C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Industrialist gets 12-yr RI for raping minor
Had accused judge of demanding bribe; son booked for assaulting cop
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Additional District and Sessions Judge Nazar Singh today sentenced an industrialist to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping a 14-year-old maid.

The industrialist, 55-year-old Manjit Arora, had last week accused Additional District and Sessions Judge Nazar Singh of demanding a bribe of Rs 50 lakh.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.10 lakh on the industrialist. Out of this, Rs 1 lakh would go to the complainant as compensation, the court ruled.

While pronouncing the sentence, the court relied on the victim’s statements before the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC at the time the case was registered, the statements of the mother and also the medical of the victim which had confirmed that she was raped. The victim had turned hostile in the case and is now married, but her mother supported the case throughout.

As the order was pronounced, the family members of the industrialist created furore and levelled allegations against the judge.

The case was registered on January 8, 2010, when the UT police arrested Arora for repeatedly raping his 14-year-old maidservant in Chandigarh and Mumbai. As per the prosecution, the accused shot videos of the victim in Mumbai and showed them to her on his laptop. The victim's mother had informed the police that the industrialist employed her daughter as a maidservant in 2008 for Rs 3,000 a month. She claimed that the accused offered her daughter Rs 5,000 a month for working in Mumbai, to which the family agreed. She also alleged that they had made repeated requests to Arora to bring the girl back to Chandigarh. Relenting, the girl was brought to the city on December 26, 2009, when she complained to her family about the sexual abuse.

Arora owns a chapatti-making appliances factory in Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh. The accused had been convicted under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC.

What led to conviction?

The victim’s statements before the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC at the time of registration of the case
Statements of her mother who supported the case throughout
A video clipping recovered from the industrialist’s laptop which showed the victim tied up in a chair in his daughter’s apartment in Mumbai
Medical examination of the minor girl had stated that her hymen was ruptured confirming rape
Statements of the doctor in the court corroborating rape

Was evading arrest
The counsel for the victim, advocate Rabindra Pandit, said Manjit Singh Arora had been evading arrest since September when he first failed to appear in the court. He adopted delaying tactics by influencing advocates. “He also named me in an FIR of extortion lodged in 2011 along with the girl’s mother. When he realised that the advocate as well the victim’s mother could not be bribed, he played the trick of levelling allegations against the judge. He played a dirty game by levelling baseless allegations against the judiciary to escape punishment and delay the case. The case was already set for orders on Monday and the evidence was against him,” he said.



Family creates ruckus in court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Manjit Arora’s wife Sweetie Arora, son Sikander and daughter created ruckus in the court as soon as the orders were pronounced. Arora’s family had not expected that the orders would be pronounced as the industrialist had filed a revision petition in the High Court levelling allegations of bribe against the judge. As the orders were pronounced, the family members started hurling abuses at the judge. Manjit Arora had stated in the complaint that two Panchkula-based touts took Rs 25 lakh from him for exonerating him from the rape case. He had also filed a complaint seeking transfer the case to another court.

Manjit Arora’s son said his father was sentenced as they did not pay the full amount (Rs 50 lakh) allegedly demanded by the judge. Manjit’s son and wife rushed to the court of Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal after the orders were pronounced and disturbing proceedings of the court. The judge told them to proceed as per law. However, they continued to scream following which the judge had to ask the guards to take them out.

Manjit’s son Sikander also entered into a scuffled with a naib court as his father was being taken to ‘bakshikhana’.

Acting on the complaint of the naib court, head constable Gurcharan Singh, the police booked Manjit Arora’s son Sikander Singh in a case of obstructing a public servant from performing duty under Sections 332, 353 and 341 of the IPC. Sikander is yet to be arrested.

What the victim’s mother said?
The victim’s mother, Kalawati, recorded her statements in the court during arguments on the quantum of sentence. Disclosing facts that led to the registration of the case, Kalawati said she was threatened and lured with money by Manjit Arora’s family to withdraw the case. “Manjit Arora raped my daughter after taking her to Mumbai. After the case was registered, he kidnapped my daughter and married her off. He also got a false case of extortion registered against me on September 23, 2011,” said Kalawati. Her statements were vital evidence in the case leading to the conviction.

