Teachers' recruitment Scam
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 27
The CBI today registered a case against "unknown" civil servants and two middlemen Hardev Singh and Jolly. The CBI has registered a case under Sections 420, 120- B of the IPC and Sections 8 and 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It was alleged that during the period 2007-09, Singh and Jolly, allegedly in collusion with unknown public servants of the department of education, Chandigarh, were demanding bribe for the appointment of teachers, the CBI said in a release.
The CBI questioned HCS officer Samwartak Singh for more than four hours at the CBI office in Sector 30 today.
Samwartak Singh is at present Secretary in the Haryana Urban Development Authority. The CBI team also raided his office in Panchkula and seized some documents.
The team from Delhi conducted searches at four places including the residence-cum-office of the then DPI(S), UT, Chandigarh and residential premises of both middlemen Jolly and Hardev.
The UT police had first registered the case on September 5, 2009, against Hardev and Jolly, but had given a clean chit to Samwartak Singh who was the DPI at that point of time. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had transferred the investigation in the case to the Delhi team of CBI and ordered it to conduct a fresh probe. The High Court had acted on a PIL, claiming that the police let off high-ups in the case. In 2009, the Chandigarh Education Department initiated the process of recruitment of 536 teachers for different government schools. It was alleged that Jolly and Hardev Singh had approached one of the candidates with an assured job in lieu of Rs 4.5 lakh. The police then registered a case in the Industrial Area police station and arrested the two.
Further probe revealed that Jolly was constantly in touch with the then DPI Samwartak Singh and hundreds of calls had been exchanged between the two. However, investigating the matter, the Chandigarh Police let off Samwartak and filed a chargesheet in court against Jolly and Hardev only. Later, one of the candidates, Karamjit Singh filed a PIL in the high court, seeking CBI investigations into the role of the DPI and other authorities. Singh, through his counsel, expressed suspicion over the involvement of higher-ups in the case.
On March 31 this year, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court held that the confidence in the Chandigarh branch of the CBI had somewhat eroded and thus the investigation in the teachers recruitment scam was transferred to the Delhi branch of the CBI.
After going through the CBI report and three reports filed by the CBI, the bench observed that the CBI had not disclosed the fact about the then DPI being associated with the case till inquiry report reached the bench. The silence of the CBI was deafening, the bench had observed.
The bench issued directions for fresh investigations in the case by the CBI Delhi.
The bench has also observed that whole proceedings indicate a complete cover-up by the Chandigarh branch of the CBI and shoddy investigation conducted by the Chandigarh Police.
Following the registration of case by the UT police in 2009, the Chandigarh Administration had repatriated the HCS officer to his parent cadre.
A separate complaint in the case made to the CBI also mentioned the names of Secretary Education Ram Niwas, former DPI (schools) Sunil Bhatia and director, DOEACC Society, VK Jain. But the CBI’s verification report could not establish their involvement.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 27
A majority of the residential areas of the city have been facing acute water shortage and low pressure for the last one month.
MC records showed that in the last two months, the corporation had discontinued afternoon water supply thrice due to major repairs of the pipelines.
But the ground reality was that it was not only during repairs that the situation of water supply worsened in the city, but residents faced water shortage in their areas in routine.
A classic case was that three days ago, the MC discontinued the afternoon water supply for a day due to major repair of leakage in the Kajauli waterworks, phases I and II.
After repair due to some technical fault, water supply of the city continuously remained disrupted for the next two days without any information to residents.
Similarly, in the first week of May, the MC discontinued water supply in the afternoon, but there was no water supply in the evening and the next day also. The supply was at low pressure even on the ground floor.
Despite the MC constituting 14 teams to keep a check on the wastage of water in the city, residents were using booster pumps at residential and commercial areas fearlessly.
The illegal drawing of water by certain residents from the main supply line also contributed to the shortage of water.
Though the MC had launched a special campaign to disconnect illegal connections, the theft of water continued unabated, allegedly in connivance with MC employees. During a visit to Sector 28, it was found that the owner of a restaurant had installed a booster pump on the rear for lifting water. Besides, in Sector 44, residents had installed booster pumps at their houses.
Anguished over the acute water shortage, residents rued that public health department employees had not made proper arrangements for adequate water supply, which was causing great inconvenience to them.
Residents of Sectors 19, 21, 29, 30 and 44 and Mani Majra stated that the maximum areas were deprived of water in the scorching heat. Those residing on the top floor were the worst sufferers.
While those on the ground floor got usual supply during the morning, those staying on upper floors had not been getting water supply. Due to low water pressure, overhead water reservoirs remain empty.
