C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 days to go, poll code goes for a toss
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Despite an imposition of the code of conduct 48 hours before the commencement of the election process on September 3 at Panjab University, certain student organisations continued to hold rallies, disrupt classrooms for campaigning and were found raising slogans at various places on the campus.
Students chalk out strategy at the PU, Chandigarh, on Wednesday
Students chalk out strategy at the PU, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan, Vicky Gharu

While a few student organisations marched openly on the campus with flags and other canvassing material, the others gathered at one place in small groups to make their presence felt.

At the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), supporters of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gathered in small groups outside the canteen to woo voters and then went to classrooms individually or in smaller groups.

Supporters of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) gathered in large numbers at a prime location close to their help desks to raise slogans and flaunt their strength.

Students Organisation of India (SOI) supporters marched to the student centre and raised slogans for nearly half hour.

Since all major student parties were found indulging in canvassing today, no formal complaint of any violation of code of conduct was reported to the PU authorities officially.

“We have been personally meeting students and asking them to vote for our party. The supporters were divided into five groups for various blocks today,” Amit Bhatia, SOPU leader, stated.

With this, the campaigning for the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) elections came to an end today.



Scuffle at law dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
A day before the student council elections, tempers ran high at the department of laws, Panjab University, today where a scuffle between supporters of arch rivals PUSU and SOPU was reported yet again.

Within minutes of the fistfight, the police and university security staff got into action and intervened to stop the supporters of both sides.

A similar incident was reported at the UIET yesterday, where supporters of the two organisations entered into a heated argument. PUSU supporters made frantic calls to the police and the media, blaming their rivals of getting outsiders to thrash them.

“We were three-four persons and nearly 25 SOPU supporters came to beat us. We managed to escape. The police saw the incident but does not want to report the matter to the authorities. We will lodge a complaint to the returning officer,” Manmeet, a PUSU supporter, alleged.

However, SOPU supporters said PUSU had hired bouncers to threaten them and challenged them to a fight outside the department. “PUSU members hired bouncers from city discotheques to threaten us and they can be easily identified by the police deployed close to the department. They challenged us to fight, but we ignored them. They were deliberately coming in our way,” Amit Bhatia, SOPU leader, claimed.

On Tuesday night, when the two parties encountered each other in girls’ hostel 3, supporters of both sides lost their cool and entered an argument. A major incident was averted due to the presence of the university’s security and the police.



Principals seek removal of PU assistant dean
Stage dharna outside Vice-Chancellor’s office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Elected senators from the principals’ constituency staged a protest outside the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor’s office here today. They were demanding removal of PU Assistant Dean, College Development Council, Keshav Malhotra alleging that he had been indifferent to the development of colleges.

Among the eight principals who participated in the dharna were the heads of two prominent institutes in the city, namely DAV College, Sector 10, and GGDSD College, Sector 32.

Before staging the protest, principals of PU-affiliated colleges met at the university guest house to take some crucial decisions. They decided to pass a resolution on behalf of the Principals’ Association seeking to withdraw the temporary charge given to Malhotra.

They also decided to stage a dharna against the alleged indifferent attitude of the associate dean, who, they claimed, kept cases pending for approval due to personal vengeance. The senator-principals claimed that appointment of Malhotra as the associate dean had affected colleges adversely.

The members demanded that a high-level inquiry be instituted against Keshav Malhotra regarding the alleged malfunctioning of his office during his tenure. They said if the university authorities did not remove him, they would return again to stage a dharna outside the VC’s office on September 9.

When asked what incident triggered the recent protest, they said several pending cases of affiliation and inspections and the biased attitude of the associate dean made them do so. The resolution has been forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor’s office.



4 property dealers held
Bid to sell NRI’s house worth Rs 10 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The police has arrested four property dealers and a dhaba owner on charges of forging documents of a UK-based NRI to sell his Sector 15 residential property worth Rs 10 crore.

The fraud was detected yesterday when one out of the five buyers of the property and a complainant in the case, Ramandeep Singh, learnt from his partner that the NRI and the original owner of the property, Labh Singh, had already requested the estate not to execute any sale deed of his property.

Acting on the complaint, the police arrested a Delhi-based property dealer, Gian Singh, along with Jarnail Singh and Sham Lal, both residents of Ludhiana, and Jashmer Singh and Satpal Sidhu of Khuda Ali Sher. A case of impersonation, forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy has been registered. The accused were today produced before a local court, which remanded them in two-day police custody.

