C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ex-DHO acquitted of rape charge
Victim turns hostile, says she was forced by cops to give statements against doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Less than three months after the UT police booked a former District Health Officer of Panchkula in a case of rape of a 30-year-old woman at a room in Shivalik View Hotel in Sector 17, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anshu Shukla today acquitted the accused in the case. The court acquitted Dr Lalit Vermani, owner of Vermani Clinic in Panchkula, of all the charges after the victim in the case turned hostile.

The verdict was pronounced today on the first day of hearing in the case after the charges were framed on July 15. The court recorded the statements of the victim today and acquitted the accused after she turned hostile and completely retracted from her statements given to the police at the time the case was registered.

On May 5 this year, the police had booked Dr Lalit Vermani (57) on a charge of rape on the woman’s complaint. He was arrested 10 days after the registration of the case after he surrendered before the police.

The victim had earlier alleged that she was taken by the accused to Shivalik View Hotel and raped in a room on the pretext of providing her a job. However, she told the court today that she was pressured by the police to give statements against the doctor and that she was never ravished by the accused. She said she was friends with the accused and had gone to the hotel to chat with him when the police suspected them to be indulging in illegal activities and pressured her to get a case registered.

The court then acquitted the doctor after the rape charges fell flat. Dr Vermani was in judicial custody all these days and was released after the verdict.


What she told the police earlier: “Raped on the pretext of a job”

“I was getting my son treated from Dr Lalit Vermani and thus knew him. I told him that I was divorced and was looking for a job. Dr Vermani then told me that he had a friend who ran a factory and that he would talk to him for any computer-related job for me. On May 4, the doctor called me and said that he had arranged for an interview with his friend for a job. The doctor came to my place and picked me up from my Sector 11 residence saying that the interview had been fixed at Shivalik View Hotel. After reaching the hotel, he asked for the keys of the room from the reception. He then told me that his friend had booked a room for the interview. I was offered juice and felt unconscious after having it. I gained consciousness after two hours. When I woke up, I was shocked to learn that I had been raped,” the victim had told the police and the magistrate

What she said on Wednesday: “Was never raped; police pressured me.”

“I had friendly relations with Dr Vermani. We used to meet each other and used to chat often. We decided to meet in Shivalik View Hotel on May 4. I was called by him where we enjoyed our lunch in a room and spent some time chatting. Thereafter, we left the room. The police saw us and suspected something illegal and took our contact numbers. The police called us to the police station and when I pleaded innocence, they pressured me to submit a complaint against the doctor to save myself. They also threatened me to give the same statements before the magistrate. I was never ravished by the doctor.”


The verdict was pronounced on the first day of hearing in the case after the charges were framed. The case has been decided within 79 days after the police first registered the case on May 5. Statements of the victim were recorded on Wednesday in court following which the orders were pronounced.

  • May 5, 2014: Police book Dr Lalit Vermani
  • May 15: Accused surrenders
  • July 3: Police file chargesheet
  • July 15: Court frames charges
  • July 23: Victim turns hostile, court acquits accused



Controversy over MBBS admission at GMCH
2 students admitted under quota considered for general category in second counselling
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The shifting of two candidates admitted under the reserved category in the first counselling to the general category in the second counselling today for the MBBS course at the GMCH, Sector 32, has kicked up a controversy.

As the move resulted in two seats being vacated in the reserved category, candidates from the general category and their parents levelled allegations of “an attempt to accommodate more candidates in the reserved category for the MBBS course”.

“If they had to consider the merit of candidates admitted a month ago, then all 50 candidates should have been called today. This appears to be a clear attempt to increase seats for the SC candidates,” said Sanjay Kundra, parent of one of the candidates, Akshita.

“Our seats have been snatched. One of the two candidates was not even present when the name was announced,” said Vaibhav, another general category candidate.

A case challenging the same practice of the institute during last year’s admission is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Last year, three candidates from the reserved category were shifted to the general category.

This year, two students had applied for admission under the SC category and were among the top 100 rank holders in open merit. After an approval for adding 50 more seats from the Medical Council of India (MCI), the institution conducted the second counselling today while all applications for 100 seats were accepted before the first counselling.

What expert says

The Supreme Court Bench of Justice JS Verma, Justice BN Kirpal and Justice MS Srinivasan, in a case titled Rajiv Mittal vs Maharshi Dayanand University Medical College in 1997, had laid down the law.

“Going by the ruling dated November 28, 1997, the candidate who has opted for a reserved seat in the first counselling cannot be considered for an open seat in the second counselling,” said Dr PL Garg, former Registrar, Baba Farid University, Faridkot.

Unanswered question

The rules regarding considering reserved category candidates on merit existed during the first counselling as well, but they were admitted under the reserved category and the institute did not wait for considering them in open merit in the second counselling.

Criteria in Baba Farid University

In Baba Farid University, an undertaking mandates that the category opted for during the first counselling cannot be changed in the second counselling.



You may soon have to pay more for water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Residents using water in excess may soon have to shell out more for it as the Municipal Corporation (MC) plans to increase the water tariff in the city.

