C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbery behind Baltana double murder
Victim’s daughter strangled to destroy evidence; accused were known to victims
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 17
Jewellery worn by Shikha Jindal turned out to be the prime motive behind her gruesome murder and that of her daughter Priyanka at their shop-cum-house in Harmilap Nagar (Baltana), Zirakpur, on January 12.

The police has ruled out any connection between the murder and the MMS episode in which the victim’s other daughter, Aanchal, was reported to be involved.

Two youths, Arun Kumar and Pawan Kumar Jangra, both in their mid-20s, used to frequent the shop-cum-house to buy cigarettes. They planned to kill the victim for her jewellery. To ensure that they were not identified, the duo also strangulated the victim’s daughter. However, the police refrained from commenting about the reasons behind the accused frequenting her house.

While Jangra, who runs a photography shop at Buddanpur village, Panchkula, does not have a criminal background, Arun Kumar has a criminal background. Apart from being involved in a case of dacoity at Saharanpur in UP, Arun was a member of a gang involved in stealing vehicles. At present, he was on bail in the dacoity case.

Disclosing the arrest of the duo by the CIA team headed by Inspector Gurcharan Singh, the Mohali SSP, GPS Bhullar, said robbery was the motive behind the murder. On January 12, the accused came on a silver motorcycle at 2 pm and killed Shikha with a sharp-edged knife after entering the house. They then called Priyanka upstairs on the pretext that her mother was calling her, but she remained in the shop. After about 20 minutes when she came up, they pounced on her and strangled her.

Sources revealed that the accused remained in the house for over half an hour.

Initially, the police had questioned Shikha’s husband, Pradeep Jindal, and another youth Vineet on the basis of a complaint lodged by Aanchal. A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC was registered against them. But on questioning them, the police found them to be innocent. Five other persons who had visited Shikha’s house on the day of the murder were also found to be innocent.

Jewellery recovered

The police has recovered the victim’s gold necklace, earrings, and bangles from the accused. It has also recovered a gold nose-pin that had been forcibly removed from the victim’s nose. The bangles worn by the victim on the day of the murder were, however, artificial.

How the case was cracked

Though the police is tightlipped about how the case was cracked, sources said the accused had used the phone of a vendor to call Shikha. Instead of using their own mobile phone, the two youths borrowed the phone of the vendor at a short distance from the victim’s house. The vendor is learnt to have played a key role in identifying the suspect.



Siblings’ murder case: Distress call to father did him in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
It was a distress call made to his father last week that did in 26-year-old Rahul, accused in the double murder of teenaged siblings Kavita and Gaurang Sahu. The father, Amar Chand, who had received the call informed the police about his son’s call and the tower location was traced to Mumbai.

The police got information that the SIM card had been recently purchased. A police team was dispatched by air to arrest the accused on Sunday.

Highly placed sources confirmed that the UT police arrested Rahul, a maternal uncle of the murdered siblings, who is a drug addict. He was hiding in Mumbai.

In a contradictory claim by the police, it was announced at a press conference today that the accused had been nabbed from a village in Saha district at around 1 pm. The crime branch claimed that the accused was arrested while he was “roaming freely” near a roundabout there. They also lodged a daily diary report in Saha district of Ambala, showing the arrest of Rahul there to confirm the claims. Police sources said the accused was shown to be arrested at a place near Chandigarh to avoid procedural wrangling in transporting a prisoner by air. None of the senior police officials, including the IG, DIG or SSP, were present at the press conference to laud the work of the team in cracking the case. The crime branch had been hunting for the accused since December 31 and was unable to track him.

Execution of murder

The police said the accused Rahul made advances towards Kavita Sahu and tried to molest her on a few occasions. He molested her on November 20, which she strongly objected to and warned him that she would complain to her parents. This offended him and he planned to teach her a lesson. On December 16, he came to their Sector 41 house and threatened to kill her. Her brother Gaurang asked him to leave following heated arguments as he was aware of Rahul’s intentions. Rahul then stabbed Gaurang to death. Later he came downstairs and forced Kavita to have a physical relation with him. When she resisted, he killed her too. He covered his face while leaving the house and stayed at various places to evade arrest. The grandfather and maternal uncle of the victims confronted the accused at the crime branch in Sector 11 on Tuesday. The police said it would prove the case on the basis of scientific evidence as DNA samples, hair and blood stains of the accused had been recovered from the crime spot.

