C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Businessman shot at in Mani Majra
Assailants decamp with Rs 7 lakh
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
In a daring shootout-cum-robbery, four unidentified car-borne gunmen grievously injured a 28-year-old businessman in NAC Mani Majra late this evening and decamped with Rs 7 lakh after pumping four bullets into the victim.

Over 11 shots were fired by the assailants, who struck at about 10.30 pm when Lalit Gupta reached his residence, NAC 45 Mani Majra, along with his father Brij Mohan.

According to eyewitnesses, the assailants pounced on Lalit as soon as he stepped out of his Santro car and tried to snatch the bag containing the money from him.

When Lalit resisted, the suspects first opened fire in the air and then pumped four bullets into him from a close range. They then opened fire from their pistols indiscriminately and at least seven shots were fired on the car. While Lalit was initially admitted to Alchemist Hospital in Panchkula in a precarious condition and later referred to the PGI, Brij Mohan had a miraculous escape and wasn’t hurt in the shootout.

Eyewitnesses said Lalit’s aunt, Kiran Gupta, also came out of the house after hearing the gunshots and tried to confront the suspects. She reportedly had a scuffle with one of the suspects, but she had to back off as other assailants opened fire at her too.

As Lalit collapsed on the road, the suspects snatched the bag from him and reportedly ran to their getaway car (probably a Maruti Zen) that was parked a little distance away and fled from the scene as bystanders stood in shock.

The police launched a massive search operation in the city to intercept the getaway vehicle. Preliminary investigations by the police indicated that the assailants were apparently aware of the schedule kept by Lalit and his family. Lalit reportedly owns a sugar factory in Palsora. The manner in which the attack was carried out, police officials suspect, the assailants were well aware of the huge amount of cash that he was carrying, and had been waiting for Lalit to return home.

A senior police official on condition on anonymity, said while all angles were being explored, there were also some unconfirmed reports about a property dispute in the family. “We are going to look into every aspect of the case,” said the official. Till the time of filing of this report, Lalit had been operated upon at the PGI. The incident has sent shockwaves in the Mani Majra area, with residents feeling insecure.



Probe sought into ‘cocaine’ bust in Ambala
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
The Haryana police headquarters today saw DGP Ranjiv Dalal in a heated exchange with Ambala Cantonment MLA Anil Vij, who revealed a false claim by the police of having arrested seven smugglers with cocaine that later turned out to be sodium bicarbonate powder.

The functioning of the state’s police has come under the scanner once again after the 970 grams of cocaine seized from seven people, including two students and an instructor of an engineering college, on May 3 was found to be ‘meetha soda’ (sodium bicarbonate). The seized “drugs” were estimated to have a market value of Rs 2.50 crore. A case under the NDPS Act was later registered against the seven suspects, who were arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The seven suspects were identified as Rishi Chauhan, a B Tech student at the Asian Institute of Management & Technology, Yamunanagar; Ajit Yadav, a resident of Jhajjar district and a BTech student in Gurgaon; Praveen Kumar, an instructor at Global Engineering Institute, Yamunanagar; Bal Kishan, an employee of the Asian Institute of Management & Technology; and Kushal Chauhan, Vikas Singh and Manoj Kumar, all from Gugalkota village in Alwar district.

Raising the issue, Vij along with a delegation of BJP leaders including Gian Chand Gupta and BB Singhal presented a memorandum to DGP Dalal and demanded a probe by a sitting high court judge into the incident. The MLA also demanded suspension of all police officials concerned with the case.

SP Bharti Arora had claimed that all the suspects were apprehended near the Ambala Cantt bus stand. The Parao police stopped these persons and on checking them found the “contraband drugs” in their possession and arrested them. Later the police claimed the powder seized from the suspects was actually ‘meetha soda’. Vij asserted there were missing links in the police’s claims. “In case it was sodium bicarbonate then why did the suspects not inform the police about it? And why did the cops arrest the youths before confirming the substance found was not a narcotic drug?

