumar Chaudhary of New Rattan Nagar, Jalandhar, Madan Yadav of Saharangpur and Sumit, whose antecedents could not be confirmed. The fourth accused, Sushil, however, managed to escape.

All the accused were stated to be under the influence of liquor and could not speak. According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place around 6.30 pm when the girl, a resident of Broad Gauge Railway Colony, was returning home. When she neared the Pinjore-Kalka highway, some men waiting in the car dragged her inside and sped away.

Since it was dark, the number plate of the car was not visible, the eyewitnesses said. The police dispatched around a dozen parties in various directions and the SP supervised the search operation.

Enquiries at the Parwanoo barrier confirmed that the suspects had crossed over to Himachal and the Solan police was alerted. When the accused realised that they were being chased by the police, they tried to speed up the car, resulting in an accident.

The car neared Dharampur and on seeing the police naka, the accused took a sharp turn, ramming the car into a truck. All the accused were injured. The police took them to hospital, from where one of them was referred to the PGI.

However, the girl escaped with minor injuries. The SP said the car was reeking of liquor and an iron rod was also found in the car.

The father of the girl reportedly sells peanuts. This was the second such incident in the town during the past fortnight. On December 23, a minor girl of Tipra Railway Colony, who was allegedly gangraped, was rescued by the police from the captivity of her tormentors. The victim told the police that she had gone to the railway station for some work when the accused forcibly took her with them and raped her for three days.



Cheques bounce, 2 industrialists default on fee
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
In a major jolt to the conversion policy in the Industrial Area here, at least two industrialists have stopped the payment of the conversion fee while cheques of five others have bounced.

The list of defaulters includes a leading automobile outlet and a confectionery. The administration is planning to lodge an FIR against the two industrialists who have stopped their payments. The details of the non-payment (running into crores) are being worked out. The final amount would include 18 per cent interest due on the default in payment.

Confirming the development, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “The construction at the sites concerned would be stopped immediately and action would be initiated under the relevant provisions against the deafulters.”

In another case, an industrialist had issued cheques in the name of the Chandigarh Housing Board, which was the nodal agency initially. Later, the estate office took over, but changes in the pay cheques were not made by the industrialist.

Also, over Rs 500 crore has been collected under the conversion policy. More than 125 persons had applied for conversion and about 55 went to court, saying that they were being overcharged.

Chander Verma, chairman of the Chandigarh Converted Industrial Plot Owners Association, remarked: “Initially the money charged for conversion was to be used for the development of the Industrial Area, but later the entire money was transferred to the corpus of the Centre.”

At the same time, industrialists are peeved because the administration has not provided any matching grant for facilities in infrastructure, including electricity, roads and sewerage, as envisaged in the original plan.

Verma said: “We deserved a better moratorium in payment for a matching development of the area as promised when the policy was launched. In Mohali, the government has allowed free conversion to plots measuring more than 5 acres. Greater FAR has also been allowed and there is relaxation in the height of buildings.”



127 challans against one man!
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
In an attempt to prove a case of corruption and forgery involving a mere Rs 11,169, the police had to file 127 challans against an individual in a single case.

The case, which came up for hearing in the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Raj Rahul Garg, today, startled everyone present with 127 challans filed against the accused,Nathi Ram.

There were nearly 378 instances of forgery and corruption against the accused. However, as per the provisions under the law for forgery, not more than three instances can be clubbed in a challan for a year.

The court has fixed January 23 as the next date of hearing.

The case dates back to the year 1996 when the accused, a cashier with the office of the Haryana chief architect at Sector 17 in Chandigarh, misappropriated the funds by not entering sub-vouchers of the bills in thestock register.

The accused was booked under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case was registered against the accused in 2001.

It was also stated that the accused was also guilty of criminal breach of trust and committed an offence punishable under Sections 409, 467 and 468 of the IPC.

Similarly, in a case pertaining to the Cossets scam, nearly 180 challans were filed involving several complainants.


Ruchika’s Expulsion
Who’ll probe Rathore clout?
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Though SDM Prerna Puri has recommended a thorough probe to establish SPS Rathore’s influence being the key reason behind Ruchika Girhotra’s expulsion from the Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, who will inquire remains the big question.

The UT administration claims to have done its part by revealing facts and forwarding those to the agencies concerned like the CBSE, the Panchkula SP and the school management for further action.

