C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City sizzles at 43° Celsius
Records hottest day in 10 years; minimum temperature also highest in a decade
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The sun sizzled at 43 degree Celsius on Monday making it the hottest day in the past 10 years. The temperature was five notches above normal. The city also recorded the minimum temperature of 26.4 degree Celsius, which is the highest in the past 10 years.

Back in 2003, it was on this day that the city had recorded the same temperature.

Met officials say there will be no relief from the scorching heat in the coming days.

Director of the metrological department Surinder Pal Singh said: “The weather will continue to remain hot and heat wave conditions are likely to prevail for the next few days. This may be accompanied by dust storm.”

Beat the heat

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes, preferably cotton
  • Carry an umbrella or a cap or cover your head with a cloth
  • Drink plenty of fluid
  • Wash your face, especially your eyes, regularly wear sun block and sunglasses
  • Avoid cut fruit or vegetables lying in the open

Warning signs

Heat-related trouble ranges from irritating problems such as prickly heat to heat exhaustion and deadly heatstroke. It can be hard to tell where heat exhaustion ends and heat stroke begins. Both can be mistaken for summer flu.

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Muscle twitches



Harmohan Dhawan injured during protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan suffered a minor injury after the Chandigarh Police used water cannons to stop the protesters from marching towards the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office in Sector 30 today.

The BJP activists were protesting against the CBI DIG Mahesh Aggarwal for allegedly leaking the information of the raid on former union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla residence in Sector 28.

The BJP activists led by Dhawan gathered near the CBI office and started raising slogans against the CBI demanding Aggarwal’s resignation and an independent inquiry against him.

The situation worsened when the police used water cannons to disperse the protesters when they were trying to cross the barricades.

Dhawan, who was standing alongside the road, lost balance due to water pressure and fell. Seeing Dhawan in trouble, his supporters rushed towards him and took him to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16. He was discharged after treatment.

DSP Vijay Kumar said the cannons were used to disperse the crowd.

The road from the Sector 29/30 light point to Sector 30/20 light point was also closed to traffic for about an hour due to the protest.

However, other senior BJP leaders, including Satya Pal Jain, Sanjay Tandon and BJP councillors, did not take part in the protest.



Electricity dept powerless in recovering dues
Yet to recover Rs 11 crore; DC office, Lake Club, Army Airport, Post Office figure in defaulters’ list
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The UT electricity department is yet to collect Rs 11 crore from defaulters. Government offices, including the Deputy Commissioner’s office, Chandigarh Lake Club, UT and MC electricity department, Army Airport and Air Force figure in the list of defaulters, who owe more than Rs 1 lakh each to the department.

The UT electricity department had sent reminders to the defaulters, but in vain.

UT Chief Engineer SK Chadha said directions were issued to the officials concerned to initiate steps to collect the dues. The power connections of some of the defaulters have already been disconnected.

Recently, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had issued directions to the UT electricity department in a public hearing session to prepare the list of defaulters who owe more than Rs 1 lakh to the department. The electricity department will now submit the list of defaulters to the JERC.

As per the list, there are a total of 317 consumers who have pending electricity bills of more than Rs 1 lakh. The department has disconnected power supply of 127 defaulters whereas 169 cases are in dispute with the department. A total of 21 consumers have moved the court against the disputed amount, a senior UT official said.

List of defaulters

Chandigarh Lake Club Rs 5,76,731

Army Airport Rs 12,81,607

3BRD Air force Rs 11,38,907

DC office, Sector 17 Rs 4,53,498

Director, North Zone Kala Gram Rs 1,39,020

Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35 R s3,64,576

Registrar of companies, Sector 27 Rs 1,36,466

DAV College, Sector 10 Rs 3,71,583

Dev Samaj College, Sector 21 Rs 1,29,410

Post Office Sector 17 Rs 2,84,706

Panjab University (boys hostel no. 3) Rs 2,13,861

Panjab University (girls hostel no. 2) Rs 2,18,727

Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24 Rs 2,23,499

Director, Met department Rs 1,00,293

Industrialists not behind

Among the list of defaulters, there are a number of industrialists who are yet to clear their dues. The department has disconnected power supply to 13 industries in Industrial Area, Phases I and II.