Dalal told the MLA the Ambala SP informed him the suspects themselves did not know that the powder they were carrying was not cocaine. “In fact the person who delivered it to them cheated the suspects and handed over soda bicarbonate powder in place of the promised cocaine”. He however assured the BJP leaders of a fair investigation into the matter.

Cops accused of complicity

MLA Vij alleged the illegal sale of drugs and liquor was flourishing in his constituency with the connivance of the police. “The police did nothing to check it despite being informed about it repeatedly”, he claimed. DGP Dalal, on the other hand, put the entire responsibility on politicians. “Political parties themselves distribute tickets to candidates who distribute liquor during elections,” he observed



Conman booked for duping another car dealer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
In what looks like shades of the notorious Natwarlal, a conman without any known base of operations and currently in police custody, has been booked in a fresh case for cheating a city car dealer. Varun Kaul, who was earlier arrested for defrauding Lally Automobiles, another dealership, of a Honda City car has now been booked for conning Swami Autos into handing over a Mahindra Scorpio.

Interestingly, he had defrauded the other car dealer of the Honda City on the same day this year - January 10. After leaving the Scorpio at a “safe place” he had returned to buy the Honda.

A last semester MBBS dropout from a Mumbai college, Kaul operates in tandem with his father, Brij Bhushan, who is absconding. The duo is wanted by the Mumbai, Karnataka, Goa and Panchkula police, besides others, in scores of swindling cases in various parts of the country. He is married with his wife and child reportedly residing in the United States.

Kaul has now been booked for duping the Swami Autos dealership by handing it a fake demand draft of Rs 10,63,368 for buying the Scorpio

He used the same fictitious names to purchase the cars from both dealerships. The only difference was that of the addresses he provided to them.

The police has registered a fresh case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against the suspect.

When asked for the delay in filing the fresh case as the crime was committed the same day, the police said the matter was being inquired into by the industrial area police station.

After defrauding two car dealerships in the city, Kaul went to Delhi. However this time he ran out of luck after an auto dealer called up the cops when he suspected “something fishy”. The father-son duo had sought to buy a Tata Safari against a demand draft.

Kaul along with his father is wanted in several cases and had also duped several shopkeepers in Panchkula. He took away furniture and expensive electronic appliances by giving fake cheques and bank drafts a couple of years ago.

Both Kaul and his father were arrested by the Delhi police a year-and-a-half ago and they remained in Tihar jail before being released in November, last. Kaul admitted he had duped several shopkeepers, including jewellers in Karnataka, Goa and Mumbai by giving fake demand drafts, said subinspector Navin Kumar, the investigating officer of the case.



11 booked for forgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The police booked 11 persons from Punjab on the charges of applying for the post of PTI (Physical Training Instructor) in the Punjab Education Department on fake documents.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Udeypal Singh, said Jagjit Singh Sandhu, DPI (Directorate Public Instructions), Punjab, in Sector 34 lodged a complaint alleging that Satish Kumar, a resident of Budhlada, in Mansa district, along with other 10 persons, had submitted fake certificates for the post of PTI in August 2008. A case of cheating has been registered.

The SHO said an interview was conducted by the DPI on August 27, 2009.

During the scrutiny of the documents, the officials found that 18 candidates from Punjab had submitted certificates of psychical education issued from Maharastra. The department sent the certificates for verification to Maharastra and it was found that 11 certificates were found to be fake.



Class XII
Mathematics evaluation upsets students
CBSE director dismisses allegations as baseless
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A large number of students have complained over their mathematics score in the Class XII examination conducted by the CBSE. Students, who topped the school rolls in mathematics results throughout the academic session, have scored about 50 per cent.

Over 100 students who had made it to the roll of honour in their class X and even fared well in house exams have failed to even secure a first division in mathematics and have held evaluation of the CBSE responsible for it.

Students have already submitted their complaint, individually, with regard to their dissatisfaction with the evaluation in the mathematics paper to the regional office of the CBSE. DR Yadav, regional director, confirmed to have received more than 50 complaints. He, however, dismissed the allegations as baseless.