“On our part, we have withdrawn the award and forwarded our findings to all concerned. It is now their prerogative to probe it further if they want,” said a senior UT official.

In the inquiry report, tabled recently, the school had been found guilty of acting under some outside compelling influence in taking the arbitrary decision of singling out Ruchika and selectively applying the rules pertaining to the non-payment of fee in her case.

As far as this outside compelling influence being Rathore’s was concerned, the report stated, “Although no direct evidence is available, it is quite probable in view of the strong circumstantial evidence to the effect that Ruchika’s expulsion was proximate and followed close on the heels of the incident of molestation. This aspect requires an indepth and thorough probe.”

When contacted, a senior CBSE official said they had demanded an explanation from the school over the report, but such a probe could not be conducted by them and required an investigative agency.

Meanwhile, Maneesh Chaudhari, SP, Panchkula, said, “No such probe is on the cards. We will forward the report to the CBI, which will deal with it accordingly.”

Diocese to move Centre

According to sources, the Chandigarh diocese has decided to move the Centre against the UT administration for maligning the school by giving a biased inquiry report under media pressure.“I cannot reveal anything now, but we are going to take up the issue at the national level. By withdrawing the principal’s award, they have insulted a renowned academician. Why was this award given in 2005, when the administration was aware of allegations levelled against the school?” said Father Thomas, diocese’s spokesperson.



PHRC seeks report from govt
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
The shortage of potable water in Mohali’s peripheral villages has caught the attention of the Punjab Human Rights Commission.

Acting on a complaint filed by Dr Jasdeepak Singh Kambala regarding the shortage of potable water in Dharamgarh, Cheurheri, Papri, Chilla, Chachoamjra and Kambala due to apathy of the water supply wing of the Punjab public health department, the Commission while registering a case has sought a report from the State Government and the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, by February 23.

In the complaint it was highlighted that there was resentment among villagers over poor supply of potable water. It has been alleged that the motors fitted in government 
water tanks were of low horsepower and were lying non-operational for want of repair.

The issue had also been highlighted in these columns wherein it had been revealed that a water storage tank in Kandala village is awaiting electricity connection since 2006. And the yellow water from hand pumps was unfit for drinking.

A former MLA, Bir Devinder, had laid the foundation stone of the waterworks meant to feed Kandala and Cheurheri villages.

At Papri village, supply lines have been laid but supply has not been started. Another neighbouring village, Chila, is getting water from Mauli village as the land meant for the water storage facility could not be acquired. “The water supply comes for half an hour and the situation is worse in summers,” said Dr Jasdeepak Singh.

Regarding the quality of water from hand pumps, the villagers said due to sewage mixing with seasonal rivulets flowing through the villages, the hand pump water had been contaminated.



All is well, says DIG
But crime continues
Ramanjit Sinh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

DIG Mahabir Singh at a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday.
DIG Mahabir Singh at a press conference in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 9
Even as crime in the city has witnessed a decline of over 9 per cent, the discomfiture of the police was evident while answering media queries during the annual review of the crime graph.

The UT DIG (Headquarters) read out the annual crime review report before mediapersons at the Police Lines in Sector 26 here today.

He said the police had registered 4,111 cases in 2009 against 4,536 in 2008. A total of 3,555 cases were registered under the IPC as against 3,931 in 2008 and there was an increase of over 70 per cent in cases registered under the Arms Act, with the registration of 12 cases in 2009 against seven in 2008.

The DIG was at a loss of words when asked about the incidents of snatching and robberies that went unabated at night. A fruit-seller was stabbed to death last month and several incidents of stabbing were reported in the past few weeks. This was enough to gauge the deteriorating law and order situation in the city.

The DIG said the police was making efforts to prevent such incidents and lauded his men, saying that only 1.69 murders took place in the city per one lakh persons while in Delhi the number was three.

The city had seen a rise of 29.41 per cent in murder cases with 22 incidents reported last year and an increase of 16.66 per cent in cases of culpable homicide, with seven cases reported this year.

Though the DIG claimed that the police had worked out over 90 per cent of the murder cases, barring the blind murder of Sham Mall owner Amarjit Singh and Santosh Kumari of Sector 42.

Even though 1,117 vehicles were stolen last year, besides 897 cases of theft, 257 of burglary, 213 of snatching and 23 of robberies, the police believed that crime was “well under control”.

