C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT moots 3-tier admission norms for CBSE class XI
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
In a bid to eliminate the ‘grade tie’ hurdle in CBSE class XI admissions, the UT education department has now devised a ‘three-tier’ admissions policy. The proposal forwarded to the education secretary is based upon the CBSE’s latest circular, according to which CGPA (cumulative grade point average) merit would be the primary criterion to grant admissions. In case of a tie between two candidates the department will consider subjectwise merit.

According to the plan if a student opts for science his merit in mathematics and science will be taken into account and, if a tie persists, English would be taken into consideration. Similarly, for commerce it would be the merit in social science and math, but a tie would be broken with the grade point in English.

Admissions to the arts stream would be made on the merit of English and social science, wherein the tie would be settled by taking the merit in the first language into account.

If the two candidates still continue to stand at the same position their age would be taken into consideration, with the elder one being deemed eligible for the seat.

“The grade tie has posed a big problem. However, we’ll try our best to grant admission on the basis of CGPA or the subjectwise analysis only. But we know there will be more than 3 students per seat who would be tied on both parameters. To tackle this age would be the key criterion,” stated a senior UT education department official.

Interestingly, while the department considers the proposal to be “foolproof”, certain CBSE officials have expressed their doubts about it.

“Class X students are more or less of the same age, so the tie will persist even if government schools decide upon the age. They should - like their private counterparts - depend on an aptitude test or a draw in such cases,” said a CBSE official.


Anxious moms jam board helpline
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Going by the calls being received by the post-result helpline of the CBSE, it’s not Class X students, but their mothers who are suffering from post-result blues. Out of 14,000 calls received over the last 10 days, over 5,600 are from anxious mothers who want help to put at ease their apprehensions about admissions, streams and performance of their wards.

“Ever since the Class X result was declared, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Not only students, but also parents, especially mothers, have been calling. The 37-odd counsellors are taking 40 calls each daily. While students call us to seek career guidance, the choice of streams and even colleges, their mothers seem to be more anxious and are facing bouts of depression and are seeking psychological counselling,” CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma stated.

“I think it’s the introduction of the CGPA that has made the helpline more relevant. Rampant confusion is making people call us to seek guidance, specially regarding admissions. The encouraging fact this time is that the number of students suffering from post-result blues has decreased drastically while parents seem to have gotten more anxious,” a counsellor from Delhi stated.

The counselling was introduced a few years ago by the board to help students cope with stress and also answer career-related queries. Toll-free numbers were provided and about 40 principals and counsellors were appointed from 38 cities, including Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Faridabad, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam, Jamnagar, Mumbai and Bhilai.



MC to get more muscle
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh administration is set to empower the municipal corporation (MC). Taking note of repeated demands of elected representatives, the administration is set to transfer certain important functions, including elementary education, primary healthcare and certain gardens, to the civic body.

In fact, the new regime at Raj Bhavan, with Shivraj Patil at the helm, seems to have paid rich dividends to the MC. He had recently assured Mayor Anu Chatrath and councillors of more powers, when they called on him in this regard.

Sources said a meeting under chairmanship of Home-cum-Local Government Secretary Ram Niwas and attended by MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria, was held here today to decide modalities for transfer of more powers.

A consensus was worked out to transfer elementary education, primary healthcare, certain gardens, except the Rose Garden, the Leisure Valley and the Bougainvillea Garden, and certain functions in the food and supplies and social welfare departments to the civic body to give a real meaning to “participatory democracy”.

It was felt that with a fixed deposit of over Rs 500 crore, the cash-rich corporation had to share the financial obligations of the administration, which had to depend on the Centre for grants and sanctioning of posts.

An official said it took years for Central agencies to sanction more posts at requisition of the administration. On the other hand, the MC’s requisition could be processed within a few days, as had recently been done regarding the approval for 24 new SDOs in the corporation, he added.

Elected representatives, including the Mayor, had repeatedly gone on record demanding the strict implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment in the city and wide-ranging changes in the Punjab Municipal Act to improve the ability of the MC to discharge duties effectively.