“I had got 95 per cent marks in arithmetic in my class X. My average percentage over the past two years has been 86 and I was expecting over 90 per cent marks in maths. However to my utter shock, I barely managed 50 per cent. It’s not just me. Even the girl who has 100 percentile in maths for the past two years has got only 48 marks,” said Rivika Jain, who secured 75 per cent in non-medical. “I have scored more than 85 per cent throughout classes XI and XII. The score of only 56, this time, shocked me absolutely. Over 20 students of my school have faced similar shock. Our teacher suggested that it could probably be happening in the set of papers checked by a particular evaluator,” added Rahul Singh, who got 72 per cent marks in commerce.

Mayank Khurana, a Delhi-based IT professional, said, “They have ruined the future of many students because of lapse in mathematics evaluation. My sister is in depression. Despite securing well in all other subjects, she will not be eligible for entrance exams for institutes like BITS Pilani.”



Dandiwal Case
Man to wait more to get son’s custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Manjit Singh Dandiwal will have to wait for another 10 days before he can get his son’s custody. For, Justice TPS Mann of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday extended by 10 days the deadline for handing over the custody of the seven-year-old boy to his father. The boy, Robin, was brought to India, without obtaining permission from court or the father by his mother, despite orders by a Canada court.

Dandiwal, in his petition, had stated he tied the knot with Khushpal Gill in September 2002. Their son, Robin, was born on August 23, 2003 - nearly three years before the family moved to Canada.

The petitioner contended soon after landing in Canada, the couple parted ways and Khushpal left the house of Manjit Singh with her son. She even came to India without informing Manjit and returned in November 2007, but did not allow Manjit to meet Robin.

Finally, Manjit approached Provincial court of British Columbia. In an interim order passed on May 12, 2008, it directed Khushpal to not change the child’s residence or take him to India without court or Manjit’s permission.

But Khushpal came back to India without permission, compelling Manjit to move the high court for the child’s custody.

During the arguments, Khushpal’s counsel said Manjit had been maltreating her and Robin. After hearing the arguments on May 17, Justice Mann directed Khushpal to hand over the custody by May 19, along with Robin’s passport and care card.

As the case came up yesterday, petitioner’s counsel moved another application stating subsequent to the May 17 orders, Khushpal’s condition had become serious. The counsel prayed for 10 days’ time. Justice Mann fixed May 28 as next date of hearing.


CBSE Class XII Results
Model schools fare badly this time
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
This time, the CBSE Class XII result, has been excellent in several normal government schools in the city. At the same time a number of model schools have fared badly, as compared to the past.

Having been outshone by their non-model and rural counterparts, these schools have on an average seen an increase of about four per cent in the number of compartments and failures.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, which is one of the most renowned schools, has disappointed the UT Education Department, as out of 601 candidates who appeared for class XII exams, 139 have either failed or got a compartment. The school had hit the news recently when a set of examination answer sheets was stolen from the school. This unleashed a phase of allegations and counter allegations amongs the staff members with two of them even ending up in a scuffle.

It is followed by GMSSS, Sector 32, where 105 students out of total 379 have failed or got a compartment while GMSSS, Sector 40, has bagged the third position where 97 out of 530 have appeared.

In GMSSS, Sector 22, 94 students out of a total of 310 have let the school down.

“The model schools have not got very good results even those who have been the best in the past have let us down. We will speak to principals and get things right,” said a senior UT official.

On front of the non-model and rural schools GSSS, Sector 20, is leading the poor show wagon with 122 compartments and failures out of 276 students. The GSSS, Sector 27, follows on close heels with 96 such cases out of 169 who have appeared.



They have made the difference
His desire is to get a big car for his father
Simpal Sakalani

Chandigarh, May 20
“When I was a child I would playfully tell my father that I will be the world’s best rickshaw-puller and he would snub me. One day he saw me playing on his rickshaw and he slapped me, that slap changed my life,” remembers a beaming Jagdamba Parsad, who has met all odds to secure around 80 per cent in his CBSE class XII result.

Born to a rickshaw puller, Jagdamba had grown up struggling for two square meals but it was his passion for his studies that drove him through all this. “The only luxury that I get to enjoy sometimes is an outing with friends or a packet of Maggi noodles once a week but thanks to my mothers employers, money could never obstruct my studies,” he adds.