Krishna Lal of Mani Majra remarked that it was strange that with the rise in mercury, when the requirement of water increased, the authorities came up with the excuse that they could not meet the requirements of people due to the repair of damaged pipelines.
He asked why the repairs could not be done in the winter, when residents could bear water shortage as the demand was very low.
14 teams on the move
Fourteen MC teams are conducting a special check from 5:30 am to 8:30 am for the misuse of water or overflowing tanks in residential areas. MC wakes up to damage, but wastage goes on
Fourteen MC teams are conducting a special check from 5:30 am to 8:30 am for the misuse of water or overflowing tanks in residential areas.
MC wakes up to damage, but wastage goes on
No respite from heat wave
Chandigarh, May 27
The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted that the maximum temperatures in the region are likely to rise with each passing day to touch 45 degrees Celsius on June 1. However, there would be no major increase in the night temperatures, as the minimum temperatures would continue to hover around 27 and 28 degrees Celsius.
The weather office said western disturbance over north Pakistan and neighborhood now lies over Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining north Pakistan as an upper air system. This would result in heat wave conditions to prevail in the region for the next 48 hours.
There was a slight decline in the maximum temperature on Saturday, which was recorded at 39.8°C, one degree above normal, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 25.9°C, two degrees above normal. The maximum relative humidity was 43 per cent, while the minimum was recorded at 13 per cent. The sky would be mainly clear. Maximum temperature on Monday would be around 40ºC and minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 26 ºC.
In Punjab and Haryana, the weather would be mainly dry and there would be the possibility of dust storm/ thunderstorm with light rain occurring at isolated places during the next 24 hours.
In Punjab, Amritsar was the hottest with 42.4 degrees Celsius with Patiala and Ludhiana recording 41.5 and 41 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Kaura killers brought to city
Chandigarh, May 27
The squad, led by DSP Roshan Lal, busted the gang of inter-state vehicle-lifters and recovered 13 vehicles from their possession.
The police obtained the custody of Deepak Sharma and Vishal Vij, accused of murdering Dr Deepak Kaura in Mohali last year, and recovered the vehicles.
They were brought here on production warrants from the Patiala jail. The police said they had stolen various vehicles from the city. The vehicles recovered included Honda Activas, motorcycles and a Maruti car.
Free parking passes
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 27
A query was put up by BJP councillor Arun Sood about the details of free parking passes issued by the corporation in the city in the last five years. The authorities informed in their reply to Sood and they found a number of faults in printing cost and issuing of more passes than the eligibility criteria under various categories.
At the pre-house meeting of the BJP-SAD here today, it was decided that the opposition would demand an inquiry against the issuing authority of free parking passes and fix the responsibility of misusing these. At the meeting, the councillors unanimously decided that they would demand the detailed record of the passes issued and the financial loss incurred.
The councillors also decided to take up the issue with the Mayor as to why the opposition councillors who had raised the issues, including pipeline scam, ward development fund and CPDW guidelines in the House, had been sidelined from the committees which were constituted on their suggestions.
They expressed surprise that all these issues were taken up by the opposition, but the Mayor had not considered it necessary to make them members of the sub-committees constituted on these issues.
Meanwhile, the Congress councillors also held a pre house meeting to prepare their strategy to manage the opposition, councillors. At the meeting chaired by Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, it was decided to cancel all free parking passes issued to the councillors and officers illegally. The issue of the resignation of senior Congress leader Subhash Chawla from the committee on the laying of pipeline was also taken up at the meeting and the councillors objected to his resigning from the committee.
Many EWS houses sold, rented out
Chandigarh, May 27
Around 15,000 EWS houses have been allotted across the city under the rehabilitation schemes of the Chandigarh Administration.
Though the final report in the probe is yet to be submitted, sources indicate that a majority of the houses have been either sold or rented out.
In a majority of the dwelling units, there are major violations of the building bylaws. Teams constituted by the assistant estate officer were visiting houses at Sectors 26, 29, 30, 35 and 38, Dhanas, Maloya, Khuda Lahora and other parts of the city.
UT assistant estate officer Rahul Gupta said the teams were verifying antecedents of the occupants in all such quarters and would submit their report soon.
The survey would give the status of the houses being sold or rented out in violation of the allotment rules, he said.
Initial reports about the ownership status of EWS houses cames at a time when the Chandigarh Administration has been asked by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to explain its stand on the illegal occupation of government houses in the city meant for “migrant labour from Jammu and Kashmir”.
Notices had been issued to illegal occupants after assistant labour commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, intimated the UT estate office that the houses were occupied illegally.