Kundis: Loss of Rs 7 crore every year

The UT Administration has failed to check kundi connections in the colonies. Every year, the UT Administration loses more than Rs 7 crore from nearly 20,000 unauthorised connections.

Power demand to shoot up

As per the load studies conducted by UT officials, the demand for power is expected to reach 400 MW during peak summer, which was maximum at 353 MW last year. After tapping all its sources, the Administration will have 310 MW power this summer, but will still fall short of 90 MW to meet the demand and supply gap.



CAT dismisses CBI inspector’s allegation
Asks him to raise the point in trial court, reserves order challenging his transfer
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The Chandigarh bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today refused to entertain the allegation raised by a CBI inspector against DIG Mahesh Aggarwal for allegedly leaking the information of a raid by the Delhi CBI on the residence of former Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla in Sector 28.

The tribunal today asked the petitioner’s counsel to raise these points before the trail court, where the case (Railway bribery case) was pending, and not before the bench.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh bench of CAT, which only entertains service matters, today reserved its order on the petition filed by CBI inspector Balbir Singh challenging his transfer orders from Chandigarh to Delhi.

In his affidavit submitted to the tribunal, Balbir Singh alleged that DIG Mahesh Aggarwal was responsible for leaking the information of the CBI raid at Vijay Singla’s residence on May 3.

During the hearing today, inspector Balbir Singh was also present in the courtroom. 

The CBI counsel informed the bench that the Delhi CBI, in its release issued to the media, had already clarified that the CBI had not ordered any internal inquiry against any of its officer/official in connection with alleged prior leak of information pertaining to searches conducted in Chandigarh in the railway bribery case.

The petitioner’s counsel also submitted before the court that DIG Mahesh Aggarwal had ordered his transfer because he did not bowed to his pressure tactics.

Denying the allegations, CBI counsel told the court that the transfer orders were issued because a complaint was received by the CBI from its official that inspector Balraj Singh was interfering in the high-profile murder case of Haryana, in which politicians were also involved.

CBI counsel told the court that in the patwari graft case, Balraj was not the verifying officer, trap-laying officer or the investigating officer, so there was no way Balraj was pressured by DIG Mahesh Aggarwal.

Finally, the Chandigarh bench of CAT reserved its order on transfer.



Punjab’s ex-dy speaker gets 42-month jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The court of District and Sessions judge SK Aggarwal today sentenced former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Nasib Singh Gill and his brother Manjit Singh Gill for three-and-a-half-year (42 month) imprisonment in a 25-year-old case of trespass, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

Both the accused, who were convicted under Sections 447, 467, 468 and 471, read with section 120-B of the IPC, were acquitted by a lower court in 2008, but the trail began against after the UT administration and the complainant filed an appeal.

The judge held them guilty and pronounced the judgement today. The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 8,200 on the convicts.

The complaint was filed in April 1988 in which it was alleged that Nasib Singh Gill and his two brothers, trespassed on a house in Sector 18 and misused the property belonging to the complainant’s maternal uncle, who was an NRI.

Later, the trio were booked for cheating, criminal conspiracy, theft and trespass. A chargesheet was filed against them in May 1994 in the lower court. The case proceedings were delayed by one of the accused, Sukhdev Singh Gill, as he failed to appear in the court. He was also declared a proclaimed offender in July 2000 and moved a bail application in this case in 2010. Even as two brothers were convicted today, the trail against him is on.



ITBP officials let off as counterfeit currency notes found to be genuine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 20
The two Indian Tibet Border Police (ITBP) personnel, who were arrested on May 17, on the charges of depositing counterfeit currency notes of Rs 91,000 in SBI Bank on the complaint of the Branch Manager, were discharged from the case today after it was found that the currency notes were genuine.

Ekta Mahajan, Branch Manager, State Bank of India, 3BRD, Airforce Station, Chandigarh, on May 17 had alleged that Nain Singh of ITBP, Training Centre, Ramgarh, Sector 26, Panchkula, came to deposit cash in the branch on account of the salary of the recruits undergoing training at the centre.

On checking 91 currency notes of Rs 1,000 denomination out of the total Rs 3,06,500 were found to be counterfeit.

