C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Parents threatened
Kidnapper says will fly girl to Dubai if ransom not paid; lookout notice to airports
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The police trail in the kidnapping case of a three-year-old girl from Sector 22, yesterday, has led them to issue a ‘lookout circular’ to all airports across the country as the accused caller, Jagpal Beniwal, has threatened the family of flying the little girl to Dubai if the ransom amount of Rs 60 lakh was not paid to him. The girl is yet to be recovered and the police has formed various teams to crack the case.

Three-year-old Harmaini was allegedly kidnapped from Hotel Royal Inn in Sector 22 for a ransom of Rs 1 crore by the accused yesterday. The girl’s family was staying in the hotel and Jagpal is their business partner. The girl’s father,Harish Arora, ad come to stay in the city on January 12 wih his wife Priya Arora and their two children.

Police sources said the kidnapper made a call at 9.50 am from his mobile today on Harish’s phone and asked him to arrange an amount of Rs 60 lakh for the release of his daughter, otherwise he would fly off to Dubai. The police immediately issued a lookout circular to all the airports against the accused following the call. The kidnapper initially demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore from Harish Arora and has today reduced the amount to Rs 60 lakh. The police said that Harish owed a huge amount of money to Jagpal and thus he kidnapped his daughter.

The police today dispatched three teams to hunt for the kidnapper whose phone is switched off after he made the ransom call. While one team has been dispatched to Rajgarh, Narwana tehsil in Jind district of Haryana, another team has been sent to Karnal, while a third team has been sent to Delhi to arrest the accused and recover the girl.

The police also checked the records of all toll plazas on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway to find out which route was taken by the accused while he was fleeing after kidnapping the girl on his white Santro car. The police is scrutinising the tower location of the mobile phone of the accused.

The police has also recovered a CCTV footage from a showroom in Sector 22, which shows the accused taking the girl in a Santro car.

How the kidnapping took place

January 12: Harish Arora, his wife Priya, son Hridev and three-year-old daughter Harmaini, came to stay at Hotel Royal Inn in Sector 22.

January 15 (11 am): Jagpal Beniwal, business partner of Harish Arora, along with his girlfriend Chirag, came to their room and offered to spend some time together. He asked to take the girl out to the garden and did not return.

January 15 (1 pm): Accused Jagpal called on the mobile phone of Harish’s wife Priya and told her that he would return their daughter when the ransom was paid to him.

Another girl involved?

Police investigations revealed that Jagpal’s girlfriend Chirag was also accompanying the accused at the time he fled with the complainant’s daughter in his Santro car. Chirag’s mobile phone is also switched off.

Help sought from delhi Police

As both the accused and the complainant are business partners and run a company in Delhi, the UT police had also taken the help of the Delhi Police in the kidnapping case.

Complaint against business partners

Both the accused Jagpal Beniwal and the complainant, Harish Arora, knew each other for the past 18 months. They are in the business of share trading and run a company in Delhi. The police said there were complaints with the Delhi Police against their company and the two partners also ran into a financial dispute recently. It is learnt that Harish owes an amount of Rs 60 lakh to Jagpal, which may be the reason behind the kidnapping.



Youth shot at, three injured
Attacked on their way to court; old enmity behind incident
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 16
A youth suffered bullet injuries and three others were seriously injured, after they were allegedly attacked by eight youths armed with swords and sharp-edged weapons on the Bitna link road, National Highway-22, near Pinjore.

One of the assailants also shot at the victim, Johny (24), in his leg.

The victims were coming to the Panchkula court for a hearing in the brawl case, involving the two groups.

The injured were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where three victims, Himanshu, Ladi and Parikshit Chaudhary are undergoing treatment, while Johny, was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

A similar clash had taken place between the same groups on August 9, 2012, at Kalka. A case for causing grievous hurt was registered by the police. The youths were arrested, but later released on bail.

“According to the complaint, the victims were coming from Kalka and going to the Panchkula court for the hearing in a brawl case, when on the Bitna road, two cars forcibly stopped them,” said a police official.

He further said, “Eight armed youths came out and broke the windowpanes of the car and then dragged the victims out.”

The victims were thrashed with swords and sluggers and one of them even shot at Johny. Johny suffered bullet injuries in his leg.