Ramandeep, a Sector 34 property dealer, told the police that he had decided to buy the property along with his friends Jagtar Singh, Jatinder Singh, Jagmohan Singh and Jatinder Singh. He said minutes before they had signed the deed on Tuesday and given a token amount of Rs 10 lakh to two unidentified persons accompanying the property dealers (the accused), he got a call from his partner Jatinder Singh, warning him not to execute any sale deed as he had checked from the estate office that the original owner of the property had requested the estate office not to execute the sale of his house.

However, it was too late as the unidentified persons had left with the cash. He said they engaged the rest of the accused in a conversation and informed the police.

The SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Udeypal Singh, said Gian Singh, who resembled Labh Singh, had impersonated as the NRI. He also forged a passport and a voter identity card, purportedly issued in Delhi, along with his accomplices and fabricated the documents of the property.



Status report on Rathore’s land submitted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 1
It was a hectic day for the district administration as the SDM submitted the status report on the land owned by former DGP SPS Rathore while Abha Rathore, his wife, met the Deputy Commissioner here today, seeking early decision on the parole application filed by her husband.

According to sources, she expressed her resentment over the delay. The DC, Ashima Brar, told her that she had received the report from the SDM and said she would need time to compile the reports of the SP and the SDM, which would be later forwarded to the Inspector General of Jails.

Rathore, who is serving a two-year term in Burail jail at Chandigarh, has applied for parole, citing plantation of barley on his agricultural land as reason.

The sources said revenue officials were treading cautiously to avoid any embarrassment to the administration. They had videographed the over 50 kanal land owned by Rathore.

The UT police had also sought report from the Panchkula administration on Rathore’s land and if it had to be cultivated.

Meanwhile, Anand Parkash, the complainant in the case, said the parole application filed by Rathore was self-contradictory. First, he said he was suffering from hypertension and other heart problems due to old age and then sought 15 days for cultivating land, Prakash quipped.



CHB mulls disposal of vacant properties
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Septmeber 1
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has finally spared a thought to the 1,924 houses worth crores lying vacant across the city.

Taking cognizance of the news item that was published in Chandigarh Tribune dated August 6, 2010, “1924 houses lying vacant: CHB blinkers on for 25 years”, the CHB chairman had recently convened a meeting to consider the disposal of vacant properties belonging to the board and constituted a special task force for the purpose.

During the meeting, which was attended by the Chairman, CEO, Secretary, Chief Engineer and Accounts Officer (Policy) of the board, it was decided to physically verify these properties by members of the task force, including the Executive Engineer (Enforcement), Sectional Officer concerned and the dealing assistant of the housing scheme concerned.

The Executive Engineer has been directed to ensure coordination and timely completion of the verification exercise. The dealing assistant will ensure reconciliation of record of vacant dwelling units under the related scheme being dealt by him.

Chandigarh Tribune had reported that 1,924 dwelling units constructed by the CHB and meant mainly for economically weaker sections (EWS) had been lying vacant, some for as long as almost a quarter of a century.

These dwelling units, which present a picture of neglect and official apathy, have become an abode for anti-social elements and stray animals. In many houses, hardware items, doors and windowpanes have been either broken or stolen. Some houses have even been illegally occupied and the CHB is entangled in legal battles to prove that the properties belong to it.

Most of these houses are located in Sectors 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52 and 55 and the Modern Housing Complex in Manimajra. These are in addition to dwelling units in Palsora, Colony Number 4, Dadu Majra, Dhanas and Maloya.



Snehalaya inmate raped, pregnant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The police today arrested a 27-year-old resident of Sector 56 on charges of raping a 14-year-old inmate of Snehalaya, an orphanage in Maloya, when she was staying in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, about three months ago.

The police said the act came to light today when the victim complained of uneasiness and was examined by a doctor in the orphanage. She was referred to the GMSH, where it was confirmed that she was about three months pregnant.

The police has registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement against the accused who has been identified as Om Parkash, alias Prakash Masih.

Preliminary investigations into the case revealed that the victim’s maternal grandmother had rented an accommodation from the accused’s parents in Phase II of Bapu Dham Colony.