Provisions for devolution of greater functional responsibilities and financial powers to MCs were in line with democratic principles of people’s representatives calling the shots. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources had been a strong votary of devolution of powers to the MC.

Currently, the division of powers and responsibilities between the MC and the administration was heavily loaded against the former.



Another raid on house of Girhotras’ counsel

Chandigarh, June 2
A sub-inspector, an ASI and two head constables today conducted a raid again at the Sector-18 residence of Pankaj Bhardwaj, counsel for the Girhotras in the Ruchika case.Bhardwaj was not available at home. Taking to mediapersons, his wife said she was not aware of his whereabouts.

Bhardwaj met a few mediapersons this afternoon and gave interviews. He reportedly also visited the court.

DSP Kripal Singh, taking from Amritsar, said Bhardwaj was one of the prime accused in a cheating case, in which they had fraudulently sold improvement trust land. The police had arrested 16 of the 32 accused. — TNS



SDM probe report
GMSH doc’s negligence led to patient’s death
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Promptly nailing the lie of Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16, officials who attempted to cover up their medicos' negligence in the recent death of a 55-year-old woman, Tara Devi, by conducting a self initiated probe and putting the blame only on a nurse, the inquiry report of the subdivisional magistrate has also indicted a doctor and found the hospital deficient in services.

Barely a couple of hours after SDM (south) Prerna Puri submitted her report in the case, UT health secretary Ram Niwas, who had rejected the GMSH probe in favour of a magisterial inquiry, ordered the dismissal of the nurse, Amarjit Kaur, who was on contract. An explanation has also been called from the physician in the surgery department, Dr A Joshi, and further action against him will be initiated after his response.

Talking to The Tribune, Niwas said the inquiry report had established gross negligence on the part of the nurse who had not put the intravenous drip on the patient, who was admitted to the hospital with acute stomachache and fever at 6 pm, after 8 pm that day. The report also vindicated the allegations by the patient's relative that the nurse on duty had not attended to their repeated calls during the night.

Tara was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and she died the next morning at about 6:30 am. As for the doctor, Niwas said Joshi had prescribed the IV fluid for the patient but had not mentioned the duration at which the drip had to be put.

"How can the doctor absolve himself of his responsibility by merely prescribing medication and then forgetting about it? He shouldn’t have relied only on the nurse and should have visited the patient," said Niwas.

When contacted a GMSH spokesman, Dr G Verma, confirmed the report had found the hospital "deficient in providing medical services" to the patient. He said as per the health secretary’s orders the nurse had been dismissed and suitable action would be initiated against the doctor.

According to sources, the report submitted by the SDM has also recommended that the wards should not be locked from inside during the night, as was the practice, and the security guard should sit outside the ward. The report has also advised that nurses on duty should be more responsive and attentive during the night and take good care of patients in a serious condition.

The report also suggested the staff nurse on duty would maintain expense record of the treatment administered to the patient in the ward. This proposal has been incorporated as there was no such record of the treatment given to Tara.

“Not aware of content”

Family members of the deceased, when contacted, were aware of the submission of the inquiry report, but not of its content. “If negligence has been proved, we will expect the police to initiate a criminal investigation against the guilty as we have filed a complaint in this regard,” said Shiv Kumar, nephew of the deceased.


Child’s Kidnapping
No respite for father as police ‘distorts’ facts
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Tirath Pal and his wife show copies of their complaints lodged with the police. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, June 2
It took Tirath Pal, a labourer, five months to convince the Chandigarh Police that his son had been kidnapped. Instead of tracing the victim, the police had allegedly dilly-dallied over the issue and distorted the complaint to register a missing person’s report a month after the incident.

A case of kidnapping was registered at the police station-31 only after Tirath Pal met with UT SSP SS Srivastva on May 14 and accused the area police of not paying heed to his pleas.

He also sought the transfer of the probe to the crime branch for speedy action.