It is noticed that cases of vehicle theft are not registered immediately. There are a number of instances in which the cases were registered after couple of months.

The DIG also discussed the future plans of the police. He said they were in the process of forwarding a proposal for “trunking system” based on digital technology for better communication.

They also planned to buy bulletproof vehicles and jackets, EOD bomb suits, explosive vapour detectors, bomb trailers, night visions devices and hand-held compute devices for traffic policemen.



Weather forces residents indoors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The longest foggy weather in the last six years and chilly winds continued in the city for the past 24 hours, forcing residents to remain indoors.

Dense fog continued to envelop the city even as the maximum temperature rose to 9.5 degree Celsius, with the cold wave abating a little.

Today’s temperature was 11 degrees Celsius below the normal average for this time of the year. On the other hand, the minimum temperature recorded was 6.2 degree Celsius, which was within normal range.

This meant that the difference between the early morning temperatures had been little, making residents feel the cold even more than before.

The chill forced people indoors and sit near blowers and heaters. Shopkeepers reported low sales as shoppers did not move out.

Places selling non-vegetarian food, soups, ‘jalebis’, ‘pakoras’ and ‘samosas’ made brisk sale. A supplier of mutton, fish and chicken said sales were high this time of the year, but the chilly weather had added to the upswing.

Foggy conditions would continue for two more days. Fog disrupted road and air traffic all over the region, including the city, where the morning visibility was 100 metres. All flights bound for the city were cancelled.

The director of the local meteorological office, Chattar Singh, said overcast conditions were not clouds, but fog, which lifted up to a few hundred metres and remained static, giving the feeling of clouds to the naked eye.

The present conditions would persist for the next 48 hours, he predicted. He said there were chances that there would be rain in the city by January 13, which would decrease the density of fog.

Precautions in fog

lDrive with vehicle lights on low beam.

lParking lights should be switched on.

l Accelerate only if you can see at least 400 metres ahead.

lWatch out for slow-moving and parked vehicles on the road.

lDrive by using painted road markings as a guide.



Councillor distributes medicines
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 9
Municipal councillor Amrik Singh distributed homoeopathic medicine in Phase XI, which he claimed could help prevent swine flu.

Amrik Singh said the medicine was recommended by the Central Council of Homoeopathic Research, New Delhi, which could be had once a week. It was distributed under the guidance of district homoeopathic medical officer Dr BS Chandhok. 



Bar Poll
Tempers run high as 2 nominations rejected
Tribune News Service

Advocates exchange words on the last day of the withdrawal of nomination for the elections to the Mohali District Bar Association at the district courts in Mohali on Saturday.
Advocates exchange words on the last day of the withdrawal of nomination for the elections to the Mohali District Bar Association at the district courts in Mohali on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, January 9
On the last day of withdrawal of candidature for elections to the Mohali District Bar Association, tempers ran high when the returning officer rejected the candidature of two of the candidates who had filed their nomination for the post of the president.

The trouble started when the returning officer, while citing the norms of minimum five years of practise, rejected the nomination of Amrit Lal Bansal and Harjinder Singh Baidwan. Heated arguments broke out when two of the rejected candidates sought the rejection papers. The elections are scheduled for January 15. 



Mock test for medical aspirants on Jan 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
To enlighten young competitive minds, students of GMCH-32 are once again organising the mock test for medical aspirants of the tricity on January 17.

“This one-day mock test-cum-counselling-cum medical exhibition has evolved as a priceless tool to guide over 5,000 aspirants in the tricity,” said Dr GP Thami, organising secretary, Euphoria 2010.

He said the students of GMCH-32 who had themselves faced the exam would conduct the mock test. The panel of experts from Helix Institute will provide answers and explanation. This test not only helps in revision, but also helps in time management and is also a big stress buster in such tense situation.

Giving details about the test, he said it was scheduled on January 17 and was divided into three modules. While, module one will be for Class VI to VIII students and will be based on the NTSE/STSE pattern.

The subjects for this test are mathematics, general science, social studies and aptitude, the module two would be for the students of Class IX and X. This will be based on the Olympiad pattern. The subjects for this test are science, mathematics and mental ability. Module three is based on the pattern of competitive exams and is meant for the students of Classes XI, XII and XII passed.