Jagdamba’s mother is an uneducated housemaid, who despite of her busy schedule, would ensure to sit with him through the night during his exams.

“When ever I had to appear for any exams my mother would sit with me all through the night and then go for work early morning. Its her face that inspired me,” he asserts.

Ask him about his goal and his promptly reveals a desire to get a big car for his father.

Watchman’s son, too, makes it

Suraj, who secured 80.4% marks, with his mother
Suraj, who secured 80.4% marks, with his mother

Chandigarh: “Though he never wanted to be a doctor, syringes and medicines never failed to fantasise him,” that’s how Suraj’s father, who is a chowkidaar, describes him.

The proud father’s joy knows no bounds, as despite of all financial hurdles, Suraj has secured 80.4 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII examination. An avid reader, Suraj, wants to own a diagnostic lab of his own.

“I once took my mother to a government hospital for medical examination and I just fell in love with the place and profession. It was then that I decided to go in for this profession,” says Suraj. The boy, who has seen his father toiling for years, now plans to make him retire once he gets a good job. — TNS

First step towards dad’s last wish

Girish, who secured 87% marks, with his mother
Girish, who secured 87% marks, with his mother

Chandigarh: For Girish Tiwari, studying hard is the only way to fulfil the last wish of his late father, who wanted to see him as an army officer. And ever since he died in 2005, Girish made that uniform his sole dream and today he has secured 87 per cent marks in the non-medical stream.

A student of St Xavier’s, school Girish saw his mentor in Brigadier Gill, who helped him and his mother by providing them a roof. “I want to bring a day in her life when a servant will call her mam,” he said. — TNS



High cut-off set to make admissions tough
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Celebrations will soon be over for a majority of 300 students who have scored more than 90 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII examination, as the cut-off for various courses in colleges are bound to soar, making admissions a tough battle.

While many of these “toppers” will miss the courses of their choice by a whisker, things will obviously be far from being rosy for the average student having secured something between 70 and 80 per cent marks.

“I have got 93 per cent marks and want to pursue economics in MCM DAV college. I got to know that though there cut-off was around 93 per cent last year, it is bound to rise to 95 percent,” says Sugandha Kapoor as her brother Harshil who has also secured 92 percent in commerce quips, “I want to get into SD, but now I consider it impossible so would settle for some other option.”

“Students have started scoring almost a ton for the past few years and the number increases every year. It’s not that intelligence levels are rising, it’s that the question papers have become more objective,” says DR Yadav, Regional Director, CBSE.

The teaching fraternity from the university or colleges though feels that the marks have lost their sanctity, as the Boards are very liberal in marking.

“If you see the results, you will find a super intelligent student scoring same as an average child. The syllabus is not in accordance with the college or university study needs. There have been cases where a student who might have secured more than 90 per cent in arts cannot cope up with English literature even in first semester. We need to look as the syllabus and admission criteria,” says Professor Akshay of Panjab University.

While many people consider lack of enough seats as the reason for soaring cut-off, Director Higher Education Ajoy Sharma differs, saying,” It is practically not possible to increase the number of setas in propotion to the number of so-called toppers. We do increase seats but have to keep infrastructure in mind. Every year, the number of applicants for popular courses double and if you have a person with 95 per cent applying for a course which earlier had a cut-off of 90, it is bound to increase.”



CAT notice to GMCH on non-selection to post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued a notice to Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 on a petition filed by Gurmeet Kaur, who had sought appointment as a pharmacist in the hospital, asking the latter to file its reply by July 20.

In her plea Kaur had alleged GMCH’s selection committee “fraudulently favoured a particular candidate to solve its own purpose by sacrificing merit”. She submitted to the tribunal that an advertisement for the posts of pharmacists was published in newspapers in 2008. She stated in July 2009 she took the written examination, which she cleared, but was not selected after the interview on August 20, 2009.

Kaur then procured details of the qualifications of the shortlisted candidates through an RTI application in December 2009, in which the hospital conveyed the selection criteria for pharmacists required by it.

