L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Refund scam in I-Tax dept
Magnitude of bungling believed to run in crores
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, November 26
Panic has gripped income tax (I-T) officials after a bogus refund scam worth crores has been detected in the department. Officials are tight-lipped and everybody is trying to save his/her skin.

I-Tax officials are in a tizzy and searching the records to find out if any refund of more than ` 1 lakh was issued under their charge.

The scam came to light when Ramesh Kumar, who claimed himself to be a resident of Anand Nagar here, tried to deposit a cheque worth ` 47 lakh in the State Bank of India. While the cheque had signatures of an income tax officer and departmental stamp, he came under scanner since he failed to show the income tax advice number (ITAN) when the bank officials asked for the same. Seeing himself in trouble, he fled from the scene.

The case was then referred to the police. What surpised the police was that apart from the forged signatures of the I-T officer, the cheque also had the department's stamp. The accused must have submitted the fake TDS certificate along with the return to claim refund.

Sources in the department said they believed it was a gang which was operative in the city for claiming bogus refunds. Cases of bogus refunds were earlier reported in Jagraon, Bathinda and other parts of the country.

The police is investigating the case and report of the same will be sent to Central Board of Direct Taxes. Sources in the department revealed that the department wanted the CBI to conduct an inquiry. 

Dept Clueless

6 accounts sealed

A senior I”tax official said the department was clueless about the crook. “I cannot comment since the police is investigating the matter. It may be a mafia operating for issuing bogus refunds. It is possible that I’Tax and bank officers are involved”, he said. Sub-inspector Surinder Singh said they had sealed six bank accounts. “We have sealed bank accounts of six persons where vouchers amounting to over ` 1 lakh were deposited. Investigations are on and more accounts are likely to be sealed in the coming days,” he said.



Nursery costlier than MBA!
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Sending a tiny tot to nursery in one of the elite city schools is now costlier than getting a masters degree in management, thanks to the ever-soaring school fees!

According to statistics, sending a child to a well-known city school reduces the parents' earnings by nearly Rs 70,000-80,000 per annum, whereas the cost of studying in one of the city's top B-school is less than Rs 50,000.

Several prominent city schools charge anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 as "admission fund", in addition to tuition fees, averaging Rs 2,500-3,000 per month.

This is not all. A look at the fee card of most schools reveals addition of various other expenses under different heads, including miscellaneous expenses, development fund, building fund etc. "Imagine! This is just about sending a child to nursery," exclaims Priya Chawla, an educationist and mother of two.

Parents rue that in the absence of any regulation, the schools have continued to fleece them in the name of quality education.

Interestingly, while on one hand, the schools hike their fee at the rate of 30-50 per cent every year, on the other, the B-schools in and around the city prefer to keep the hike minimal. Most of the colleges offering MBA course do not hike their course fee more than 3-10 per cent every session, while there are many which do not implement any hike for two-three years in a row.

"It is here that the poor and the rich are being separated in laying the foundation for tomorrow. Considering the cost of sending children to nursery, a parent with limited resources cannot even afford to send his child to school," rues another parent S. Shyamal.

Parents' Woes

Admission fee: Rs 25,000-45,000 (at the onset of academic session)

Tuition fee: Rs 2,000-3,000 per month

Transport: Rs 700-1,200 per month

Uniforms: Rs 1,200-1,500 per set

Books and Stationery: Rs 3,500-4,000

Events/fun trips: Rs 5,000-8,000 per annum


Outcome of raids over power theft unknown
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 26
The day-long raids conducted by several enforcement directorate teams of Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL) at the premises of a charitable trust that runs a hospital, a subsidized feeding joint and a ‘vridh ashram’ on the Chandigarh Road here and in Doraha on Thursday is still shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy. Details of the report submitted by the directorate to the distribution wing on massive irregularities in the subdivisions concerned were not revealed till late in the evening today.

As PS Gill, chief engineer of the central zone, was away in Patiala to attend a meeting, repeated attempts to seek details from the PSPCL officials concerned about the penalties imposed on consumers for unauthorized power loads and other irregularities yielded no information.