SIT to claim reward

The UT police had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh to any informer leading to the arrest of the accused. The cash reward will now be claimed by the SIT, said RS Ghuman, officiating SSP. The announcement has raised a question mark as the police has overlooked a neighbour who first saw the accused and provided a vital lead to the police in cracking the case. Moreover, the accused’s father provided a lead to the police which led to Rahul’s arrest.



rla auction
‘4444’ is new flavour, goes for Rs 7.75 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
It was neither the VVIP number 0001 nor the lucky one, 0007, but 4444, which fetched the highest amount of Rs 7.75 lakh in an auction of the new series (CH01-AL) of registration numbers at the Registration and Licensing Authority here today.

The department today made a whopping Rs 60 lakh, the highest-ever through the auction of 121 numbers and reserve price of booked numbers.

Till 7 pm, the most sought after number “CH01-0001” was on the top of the chart with its final bidding price of Rs 5.80 lakh, but everyone was left surprised when the double pair number “CH01-44” unexpectedly fetched the highest amount.

Among the three bidders, the proprietor of Soma Enterprise at Manimajra emerged triumphant to get his favourite number. On being contacted, the winner refused to divulge any details about his obsession with the number or the make of his new vehicle.

However, Bharat Bhushan, a local industrialist and the winner of “CH01-AL-0001”, said the number would increase the charm of his new Jaguar. Vanity numbers “CH01-AL-0007” and “CH01-AL-0009” brought in Rs 3.25 lakh and Rs 3.20 lakh, respectively.

In the last auction of AK series, 0007 had fetched the highest amount of Rs 4.21 lakh while 0001 had remained at the second spot with Rs 3.25 lakh.



non-corporate advance taxpayers
Yuvraj tops list 2nd time in a row
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Notwithstanding his brief ailment that had him off the field, cash registers continue ringing for cricketing icon Yuvraj Singh as he once again tops the December 2011 list of the highest advance taxpayers (non-corporate) in the city with Rs 1.47 crore.

Yuvraj has so far paid an advance tax of Rs 3.21 crore for the current fiscal (2012-13), which is almost triple the amount of Rs 1.30 crore that he paid as advance tax till December 2010.

The young cricketer, who has had some bad patches in his career in the recent past, has been among the top individual taxpayers from the city for the last four years. In 2008-09, he was third on the list with a payment of Rs 2.42 crore. This went up to Rs 4.30 crore in the subsequent fiscal, thanks to the huge payments he received as the captain of Kings XI in the IPL. The second highest advance taxpayer is again Vijay Passi, owner of Krishna Automobile, with a payment of Rs 70 lakh in December. He has so far paid an advance tax of Rs of 1.7 crore, which however, is nearly 30 per cent less than the Rs 2.4 crore he paid till December 2010.

For Passi, being among the top taxpayers is nothing new since he has been one of the city’s richest resident for almost a decade. He had filed a return of Rs 62 lakh in 2001-02. His earnings have increased considerably and he was the top taxpayer in 2009-10, 2008-09 and 2006-07 with a payment of Rs 3.38 crore, Rs 3.48 crore and about Rs 2-2.5 crore, respectively.

A senior Supreme Court lawyer and former Additional Solicitor-General of India, KTS Tulsi, is the third on the list with an advance tax payment of Rs 50 lakh, the same amount that he paid in the first quarter in September 2011. In the corporate tax category, the State Bank of Patiala has topped the list of the 10 highest tax payers as it paid an advance tax amounting to Rs 60 crore. The total advance tax (including tax paid in June and September) of the bank reached Rs 263 crore. Glaxo Smithkline Healthcare and Swaraj Engines secured the second and third positions on the list with the companies paying an advance tax of Rs 52 crore and Rs 6 crore, respectively, in December.



Convocation over, but PU toppers still await medals
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Be it convocation or gold medal conferment, it has turned into a purely VIP affair at Panjab University. Even after a month of not receiving their gold medals at the convocation, courtesy hard-pressed schedule of “prized guests”, over 200 toppers are still waiting for them.

While Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti blames the ongoing chilly weather for the delay in organising the conferment ceremony, insiders cite Punjab elections as the prime reason since all local and state VIPs are busy.

“There were objections from several quarters that while honorary doctorates were given by VIP guests, students had got their gold medals from the Vice-Chancellor in a hasty ceremony last year. This year also, a lot of hue and cry was made that the grand convocation was aimed at pleasing VIPs and the Chancellor and that students were not given medals there. We have to have a good function for it, but unfortunately all prominent people are busy with the Assembly elections,” revealed a university official.