On the basis of the communication, the SDM (East), exercising powers under the Public Premises Act, 1971, issued eviction notices to residents of about 60 dwelling units. The occupants were asked to appear before the estate officer.
On the other hand, the estate office had, over the years, failed to keep a tab on the sale or renting out of EWS houses allotted to needy persons on certain terms and conditions.
One of the main clauses for the houses, allotted at subsidised cost, was that the dwelling units could not be sold or rented out. There were two categories of houses, one on ground rent and others allotted on payment of cost.
Barring Sectors 29 and 30, where houses were on lease, the dwelling units in other sectors were allotted to original allottees. The quarters were allotted in the late seventies and eighties to occupants of slum colonies who were rehabilitated.
In the case of subletting of EWS houses at Sector 30, being probed by the CBI, the estate office gave the entire record of the allotment of about 30 houses to the CBI. The record was recently submitted at the Sector-30 office of the CBI.
Years have passed since the vehicles with totally dark film on windows have been running on city roads. Nobody ever cared to put any check on them because of an inherent perception of power attachment with those in the passenger seat. No matter there was a particular percentage of the darkness that was allowed, but, I have seen cars even with 100 per cent tinted glasses running unchecked on city roads.
It is very heartening to witness that for the last few weeks, our government has made it mandatory not to have any kind of filming of any darkness and also has made it a punishable offence. But in my view, defaulters should only be drivers who go with completely dark glasses. Nowadays due to pollution, the temperature of environment rises to a very high level.
The bright light hampers vision and the heat makes driving more difficult. The tint can be of help in this matter as it not only reduces the direct heat entering the cars, but also protects a person from UV rays. I think following a massive public reaction, courts should permit tints within permissible limits.
Sudhanshu Shekar, Chandigarh
After the apex court gave its order, the drive started by the police to crack down on offenders having tinted glass on their vehicles is really commendable. It will help the police in checking the movement of unwanted people across the state and in the city. It will reduce car crimes and the public should support it.
During the drive, many of those who were caught were asked to remove tinted glasses within 72 hours or go to court to get their driver's licences back. The police also discovered that people preferred to pay fine when caught, but did not remove film. There were many cases of multiple fines of same vehicles.
When the rule book came to police rescue, it discovered that apart from prosecution, it can give directions to remove defect, impound a document to ensure compliance in three days, challan and send the document to court. This had the desired result instantly and many people started removing film from their vehicles on their own on the spot rather than taking directions.
Vehicle-owners found flouting court order were penalised on the spot and the dark film were peeled off at several places. The police was ordered to arrest drivers of vehicles with tinted glasses, except those that were factory-fitted. When tinted glass in vehicles has been a major source of concern for women’s security and criminal activities, the judgement requires more teeth in order to prevent mishaps.
We believe that while the ban should help check the crime rate in the country, the issue of tinted glasses should not distract the police from the task of securing lives and property. The police should rework their security system by exposing personnel to advanced and latest forms of security strategies, with the aim of reassuring Nigerians of their overall safety.
Akhil Sharma, Chandigarh
The Supreme Court order to put a complete ban on use of dark film on car windows, including the vehicles used by VVIPs, is a welcome move as many crimes, including sexual assault on women, are committed by offenders who use cars with tinted glasses to evade public gaze and conceal their identity.
The ban was the need of the hour as the tinted windows shielded many crimes and the move was unavoidable in view of rising crime graph in city. But the UT traffic police has adopted a lackadaisical approach in nailing the offenders for using black film on their vehicles as far as CTU buses and VIP vehicles are concerned.
A majority of the CTU buses are still plying on city roads with zero per cent visibility, with black film on them, and the traffic police are turning a blind eye to these violations. Officials and VIPs in the city are driving their official cars with black film with utmost impunity. At the same time, the common man on city roads has been forced to remove the film or is bearing the brunt of challans in every nook and corner of the city. The order is the same for everyone and enforcement should be the same.
Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh
Although the Supreme Court's recent order banning black film on vehicle glasses was important, it has come at the most inappropriate time, the hottest months of the year. The rule will, in effect, leave the motorists exposed to the merciless heat of the sun in the enclosed confines of their vehicles. It becomes really hot when one parks the vehicle even for a short while in the sun.
But as per the priority, public interest is more important than individual interests. The move was unavoidable, as it does, in fact, prove to be one of the reasons many crimes are committed openly in broad daylight and in public. For that purpose, the ban on tinting beyond a certain limit is welcome.