Teams of the enforcement directorates from Patiala, Sangrur, Jalandhar, Mohali and Ludhiana had conducted simultaneous raids on several establishments run by the charitable trust and had detected various irregularities. Even though top officials of the enforcement wing who conducted the raids were tightlipped, sources said irregularities committed by consumers were so serious that the subdivisions concerned and other supervisory officials ought to be proceeded against for gross negligence and lapses on their part.

According to the enforcement wing officials, they had prepared a load checking report of all the establishments run by the charitable trust, which had been forwarded to the distribution wing for further followup action like imposition of penalty and proceeding against erring officials at sub division or division level. “The ball is now in the court of the distribution wing that has to take a decision and bring the consumers to book.”

Senior PSPCL officials including the deputy chief engineer (headquarters), deputy chief engineer, city east circle and deputy chief engineer, Khanna circle, feigned ignorance about the enforcement raids.

Meanwhile, senior executive engineers of the Focal Point and Doraha divisions told The Tribune the amount of penalty had yet to be finalized and the enforcement staff’s report was being processed. The officials declined to say anything when asked if there was any political pressure on them to keep the matter under wraps or “go soft” against the erring consumers.

That there is more to the matter than meets the eye in this case is evident from the evasive attitude of the officials who are directly concerned with the task of calculating the penalty and taking other action against the consumers in such cases. “Normally the amount of penalty is calculated and a recovery notice slapped on the erring consumer the very next working day of the raids by the enforcement wing,” confided a PSPCL official requesting anonymity.



Auto dealers charge ‘premium’ for prompt delivery
Anshu Seth/TNS

Ludhiana, November 26
Laxity of the part of district transport officials has given a free hand to the city’s automobile dealerships to fleece customers by charging an extra amount for new vehicles as “premium”, for which they have to pay in unaccountable money.

Due to the gap between demand and supply of many vehicles there is a waiting period of a few months depending upon their production and supply to the dealerships. However, in the absence of any checks by district transport officials, the latter indulge in the illegal practice of selling vehicles at a high “premium”, which is an euphemism for the black-market.

Among scooters the Honda Activa is the most sought after for which people have to wait for as many as six months after paying the initial booking amount. However, seeing the customers’ desperation, the company’s dealers are charging Rs 10,000 extra for this scooter brand. The money is charged from the customer as "premium" for the vehicle to be delivered as soon as possible.

Similarly, people are paying Rs 80,000 extra as premium for the Toyota Fortuner SUV and Rs 30,000 for the Suzuki Swift and Dzire cars and the Toyota Innova MPV.

Another, malpractice that has surfaced, as a major problem for the consumers is "forcible" buying of vehicle accessories from the dealers. Customers are forced to buy accessories including mudguard, seat covers of cars, music systems, air conditioners from the showrooms, which are priced double than the maximum retail price.

Saagar, a small trader in the old city, complained: "I was forced to buy accessories worth Rs 7,500 for the two wheeler that I had recently bought. The dealer had refused to deliver the vehicle when I confronted him on the issue”.

When contacted, district transport officer Ashwani Kumar stated: “Charging a premium amount on vehicles is an offence and it can be ended if people come forward with complaints. The practice has been encouraged by customers as they themselves offer money to dealerships in order to get delivery of vehicles as soon as possible. But we are unable to take action as the premium payments are made under the counter, which the department has been unable to stop despite regular checks on the city’s auto dealerships,” the DTO added.



Elopement Case
Police ‘asks’ money to raid suspect
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Bhulla Gupta (40), a vegetable vendor, who resides in Dashmesh Nagar, is busy arranging ` 20,000 for bringing her daughter, who was recently “abducted”, back from Bihar.

“If you think I am arranging money for paying the extortion amount, then you are mistaken. Actually, an assistant sub inspector, who is investigating the case, has asked me to arrange the money for raiding the accused’s house in Katihar (Bihar),” said Bhulla Gupta.

Hell broke lose on the vegetable vendor, when his 15- year- old daughter, Priyanka, went to Bihar on October 16 and reportedly got married to Krishan Kumar.