Passers-by saw the victims lying on the road, they immediately informed the police. A PCR vehicle reached the spot and rushed the victims to the hospital.

Krishan Kumar Hooda, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), said, “It is a case of personal enmity and the accused will be nabbed soon.” 



lease row
Resolve issue amicably: HC to Admn, Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court wants the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Golf Club to put their heads together for resolving the lease amount payment row. Till then, the Chandigarh Administration has been asked to refrain from adopting coercive methods.

Taking up the matter, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain asked both the administration and the Golf Club to make efforts to resolve the issue. Till then, no coercive methods would be used, the Bench specified while fixing the case for January 30.

The directions come as a relief to the club, as the last date of payment of lease amount specified by the authorities concerned in the UT Administration was about to expire. The High Court’s suggestion for amicable resolution of the dispute indicates that coercive action, such as placing under suspension the license of its bar, will not be initiated after all - at least till the next date of hearing.

Seeking directions for setting aside the order/letter issued by the Administration on November 15 and 16, last year, petitioner Golf Club had contended that the same was totally illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory.

The Administration, vide the letter, had asked the club to deposit the lease money from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2013. The amount, as per the calculations, comes out to be Rs 9, 27, 48,000.

Directions were also sought by the club to extend the lease of the petitioner society either in terms of draft lease proposed by the letter dated December 2, 2009, or on terms similar to that of Delhi Golf Club, both in terms of the lease money as well as the tenure.

The issue pertains to enhancement of lease amount of the prime land, on which the golf club exists. It has been hanging fire for the past many years. The lease had expired in 2008 and finalising new rates has been a matter of much deliberation.



Rare testimony: Girl deposes against eve-teaser in court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
In a rare testimony, a 22-year-old girl today deposed in the court against an eve -teaser and narrated the trauma she faced when she was being constantly harassed and chased by a youth.

The girl, who works with an insurance company, recorded her statements on camera and told the court that she was determined to see the youth punished as she was fed up of the mental torture.

Court sources said in more than 90 per cent of the cases of eve-teasing, the victims shy away from attending court hearings and the cases usually result in a compromise, thus today’s testimony was a rare instance.

The UT police had registered the case of eve-teasing on January 9 against a student, Soni Pawar, on the complaint of the girl. The police had filed a chargesheet in the court and the evidence was recorded in the case within a week in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajnish Kumar setting an example of a speedy trial. The sources said the court had fast-tracked the case following the incident of the Delhi gang rape.

The girl, who works with an insurance company in Mohali told the court that the youth was stalking her and trying to talk to her since the beginning of the year. He used to pass comments while on the way to her office or when she was returning home everyday.

The office where the girl worked shifted its location to Sector 17 but even then the accused Soni, who is a student, followed her even there. The girl used to be chased even when she used to go to her home in Ambala. The youth used to start following her car in Dera Bassi till Mohali.

The girl further narrated that on January 9, the accused passed loud, obscene and vulgar comments at her in a busy market and it was then that she decided to call the police. The police soon arrested the youth.

The accused’s parents were present in the court today during the trial. The court has now set the date of next hearing after a month.

“Girls are now raising their voice against the eve-teasers following the incident of the Delhi gang rape. The prosecution agencies as well as the courts are now taking cases of crimes against women on a priority basis,” said public prosecutor JP Singh.


52 illegal sheds razed at Sector 26 Grain Market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Amidst a strong protest by ‘jhuggi’ dwellers and a mild cane charge by the police, joint teams of the Estate Office and the Municipal Corporation (MC) today carried out a daylong demolition drive at the Sector 26 Vegetable and Grain Market.

Before proceedings towards the public area encroached upon by shopkeepers by extending concrete platforms in front of their shops, the enforcement teams demolished around 35 jhuggis that had come up on open space near the Sector 26 police lines. The police resorted to mild cane charge when some youths tried to assault a policeman who was part of the police force accompanying the demolition teams.

The focus of the drive was the sheds raised on extended concrete platforms in front of the shops. Fifty-two sheds and other illegal structures at the front and back of the shops were razed with the help of four JCB machines.

The drive was carried out on the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner. It was supervised by MC Additional Commissioner, Lalit Siwach, Secretary of the CHB, Mandeep Kaur, and tehsildar, Amarinder Singh.