Sequence of events
January 8, 2010: Police book Manjit Arora in rape case
August 10, 2010: Victim turns hostile
September 13, 2013: Court issues warrants against Arora after he fails to appear
October 16, 2013: Arora surrenders and released on bail
October 31, 2013: Application to produce additional evidence dismissed
November 7, 2013: Manjit moves High Court, accuses two persons of demanding bribe on the behalf of the judge
November 18, 2013: Manjit Arora convicted and awarded 12 years jail



PU to reconsider fee hike, students end stir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Bowing to pressure from students, the Panjab University authorities today decided to reconsider their recent decision of fee hike.

Members of the Student for Society, who were on an indefinite strike against the decision of the university, ended their stir after the authorities agreed to reconsider the decision of fee hike.

At a meeting chaired by Dean, University Instructions, Prof Madhu Raka, it was decided that the issue would be referred to the fee committee which would send the proposal to the Syndicate for final decision. The committee was recently constituted by Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.

DSW Navdeep Goyal said: “The first year students will not be charged the hiked fee.”

The students were assured by the authorities that no late fee would be charged from them till November 30.

Late in the evening, DSW Navdeep Goyal offered juice to Bahal Singh, member of the Student for Society, who was on an indefinite fast against the decision of the university.

President of the society Arshdeep said they were satisfied with the decision of the university to reconsider the fee hike. “But if the decision of fee hike is not revoked, we will again hold protest.”



Hit-and-run case: Pedestrian killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
A pedestrian was killed after being hit by an unidentified vehicle, while a cyclist was injured in a separate incident.

The police said the pedestrian was hit by the vehicle near the Sector 36-37 lights.

The victim was identified as 40-year-old Jai Dyal Rehani, a resident of Sector 37-B. Rehani was crossing the road when the accident took place.

A passer-by informed the police following which Rehani was rushed to a hospital. He was referred to the PGI where he died.

The police have registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against an unidentified driver.

In a separate incident, Naveen Kumar, a resident of Burail, said the driver of an unidentified vehicle hit a cyclist leaving him injured. Pardeep of Burail was hit on the road separating Sectors 33 and 45 on November 17. The cyclist was admitted to to the GMCH-32.

MES cashier dies in mishap

Zirakpur: A cashier with Military Engineer Services (MES), Chandigarh, died after being hit by a truck near Paras Downtown Square this evening. The deceased was identified as 55-year-old Jai Chand, a resident of Panchukla. The Baltana police said Jai Chand was coming from the Chandigarh side on his Activa when the accident took place.

A case has been registered against the driver of the truck.



City traffic police constable assaulted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
A day after a UT police head constable was dragged on the bonnet of a Honda City car, another traffic police constable was assaulted by the driver of a truck last night.

The police arrested the driver, Shakti Chand, in a case of assault on public servant.

The incident took place near Faidan barrier when the truck driver hit a scooterist who in turn informed the traffic police constable, Sachin, who was posted at the barrier.

Sachin signalled the driver to stop, but he started misbehaving. The driver alighted from the vehicle and allegedly thrashed the constable. Sachin sustained minor injuries in the attack.

The driver of the truck was nabbed by other policemen present at the spot.



Wedding of Panchkula Mayor’s daughter
Cosmetic makeup peels off, officials in cover-up mode
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
Much to the embarrassment of officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the patchwork on the potholed road leading to Sector 5 has peeled off overnight.

The road was being repaired ahead of the wedding of Panchkula Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia’s daughter on November 20.

The weather-beaten road diving Sectors 5 and 6 was repaired a day ago to ensure a smooth ride for VVIP guests to the venue of the wedding.

Realising that the patchwork has started coming off just two days ahead of the wedding, officials were back to work since this morning to fill the potholes again.

“We are ensuring that the road is not damaged again till the wedding function is over. We have no plan to re-carpet the road after the Mayor’s daughter’s wedding is over,” said an official.

Expecting a battery of VIPs at the wedding, the ground at the rear of HAFED building in Sector 5 is also being spruced up.

When contacted, the SDO said: “We are getting the seal coating done. It is done to keep the material intact on the road. The patchwork peeled off as we could not stop the traffic on the road.”

Sources said the material for repairing the road had been borrowed from a contractor. HUDA authorities have also initiated action against the contractor who left the work midway.

Following the repair, the traffic on that road had to be diverted to a slip road.

Every nook and corner of Sector 5 is being decked up a bride. Road berms were being painted, streetlights are being repaired and encroachments are also being removed.