According to Bhulla, Krishan Kumar, who along with his accomplice Deepak Kumar, was living in a quarter located next to his house, planned entire thing.

Narrating the tale Bhulla said: “Krishan Kumar and Deepak Kumar took advantage of my wife’s illness and gained entry into my house. Krishan Kumar (22) befriended my daughter, who was studying in Class VIII. They soon fell in love with each other.” Bhulla reportedly told them that the law does not permit marriage between minors when the entire family came to know about their affair.

Bhulla convinced his daughter that once she completes her studies, he would get her married to a groom of her choice.

“Krishan Kumar fled left the city and we thought that the love story has come to an end. But it was not so, as Deepak Kumar, who is brother- in- law of Krishan, came to my house on October 16 to enquire about my wife’s health. I went to the market to sell vegetable,” said Bhulla.

Deepak reportedly offered some syrup laced with sedatives to Neelam Devi, mother of Priyanka. Neelam fell asleep after consuming it and Priyanka fled away. She reportedly boarded a train and travelled to Bihar, where the duo got married.

Krishan Kumar even sent an affidavit stating that the duo got married before the SDM. “Since then I am running from pillar to post to get the culprit arrested. But the investigating officer was telling me that the police would not bear the expenses of conducting the raid. And I was told to arrange the money,” alleged Bhulla.

He said the Shimlapuri police was reluctant to register the case. It was only after 29 days when they appeared before Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh that accused Krishan Kumar and his accomplice Deepak Kumar were booked.

When Vikrampal Singh Bhatti, Assistant Commissioner of Police, was about the alleged ransom demanded by the investigating officer, he said he would look into the matter and talk to the SHO of the Shimlapuri police station about the case. 

Legal action

‘Allegation baseless’

Priyanka (15), a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Gill Road, who eloped with Krishan Kumar, a migrant labourer, on October 16, could also face legal action after she reportedly appeared before the sub-divisional court in Katihar (Bihar) and got married by projecting herself as over 18- year-old. Her school certificate, however, shows that she was 14 years and seven months old.

“It is baseless. It is not me. Rather, Bhullan’s brother said it would cost ` 20,000 for entire family to visit Bihar along with the police raiding party. Why should the police ask for money? Why would the police fund the family members’ trip to Bihar.”

— Assistant Sub-Inspector Som Nath 



Anti-Obesity Day
Beware of diet pills!
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Depending on anti-obesity pills as an easy way to lose weight, beware as it could land you in serious trouble.

The lesser known Ayurvedic companies as well as multinational pharmaceuticals are selling anti-obesity pills containing antidepressants, carbohydrate blockers, appetite suppressants, diuretics and laxatives, which when consumed without medical supervision results in multiple health complications.

The growing problem of obesity has given pharmaceuticals a chance to mint money by selling anti-obesity pills/powder formulations as over-the-counter (OTC) products.

Health experts in the city, while referring to the increased number of cases reporting with various “complications”, occurring after consumption of anti-obesity pills, have warned the people from using the OTC products without the consultation of medical practitioner or a dietician.

Chief dietician at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) Ritu Sudhakar says: "Several diet pills provide only temporary weight loss. They contain potentially dangerous substances, or sometimes just don't work. Drugs delay fat absorption, but it’s a myth that they work wonders for fat reduction. I refrain from recommending diet pills to the majority of people, but make an exception in cases where people have an acute appetite problem," the dietician added.

Some over-the-counter weight loss drugs contain hidden amphetamines, anti-depressants and other potentially habit-forming drugs. People in desperation to lose weight tend to abuse these OTC pills that contain “diuretics” and “laxatives” causing serious complications. Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan opined that “Obesity is fast emerging as a major health threat to people in all age groups which ought to be prevented by improving dietary habits and lifestyle that includes regular exercise.”

The problem existed in ancient times also, as it is referred to as “Med Rog” in Ayurveda, but healthy eating and righteous living is the catchphrase, the doctor added.

