C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Armed men go on the rampage 
Barge into house in Mohali, damage goods, vehicles parked in the area
Tribune News Service

A person shows a damaged LCD screen at a house in Phase XI, Mohali, on Sunday.
A person shows a damaged LCD screen at a house in Phase XI, Mohali, on Sunday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, March 3
Unidentified persons, carrying swords and other arms, entered a house in Phase XI and damaged goods late last night. They also damaged six vehicles parked in the area. The incident has come close on the heels of the murder of advocate Amarpreet Singh in Mohali. Panic gripped the area when a group of around 10 armed miscreants frocibly entered house number 130 and started damaging goods in it. They were looking for Ricky and Inder, both financiers, who live there as tenants.

According to Vishal Thakur, another tenant in the house, the incident occurred at around 1.30 am when the miscreants broke open the door of the house and barged inside with swords and rods. Ricky and Inder were not present in the house. Their servant, Mithu, who was present there, saved his life by jumping over the rear wall of the house.

The miscreants broke furniture, an LCD screen and some other goods in the house. While leaving, they also damaged six vehicles parked in the area outside the house. The damaged vehicles included a Cruze, a Zen, an Alto and a Maruti. Neighbours said the miscreants had come by two vehicles. “After damaging goods in the house, they started damaging our vehicles while issuing threats,” said a neighbour on condition of anonymity.

People in the area said the police was informed immediately. By the time a PCR van reached the spot, the miscreants had fled.

No senior police officer turned up at the spot till 11 am today. The victims approached Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar after which the area DSP and SHO reached the spot.

A virtual 'jungle raj', says MLA

According to area MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, there has been a substantial increase in crime incidents in the area which shows that there is no fear of the police among criminals. “Criminals are roaming freely, carrying guns, swords and other arms. They are carrying out nefarious activities without any fear. There is virtually a "jungle raj" in the town,” said Sidhu while reacting to the incident. 

Area SHO suspended

Taking immediate action, Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar has placed area SHO Rajpal Singh Gill under suspension and sent him to the Police Lines. "Gill was found guilty of dereliction of duty. He neither went to the spot nor did he inform his superiors about the incident. He has been suspended," said Bhullar, adding that there were many complaints against the officer. Sources said Gill was having the patronage of a local Akali leader, who had recommended him for the post. "No such officer will be spared," said Bhullar. 



Doctors leave GMCH ailing
Quit hospital to join prestigious institutions like AIIMS
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
In a bid to explore opportunities to work in prestigious institutions like AIIMS or to practise abroad, a number of doctors have left the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32. During the past six months, five consultants (assistant professors) have left the hospital from three departments, while three more are in the process of joining other institutions in Raipur, Bhubaneswar and Patna.

The departments of ENT and Community Medicine at the GMCH have been hit. Of the four doctors at the ENT Department, one has already left, while another Assistant Professor is planning to move out within a month. At the Department of Community Medicine, only one doctor is available, while three have already left.

These doctors have left the GMCH at a time when the hospital is already facing a shortage of doctors. There is no mechanism for immediate replacement. While one doctor has left the Department of Microbiology, two more, one each from the departments of Psychiatry and Forensic Examination, are set to leave within two months. A doctor at the hospital said doctors were leaving the institution as there weren't enough promotion avenues here.

“Doctors come and go. It is a routine feature of every institution. There are six new AIIMS-like institutions across the country and all of them are hiring lecturers. There is nothing wrong in leaving one institution for another if there is a better opportunity,” said the Director-Principal of the GMCH, Dr Raj Bahadur.

There are 250 doctors looking after more than 3,000 patients in OPDs and over 200 indoor patients in the Emergency. Doctors at the hospital are hired through direct recruitment by the Union Public Service Commission. No local-level recruitments are allowed.

On filling vacant posts, Dr Bahadur said, “We immediately hire officials on a contractual basis whenever there is a staff shortage. We have already selected a few people.”

Experts blame the current trend on the lack of growth and recognition of skills at government institutions.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) state president, Chandigarh, Dr RS Bedi, said, “The private sector has more avenues, job satisfaction, better infrastructure and recognition. The government sector has stagnation, lack of independence and little recognition of skills. Though the issue has not emerged as a big concern yet, government sector institutions need to ensure improvement in outlook and promote professional competition.”

Sources said lack of conducive work environment and difficulty to cope with work pressure were among the other reasons forcing doctors to look for new options.

A large number of medical institutions have come up in Rishikesh, Bhopal, Raipur, Patna and Bhubaneswar over the past few years, which are attracting doctors by giving them promotions.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had sanctioned a budget of Rs 45 crore for the hospital under its project of strengthening medical colleges in India.

Of this budget, the college received a grant of Rs 18 crore last year. The sources said a major part of the grant has remained unutilised and could have been used for hiring paramedical staff.