The public health wing of the MC has come up with a revised tariff plan that is likely to pinch residents using above 60 kilolitre (KL) of water.

At present, residents pay Rs 8 per KL for 60 to 80 KL of water. If the revised tariff plan is introduced, they will have to pay Rs 25 per KL.

During a meeting of the House held on April 28, MC Commissioner VP Singh had proposed to revise the water tariff. The proposal was made at the meeting after a councillor raised queries about the future plan of the MC to meet the increasing demand for water.

The MC also plans to hike the charges for unmetered water connections. EWS house occupants who are at present paying Rs 100 per month will have to pay Rs 125. Residents of Milk Colony, who are paying Rs 150, will have to pay Rs 300.

Officials said the proposed tariff was expected to be tabled before the general house at its forthcoming meeting.

The northern sectors in the city consume more water than the southern sectors. The northern sectors are using over 1,000 litres of water per person against the national norm of 135 litres per day.

Watering lawns will also get costlier as the MC has proposed to revise the present tariff of Rs 8 per KL to Rs 25 per KL. 



Allotment of 6 booths cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The UT Estate Officer today cancelled the allotment of six booths in the Krishna Market in Sector 41 for violation of norms. Earlier, a number of booths in the market were sealed by the Estate Office after finding violations in these by allottees for renting out or selling their properties.

Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin said after a personal hearing in all cases, six booths had been cancelled. The allotment of two booths (numbers 21 and 108) had been restored.

Those cancelled are booth numbers 19, 20, 27, 80, 109 and 228. 



Building violations
Fire incidents fail to wake up UT Administration
Yet to act against defaulters; almirahs, records stacked in corridors blocking firemen’s passage
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Racks and two-wheelers at the basement of the MC building in Sector 17,
Racks and two-wheelers at the basement of the MC building in Sector 17, Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, July 23
Four major fire incidents at government offices in Sector 17 during the past 45 days have failed to wake up the Chandigarh Administration from its slumber and act against the violators, indicating lack of will on the part of the UT.

Notwithstanding the fact that UT officials are fully aware that the firefighting operations were badly hampered due to building violations and stacking of combustible material in corridors and exit passages, no concrete action has so far been taken to ensure that such violations are removed at the earliest.

On the one hand, the UT Estate Office has been acting swiftly against private property owners for building violations, but hardly any action has been taken against government offices, especially those located in Sector 17.

A senior officer of the Estate Office said as the buildings of the UT did not come under the purview of the Estate Office, no action could be taken against such offices. “The government buildings are maintained by the UT Chief Engineer,” the official said.

Instead of taking action against the violators, the UT is contemplating asking the occupants of all buildings to give a self-certification regarding structural safety and fire safety.

A visit to government offices revealed that temporary structures have been erected in corridors. Almirahs containing office records have been stacked in balconies with the authorities turning a blind eye to the violation.

The corridors of several buildings, mainly housing government offices and banks, have temporary structures which have been constructed either to accommodate the office staff or to store the records. Though the Estate Office claims that it has served notices on defaulters to remove the structures from the corridors, the exercise seems to have turned futile.

Interestingly, the Municipal Corporation (MC) building in Sector 17, that also houses the office of the Chief Fire Officer on the second floor, has almirahs stacked on the floor, leaving little space to move.

UT wrote to Punjab, Haryana to remove glazing

In 2012, Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin had written to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana to remove the glazing from corridors in upper floors of government offices in Sector 17. Soon after, the violations were removed. But as the move fizzled out, the violations are back.

Firemen hardly fill feedback column

The “fire call pro forma”, which has to filled by the leading fireman after every fire, has a column for suggestions in which the fireman can point out any such violations. However, not many firemen make suggestions regarding building violations or almirahs stacked in the corridors.

Building violations come in firefighters’ way

A major building violation was noticed during the fire at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology on June 8 when firefighters found entries to the building closed with concrete walls.

A similar situation was witnessed during the fire reported on July 3 at the regional office of Syndicate Bank in Sector 17 when firefighters had to break shutters, doors and a board installed at one of the entry points.

Three teams set up

Three teams have been constituted by the Fire Department to inspect whether the buildings in Sector 17 have installed fire safety equipment or not. The teams have been asked to submit their reports by July 25.



Law Dept opinion gathers dust
UT Administration fails to issue fresh notification on building violations 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Despite the UT Legal Department’s opinion that the retrospective application of the Chandigarh Estate Rules-2007 (with amendments in 2009), that allow the sealing of a building or imposing of a heavy penalty of Rs 500 per square yard, per month, for misuse and building violations, as illegal and arbitrary decision, the Chandigarh Administration has not issued fresh notification in this regard.

The Law Department had submitted its legal opinion in 2012 and May 2014, in which the department had given its opinion to the UT Administration that the rules could not be applied with the retrospective effect, which meant that the provisions of the Estate Rules 2007, did not govern the buildings allotted or auctioned prior to 2007.

The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) president, Charanjiv Singh, said the UT Administration should consider the legal department’s opinion and should issue fresh notification. Still a number of building violation cases are pending with the UT Administration, he said.