She claimed she was more qualified and experienced in pharmacy among the candidates and her non-selection was a violation of articles 14 and 16 of the Indian constitution. She also told the tribunal she should be appointed from the date of appointment of the candidates who were selected. Kaur approached the tribunal after the Punjab & Haryana High Court dismissed her petition saying her plea was maintainable in CAT only.



Religious places
Panel for exemption from property tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The House Tax Assessment Committee of the Municipal Corporation has recommended that all religious places and dharmashalas be exempted from property tax.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Harphool Chand Kalyan and attended by other members of the committee, including Pardeep Chhabra, former Mayor, MPS Chawla, Manjit Singh Chohan, Dr AP Sanwaria, Pallav Mukherjee, Kamlesh, former Mayor, Rajesh Gupta, and officials concerned of the corporation.

The committee further recommended that free parkings in these buildings be also exempted from property tax under the Municipal Corporation Act 156.

Now it is up to the House of Municipal Corporation to approve the recommendations before the benefit is granted to such places.



Now convention centre at Beant Singh Memorial
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
In an important decision which will go a long way in the development of southern sectors, the Beant Singh Memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts in Sector 42 is set to have a convention centre instead of an auditorium.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the governing body of the memorial chaired by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil. “Since Chandigarh already has several state-of-the-art auditoriums, it has been decided to construct a convention centre to give a boost to trade and industry and exploit tourism potential in Chandigarh,” a senior official said.

During her recent visit to Chandigarh, Kumari Selja, Union Minister for Tourism, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, had announced the setting up of the convention centre at the memorial. “The proposal for the construction of the convention centre will now be sent to the Central Government for approval and funding,” the official informed. The state-of-the-art convention centre will serve as an ideal venue for the holding of conferences, seminars and the cultural events.

With the southern sectors bursting at seams following the construction of thousands of group housing society flats and the Chandigarh Housing Board dwelling units, the convention centre will serve as an ideal venue for commercial activities, the official quipped.

Started at a cost of Rs 40 crore in 1997 to commemorate the memory of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was instrumental in the fight against terrorism in Punjab, the project had been facing fund shortage particularly from the Punjab Government. While Chandigarh, which was to share 30 per cent of the total cost as against 70 per cent by Punjab, has reportedly “overspent” on the project.

In the backdrop of the “resources crunch” with the Punjab Government, some of the features in the original plan of the complex had been done away with from the original plan. The scrapping of the auditorium project has to be seen in that background.

Meanwhile, at today’s meeting, Tej Prakash Singh, former Punjab minister and Beant Singh’s son, again urged the Governor to expediate the work on the project. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that the Punjab Government had already given Rs 5 crore of the grant of Rs 10 crore announced.

Punjab Chief Secretary SC Aggrawal, Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra, UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas and UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar were prominent among those present at the meeting.

Why a convention centre and not an auditorium

n Chandigarh already has several auditoriums
n Convention centre will take care of commercial activities
n Rising population in southern sectors need convention centre
n Convention centre has more utility than an auditorium



Non-ISI helmets rule tricity roads
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
In spite of the ban on the sale of non-ISI helmets, roadside vendors continue to defy the drive against such helmets launched by the Chandigarh traffic police.

The “fake” helmets have deluged the tricity — Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali — and are easily available without a check. Helmets may be cheaper on the roadside but it may not be such a good idea buying such helmets as they give way easily when dropped.

It’s just not companies or branded sellers who offer the ISI (Bureau of Indian Standards) mark, as vendors on footpaths have suddenly cropped up selling such helmets. Result: Motorists end up buying sub-standard helmets at exorbitant prices. However, helmet manufacturers and shop owners now claim to have found a solution to the problem. Serial numbers, along with a section of the ISI Act, are now inscribed on helmets, which, they believe, cannot be imitated. “Even if local or non-ISI helmets have the mark, it is just a sticker. But these vendors fool customers by showing this mark,” says marketing manager of Venus Helmets Sanjeev Paul.