Rehri and pheri wallas, who cover up a major part of the internal roads in the market, were back to business soon after the drive was over. Shopkeepers alleged that the Market Committee did not make any effort to remove temporary encroachments that were chocking the market.

Soon after the drive began, some of the shopkeepers removed their sheds voluntarily but kept on watching the movement of the demolition squad. The traders’ association led by Bhim Sen claimed that they had been allowed to stock their material in front of their shop, leaving six feet from the road.

During the drive, mismanagement on part of the officials was visible as there was a traffic chaos on the entry and exit points of the market.

Admn needs to focus on parking space

While welcoming the drive, visitors said there should be a designated parking space and encroachers should be regulated. Most of the shopkeepers who have even rented out the premises in front of their shops need to be checked.



This happens only in city hospitals
Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, dumps 135 beds in basement
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Turning a blind eye to patients' plight, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has dumped as many as 135 beds costing Rs 6.07 lakh in its basement.

These were purchased 10 years ago.

In 2007, the authorities had filed a complaint in the UT Consumer Forum against the manufacturer, stating that the hospital was "continuously facing a lot of humiliation and harassment at the hands of its patients as the beds supplied by the firm were defective".

Though the complaint was dismissed, the authorities have failed to get the beds repaired for the convenience of its patients so far.

When contacted, Director Principal of the hospital, Dr Raj Bahadur, said, "At present, there is no such shortage. We will get these repaired as and when required and replace the existing beds with these. Though we lost the case in the consumer forum, the quality of the beds was not as good as others being used currently."

The beds have been dumped at the basement of Block C inside the hospital.

Following a complaint moved against Dr Raj Bahadur, who was the then Medical Superintendent of the hospital, stating that 50 per cent of the beds purchased by the hospital broke within a year, a vigilance inquiry was conducted.

The inquiry report, a copy of which is with the Chandigarh Tribune, however, issued a clean chit to Dr Bahadur in 2007.

Following this, the hospital had moved the consumer forum against the supplier.

When the case was taken up in a lok adalat in August 2009, both the parties agreed to get the beds in question examined by the Research Planning and Development Wing of Punjab Engineering College (University of Technology), Chandigarh.

In its report, PEC had stated that the beds were of the right specifications, had no defect and the steel was of good quality.

The commission had then dismissed the complaint made by the GMCH-32.

Reason yet to be ascertained
The reason behind the GMCH's failure in utilising the beds is yet to be ascertained as PEC had submitted conflicting reports that ruled out defects. The UT Vigilance Cell had stated that within the warranty period, 135 beds had become defective and needed repairs.



Gossiping keeps cops busy at check-posts
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 16
Nakas set up by the Panchkula police in wake of the deteriorating law and order situation remain unmanned. A reality check by this correspondent at different nakas revealed that the policemen were busy gossiping, rather than frisking vehicles. Some nakas were also found without policemen last night.

The police personnel were found gossiping at a naka in front of the Sector 10 bus stand, while nakas on the Panchkula-Chandigarh border, in front of Singh Dwar, at Mansa Devi Complex, on the Panchkula-Kalka Highway, and in Sector 18, Panchkula, were unmanned during the day time. The same nakas were found without policemen at night, too.

A round of the city taken in the past two days, i.e. on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, exposed the alertness of the policemen.

Virender Sangwan, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Panchkula, said: “If this is happening in the city, I will definitely inquire into the matter. Necessary actions will be taken against those found guilty.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush did not respond on her official phone despite repeated calls and messages.

As many as five robbery and looting incidents have been reported in the recent past, but the police has failed to solve any of them.

On Monday night, four youths had forced themselves into the car of a 22-year-old youth at gunpoint at the Sector 9 market. The miscreants threw him near Derbassi and fled with his I-20 car and other valuables. The victim, Karan Singh, is a resident of Dhakoli (Zirakpur).



Kidnapped infant reunited with parents after five days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The infant girl, who was allegedly kidnapped by neighbours in Sector 56, was reunited with her parents after five days today.

The infant was recovered from Gorakhpur. The girl’s mother, who was under depression, broke down on seeing the girl. The police had yesterday recovered the girl from Baghera village near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

The accused, Neelam and Amit, were also arrested.

The father of the four-month-old girl, Adam Ali, had accompanied the police team to Gorakhpur.