During interrogation, the head constable disclosed that he received the amount from Amar Singh, Company Hawaldar Major of the ITBP, who was also arrested.

On May 18, both accused were produced in the court and sent to police remand till May 22.

Police officials stated that the currency notes said to be counterfeit were examined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Chandigarh. “Pawan Kumar Lamba, Assistant General Manager, Treasurer, after examining the questioned currency notes gave his opinion that they are all genuine”, the police officials stated.

The police further stated that a case was registered on wrong information given by the branch manager. “Since no offence is found to have been committed, the case stands cancelled and both the officials of ITBP have been discharged from the case”, said the police officials.

The incident has not gone down well with the ITBP authorities and today they issued a statement calling the incident as unfortunate.

ITBP headquarters issues statement

In a statement issued today, the IG (Zonal) Headquarters, ITBP, Chandigarh reads, “The Manager, SBI, Airport, Chandigarh, and the SHO Sector 31 police station, Chandigarh, acted in haste and in a callous manner. The insult caused to the two innocent ITBP personnel namely HC/GD Nain Singh and HC/GD Amar Singh is irretrievable besides defaming the ITBP as well. It has also shaken the trust of persons in uniform on the working of bank and the police.”



Accident at GMSH-16 roundabout
Seven officers sent to police lines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Just about a fortnight after an accident victim was allegedly left to die on a road for nearly two hours by the Chandigarh Police, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was today told that seven policemen had been sent to the police lines. A show-cause notice, too, has been issued to the Sector 3 station house officer for allegedly reaching the spot two hours late.

The Division Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh was also told UT counsel GS Chahal that major punishment proceedings were being contemplated against the seven policemen.

The information was provided orally to the Bench. For the purpose of filing an affidavit or report in the matter, the Administration sought additional time. The case will now come up for hearing on July 4.

Dubbing the incident as "unfortunate", the Bench of Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain had earlier took suo motu notice of a news report and issued a notice to the Chandigarh Police.

A notice was also issued to the states of Punjab and Haryana. The two states and Chandigarh were asked to furnish details on arrangements available to transport injured immediately to a hospital.

Expressing displeasure over lack of value shown towards human life by the Chandigarh Police, the Bench had also questioned action taken against the SHO, Shri Prakash, for allegedly taking two hours to reach the spot. The Bench had asked the policemen to inform the court about the reason behind the delay in reaching the spot and also to explain if the medical aid to the victim was provided on time.

Sharmila Gupta (33) was crushed by a CTU bus at the roundabout adjoining Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, on Tuesday. Her husband, too, had died in a road accident in October last year.

Two eyewitnesses have even submitted a written complaint to the Chandigarh Police seeking action against the SHO and erring police officers.

On Wednesday, Haryana Additional Advocate General PM Anand had requested Justice KC Puri to take judicial note of the matter. Justice Puri had then forwarded the matter to the Acting Chief Justice to take up the issue on judicial side.

Anand mentioned the casual approach adopted by the UT police in dealing with accidents and its failure to respond in time.



Panchkula MC elections
Dead become alive!
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
To err is the district administration. The names of persons who died long ago figure on the voters' list. Sources said those contesting the MC elections were playing tactics in order to have a majority in the elections. As many as six dead persons, including men and women, have been issued such cards.

In ward number 9 as mentioned on the new voters' list, Manoj Kumar residing in house number 178 has been issued voter number 476, Sushila residing in house number 5 has been issued number 631 and Sangali Ram staying in house number 127 has been issued number 951. These persons passed away long ago.

Similarly, in part 13 of the ward, Lalit Kumar has been issued number 291 (house number 202), Ram Prakash has been given number 380 (house number 222A) and Paras Ram number 455 (house number 239).

The former councillor of the ward, CB Goel, said he had complained to the officials of the Municipal Corporation many a time, but to no avail.

Goel said when they sent a letter to the State Election Commissioner, he marked an inquiry to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner.

"I was to meet the DC but I was told that all officials were busy due to Rahul Gandhi's scheduled visit," said Goel.

The blunder was highlighted in these columns recently. Fake bank accounts were also opened.

Panchkula City Magistrate is also probing the matter.

In ward number 10, over 500 votes were rejected by the administration when it found that bogus votes were created.