Some facts about the pills

l Appetite suppressants are over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills that reduce appetite

l Carbohydrate blockers are weight loss pills that claim to prevent absorption of carbohydrates in digestive system

l Fat blockers are weight loss drugs that may prevent absorption of fat

l Fat burners are designed to increase metabolism

l Night time fat burners are weight loss pills that claim to increase metabolism while sleeping



MC yields to agitating employees’ demands 
Agrees to disband sanitation committees, regularise workers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
A massive protest rally organised by the Municipal Karamchari Dal at the A-zone office of the civic body at the Mata Rani Chowk here today turned into a thanksgiving function as councillors from the ruling coalition and the Congress, representing the core committee, announced that the demand for regularisation of safai karamcharis and disbanding the mohalla sanitation committees, had been accepted in principle by the civic administration.

The activists of the dal, after having submitted a memorandum to the Municipal Corporation on Tuesday, were continuing with dharnas and protest rallies to press their demand for payment of wages on DC rates to the safai karamcharis till they were absorbed against regular posts.

Addressing the workers, dal functionaries - Choudhry Yash Pal, Ashwani Sahota and Lakshman Dravid-reiterated the demand for regularisation of safai karamcharis, payment of wages on DC rate till such time, appointment of ward-wise sanitary supervisors and removal of other anomalies.

While the rally was in progress, several ruling coalition and Congress councillors made their appearance at the venue and read out a signed assurance of Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura that the demands had been conceded in principle. “It had been decided in principle to disband the mohalla sanitation committees, the safai karamcharis will be paid wages as per DC rates till their absorption against regular posts,” the announcement signed by the Mayor said.

According to the councillors, the matter will be put before the general house in its next meeting and implemented after seeking statutory approval from the state government.

The employees greeted the announcement with cheers and slogans terming it a huge victory for the struggle launched by the dal. The trade union leaders placed on record their gratitude towards the Mayor and Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha. They also expressed their thanks to councillors: Prem Mittal, Gurdeep Singh Neetu, Sushil Raju Thapar, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Parminder Mehta, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Hans Raj, Gurpreet Gora and Gurinder Choudhry.



House Tax Arrears
MC gets tough with defaulters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
In the wake of huge house tax arrears against thousands of commercial and industrial establishments, the local Municipal Corporation appears to have decided to get tough with the defaulters and make them pay up.

After serving final notices on property owners who had failed to clear their dues, a team of the municipal corporation’s house tax branch in zone D, led by superintendent Neeraj Jain went on a sealing drive leaving no other choice with the defaulters to pay up or face sealing of the building on which house tax arrears have not been cleared.

It was officially stated that owners of three buildings in Civil Lines coughed up `1.60 lakh due against them as arrears of house tax while two others were given time till Monday to clear their dues failing which the buildings will be sealed and process initiated for auction of the property for recovery of house tax arrears.



48 illegal structures razed

Ludhiana, November 26
The Municipal Corporation (MC) today carried out a massive encroachment clearance drive at Transport Nagar here where 48 permanent encroachments, including pucca ramps, sheds, walls and kiosks on the MC land were razed.

The team of building branch officials led by Municipal Town Planner Tarlok Singh, along with assistant town planner HS Ghai and Rajiv Saggar, building inspector, also cleared 23 other temporary encroachments like tea stalls, workshops and vending stalls in the area. The MC officials were accompanied by the police that acted as a deterrent against any resistance by violators.

Hailing the action taken by the civic body, several transporters in the complex said permanent and temporary encroachments all over the complex had made it difficult for trucks and other vehicles coming for booking of goods or taking delivery of consignments to move around.

Exit and entry passages remained partially blocked while the unlawful occupants remained inconsiderate to the inconvenience caused to the people. Several other area residents were of the view that rather than clearing encroachments, the MC enforcement staff ought to maintain strict watch against recurrence and maintain continuous pressure against the violators. — OC



Non-Release of Grants 
Private college teachers threaten stir 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 26
Activists of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) while accusing officials at the Director Public Instructions (Colleges), Chandigarh, office of allegedly delaying the process of releasing the grants for private colleges of the state have threatened to launch an agitation if the procedure for the payment of salaries was not reviewed at the earliest.