Though he lived in Sector 56, he had visited the house when the victim was staying there with her grandmother and raped her in the absence of her grandmother. He was married but had separated from his wife.


Newborn’s Death
Medical fraternity opposes criminal case suggestion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
While the inquiry report into the death of a newborn at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has indicted five doctors and four other staff members, the recommendations of the Legal Remembrancer for registering a criminal case against them have come under severe criticism from the medical fraternity.

The Indian Council of Medical Association’s Chandigarh chairman, Dr Zora Singh, said this could not be accepted. Doctors had not failed, but rather, the system collapsed, he said.

The administration could not expect service at hospitals of international standard when there was short on infrastructure, opined Dr Singh. The GMSH did not have a counsellor or social worker to guide patients and doctors there were facing a gigantic task to examine thousands of patients everyday, he added.

The United Frontal Organisation of Health chairman, Dr AP Sanwaria, termed it painful. The death of any human being was shocking, but the way doctors were made a scapegoat could not be supported, he said.

Not only doctors, but the whole system was to be blamed for what happened at the GMSH on July 21, he said. The administration had not learnt a lesson yet, he added.

Going by reports, one doctor at the PGI was expected to examine over a hundred patients everyday, which was not humanly possible, he added.

On July 21, Bulbul, a native of Bihar, was forced to move from one counter to another at the GMSH during labour pains. This led to delivery in the open, leading to the death of the baby.

The inquiry report conducted by Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital, and PS Shergill, Additional Deputy Commissioner, had indicted Dr Veena Sarna, head of the gynaecology department at the GMSH, along with Dr Usha, Dr Deepak, Dr Suneet Walia and Diploma of National Board students Dr Vandna and Dr Smriti, besides others.



Meagre wages to outsourced staff
Admn to get tough with contractors
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, September 1
In a ray of hope for over 5,000 outsourced employees working in various wings of the Chandigarh administration on meagre wages, the UT administration has decided to get tough with their contractors and ensure minimum wages to them.

A broad consensus on the issue was arrived at a meeting presided over by Adviser to the UT Administrator Pradip Mehra. It was decided to enforce minimum wages to the staff employed by contractors for various outsourced jobs.

A senior official said the UT administration was committed to the payment of minimum wages to all sections of employees so that their exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous contractors could be eliminated. Recently, the administration had effected a steep hike in the minimum wages — the lowest being Rs 5,000.

There have been numerous complaints by outsourced employees about low wages paid to them by contractors.

A majority of these employees work in public-dealing offices in hospitals and other departments, besides being engaged as sweepers with the municipal corporation.

With unemployment problem assuming alarming proportions, a majority of these employees do not come in the open to complain against their employers for the fear of losing their jobs. Officials say a proper mechanism is being worked out to redress the grievances, including low wages, of the outsourced employees.

In the backdrop of the right-sizing in government departments, various important wings in the administration are being manned by contractual and outsourced employees.

The new decision on the outsourced employees will go a long way in correcting the pay anomalies between the outsourced and other employees.



I-T officials to be back in action
Nationwide protest called off; offenders beware
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Tax offenders, beware now! The income tax department, which had virtually given up raids and surveys to unearth tax evasions due to the agitation by about 4,000 employees of the North-West region, that included the city, would be back in action, with the nationwide protest being called off today.

The strike had adversely affected operations throughout the country, with not a single raid or survey being conducted in the region since July 20. According to officials, the department conducted seven or eight search operations and over two dozen surveys a year, which had all been put on hold due to the agitation.

As for the North-West region, the department conducted between 30 and 40 search operations and 500-odd surveys a year. If estimates were to be believed, the agitation cost Rs 1 crore a day to the exchequer as the department had collected almost Rs 382 crore (on an average over Rs 1 crore a day) last fiscal.

A senior officer admitted that with the agitation being called off, raids would commence soon as the homework had been already done during this period. “We were not able to conduct raids even in cases where investigations were already on,” said a senior income tax officer.

The success of raids largely depended on timing and this element had been badly affected by the agitation. “Things will be back to normal when raids and surveys commence,” said the official.

Meanwhile, it was reliably learnt that the department was all set to issue notices to 1,200-odd residents of the city as their cases had come up for scrutiny. “The selections are random and this is the first phase of the ongoing process,” added an officer.