During the last five years, the UT Estate Office has issued hundreds of notices for misuse or building violations to the owners or occupiers of buildings allotted prior to 2007. The penalties imposed on building violations runs into crores of rupees.

More importantly, the Finance Department had also communicated the legal department’s opinion to the UT Estate Officer, but to no avail.

The letter sent by the UT Finance Department, on the basis of legal opinion given by the Law Department, to the UT Estate Officer, reads, “The parent Act i.e. the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, nowhere provides for framing of rules, in the guise of delegated power with retrospective effect and therefore, the Act of the Administrative Department (AD) in giving retrospective effect to the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007, vide notification dated December 14, 2009, can be termed as sheer illegality, arbitrary and causing grave injustice to the subjects, more so, when the AD had originally given prospective effect to the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007 vide notification dated November 11, 2007”.“The Law Department is of the firm view that the Chandigarh Estate Rules 2007, by no stretch of imagination can be applicable to the old allotments,” the letter reads.

Now, political parties will also take up the issue.“As UT has not issued fresh notification therefore in the coming days I along with industrialists will meet senior UT officials,” said Mukesh Bassi, Congress Councillor and Member of Industries Association of Chandigarh (IAC) “The UT Administration has hiked the penalty from Rs 10 to Rs 500 per square yard per month at their own level, which is legally not right. They will take up the issue at an appropriate platform”, said Davesh Moudgil, Deputy Mayor. 

Estate Office had imposed penalties worth crores

In the last five years, the Estate Office had issued hundreds of notices for misuse or building violations to building owners and imposed penalties worth crores of rupees.

‘Not applicable to old allotments’

The letter sent by the UT Finance Department, on the basis of legal opinion given by the Law Department, to the UT Estate Officer, reads, “The Law Department is of the firm view that the Chandigarh Estate Rules 2007, by no stretch of imagination can be applicable to the old allotments,”



Beware of frauds, says immigration adviser 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Asserting that immigration frauds have take the tricity in their net, a New Zealand-based immigration adviser has written to the UT police to keep a check on such fraudsters which are spreading their network in the city with gullible people being taken for a ride.

The UT police had formed a special investigating team (SIT) headed by a DSP to keep a check on such frauds two years ago, but even then the number of such frauds was on the rise.

Amar Manchanda, founder, director of Ambition Immigration, New Zealand, and AIMS Global Education, Chandigarh, has appealed the UT police to launch a campaign against dodgy agents in the city. He has also sought an awareness drive in the city to educate them to protect themselves from unlicensed immigration consultants.

Manchanda, who is also the member of board of the New Zealand Association of Immigration Professionals (NZAIP), said there was a need for stringent laws to prevent such crimes.

“Recently, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) declined more than 50 applications from India for permanent residence after discovering that they were submitted through an unlicensed immigration adviser,” he said.

In his representation to the Inspector General of Police, Chandigarh, Manchanda has stated that a few local agencies/agents were involved in arranging fake marriages, fabricating work experience certificate, academic documentations and bank FDRs / statements to use in their clients’ visa applications to get the visa applications approved by the High Commission concerned.



UT new secretariat building gets administrative approval
Estimated cost escalates from Rs 17 crore to Rs 76.78 crore
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, July 23
Almost seven years after a former Adviser to the UT Administrator, Lalit Sharma, laid the foundation stone of the new secretariat building for UT offices in Sector 9, the UT’s Standing Finance Committee has now given its administrative approval for the project.

Due to the delay, the cost of the project has increased by around Rs 60 crore. Delay in zoning and conceptual drawings had led to stalling of the project, officials said. By the time the zoning was approved, the design had to be changed, said the officials.

Against the initial cost of around Rs 17 crore, the building will now cost around Rs 76.78 crore. “ Since the UT Administrator has power to sanction projects for up to Rs 50 crore, the case is being sent to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for additional funds”, said a senior UT official.

Now, the project would require technical sanction and release of the requisite funds before the work on the project starts.

Against the previous design, the building has now been designed as green rated building, which will cut down on carbon footprint. On the pattern of Paryavaran Bhavan in Sector 19, the proposed building will have solar photo voltic power plant and it will be a seismic resistant structure.

Once the building is constructed it will house different offices of the UT that are presently working at different places in the city.

The new UT Secretariat building will be six-storeyed whereas, the existing secretariat is a five-storeyed building. It will be constructed between the existing Additional Deluxe building and the Chandigarh Housing Board building in Sector 9.

As per the Energy Conservation Building Code, norms for energy efficient design and construction of the building, the new structure will have several green building features like earth air tunnel forced ventilation system, evaporating cooling system, naturally lit and ventilation for comfortable ambience, central landscaped and courtyard planning to encourage the solar passive measures and maximising ventilation.



Laptop thieves on the prowl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Two incidents of laptop theft were reported today.In the first case, miscreants managed to take away the laptop when the car driver was changing the punctured wheel of the car here.

Yogesh Gara, a resident of Sector 20, complained that a bag containing laptop, internet dongle and some other documents was stolen from his vehicle at Sector 17.