Depts that have taken a hit

During the past six months, five consultants (assistant professors) have left the hospital from three departments, while three more are in the process of joining other institutions in Raipur, Bhubaneswar and Patna. The departments of ENT and Community Medicine at the GMCH have been hit. Of the four doctors at the ENT Department, one has already left, while another Assistant Professor is planning to move out within a month. At the Department of Community Medicine, only one doctor is available, while three have already left 

What the Director has to say

}Doctors come and go. It is a routine feature of every institution. There are six new AIIMS-like institutions across the country and all of them are hiring lecturers. There is nothing wrong in leaving one institution for another if there is a better opportunity
— Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal, GMCH

Stagnation to blame

The private sector has more avenues, job satisfaction, better infrastructure and recognition. The government sector has stagnation, lack of independence and little recognition of skills
— Dr RS Bedi, IMA state president, Chandigarh 



Tribune Impact 
Howlers in question papers 
Education Dept orders probe
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The UT Education Department has ordered an inquiry into the mistakes reported in the English and Punjabi question papers of classes XI and IX.

Education Secretary VK Singh said it was a serious matter and a probe had been marked to the District Education Officer.

Senior counsellor, CBSE, and Principal of DAV School, Sector 15, Rakesh Sachdeva said the mistakes were "unethical". The Chandigarh Administration should fix responsibility for the lapse.

Principal of Gurukul Global Aruna Bhardwaj said she was shocked to see the mistakes in the question papers.

Educationist S Kumar said: “The UT should adopt a system where a moderator scrutinises the question papers before these are sent for printing.

The teacher concerned should be blacklisted and should not be allowed to set the paper in the future," he said. 



Four college students from rich families arrested for stealing tyre 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The UT police today arrested four students, all belonging to affluent families, for stealing the rear wheel of a Yamaha sports bike parked outside a house in Sector 15 on Friday.

They committed the theft for fun, the police said. Three of the accused own the same model of the sports bike.

Initially, it was suspected that the accused were police personnel as the CCTV footage showed them wearing khaki. But their arrest revealed that they were students.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said the accused had been identified as Harmanjot Singh, Inderpal Singh, Abhishek Sharma and Manmeet Singh, all residents of Mohali.

Harmanjot is pursuing engineering from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University, while Abhishek Sharma is a pharmacy student.

Inderpal Singh is a BCom student of DAV College, while Manmeet is pursuing a designing course from Mohali. Manmeet also designed bikes and actively took part in motorcycle rallies, the police said.

On March 1, the police received a complaint from Anita Thakur, a resident of Sector 15, that two persons, apparently in police uniform, took away the rear tyre of her motorcycle parked in front of her beauty parlour-cum-residence. The act was captured on a CCTV camera installed at the gate. The footage was later handed over to the police.

The police said it traced the Verna car, owned by Abhishek Sharma. The four came in the Verna car. As Manmeet Singh is into bike designing and rallying, he knows how to remove the wheel. Manmeet was wearing a black jacket and was accompanied by Harmanjot Singh, who was sporting a brown jacket.

The police had recovered the stolen tyre and a tool kit from Inderpal Singh’s residence. The accused had confessed to the crime. They would be produced in a court tomorrow, the police said.



SGPC member’s son held for lawyer’s murder
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
The Mohali police today arrested Jaswinder Singh, son of a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member, for his alleged involvement in the murder case of a lawyer.

Jaswinder, alias Kattu, is the son of SGPC member Ranjit Singh Mangli, a resident of Mangli Khas village. The police said Kattu was arrested in Ludhiana.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said Kattu had confessed that he possessed an illegal .32-bore pistol, which he had bought in Uttar Pradesh. “His accomplices also possessed firearms,” said Bhullar. However, it was too early to say if Kattu used the illegal weapon for firing gunshots at the advocate. “We are yet to recover the weapon,” he added.

6 suspects still at large

With Kattu’s arrest, the police has arrested three accused in the case. Six other suspects, including Sunil Bhanot, alias Chhoti, Rajat, Dharminder, Deepak Kaushal, alias Golu, and Kewal, are still at large.

“The police is raiding the possible hideouts of the accused,” said the SSP.”

“Nobody is above the law and the accused will be arrested soon,” Bhullar added. 



2 J&K men held with detonators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A joint team of the CRPF and the UT police today arrested two persons, hailing from Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, from the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43 and recovered four detonators from their possession. One of them has been identified as Mudassar Ahmad. The other is a 16-year-old boy. They have been arrested under Section 5 of the Explosives Act.

The police said it was illegal to carry detonators, which were used to trigger explosive devices. During interrogation, the two told the police that they worked as labourers at a road construction site at Kotkhai near Shimla and the detonators were used there to blast rocks. They said they were on the way to their village in Doda from Shimla and the detonators were kept in their bag by mistake. The police is verifying all facts. A huge posse of the police was present at the bus stand and commuters were being checked as part for security purposes. A team of the bomb disposal squad and the operation cell was called to check the detonators. 