CAT’s no to stay on dept proceedings in graft case
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Demarcating between departmental proceedings and criminal inquiry, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today dismissed an application filed by Ashish Vajpayee, presently working as the Assistant Registrar of Companies and official liquidator at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Chandigarh.

Vajpayee has a CBI case pending under the Prevention of Corruption Act wherein it had been alleged that he was in possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1,47,15,188.

Turning down his application, the tribunal declined from invoking a stay on departmental proceedings till the orders in the criminal case were pronounced.

The tribunal observed, “It is for the disciplinary authority to decide as to whether in a given case it should keep the departmental inquiry pending till the outcome of the criminal trial or not.”

Vaypayee had allegedly indulged in corruption during 1999 to May 31, 2006. In 2008, departmental proceedings were initiated against him due to this case.

Elaborating on the difference between departmental inquiry and a criminal case, the tribunal held, “By now it is a well-settled proposition of law that the degree of proof in a departmental inquiry is different than the one required to prove a charge in criminal proceedings. In the departmental inquiry, the finding can be recorded on preponderance of probabilities and it is not necessary that the charge must be proved beyond any doubt and the proceedings are entirely different in nature and character.”

The court directed the department concerned to complete the disciplinary proceedings against the applicant within six months and directed him to cooperate so that it could be brought to some logical conclusion.

Vajpayee had moved another application seeking change of investigating officer of the Chief Vigilance Commission as he was asking for a list of defence witnesses.



Haryana Tourism Day

Panchkula, September 1
Students participated in cultural programmes organised by the Haryana Tourism Department at Red Bishop in Sector 1 to mark the 37th Haryana Tourism Day. A painting competition was organised.

Slogan and food competitions were also held. Students of Hotel Management Institute in Morni prepared food items. Students also presented dance items. Maha Singh, Commissioner, Haryana Tourism, gave away prizes to winners of various competitions. — TNS



Janamashtmi celebrated

Panchkula, September 1
Tiny tots of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, gave dance performances to mark Janamastami. Students danced to the tunes of devotional songs. Also, tiny tots from pre nursery to KG of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, participated in singing and dancing competitions.

Ambala: The festival was celebrated with religious fervour here. Temples of Lord Krishna were decorated with colourful lights and a religious procession was taken out. A large number of devotees thronged temples to pay their obeisance. DPS Public School organised a workshop of art and craft to celebrate Janamashtmi. Janamashtmi was also celebrated in PKR Jain Vatika. Police DAV Public School organised a function on the school campus. — TNS



Monsoon on the wane in city
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
After unleashing heavy rainfall in the city — nearly 800 mm — and its neighbouring Punjab and Haryana in the past two months, monsoon has started subsiding with hot and humid conditions back in the city.

The monsoon had weakened in the city, India Meteorological Department (IMD) director Surender Paul pointed out here today. No vigorous activity may be noticed for the next few days, he added.

Meanwhile, hot conditions are back in the city where the temperatures have been showing a rising trend in the absence of rain for the past over a week.

According to a Met official, monsoon showers are eluding the city due to the weather system shifting to the Himalayan foothills, just about a week after the seasonal rain phenomenon hit the city.

The rain gauges measured “nil” for a period of 24 hours ending 5.30 pm today, a repeat of last year’s experience when monsoon showers gave a miss after it hit the city on the same day.

Mercury today marginally went down to 33.8 °C from yesterday’s 34.0 °C, one degree above normal, while the low settled at 27.1 °C as against the previous day’s 27.2 °C. The humidity was also on a high, oscillating between 59 and 90 per cent.

The IMD in its update today said the monsoon trough would shift northward close to the foothills of the Himalayas over the next two days.

Rain would now be confined to the foothills, signalling yet another weakening trend in the monsoon. The city might also have drizzle on and off in the days to come, the Met official said.

“The city has had exceptionally good showers this monsoon so far, however, unlike the past year, we have not seen persistent and continuous rain. Instead, the rain has occurred as isolated heavy showers,” said the IMD director.

Paul said no low-pressure systems were present in the upper air either over the city.

“As a result, the next few days will not have any vigorous activity,” he said, adding that isolated light rains might continue in patches caused due to a combination of day-time heating and moisture.

However, the weatherman has forecast generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers tomorrow with temperatures likely to hover around 32 °C and 26 °C, respectively.