They alleged that the delay in the disbursement of grants had forced management committees of a large number of private colleges to withheld salaries of their regular and contractual teachers as well as staff.

But to talk of paying salaries on revised scale, the government is yet to release the grant on old scale for months following May 2010.

Jagwant Singh and Vinay Sofat, president and finance secretary of the union, respectively, accused the officials at the DPI’s office of creating circumstances wherein a large number of regular teachers working in private colleges of the state were forced to borrow from friends and relatives in order to run their kitchens.

The government is yet to release the grant for these colleges for months following May 2010. Though the Central body for the regulation of salaries and allowances for teachers of private and government colleges had announced to revise scales with effect from September 2, 2009, the of office of the DPI (Colleges) was yet to implement it.

Alleging that a group of officials at the DPI’s office had delayed process for implementing revised pay scales with an ulterior motive of seeking bribe, the office-bearers regretted that all complaints and appeals by the outfit has fallen on deaf years of higher authorities. The state government was supposed to implement revised pay scales with effect from August 2009.

The officials responsible for implementing the revised pay scales had also ignored the minister for higher education and the chief secretary (higher education) from time to time, both of them rued. While demanding the review of the entire process the union has threatened to launch an agitation in case the revised salary was not released soon. 



From Schools
Tributes paid
Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School pay homage to the victims of Mumbai terror attacks in Ludhiana
Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School pay homage to the victims of Mumbai terror attacks in Ludhiana on Friday. A Tribune photograph

LUDHIANA: Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar, paid tributes to those who were killed in the terror attacks of 26/11 two years ago. Students made posters with captions, which gave the message "Curb Terrorism". They also appealed the people to stand for peace and harmony.

Homage was also paid to the gallant officers Hemant Karkare, Chander Nariman, Ashok Kamte and Maj Sandeep Unni Krishnan, who died saving lives of thousands of innocent people in the attack in Mumbai.


Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with fervour at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School, Rose Garden, here today. The celebration began with a bhog ceremony, followed by shabad kirtan by senior as well as junior wing of the school.

The recital of Japji Sahib by tiny tots created a divine atmosphere. The celebrations were attended by members of Gujranwala Khalsa Educational Council, students and their parents with enthusiasm.

Prof Prithpal Singh Kapur, president, Gujranwala Khalsa Educational Council, and former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, addressed the sangat and threw light on philosophy and preachings of Guru Nanak Dev. Guru ka langar was also served by the students and staff members, which was relished by all. — TNS



10-yr-old needs money for bone marrow transplant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Bone marrow transplant is the first line of treatment that can put 10-year-old Abhay's life back on track. The little boy having been diagnosed with apalstic anaemia and is undergoing treatment at the Post Graduation Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.

Son of Om Shakti Singh, a resident of Indira Puri on Tajpur Road, Abhay was admitted in the PGIMER under Dr Deepak Bansal, associate professor in the department of paediatrics.

The cost of the bone marrow transplant is `7-8 lakh with an HLA match sibling donor. In case of no match of bone marrow, the doctors will opt for alternative treatment with an approximate cost of `5 lakh.

Said Om Shakti Singh, "I am a driver and cannot afford to pay for the treatment of my son, who is suffering from this life-threatening disease. Thus I appeal to the kind-hearted people to donate generously so as to save my son from the clutches of death."

People interested in donating can deposit the amount directly at PGIMER in the account of Abhay, whose CR Number is 02828803, PHC number 2790. Om Shakti Singh can be contacted on the mobile number: 93164-78550 .

Kidney patient seeks help

Neetu Gill (36), suffering from renal problem, is unable to undergo kidney transplant due to financial constraints.

Having lost his father in the early years of his life, Neetu was brought up by his mother, who had readily agreed to donate her kidney to her ailing son. "The doctors have done all the tests and the kidney transplant committee too has approved Neetu's case but the unavailability of funds is causing delay in the surgery," laments Neetu's mother.

The approximate cost of the surgery is `1 lakh but the family has exhausted every penny in getting treatment for the young man at various private hospitals across the city.

The financial condition has deteriorated over the past few years, now we can afford the fee of the private practitioners. Thus consultation followed by treatment at Civil Hospital is the only option, said Neetu's mother. People interested in donating for Neetu's treatment can contact at mobile number 94176-42400.



2 killed, 1 hurt in accident 

Machchiwara, November 26
A man and son died on the spot and another sustained injuries after two trucks collided head on near Jharodi village on the Machchiwara-Rahon road. The deceased have been identified as Ranjit Singh and Jagdish Singh. Ranjit, the son, along with his father, who was sitting beside him, was on his way to Rahon.

As soon as their truck reached near Jharodi village a speedy truck coming from the opposite direction collided head on with it. Both man and son died on the spot. Gurmeet Singh, who was driving another truck, was seriously injured in the accident. His condition is stated to be serious.

This resulted in traffic jam. The Machchiwara-Rahon road was opened to traffic after both trucks were separated with the help of a crane. The bodies of the man and son were extricated with great difficulty. The bodies were sent to the local civil hospital for the post-mortem examination. — OC



Stress on lawyers’ role in building society
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The Punjab Lawyers Forum organised a seminar on “Role of advocates in building an ideal society” at Model Town here.

ADGP Chander Shekhar and AICC spokesperson Manish Tiwari were the special invitees, who shared their views on the occasion.

Forum general secretary Gurinderpreet Singh stated that making society corruption-free and providing equal justice to all was the main aim of their organisation.

Members of the forum and dignitaries present there pledged to contribute towards building an ideal society. They also discussed the ways to fulfil their dream of providing a better future for the generation to come.

A large number of people participated in the function.



Free medical check-up camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Baba Jaswant Singh during the annual Gurmat Samagam, being organised from November 25 to 28, said: “Universal brotherhood, humility and equality of mankind without any discretion of caste are the moral values enshrined in Shri Guru Granth Sahib, the only holy scripture that has preachings of saints from different religions. In today’s time we have to trace our ethical, religious roots and take guidance from the rich heritage endowed by our Guru Sahib and spiritual Intellectuals.”

Four-day free dental and medical check-up camp is also being organised by Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Hospital under the supervision of principal Dr DS Kalsi.

Medicines for various dental and medical ailments are also being distributed free of cost at the camp.

The team of expert doctors includes Dr HS Bedi, Dr Harinder Kuckreja, Dr Sameer Kaura, Dr Sumit Bansal, Dr Parminder Pal Singh, Dr Ashish Kumar, Dr Parvinder Singh Baweja, Dr Ekta Suneja, Dr Aparna, Dr Arvind Khurana, Dr Mohini Sood, Dr Santosh Mahajan, Dr Veena Kataria, Dr Sharanjit Singh Middha and others.



5 selected in recruitment drive
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 26
North India’s fastest growing tea company Ginni Tea visited RIMT institutes today to recruit MBA students.

RIMT Group vice-chairman Vijayant Bansal welcomed the director DJ Bansal and team members of the company.

Brand manager Deepak Singla briefed students about the company.

He said the company established in 2000 as small scale industries now specialises in world-class tea products.

Singla started the recruitment process with group discussion followed by personal interview and finally selected five students.

Those selected were Harpreet Singh, Jaswinder Jeet Singh, Jaspreet Bhatia, Manpreet Singh and Rahul Batish.



Mysterious death of servant
Police suspects drug overdose
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Mystery surrounds the death of a 22- year-old servant of LIC agent, who was found dead at his office here this afternoon.

The victim, identified as Deep Singh, a resident of Phoolanwal, was working as a servant with Jaswinder Singh, an LIC agent.

The incident came to light here this afternoon when Jaswinder Singh came to his office and found Deep Singh’s body lying on the floor. He informed the police about the incident. According to the police, the victim may have succumbed to drug overdose.

The police has recovered a sachet containing tablets from the possession of the victim. The police has initiated an investigation under Section 174 of the CrPc and sent the body for autopsy.



One booked with 500 gm smack
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 26
The police party during a “naka” near the Octroi post, Amloh road, Mandi Gobindgarh, recovered 500 gm smack from a man here today.

The suspect was later identified as Ranjit Singh, alias Deepa, resident of Bhikhi road, Budhladda, in Mansa district.

The police said the accused was undergoing ITI course at Budhladda and allegedly used to supply toxicants to students.

The police has registered a case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at Mandi Gobindgarh.



‘Boy who killed himself attempted suicide before’
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, November 26
The case of a suicide by a teenager, Parasmani, took a new turn today with the family members of one of the suspects involved in the incident claiming he had attempted to take his own life earlier too. The boy reportedly took the drastic step by setting himself afire last Wednesday.

According to Umesh Chhabra, a cousin of one of the suspects, Raghav Chhabra, Parasmani had in the past made an attempt to kill himself by ingest a poisonous substance but survived due to timely treatment.

Speaking to The Tribune today, Umesh claimed: Parasmani had consumed some poisonous substance about three months ago after which he was treated at Medicity Hospital in Ludhiana. “One can even confirm this fact from the hospital records”, he stated while adding, “At that period of time Parasmani and Raghav had no enmity. It’s just a coincidence that the former ended his life after a scuffle with five boys on Tuesday.”

Umesh also claimed Parasmani was mentally unstable. “The fact that he had earlier attempted suicide makes it clear he was mentally unbalanced. We’re trying to obtain records from the hospital where he was treated after his first suicide bid”, he added.

Some of the suicide victim’s neighbours as well as close friends his family confirmed Parasmani had tried to end his life earlier too, though no one seems to knows the reason behind the first suicide attempt.

When contacted, the officer investigating the case, assistant subinspector Sawarn Singh, he was not aware of the teenager’s first suicide bid but assured all aspects of the incident would be probed thoroughly. All the fives boys suspected to be involved in the case are on the run till the filing of this report.



Cheque bounce case 
Man gets 2-year jail 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Vipindeep Kaur, Judicial Magistrate, has convicted Tarlochan Singh, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana, in a cheque bounce case. He was sentenced to undergo two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 was also imposed on the accused of Rs 2,21,930/.

The court, while pronouncing the verdict, held that the accusations levelled against the accused stands proved without any doubt. The court also ordered the accused to pay `5,000 as compensation to the complainant.

The orders came on a complaint moved by Pardeep Singh of Ashok Nagar, Ludhiana. The complainant had stated before the court that the accused was friend of his father. He alleged that the accused had taken `2,21,930 from the complainant in order to purchase a bus under 50-50 partnership. But, he failed to purchase it. After a few days he informed the complainant that the bus had been purchased. It was later on recovered by the financer due to the non-payment of the amount.

The accused issued a cheque after the complainant requested the accused to return the money. The accused assured the complainant that amount would get encashed on the presentation of the cheque to the bank. The complainant got horrified after the cheque was dishonoured by the banker with remarks ‘account closed’.

The complainant sent a legal notice to the accused urging him to make the payment of dishonoured cheque. Despite sending this, the accused failed to repay the amount.

The accused pleaded not guilty. He stated that the father of the complainant had taken his scooter for personal use. A file containing three signed cheques for taking loan from the financier, for purchasing the bus, was lying in the scooter’s dickey. The file and cheques were not found after the scooter was returned.



Insurance co. told to pay Rs 1.51 lakh
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 26
Terming the denial of a mediclaim to be unjustified, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the United India Insurance Company to pay `1,51,430 to an aggrieved consumer. The forum also directed the company to pay `10,000 as compensation and ` 2,000 as costs of litigation.

The orders were made on a complaint filed by Dr Varinder Kumar Thukral, professor at the Lord Mahavira homeopathic College and Hospital.

The complainant had taken treatment from Sibia Medical centre for coronory artery disease as indoor patient.

He took treatment through Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP).

The insurance company had rejected the mediclaim with the plea that the treatment taken by the consumer was from alternative therapy, which was not approved by the IMC and USFDA. 



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