There would be two separate sets of papers for medical and engineering aspirants.

Talking to mediapersons here, senior students informed that the forms for this mock test were available at boys’ hostel GMCH-32, Chandigarh, schools, leading tuition centres, book stores and on-the spot also.

The results would be declared within a week on their official website. The answers to the questions will be available at the website as well as on the notice board outside the examination hall.

The students excelling in these tests would be rewarded cash prizes and certificate. Also a detailed counselling session would be held regarding time management and on how to attempt the question paper.

In order to generate curiosity among the competitive students, a medical exhibition will also be organised, which would expose them to the world of medicine.



Parking of Tourist Buses
Beopar mandal submits memo to Finance Secy

Chandigarh, January 9
A delegation of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal today submitted a memorandum to the Finance Secretary opposing the Chandigarh Administration’s move to allow parking of tourist buses in parking areas of markets of southern sectors of the city.

The already congested markets of these sectors cannot sustain heavy vehicles and it not only lead to inconvenience but will also be a cause of conflict between attendants of buses and shopkeepers/market association, a press note said. The delegation will soon meet the Mayor and municipal corporation commissioner regarding the issue.

President Charanjiv Singh appealed to the Finance Secretary to develop special parking areas for the buses in the city.

He also suggested that the Sector-17 bus stand can be temporarily utilised for this purpose. — TNS



Charges framed against 2 banks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The CBI Special Court of Darshan Singh today framed charges against officials of Corporation Bank in the multi-crore scam involving the officials of PNB and a partner of Shubham Hospital.

The charges have been framed against Ramachandaran, then branch manager, Corporation Bank, main branch, Chandigarh, and Nageswara Rao, then branch manager, Corporation Bank.

The charges have already been filed against prime accused Sandeep Sharma, a partner in Shubham Hospital, and the officials of PNB, including chief manager SN Mahajan, senior manager RK Chaba, and manager Shashi Bhushan Gupta.

The court has also framed the charges against Geeta Ram Thakur, secretary of Bishanpura Cooperative Housing Society, Zirakpur, along with an advocate.

It must be recalled that the officials of the bank are in the dock for sanctioning various loans worth lakhs to Sandeep Sharma, who was a partner in the Shubham Hospital, Sector 20, Panchkula, and is the main accused in the scam. The police had registered a separate case against Sandeep Sharma for possessing a fake doctor degree.



Exhibition on homoeopathy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Institute for the History of Medicine (IGM), Stuttgart, Germany, in collaboration with Goethe-Institute Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, organised an exhibition on “Homoeopathy- A medical approach and its history” at Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Sector 
26, here.

The exhibition will remain open for public till January 18. Visitors will learn about the healthcare system of the 18th century, Dr Samuel Hahnemann’s life and his work and growth of homoeopathy towards its present day worldwide significance.

Clemens Kroll, cultural councillor, German Embassy, New Delhi, was the chief guest at the inauguration function and Dr MS Bains, director, AYUSH, Chandigarh, was the guest of honour.

Surinder Singh Maken, director, Goethe-Zentrum, Chandigarh, has informed that Prof Martin Dinges from the Institute for the History of Medicine, Stuttgart, Germany, who is also curator of the exhibition, will also be holding a workshop on the “World history of medicine”.

This is for the first time that an exhibition on homoeopathy from Germany will be held in Indian cities.



Interviews not over yet
Another ad for PU Registrar, Controller draws flak
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The second advertisement for the posts of Registrar and Controller of examinations on January 5 (Advt no. 1/2010) by Panjab University, even before the procedure of interviews could be completed, has initiated a fresh row in the case with question now being raised on the intentions behind the move.

Earlier, through the advertisement (Advt no.6/2009), the university had invited applications for the same posts, besides others and the process had reached the screening stage too.

While the earlier applicants are yet to be interviewed, a fresh advertisement has now been released for the posts of registrar, dean college development council, controller of examination, associate dean, deputy registrar, etc mentioning that the earlier applicants need not apply again.

A senior functionary of the university defended the move and said the advertisement had been released again since the details of experience and other qualifications were not mentioned in the earlier advertisement.

However, there are certain fellows in the university who are seeing a hidden motive behind the release of the new advertisement and have questioned the status of the earlier process of short listing candidates based on last advertisement.