Land record staff meet revenue minister
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 1
Activists of the Punjab Land Record Society Employees Welfare Association met with revenue minister Ajit Singh Kohar to put forth their long-pending demands.

In a press statement issued here today, association spokesperson said during the meeting, the minister was apprised of the fact that 350 employees were working at the land record centres in state.

These employees had been working for the computerisation of land record for the past four to five years.

Already, 43 such centres had started functioning and would be computerised by March, 2011.

The government had recently issued an advertisement to fill 922 vacancies to run these centres on two-year contract. The association demanded the government to first adjust the 350 employees already working with the department.

They suggested that keeping in view the ongoing computerisation of land records, an IT cell should be established in the department.

The spokesperson added that the minister assured the association of taking up the issue before the government.



Police Complaints Authority secy

Chandigarh, September 1
The Joint Secretary (Home) of the Chandigarh administration has been designated convener-cum-secretary of the Police Complaints Authority.

According to a press note, the Superintendent (Home-III) will look after the work of the authority in addition to his normal duties.

Sohan Singh, consultant with the Chandigarh administration secretariat, will assist him. Tarlochan Singh, steno-typist, has been deputed to look after the work, in addition to his duties. — TNS



Administrator’s Advisory Council
Chairpersons of nine standing panels named
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
People’s participation in the decision-making process got a shot in the arm yesterday with the Chandigarh administration nominating chairpersons of nine standing committees of the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC).

With the nomination of heads of various committees, the panels would now get down to suggesting various measures aimed at improving the functioning of various departments and upgrade of infrastructure in the city. In fact, various suggestions from the members would be put before the next meeting of the AAC on September 10.

Eminent jurist Justice SS Sodhi will head urban infrastructure for the city committee with RK Saboo, PC Sanghi, Chaman Lal Gupta and Saudamini Bambah as members.

On the other hand, Deepa Jain Singh will head the education committee, which will have Harjinder Kaur, Maj-Gen MS Kandal (retd), Neelam Mansingh and Partap K Aggarwal as members.

The environment committee will have Justice Kuldip Singh as its head with Chand Nehru, Manju Jaidka and Vikram Sehgal as members. CL Bains will chair the health committee, having BB Bahl, Harbans Kaur Bahia, SK Sharma and Sadanand as members.

Retired IPS officer VK Kapoor will be the head of the law and order committee with politicians Sanjay Tandon, Gurbachan Singh and Devi Dayal Sharma as its member.

Coach of legendary cricketer Kapil Dev’s DP Azad will be chairman of the sports committee, which will have ML Verma, Sabastian Jose and Bhajan Singh as members.

The transportation committee will be headed by Madhu Sarin and will have KS Raju, Mansur Ali and city Mayor Anu Chatrath as members.

The traffic management Committee will be chaired by Harish C Sethi and its members will be Gurdeep Singh Atwal, Manmohan Singh and Gurdeep Singh.

Sumitra Amarkant will be the chairperson of the urban planning and heritage preservation committee. Charanjiv Singh, Kiran Joshi, ML Sarin and GPS Sahi figure in the committee as members.

Sources said the committees would now discuss various issues relating to their areas threadbare and come out with suggestion for the improvement of functioning of the administration to provide a better life to residents.



Newborn abandoned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
A male newborn was found near the CTU workshop at Phase I, Industrial Area, here this afternoon. A passerby informed the police around 2:55 pm that the baby was lying in a ditch near the workshop.

A police team rushed to the spot and finding the baby alive, rushed him to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

Inspector Ram Gopal, officiating SHO of the Industrial Area police station, said the baby’s condition was stated to be stable. Efforts were on to trace his parents.

The police registered a case of abandonment of child less than 12 years of age under Section 317 of the Indian Penal Code.



Jail inmate flees PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
An inmate of the Ludhiana jail, under treatment at the PGI here, escaped from the custody of three jail wardens yesterday.

The police has registered a case against the inmate, Joga Singh of Solan district in Himachal Pradesh, and the three wardens, Kahmiri Lal, Rajiv Kumar and Avtar Singh.

Joga Singh had been booked in a cheating case by the Ludhiana police in May. He was referred to the PGI for treatment.

The case was registered on a complaint lodged by the Superintendent of Central jail, Ludhiana, Surinder Pal Khanna.