Instead of such a haphazard way of removing the film, a deadline should have been set, beyond which such enforcement could have been done. The traffic police, while removing black film, is littering roads. In a city where plastic is banned, films are being openly littered by policemen. The traffic police, which has been making tall claims to challan all vehicles with tinted glasses, has overlooked cars of VIPs, which is unacceptable.
Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula
First of all, I must thank the Supreme Court for making it a law that no cars will have tinted glasses as it blocks the inside view of the cars from outside. Surely, people use tinted glasses for more nefarious activites than actually as a shield from the sun. The Chandigarh Police is doing the job of challaning those who use tinted glasses in their vehicles on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Even otherwise, such action was long overdue. But the vigour with which the anti-tinted-glass campaign has been lodged by the Chandigarh Poilce must not die down with the passage of time. Such checking must be carried out throughout the year and 24x7. Only then will people fear using the illegal glass.
There are reports that black-film dealers in the city are up in arms against the order and have protested, saying many of their workers will lose jobs and the material in stock will go waste. Many vehicles can still be seen plying on the city roads with tinted glasses intact. The police should act against anyone and everyone who uses black glass, irrespective of the fact that it is a government vehicle or a VVIP vehicle.
A few days ago, the Chandigarh Tribune carried the photo of an AC bus of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking with tinted glasses. All CTU AC buses must also be checked and the black film on their windowpanes must also be removed. No one, howsoever high the post, should be spared.
An offence is an offence and punishment is a must. Till now, all seems to be going well with the checking of the tinted glasses by the police. But time will tell how far the anti-tinted-glass operation will be successful. At least, a begining has been made.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh
Start from home
If one wanted to change the world, one needed to begin from his own home. In case the Chandigarh Administration was keen to implement a ban on black film, it needed to first ensure that vehicles of its officers, particularly seniors, were ensure to having removed the glass. There have been newspaper reports that even CTU buses continue to ply on the city roads without removing tinted glass.
Going by the available records on how the black film had been aiding the accused in many a crime, the court has done what should have been done by governments. It is also not justified on the part of a section of public that they had not been informed properly by the police in advance. This group consists of people, particularly from outstation, travelling to the city.
Those coming from small towns in the neighbourhood argue that there were orders in their native places and that the police was being unreasonable. The argument does not hold good because the information about the challanning had been passed on to the general public through newspapers, radio and television at local and national levels.
Shashank Parmar, Baddi (Solan)
No blanket ban
On the directions of Supreme Court, the police came into action and started removing the film on vehicles. But I have seen that a majority of owners of vehicles get the film removed themselves as responsible citizens. The rest of the job is completed by the traffic police of the tricity.
But it was much more effectively done in Chandigarh than in Mohali and Panchkula. As usual, pick and choose is always there. Still, in the tricity, a number of vehicles belonging to VVIPs still have film. More interestingly, private owners plying AC buses are still having film on vehicles.
On the way to Delhi, I noticed a number of ordinary Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh buses still plying with black film. That raises eyebrows as to whether the order of the Supreme Court applies only to private cars and whether private and state government buses are exempt?
Kulbhushan Kanwar, Chandigarh
If the car of an 'aam aadmi' has black film on the front and rear windscreens or on the windowpanes that block light, one can be held for contempt of court, in addition to being prosecuted as per rules provided under the Motor Vehicles Act. But illegal tinted glass windows in cars in the city are a common sight and a den of immoral activities.
However, after the Supreme Court banned the use of tinted glass, such defaulters are facing a tough time. The Chandigarh Traffic Police now intends to intensify the drive against the use of tinted glass in vehicles. Unfortunately, such rules are relaxed for 'sarkari babus' or Chandigarh Transport Undertaking's AC buses.
Tinted glass has been a major source of concern for women’s security as well as criminal activities. The police should initially advise people that it is against the rules and ask them to remove the tinted glass or film from their vehicles on their own. Every youngster should follow the order of the Supreme Court and remove tinted film on the spot.
They must think that using black film is a violation under the Motor Vehicles Act. The law says windshields must have at least 70 per cent per cent transparency and windows a minimum of 50 per cent transparency. The court order exempts VVIPs, which shows that rules and regulations are only for 'aam aadmi'.
Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh
Diarrhoea cases on the rise
Panchkula, May 27
Children aged between six months and two years are being admitted to the hospital. Dr Reeta Chaudhary said cases went up in May, June and July. She said the hospital had already geared up to meet with the exigency. She said most children were either newborns or up to two years of age.
She said they were advising people to avoid moving out during the day, besides taking precautionary measures like taking more liquids.