Sobti, however, rubbished the claim saying: “The only reason the function has not been held so far is because of the weather. Students will have to come from far-flung areas. Students’ convenience is my priority and there is no other reason.”

The university had come under the scanner this December when it virtually had taken the shine off students’ success by not awarding them medals on the convocation held on December 16 as visiting dignitaries did not have enough time.

The students were promised another ceremony for medals within a month, but nothing has been decided so far. Ironically, the situation was the same in 2010 when toppers did not get their medals at the convocation, but had to wait for months.

VIPs busy

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti blames the ongoing chilly weather for the delay in organising the conferment ceremony, but insiders cite Punjab elections as the prime reason since all local and state VIPs are busy.


Kajauli Water for city
Decision stuck in pipeline
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The states of Punjab and Haryana and the UT Administration have failed to reach any consensus on the Kajauli water dispute at a meeting held today.

At the meeting, the Punjab Government officials did not give any positive response on the issue raised by the UT officials for the widening of the diameter of the pipeline to be laid so that instead of 40 million gallons daily (MGD), 80 MGD of water can be carried through the pipeline.

A senior official of the UT Administration said to solve the dispute representatives of both the states and the UT Administration would again hold a meeting the next month.

Official added that the Municipal Corporation had earlier prepared a proposal for enhancing the water supply to the city through Phases V and VI of Kajauli. The Punjab Government refused to release water stating that water from these phases would be required in Mohali. Thereafter a proposal for Phase VII and VIII was prepared, he added.

On this issue the UT Administration, Municipal Corporation and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had held a meeting last year. At the meeting it was discussed to allow Chandigarh to lay pipelines on the same stretch where Punjab was to lay pipelines but the matter is yet to be solved.

The matter had reached the High Court through a writ petition filed by Mohali councillor Kuljeet Singh Bedi seeking directions to expedite the construction of phases V and VI of the Kajauli waterworks, which would bring an additional 40 million gallons of water every day to the tricity.

The Punjab Government officials did not give any positive response on the issue raised by the UT officials for the widening of the diameter of the pipeline to be laid so that instead of 40 million gallons daily (MGD), 80 MGD of water can be carried through the pipeline



Fog to stay in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Foggy conditions will prevail during the morning and evening hours over the next couple of days.

This may affect train and air services in the region. The Met office has predicted a clear sky with fog or mist. There will be a significant fall in the night temperature in coming days. The maximum temperature will be around 17 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature on Wednesday will dip by four notches to 7 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 17.1 degrees Celsius four degrees below the normal while the minimum temperature increased to 11.7 degrees six degrees above normal. The maximum relative humidity was recorded at 93 per cent while the minimum was recorded at 70 per cent.

In view of the dry weather in the region, the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana will also witness fog during the next couple of days. However, the days will be sunny, the Met office added.

Meanwhile, rainfall had no effect on the night temperature as little change was noticed. The city received 1.3 mm rain while 1.9 mm rain was recorded in Amritsar. Patiala received 2.2 mm rain in the past 24 hours.

Even though trains are running on schedule, the 12311 Howrah-Kalka Mail and the 12231 Lucknow-Chandigarh Express were late by two hours and 15 minutes.

The 12011 New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi was also delayed by 40 minutes against its scheduled arrival of 10.50am, said station superintendent Parveen Kumar. 



Booth scam
Admn to start serving notices from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
After getting it cleared from the in-house Legal Cell, the UT Estate Office would start serving show-cause notices tomorrow on as many as 88 beneficiaries, who are under the scanner for different reasons in the booth scam.

“The process commences tomorrow. However, as of now not even a single notice has been served on any beneficiary,” said Ravinder Sharma, Chief Inspector (Misuse and Enforcement Wing) of the UT Estate Office.

Four notices will be served on shopkeepers who will be given 15 days from the issuance of the notice to come along with their documents for verification of their claims.

The scam had unfolded following the allegations of several booths having been sold out by their owners. Certain booths had been sublet. The allotment had been challenged primarily on the allegation that the allotment had been managed by the undeserving and by submitting false affidavits.