The officials are now making efforts to rectify the voters' lists.



Stampede-like situation at Mini-Secretariat
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Supporters forcibly enter Mini Secretariat during the filing of nomination papers in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 20
Stampede-like situation prevailed at the Mini Secretariat in Sector 1 when as many as 200 supporters of various parties stormed into the building with "dhols" file nomination papers. The police personnel had to be called to control the situation.

Tomorrow being the last day for filing the papers, over 87 candidates, including those of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), today came to the Mini-Secretariat to submit their forms. The candidates were accompanied by supporters.

The supporters started dancing to the beats of dhol inside the building. No one stopped them from entering the building.

"How can the authorities allow the supporters to enter the Mini Secretariat? Guards should have been deployed in the building," said Vibha Dutta, a visitor.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Nazneen Bhasin, who has the additional charge of Panchkula, said when she learnt that the supporters were dancing, she directed Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Krishan Kumar Hooda to stop them.

Panchkula City Magistrate Vandana Disodia could not leave the office as the supporters did not clear the passage. She got out of the car and went inside the building.



Candidates flout norms while campaigning
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chaotic: Supporters of different parties dance to the beats of dhol at Mini Secretariat; and (below) on being stopped, supporters enter into a heated argument with the police. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 20
Misleading the authorities, many Independent candidates were found using the Congress symbol while campaigning. Also, while coming to file the nomination papers, they were spotted carrying Congress pamphlets, but later they said they were contesting the MC elections as Independents.

While coming to file the nominations, Ranjeeta Mehta, a candidate from ward number 10 and her supporters were seen wearing stoles with the Congress symbol. She is an Independent.

Her husband Abhi Mehta said they were carrying the Tricolour.

Similarly, Bhavna Gupta, another candidate from the same ward, distributed pamphlets having her name and the Congress symbol. When asked, she said, "At that time, it was not decided whether the Congress would contest on its party symbol."

Anil Chauhan, a candidate from ward number 8, has also used the Congress symbol on his posters.

He said he was getting the party's support. Panchkula MLA DK Bansal also accompanied him to campaigning.

"They are fooling the authorities and voters. They are filing papers as Independents and using the party's symbol for campaigning," said Davinder Mahajan, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, Panchkula.

Manoj Aggarwal, district president of the INLD, said when the party had decided not to use the party symbol, why was the norms flouted.

State Election Commissioner Dharam Vir said, "Action can be taken only if the party files a complaint."



Autopsy of techie conducted
Viscera samples sent to the CFSL for tests; family suspects foul play by 4 employees he had sacked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The autopsy of 30-year-old software-engineer, whose decomposed body was found in a canal, was held today at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH) Sector 16. The viscera samples of the deceased were also sent to the CFSL for tests.

Police officials stated that the actual cause of death would be ascertained only after receiving the viscera report. The body was then handed over to family members. The case is presently investigated by the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police. The software engineer, Naveen Kumar, a resident of Sector 45, Chandigarh, had gone missing on May 10, two days before he was supposed to get married. His body was fished out from a canal near Tangori on Saturday after a diver noticed the body floating in the canal. Naveen had gone missing under mysterious circumstances after he left his house on a motorcycle to distribute wedding cards. On May 12, the day he was to get married, his motorcycle was found abandoned near the Ropar canal.

The family members of the deceased have suspected foul play claiming that he could not commit suicide. The deceased’s brother, Praveen Kumar said, “We are suspecting the role of the four employees who were recently sacked by Naveen from the software company that was run by him and his cousin” .



GMADA told to reconstruct footpath within six months
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
The permanent lok adalat, Rupnagar, today directed the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to reconstruct the footpath along the road separating Phase I and Phase II within six months.

Apart from that, the quorum of the lok adalat, consisting Jagroop Singh Mahal, chairman, and HS Walia, member, also issued orders to the Mohali Municipal Corporation to ensure the upkeep of the road and get it freed from garbage, filth or waste material of any kind.

The adalat issued the order following a complaint from a local resident, CL Pawar, who had alleged that the footpath was dismantled by the GMADA while widening the road last year.

“After widening the road, they did not bother to construct the footpath again, which has become risky to pedestrians, especially women, children and elderly,” alleged Pawar in his complaint under Section 22 C of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 2002.

The GMADA authorities had maintained that the process of constructing the footpath along the road was already on with floating of tenders in this connection.

The lok adalat has also asked the GMADA to take into consideration elements of aesthetics or comfort by setting up shades, benches or other such things on the footpath to facilitate the pedestrians.



Online tenders floated to beautify Mohali roads
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
In an effort to make surroundings along the main roads in the town beautiful, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has floated online tenders in this direction.

Navjot Singh, executive engineer, Horticulture, GMADA, said the tenders were scheduled to be open on May 29.

Under the project, which would cost Rs 5 crore, both sides of certain main roads would be developed as green buffers, having beautiful and decorative plants, to give an aesthetic look to the town.

The GMADA has planned to develop the strips on the pattern of the airport roads of Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The authorities had a meeting with top companies in this connection.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tajinder Singh Sidhu said he had also been in touch with the GMADA authorities in this regard.

“We want to make the town beautiful like other top cities of the world. Clean roads having beautiful surroundings is the most important aspect in this regard. So, our effort is to have top class and beautiful roads here,” said Sidhu.

The work on the project would be completed in three phases, said the authorities.



They want to bring about a change
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
It was after the Delhi gang rape shook the nation that these two lads decided to enter politics. For them, entering politics was the only way to bring about a change. Chaitanya Vashisht (22), who is contesting from ward number 9, said he wanted to change the system. Chaitanya is pursing law from Panjab University.

He added, "I never wanted to join any party, but at the same time i wanted to do something for the welfare of people."

"I want to change the mindset of society. I will make a difference."

"My parents did not support me as they don't like politicians," he said. He filed his nomination today.

Similarly, Anil Chauhan (22), who is contesting from ward number 8, belongs to a middle class family and doesn't fear facing the strong and the influential.

"A person has to think twice before approaching a politician for help. I want to help people which is why I have entered politics," said Chauhan. Chauhan is an MCA student.



CTU plans new routes for buses
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The CTU is planning new bus routes for the convenience of government schoolchildren. It is also mulling over adding more buses. The UT education department had asked schools to submit a list of students travelling by CTU buses everyday.

The CTU is already running as many as 40 special "students only" buses, 25 in the morning and 15 in the afternoon, to facilitate the government schoolchildren.

"If the number of students travelling by buses increases, more buses will be started," said an official.

Last year, the number of students travelling by buses was 8,000.

The education department is focusing on ensuring the safety of students in front of schools during rush hours.

Instructions have been issued to 10 government schools to appoint traffic marshals for regulating traffic outside schools and at the main gates to ensure the safety of children.

GGMSSS-18, GSSS-Dhanas, GGSSS-20B, GSSS-Mani Majra, GMSSS-21, GSSS-27, GSSS-Raipur Khurd, GMHS-43, GMHS-25 and GMHS-41D are a few schools where the traffic marshals will be appointed.



Section 144 violated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
Despite imposing Section 144 of the CrPC at the Mini Secretariat, hundreds of supporters entered the building and started dancing. Deputy Commissioner of Police Nazneen Bhasin said, “I will look into the matter and find out why the rules were violated."

As per rules, if supporters of a candidate do not listen and create nuisance, the nomination of candidate can be rejected.

Davinder Mahajan, president of the Residents Welfare Association, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, Panchkula, said, “Visitors were made to suffer. The authorities should have kept a check on the supporters."

Reeta Sharma, a visitor, said, “Action should be taken against the supporters."



Woman alleges murder bid by husband, in-laws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
A woman, resident of Sector 50, complained to the police that her husband and in-laws allegedly tried to kill her by making her consume a mosquito repellent. According to the police, the woman alleged that her husband, Rupinder Singh, father-in-law Darshan Singh and mother-in-law, all residents of Progressive Society harassed her for more dowry, and tried to kill her.

The woman has been admitted at a local hospital and is undergoing treatment.

Rupinder is an engineer, while his father is a retired government employee and his mother is a teacher.

A case under various Sections of the IPC has been registered against all the three at the Sector 34 police station.

Meanwhile, an investigation has been initiated. The police stated that the arrests would be made after verifying the complaint.



Training course on diagnostic medical mycology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The 15th training course in Diagnostic Medical Mycology on conventional and molecular techniques started today at the department of medical microbiology, PGI.

This year, delegates from SAARC countries, especially Sri Lanka, are participating besides the Indian delegates. The delegates from Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Pondicherry, Uttarakhand, Gujrat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh are participating in the training course. The training course will be for six days. It is estimated that around 300 million people are affected by serious fungal infection worldwide.



Lok Sabha poll
BSP begins campaigning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
As the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, candidates have started campaigning.

The date for the elections is yet to be announced. BSP candidate Jannat Jahaan today visited the district courts complex in Sector 43. Jannat Jahaan said, "The development of the city and the district courts complex tops my priority." He was accompanied by BSP coordinator Anwar Ul Haq and general secretary Sanjeev Babbar.


UT notifies Education Tribunal
Will hear service-related disputes between staff, management of institutes
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
With the notification issued by the Chandigarh Administration today, Chandigarh Education Tribunal has come into existence and will start functioning with immediate effect under the First Additional District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh.

This move, sources said, will provide a big relief to hundreds of staff members of the private unaided and aided schools, colleges and universities in the UT, who can now seek the redressal for their service-related disputes from the tribunal.

In a recent survey conducted by the UT Education Department, it was found that as many as 80 service-related disputes between the staff and management of private schools were pending in various courts for the past five years.

With the Tribunal in place now, these cases can be transferred to it in addition to filing of new cases to be heard on the fast-track basis, which is not possible in other Courts.

To begin with, the Tribunal will work under the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, as notified by the UT today. Once the permanent Tribunal comes into force, for which the official process has already begun, all the powers will be shifted to the presiding officer, who will be not be of a lesser rank than a retired judge.

In the letter issued today, the Administration clarified that the additional judge is authorised to hear appeals arising out of the disputes between the management and staff of the recognized private schools (aided and unaided), colleges and private universities in UT for the intermediate period till the specialised Tribunal is constituted on the permanent basis.

Officials said this move, though an ad-hoc arrangement, has paved the way for the commencement of Chandigarh Education Tribunal, which was pending for the past 11 years.

It was in the Supreme Court’s judgement, dated December 20, 2002, in TMA Pai Foundation and others versus State of Karnataka, that states and UTs were directed to set up appropriate education tribunals for the redressal of grievances of employees of aided and unaided educational institutes.

While Punjab constituted its Tribunal in 2009, the issue was still pending in the UT. It was after the Punjab and Haryana High Court intervened in the matter recently and ordered the Chandigarh Administration to expedite the constitution of the tribunal that the notification was issued.

Officials said that the appointment of additional session judge has been done in compliance with the judgement of the Supreme Court in 2002, which stated that till the Tribunal is set up on a permanent basis, the right of filing appeal would lie before the district and sessions judge or additional district sessions judge, as notified by the appropriate government.

“Since the constitution of the permanent Tribunal required a lot of time, a formal request was sent to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in March this year, to recommend the name of a judicial officer of the rank of Additional District and Sessions Judge posted in Chandigarh, to preside over the education tribunal till the time the permanent tribunal was set up,” said a senior official.

“Acting on our request, the High Court duly approved the appointment earlier this month, following which it has been notified by the Administration today,” he said.

A copy of the notification has been sent to the local court, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and UT’s controller, printing and stationary department to get it published in the extraordinary Gazette of Chandigarh Administration.



Convocation for UIET, UICET to be held separately
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
After the Faculty of Law at Panjab University, the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and its regional centre at Hoshiarpur, along with the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), have decided to hold an independent convocation for the first time.

The function will be held on June 2, during which degrees will be conferred on all students who graduated from these departments in 2012.

“Around 500 students are expected to take part in the first ever independent convocation ceremony for the engineering students,” said UIET director Renu Vig.

Dr FC Kohli, who is known as the Father of Indian Software Industry, will be awarding degrees to the students. Vig said Dr Kohli, who is a great visionary, is a source of inspiration to students and his visit to the campus was certainly going to benefit the students. “Dr Kohli will also be interacting with students and the faculty members. His visit will be inspiring as a lot of students are getting jobs in the software industry,” the UIET director said.

The students will attend a rehearsal in the morning, followed by the convocation in the afternoon. Holding an independent convocation was a long-pending demand of the students for the past many years and the Faculty of Laws was the first one to hold it on May 19.

Officials said students will not be asked to pay for the convocation, and the department had sought no financial assistance from the university as well. The students who passed out from all the three departments last year have been informed about the ceremony. Those who get registered will be awarded degrees during the convocation.



Edu Dept to amend neighbourhood policy under RTE Act
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Following the recent judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Education Department has initiated the process to amend the neighbourhood criteria under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

In its judgement delivered last month, the Court directed Chandigarh and the states of Punjab and Haryana to come up with a clear definition of ‘neighbourhood’ under the Act. It also ruled that admission should first be offered to eligible students belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged group residing within a distance of 1 km from the specific school.

In case vacancies remained unfilled, students residing within 3 kms would be considered for admission. If still there are vacancies, students residing within 6 kms of the school would be admitted, the Court ruled.

A senior official of the department said the UT had been following the Central Government’s policy under which preference was given to students residing within a distance of 1 km from a school, and if the seats remained unfilled those residing within 3 kms were admitted. There was no advisory to go beyond this limit, he said.

“In wake of the recent Court directive, a discussion was held to revise the neighbourhood policy accordingly. The file has already been sent to the senior officials. After their approval, the notification will be issued for the same,” said an official

The neighbourhood policy has been creating confusion during the admission to government and private schools. Not only private schools, government schools in the city too refused to entertain students living beyond a distance of 1 km from the school. The EWS students too, encountered problems due to a lack of clarity on the policy.

A parent belonging to the EWS, Rakesh Kumar of Ram Darbar, said a private school refused to admit his son under the EWS quota as they did not reside within 1 km from the school.



Monthly meetings to address student grievances at PU

Chandigarh, May 20
In a bid to address the student grievances at Panjab University, the authorities have decided to hold a monthly meeting to be attended by top PU officials including Dean Student Welfare (DSW).

The move came in response to the demand raised by Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

DSW AS Ahluwalia said the move aimed at ending the practice of student protests that are staged without even discussing the issue with the authorities. “We want the students to place their grievances before the officials before staging any protest,” the DSW said.

PUCSC president Satinder Singh said the council had named the meeting as Vidyarthi Panchayat. “It would be a meeting where students will get solutions to their problems on the spot,” said the council president. He said the council had demanded that the registrar, controller of examination and hostel wardens be present during the monthly meetings.

The DSW said besides the monthly meetings, students will be allowed to approach him so that the issues could be resolved at his level.

NSUI leader Jeevanjot Singh Chahal said the grievances will be sent to all the officials before the meeting. “The system will make the PU authorities more accountable and easily approachable,” he said.

The first meeting is expected to be held on May 22 at the administrative block. — TNS



Group announces scholarships for needy students
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 20
The Rayat-Bahra Group of Institutes (RBGI) has announced scholarships and concessions for the needy, deserving and meritorious students. These scholarships will be given to these students during the 2013-14 session.

Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman, RBGI, said today that 100 per cent fee concession would be given to students who have lost both parents, while students not having father would be given 50 per cent concession on fees. A concession of 50 per cent would also be given to a single girl child and 25 per cent fee concession would be given to both brother and sister studying in the Rayat-Bahra Group.

He also said 25 per cent fee concession would be given to students securing 1 to 10 positions in the university examinations.

The group has been offering scholarships to students as a part of their Education Social Responsibility since a long time.

Under the post-matric scholarship scheme, the RBGI would provide assistance to the Scheduled Castes students to enable them to complete their education.

“This is a government-sponsored scholarship scheme that will be provided to students whose parent’s annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh,” Bahra added.



Students felicitated at education college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 20
Twenty-one College Colours and 234 prizes were distributed today among the students who excelled during the 2012-13 academic session at the Government College of Education, Sector 20.

During his presidential address, Deputy Director Public Instructions (Schools) S Chanchal Singh emphasised on positive thinking and clarity of goals in order to excel in academics. A cultural programme preceded the prize distribution ceremony.

Students talked about their stay in the college and said the day held great significance to them as they were being awarded for their hard work, dedication and commitment.



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