She said residents should pay special attention to keeping surroundings around their houses clean and maintaining proper hygiene in their houses.
She said people should avoid eating cut-fruits and other items being sold on 'rehris' in the markets. She said while moving out, people should properly cover tiny tots.
She said they should immediately take Paracetamol whenever the body temperature touched 100 degree Fahrenheit and patients should not be served soft drinks or juices.
Locals up in arms against ill-maintained park
Mohali, May 27
Lamenting over the issue, Bahadur Singh, a resident of the locality, said that despite several requests, they (the residents of the village) were not ready to listen. "We had even approached the GMADA several times, but to no avail. The GMADA has fenced the park with wires, but these residents have cut this wire," said Bahadur Singh. The area stinks now and you can see piles of cattle dung all around in the park, he added.
Another resident Sanjeev Kumar alleged that some residents of the village got agitated over the issue and had broken their windowpanes during night hours. "
10,000 appear in CET for PU courses
Chandigarh, May 27 For the first time, PU had introduced online registration for CET, which received an overwhelming response of around 10,800 students. PU conducted CET for courses like MBBS, BDS, BHMS, BAMS, BPharma, law and hotel management.
Chandigarh, May 27
For the first time, PU had introduced online registration for CET, which received an overwhelming response of around 10,800 students. PU conducted CET for courses like MBBS, BDS, BHMS, BAMS, BPharma, law and hotel management.
The online registration had also attracted students from different parts of the country, who usually avoided coming to the city to fill in forms.
Meanwhile, members of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) also submitted a complaint to the PU authorities against the contractor of the canteen at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) against overcharging from candidates who had come to appear in the exam.
SOPU president Manoj Lubana said students were charged Rs 50 per plate, that contained two 'chapatis' and one 'dal'. “In this amount, candidates must have got better quality and quantity of food. However, the canteen contractor was minting money from them,” Lubana said.
Dean student welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said the matter was reported to him and he would inquire into the matter. “If the contractor has overcharged from the candidates, a heavy fine will be imposed on them,” the DSW said.
He added that a meeting of all canteen contractors would be called and they would be asked to display the rate list, failing which they would be fined.
Chandigarh, May 27 An argument between members of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Student Organisation (PUSU) was reported over pasting of posters. The argument led to the supporters of both the parties assembling outside the hostel. One of the party leaders said that following the Common Entrance Test (CET) they were pasting the posters to make the students aware about the party. However, the other party objected to it which led to an argument. PK Dhawan, Chief Security Officer (CSO), Panjab University, said that the security received information about two groups of students entering into altercation outside the boys hostel no IV following which a team of PU security was rushed to the scene and the police was also informed about the incident. “As soon as the security reached the scene, the members of both the parties managed to flee,” Dhawan said. The security on the campus was beefed-up by the university authorities and student leaders of both the organisations were issued warnings. “We have asked the student organisations to paste the posters on the allotted notice boards or else they will be booked under defacement act,” Dhawan said.
Chandigarh, May 27
An argument between members of the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Panjab University Student Organisation (PUSU) was reported over pasting of posters. The argument led to the supporters of both the parties assembling outside the hostel.
One of the party leaders said that following the Common Entrance Test (CET) they were pasting the posters to make the students aware about the party. However, the other party objected to it which led to an argument.
PK Dhawan, Chief Security Officer (CSO), Panjab University, said that the security received information about two groups of students entering into altercation outside the boys hostel no IV following which a team of PU security was rushed to the scene and the police was also informed about the incident.
“As soon as the security reached the scene, the members of both the parties managed to flee,” Dhawan said.
The security on the campus was beefed-up by the university authorities and student leaders of both the organisations were issued warnings. “We have asked the student organisations to paste the posters on the allotted notice boards or else they will be booked under defacement act,” Dhawan said.
PEC students clash, 6 held
Chandigarh, May 27
As the final-year semester exams concluded yesterday, a party was organised in the hostel, where a clash between two groups took place.
Another group of students alleged that during the night, they were beaten up by a few policemen who came near their hostel.
Amandeep Singh, a student of mechanical engineering, said they were sitting in the lawn of the hostel when four police personnel came and started misbehaving with them, asking them to go inside the hostel.
“When we tried to tell the policemen that we were just sitting outside the hostel, they started beating me and my friend Pankaj Kumar. We were mercilessly thrashed by the police for no reason,” he said.
He further said they went to the PGI for treatment and informed the police control room about the incident. The police party was sent to record its statements.
Sector-11 police station SHO Gurmukh Singh refuted the allegations. He said the police went to the scene after the brawl.