The traffic police drive, aimed at ensuring safety of motorists, seems to be a step taken in haste.

With over two lakh motorists from Panchkula and Mohali commuting towards Chandigarh daily, the drive has caused a lot of confusion.

However, there is a confusion over the ability of policemen in finding out the genuineness of the helmet and the steps that have been taken to curb the sale of non-ISI helmets. Deepak Walia, a resident of Mani Majra, says: “If the authorities are really interested in the safety of residents, why don’t they just ban the entry of such products in the market.”

He suggests that the UT administration and the police should have focussed on this aspect instead of initiating the drive. Even as Chandigarh traffic policemen admit that the move has led to confusion, they pass the buck to civil authorities when it comes to checking the sale of “illegal” headgear.

A visit across the three cities gives a clear indication as to why the drive is a failure. Roadside vendors, selling non-ISI helmets, dot the Panchkula-Chandigarh and Chandigarh-Mohali roads. A vendor on the Industrial Area, Phase I, stretch here remarks: “Customers only need helmets at cheaper rates and the drive will not affect our business.”

“Fearing action from the traffic police, we do keep helmets bearing an ISI mark. But if one wants cheaper and non-ISI headgear, we arrange for the same within half an hour,” says a roadside vendor in Sector 43.

The price tags support his claim. While a non-ISI helmet ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 150, a branded one can cost at least Rs 300. However, a traffic police inspector says controlling the sale of such helmets is beyond the purview of the police. “It’s time to think of your head, whether you like it or not! Use your head before buying that helmet,” he adds.



Man found hanging at under-construction building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Sajjan Sharma, a 30-year-old labourer, was found hanging at an under construction building in Sector 19 here this afternoon.

Though no suicide note was recovered, the police has ruled out any foul play behind the death, saying no visible injury marks were found on the body.

SHO of the Sector 19 police station Inspector Ram Gopal said Sajjan, a resident of Kishangarh village, was working as a carpenter at the site. They were trying to find out the reason leading to the extreme step.

The police received information about the incident at 4.45 pm and reached there. The body was shifted to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital for post-mortem. Sajjan’s wife is putting up at his native village in Bihar.

Husband booked for suicide

The police has booked a Sector 37 resident on the charges of abetment to suicide after his wife allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her residence yesterday.

The police said the victim, 36-year-old Sukhjinder Kaur, was found in a critical condition at her house yesterday. Her two minor children called their uncle for help, as their father Narinder Singh, who has a welding shop in Mohali, was not available. The victim was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital in a critical condition, where she later died.

The police contacted her parents after her death late in the night and the victim’s brother, Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, lodged a complaint with the police that Narinder Singh used to harass her sister and subjected her to cruelty. He also alleged that Narinder used to come home drunk and often thrash his sister.

The police said Sukhjinder had consumed some poisonous substance at her residence and her viscera would be sent for chemical examination to ascertain the exact cause of her death. No visible signs of external injury or strangulation had come during the post-mortem.

Narineder Singh was elusive to the police since the matter came to light, which further confirmed suspicion regarding his role behind his wife’s death, the officer said.

The police has registered a case of abetment to suicide against the accused.



Insurance firm told to pay Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed an insurance company to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to a Panchkula-based resident.

The forum has also asked New India Assurance Company and Safeway Mediclaim Services to jointly pay the balance sum of Rs 25,000 and final settlement of the Mediclaim, along with Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.

Harish Chander Soni (70) submitted to the forum that he took a policy for himself as well as his spouse, for Rs 2 lakh and paid premium of Rs 15,280, which was renewable annually.

During the currency of the policy, he was diagnosed with cataract in right eye by doctors at Grewal Eye Institute in Chandigarh. He informed this to Safeway Mediclaim Services and told them that he needed a timeline of about four hours with a private room and a package of Rs 60,000 and requested for the approval of settlement.

However, the company accorded settlement of Rs 35,000 only and the complainant had to borrow the balance amount of Rs 25,000 from his kin.