Better Chandigarh
Civic body grapples with stray cattle menace
In the past 17 years, the MC tried different methods to deal with the stray cattle menace, but it has failed to tide over the problem in the city. Recently, three families of the city lost their sole breadwinners in accidents involving stray cattle. In the Part II of the series, The Tribune reporter Rajinder Nagarkoti and photographer S Chandan check the ground reality

Since 1996, when the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was formed, the civic body continues to grapple with the problem of stray cattle on the city roads. As the MC has miserably failed to frame a clear policy and adequate facilities in place to control the menace of stray cattle, the city residents are continuously facing the problem. Motorists also find it difficult to drive on city roads, especially at night, as these stray cattle nap on busy roads, block traffic and cause traffic jams and accidents. The problem of stray cattle is more in the southern sectors.

Most of the cattle, which roam on the city roads, are domesticated milch animals, which were let out by their owners who run illegal dairies inside and around the city. The MC releases a majority of the cattle after their owners pay fine per animal. Otherwise, the animals are auctioned, giving them new owners who again have the same 'evening stroll policy' for these cattle.

In the past, the MC had made several attempts to deal with the menace. The MC also lodged FIRs against 20 cattle owners, including a UT police inspector, for letting their cattle roam on the city roads. However, none of the attempts bear any fruit. Till date, the MC has failed to find any permanent solution to the menace.

Dr Renu Bedi, a resident of Sector 21, said there was no specific policy of the MC to deal with the menace. Sometimes they decide that the MC would not release impounded cattle, but later they start releasing them. The MC should take some strict steps against the violators who let their cattle roam on the city roads. Otherwise, this problem will never be solved.

Echoing similar views, Poonam Chauhan, a resident of Sector 23, said: “There should be a stringent law to curb the stray cattle menace. The authorities should not adopt a lenient view on this specific issue, which has claimed the lives of a number of people”.

Three deaths in the eight months

While the MC is finding it difficult to find a solution to the stray cattle menace, three families of the city have lost their only breadwinners in the accidents involving stray cattle. All these accidents took place at night in the southern sectors of the city and the victims were on two-wheelers.

April 6: 33-year-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi

Harpreet Singh Sodhi (33), a resident of Sector 45-C, was killed on April 6, when the motorcycle he was riding rammed into stray cattle on the road separating Sectors 49 and 46. He is survived by his wife, two children and mother. He was the sole breadwinner of his family. Sodhi’s family had lodged a police complaint against the Mayor and the MC Commissioner.

August 20: 26-year-old Avinash Kumar

Twenty-six-year-old Avinash Kumar, who was on his way back home on his motorcycle, rammed into stray cattle on August 16 around 10.45 pm near Sector 45. He succumbed to his injuries at the GMCH-32 on August 20. He was the sole breadwinner of the family. The deceased is survived by his wife (24) and two children, a three-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. Avinash was working at a Sector 9-based salon. His family has also lodged a police complaint against the Mayor and the MC Commissioner.

August 22: 42-year-old Atma Ram

Atma Ram, a resident of Sector 46-A, who was working as a mess cook at 229 Transit Camp, APO, Hallo Majra, could not see stray cattle and rammed his scooter into it at the Sectors 31/32/46/47 roundabout on the night of August 17. He succumbed to his injuries at the GMCH-32 on August 22.


MC councillors irrespective of their party affiliation should put their heads together to adopt a comprehensive policy on catching, shifting and releasing the cattle, rather than indulging in blame game to derive political mileage.
Strict steps should be taken against the cattle owners, who let their cattle roam on the city roads.
The MC should launch a crackdown on illegal dairies, inside and around the city.
The MC should hire trained villagers to catch stray cattle.
The number of trucks with the lift facility, which help in loading cattle in trucks, should be increased.
The MC with the help of NGOs should create huge gaushalas at appropriate locations.
The licence of a dairy or a cattle shed should be cancelled in case the cattle belonging to it strays out of its premises.
Water and power supply to illegal dairies must be disconnected.
Once impounded, these cattle should be released only with a fine of minimum Rs 10,000 per animal.

Lack of space with MC

It has two gaushalas (cattle sheds) and a cattle pound. The cattle shed in Sector 45 can accommodate 450 animals and the one in Maloya has the capacity of sheltering 400 animals. The lone cattle pound in the Industrial Area can accommodate 200 stray cattle.