Yogesh Gara, a Chartered Accountant, reported that he went to Sector 17 for some official work. But he noticed his car wheel was punctured. While the driver of Gara was changing the spare wheel with the punctured one, Gara went to visit the income tax office.

On returning, he realised that the bag was missing from his car. When Gara questioned the driver, he said that he went to the nearby petrol pump to repair the puncture as the spare wheel was also punctured.

A case has been registered in the incident and investigations are under progress.

In a separate incident, Shakshi Vij, staying at Hostel Number 6, Punjab University, reported that someone had stolen two laptops and one hand bag from her car PB-56C-0077. The student said the car was parked in front of Nik Bakers, Sector 9. The police are investigating. 



KBDAV told to refund fee to student
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
KBDAV School, Sector 7, has been directed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to refund the fee paid by a student who left the school soon after admission.

The forum has directed the school to also pay Rs 2,000 as compensation for mental agony and Rs 3,000 as costs of litigation to the complainant.

The complainant, daughter of Manoj Nandwani, a Panchkula resident, took admission in Class XI in KB DAV School and paid Rs 19,000 as annual dues and the fee for the quarter April 2013 to June 2013. She also deposited another amount of Rs7,950 as fee for the second quarter (July 2013 to September 2013). Subsequently, she got admission in another school and got the school leaving certificate and also deposited the fee in that school on July 6, 2013.

“Her grandfather visited KBDAV School for refund of the fee of August and September (the unattended period) but to no avail,” it was stated. Later, the opposite party only refunded the security amount Rs3,000.

In its written reply, the opposite party did not dispute that the complainant took admission with it and deposited the fee as alleged by her. “As per the rules, only the security of Rs 3,000 was to be refunded which was refunded to her on September13, 2013. The seat left by the complainant remained unfilled.” Admittedly, the complainant took admission with the opposite party in Class XI and deposited Rs.19,000, including the fee for the first quarter of April to June 13 as well as Rs.7,950 for the second quarter vide receipt dated July 6, 2013. The case of the complainant is that as she got admission in another school, therefore, she sought refund of the fee paid by her for the second quarter only i.e. July to September 2013. “To strengthen its case, the opposite party has not brought on record any document to prove that the seat left by the complainant remained unfilled resulting in loss to it.” 



school brawl
Accused student produced before juvenile court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Six days after a class X student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, was allegedly bashed by his seniors after school hours, one of the two accused was produced in the juvenile court today.

However, the accused, a class XII humanities student, was released on bail after furnishing bail bonds of Rs 13,000.

The incident had taken place on Thursday afternoon when victim Sachin was returning home after school hours, his seniors allegedly started bashing him up from the school gate and dragged him outside till the market until the locals intervened and saved the victim.

Though the victim had alleged that he was recklessly beaten up by more than 12 students, however, the school authorities had expelled only two students.

Victim’s father Devinder Singh said, “Six days on and the police have not been able to nab other students involved in the brawl.” 



toilet scam
OSD’s statements recorded 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Statements of the Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Municipal Corporation (MC,) was recorded today by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the ongoing investigations into the alleged favour given to M/s Selvel Media Pvt Ltd in the allotment of tenders for the maintenance of 86 public toilets and displaying advertisements on these between 2007 and 2012. Sources stated that OSD AK Dadwal was asked to appear before the CBI for recording his statements related to the case and answer several queries.

Dadwal’s statements can give a new direction to the case as he after getting the complaint regarding alleged favour given to the company, had served several notices to the company for recovery of the advertisement fee/tax.

Dadwal when contacted refused to comment on the issue. “Since the matter is under investigation I cannot comment ”, he said. 



Vodafone offers freebies for pre-paid customers

Chandigarh: Vodafone India today launched a new initiative for pre-paid customer base. ‘Every Recharge wins’ is an offer starting on July 24 and every Vodafone pre-paid customer who buys recharge coupons (top-up, bonus cards, plan vouchers) using any mode (retail outlets, Vodafone stores, online or M-Pesa) will be entitled to win an assured reward in the form of free additional voice minutes, internet or SMS. These benefits will be added to the normal benefits that a customer gets for a normal recharge.

Free online library

Function Space (www.functionspace.org), a social learning network for science and technology announced the launch of a unique library section to help students of under-graduate level in learning science. The platform offers a one-stop solution for learning science on the web, where different levels of knowledge coexist, interact and readers can help each other for better understanding. — TNS



Congress workers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 23
The Congress organised a dharna outside the District Administrative Complex today. The Congress workers were protesting against the failure of the SAD-BJP government in the state. They demanded scraping of property tax, protection of farmers’ interests and highlighting other issues.

The protesters raised slogans against the ruling alliance and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

Among those who addressed the gathering, organised by the District Congress Committee (DCC), were Mohali MLA and DCC president Balbir Singh Sidhu; Kharar MLA and former Punjab minister Jagmohan Singh Kang and former president of the DCC Rajinder Singh Rana.