Rahul Gupta, the UT Assistant Estate Officer, said: “We are looking into the details of all the cases. Even certain officials of the Estate office are under scanner. Those officials, whose names would figure during questioning of these beneficiaries would also be served notices,” said Gupta, adding that all the beneficiaries have been allotted booths in the Bajwara market.



15-day notice to discotheque
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The Estate Office today issued directions to the Aerizona discotheque, which is located in Sector 9, to stop its commercial activities in the basement of the premises immediately and remove the violations within 15 days.

Issuing order in his court, UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta maintained that if the violations from the basement were not removed within 15 days the Estate Office would seal the premises.

Sources said that Aerizona was served notice few months before for running discotheque in the basement of an SCO which is meant for godown purposes under the rules.



Minor girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
A 15-year-old girl, employed as a maid in a house in Sector 34, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan at her employer’s house this evening. The girl, Kalwati, was a resident of Faidan village and her mother had alleged a relative was harassing her and forced her to take the extreme step.

The police said it was investigating the reasons behind her taking the extreme step and the role of the relative.



Finance & Contract Committee Poll
No nomination filed on Day I
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Not even a single councillor filed papers for the elections to the Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation on the first day of the filing of nominations here today. The committee has five members from among the elected councillors.

Reliable sources in the two major power groups, including the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine, said they would open their cards on the last date of the filing of nominations which was January 19. At the same time the BSP has decided to field Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq.

Sources in the Congress said party meetings were under way “at the top level” for the finalisation of names to be sent as candidates for the F and CC. “The committee is a very important body as it has a role in managing the finances of the MC,” the sources added. Congress councillors in the fray for the committee membership include two former Mayors, Pardeep Chhabra and Sat Parkash Aggarwal.

A senior functionary of the BJP said even after the notification of the elections, the Mayor had not given any message on the possible share of different groups in the committee which had been a past practice. The BJP is planning to field two candidates. The sources said the BJP-SAD councillors who are in the fray are Arun Sood, Harjinder Kaur and Rajesh Kumar Gupta.



Road Safety Week gets rolling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
With the theme of “Accidents bring tears safety brings cheer”, the 23rd National Road Safety Week was inaugurated today at the Chandigarh Traffic park in Sector 23.

A blood donation camp and free medical check-up camp besides a painting competition for schoolchildren of the city were also organised on the occasion. A team of doctors of the PGI conducted the blood donation camp.

A book on road safety titled “Road safety- our concern” for middle and secondary classes was released by UT Adviser KK Sharma. A Black Book-2011 having detailed information of road accidents was also released on this occasion. The road safety week will last till January 23.



Nod to repatriation of Joint Secy (Finance)
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The UT Administration, which is already facing the shortage of officers, is all set to lose one more officer as the repatriation of Joint Secretary, Finance, SS Khara, a PCS officer, to his parent state of Punjab has been okayed.

Sources revealed that Khara’s request for repatriation, which was forwarded to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, was approved by the Administrator’s office. After the approval the file has been sent back to the Home Department for further correspondence with the Punjab Government.

The UT Administration has also forwarded a communication to the Punjab Government to send a panel of PCS officers for Khara’s replacement.

The sources added that Khara had requested for repatriation as he was to retire this year-end and he wanted to retire from his parent state.

There were a number of other officers who were on the verge of transfer or repatriation to their parent cadres. These officers include Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, Director, Higher Education, (DHE) Ajoy Sharma, CITCO Managing Director DK Tiwari and MC Commissioner Prerna Puri.

Overburdened with departments, Finance Secretary VK Singh was holding the charge of 15 departments whereas the Home Secretary was heading 17 departments, the sources added.



Rights council notice to UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The Global Human Rights Council has served legal-cum-demand notice to the Chandigarh Administration for failing to utilise the grant for nutrition for the children here.

In the notice, it has been mentioned that the central assistance, provided to the UT Administration, for the high-quality nutrition among the children here, was not being used properly.

Arvind Thakur, chairperson of the council and city-based advocate, said the matter was also taken up with the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, New Delhi, in 2009 but the administration did not take any action then. Notably, the issue of malnutrition among children was also highlighted in these columns on January 12 and 15.