3 more cases of dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Three more patients of dengue from the city have been hospitalised here today. While a patient from Sector 39 was admitted to the Civil Hospital in Mohali, two others from Sectors 15 and 43 were admitted at a private hospital in Mohali. With this, the total number of dengue patients has reached five. Earlier, two persons from Sectors 15 and 40 were found suffering from dengue.



Violation of agreement
Councillor demands action against contractor
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 1
A private contractor has allegedly failed to maintain Rose Garden in Phase III-B1 here in violation of the terms of the agreement compelling a municipal councillor to demand action against him.

In a letter written to the executive officer and the president of the municipal council here on Monday, Kuljit Singh Bedi said as per Section 17 of the agreement the contractor was to set up a complaint office at Rose Garden which was to be equipped with a telephone and an employee was to be deployed to listen to the complaints of residents.

He said two months had passed since the work was allotted but the contractor had allegedly failed to open the complaint office.

He said the toilets in the park had a foul smell and the leaves and other cutting from the park were dumped in one corner which rotted, creating pollution. Complaints made in this regard fell on deaf ears.

Bedi urged the council authorities to take strict action against the contractor and impose penalty as per the terms of the agreement. Bedi said the contractor should also be directed to set up an office within 15 days failing which he would be compelled to go to court.



Capt Kanwaljit remembered
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 1
In remembrance of their former senior Akali leader Capt Kanwaljit Singh on his 68th birthday, SAD party workers today organised a blood donation camp at Gurdwara Sahib in Baltana. More than 85 persons donated blood during the camp.

The akhand path, along with langar, was also served at gurdwara. MLA, Banur, Jasjit Singh Bunny and member of the Istri Akali Dal Manpreet Kaur Dolly were present on the occasion.

Remembering her father, Manpreet Kaur Dolly said her father had worked to uplift his constituency and was responsible for bringing many developmental projects to the area.



Gogoi to be new Punjab & Haryana HC judge
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, September 1
Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, will be administered oath as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 10.

A notification on his transfer to Chandigarh was received by the Punjab and Haryana High Court today. Available information from Delhi suggests that Justice Gogoi was given time to join till September 14, but he has opted to join four days before the deadline.

Justice Gogoi will be third in the seniority list, after Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Mehtab Singh Gill. As the high court collegium comprises the first three judges, he will be a part of it, along with the Chief Justice and Justice Gill. Justice Gogoi is expected to eventually take over as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, after Justice Mukul Mudgal retires on attaining the age of superannuation in January next.

With his joining, the number of high court judges will go up to 47, against the sanctioned strength of 68. The number of judges is, however, expected to go down to 44 in the near future, with the transfer of three judges from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

As of now, the Supreme Court collegium is believed to have cleared the names of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma and Justice HS Bhalla for transfer from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Sources said Justice Sharma is likely to go to the Madras High Court, Justice Mohunta to Andhra High Court and Justice Bhalla to Orissa.



poll pitch refuses to lower
A big no to mainstream politics
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Fresh faces have unexpectedly replaced the familiar ones after student parties announced alliances on the Panjab University campus. Yet a common thread between the old and the new student leaders of PU is their similar sentiments to not join the mainstream politics.

Student leaders on the campus are mostly enrolled in MSc courses, some others are research scholars and management students. There are others who intend to juggle the student welfare work with their professional course such as MBA and bachelors in dental sciences.

The present day leaders hail mostly from non-political families. While there are others who have resolved to join a suitable job after graduating from the PU campus.

“I do not intend to join the mainstream politics although I wish to work for student welfare on the campus. My father is a businessman in Haryana and I will do MBA after graduating from the UIET and then do something on my own. I aim to become an entrepreneur,” said Pawan Bansal, presidential candidate of the Haryana Students Association (H SA).

“I did not expect that I would be nominated as a presidential candidate. Though I have been active on the campus regarding student activities, I don’t want to join the mainstream politics. Later, I wish to pursue a management degree or work in a reputed company,” said Mohit Taneja, presidential candidate of SOPU-ABVP alliance.

If the mainstream politics is not the prime focus, then what compels them to entering student politics in PU? A few leaders say it is the sheer charm of popularity and recognition, others claim that it is often a “suggestion” of a colleague or a friend to contest and is not planned.