Sidhu said the SAD-BJP combine had given an assurance to the people of the state during the Lok Sabha elections that once the NDA came to power at the Centre, property tax will be scrapped in Punjab. He said Prem Singh Chandumajra had won the elections by promising to the people that property tax would go, but that had not happened. This had created a lot of resentment among the residents. If the government was serious about rolling back property tax, it could have passed a resolution in this regard during the Vidhan Sabha session.

He said the Congress would strongly oppose the levying of property tax in the state.

The Mohali MLA also said the Congress will oppose the move of the state government to acquire farmers’ land at throwaway prices, thereby depriving them of their means of livelihood. He stated that Congress will compel the government to acquire such land only in accordance with the new Act cleared by the Central Government.

Sidhu further added that candidates who had lost the Assembly elections in the state had been made in-charge of halqas by the SAD. These persons were indulged in unconstitutional activities, giving benefits to their favourites and ignoring the interests of the people at large. If the government fails to put an end to such activities, the Congress will be hold more protests. 



Minor traced to Mumbai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
A minor who went missing on May 19 was traced to Mumbai by the Mohali police. The girl is a resident of Sector 90 and had left his home leaving a letter.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohali, Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said, “ We had sent a team to get the girl after Mumbai Police intimated us.”

A case of abduction was registered in the local police station after the mother of the girl lodged a complaint. 



Informer alleges raw deal by police
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
The Punjab Police have allegedly put its informer Lakhmir Singh’s, a resident of Palheri village, Mohali, life in danger by disclosing his name to drug mafia. He had provided information about drug mafia to the police.

“My fault was that I had given information about the operations of drug mafia to Khanna Police in April 2010. In reward the police had revealed my name to the mafia following which my life has become hell,” lamented Lakhmir Singh while talking to media persons.

Narrating his tale, Lakhmir Singh claimed that on his information the Khanna Police had recovered heroin worth Rs 4.5 crores and arrested few members of the mafia.

“I was promised by the police authorities of a handsome reward. To shock of my life, they (the police) disclosed my name to drug mafia, and now they are threatening me with life. As I could not attend my duty due to continuous threats, I also lost my job,” claimed Lakhmir Singh, who was working as a gatekeeper in Bhakhra Beas Management Board.

Lakhmir Singh also claimed that he was assured of security cover by Punjab DGP who had instructed Mohali Police in this regard.

“I have changed several houses to hide myself from the mafia but they are still chasing me,” alleged Lakhmir Singh.

Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said he would look into the case. “If required, we will provide security cover to Lakhmir Singh,” said SSP Bhatti.



LCD stolen from Civil Hospital 

Mohali, July 23
An LCD television was stolen from Mohali Civil Hospital.
The LCD was installed outside the room of senior medical officer (SMO) of the hospital, which houses a police post on its premises and also has private security.

The thief/thieves entered after breaking the grills of a window. The crime came to light when security personnel Balveer Kaur went to watch TV last night and found it missing. Notably, this is the second such incident as some thieves had also taken away an LCD from the hospital last year. — TNS



Another accused lands in police net
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
In Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer (retd) plot grab case, the Mohali police today arrested another key accused, Gurdip Singh, from Nawan Shahr.

The police nabbed Gurdip at the district court complex in Nawan Shahr where he had gone to attend hearing in some other case.

Confirming the development, Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said they got a tip-off that Gurdip Singh was going to attend a court hearing at Nawan Shahr in connection with a case of abduction. “We arrested him from there,” said the SSP, adding that the accused would be produced in a Mohali court tomorrow.

Gurdip Singh is said to be property dealer. He had worked in a bank and at a cyber café and was expert in preparing fake documents, said the police, adding that he had played the key role in preparing fake documents and opening a fake bank account in the name of Brigadier Heer.

It is also suspected that it was Gurdip Singh who had withdrawn Rs 25 lakh (showed as advance money in the property transaction) from the fake bank account opened at the SBI’s Phase X branch by introducing himself as one Rajbir Singh.

With the arrest of Gurdip Singh, the Mohali police have now arrested four accused in the case, including SAD local leader Harjinder Singh, Mohinder Singh and Aman.

Meanwhile, Harjinder Singh, whose two-day police remand ended today, has been sent to one-day police remand.

“My father was not aware that he was being made party to usurping of Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer’s plot,” claimed Ravneet Singh, son of Mohinder Singh who impersonated Brigadier Heer to open a fake account in the SBI’s Phase X branch.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ravneet Singh, along with his cousins Raminderjit Singh and Charanjit Singh, said theirs was a poor family and his father readied to pose Brigadier Heer only to get a loan of around Rs 6-7 lakh.

“The accused, including Harjinder Singh and Gurdip Singh, told my father that they would facilitate him in getting a loan from the bank. Later, they told my father that he would not be able to get the loan in his name and will have to impersonate Nawab Singh Heer, who they (Harjinder and Gurdip) claimed was their acquaintance,” claimed Ravneet Singh, adding that his father was not part of the conspiracy.

Ravneet also claimed that the fake signatures of Nawab Singh Heer on the documents were not his father’s. 

VIP treatment for accused SAD leader?