Residents condemn house tax, hike in power tariff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations organised its executive committee meeting at Community Centre, Sector 22, today. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of PC Sanghi and was attended by 64 representatives of the associations.

During the meeting, the proposed hike in the electricity tariff by the Chandigarh Administration was condemned. The members also demanded improvement in medical facilities, including a polyclinic at Burail.

The members also pointed out the problem of electricity and opposed the imposition of house tax. According to the committee, the Municipal Corporation should not 
increase the house tax for the next five years and the amount collected from taxes should be utilised for providing public amenities.

The Municipal Corporation levied house tax at the rate of Re 1 per sq yard, per year.


Dispensary in Mayor's ward sans docs
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Patients wait for the pharmacist at the dispensary.
Patients wait for the pharmacist at the dispensary. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, March 3
Residents of Dhanas Milk Colony are a harassed lot as the only Civil Dispensary in the area has been lying defunct in the absence of any doctor for over a year now.

While the dispensary, which is located in city Mayor Subhash Chawla's ward, is visited by more than 300 patients everyday, a pharmacist there is the only hope for patients seeking medical assistance.

In case of an emergency, the pharmacist, with her limited knowledge, prescribes medicines.

The situation for over 50,000 residents of the colony becomes even difficult when the pharmacist goes on leave.

A visit to the dispensary on Saturday revealed that attendants were being forced to ask the patients to leave, saying the pharmacist was on leave for the next 20 days.

Meera Kumari, who took her two-year-old grandson for a routine check-up to the dispensary today, kept waiting for the pharmacist for over an hour.

When she asked one of the attendants sitting at the counter for medicine, she was asked to come after March 20.

A patient returns home in the absence of a doctor in the health centre.
A patient returns home in the absence of a doctor in the health centre.

A pregnant woman, who had come to the dispensary for getting her blood pressure checked, was asked to go to Government Multi-SpecialityHospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

Though the dispensary comes under the purview of the UT Administration, the Mayor seems to have shirked his responsibility in addressing the problem.

When contacted, Mayor Subhash Chawla said, "I have requested the Administration for appointing a doctor a number of times, but to no avail. Officials told us that there was a shortage of doctors in the health department. We have even suggested them to transfer the dispensary to the Municipal Corporation. This will solve the problem as seven doctors have been transferred to the civic body recently."

The Director, Health Services, Dr Vadera, could not be contacted.

Irregular supply

The erratic supply of medicines is another problem being faced by the staff at the dispensary. For the past six months, paracetamol (PCM), the most commonly used medicine for fever, has not been supplied to the dispensary. Poor patients are asked to purchase most of the medicines from outside.



Open House
Discipline paramount for golfers: residents
Matter of shame

It was a matter of shame that some senior citizens used their golf clubs as weapons to attack each other on the club premises. Golf is considered a gentleman's game where mostly retired officers and old rich men become members and take part in the activity. It was more disgusting to see Milkha Singh being dragged into the controversy. There should be some rules and even some sort of referees or umpires to oversee the activities of the golfers on the ground. He should see to it that no argumentative actions take place and that no one breaks the rules or takes the law into his own hands. Do not let the gentleman's game be made a ‘mental-man's’ game.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Blot on gentleman’s game

The recent incident of violence at CGC has put a blot on the gentleman's game. The senior members of the club and the citizens of the city should have set an example for the younger generation. They should have amicably settled their differences. This sort of an incident has probably occurred for the first time in the history of the club.

Priya Darsh Grover, Mohali

Open house question

The recent incident of violence at Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) has put a blot on the gentlemen’s game. The incident involved senior members of the club, portraying a wrong picture of the game. What needs to be done to prevent recurrence of such an incident in the future? Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com

Elite ruffians

Etiquettes, a basic attitude for the gentleman's game called golf, were thrown to the wind by the two warring factions, including the office-bearers of the management. Slow game by fellow players, as alleged by both factions in their police complaint, appears to be an excuse rather than the cause of the vandalism. All the golfers who indulged in the violence need a refresher course to learn the basics of etiquette and respect their fellow players.

SC Luthra, Manimajra

Entry should be monitored

In my view the incident happened because some of the members have occupied senior or controlling position for a long period. They try to bring their near and dear ones to the club. The management has to draw a line somewhere about allowing members to invite their friends and relatives.