Presently, there is no scope to keep more animals in cattle pound and gaushalas, as they are already full. They have also created a temporary cattle pound in the Industrial Area, which can also accommodate 200 cattle. To shift cattle from the city to a Hoshiarpur-based gaushala, an agenda is coming up for discussion in the Finance and Contract Committee meeting of the MC. The cattle drive, which was halted after the Gurgaon incident, where angry villagers torched MC’s trucks carrying stray cattle, will be started soon in the coming days.

Rajiv Gupta,
Joint Commissioner, MC

Lodge complaints here

Satyavir Singh, in charge, stray cattle team

Dr MS Kamboj, superintendent, slaughterhouse



Groundwork remains undone
GMCH yet to create cardiology department and sanction posts to run Rs 11-crore cath lab
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The authorities of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, seem to have forgotten to lay the groundwork before proposing a core cath lab.

To deal with the heavy rush of cardiac patients, the institute had raised a demand for the lab which is not even available in the PGI where 7,000 angiographies are performed yearly. The hospital had opened two bids for the equipment purchase six months ago.

Even a year after announcing the project, the institute is yet to create a cardiology department.

While there is more focus on the purchase of the equipment for the lab, not even a single post has been sanctioned so far for running the Rs 11-crore lab.

A senior PGI doctor said, “While creating a lab, the staff should also be recruited. For optimal utilisation of the lab, manpower is required.” The institute has sent a doctor from its department of internal medicine to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIIMS), New Delhi, for specialising in cardiology. Even he will not be able to join before his course ends. Despite the fact that the hospital has been reeling under acute staff shortage, it has failed to even initiate the process of sanctioning posts for the lab, which consumes considerable amount of time as per the protocol.

The claims of the former Director of having adequate staff for the lab were published in these columns.

For running round-the-clock services inside the lab, the hospital needs a consultant, two senior residents, a nurse and two technicians. The Coronary Care Unit (CCU) located at the fifth floor of Block C will be converted into Advanced Cardiac Centre.

What is a cath lab?
A catheterisation laboratory is an examination room in a hospital or a clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to support the catheterisation procedure. A catheter is inserted into a large artery and various wires and devices can be inserted through the body via the catheter, which is inside the artery.

Budget escalation of project in one year

As the value of USD has gone up to Rs 62.14, the GMCH will have to bear with the cost escalation of nearly Rs 73 lakh. The cost of equipment for the cath lab was finalised and estimated in the lowest bid at the rate of Rs 54.96 per USD. Earlier, the cost was estimated at Rs 11.7 crore. But now the project will cost nearly Rs 12.4 crore.

Official’s take
We have already decided on the equipment that have to be purchased and are in the process of sanctioning posts. The file has been sent to the UT Administration
— Dr Atul Sachdev, Director-Principal , gmch-32



Merger of villages provokes outcry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Pendu Sangharsh Committee and panchayat samiti today decided to oppose the UT Administration's proposal to merge 13 villages with the Municipal Corporation.

Recently, the UT Administration had written to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation seeking its views on the merger of 13 villages with the civic body. City Mayor Subhash Chawla had called for a special General House meeting on November 21 to discuss the issue.

In a meeting of the Pendu Sangharsh Committee at Khuda Ali Sher village, a majority of members objected to the merger. Joginder Singh, general secretary of the committee, said they had decided that the members would meet councillors of all parties before the meeting on November 21.

They said they would request them to reject the UT Administration's proposal.

President of the committee Gurpeet Singh said he was also the sarpanch of Daria village and as residents wanted the villages to be merged with the civic body, he could not go against them. Today, a meeting of the panchayat samiti was also held in Sector 19. Samiti chairman Shingara Singh said they were against the merger. The BSP and the JDU issued their statements today and decided to oppose the merger. BSP's Parliament election candidate and councillor Jannat Jahan also attended the Pendu Sangharsh Committee's meeting and announced that on November 21, the party's two councillors would vote against the merger. Earlier, the BJP-SAD councillors had also decided to oppose the proposal.

The 13 villages
The 13 villages to be merged with the MC include Bahlana, Rairpur Khurd, Rairpur Kalan, Makhan Majra, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Kishangarh , Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur and Dhanas. The villages are located within an 8-km radius of Chandigarh and have a population of 50,135.



Book fair concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Books worth Rs 75 lakh were sold during the six-day Chandigarh Book Fair that concluded at Parade Ground in Sector 17 today. The event witnessed a huge turnout. Eighty publishers participated in the fair. Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin appreciated the efforts put in by officials.