Tricity scan

Discount on gold coins

On the special occasion of Republic day, the India Post is offering a flat seven per cent discount on all denominations of gold coins. The offer is valid up to January 31, an official press note issued here said on Tuesday. The department of posts had introduced the sale of gold coins project through post offices from October 15 onwards.
We are the champs!
The Western Command shooting team in a jubilant mood after winning the Sixth National Combat Forces Shooting Championship held at Mhow
The Western Command shooting team in a jubilant mood after winning the Sixth National Combat Forces Shooting Championship held at Mhow. a tribune photograph

New computer courses

Career in IT/BPO sectors is very lucrative and one can attain success in its vast fields. The Government Industrial Training Institute for Women, Sector 11-C, which has been adjudged as the Centre of Excellence, has started eight new computer courses based on latest technologies exclusively for class XII passed women candidates. These courses are web designing, advanced web designing, Dot Net, PHP, Tally(Accountancy), Core Java, Advanced Java (six months duration) and certificate programme in customer services (four months duration), which are in great demand all over the world. The last date to apply for the unfilled seats is January 23.

MC issues 135 challans

The Municipal Corporation enforcement team has issued 135 challans to the encroachers on Tuesday during a special anti-encroachment drive, which was carried out in Shastri Market and other parts of Sector 22. During the drive, material like readymade garments, shop counters and chairs, which were lying in the passages of the market and art works displayed along the road side were removed. Five trucks were loaded with the seized material.

Bird-watching trip

The department of science and technology, education department (schools) and Yuvsatta organised a ‘bird-watching trip’ comprising nearly 50 students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, 46-D. Prominent amongst those who were present on the occasion include Santosh Kumar, conservator of forests & director of science & technology and department of environment, regular bird watcher Sarabjit Kaur, Range officer Karan Singh and Om Parkash, chief coordinator, Eco-Clubs.

Placement drive

Prominent companies visited the Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, to select the potential candidates from the final year MBA and B-Tech students. During the pre-placement talk (PPT) , the company officials elaborated the importance and utmost necessity of the Life Insurance Cover in the present day hectic, busy and difficult lifestyle. They also deliberated at length on the company’s work culture the financial growth and facilities in this sector. They described in details the role of the sales development manager, the appointment for which the selection is being made. Prof. Avtar Singh, chairman, Sri Sukhmani Group, welcomed the company officials and complimented them for selecting young and dynamic managers. He appreciated the efforts of the training and placement team. Dr GN Verma, principal, Sri Sukhamani Institute of Engineering and Technology College and Gurpreet Kaur, registrar, congratulated the selected students in this placement drive.

Rare surgery

Single port laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH), a minimal access surgery was performed, for the treatment of menorrhagia at Max Super Speciality Hospital. The surgery was performed by Dr Dhillon, senior consultant, minimal access surgery and GI surgery and Dr Divya, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology. The patient was suffering from abnormally excessive bleeding. The surgery was done through the umbilicus /navel which leaves no scars on the skin. The surgery is cost effective and the patient can leave for home within a day. After the surgery, pain is minimal as the surgery requires a small cut, which is merely 1 cm in length. Due to size of the cut, bleeding is negligible. — Tribune reporters



Forum sets aside UHBVN orders
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 17
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has set aside the fine imposed by Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) on a Sector-20 resident after the nigam found the electric meter installed in his house running slow.

The complainant, Ajay Gautam, alleged that the department checked his electric meter which was slow by 79.87 per cent and a penalty of Rs 60,276 was imposed on him. He said the department told him that electricity supply would be disconnected if he failed to deposit the amount within seven days otherwise. He averred that on July 2, 2011, the department removed the electricity meter from the premises and installed another one in its place. The officials told him to get the meter tested from the M&T Lab, Dhulkot. Accordingly, he visited the lab and the seals were found intact and no tampering was found.

The counsel for the department said the official team had inspected the meter in the presence of the complainant and it was found that the meter was running slow. The meter, after its removal, was packed in a box and the same was sealed and sent to the M&T Lab for testing the accuracy of the meter, genuineness of seals and internal inspection. Consequently, a notice dated August 13, 2011, was issued to the complainant for recovery of Rs 60,276 within seven days.

The forum said, “The order of imposing the penalty of Rs 60,276 has been set aside”.



Meeting by election officer
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 17
District election officer Varun Roojam today convened a meeting of all political parties and informed them about various election-related guidelines. The candidates and their representatives were asked to strictly follow the moral code of conduct.



Neither Akalis nor Cong did anything for traders: PPP candidate
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 17
Former deputy speaker of Punjab Assembly and PPP candidate Bir Devinder Singh today met industrialists and workers in Mohali. While addressing a gathering, he said the Akalis and BJP had neglected the industry.