Shishu Paul, Chandigarh

Maintain discipline at club

The recent brawl at the CGC, involving some well-known personalities, was shocking. The club has been in news earlier for various controversies like backdoor membership and lease money. The members should maintain dignity and exercise discipline while playing. The management must work to uplift the club. Internal politics or personal grudges must not be given place.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Sorry incident

What happened at the golf club was deplorable. And yet, more deplorable was the way the complainant ridiculed and belittled the other individuals. The incident jeopardises golf promotion, peace and harmony amongst the club members and eclipses the reputation of an institute producing international players. It is believed that the committee set up to probe into the matter would help resolve the dispute between the parties in an amicable manner to maintain peace and harmony amongst the members.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Deal strictly with unsporting behaviour

The recent brawl at the CGC is a shameful act on the part of the ‘gentlemen’, which has deeply hurt the sentiments of golf lovers in and around the city. Unsporting and unscrupulous behaviour of the seasoned members of the society is deplorable. The erring members should be dealt with strictly so that such incidents are not repeated in the future. The management should take this very seriously and frame strict rules for the entry to the game. The decorum of the game should be maintained by all the players, no matter what their status is.

Baljinder Kaur Mohali

Brawl unfortunate

The recent brawl at the CGC, involving some well-known personalities, was quite unfortunate. The club has been in news for controversies earlier also. The management must work towards the betterment and welfare of the club members. They should refrain from dirty politics and management discord to avoid bringing a bad name to the club. The UT Administration should take over the responsibility of the club in order to solve the problems and controversies going on in the club and its management. The members should also behave in a responsible and sensible way and maintain discipline while playing on the course

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Sportsman spirit missing

The gentleman’s game was blotted on its face in the wake of a brawl that ensued between the senior members of the CGC. Sports lovers of the city felt disillusioned and hurt over the incident. Those involved are from distinguished professions, families and serve as icons of the society. Such ugly incidents in which golf sticks were used as weapons to inflict injury on the other are highly condemnable. They should pursue the sports with sportsman spirit so that it remains egalitarian.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh

A wrong picture presented

The recent incident of violence has added to the controversies at the golf club. One group was charged with slow playing game on the second group. The club has suspended three members, which gives a wrong picture. It would be better if they solve the problem in a meeting of the executive body of the club.

ML Garg, Chandigarh



Army Chief to address war heroes in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The bravest of the braves, those 200 jawans decorated for gallantry, would be congregating in the city on March 9 for a two-day triennial national convention-cum-re-union of the War Decorated India (WDI), an association of Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and Vir Chakra (VC) recipients.

The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Gen Bikram Singh, would be addressing the association members and their families on the convention’s opening day. Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, and Himachal Social Justice and Sainik Welfare Minister are among other dignitaries who would be addressing the convention, WDI president Brig NS Sandhu (retd) said.

Prominent among those arriving in the city are Honorary Captain Bana Singh, who was awarded PVC during Siachen operation, Havildar Sanjay Kumar, a PVC recipient of Kargil war and 90-years-old Honorary Captain Ishwar Singh, who was awarded VC in 1948 Jammu and Kashmir operation. Among the 21 recipients of the PVC, the highest award for gallantry, only three are surviving.

Brig Sandhu said it would be a rare occasion where war-decorated soldiers would assemble at one platform to share their hopes and aspirations and problems being faced in the twilight years. Problems and other issues concerning decorated soldiers and their family members would also be discussed and taken up with the authorities concerned. These include monetary allowances and provision of other welfare facilities.



Chandigarh Shatabdi to have Anubhuti coach 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Shatabdi Express will be the first train to have ‘Anubhuti’ coaches, the special AC luxury class proposed in this year's Railway Budget.

The Railways will roll out 10 state-of-the-art AC coaches from the Rae Bareli coach factory by October this year.

"We will start the trial run of Anubhuti coaches in Chandigarh Shatabdi to be followed by Jaipur Shatabdi. All Shatabdi trains will be equipped with an Anubhuti coach," said a senior railway official.

Anubhuti, the first-of-its-kind modern LHB coach with ergonomically designed cushioned seats, LCD screens, modular toilets and world class interiors, is estimated to cost Rs 2.8 crore.

The official said Anubhuti coaches would also be introduced in all Rajdhani trains and Mail and expresses. While the AC-I executive class has 56 seats in the Shatabdi Express, the Anubhuti coach with automatic doors will have 50 seats. 



Dogs have their day at Panchkula show
Tribune News Service

Girls with their pets at a dog show in Panchkula on Sunday.
Girls with their pets at a dog show in Panchkula on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, March 3
About 250 dogs of 40 different breeds participated in the dog show at Sector 3, Panchkula, today. Shivalik Kennel Club and Pet Animal Health Society, Panchkula, had organised the 3rd All-Breed Dog Show and Obedience Show.

Rare breeds participated in the show and presented themselves before the judges for their intelligence, obedience and smartness. New found land, sharpei, Siberian husky, minpin, French mastiff and chow chow were the attractions for the visitors of the show. Stalls of dog accessories and puppies for sale drew big crowds.

