C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Illegal charging of VAT, service tax by hotels, restaurants
HC puts UT on notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Acting on a petition alleging illegal charging of both VAT and service tax on hundred per cent billed amount by hotels and restaurants in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to both the states and the UT.

Taking up the petition filed in public interest by the Sukhmani Foundation against the Union of India and other respondents through counsel Munish Kapila, the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu also fixed December 9 as the next date of hearing in the matter. In its petition, the foundation contended that the hotels and restaurants in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana were fleecing innocent customers by charging value added tax and service tax on “overlapping value”.

It claimed that the practice led to double taxation. Quoting an example, the petitioner said in case of a customer billed for Rs100, service tax was chargeable on 40 per cent of the bill value. On the other hand, VAT was to be charged on 60 per cent of the food bill. But VAT was charged on the full value of the bill. It added there were bills which showed customers being charged VAT and service tax on 100 per cent of the billed amount. The petitioner added: “The excise and taxation authorities of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, and the service tax authorities of the Union, have failed to address the issue of public importance, despite this being highlighted time and again by the media.Seeking directions to the respondents to check the fleecing of public at large by the hotel and restaurant owners, the petitioner also prayed for directions to stop the menace of double taxation. Directions were also sought to regulate the levy of service tax and value added tax; and to bring transparency in the manner of levying of taxes.It also prayed for directions to “government authorities to recover the excess tax charged by the hotel and restaurant owners from the consumers and to deposit this with the appropriate government authorities in a dedicated fund who may apply this excess portion for the disaster relief, public benefit”.



Need to improve facilities in govt schools: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today emphasised the need to improve infrastructural facilities in government schools across the city.

As a petition filed in public interest by Gurbir Singh Sekhon through counsel Vishal Aggarwal against the Central Board of Secondary Education and other respondents came up for hearing, the Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu verbally observed in the Open Court that there was a dire need to improve facilities and infrastructure in government schools.

The Bench said the need for carrying out improvements was evident from the fact that parents were admitting children to private schools instead of government schools. The UT Administration, on a previous date of hearing, had filed an affidavit stating that “all necessary facilities are provided to every government school in Chandigarh”. The details of the facilities were also furnished along with the photographs.

Aggarwal, on the other hand, submitted that the things are not as “hunky-dory” as were tried to be projected in the affidavit.

The High Court had later sought comparative details “as to how much fee is being charged by private schools as comparable to the same classes in government schools”.

The High Court had also called for details regarding “how much salary is being paid to teachers in private schools vis-à-vis teachers in government schools” and what were “their qualifications in comparison to teachers working in government schools”.

In its detailed order, the High Court had added: “After hearing counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the only issue which is sought to be raised is that the government schools of Chandigarh should be able to give quality education. This, in turn, implies the quality infrastructure, other facilities and adequate teaching staff of requisite experience. The administration has filed an affidavit showing how well four government schools are being run. If it is so, we are sure that this will be a model to be replicated in other schools that are stated to be lacking in providing quality education. The task will be to see that all government schools are run in the same fashion as these four schools…”

“We are of the view that as a first step if a committee is constituted by the administration of some eminent educationists and part of the administration to oversee the functioning of the schools and point out deficiencies by periodic inspections, at least some part of the problem can be addressed,” the court said.



stabbing incident
Retd Colonel sent to judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 18
Col Gobind Bakshi (retd), who is accused of attempt to murder a policeman, was arrested after he was discharged from the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, this morning. The police produced him before a local court, which remanded him to judicial custody.

Colonel Bakshi had allegedly stabbed Balwinder Singh, a head constable of the Punjab Police, with a knife and then inflicted injures to himself at Bollywood Heights, a housing society in Peer Muchalla, on Tuesday afternoon.

Colonel Bakshi, a resident of the society, was accused of creating a ruckus in full public view while brandishing a knife under the influence of liquor.

Balwinder Singh, who sustained serious injuries, was rushed to the PGI in Chandigarh while the accused was admitted to the Civil Hospital.

A case under Sections 307, 324, 323, 333, 156, 354, 299, 509, 309 and 511 of the IPC was registered against Colonel Bakshi at the Zirakpur police station.

Meanwhile, head constable Balwinder Singh was also discharged from the PGI, Chandigarh, today.



graft case against DSP bains
Bank managers record statements
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 18
The managers of the Ludhiana branches of the Oriental Bank of Commerce today recorded their statements as prosecution witnesses in the corruption case involving DSP Gurbans Singh Bains.

In the court of Mohali additional district and sessions judge Tarsem Mangla, the manager of OBC’s Ferozepore Road branch, Ashwani Kumar, and the manager of Milkh Ganj Road branch RS Mata were produced as prosecution witnesses. Both the managers stated that the police team had confiscated Rs 20 lakh from the bank account and lockers belonging to the accused DSP.

The court has fixed September 30 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Notably, the charges have been framed in the case during the previous hearing on August 29. The police had presented a challan in the case on May 23, which is being termed as ‘very weak’.

The Inspector General of Police, Zone I, Patiala, had dismissed Bains from service on March 27 after a case under Sections 7/8/13 (1)(a)(d)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120 B of the IPC was registered against him at the Mataur police station and another case under the Arms Act was registered at the Patiala Civil Lines police station.

According to highly-placed sources, top officials in the state government now wanted to revoke the dismissal of Bains.



Cheating case: Directors of construction firm booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Chandigarh has booked Manohar Singh and Tarinder Singh, both Directors of Manohar Infrastructure and Constructions, for cheating Bharat Bhushan Sharma, a resident of Sector 43, of around Rs 4.67 crore on the pretext of providing him land at Dhanoura village near Mullanpur, Mohali.