He added that the Congress had also turned a blind eye towards the plight of traders. Instead of uplifting the industry, the Akalis imposed taxes on industrialists forcing them to shift their industries to other states. He said to make Mohali an IT hub, international companies were coming here, but due to fake polices of Akalis and BJP, these were not established here. While commenting on Balbir Singh Sidhu, he said residents of the town had already given him a chance, but in the past five years only drug-addiction and consumption of liquor had increased in the region’s periphery. “SAD-BJP candidate Ramoowalia is here only for the votes and after the elections he will not even visit the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, the election campaign of Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress candidate from Mohali, received further impetus when people from opposing parties extended support to him. First candidate of the Sahijdari Sikh Party Joginder Singh withdrew his nomination in favour of Sidhu. He said only the Congress could protect the interest of Sehajdari Sikhs. Inderjeet Singh Waraich, district president of the Akali Dal (1920) embraced the Congress with all his followers during the inauguration of Phase I office of the Congress candidate.

Meanwhile, Jasvir Kaur, mother of Ravneet Bittu, Member Parliament from the area, today went door to door seeking votes for Sidhu. She was accompanied by Daljit Kaur, wife of Balbir Singh Sidhu. She reminded the voters of the sacrifice of Sardar Beant Singh.

On the other hand, BSP candidate Manav Mehra from the Mohali constituency campaigned extensively. He campaigned in Saneta, Gobindgarh, Shampur, Theilpur, Kurali and Dairi villages and told the voters that the Bahujan Samaj Party was the only party which was concerned about the welfare of poor, downtrodden and other sections of society. He promised to work for the development of the constituency. Harbans Singh, Gurdev Singh, Satpal Mahi Sohan Lal Banga and others accompanied Manav.

Lalru: Shiromani Akali Dal joint secretary and party candidate from Dera Bassi NK Sharma today said people of the state would teach the Congress a lesson for its attempt to fool them. While addressing meetings at Dheera Majra, Mirpur, Ramgarh Rurki, Dharmgarh, Jastna Kalana, Jastna Khurd, Malikpur, Ballopur, Tofapur, Agahpur, Bhagwasi and Lalru, he said the Congress had done nothing as far as the development of the state was concerned. NK Sharma’s wife Babita Sharma and sister-in-law Rajni Sharma went door to door in Baltana. Sharma said former Chief Minister of Haryana and Indian National Lok Dal leader Om Prakash Chautala would address four election meetings in favour of the SAD-BJP combine at Dera Bassi on January 18.



School buses challaned

Ambala, January 17
The police has initiated a special drive to check traffic rule violations here. A number of school buses were challaned during the drive. Most of the buses lacked a first-aid box while in a few speed governors and horizontal grills were missing.

President of PKR Jain Vatika Public School Bharat Bhushan Jain said it was not possible for them to arrange new buses. He said the administration should grant them some relaxation at least for the present session.

Chairman of Chaman Vatika Rajender Nath said the Supreme Court guidelines should be implemented, but the administration should not create a panic.



Speed up probe: Panel

Mohali, January 17
The Punjab Human Rights Commission has directed the Director, Health Services, to speed up the kidney scam probe involving two Mohali hospitals. The orders have been passed after the Global Human Rights Council filed a petition stating that the case was not being throughly probed and facts were not being brought to the fore.

Two killed

Ambala: Two railway employees were run over by a train on the Ambala-Saharanpur track near the Dukheri Railway Station this afternoon.

The deceased were identified as Santosh Kumar and Ajay Kumar.

Tribune reporters



Chandigarh Housing Board fined Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Setting aside the decision of the district forum-I, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) for its failure to maintain the record resulting in accrual of interest on the due amount for the shop allotted to a Sector-46 resident.

State Commission president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal while setting aside the impugned order observed, “We are, however, of the opinion that instead of directing the opposite party to refund the whole amount of Rs 2,06,109 to the complainants, interest of justice would be met if we direct that a sum of Rs 50,000 be paid by the opposite party as compensation to the complainants. The opposite parties shall 
also pay Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.”