ITBP-trained dogs showed their presence of mind, strength and response to the master’s voice. The best-in-show dog, a rottweiler, belonged to Sikander Singh, a resident of NAC Manimajra.

“I belive this is the best way to celebrate a Sunday. The way the breeds showed their moves was amazing,” said Ridhi Singh, a visitor.

“My son was pressing hard to come here and it was indeed worth watching,” said Dr Atul Sharma.

Group champions from toy, gundog, terrier, hound, working, utility and non-sporting were given trophies by Chief Guest Justice RS Madan



Police says no to temporary makeover 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
From now on, the town will not get a temporary makeover ahead of a VVIP's visit. Taking a cognisance of a report published in these columns, the Panchkula police has deployed a PCR vehicle at various points in the town.

Two police personnel will be deployed at every roundabout.

Despite the fact that the police department is short of staff, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi is putting in efforts to deploy police personnel and PCR vehicles at every point.

The DCP said, “We want to tell residents that we care for them."

On February 25, the town got a temporary makeover as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was to visit the town for a function. PCR vehicles and officials could be seen at every point. Roads were cleared of encroachments.

After the CM left, the police personnel left the place. “Police personnel should be deployed at various points of the town. If someone is stalking you, you will not have to go to the police station," said Vibha Sharma, a resident of Sector 14, Panchkula. Tanya, another resident, said if police personnel would be around, miscreants would think twice before striking.

The Administration has done a little to remove encroachments alongside roads.

Ahead of the CM’s visit, roadside vendors in front of Sector 16 and Sector 7 were told to leave the areas. But after the CM left, they again encroached upon the areas.



Misuse of official vehicles not easy now
UT health department installs global positioning system in its field vehicles
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
In a bid to check the misuse of official vehicles, the UT health department has installed global positioning system (GPS) in its field vehicles used for official visits.

These vehicles are also used by the senior health department officials, including the District Family Welfare Officer and Nodal Officer for National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

The GPS (global positioning system) installed in all 13 vehicles, which are used for field visits under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), will ensure that operators at base centre track their movement.

The control room has been set up at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16. The movement of the vehicles gets displayed on an LCD screen and log entries are to be marked accordingly.

These vehicles also include those used by the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) and under other projects of the NRHM.

"The move will help us in ensuring safety of our staff," said an official from the UT health department.

The GPS devices were installed in 10 ambulances of the GMSH-16 last month. The movement of the ambulances is monitored by operators at the same centre at the GMSH-16.

The system ensures that the operators quickly locate ambulances plying near a patient’s location and inform the driver. It also helps the ambulances reach the desired location, thus brightening chances of saving lives.



RLA to issue licence on same day

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) will issue driving licences on the same day from tomorrow. After struggling with technical glitches for long, the RLA has been successful in clearing the backlog of 7,000 pending licences.

Mahavir Kaushik, RLA, said licences would be issued on the same day. The RLA would also be issuing new RCs with high-security plates from tomorrow. — TNS



3rd accused a juvenile, may be exempted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
A few hours after the arrest of the third accused in the murder case of a 26-year-old youth for just Rs 10, the parents of the former turned up saying he was a juvenile. He may be given exemptions now.

A police official said, “His parents showed the birth certificate establishing that he is 16-years-old. We have sent him to the juvenile home”.

The main accused Pradeep is still absconding in the case.

Two accused, identified as Deva and Vikas have already been arrested in the case. They are on a five-day police remand.

The two accused confessed that in a fit of rage they stabbed Ravi brutally at the Kisan Mandi, Sector 5, Panchkula.

The victim was killed while his brother Aneesh was seriously injured, over just Rs 10, by around seven youths on Thursday night. They had put up a stall of vegetables when they had a brawl with one Pradeep and seven others over an umbrella to be taken on rent. While Ravi was stabbed to death by the accused, Aneesh was referred to the PGI Chandigarh.

The family members of the deceased had blocked the road separating Sector 5 and Sector 6 the next day.

A case under Section 302 (murder) had been registered at the Sector 5 police station.



Ignore survey reports which are arbitrary: National commission
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
In a landmark judgment, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, has upheld the orders of the UT State Commission holding that "in cases, where survey reports are arbitrary, unjustified or mala fide and the method adopted for the assessment of loss is totally unjustifiable, such reports should be ignored."

The UT State Commission had earlier directed Cholamandalam General Insurance Co Ltd, Sector 34, to pay Rs 9,97,496, along with 9 per cent interest, from the date of surveyor's report dated October 25, 2006.

The company has been asked to pay Rs 10,000 as litigation costs to the complainant, SD Lighting, Sonepat.

