05052018-TTC-01.qxd 05-05-2018 01:43 Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday, may 5, 2018 ! late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 123 | 50 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd HCvacancies:Govt, SC have a go at each other INSIDE HIMACHAL PRADESH Murder accused hotelier in five-day police custody Solan: Hotelier Vijay Singh, who allegedly shot dead a Town and Country Planning woman officer at Kasauli recently, was produced in a court on Friday that remanded him in five-day police custody. A police team also recovered the murder weapon used by the accused from behind the guest house. No bullets were found in the .32 bore revolver. PAGE 8 Executive vs judiciary plays out over appointments Satya Prakash Tribune News Service NATION Karnataka poll: BJP promises loan waiver, cow protection Bengaluru: From loan waiver and other sops to farmers, freebies like laptops for students and smartphones for BPL women to a commission for cow protection, the BJP on Friday made a plethora of promises in its manifesto for the Karnataka Assembly poll to reach out to various sections. The party said Rs 1.5 lakh crore would be spent on irrigation projects and farm loan waiver. PAGE 7 BUSINESS GSTN to be converted into govt entity, says Jaitley New Delhi: The GST Council on Friday approved converting the private firm providing IT backbone to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) into a governmentowned entity. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the council had decided that the 51 per cent equity held by private entities in GST-Network (GSTN) be taken over by the government. PAGE 18 Today’s issue consists of 50 pages, including 4-page The Tribune Trends, 6-page additional pullout, 8-page Chandigarh Tribune, 6-page Life+Style and 4-page additional marketing pullout. ORDER, ORDER: Justice Madan B Lokur (L) — among the four SC judges who “rebelled” against the CJI — greets Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (R) during the farewell function of Justice RK Agrawal (C) in New Delhi on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL Plea:Death penalty cold-blooded killing NIRBHAYA SC reserves verdict on review petitions of convicts facing death Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 4 Convicts in the December 16, 2012, gangrape case on Friday pleaded for mercy before the Supreme Court, which reserved its verdict on the review petitions of two of the four convicts staring at the gallows. Requesting a three-judge Special Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to spare them the gallows, their counsel AP Singh said “Death penalty is cold-blooded killing in the name of justice.” Singh, who represented convicts Vinay Kumar and Pawan Kumar, pleaded that they were young men coming from poor families who should be given a chance to reform. “Execution kills criminals and not the crime,” he submitted. “They are not habitual offenders and have no past criminal records… the court must allow them to be reformed,” Singh told the Bench, which also included Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan. Singh’s submission was Cong Shahkot nominee booked Mehatpur SHO says acted against Laddi on EC plaint; SSP calls it faux pas Deepkamal Kaur Tribune News Service Jalandhar, May 4 Less than 24 hours after the Congress declared Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia as the party candidate for the Shahkot Assembly seat, he was booked by the Mehatpur police for alleged involvement in illegal mining after the Election Commission of India (ECI) received a complaint in this regard. The Punjab Government and the state police were left red-faced. Senior officials were incommunicado for most part of the day. Upbeat, the Akalis organised protests, demanding that Laddi be arrested forthwith. The development is a big setback for Laddi’s mentor Rana Gurjit Singh, who had to resign from the Cabinet about three months ago amid reports of his alleged links with the mining mafia. Laddi, his cousin Ashwinder Singh of Malsian and contractor Surjeet Singh have been booked under Sec- WON’T CHANGE CANDIDATE, ASSERTS CONG New Delhi: Ruling out the possibility of changing its candidate for the Shahkot Assembly bypoll, the Congress on Friday said Hardev Singh Laddi would continue as its nominee. On the FIR against him, a party official responded: “One, it shows how democratic our Congress-led govHardev S Laddi ernment in Punjab is. Two, an FIR is not a proof of guilt. People can file FIRs but what’s written in there is not always the truth. It is a political battle and we believe we should fight it politically in the field.” TNS TWISTS AND TURNS SINCE 4.26 AM ■ SHO of Mehatpur Inspector PS Bajwa files FIR at 4.26 am, copy goes viral on social media ■ Leaves cellphone in office, disappears; an hour later, a copy of his resignation appears on social media PS Bajwa ■ His withdrawal letter too surfaces on the social media; SHO claims he had quit due to “domestic stress” ■ Says he had changed his mind and that he had to process complaint from ECI within 24 hours ■ SSP, Jalandhar-Rural, calls it a faux pas; SHO to face inquiry for indiscipline tion 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Section 379 (theft) of the IPC. A copy of the FIR (no. 52) went viral on the social media. Curiously, the SHO of the Mehatpur