Denying the allegations of distorting facts, police station-31 SHO station Bakshish Singh said the missing person’s report was lodged on Tirath Pal’s statement that his son had gone missing.

“He did not mention then that his son was kidnapped,” the SHO claimed.

Tirath, who stays and works near the CRPF camp, told TNS that his co-worker Harlal, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had allegedly kidnapped his six-year-old son Ballu on January 14. He reported the matter to the police station-31 the same day but was told to wait for a few more days.

Making the matters worse, the police officials distorted the facts and recorded in the first information report (FIR) that Tirath Pal had been searching for his son on his own. A few days ago, the complainant learned from another labourer, Gulam Mohammad, that Harlal had kidnapped his son.

Tirath Pal, in his complaint to the SSP, claimed that he had supplied the photographs of his son as well as of the accused but the police failed to initiate any action.

The SHO said the police had conducted raids on the native village of the accused in Uttar Pradesh twice and found that he did not belong to that village.

“His whereabouts are not known and we are trying to trace his relatives or acquaintances, who could provide some clue about his whereabouts,” the SHO added.



DAV School celebrates 125 years of completion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,June 2
The 125th celebrations of DAV Senior Secondary School (Lahore), Sector 8, concluded on the school premises last night.The function was attended by top brass of the DAV management committee, including JP Shoor, director, public schools and aided-schools. Justice AL Bahri, vice-president, RR Bhalla, treasurer, and BC Josan, manager of the school.

Earlier, Dr Vibha Ray, principal, welcomed the guests. This was followed by inauguration of “Shubarambh”, four-newly constructed great pillars, including Mahatma Hansraj, founder headmaster, DAV School (Lahore), who established the school on June 1, 1886. Another pillar signifies the heights of glory scaled by the school in the field of sports with international cricket stars like Kapil Dev, Yograj Singh, Chetan Sharma, Ashok Malhotra, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia and VRV Singh.



100 jhuggis gutted in Adarsh Colony
Tribune News Service

A woman carrying a child wails after losing her belongings in a fire at Adarsh Colony, Sector 53, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
A woman carrying a child wails after losing her belongings in a fire at Adarsh Colony, Sector 53, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu.

Chandigarh, June 2
Property worth lakhs of rupees was reduced to ashes when a major fire consumed over 100 jhuggis belonging to migrants in Adarsh Colony, Sector 53, near furniture market, here today. However, no loss of life was reported in the fire.

The fire occurred when a kerosene stove on which a jhuggi dweller was cooking food apparently caught fire.

Within minutes, adjoining jhuggis caught fire and flames started leaping into the sky before fire engines could control the blaze, eyewitnesses said.

A passerby informed the Mohali fire station, which pressed its fire engines into service and later informed the Chandigarh fire station.

Over seven fire engines, including five fire tenders from the Chandigarh fire station, brought the fire under control after a struggle for over two hours.

According to the eyewitness, four children were miraculous saved by four teenagers of the colony. Four dwellers received minor burn injuries.

Fire officials said the fire engines managed to reach the scene with great difficulty due to narrow approach path.

Kamini, a dweller, who was working at a nearby Mohali house, said she learned about the fire around 12.30 pm and rushed back. However, her dwelling unit had been gutted by the time she reached the scene.

She claimed that she lost Rs 10,000 that she had borrowed for buying household items.

Officials said they received information around 11.55 am and dispatched the fire engines from the Sector 32 fire station soon after.

PK Sharma, additional commissioner-cum-chief fire officer of the municipal corporation, said the cause of the fire could not be ascertained.

SDM (South) Prerna Puri also visited the scene and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The incident happened in the afternoon, when most dwellers had gone for out for work.

Though children present there tried to save their belongings, the police and dwellers prevented them from doing so lest they got hurt.

Those Who Lost It A ll

Today’s fire turned Sushma’s marriage dreams sour. Sushma (25) was seen salvaging what was left of the articles her parents had collected for her marriage next month. She said she had yesterday bought clothes for the engagement ceremony scheduled after a fortnight. Both her parents were away for work and she had no idea how they would cope up with the loss.