As the police raided the accused's house and arrested them, Neelam told the police that she had suffered a miscarriage recently and was under depression and was not able to conceive a child.

She said she was fond of the infant as she used to spend more than four hours everyday with her and decided to abduct her with the help of her husband.

Investigations revealed that on January 11 Neelam had taken the baby to Ambala.

She called her husband there and the two of them boarded a train to Gorakhpur, ignorant of the fact that a police team was chasing them.

The infant’s mother got worried on seeing the house of her neighbours locked and informed the police about it. In her complaint, Saibun Nisha, had stated that Neelam and Amit had kidnapped her daughter, Ashida Khatun. A kidnapping case under Section 363 of the IPC was registered at the Sector 39 police station.



Southern sectors to face less power cuts
UT electricity department installs an additional transformer of 30 MVA
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

The transformer that was installed at the power sub-station in Sector 52, Chandigarh.
The transformer that was installed at the power sub-station in Sector 52, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, January 16
The UT electricity department has installed an additional transformer of 30 MVA in the power sub-station of Sector 52.

With the installation of the additional transformer, the residents of southern sectors (Sectors 41 to 45 and Sectors 51 to 55) can expect less power cuts during summer. The transformer will also supply power to the State Judicial Academy in Sector 43. A senior official of the electricity department said over the years the population of these sectors had increased which had resulted in an increase in the power demand as well.

Last year, there was overloading in the sectors due to which power cuts were imposed. "But now with the installation of the transformer, there will be no overloading," he added. MP Singh, Superintending Engineer (electricity), said last year to tackle the problem, the department had imposed power cuts, but now it could deal with the situation.

Work on the power sub-station in Sector 34 is yet to start. The power station provides supply to many southern sectors. The architecture department had refused to give permission for an overhead high-tension wire to be connected with the sub-station from Sector 32. 



Swine flu claims another life
Death toll reaches 5 in city hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
A 55-year-old patient, hailing from Solan, died of swine flu at the PGIMER today, taking the death toll in city hospitals to five.

Another patient tested positive for swine flu today, with the total number of cases rising to 20 at the PGIMER. Sundari Devi, the deceased was admitted to the PGIMER on January 6.

A patient from Patiala also tested positive for swine flu today. She is undergoing treatment at the PGIMER

The cases reported so far include five from the city and 15 from other states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Four deaths were reported in the past two weeks, including the death of a Mani Majra-based patient, last week.

Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Blood in sputum

Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.

Tamiflu medicine cures swine flu. The medicine is available at all three government hospitals, including the PGIMER, GMSH-16 and GMCH-32, free of cost. Private clinics and hospitals can procure the medicine from the UT health department.



Deep Complex yet to catch MC's attention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Unheeding the directions of UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, officials of the UT Administration and the municipal corporation have done nothing to provide basic amenities to the residents of Deep Complex at Hallo Majra.

A delegation of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) met Patil and kept their demands before him.

Patil assured them that projects were in the pipeline and would be executed soon.

The assurance was given after a BSP delegation, comprising BSP national general secretary and MP Narendra Kashyap, Chandigarh unit convener Anwar Hafiz-ul-Haq, president Jagir Singh, senior general secretary Sanjeev Babbar and councillor Jannat Jahan met Patil.

The BSP councillor had raised the issue at a public hearing session on March 19 last year, but despite Patil's directions, the UT and MC officials had failed to provide facilities to the residents.

The residents of Deep Complex cast votes during the MC elections, but the civic body has not done anything for them.



road safety week
Young brigade takes charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The UT traffic police today organised a "Women Two-wheeler Safety Helmet Rally".

About 200 girl students from various government colleges participated in the rally that passed through the markets of Sectors 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23 and culminated at the Sector 17 Plaza.

DSP (Traffic) Kamal Deep delivered a lecture on road safety and motivated the participants to wear safety helmets in routine.

The police personnel also distributed gifts among 15 women who were found wearing safety helmets while driving.

Road safety workshops were organised in Guru Gobind Singh College for Girls, Sector 26, Chandigarh, Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, SD College, Sector 32, MCM DAV College, Sector, 36 and State Bank of India headquarters, Sector 17. About 950 students/employees attended the workshops.