Students of PGGCG, Sector 42, and GCG, Sector 11, presented a cultural programme.

A member of the organising committee, Kashish Mittal, said the event received a good response.

A survey conducted by the Administration stated that 2.50 lakh visitors turned up at the fair.

The administration is planning to make it an annual feature.



NCC cadets rally to spread awareness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
As a part of the NCC week commemoration, a cycle rally and a foot rally were organised by cadets tosensitise residents against social issues like drug abuse, dowry, girl child abuse and waster management.

About 200 cadets participated in the rally that was flagged off by the NCC Group Commander, Col APS Johal, from the Group Headquarters in Sector 26 and culminated at Sukhna Lake.

NCC cadets also visited the Old Age Home and Institute for the Blind and interacted with the inmates there. Other events scheduled to be held during the week include a run for fun at Sukhna Lake, a public presentation on waste management, painting, essay, declamation competitions and an aeromodelling display. 



Sappers observe 233rd Corps Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Corps of Engineers, one of the oldest supporting arms of the Army and a major contributor towards the development of the national infrastructure, celebrated its 233rd Corps Day at the Chandimandir Military Station today.

The Corps consists of four branches, Combat Engineers, Military Engineer Services, Border Road Organisation and Military Survey, and also provides officers to the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

A solemn wreath laying ceremony was held at the Veer Smriti War Memorial in Chandimandir to pay tributes to martyrs.

The Chief Engineer, Western Command, Maj Gen Rakesh Bassi, paid floral tributes at the memorial on behalf of all officers and ranks of the Corps. A large number of serving and senior retired officers and other ranks also attended the ceremony. A social get-together was also organised that was attended by serving and retired Sapper fraternity of the tricity.



PGI ranked second in medical education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The PGI has been judged as the second best institute for medical education in India among 10 best institutes.

As a hospital, the institute has been graded the second best among the top 15 multi-speciality hospitals in India and also among the five best government multi-speciality hospitals by The Week-NIELSEN BEST HOSPITALS SURVEY, 2013.

The other multi-speciality hospitals on the top 15 list are: AIIMS, New Delhi (first), CMC, Vellore (third), Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, (fourth), Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai (fifth), JIPMER, Puducherry (sixth), Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi (seventh), Medanta, The Medicity, Gurgaon (eighth), Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow (ninth), PD Hinduja National Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai (10th), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi (11th), Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai (12th), Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru (13th), Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad (14th), and Max Hospitals, Delhi (15th). The survey was conducted in 15 cities. Leaders in specialisations such as cardiology, neurology, oncology and paediatrics have also been found out.

Causes of pulmonary disease

As many as 100 persons attended a workshop on 'Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)' organised at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali (MSSH), to mark World COPD today.

Dr Deepak Bhasin, consultant at Max, said as per WHO statistics, COPD was likely to become the third leading cause of death by 2030. COPD was one of the most common lung diseases which made it difficult for a patient to breathe. Tobacco consumption, indoor and outdoor air pollution and exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals were the factors responsible for COPD. As per the Association of Physicians statics, COPD killed more than 3 million people every year, thus making it the fourth largest cause of death in the world. He said there were two main forms of COPD. The first form chronic bronchitis involved a long-term cough with mucus while emphysema involved destruction of the lungs. "Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions," the statics stated.

Ailing man needs help
Thirty-year-old Rakesh Chandra, who has been diagnosed with renal failure, needs financial help. Unlike many other patients, he has a kidney donor in his family, but he cannot afford the cost of the kidney transplant. He is undergoing treatment at the PGI. The transplant will cost him ~4 lakh. Good Samaritans can contact him at 07837843140.



seminar on Role of Judiciary
Change of mindset imperative to fight female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
Advocating stern action to fight female foeticide, senior legal luminaries stated that society needed to change its mindset.

Issues pertaining to honour killing, property rights of women and amendments to laws were discussed on the last day of the seminar at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy on Sunday.

The speakers said cases of honour killings should be dealt with an iron hand. During the two-day national conference on 'Women Rights are Human Rights: Role of Judiciary to Transform the Rhetoric into Reality', various issues related to the rights of women were discussed.