Another resident Kanta Devi said her family members had been working day and night to save some money for future lost everything in today’s fire. She said they had been collecting items to make their life a little comfortable but they were back on road.



Vacant Posts at PGI
Standing panel sets the ball rolling
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A month after the formation of the standing selection committee of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, (PGIMER), the process of filling the vacancies in the faculty has finally begun.

Various departments in the PGI received a letter from the standing committee last week seeking details of the existing vacancies and if all goes well, the recruitment process, which has been pending for over two years, will start soon.

The region’s premier institute has been plagued with acute shortage of faculty and as per official records of the 479 sanctioned posts of faculty members, 171 are lying vacant.

Officials reveal that the maximum shortage is at the level of assistant professors as only 90 of the 237 sanctioned posts are presently filled. There is also an acute shortage of 17 professors as 96 are working against a sanctioned strength of 113.

PGI Director Dr KK Talwar is also the head of the cardiology department and the ostensible reason for it is that the department has no professor to head it.

In a recent judgement, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had directed the PGI to fill vacant post of professor in cardiology department within six months, paving the way for Dr Talwar’s replacement as the HOD.

Though the process for filling these vacancies is now under way, dons at the PGI are keeping their fingers crossed and are slightly apprehensive about the shortage of faculty, which incidentally has become a hallmark of all medical institutes across the country, getting over for good.

While the non-formation of the standing selection committee for the past two years is being touted as the reason for these mounting vacancies, things haven’t been rosy even prior to it.

A senior official pointed out that two years ago when the sanctioned strength of the faculty was 390, 126 posts were lying vacant.

In a bid to strengthen the faculty, 89 posts were subsequently added but this didn’t change things, as the same were not filled. What added to the PGI’s faculty woes was a flight by several senior doctors from the government to the “greener” pastures of the private sector. Some doctors also left for better opportunities abroad, said a senior professor.

While president of the faculty welfare association Dr A Rajwanshi was optimistic and claimed that things would be on track after the formation of the committee, there were some others who felt that internal politics and deteriorating work culture at the institute was a major impediment in attracting talent. “This has to change to ensure that we get the best,” said another professor.



CTU appoints 128 drivers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
In its endeavour to provide better services to its commuters, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) appointed 128 bus drivers here today.With this, the total number of drivers with the CTU has gone up to 950.The CTU, with a fleet of 417 buses, had been running short of staff.

With over 200 buses plying on long routes, a driver on such routes had to work for 12 hours on an average every day.

In certain cases, long-haul bus drivers had to drive for 14 hours in one go before returning back.

Though the drivers were paid for the overtime, the practice had taken a toll on their health.

With the recruitment of additional drivers, the working conditions of drivers are set to improve, said Jagdish Singh, president of the Chandigarh Government Transport Workers’ Union.

Hailing the appointment of drivers, union general secretary Raj Kumar said it had been their long-pending demand and the step would yield results in delivering better the service to commuters.



Couple suffer burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
A couple suffered burns after a fire broke out while replacing an LPG cylinder at their Sector-38 residence here this afternoon.Uttam Mahajan was admitted to the PGI with 70 per cent burns while his wife Jyoti escaped with minor injuries, the police said.

Sources said the fire broke out when Uttam was replacing a gas cylinder and the gas leaked in the process.

The fire brigade was informed about the incident, which sent a fire tender that doused the flames. The police suspect that the gas stove was on when the victim tried to change the cylinder and the gas leaked from there when he connected the pipe.

The police said the victims were taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, from where Uttam was referred to the PGI.

Uttam suffered burns on face and limbs.

In his statement to the investigating officer, Uttam termed it an accident, it added.



Kerosene quota for city enhanced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The central government has increased the kerosene quota of Chandigarh from 540 kilolitre to 764 kilolitre.This was conveyed by petroleum minister Murli Deora to local MP and union minister for parliamentary affairs and water resources Pawan Bansal when the latter called on him in New Delhi today.