Earlier, SD Lighting, a tubelight manufacturing unit at Sonepat, had filed a complaint in the Chandigarh State Commission against the insurance company, claiming

reimbursement of loss caused due to a fire in its factory on the intervening night of January 3 and 4, 2006.

A claim was made for the loss of entire stock and machinery that was destroyed in the fire which was brought under control after three hours.

Counsel for the complainant, Pankaj Chandgothia, contended that the insurance company appointed various surveyors, but did not allow the “genuine” claim.

The insurance company contended that the complainant firm was engaged in large scale commercial activity and therefore could not file a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act. It stated that its third surveyor had assessed the loss at Rs 4,25,432 and it was not liable to pay more than that amount.

The complainant contended that hiring of service of insurance company by taking insurance policy by the complainant could not be related to commercial purpose as it was only for reimbursement of loss suffered and not for profit.

The State Commission held that the complaint was maintainable as insurance was for indemnification of actual loss and was not intended to generate profit.

The commission also came down heavily on the insurance company for appointing surveyor after surveyor, including retired police officers.

The commission observed that “retired police officers should not be appointed as investigators by insurance companies. The attitude of police officers is not conducive in assessing loss as their attitude is quite different because the proof required in criminal cases is higher than in civil cases.”

It also held that the report of the surveyor was not based on sound reasoning as it had not taken into account the balance sheet certified by the assessing authority.

The insurance company filed an appeal before the National Commission against the orders of the State Commission. SM Tripathi, counsel for the insurance company, contended that the commission could not go beyond the survey report which had correctly assessed the loss.

Justice Ashok Bhan (retd), president of the National Commission, dismissed the appeal of the insurance company and held that the insured was entitled to receive Rs 9,97,497 as rightly awarded by the State Commission. 



Teams display skills at gatka competition 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Chandigarh Gatka Association and Gurnam Singh Memorial Gatka Club of Butrela village organised a one-day tri-city Virsa Sambhal gatka competition at Sector-41, Chandigarh, today.

According to the organisers, a total of 10 gatka teams exhibited their martial art skills. The weapons’ demonstration of Khalsa Akal Purkh Ki Fauj Gatka Akhara, Kurali, secured the first position while Sikh Martial Art Gatka Akhara, Panchkula and District 
Gatka Association, Pinjore, attained the second and the third positions, respectively.

In the girls’ event of single stick gatka fight , Charanjit Kaur defeated Kirandeep Kaur to bag the title while Baljit Kaur finished third in the event.



Annual art show from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
“We”, a group of Indian Contemporary Women Artists, is all set to begin its annual art show from tomorrow at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16.

As many as 50 artists have contributed their paintings for the annual show, which will be inaugurated by art critic BN Goswami and Bibi Harjinder Kaur, Ex-Mayor, Chandigarh.

On the occasion, artists will be given awards and certificates for their participation. The exhibition will be on till March 8.

The group recently organised a series of exhibitions to commemorate the birth centenary of Amrita Shergill, one of the finest women artists of India.

This show will also conclude on March 8. A series of 16 artists from all over the country and abroad have participated to make this venture a success.



Chandigarh scan
Chartered accountants attend seminar

The Chandigarh Branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) organised a seminar themed on “Union Budget 2013” at Hotel Shivalik View, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Over 400 chartered accountants from the tricity attended the seminar to seek the probabilities and challenges from the aftermaths of the Union Budget. The objective of the seminar was to describe and assesses the introduction of new forms of direct and indirect taxes, their revenue and equity implications and the successes achieved in their implementation. After inaugurating the conference, Sanjeev Sharma, chairman, ICAI, Chandigarh Chapter, said: “A chartered accountant should be ready to be acquainted with these ever-changing laws”.

Mass marriage

Brides and bridegrooms at a mass marriage function held at the Ramlila Ground in Sector 27, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Brides and bridegrooms at a mass marriage function held at the Ramlila Ground in Sector 27, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

As many as four needy and deserving girls were today married at a mass marriage function organised by the Property Consultants Association at Ramlila Ground, Sector 27, Chandigarh. Rahul Gupta, Assistant Estate Officer, Chandigarh, was the guest of honour on the occasion. JK Bedi, president of the association, said mass marriage had been planned for 31 couples but on scrutiny of the probables, only four couples were found eligible. Jagmohan Garg, JK Bedi, Rajesh Walia, Kamal Gupta and Devinder Kumar of the association extended a rousing reception to the participants. Suhash Chawla, Mayor, MC, also blessed the couples and assured all the possible help from the MC in organising such events in future.

Radio taxis flagged off

State Transport Secretary Balbir Singh Dhol flagged off a fleet of 50 private radio taxis at Sector 40 in Chandigarh. About 200 such radio taxis are already plying in the tricity.