  • The Mohali police have apparently been giving VIP treatment to SAD leader Harjinder Singh, an accused in the case.
  • Harjinder was brought to the Mohali court in a swanky car (Ford Endeavour) instead of a police vehicle. He was produced in the court after his two-day police remand ended on Wednesday.



Differences in Congress’ city unit refuse to die
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Differences among Congress councillors once again came to the fore when a meeting of all councillors called by Mayor HC Kalyan to discuss the strategy for the forthcoming General House meeting, witnessed presence of only five councillors.

Including the Mayor, there are total 12 Congress councillors in the Municipal Corporation (MC).

The councillors who turned up for the meeting include Subhash Chawla, Sat Parkash Aggarwal, Satish Kainth, Gurbax Rawat and Poonam Sharma.

Sources in the party said that all the councillors were informed about the meeting.

“The meeting was convened to plan the strategy for the General House scheduled for July 28”, sources said.

It is not for the first time when differences among the Congress councillors have been witnessed.

Recently, during the launch of the toll-free helpline number for civic problems by Mayor HC Kalyan, only two Congress councillors turned up for the inauguration.

Infighting among the Congress councillors had resulted in the party’s defeat in the elections to the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor held in January this year.



Prof’s sacking flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The Chandigarh Confederation of Workers and Employees today condemned the termination of services of a contractual assistant professor (senior) from the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26 here.

A gate meeting was held at CCET and all employees unanimously resolved to go for a continuous agitation from tomorrow against the termination.



As election nears, Panchkula’s Sec 5 turns mini Jantar Mantar
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
Ahead of Assembly elections in the state, the Sector 5 of this city has become a mini ‘Jantar Mantar’ as several groups of protesters are agitating against the Haryana government and in support of their demands.

Sector 5 is the heart of Panchkula and sees maximum visitors as it has the only two malls of the city. One enters the sector finds agitators venting their ire against the government by going semi-naked or resorting to begging.

Presently, four groups of different departments of Haryana are agitating on the rear side of the Shiksha Sadan in Sector 5.

As many as 51 protesting members of the Patra Adhyapak Sangh got their hair sheared off today. The union is agitating here for the last four days. Seeking appointment letters, around 41 of as many as 150 protesters are on a hunger strike.

Then, there are members of the AI Workers Welfare Association protesting for the past nine days in support of their demands, including regularisation of their services. Some diploma engineers are also observing hunger strike for the last 10 days. They are seeking enhanced pay-scales. Further, PGT teachers are holding protest for the last 44 days. They claim that though they have been hired by the government, they had not received appointment letters.

To avoid any untoward incident, police force is deployed in strength in the area daily.

“The protests and the ways protesters adopt to voice their concerns blemishes the image of the city. The authorities concerned should hold talks with protesters and resolve the issues,” said Gauri Sinha, a resident of Sector 7. 



Enhanced compensation not paid
HUDA EO’s car attached
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
A local court today attached the official car of the Estate Officer of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) after the department failed to pay an enhanced compensation of Rs 40 lakh against land acquisition to a woman resident of Sector 2 here.

The court also ordered attachment of the official car of the Chief Controller Finance and the bank account of the HUDA. However, the orders would be implemented tomorrow.

Estate Officer Gurmeet Singh was in a meeting when he learnt that a team from the HUDA had arrived to take away his car bearing number HR 03 J 6190. Efforts made to avoid towing away of the vehicle proved futile. The car has now been parked on the court premises.

The case dates back to 1996 when the HUDA acquired one bigha of Sushil Singhal (64), a resident of Sector 2 here, in Nada Sahib. Later, owners of other lands acquired got the enhanced compensation but she was not left out.

“In October 2012, the court had ordered the HUDA to pay the amount. On July 8, when the court ordered the attachment, the HUDA officials sought five days but still failed to pay the amount,” said Sushil’s son Praveen Singhal.

This is not for the first time that the HUDA has faced attachment of vehicles. In February 2013, a court had attached the official cars of the then HUDA Chief Administrator, DPS Nagal, the then Panchkula HUDA Administrator (additional charge), Surjit Singh, and the then HUDA Estate Officer, Ashwini Sharma, for failing to comply with the court orders in a case pertaining to allotment of booth in Sector 15. Later, the officials complied with the directions and got their vehicles released. 



Balramji Das Tandon leaves for Chhattisgarh

Chandigarh, July 23
Newly appointed Governor of Chhattisgarh Balramji Das Tandon today left for the state along with his wife, son Sanjay Tandon, who is the president of BJP’s city unit, and other family members.

Tandon, who resides in Sector 18, will take oath as Governor on July 25.

“I never aimed for any position and perhaps, this is the reason that my party and the government have been kind to me,” he said. — TNS



Religious groups, artistes lock horns over ‘Dharamraj.com’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
The staging of play titled ‘Dharamraj.com’ took an ugly turn today as religious groups and theatre artistes locked their horns over staging of the play, here today.

According to information, the theatre artistes refused to stage their play in front of the three-member committee constituted by the UT Administration. The religious groups, on the other hand, demanded that one of their members should be made a part of the panel which would decide the fate of the play.

Following strong opposition from the religious groups on July 19, the theatre artistes were forced to cancel their play scheduled to be held at Tagore Theatre.