In reply, the company mentioned that the policy didn’t ensure any amount for treatment of the complainant for a particular ailment/disease, but the same was within the parameters of the charges to be incurred on the said treatment and that is why the amount of Rs 35,000 was sanctioned.

The forum observed that there was a lot of substance in the case and it must succeed.



Consumer Forum
Company directed to compensate complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed New India Assurance Company Ltd to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to the city resident as it failed to provide him the claim for his vehicle. The company has also been asked to reimburse the amount of Rs 31,552 to the complainant, along with Rs 5,000 as litigation cost.

Kulwinder Singh Grewal has submitted to the forum that he got his HTV (tipper truck) insured with New India Assurance Company Ltd by paying Rs 8,941 as premium.

He said the insurance policy was valid for an assured sum of Rs 9 lakh. He claimed that the said vehicle met with an accident and a surveyor named NS Dhillon assessed the loss to the tune of Rs 1,19,750. The company released the claim of Rs 86,500 instead of Rs 1,19,750.

In reply, the company stated that the Motor Vehicles Department, Government of Punjab, had issued a goods carriage permit to the vehicle in question but the complainant got insured the vehicle under Misc and Special Type of Vehicles Policy and Package by paying the premium of Rs 8,942 only. The vehicle was required to be insured under the Goods Carrying Commercial Vehicles Policy and Package for which the complainant is liable to pay the premium of Rs 19,183 instead of Rs 8,942. Hence, the complainant got insured his vehicle by paying less premium by concealing the true facts.

The forum observed that the complainant had disclosed clearly that the vehicle in question should be used for commercial purposes at the time of submitting his proposal for getting the insurance of the vehicle in question.

Under such circumstances, the plea taken by company to the effect that the complainant had got insured the vehicle under Misc and Special Type of Vehicles Policy and Package instead of Goods Carrying Commercial Vehicles Policy and Package is wrong and contrary to the document submitted by the company itself. The deduction of the amount of Rs 31,552 from the total amount of Rs 1,91,750 assessed by the surveyor is illegal and amounts to deficiency in services.



Villagers protest shifting of transformer
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
Residents of Mauli Baidwan, Raipur Khurd, Sambhalki, and Durali villages today staged a protest at 220 Kv grid sub-station in Sector 80 here against the alleged shifting of the main transformer to Majithia’s constituency in Amritsar.

While protesting against the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), power consumers prevented the board officials from shifting the transformer. They alleged that about a year ago, the board officials had tried to move the same transformer to Majithia, a constituency represented by Bikramjit Majithia, son-in-law of the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The PSEB officials denied that the transformer was being moved to Majithia. “The transformer was being shifted to Dera Bassi and the other was being brought by Sangrur,” said a senior PSEB official. The transformer in question feeds the consumers in several villages around Mauli Baidwan.

“As the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is short of big transformers, the transformer from the local grid sub-station was being shifted,” said Kharar MLA, Balbir Singh Sidhu.

Despite an increase in the demand due to coming up of mega projects, the need for more sub-stations has arisen. The MLA said Punjab government was ignoring Mohali’s development. The new sub-station here was to provide uninterrupted power supply to industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors in the area.



Proof certificates of Domicile, Pension
‘Patwaris proving hurdle in issuing documents’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 20
Residents seeking certificates for entitlement to pensions, proof of domicile and caste are facing harassment after patwaris were asked by the government to give their report on the basis of which such documents could be issued.

Phool Raj Singh and Rajinder Prasad Sharma, Municipal Councillors, belonging to the ruling group of the Mohali Municipal Council, here, said today that the government had created hurdles by involving patwaris in the work related to such certificates, which was earlier done only by elected representatives.

Singh said they did not know how many patwaris were assigned the work related to certificates in Mohali and which person was covering which area. He said that the patwaris did not have any fixed office in the town and nor were their working hours fixed. Moreover, they did not know most of the residents living in Mohali. He said that it was difficult for councillors to meet patwaris who could never be found at one place. He further added how could widows, senior citizens and physically challenged persons meet them to get required reports in connection with eligibility certificates for entitlement to pensions and other kind of works?