Decision welcomed

The Punjab Unaided Technical Institution Association (PUTIA) has welcomed the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in which the court has given a green signal to the direct second semester admission of PTU. A meeting of PUTIA was held under the leadership of its president JS Dhaliwal and the decision of the court was welcomed. The spokesperson of PUTIA Anshu Kataria, chairman of Aryans Group of Colleges, said in many states the result of 10+2 was declared little late which resulted in loss of one academic year of the students. After this ruling, such students would be able to save their one year and the institutions would be able to fill their vacant seats.

Study accepted

Fortis Hospital, Mohali, today announced that a study conducted by Dr Ashit Syngle, senior consultant, Rheumatology, Fortis Hospital, along with Dr S. Garg and Dr K Vohra, has been accepted for publication in Clin J Pharm and the abstract has been recently published in PubMed. The study was conducted on “Efficacy and Tolerability of Advanced Glycation End-Products Inhibitor in Osteoarthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Study.” The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of AGEs inhibitor in OA patients.


Young Indians (Yi) student net of Taaleem College of International Studies (TCIS) has been conferred with the “Special Recognition Award” at the Annual Yi National Summit for contributing towards nation building and the spirit of entrepreneurship through an array of initiatives at the national and international level. The TCIS team was presented the award on the occasion of CII - Yi National Summit with the broad theme of “Leading India to the future” recently in New Delhi.

Visit to heritage park

Around 100 senior citizens of Sector 4, Panchkula, visited Mohan Shakti National Heritage Park near Solan this Saturday. The Heritage Park nestled in the Shivaliks is spread over an area of around 50 acres. The senior citizens presented a programme of bhajans deeply steeped in spirituality in the holy precincts of the temple.

Aadhaar cards

Issuing of Aadhaar cards has been started at the Community Centre of Sector 7, Panchkula. Tarsem Garg, president of the Residents Welfare Association, said the officials would be sitting from 9 AM to 5 PM and the residents of Sectors 6,7,8 and 18 could get their Aadhaar cards made there.

Placement week

The Swami Devi Dyal Group of Professional Institutions, Barwala, organised a joint mega placement week. More than 20 companies like IndusInd Bank, Tata Docomo, Webapex Technologies, Reliance Communications visited the college campus for the selection of MBA, MCA, Diploma, B.Tech, Computer Science, Information Technology, Electronics & Communications, Electrical Engineering & Mechanical Engineering students. — TNS



Permanent Educational Tribunal for UT
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The UT has decided to set up the Chandigarh Educational Tribunal on a permanent basis. Earlier, it had planned to begin the tribunal with an ad hoc system by giving the additional charge to a judicial officer of the rank of Additional District and Sessions Judge posted in Chandigarh.

“The idea behind the earlier proposed ad hoc system was to first check the functioning and workload of the tribunal since setting up a permanent tribunal would have regular financial implications. At a meeting headed by the UT Administrator with the Adviser and the Education Secretary, it was decided to go with the permanent system due to legalities involved in this issue,” said a senior official.

The scope and work of the tribunal have also been widened. The tribunal will look into the disputes relating to the appointment and removal of teachers and administrative decisions of all aided and unaided schools in the city.

The official said since the process for the creation of posts for the permanent tribunal would take time and the matter needed approval from the Centre, the Education Department would rely on the ad hoc system till that time.

“The department has already written to the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to notify an Additional District and Sessions Judge as the presiding officer of the Chandigarh Educational Tribunal. The permanent system is set to replace the ad hoc tribunal,” said a senior official of the Education Department. According to him, it will take five to six months to set up a permanent tribunal.

In 2002, the Supreme Court (in the TMA Pai v/s State of Karnataka case) had ordered every state to set up an Educational Tribunal. While Punjab began its tribunal in 2009, the issue remained pending in Chandigarh.

The Administration here expedited the matter after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the UT to set up the tribunal. During the last hearing of the case, the UT apprised the court of the latest move of the Education Department. The case will come up for hearing later this month.

The tribunal, it is learnt, has the same powers as vested in a court of appeal by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.



Dream big, Kapil Sibal tells girls
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
It was a delightful morning for the students of MCM DAV College, Sector 26, when Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communication and IT, distributed prizes among them during the annual prize distribution function of the college here today.

The college honoured over 450 students for their contribution in academics, cultural activities and sports. The academics achievers were awarded with the cash prize worth Rs 2 lakh, roll of honours, scholarships and trophies.

Nitika Garg, a student, was awarded with the roll of honour for outstanding performance in academics, while Harsiman Kaur bagged the roll of honour for excellent achievement in sports (swimming). The roll of honour for cultural event was awarded to Shagun Bharti.

Never felt so nervous, says minister

Although it wasn’t his first public appearance, the minister admitted that he is nervous for the very first time in front of today’s presence. “I have never been so nervous as I was today. Addressing this vast women turnout is a task to perform,” said Kapil Sibal before starting his address.