After two days of protest by the theatre artistes, the District Administration made a three-member committee to watch the play and decide if it could be staged in the city.

Opposing the decision of the Administration, the theatre artists held a meeting at the Punjab Kala Bhawan, where they decided that they would not screen the play for any committee.

The director of the play, Sangeeta Gupta, said “We will not do any screening for the committee. We have lost faith in the Administration due to the way they have behaved with us.”

She further claimed, “We will, however, definitely stage the play for others, come what may. We will use our constitutional right and will fight for it.”

Meanwhile, Punjab spokesman of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Vijay Singh Bhardwaj said, “We have demanded from the DC that one of our members should be made a part of the deciding committee. Also we should be shown the recommendations made by the committee.”

He further claimed that the religious groups including VHP, Bajrang Dal, followers of Asaram Bapu, Shiv Sena and others have decided that they would not allow the staging of the play and would lodge an FIR against the theatre artistes tomorrow.

At loggerheads

One of the members of the deciding committee is the treasury accounts person who is not related to theatre. The decision of the Administration is unfair. The play is made for public viewing and they should decide the fate of the play, said the director of the play, Sangeeta

The play is ought to hurt religious sentiments. It cannot be staged in the city, said Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, spokesman of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)




Check open defecation

City residents take pride in Chandigarh’s image as a clean and green city with broad roads, green belts, planned neighbourhood and attractive parks. However, morning walkers in Sector 21-D of the City Beautiful have to face an awkward situation as poor people putting up on the pavement across the road in Sector 22 cross over to Sector 21 to defecate in the open. The green belt turns into a stinky stretch and it becomes difficult to walk the track. The side lane in front of Hotel Aroma in Sector 22 gets crowded with people, including women and children, mainly rag pickers, at around 7 pm. They cook and sleep on the pavement and for easing out, just cross over to the other side of the road. Earlier, these people used to occupy the pavement in Sector 21 but shifted to the other side of the road after residents complained about it to the authorities concerned. Notably, the number of illegal occupants of public space is increasing. Officials in the UT Administration must take note of the problem before it becomes a menace.
Prof Rajesh Gill
, Chandigarh

Ending traffic woes

Traffic congestion on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh road can be lessened by creating two or three alternative routes. Secondly, the Punjab, Haryana and central governments can open their sub-offices either in Panchkula, Dera Bassi, Lalru, Banur, Rajpura or Zirakpur so that the number of commuters to Chandigarh falls. Opening of business centres, cinemas, hospitals and educational institutions in these areas will also help.
RK Katoch,



Student Council Elections
Three student parties announce panel
Tribune News Service

GGSU supporters raise slogans in support of Harman Virk, party’s presidential candidate, at the PU on Wednesday.
GGSU supporters raise slogans in support of Harman Virk, party’s presidential candidate, at the PU on Wednesday. 

Chandigarh, July 23
The Panjab University Student Centre was jam-packed this afternoon when three of the student political parties announced their election panels for the coming student council elections. Supporters of all three parties were raising slogans in support of their leaders.

Interestingly, a new party Gandhi Group Student Union (GGSU) was constituted today and they also announced their panel which was a surprise for the PU authorities and for students on the campus.

There was an undue rush of outsiders for the announcement of panels of their parties, which added to the woes of faculty and students. The security staff had a tough time to manage the huge traffic jam on the campus.

The PU chief security office was also flooded with phone calls about complaints from faculty members about vehicles parked haphazardly on the campus. The security staff failed to stop the car rally organised by the GGSU after the announcement of its panel, which created a traffic jam across the campus.

PU Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the GGSU did not take any permission from the authorities for the today’s event.

He said to avoid any such chaos in the future they have asked all parties to submit their leaders’ name for the code of conduct committee so that it would be drafted timely.

NSUI panel

The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) supervisor Rahul Inder Singh Bhattal, who was appointed by the All-India Congress Committee for Student Council Election announced its panel for the upcoming Panjab University student council election 2014. Party’s senior leaders Manoj Lubana and Bhupinder Singh Batth voluntarily resigned from their posts of president and chairman, respectively, to make way for the young leaders. The new panel announced today comprised of president Rimpey Brar, party president Hardeep Singh, chairman Amrinder Singh (captain), chief patron Simranjit Kaur Gill and state president Harpreet Singh (Kala).

HSA panel

The Hindustan Student Association (HSA) panel comprises of Sunil Gujjar as state chairman, state president Rajan Bains, election in charge (UT) Yogi Giri, party president Vishal Sharma and president of the student association Neeraj Kharb. The annoucement was made by HSA chairman Harpreet Singh Grewal.

GGSU panel

The Gandhi Group Student Union (GGSU) party was constituted in memory of a former student of University, late Rupinder Singh Gandhi, who was an active student leader. The party also announced its panel. Harman Virk was appointed as president, Baljit Singh state president and Amrinder Singh party in charge. Various student leaders from other parties like NSUI and SOI joined the organisation. The party also announced its unconditional alliance with the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) for the upcoming student council elections.