A workshop for auto drivers/rickshaw-pullers was also held at the PGI's main gate, where more than 165 persons were examined at an eye camp. Reflectors were also pasted on non-motorised vehicles at the ISBT-43 and Sector 17 bus stand. More than 150 reflectors were pasted on rickshaws.



Rain expected in next 2 days

Chandigarh, January 16
Showers may lash the region in the next two days.

As per the Met department, the sky will remain partly cloudy with possibility of rain and thundershowers. The maximum temperature will be around 21 degrees Celsius while the minimum will be around 6 degree Celsius. Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said rain might hit the region tomorrow. He said the maximum and minimum temperatures would plummet. — TNS



Sixth economic census of Mohali district launched
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 16
The sixth economic census of Mohali district was launched here today. The event was inaugurated by Chief Parliamentary Secretary NK Sharma.

Sharma highlighted the importance of economic census in the development of any region or country. The census would be 
completed till February 16, he said.

He asked the public to cooperate with the officials during the census.

Additional Deputy Commissioner, Development, Parveen Kumar Thind said for the purpose of conducting the census, 962 blocks had been set up in the urban areas of Mohali district, and 823 blocks in the rural areas.

Around 300 supervisors and 600 employees had been deputed to conduct the census, he said.

The survey will cover all the economic activities being done in the district.



Legal, financial aid awareness camp held
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 16
A free legal and financial aid awareness camp was organised for labourers at Phase XI here today. Smart cards were also made for some labourers during the camp.

Gopal Arora, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Mohali, said every citizen had the right to get justice.

Free legal aid was given to weaker and backward sections of society to protect their rights.

He said persons with an annual income of up to Rs 1.50 lakh were entitled to free legal aid. Making of a smart card was necessary, which could be done at a nominal fee of Rs 25. A smart card holder could avail himself of aid of Rs 50,000 from the government in case he was not fit to work and his family could get Rs 1 lakh in case of his death.



pu hostels
Only 5 avail of food subsidy
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Only five hostellers at Panjab University applied for the food subsidy provided after a ten-day-long protest against hike in food rates at hostel messes in November last year.

Of the 6,500 students staying in the PU hostels, only five residents of Girls’ Hostel No 5 reportedly applied for the food subsidy.

After the intervention of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, presently Union Railway Minister, the students were offered a subsidy of Rs 2.50 in mess diets from October 22, 2012, to January 15, 2013.

The students willing to avail of the benefit were asked to submit an application, signed by their department’s chairperson, to their respective hostel wardens.

A senior PU official said if students were actually affected by the hike in food rates, they should have applied for the subsidy.

Sachinder Pal, a member of the Student for Society (SFS) that was a part of the protest, said till November 26, students were not aware of the fact they had to forward the application through their department head. After that, students got busy with the semester exams, followed by the winter break.

“Students were also scared that by applying for the subsidy, they might be victimised by the university authorities,” he said.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said students were asked to get their application signed by the chairpersons to ensure the students who were availing of the subsidy were regularly attending their classes. “There are many students who take admission just to avail of the hostel facility, and we didn’t want to provide the subsidy to such students,” he said.

PU had decided to provide subsidy after the intervention of Bansal, who assured the authorities of taking up the issue of providing one cylinder for each hosteller every year at a subsidised rate. The Centre, however, refused to provide subsidised cylinders.



convent schools
Draw of lots today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The four missionary schools in the city and St Kabir School will be conducting their draw of lots tomorrow afternoon.

The four schools — St John’s High School, Sector 26; Sacred Heart School, Sector 26; St Anne’s School, Sector 32; and Carmel Convent School, Sector 9 — have received over 5,700 applications. The draw of lots will begin separately in all the schools at 3.30 pm.

Kavita Das, spokesperson of all the missionary schools, said no parent would be allowed to sit for the draw of lots without showing the acknowledgement receipt issued during the submission of forms. “Only one adult will be allowed at the venue against each receipt. The school gates will be opened around 2.30 pm,” she said.

St John’s High School has a total of 160 seats. The two girls’ schools, Carmel Convent School and Sacred Heart School, have 120 and 200 seats respectively. St Anne’s School is offering 230 seats. It is not yet known how many of these seats will be offered through the draw of lots.

St Kabir School, Sector 26, will also conduct the draw of lots at 3.30 pm. The school received over 1,000 admission forms against 90 available seats.