Election Round-Up

What a goof-up

A member of a relatively new student organisation forgot to withdraw his nomination before the deadline. Generally, the parties make multiple nominations to ensure that in case their candidate is rejected a standby is ready. But this goof up resulted in two contestants standing for the post of president from the same party.

Fate of ‘Open House’ undecided

The fate of the ritualistic “Open house” before the elections on the PU campus remains undecided even today. While the PU authorities are tight-lipped on the issue, sources reveal that in a bid to avoid public discussion of certain contentious issues, the open house is not being hosted. The PU authorities, however, claim that the use of loudspeaker is prohibited by the Lyngdoh committee recommendations, hence the event cannot be organised.

SOPU-PUSU tiffs trigger more vigilance

With more than four minor incidents of minor scuffle between the two major parties SOPU-PUSU reported on campus in the past three days, the police and the university security have increased the vigil. Cops, who have been divided into teams, were spotted following the cars of student leaders as they moved from north to south campus today.

PU Women Front finally wakes up

With all three girls contesting for the post of vice-president (PUCSC) this year, one of them belongs to the long forgotten Panjab University Women Front. Vibha, a student of botany department in Panjab University, is contesting from the PUSU-INSO alliance and was last spotted at a press conference organised for the launch of women front in 2009.



SOPU complains against PUSU
Activists misuse candidate’s personal information
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) lodged a complaint with the returning officer of PU student election against the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) for maligning the image of their presidential candidate Mohit Taneja.

SOPU alleged that PUSU supporters were found misusing Taneja’s “personal information” that was culled from his facebook account.

PUSU members were distributing certain pictures at the UIET during canvassing, in which the presidential candidate was shown teaching juniors how to “pass a re-appear examination”. There were other pictures showing the “number of re-appear forms” of the candidate.

SOPU leaders alleged that it was a personal remark and was against the election code of conduct.

“Such cheap gimmicks by the rival party expose the agenda on which it is contesting the elections. They are not promising development to students, but are targeting SOPU and their candidates to fool students,” said Amit Bhaita, SOPU leader.

Yet another SOPU leader added that there was no fixed criterion of PUSU to nominate their presidential candidate. “Those who work hard are not made to contest, while the ones who have just entered the campus are given a ticket,” said a student leader.

In response to the allegations, PUSU members claimed that the information was available on a social networking website and was not a hidden fact. The members claimed that if the candidate of the rival party was ineligible to contest the elections, it must be exposed in front of the voters.


  • Massive campaigning by all parties at PU hostels comes to an end
  • Scuffle between PUSU, SOPU reported at PU’s law department
  • Outings, movies, dance parties hosted by student organisations
  • Rain mars poll spirit on campus for two hours, water- proof tents of parties come in handy
  • Presence of companies for placement of fourth-year students dampens poll fever on UIET campus
  • 70 per cent girl students on campus to decide fate of alliances on September 3



His deeds speak louder than words
Neha Miglani/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Hailing from a family of government employees, this year’s SOPU-ABVP presidential candidate had not thought of contesting the student council election till a week back.

A low-profile worker of the Student Organisation of Panjab University, Mohit Taneja, said his only achievement in the past three years of his stay on the PU campus was his dedication towards his organisation.

He does not own a vehicle, but is surrounded by swanky cars, with supporters canvassing for his victory in the forthcoming Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) poll.

When it became evident that Harshvardhan Singh, who was earlier announced as the presidential candidate, would not contest for the post due to shortage of lectures, Mohit was the next unanimous choice in the party.

Breaking the trends of past years, in which children of affluent families were found contesting elections for the presidential post, this year Mohit hopes to set an example of a violence-free campus for students.

He stays in Sector 40 in a rented accommodation with his parents and a younger sister. On being questioned about his parents’ reaction to his nomination, Mohit replied, “My parents told me to stay away from petty and violent politics.”

When asked about his USP, he replied with a broad smile, “It is my dedication towards my party and student welfare activities on the campus.”

In Class X, Mohit scored 90 per cent marks and then 80 per cent in Class XII in non-medical stream. He scored a decent rank in AIEEE and managed to get admission in UIET, PU in the first counselling.

On probing further, his friends said he was an academically bright student since he managed to clear Class XII re-appear examination in one go, which is an arduous task!