Pardeep Chhabra, former mayor and media coordinator for Bansal, said the backlog of the kerosene quota would be cleared by June 30.

The restoration of city’s kerosene quota would give a major relief to the poor, who use kerosene for cooking purposes.

The issue has assumed political overtones with opposition alleging that reduction in quota for the poor was an “anti-people” measure.



Efforts on to turn Mohali into no-smoking zone
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
District health officials will be seeking municipal councillors’ help in turning Mohali into a no-smoking zone and also reducing the number of cases linked to water-borne diseases and dengue.

District Health Officer Dr SP Surila would be meeting the municipal councillors tomorrow to request them to help the health department in checking smoking at public places and also in creating awareness about water-borne diseases and dengue.

Surila said under the Anti-Tobacco Act, smoking was prohibited in markets, apni mandis and parking areas.

Each councillor would be asked to ensure that no smokers were found in public places or in his or her ward and in case of any violation, officials concerned could be informed so that action could be taken against the violators.

He said since the supply of water in the town was with the civic body, councillors would be made aware about water contamination and how it could be prevented.

Similarly, they would also be told about the steps that residents could take to save themselves from dengue.

Surila said under the Anti-Tobacco Act, 84 challans had been issued to offenders. He said smoking in public places was an offence and sale of tobacco products in a radius of 100m area of educational and religious institutions was also an offence.

He said, “It is mandatory for tobacco sellers to display a board stating “No sale to minors” on their premises.

Those, who would not follow the instructions, shall be fined or challaned with the help of the police under the implementation of the Anti-Tobacco Act.” 



Typhoid: Situation under control,say doctor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
The authorities at General Hospital, Sector 6, today stated that as far as the spread of typhoid was concerned, the situation was under control.Interacting with the media here today, Dr Rakesh Chaudhary, Civil Surgeon, presented details of a number of cases reported during the past 10 days.

He said around 1,500 patients were being examined everyday and around 67 patients had been diagnosed with typhoid so far. Of these, around 20 cases were from Mani Majra and Mansa Devi Complex, Chandigarh. Dr Chaudhary said around 236 patients who had complained of fever and were undergoing treatment at various government recognised private clinics and dispensaries, around 17 were suffering from typhoid.

He said keeping in view the proportion of patients visiting the OPD and typhoid cases, the situation was not so alarming.

Meanwhile, he also suggested residents to avoid eating junk food.

Dr Jagmal Singh, district health officer, said they had also tested water samples for purification in Sectors, including 25, 26, 27 and 28.

Though these were found to be positive, still the department chlorinated water in these areas.

He added that they had surveyed over 1,100 houses in Sectors 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to check typhoid cases.

Markets in Sectors 6 and 7, sabzi mandi in Sector 16, were also surveyed by the health authorities. 



Protest by milk plant workers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
Workers of the local Verka milk plant held a rally in support of their demands here this evening.They gave an ultimatum to the authorities concerned to fulfill their demands failing which the protest would be intensified.

Protesters claimed that their interests were being ignored by senior officials, who were allegedly involved in various financial irregularities.

Bal Krishan Saini, president of the Workers Union, Milk Plant, Mohali, said daily wagers were not being given their dues.

There were nearly 150 daily wagers employed by the plant through a contractor.

The protesters demanded that pending demands of the employees should be accepted soon and jobs of those working on a temporary basis should be regularised.



Dist BJP chief’s poll turns violent
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
The disciplined image of the cadre-based Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a setback today when violence marred the election of the district president of the party, leaving a senior leader injured. The election had to postponed after the incident.

Violence erupted as one of the candidates for the president’s post, Vishal Seth, protested over the way nominations were being invited and urged the polling officers to allow his supporters to have their say in the nomination of candidates.

He was supported by Bharat Bhushan Rehod, president of the Kisan Morcha. Agitated over this, members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha(BJYM) supporting the second contestant, Kanwar Sain Singhal, started beating up Rehod with chairs.