PU gets Rs 100-cr grant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
For excellence in teaching and research of Panjab University (PU), the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended special grants to its five departments under the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS).

The experts committee of the UGC has recommended grant worth crores to the departments of chemistry, physics, geography, biochemistry and biophysics.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover said the UGC-recommended grants would be released shortly.

He said for the chemistry department Rs 2.98 crore under the CAS-V, for the physics department Rs 2.84 crore and two project fellows under the CAS-V, for the biophysics department Rs 1.27 crore under the department of special assistance (DSA)-I scheme, for the geography department Rs 1.92 crore and one project fellow under the CAS-II and for the biochemistry Rs 1.25 crore and two project fellows would be released by the UGC.

Besides, the first instalment for meeting the maintenance expenses of the university of Rs 100 crore was also released today. The Vice-Chancellor has ensured the early release of the grant so that the functioning of the university was not adversely affected.

In the previous financial year, the first grant of Rs 110 crore was received in December 2013 and the second grant of Rs 53 crore was received in March 2014.

Professor Grover said new appointments had already been made in all CAS departments of the university.

The Vice-Chancellor said 40 regular, 121 temporary, seven contractual and 
52 guest faculty members had been appointed in the past four months.

Besides, three professors had been re-employed.

As many as 19 promotions had been made under the Career Advancement Scheme. Interviews for five regular faculty and one promotion under the Career Advancement Scheme had been conducted but result has been awaited for the same.

Interviews for 12 regular faculty members have also been scheduled.



MBBS Counselling
NRI seat kept vacant in view of High Court stay

Chandigarh, July 23
During the counseling for the 50 MBBS seats held today, one NRI seat was kept vacant in view of the pendency of the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision on whether the seat should be reserved for SC-NRI candidates.

Dr Harbir Sekhon, father of the eligible NRI candidate Kurron S Sekhon, has urged the GMCH to grant provisional admission to his son.

Director-Principal, GMCH-32, Dr Atul Sachdev said: “There is a HC stay on the seat and we cannot admit anyone until there are clear directions.”

The HC stay was being wrongly interpreted by the GMCH authorities, alleged Dr Sekhon. In counseling for admission to the BDS course in Dr HS Judge Institute of Dental Sciences, six students were admitted and out of the 100, 46 seats were left vacant. — TNS



Govt schools to have English section for each class
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
In a bid to bridge the gap between the teacher-student ratio in government schools and to meet the growing demand for English medium studies, the Education Department has planned to make one English section for every class in non-model government schools from the next academic session.

The department authorities said though the average student-teacher ratio of the UT is 1:50, in some model schools it is almost 1:80 as parents and even students prefer getting enrolled in English medium model schools rather than others.

Education secretary Sarvjit Singh said: “Seeing the growing demand and enthusiasm among students and parents in opting for English medium and to maintain equal distribution of students in all schools, the department has planned to create one English section for each class in all non-model government schools based on the pattern of model schools. However, admission to the new section will be done only on a merit basis.”

He said the department had planned to construct new classrooms as well in order to meet the growing demand for more infrastructure.

The department officials said English sections was being introduced in around 30 government high and senior secondary schools of Sectors 11, 15, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35, 38, 40, 41, 45, 46, 47, Karsan, Kaimbwala, Dhanas, Behlana, Mauli Jagran, Raipur Kalan, Behlana, Manimajra Town, Raipur Khurd, Hallo Majra, besides others.

However, a few educationalists said by adding English sections to non-government schools, the gap between the student-teacher ratio would not get affected much as the general perception was that model schools were better, hence until and unless the mindset is changed there would be no difference in the ratio and students will prefer to get enrolled only in model schools.



from schools
Students pledge to donate blood

The senior wing of the Panchari house of Tribune Model School, Sector 29, Chandigarh, adopted the cause of blood donation and held a special assembly in its premises. The school authorities said through speeches, skits and poems the students were sensitised and pledged to motivate their elders to donate blood.

Jamun day celebrated

Students of the Institute for the Blind celebrate Jamun Day at Sector 26 in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Students of the Institute for the Blind celebrate Jamun Day at Sector 26 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. tribune photo: S chandan

Fieldman Farmfresh in collaboration with the Sohanjana Eco Club of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector-46D, and Sarpgandha Eco Club of GMSSS, Sector-16D, celebrated Jamun Day at the Institute For the Blind at Sector-26,on Wednesday. Around 175 students of the Institute For the Blind participated in the function. Sudesh Raghav, principal of GMSSS-46D, and Anujit Kaur, principal of GMSSS-16D, spoke about the benefits of eating Jamun.

Music competition

Desh Bhagat Global School organised a music competition for its students. In this competition, students of Classes I to VIII participated and showed their talent. The competition was divided into two categories - vocal and instrumental. School Principal Manjinder Kaur Kalsi said the school was regularly organising such competitions to explore the hidden talent of the students. She appreciated the performance of students as well as the efforts of music teachers. Chairman Desh Bhagat Group of Institutions and Chancellor Desh Bhagat University Dr Zora Singh applauded the efforts made by the school team. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |