C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Buying house from NRIs can prove costly
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Purchasing real estate property in the city from nonresident Indians has turned out to be an inordinately expensive deal for at least five city residents. Not only have they paid land prices much higher than those prevailing in the market, they are now faced with the prospect of shelling out another hefty sum in taxes on the profits made by the NRI sellers as the latter have chosen to return to their foreign abodes without clearing income tax dues.

The IT department’s international taxation wing has identified five such properties in various areas of the city, including Sectors 8, 15 and 43, where the NRI owners did the “vanishing act” without clearing their profit tax dues.

According to section 195 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 the purchaser of a property from an NRI needs to deduct tax at source on the amount of the deal. So if the deal is for, say Rs 10 lakh, tax needs to be deducted by applying a percentage on Rs 1 lakh. However, since many taxpayers are not aware of this fact and live under the ignorance of the principle of the profit tax being paid by the person who makes the profit, they have not made the required deduction.

Talking to The Tribune, a senior income tax official said the department will no longer remain a “silent spectator” in such cases. “We’ve already sent notices under section 201 of the Income Tax Act to defaulters. Almost Rs 45 lakh along with interest will be recovered from those who had bought properties from NRIs in the city”, the official added.

According to section 201(1A) of the act, if a person is held responsible for nondeduction of tax as required under the act, he or she will be liable to pay simple interest at the rate prescribed under this section on the amount of such tax from the date on which such tax was deductible and up to the date on which such tax is actually paid. It may be mentioned that sections 201(1) and 201(1A) operate simultaneously.

However, most nonresident Indians are not aware their tax liability does not depend on their nationality but on their residential status. If someone spends less than 182 days in India during a financial year he or she is considered a nonresident for tax purposes. This means any income he earns outside India is not taxed in India but if he has made capital gains from rent in the country then he is supposed to pay tax to the income tax department. If he fails to do so the buyer will have to pay the dues. So next time you decide to buy property from an NRI remember to deduct the tax on the transaction at source.



Languor costs UT police Rs 10,000
HC imposes fine for failure to file reply 
Aneesha Sareen/TNS

Chandigarh, May 13
The Chandigarh police has found itself in the dock for its laidback approach in a case of cyber fraud. In a recent order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the police to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 for the considerable delay in filing a reply in the case.  The police has since then paid the fine, which has been deposited with the State Legal Service Authority. This is said to be the highest ever fine paid by the UT police for negligence.

The complainant, OP Bhardawaj, filed a complaint with the Sector 17 police station in 2001 against Mohan Goyal, the then managing director of Techno Noble Infoway Limited, a private company, in Sector 17 for allegedly hacking the server of his US-based concern IGSP and downloading confidential documents from the file transfer protocol site.

Bhardawaj was the managing director of the IGSP and had given the sub-contract for medical transcription to the accused company, which allegedly hacked its server. While it was the first-ever case of cyber fraud registered in the city, the police closed it in 2002. However, Chief Judicial Magistrate JS Sidhu refused to accept the closure report and the case was reopened.

Upset with the police’s lackadaisical approach, Bhardawaj moved the High Court seeking the transfer of the case to the CBI. The police was asked to file a reply, but it failed to do so. After repeated adjournments, the police was fined.



More fiscal muscle for UT Administrator
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
The UT Administration is set to get more financial muscle. Taking cognisance of the repeated representations of the Administration, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) today agreed in principle to enhance the financial powers of the Administrator to Rs 25 crore from the existing Rs 10 crore on the pattern of the other union territories such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Daman and Diu.

A consensus to this effect was reached at a meeting chaired by MHA joint secretary Gopal Reddy in New Delhi today. The top brass of the administration, including UT Adviser KK Sharma and Home Secretary Ram Niwas, were among those who attended the meeting.

Usually, officials were required to rush to New Delhi for the sanction of projects worth over Rs 10 crore. With the MHA and other central ministries calling the shots in according financial and technical approval to major projects, the Administration was at the mercy of the Central Government for spending even its own resources.

Former UT Administrator Gen (retd) SF Rodrigues tried his best to obtain more financial powers for the Administrator on the plea of accelerating ongoing and held-up projects. But with controversies over mega projects, including medicity, amusement park and film city, marking his five-year tenure, the Central Government found it prudent to not increase the Administrator’s financial powers.

During a recent visit of Union Home Secretary GK Pillai to Chandigarh, UT officials had pleaded for more financial powers on a par with the other union territories. With Chandigarh bursting at its seams on the development front, more financial powers at the local level is needed. 


* UT Administrator’s financial powers to be upped to Rs 25 crore

* Administration will not be at the mercy of the MHA for spending the money

* Will boost development activity

* Pending and under way projects will hopefully see the light of day



NRI murder case cracked
MC employee among three arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
The police today claimed to have solved the murder of an NRI who was stabbed to death on the night of Holi in Manimajra after three persons, including a sweeper on contractual employment with the Municipal Corporation (MC), reportedly confessed to committing the crime after being arrested here today. The fourth accused is still absconding. The three will be produced in court tomorrow.

The accused have been identified as Pradeep Rai, Ravi Kumar and Pawan Kumar, all residents of Mauli Jagran, while their group leader, Anil Kumar, is on the run.

The police said Ravi Kumar is a sweeper with the MC while Pradeep Rai was employed in a shop in the Sector 19 rehri market and Pawan was unemployed.

The incident dates back to March 21 when Mubarak Hassan, a Saudi Arabia-based NRI, was taking a walk along with his wife on a deserted road after dinner when four bikers stopped them and tried to snatch the gold chain of his wife. Mubarak picked up a brick to hit them and Pawan Kumar allegedly stabbed him. He died of excessive bleeding at the PGI. He was a resident of Gobindpura in Manimajra and was scheduled to return in April.

The Sector 31 police rounded up the three after getting information that they had been spotted near the passport office in Sector 34.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (South) BS Negi said the accused were planning to leave the country and had come to get their passports made. 

Accused are drug addicts

The police has said all three accused are drug addicts. Confessing to their crime, they told the police that they did not have enough money to buy drugs on that particular day and that was when they noticed the couple taking a walk.



Man rams car into friends, one dead
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, May 13
One person was killed while two others sustained serious injuries after they were hit by a friend’s car on the Ghaggar bridge here this evening.

The deceased has been identified as Rachpal Singh of Ambala Cantt. The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Zirakpur.

The police said Rantej Singh, also of Ambala Cantt, said he along with his friends Gurwant Singh Chahal (Goldy), Raj Kumar, Rachpal Singh and Ram Kumar had come to Chandigarh to meet Raj Kumar’s nephew who was in hospital. They were travelling in a Scorpio being driven by Goldy.

Goldy stopped the car at Ballopur village near Lalru as he had to collect some money from a person. But the man refused to give him the money and Goldy had a heated argument with him. When he returned to the car, he was annoyed with his friends for not supporting him.

Rantej Singh told the police that when they were returning after seeing Raj Kumar’s nephew, Goldy allegedly fired some shots into the air and stopped the car at the bridge. He then asked them to get out of the car. When they started walking, he allegedly rammed the car into them.

Rantej Singh escaped unhurt, but Rachpal Singh, Ram Kumar and Raj Kumar sustained serious injuries. A passerby took the victims to hospital, where Rachpal Singh was declared brought dead.

A case under Section 302, IPC, and the Arms Act has been registered against Goldy who fled the scene.


Wall cave-in 
3 held for negligence 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
The police today arrested three persons for causing death due to negligence after two labourers working at an under-construction site in Phase 1, Industrial Area, were killed after a 20-foot mud wall caved in at the site yesterday.

The police has arrested contractor Shiv Gehlot, engineer Sanjeev Kumar and supervisor Daljit Singh who were looking after construction work at Plot Number 68, Phase 1, Industrial Area.

Meanwhile, the UT Administration today formally initiated an inquiry into the mishap.

Inquiry officer and UT Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) ML Sharma, UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur along with officials of the Architecture Department and Estate Office visited the site for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

Officials said the team inspected various aspects leading to the mishap such as the alleged violations of the safety norms by the contractor. Since it was the second incident in 45 days, different angles to avoid the recurrence of such mishaps were being looked into, officials said.

On March 31, four labourers were killed and seven critically injured at another under-construction site in the Phase I of the Industrial Area here.

The mishap occurred at the upcoming commercial complex, Acropolis (plot number 68), a venture of Mirage Infra Limited, owned by Vijay Singla, a close relative of Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and Member of Parliament from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Report within 10 days

Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma, who is also the inquiry officer, said he would submit the report within 10 days. The circumstances leading to the mishap and the ways and means to prevent such mishaps in future would be dealt with in the report, Sharma said. The UT Administration was working on institutional mechanism whereby such incidents were not repeated, officials added.

Violation of norms?

The UT Administration seems to have violated the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service), Act, 1996, by not monitoring the construction of such buildings, social activist Pankaj Chandgothia alleged. In Punjab and Haryana, the under-construction buildings were regularly monitored, he claimed. 



Police takes up 250 complaints at redress camp
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 13
As many as 250 complaints received by the Mohali police at various police stations across the district were taken up at a complaints redressal camp organised at Dara Studio here today.

The camp, planned for on-the-spot redressal of complaints, was organised at a short notice and could not be given any publicity. Messages were sent across to people through various police stations yesterday. Though a number of people came to the camp for the redressal of their complaints, some were of the view that the gathering would have been much more if information in this regard was given well in time and the event publicised properly.

Many of the complaints in connection with family disputes and other minor offences were sorted out amicably.

Teja Singh (80) of Jaula village told The Tribune that his old-age pension had allegedly been stopped by the sarpanch of the village, Mohinder Singh, by declaring the former dead. He did not get the pension amount for the past about 10 months. He got to know that he had been declared dead only when he tried to follow up his case. He said: “People in the village called me “bhoot” as they were made to believe that I had died.”

Mohinder Singh, however, said the allegation levelled against him was false. Officials concerned, who carried out a verification drive in connection with people receiving the old-age pension, had made the mistake. There were 15 more such persons whose pensions were stopped, but were got restored later.

In another case Hardev Singh of Abheypur village had complained to the police that his turban was removed by Jaswinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh. The complaint was made two days back and was found to be false.

MF Farooqui, DIG, Ropar range, who was the chief guest, said the aim to hold the camp was to reduce the gap between the police and the public. He told the cops to put themselves in the position of complainants while handing cases so that better results were achieved.

Tension and unrest among people was increasing by the day, which resulted in overreactions, but the police had to tackle cases with politeness and patience. He said the uniform had given the police an opportunity to serve society and this should be done in a fair manner.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said 250 complaints were taken up at different counters during the camp. He said public should not fear the police as it could not function without its cooperation. Residents who were well aware of their fundamental rights should not forget that they had some duties as well, added Bhullar.



Commissioning anniversary celebrated 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Members of the Chandigarh chapter of Army Short Service Course-17 from the Officers’ Training School, Madras (now Officers Training Academy Chennai), celebrated the 37th anniversary of their commissioning here today.

Over 50 officers and their family members from Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana attended the event. The meeting brought back nostalgic memories of their days at the academy and subsequent associations in service and other professions.

The course has the distinction of one of its members, Lt Col HU Gaur, being decorated with the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashok Chakra, for conspicuous courage and devotion to duty in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir in 1994, where he killed four militants and destroyed a universal machinegun position. A large number of course members have risen to flag rank. 



Students raise slogans against school principal over fine
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 13
Students of the Government High School, Sector 17, today raised slogans against the school principal at the mini-secretariat here, alleging that she was charging fine from them for coming late.

The students ran out of the school, pushing the security guard at the main gate, during the lunch break and moved towards the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC).

The students, mostly from slum areas of Budhanpur and Rajeev Colony, in their complaint to DC Ashima Brar, said school principal Sushila Khokhar had even been charging fine for broken windowpanes.

They also alleged that she had told them to clean up the school ground and if they refused, she used to beat them up.After hearing their grievances, the DC sent them back to the school, assuring them of proper inquiry and action in the case.

According to sources in the school, there was a conflict between a teacher and the principal for the past couple of weeks as the former has refused to join duty here.

On the instigation of the teacher, the students had been filing complaints aganst the principal on petty issues everyday.

When contacted, the principal said the school had collected fine and the amount remained with the students, which was later used for their welfare. She said this practice had been stopped about three months ago, adding that a teacher had been instigating these students to vitiate the atmosphere.

District Education Officer Nalini Mimani said she was seized of the matter and added that she would submit her report to the Director Education after holding a proper inquiry into the case.



Ex-geology head refuses to return till PU takes action
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Even as work at Panjab University’s geology department has come to a virtual standstill with the position of chairperson remaining vacant since the past three weeks, the controversy surrounding the resignation by former head, Gurtek Singh Gill, has intensified. In a letter addressed to the dean of university instruction he has refused to withdraw his resignation till the PU administration initiated disciplinary action against AD Ahluwalia, a former faculty member now reemployed in the recently set up petroleum & applied geology department.

Gill had quit on March 29 following an “insulting” email sent to him by Ahluwalia. To look into the matter the PU administration set up a five-member committee that stated though the university did not approve of Ahluwalia’s mail but as he had tendered an apology to the vice chancellor Gill should withdraw his resignation.

Surprisingly the committee members also said in case of any recurrence of such an incident Gill was free to file a defamation suit against Ahluwalia.

Calling the committee’s recommendations “ambiguous” and “evasive”, Gill, in letter shot off to the dean of university instruction on Friday, “reminded” the university administration of its “responsibility to uphold the dignity” of departmental heads and refused to withdraw his resignation till disciplinary action was initiated against Ahluwalia.

“The committee claims Ahluwalia apologized to the VC but in the copy of its recommendations I’ve received don’t append any apology. Departmental heads are part of the university administration and it’s thus the varsity’s responsibility to safeguard the honour of their position” the letter read.

Gill has also claimed Ahluwalia, who according to committee apologized over the incident, had sent him a fresh email that he insisted was “equally offensive and accusatory”. “I won’t return (as departmental head) till disciplinary action is taken against him,” he stated in his letter.

“Work at the geology department has come to a standstill as there is no head. What has perturbed us is the university administration’s attitude that suggests people can file defamation suits even over official tussles. Gill has resigned as it was the chair that was insulted so it’s the university’s responsibility to resolve the issue at the earliest so that the department doesn’t suffer,” said a geology department faculty member.



From Schools

3-day Infodip 2011 concludes
The three-day Infodip 2011, an inter-school information technology event hosted Delhi Public School here, concluded on Friday. The event received an overwhelming response, with at least 150 students from schools in the tricity participating in various activities such as ‘Paint Your Imagination’, ‘Bit By Bit We Make It’, ‘Let Me Tell You’, ‘Brainstormer’, ‘Terminizer’, ‘Turncoat’ and ‘Click-Pic’. Experts from respective fields were judges. School principal Reema Dewan applauded the efforts of all participants and emphasised on the importance of such co-curricular activities.

Vineeta Arora, principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, was given with the Best Principal Award at the regional level by the Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi. It was given for her leadership and the performance of students in the the 4th International Mathematics Olympiad, 13th National Science Olympiad, the 10th National Cyber Olympiad and the 1st International English Olympiad. — TNS

Fancy dress contest
A fancy dress competition for classes I and II was organised at Shivalik Public School here on Friday. The students came in colourful dresses, depicting different characters like Dr Manmohan Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mother Teresa and Netaji Subhas Chander Bose. There was 100 per cent participation to encourage every child’s talent. All participants made the characters lively. Winners were given prizes and appreciation certificates.

Technothon 2011 held
Technothon 2011, an inter-school carnival for classes III to XII, was organised at St Soldier’s School here recently. A total of 130 students from 14 schools of the tricity participated in the carnival, that lasted two days. — OC



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