Soon after, supporters of both Seth and Rehod arrived on the scene, but the youths escaped from the site. Rehod was immediately shifted to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where his condition was stated to be out of danger.

Shashi Pal Mehta, former Industries Minister, and Kanwar Pal Gujar, former MLA from Chachrauli, were poll observers from the party. Mehta tried for a patch-up between the rival groups.

Along with other members of the party, including senior BJP leaders CB Goyal, Shyam Lal Bansal and VK Sood, Seth alleged that Gian Chand Gupta, along with Arun Guleria and Shiv Kumar, instigated the youths as they wanted to have full control over the party in the district.

However, Gupta refuted their claims and said he was not involved in violence, either directly or indirectly.

He said Seth and his supporters were responsible for the violence as they had termed the yuva morcha men as goons. He said senior leaders should respect young party workers, who played an important role in organising rallies and meetings at the party office.

Meanwhile, party leader and former Member of Parliament Rattan Lal Kataria, shocked over the incident, said this was for the first time in the district that workers indulged in violence during party elections, adding that it was brought to the notice of state party president Krishan Pal Gujjar.

He announced that an enquiry committee would be formed soon to identify those who disrupted the peaceful poll process and strict action would be taken against those found guilty.



2 killed in accidents
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 2
Two separate road accidents were reported in less than 24 hours in which two persons were killed at Zirakpur.The first accident occurred at the Zirakpur-Patiala Highway wherein a 55-year-old horse-cart driver was killed in a head-on collision between the canter and the horse-cart this morning.

The accident led to traffic jam for more than one hour.

An unidentified cart-driver was moving towards Banur side from Zirakpur, while he reached near Chhat bus stand the speeding canter coming from Patiala collided with the horse-cart. The horse-cart driver sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the GMCH-32, Chandigarh, where he was declared brought dead.

Meanwhile, the canter driver reportedly fled.

The investigating officer said the body of the deceased had been kept for identification at civil hospital, Dera Bassi, for 72 hours.

A case has been registered against the canter driver and impounded the canter.

In another accident, a 45-year-old cyclist died after being hit by a speeding tractor-trolley at the Zirakpur-Kalka Highway near Komfort palace late last night.

The deceased has been identified as Naval Kishore Upadhaya, a resident of Dhakoli village. The incident occurred when labourer Naval Kishore was moving towards Dhakoli on his cycle where the tractor-trolley hit him from behind. He fell and died on the spot.

A passerby informed the police about the incident and rushed him to civil hospital in Dera Bassi where doctors declared him brought dead.

The body has been handed over to the family after conducting post-mortem.

Meanwhile, driver of the tractor-trolley managed to flee. A case has been registered against the tractor-trolley driver.



NCC girls’ training camp concludes

Chandigarh, June 2
The 10-day summer annual training camp conducted by No.1 Chandigarh Girls NCC Battalion concluded at the Government College for Girls, Sector-42, here today. As many as 283 cadets of senior wing and junior wing from various colleges and schools of the city attended the camp.

The cadets learnt PT, drill, firing and service subjects like, map reading, field-craft and battle-craft as well as health and hygiene, yoga and other subjects, which would help make them disciplined, independent, and successful in life.

Apart from NCC activities, adventure activities were also organised. Cadets also took part in anti-tobacco, anti-female foeticide and anti-drug rallies.

Camp Commandant, Lt Col Albel Singh Sidhu said the main objective of the camp was to inculcate discipline and self-reliance among the cadets as also to impart them training in the handling of small arms. — TNS



Revised pension benefits for 28 ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Disposing of 28 similar cases bunched together in a single petition, the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has granted revised pensionary benefits to ex-servicemen who had pointed out anomalies in the pension fixation following the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission.

Holding that the controversy involved in their cases was squarely covered by the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that was later upheld by the Supreme Court, the bench comprising Justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen HS Panag directed the respondents to revise the pensionary benefits of the pensioners within three months.

The bench also ruled that the petitioners were entitled to get arrears from the date of retirement along with interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum.