The wooing act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Effort by student organisations to persuade voters through outings, movies and dance parties continued today as well on the Panjab University campus. Incidents of students being taken for a movie at a local mall and yet another one of organising a dance party were reported from the campus.

While the local police received a complaint from a student organisation in Panjab University about another student organisation hosting a dance party for students at a discotheque in Sector 35, the police refused to comment on the matter.

“The complaint may have gone to the returning officer first, he is the right person to talk to,” said Jagbir Singh DSP (central).

Supporters of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today levelled allegations against arch rivals Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) for organising a dance party to woo students. In response to the allegations, SOPU leader Amit Bhatia said, “It is a fictitious story by a party which itself is organising such outings. If at all we had to organise any such party, we would have chose the best discothèque in the city and not the one that is being named by PUSU in their allegation.”

In yet another case, rival student organisations today levelled allegations against Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) for showing a movie to students to influence them.

The party supporters of INSO denied any such trip.



Course on trauma life support begins at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
To deal with increasing cases of trauma, a leading cause of death in India, the department of anaesthesia and intensive care, PGI, started a two-day comprehensive trauma life support (CTLS) course here today.

At least 130 delegates from Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana have registered for the course, being conducted in association with the International Trauma Anaesthesia and Critical Care Society (ITACCS), Chandigarh branch.

Around 5.1 million people die every year due to road traffic injuries. Another 50 million people are seriously injured and lose their livelihood.

In India, a vehicular crash takes place every three minutes and a death every six minutes. Nearly 300 persons die every day and more than 5,000 persons are seriously injured.

Eight faculty members from countries like US, Australia, Pakistan, Poland and United Kingdom are part of the course. “Road traffic accidents represent only a fraction of the trauma spectrum and this course will allow the delegates to gain comprehensive knowledge on all type of traumas,” said Prof KK Gombar, president ITACCS, Chandigarh branch. Dr Michael JA Parr, course director, gave an overview of the course, followed by lectures and hands-on training.

Prof Fauzia Khan from Karachi and Prof Leon Drobnik from Poland, who are present as international observers, noted the proceedings to make suggestions for standards of training and improvement strategies for future programmes.

Prof SK Malhotra, organising secretary, in his welcome address introduced the national and international faculty. Prof SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, in his inaugural address emphasised that such programmes should become a regular feature for acquiring knowledge and improving the performance of medical staff in the management of trauma cases.

Though no trauma centre of international standard has been set up in the region so far, 22 such centres are coming up at different places, including Amritsar, Karnal, Rohtak and PGI, Chandigarh, said Prof Jyotsna Wig, course chairperson.



Cops hold flag march on campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh police yesterday carried out a flag march at Panjab University in the wake of forthcoming students election.

UT SSP SS Srivastva, along with the DSP (central) and station house officers of Sector 3, 11 and 17 police stations, and Charanjit Singh, in charge of the crime branch inspector, led the flag march comprising around 100 policemen.

Later, the SSP held a meeting with leaders of various student organisations and advised them to follow the Lyngdoh Committee’s guidelines and contest the elections in a peaceful manner.

Meanwhile, the DSP (central) said three inspector rank officers were deployed on the campus round-the-clock. Besides, around 100 police personnel were deployed in the university to maintain the law and order situation, he added.

The police has also permanently stationed the anti-rioting vehicles and a water cannon on the campus. A senior officer said on the day of elections i.e. September 3, around 600 policemen would be deployed in the university and the police would man all polling booths.

The police said searches were being conducted in hostels and the entry of outsiders was restricted.

In an attempt to keep unruly elements away from the election process, the police has requested UT ADC PS Shergill to cancel the bail of 13 student leaders who were involved in various criminal cases. Those against whom the police had prepared the report included Simrandeep Singh Sandhu, Simranjit Singh Dhillon, Dhrupinder Singh Brar, Narinder Singh Gujjar, Udey Singh, Udeybhan Singh, Harshbir Singh, Dharminedr Singh, Robin Brar, Vikramjit Singh Bakra and Gurwinder Singh Sonu.

Students leaders have been booked for apprehension of breach of peace under Sections 107 and 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code. They were released after furnishing bond of Rs 50,000 each.

Meanwhile, human right activists and a local lawyer, Arvind Thakur, sent a legal notice to the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti citing that Lyngdoh Committee’s guidelines were not being followed during the election campaigning.



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