The minister, during his address, laid stress on enjoying life. “Girls getting married soon after completing their studies is a hard part of our society. I want girls to enjoy their life and dream big. Although it may sound difficult, it’s not impossible. Society needs to change and girls should take the initiative. Life is where heart lives, so one should always go for what one likes,” said Sibal.

“Women are fulcrum of our lives. If you (the presence) are the women of today, then the nation will surely march ahead and conquer the world,” said Sibal.

Remembering his old days in the City Beautiful, the minister said: “I had spent a quality time at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, and St. John’s School. During those days, there were no such facilities, but the world is changing today and with that much of capability, I hope our nation will rise soon,” said Sibal.

Aakash tablet

Kapil Sibal said it would take around 5 to 7 years to see Aakash tablet in every hand. “It is a long process and we are working on getting the feedbacks of the samples of Aakash tablets. The process also includes global tendering and other steps, so we have to wait a bit for the tablet,” said Sibal.

Aakash is a low-cost tablet computer with a 7-inch touch screen under the Android 2.2 operating system. It has two universal serial bus (USB) ports and delivers high definition quality video.

Networking sites

Over his controversy on social networking sites, he said: “The media should decide whether to support him or not. If we imply ban then it’s against the freedom of speech and if we don’t, then it’s a way to tarnish the image through content. So, I will like to ask the media and the public that security is more important or the freedom of speech”.



CBSE all set to revise evaluation manual
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to revise the 
Comprehensive Cumulative Evaluation (CCE) manual by May. Major changes are expected in the formative assessment and co-scholastic-oriented guidelines.

While speaking to The Tribune, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said the changes were mooted on the basis of the experiences shared by the teachers and school heads across the country. Joshi was at Satluj Public School in Panchkula today to attend a seminar on CCE.

He said there were still several misconceptions about the implementation of the CCE. The major confusion was about the incorrect understanding of the formative assessment. Rather than doing it in the classroom, various academic-based projects were given to students back home. In many cases, it was noticed that the projects were even not based on the related subject syllabus.

“Keeping in mind these confusions, the revised CCE manual will precisely guide the schools and the teachers for the better understanding of the formative assessment,” he said.

Another major change will be in simplifying the co-scholastic guidelines relating to the life skills and co-curricular activities.

In the seminar, many raised confusions about following the board's latest stipulation that require them to produce evidence of co-scholastic activities like teaching students life skills and values undertaken. Co-scholastic activities also include physical training and fine arts, and they are for the students of class IX and class X. Anjali Marriya, principal of CL DAV, Panchkula, raised doubts about gauging emotional and social temperament of the students in co-scholastic activities.

On this, Vineet Joshi said the revised manual would have simplified and broad-based descriptive indicators that would help the teachers to judge the students in co-scholastic activities.

“At present, these indicators are very exhaustive and lengthy, which will be duly simplified in the revised process,” he said.

He said there were still many issues involved with the implementation of the CCE but the biggest benefit of the system was that the students and the teachers had come closer to each other. Besides, it had given the opportunity to the board to reach out to the schools and establish a two-way communication which was very much limited in the past.

“The success of the system depends on the shoulders of both teachers and parents. We are trying to open them. From this academic year, a five-day training has been made mandatory for the teachers,” he added.



From schools
Tiny tots display talent

St. John’s School, Zirakpur, organised a baby show for children to display their hidden talent in the age group of 0-4 years. It was a gala time for everyone who was present on the occasion. The overwhelming response of parents made the school campus bubble with life. Echoes of the cherubs filled the atmosphere with happiness and excitement.

The children participated in three categories. Prizes were given to the healthy baby, rock star of the day and the most debonair baby. There were around 40 prizes, which were given away by the school management to the participants. At the end of the show, Meenakshi Mathur, principal of the school, congratulated all winners and wished the babies to remain happy, healthy and chubby.

Skating competition

Ashmah International School, Sector 70, Mohali, organised Inter-School Skating competition on its campus. Everyone enjoyed the skating and cheered the little ones. All students participated with great sportsmanship spirit. Students left the audience spellbound with their moves. Principal Roopinder Ghuman congratulated the students for their unmatched performance. She advised the students to participate in sports for physical fitness and growth. In the end, prizes were distributed among the winners.

Annual show

Little Hearts, the Pre-Primary Wing of Sri Guru Harkrishan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 38-D, Chandigarh, presented their Annual Show 2013 - "Incredible India" with great enthusiasm. The programme commenced with the lighting of the lamp by principal Harpreet Kaur, followed by Saraswati vandana by students of KG. Around 300 students took part in the spectacular event that showcased the cultural diversity of India through folk dances and action songs. The students of Nursery class talked about their determination to overcome every challenge that threatens the peace and security of their country in the action song “we shall overcome.” - TNS



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