The petitioners had contended that after anomalies were detected in the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations, a committee was set up and revised pay scales were made applicable with effect from October 10, 1997, in respect of personnel below officer rank. However, those retiring after this date were granted higher consequential benefits than those who had retired earlier.

Counsel for the petitioners, RC Chatrath contended that the cut-off date was illegal, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, as it was settled law that the pay or pension anomaly should be removed with effect from the date it arose and especially so if it has been upheld by earlier judgments.



Milkha,Bindra unhappy with Queen giving Commonwealth Games a miss
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Renowned Indian sportspersons, including Flying Sikh Milkha Singh and country’s sole Olympics gold medallist (individual) Abhinav Bindra, are not happy with the decision of Queen Elizabeth II of not attending the Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in New Delhi in October.

While Milkha Singh termed it as ‘dishonour’ for the country, Bindra was of the view that it would have been nice on her part if Queen Elizabeth arrived here on the occasion.

Talking to TNS, Milkha Singh said, “This would be the first time that Queen Elizabeth will not attend the CWG, which is a multi-national, multi-sport event that features competitions involving thousands of sportspersons from member states. We are hosting it for the first time and spending several crores of rupees on it. The Queen should definitely spare some moments to visit our country to boost the morale of the competitors and the organisers”.

Milkha Singh was the first and only athlete from the country who has won the gold medal in athletic discipline so far in CWG. He clinched the top honours in 400 m (47.6 sec) in the 1958 Commonwealth Games held at Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Speaking on the issue, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra said if the Queen did not want to come here, then what could be done? “Certainly, it would be nice on her part if she comes here. Not attending the CWG because of her busy schedule is her decision,” Bindra said.

Notably, a statement from Buckingham Palace the other day informed that Queen Elizabeth II would not attend the CWG owing to “heavy workload”, leaving it to Prince Charles to represent the British Royal family at New Delhi. It would be the first time in 44 years that she will not be at the sporting event.

When talked to Kapil Dev over the phone, he said he was not aware about the Queen’s decision.

City-based Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev and Abhinav Bindra were part of the Indian squad, consisting of 11 past and present athletes, who had taken part in the Queen Baton Relay, held at the Buckingham Palace in London on October 28.

Besides Bindra, the first torchbearer among the athletes, other sportspersons who were bestowed with the honour included Beijing Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh, Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, former All England badminton champion Prakash Padukone, Sydney Olympic bronze medallist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari, tennis ace Sania Mirza, former squash player Misha Grewal and hockey great Dilip Tirkey.



Summer workshop at Sarang Lok begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
The 10th festive summer workshop for children began at Sarang Lok here yesterday. The workshop will run its course under the direction of Mumbai-based Manjul Bhardwaj, an internationally renowned expert in children theatre and child psychology. He is also an active proponent of theatre as a tool of developing relevant social values among children.

“An important segment of the workshop is conferencing with parents who will be sensitised in matters relating to the development and growth of the children in general. Experts from the fields of medicine, health, education, psychology and sociology will address and interact with parents,” said Dr Rama Rattan, the force behind Sarang Lok.

A 10-day workshop for parents, teachers and elders is also being planned at Sarang Lok, wherein they will learn to deal with children in a positive manner. The climax of the workshop will come in the form of a gala presentation by children and also unique items specially prepared and presented by parents for children.



Girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
Neha Bhatia, a Class XII student, allegedly committed suicide after consuming some poisonous substance on Sunday.She was admitted at the PGI, where she died on Tuesday.The investigating officer stated that her parents said she was not satisfied with her rank in AIEEE.

The body of the deceased was handed over to the family after an autopsy.

An inquest proceeding under Section 174 of the CrPC had been initiated in this connection, said the investigating officer.

Two labourers injured

Two labourers were seriously injured when the lintel on which they were working collapsed at Industrial Area, Phase VII, here on Tuesday afternoon.

The victims, identified as Kala and Satnam, were admitted to the Government Hospital, where their condition was stated to be critical.The police said a case would be registered after recording the statements of the injured.



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