Sharma said for the past two days he had been trying to meet the patwari concerned for getting a report from him for a physically challenged person who wanted to avail government benefits meant for this category but could not do so.

He said that earlier a report from a Municipal Councillor was enough for such work but now the government had directed patwaris to issue their own reports after the recommendation of the elected representatives, which had led to lot of harassment.

He said that more than two years ago the council had cleared a proposal authorizing only councillors to give their reports for such certificates and the proposal was approved by the government. The work was going on smoothly till about two months ago when the Deputy Commissioner asked the patwaris to give their reports for such certificates in addition to that of councillors.

Both the councillors said that some elected representatives had met the Deputy Commissioner in this regard who had assured that the problem would be sorted out but nothing had happened so far.



141 kiosks pulled down
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
Enforcement staff of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) removed around 141 unauthorised kiosks in Phase XI here today.

Occupants had been running shops from the kiosks for the past few years.

Facing a little resistance from shopkeepers, the enforcement staff led by the police personnel removed the kiosks at the site adjacent to Phase XI telephone exchange.

Balbir Singh, Estate Officer, GMADA, said shopkeepers had encroached upon public land.

Due to political interference, nobody dared to remove the illegal structures, said a GMADA official.

Last year in February, GMADA had removed 48 illegal kiosks form Phase XI rehri market. The land was earmarked for a petrol pump.



Demolition of illegal rehris
Migrants pelt stones at MC officials
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 20
Employees of the tehbazari wing of the local municipal council were attacked by migrants when they had gone to remove illegal rehris in Phase VI here today.

One person was rounded up by the police in this regard.

According to information available, a large number of illegal rehris operate from Phase VI, especially in the evening, much to the annoyance of residents of the area. When employees went to Phase VI to remove the illegal rehris, stones were pelted at the civic body vehicle which got damaged. People gathered soon after the incident and the police was called to the spot.

Executive officer of the council Amna Kumar Goyal said a complaint was made to the police after which an FIR was registered in connection with the case of stone pelting.

Fire breaks out in market

Panic spread at the Phase III B 2 market after an electrical meter caught fire. Smoke engulfed the building and shopkeepers of the adjoining areas panicked fearing that the blaze might spread and cause damage to their shops as well. A fire engine was called which brought the situation under control. Short circuit is suspected to have caused the fire.



50 yrs after marriage, couple go in for surgery together
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
In a perfect example of fulfilling the marriage vows of being together in sickness and health, an elderly couple together underwent a knee replacement surgery at Fortis hospital in Mohali here.

Shiv Prasad (88) and his wife Laj Rani (79) from Yamunanagar was admitted with painful knees and operated upon recently at Fortis hospital by Dr Manuj Wadhwa, Additional Director of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, in Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

The couple could not stop beaming, as they were able to move with the help of walker without pain. “We have been married for more than 50 years now and it’s after such a long time that we have been able to walk without pain and that also together. What could be better?” Shiv Prasad exclaimed.

“While I could still walk with the help of stick, my husband had become totally bed-ridden. I felt really bad on seeing him in the state he was in,” said Shiv’s wife Laj. “We had actually come here to see if his knees could be replaced but he insisted that I should get mine replaced also along with him. Our children also pressurised us and I am so glad they did that,” she added.

“We have shared everything over the past 50 years, gone through the ups and downs of life together, how could I get only my knees taken care of while she lived in pain?” quipped Shiv.

Dr Wadhwa said, “This is one of the best cases I have done through which I have been able to bring in so much happiness into the lives of my patients. When they came to me, we did the relevant investigations and the pre-operative diagnosis was osteoarthritis of both knees for each of them.”



Developers accused of encroachment
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
Members of the Junction Plaza Welfare Association have accused developers of the area of encroaching upon a 20-ft wide road here.

In a statement issued here recently, shopkeepers stated that they had purchased sites from Madan Pal, Satpal, Channi and despite the site plan having the mention of 20-ft road, developers had blocked the same.

They requested Zirakpur MC Chairman NK Sharma to look into the matter.

Information sought from the Zirakpur MC revealed that the building raised at the site of the road was illegal.



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