Six Judges of the Supreme Court of India, Justice RM Lodha, Justice BS Chauhan, Justice RP Desai, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice AK Sikri and Chief Justices and Judges from 19 High Courts of the country, besides Judicial Officers deliberated on the entitlements for women.

The speakers said change in thinking was the need of the hour as there was no dearth of laws. On Saturday, Justice RM Lodha had stated: "Our social structure is responsible for discrimination against women as we have a male-dominated society."

Justice Dr BS Chauhan also dwelt on various issues. The other speakers included Justice Ranjana P Desai, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Jasbir Singh, and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium.

High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the police investigation system needed an improvement. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda sought cooperation of the Judiciary to ensure effective implementation of various measures being taken in Haryana for the safety, empowerment and dignity of women.



Insurance company told to pay relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Bharti Axa Life Insurance Co. to pay Rs 20,000 to the complainant for causing mental agony.

The forum has told the insurance firm to refund Rs 27,523 paid as premium.

Nirmal Singh, a Dhanas resident, had purchased an insurance policy in the name of his granddaughter from the opposite party. It was stated that the complainant had filled in the proposal form and paid Rs 15,000 in the beginning.

Later, the opposite party asked the complainant to pay the next instalment of the annual premium of Rs 15,000. The complainant issued a cheque. However, after receiving the second instalment of the annual premium, the insurance firm sent a fresh demand letter for the annual premium. "Despite seeing the receipt, the firm refused to entertain the request and told the complainant to deposit the second annual premium. It said the policy would lapse and the amount would be forfeited," the complainant stated. "When the complainant demanded Rs 30,000 along with interest, the opposite party refused to refund even a single penny and issued a fresh policy in favour of the granddaughter of the complainant for which he had never requested," the judgment stated. "It is held that the respondents not only resorted to unfair trade practice but were also deficient in rendering service to the complainant," the commission ruled. 



PUDA employees go on pen-down strike
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
The work at the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA)/Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) office was largely affected as most of the employees resorted to pen down strike on the call of the PUDA Employees Coordination Struggle Committee, here today.

“We have resorted to strike to press our long-pending demands that include an allotment of plots/houses to employees by the authorities and other promotion related matters,” said Jarnail Singh, convener of the committee. The pen down strike and gate rallies would continue till November 22, he added. “In case our demands are not met, we will intensify our protest from November 22,” said Jarnail Singh.



200 teachers block road

Mohali, November 18
Over 200 members of Unemployed DPE/MPEd (physical education teachers) Union blocked the traffic flow at Phase VII, near Chawla petrol pump today evening.

The protesters urged the state government to fill as many as 645 DPE (diploma in physical education) posts and 25 lecturer posts at the earliest. The protestors blocked for over half-an-hour approaching the light point. Two ambulances, carrying patients, were also seen stuck in the traffic jams near the spot. Raising anti-state government slogans, the protesters claimed that if their demands were not met, they would resort to hunger strike. — TNS



Promoting community policing tops agenda of Mohali SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18
“I am in favour of establishing a strong bond between the police and public, so promoting community policing will be high on my agenda,” said Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, the new Mohali SSP, here today.

Bhatti, who took over the charge today morning, said he would hold public meetings at regular intervals and try to rope in public to deal with the crime and criminals effectively.

While interacting with media persons at his office today, Bhatti said anyone could approach him if he/she faces any problem at the police stations. “I want to erase fear of police, if any, from the mind of common people,” he added.

“My main focus will be centred on the street crimes such as chain snatching, rowdyism, and drugs. As drug addicts are more likely to involve in petty crimes, I will prefer to deal with the menace in a strict manner,” said the SSP.

Bhatti, who had served as SP (traffic) and SP (headquarters) in Mohali district earlier, added that traffic was another problem, which needed to be handled effectively. Bhatti, who is also a member of the Special Investigating Team, in connection with illegal mining in the state, said strict action would be taken against illegal miners. “The role of policemen of the area, in which illegal mining takes place, would also be checked, said Bhatti.



Vehicle thefts on rise
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 18
Patrolling by the police seems to have no effect on the vehicle thieves. Four incidents of theft last night, has taken up the toll to six in just three days.

Three complaints of theft were lodged at the police station of Sector 14, while one case was filed at the police station of Sector 5, Panchkula. A resident of Sector 7, Om Prakash, alleged that he had parked his bike outside his residence but in the morning, it was nowhere to be found. Similarly, vehicle parts of three cars, two in Sector 12-A and one in Sector 14, were also reportedly stolen. Vijay Malik, Harish Kumar and Vijay have lodged the complaints.