Sharma, who runs a business in the name of RRS Developers and Sharma Construction Company, in his complaint to the police, he had alleged that the directors of Manohar Infrastructure and Constructions had approached him in 2011 offering him to invest in their company, which was planning to purchase a large chunk of land in Dhanoura village. The complainant alleged that he was assured 15,000 sq yards against the payment of Rs 22 crore.

Sharma alleged that he made a payement of Rs 4.76 through a cheque and demand drafts on various occasions.

Sharma claimed that despite making the payments, the directors of the company failed to provide him the land and nor did they return him the money.

After an investigation, the police registered a case against the duo under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC.



Two more snatching incidents reported from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
Tall claims made by the Chandigarh Police to step up patrolling in the city in a bid to check incidents of snatchings seems to have fallen flat as two more snatching incidents were reported in the city on Wednesday. Interestingly, four snatching incidents were reported on September 15, while another snatching incident was reported on September 16.

Chanderika Chadha, a resident of Sector 18-C, alleged that two unidentified motorcycle-borne miscreants, fled after snatching her purse containing two mobile phones, a wrist watch and Rs 3,500 and a bunch of keys near Radha Krishan Mandir, Sector 18. A case at the Sector 19 police station has been registered.

In the second incident, Meenu Lothiya, a resident of Sector 46-A, fell a victim to snatchers while she was walking towards her house. The motorcycle-borne youths snatched her purse containing Rs 600, ATM card, driving licence and mobile phone, near the Church, Sector 46. A case has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

Police officials stated that the complainants failed to note down the registration numbers of the motorcycles.

Blaming the Chandigarh Police for the failure to curb snatching incidents, Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, Federation of Sector Welfare Association, Chandigarh (FOSCWA), said it was high time, the Police Department introspected. “Pedestrians, especially woman, are not safe in the city as they often fall prey to such incidents”, he stated.



PCA stadium witnesses low turnout
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Fans enjoy a match between Kings XI Punjab and Hobart Hurricanes at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Thursday
Fans enjoy a match between Kings XI Punjab and Hobart Hurricanes at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, September 18
As expected, the opening match of the Kings XI Punjab in the CLT-20 witnessed a low turnout at the PCA Stadium here this evening.

Unlike IPL matches, the Kings XI side received good response from the spectators during their first match against Hobart Hurricanes. The stadium wore a deserted look. However, the chair block witnessed some fans enjoying the match.

Also, the activity outside the stadium remained a low-pitch affair with people getting easy access without halting at the barricade.

“People like to see faces rather than observing cricket. IPL is a hit as many well-known players take participate in it. Hence, we are already expecting a low turnout in these matches. In Saturday’s match, people might turn up in good number,” said a PCA official during a formal conversation.

On the other hand, the cheerful mood of the audience went diminished when Virender Sehwag lost his wicket on the very first ball of the Kings XI innings.

“We just came to see Sehwag’s game but he returned to the pavilion on the very first ball. It’s no use coming here and waiting to see the Kings XI innings,” said a group of Army personnel from Chandimandir.

“The Kings XI played under pressure and with Sehwag losing his wicket early, the match became tougher for them,” said Kehav and Prtiyga from another group.

The usual food business inside the stadium also hit a new low, with the less turnout.

Highlights of the day

  • No arrangements of halogen lights at security check points
  • The newly build hockey stadium converted into VIP car-parking zone
  • Business inside and outside the stadium hits a new low
  • Unlike in the IPL, no special ticket counter was set up by local franchisee Kings XI



Ludhiana college lift baseball title
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The baseball team of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, won the Panjab University Inter-College Baseball Championship for Women (A division), for the session 2014-15.

The baseball championship concluded on the Panjab University campus grounds in Chandigarh today.

The GGS College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh, secured the runner-up position while the team of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, attained the third spot in the championship.

The team of Ramgharia Girls’ College, Ludhiana, ended their campaign on the fourth position.

In the last league matches played today, the team of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, defeated Ramgarhia Girls’ College, Ludhiana, 7-3.

In another match of the tournament, the GGS College for Women, Chandigarh, Sector 26, overpowered the Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, 4-3.



SGGSC-26 spikers emerge victorious in league matches
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
In the ongoing Panjab University Inter-College Volleyball Championship for Men (A-division), the team of SGGS College, Sector 26, won their both league matches held here today.

In the first match, the spikers of SGGS College registered a marginal 3-2 win over Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, Ludhiana (3-2). In a see-saw battle, the winning side won the first set (25-19). However, in the second set went down 20-25. In the third set, the SGGS lads again had a upper hand with (25-16).

However, the Ludhiana side levelled the score by claiming the fourth set (16-28). In the last set, the SGGS team held their nerves and managed to claim the decider set (18-16).

In the second league match, the SGGS side defeated DAV College, Hoshiarpur, (3-1). The winners won the match 25-17, 20-25, 25-23 and 25-20.

On the other hand, the PU Campus side had a mixed day. The team won their match against DAV College, Hoshiarpur, 3-1 (25-16, 28-26, 25-27, 25-18) while tasted defeat against Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-25).



Handball trials today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The Chandigarh Handball Association will organise selection trials to shortlist junior boys’ team for participating in the 37th Junior National Handball Championship to be held at Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) from October 7 to 12.

Local players born on or after January 2,1995, are eligible to participate in the trials to be held at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, here, on September 19 (3.30 pm) in proper sports kit.



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