Non-teaching staff of PU demand pension scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The non-teaching staff of Panjab University staged a protest on the campus here today. During the protest, which lasted for over two hours, the employees demanded reimplementation of the pension scheme.

Deepak Kaushik, president of the Punjab University Non-teaching Employees’ Federation, said despite the assurance given by the Vice-Chancellor, the university had not restarted the pension scheme for the university employees. “There are over 400 employees not covered under the pension scheme, making them financially insecure,” he said.

The employees also demanded promotion and increase in the pay scale of ex-cadre posts and library resorters. These employees have not been given any increment for the past many years. They were receiving a lesser pay than the daily-wage workers at the university, protesters said. The re-employment policy of the university was also questioned during the protest. The non-teaching staff wanted the policy to cover all the employees.



Schools seek reimbursement under RTE Act
Have been sending bills against admitting needy students, no policy formulated yet
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Private schools have sought clarification on important issues concerning Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act from the UT Education Department.

In a letter sent last week, the city’s Independent Schools’ Association asked the UT Administration to state when the schools will start receiving reimbursement for admitting students under the Act.

The letter stated, “In view of the instructions issued by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, the unaided private schools in Chandigarh have admitted students under the RTE Act and have been submitting bills for reimbursement under section 12 (2) of the Act for the past two years. Till date, however, the UT Administration has not notified or framed any policy for the reimbursement.”

HS Mamik, president of the association, said it was the third reminder sent to the department in the recent months. “We submitted a list of queries to the department during a joint meeting in November last year. The department, however, has not clarified any of the key issues relating to the implementation of the Act,” he said.

The department officials said a reply will soon be sent to the schools. “A high-level three-member committee, constituted recently, is already looking into the per-child reimbursement issue. As soon as it gets finalised, the amount will be reimbursed to schools,” said a senior official.



Schools resort to fee hike; issue still pending in HC
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Most private schools in the tricity have increased their admission as well monthly tuition fee for the next academic session, even as the issue is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High court.

A school principal said although, schools should have waited for the court’s direction before hiking the fee, they were left with no other option.

“The schools should wait for the court’s direction before increasing the fee for the next academic session. We, however, are left with no option but to resort to a fee hike because admission process has reached its last phase, and we have to plan our expenditure budget. This includes any increment in the salary of teachers and other administrative expenditure for the next academic session,” the principal said.

The High Court, in May last year, had issued an interim order asking all the private schools to seek prior permission from their respective boards before enhancing their fee. Several schools from the region appealed against the order, and after hearing all the parties concerned, the bench of Chief Justice reserved its judgement on this issue in November last year.

Aruna Bhardwaj, principal of Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, said schools were in a dilemma over the issue of fee hike. “We hope court’s directions come as soon as possible, as we have to raise the budget for the next academic session, and so far there is no clarity on the issue.”

The private schools in the city have reportedly increased the fee by 10 to15 per cent for the next academic session. President of the Independent Schools’ Association HS Mamik said the fee hike was needed, but if the court decided otherwise, the excess amount would be reimbursed to parents.



CBSE to provide counselling ahead of final exams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
With the final examination for the current academic session round the corner, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is providing counselling facility to students.

Two CBSE counsellors Madhu Behl and Rakesh Sachdeva will be attending to queries of students in the tricity.

Rakesh Sachdeva said the initiative aimed at removing the anxiety of students before and during the exam, and guiding them with the examination process.

Giving some tips, counsellors said students should start preparing for the exam unit-wise and chapter-wise. They should discuss their problems with teachers and classmates, they said. Students should also start focusing on their diet and study for only four to five hours a day, they said.

The service will be available from 10 am to 2.30 pm. Rakesh Sachdeva can contacted on phone no. 9855613484 and Madhu Behl can be reached at 9417006590.



Legal aid clinic at PU

Chandigarh, january 16
The legal aid clinic of the University Institute of Legal Studies at Panjab University has become functional from today.

District and Sessions Judge Jagdeep Jain, who is also secretary, State Legal Services Authority (UT), emphasised on the "access to justice for all." He said legal aid clinic targeted the needs of the socially and economically backward sections of society. He said it would include conducting surveys to identify the socio-legal problems being faced by the society.

The legal aid clinic of will function on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide assistance to the public. —TNS



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