The spate of thefts has pointed out the inefficient patrolling by PCRs and over 20 bike riders.

It was two days back, when a Maruti car and a bike were stolen from the residential areas of Sectors 4 and 11.

The police have, allegedly, not been able to make a breakthrough in the vehicles theft cases yet.



Civic body urges residents to pay property tax before November 30
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 18
The number of teams constituted for the collection of property tax has been increased by three folds by the Mohali Municipal Corporation. Following the lackadaisical attitude adopted by city residents, the Mohali MC took the initiative to accelerate the process of collection of taxes so as to collect the taxes before November 30.

As many as 15 teams were formed today. While five of the 15 teams will be covering the industrial area and the commercial sector, 10 will be deployed in the residential areas. Members of these teams have been directed to go to the residential sectors, including parks and other places, in order to create awareness regarding property tax. They have been directed to ask residents to pay the levy before November 30 and avail themselves of the 10 per cent rebate.

Commissioner of the corporation Uma Shankar Gupta said more than Rs 20 lakh had so far been collected as property tax.

As many as 19,000 forms had been issued so far but only 1,000 persons had deposited the tax. All efforts would be put in by the civic body till November 30 to collect the tax after which residents would have to approach banks or the office of the corporation to pay their tax, said Gupta. 



Teenager commits suicide

Mohali, November 18
A 17-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself with a dupatta at her residence in Phase VII, here today.

The victim’s grandfather was at home when the incident occurred.

The area station house officer, inspector Navin Pal Singh Lehal, said no suicide note was found from the spot. “Her parents claimed that she was under some stress. Investigations are on,” said Lehal. — TNS



Need to upgrade community centres

The Community Centres in almost every sector of the city have been set up by the Administration for social functions, gatherings, meetings and get-togethers. These halls are given for use to the residents of the city to celebrate marriages, parties and other family functions at concessional rates as compared to the private banquet halls which only meet the maintenance expenses of the premises. There is an immediate need to upgrade the centrally located community centre in the city with an AC hall, furniture fixture and other ultra-modern facilities. People are ready to pay much more on such occasions if proper facilities are provided and it is the need of the hour to accommodate the common man as no site has either been allotted or auctioned as marriage farm house. It is suggested that some of these community centres should be leased out to establishments dealing in food/catering/tent services with the provision of water connection, proper drainage and parking facilities. The Chandigarh Administration/Municipal Corporation should fix rates which are transparent without any discretion of discount and display rules and regulation on the premises. The funds collected from these centres should be spent on maintenance and upgrading the premises. Even the front elevation should be designed with the latest decorative material so that high-profile people may also be attracted to celebrate their family functions. There will be proper use of such centres for all communities and the collection of local taxes, excise duty and service tax would multiply. The Municipal Corporation has already inaugurated the Community Centre at sector 49 with ultra-modern facilities similar to a five-star environment. Still, there is more need for opening such Community Centres in different part of the city with new ideas.

Sukhpal Singh

Shakti Bhawan roundabout needs traffic lights

The intensity of traffic at the roundabout near Shakti Bhawan and HUDA Complex, Panchkula, is quite high as it leads to important places like Nada Sahib, Mini- Secretariat, judicial complex, general hospital, parks, bus stand, railway station, Mansa Devi temple etc. Located in its close vicinity are Shalimar Mall, HUDA Complex, Shakti Bhawan and the Indian Express Building, which add to traffic congestion. The motorists and cyclists often take wrong turns as a short cut to reach the nearby offices and the mall. The traffic at this roundabout is chaotic, unruly and unregulated and it is the most accident-prone junction.

The situation is worst at the time of the opening and closing of offices. The district administration and HUDA are requested to install traffic lights at this roundabout immediately in public interest, on the same pattern as at the junction of sectors 7, 8, 17 and 18 in Panchkula, so that the traffic is regulated without sacrificing the beauty of the roundabout. Moreover, such an arrangement will be economically viable. Flickering lights can also be installed at the junction of sectors 7 and 8 for better connectivity

DP Piplani



CBSE Classes X, XII exam from March 1
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
The Classes X and XII examination to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will start from March 1, stated a publication notice uploaded by the CBSE on its website today.