The complainant, Saroj Dogra, submitted that she along with her late husband purchased a booth in Sector 49-A, in the name of their son Nipun Dogra from the CHB for Rs 15.70 lakh in an auction held on October 30, 2002. They deposited 25 per cent of the bid money along with Rs 71,667 towards ground rent for first nine years within time and took the possession on December 18, 2002. They were required to pay 75 per cent of the bid price which was Rs 11,77,500 either within 30 days (without interest) or with 18 per cent interest per annum in three instalments payable up to December 1, 2005. After paying 75 per cent, they approached the CHB to issue a ‘No Due Certificate’. The CHB asked them to deposit another sum of Rs 2,62,000 towards interest which was deposited by them on September 18, 2004. However, to their utter surprise, the CHB instead of issuing the ‘No Due Certificate’ informed on June 28, 2010, that it had not deposited the balance 75 per cent payment of bid money. After they gave all details of the amounts deposited, the CHB on August 9, 2010, asked them to deposit Rs 3,83,789 (Rs 1,77,680 as principal and Rs 2,06,109 as interest) which was deposited by them in protest on September 15, 2010.

The counsel for the CHB pleaded that the complainants deposited the instalments in piecemeal manner at their own sweet will and evidently in contravention of the payment schedule. Thus, they were rightly burdened with the interest and they could not escape its payment being a contractual obligation. It was further pleaded that ‘No Dues Certificate’ could not be granted to the allottee after reconciliation of the accounts an amount of 3,83,789 was found due against them.

The commission further ordered, “CHB would be free to recover the amount of compensation, interest and costs from its officials who were required to maintain the record but did not send any reply and rather misplaced the application, of course after following proper procedure as required under the Service Rules.”



60 pvt schools to move HRD ministry against dept
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Irked over being allegedly ‘bullied’ by the UT education department in the name of implementing Right Of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, over 60 private schools have decided to move to Ministry For Human Resource and Development against department.

While Independent School Association President HS Mamik refused to comment, an office-bearer of the Independent School Association accused the education department of befooling them.

“We made repeated requests to arrange for a meeting to finalise all issues specially reimbursement but they evaded it on the pretext of being busy and then all of a sudden we get fresh instructions. How can they decide to do away with the neighbourhood criteria? They failed to fulfil all duties assigned to them by the Act and they are now bullying us. We will go to the ministry highlighting the muddled affairs and the UT’s act of becoming the RTE policeman,” He said

With Chandigarh figuring in the ministry’s records enlisting four states, which have failed to conduct child-mapping school plan to highlight department’s botched up result.

“They made a mockery of the Act by not doing this survey properly, which is the key basis of identifying eligible candidates. They say, admit students from the entire city but they have not identified any child in their survey. We will get the ministry to set things right here,” said the principal of a local private school.

The decision comes in wake of the yesterday’s instructions issued by the department asking the schools to accept applications for seats reserved under the Act till January 31. The schools have also been barred from filling empty RTE seats till further order.

Repeated attempts to contact DPI (S) Sandeep Hans proved futile. The other department officials are meanwhile unperturbed by the ‘threats’ as a senior official said that schools could go anywhere but could not evade implementation of the Act.

“They have to admit EWS students on 25 per cent seats reserved for the purpose and that’s about it. If they have any problems they should contact us rather than the media,” said the official.



CBSE latest victim of cyber ‘impersonation’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

A fake webpage of the CBSE on Facebook
A fake webpage of the CBSE on Facebook. a tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 17
The Central Board of Secondary Education is the latest victim of social networking “impersonation” with an unidentified user setting up a webpage on Facebook in the Board’s name, using its logo and claiming it to be a government agency.

The page has been operational since October 2011 and the ‘administrator’ of page has not only been putting up notices and datesheets, but also responding to student queries on behalf of the CBSE.

As page requires every new user to ‘like’ it to be able to access its ‘wall’ It has so far got over 3,000 school students liking it and posting queries primarily related to the board examination.

While no instance of any student being mislead has been reported so far but the board has cautioned against ‘believing the page, which may lead to an academic catastrophe.

“ The only online identity of the board is the official website www.cbse.nic.in and students should only go by what is posted here. We have no presence on any social networking website. A student may end up being misguided by such pages which might have disastrous affect on his board exams,” said RJ Khnaderao, regional director, CBSE, Panchkula.

In an advisory issued the board has asked students to post their query on the official website or speak to counsellors on the board’s helpline.

Interestingly, the officials remain tightlipped about registering a police complaint against this web page.

The first reports of this page came from Nagpur where a section of students objected to cartoon posted by the imposter showcasing social activist Anna Hazare instructing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There were also a series of pictures showcasing world’s smallest elephant.



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