Some other fellows point out that the teachers who are holding the additional charges or other teachers are not ready to take up posts and most of them have not applied since their career as a teacher gets affected.

“The pay scale of teachers are better and the salary offered by the university for these posts is too less. The teachers would rather choose to go to the corporate than take up these posts. Moreover, good managers are not ready to come to the university because of lack of facilities. One of the solutions could be to the recruit young teachers at the assistant registrar-level and groom them for these posts,” said a functionary holding one such charge.

While there is serious discussion about the fresh advertisement among the Senate and Syndicate members in the university and concern is being raised by all quarters, no one is willing to be quoted.

“The re-advertisement of the posts just to re-define the experience and qualifications makes no sense. If that is the case, it calls for an explanation from university authorities and in case the advertisement has come out before the earlier procedure is completed, it is a matter of grave concern,” added a fellow.

Despite repeated efforts, the Vice- Chancellor Prof RC Sobti could not be contacted.



A warm gesture
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Durga Das Foundation today distributed shoes and woollen cardigans to as many as 100 children of their day care centres and crèches across the city.

Children from Dadu Majra, Dhanas and Hallo Majra centres assembled at the Strawberry Fields School to be the guest of honour at an award giving

ceremony, presided over by Governor’s wife Jean Rodrigues.



PU elects deans, secretaries 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
In the elections of deans and secretaries of the faculties today at Panjab University, there was a tie between Prof Pam Rajput and Prof RK Sharma in arts election, with both candidates getting 52 votes each.

While some fellows were of the opinion that it was an indication of friends turning foes due to the indecisive attitude of the authorities on several issues, including the teacher’s evaluation, now the two professors would serve for six months each.

Meanwhile, Prof M Shakeel Khan was elected the faculty of languages and Prof Dinesh Gupta was elected as dean, faculty of business management and commerce, and Prof Keshav Malhotra, as secretary.

In the elections of faculty of education, Jasbir Kaur Chahal was elected dean and Dr SS Randhawa was elected the secretary.

Prof VK Rattan and Dr Seema Kapoor were elected as dean and secretaries for engineering and technology, respectively.

In science, Prof AS Ahluwalia was elected as the dean. Dr Gurpreet Kaur and Harpreet Kaur were elected dean and secretaries of design and fine arts, respectively. Besides, Prof Karan Vasisht and Prof OP Katare were elected dean and secretaries of pharmaceutical science.



Students reach out to senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The students, staff and management of Aryans Group of Colleges today celebrated Lohri with the inmates of Old Age Home, Sector 15.

In ritualistic manner peanuts, popcorns, rewri, gachak and other eatables were distributed.

Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, AGC, presided over. The function began with the lighting of bonfire and singing of traditional Lohri songs and later the eatables were thrown in the bonfire.

Also present on the occasion were Prof DC Kataria, vice-chairman, Aryans Group, Dr Parveen Kataria, director general, Aryans group, Dr KK Mangla, Dr DP Singh, DR Manjit Kalra and Dr AS Balgir.

MBA Kaleidoscope

A two-day conference on management education-MBA Kaleidoscope commenced today at DAV College, Sector10.

The conference-cum-fair was organised by Bulls eye and hundreds of MBA aspirants turned up at the event. The event saw participation of business schools like Aryans Business School (ABS), Wellingkar, LMT Thapar, etc.

A team of experts answered various queries of students and their parents, who turned up at the fest. Principals, academicians, education administrators and professionals in education were also present.

Prominent speakers who were present on the fair include Sanjay Joshi, IIM Ahmedabad, Safal Batra, IIM Calcutta, Anoop Ohri, IIM Lucknow, and Rahul Mahajan, MDI Gurgaon.


Department of philosophy, Panjab University, will organise a two-day national seminar on “Relevance of philosophy in the era of science and technology” on January 11 and 12 on ICSSR Complex Seminar Hall, Panjab University.

Prof Yashpal, scientist and Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, will inaugurate the seminar.

The theme of the seminar will revolve around important questions concerning philosophy and its impact on society, science and technology in the contemporary times of war, democracy and globalisation.

Lecture on globalisation

ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Centre for the Study of Mid-West and Central Asia, Panjab University, will organise a lecture on “Globalisation and the late modern war” by Prof Derek Gregory on January 11.

Dr Derek Gregory is geography professor at University of British Columbia, Canada, since 1989.



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