There was a lot of confusion among parents and students over the CBSE board exams getting pre-poned due to the general elections scheduled for the next year. But the public notice by the board has clarified that the CBSE is not going to advance the board exams for the current session and will hold these on time.

RJ Khanderao, regional director of the CBSE, said every year the board exams for Classes X and XII start from March 1 and there was no change in the exam dates for the current session. The CBSE notice uploaded on its website has made it clear that the exams would not be advanced.

“The date sheet for these exams is expected by the end of December,” he said.

Move welcomed

Maitri Jindal, a Class XII student from Sector 15, Chandigarh, said the rumours that the CBSE might pre-pone the board exams by one month due to the elections had put the students under pressure because it was very difficult to cover the syllabus in case of advancement of exams.

“The CBSE's circular clarifying that the exams will be held as per the schedule is a big relief,” she said.

Chandigarh-based CBSE counsellor Dr Rakesh Sachdeva said the move would help the students to focus well on their board exams. The announcement by the board was timely, she said.



undergraduate courses
PU panel approves semester system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
A special committee of Panjab University today approved the introduction of semester system at the undergraduate level in all affiliated colleges.

In a meeting chaired by Dean University Instructions Prof Madhu Raka, the members approved the semester system for first-year students.

In the meeting, the members also discussed problems, which the university will face while implementing the semester system. The members also pointed out that with the implementation of the semester system, examination reforms should be on the priority of the existing system as these were not suitable for the same.

The committee also suggested that the examination branch should work out on the infrastructure and the manpower required for the introduction of the semester system in the colleges.

The members also proposed that as the Punjab and UT administrations have banned the recruitment of staff, their representatives should be called at the next meeting to discuss the issue in detail.

The committee will now meet next month in which the representatives of the Punjab and UT administrations will also be called to discuss the issue. Directions have also been issued to the board of study to chalk out syllabus for the semester system.

In March last year, the Senate had put on hold the decision of the semester system for undergraduate classes in 188 affiliated colleges as it was strongly opposed and a committee was constituted to decide the issue.



PU and College Notes
Death mourned

The faculty and students of the Department of Hindi, Panjab University, on Monday observed silence on the demise of renowned Hindi writer Om Parkash Valmiki. He was born in 1950. He breathed his last on Sunday in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He was also a poet and short story writer of books like “Sadiyon Ka Santaap” and “Ghuspethiya”. He also penned “Dalit Sahitya Ka Saundrya-Shastra” and “Safai Devata”, which describe the cannons of evolution for the Dalit literature and a history of the Valmiki community, respectively.

UGC training school inaugurated

The University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, on Monday inaugurated its 13th UGC Training School for Pharmacy Professionals. The theme of the training school was on challenges and opportunities in drug discovery, which commenced under the UGC networking programme for pharmacy professionals. As many as 15 entry-level teachers/PhD students from various colleges of 10 different states of the country are taking part in the week-long programme, which would conclude on November 23. The programme was inaugurated by the Director, NIPER, Mohali, Prof KK Bhutani, who was also the chief guest for the occasion. He delivered the keynote address on drug discovery in India. Prof Bhutani elaborated upon the Indian perspective of drug discovery and development.

Support extended

The All-India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisation (AIFUCTO) on Monday extended its support to the proposed agitation by the university and college teachers from November 19. In a joint statement, Prof Vazir Singh Nehra and Dr Jagwant Singh, vice-presidents of AIFUCTO, supported the demands of the university and college teachers for the implementation of UGC pay scales notification in toto. They said granting of advance increments, creation of posts of professors in colleges, teaching work load as per norms, academic leave for attending seminars were all integral part of the UGC regulations.

Training and placement drive

A training and placement drive was organised by the Department of Computer Science, DAV College, Sector 10, for its postgraduate students of information technology in association with IT consultancy services on the theme of soft solutions. The industrial visit was conducted to ensure that the students gain hands-on experience of the emerging application development techniques prevalent in the IT industry. The students were apprised of industrial work ethics and code development procedures to cope with the industrial needs. A placement drive was also conducted for the students. — TNS



Students notch top spot in dist-level Science Congress

Mohali, November 18
Students of Vivek High School, Sector 70, brought laurels to the institute by winning top honours in the 20th District-level Children’s Science Congress in the senior category.

Shaurya, Muskaan, Karishma , Gursher and Iqbal posted victory in the event. The team would participate at the state-level science congress to be held on December 2 and 3. — TNS



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