station, Inspector Parminder Singh Bajwa, who lodged the FIR at 4.26 am, left his phone in the office and went off. An hour later, a copy of his resignation, addressed to SSP Jalandhar (Rural), appeared on the social media. Then came his withdrawal letter, also on the social media, in which the SHO claimed he had quit because of “domestic stress” and had now changed his mind. “Since the complaint came from the ECI and the election code was in place, it had to be processed within 24 hours, hence the FIR. No arrest will be made as of now as the complaint may be politically motivated. An inquiry will, however, be held,” the SHO’s letter read. Two days ago, the ECI had received a complaint from Mohan Singh, general secretary, Brick Kiln Labourers Union (CPI-M), Malri village, Nakodar, alleging: “The contractor and Congress halqa in-charge Laddi have been excavating even the panchayat land in Kaimwala village for mining purposes. Illegal mining is being carried out by the two in Raipur Gujjran, Gauswal, Chholia, Baloki, Burhewal, Khurlapur, Chak Bahmanian, Pipli Mehni, continued on page 7 edit: The Shahkot case Addicts in misery as rehab centres idle Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service PUNJAB’S WAR ON DRUGS HEALTH Policy issues render govt institutes waste, pvt centres make hay on shoddy service Chandigarh, May 4 In the last two years of its rule, the SAD-BJP government spent around Rs 100 crore to build a chain of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres across the state, but there seemed to be no plan to bring in the patients. The result is that over the past one year of Congress rule, which in its manifesto promised “an elaborate policy of rehabilitation”, the centres have become ghost buildings with even fewer patients. On the other hand, private drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres are treating more patients than their bed strength. The Congress inherited 37 de-addiction centres built at a cost of Rs 27 crore, of which 32 are functional today. There were also 22 rehabilitation centres built at a cost of Rs 62 crore, of which 20 are functional. While de-addiction centres treat the patients medically, rehabilitation centres aim to engage them in social or productive activities. Over the past year, the 32 functional drug de-addiction centres have offered treatment to around 8,000 addicts; an average of 247 in a year per centre. The work done per centre has seen a drop of around 50 per cent since the time of the SADBJP government. According to experts, this number is far below expected in proportion to the drug addiction prevalence in the state. Govt vs private centres When it comes to intervention, for the past six months, the main emphasis of the Health Department has been on opening ‘Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres, which provide free-of-cost medicines, including buprenorphine, to addicts. After the opening of 26 OOAT centres in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Moga districts, the government also announced that all districts in the state will be covered. continued on page 7 countered by senior counsel and Special Prosecutor Siddharth Luthra, who said it was the rarest of the rare case and the convicts should be sent to the gallows. The top court had on May 5, 2017, upheld a Delhi High Court verdict confirming the death penalty awarded by the trial court to Mukesh Kumar (29), continued on page 7 New Delhi, May 4 The tussle between the government and the judiciary over judicial appointments played out in the Supreme Court on Friday, with each accusing the other of not discharging its functions to fill a huge number of vacancies. As a Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur charged the government with sitting over recommendations for appointment of judges in high courts, Attorney General KK Venugopal countered it, accusing the collegium of recommending just a few names for high courts with a larger number of vacancies. The development came on a day when Justice RK Agrawal of the Supreme Court retired, taking the vacancies in the top court to seven. The sanctioned strength is 31. With five more judges due to retire this year, the vacancy situation was likely to deteriorate further. Interestingly, there was no recommendation for appointment in the Supreme Court pending with the government after it returned the name of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph for reconsideration. “The collegium will have to see the broad picture and recommend more names… Some HCs have 40 vacancies and recommendation of the collegium is only for three. And the government is being told that we are tardy in filling up the vacancy. If there is no collegium recommendation, nothing can be done,” Venugopal told the Bench. “Non-recommendation does not give you (government) liberty to sit over names sent to you long back,” said the Bench, which also included Justice Deepak Gupta, reminding the government that it had to make the appointments. “Tell us, how many names are pending with you?” the Bench asked Venugopal, who said, “I will have to find out.” The judges took offence to it, saying, “This is the problem with you (government). When it comes to attacking the judiciary, you have all the data. But when it comes to the government, you say you don't have the figures.” The Bench was hearing a transfer petition from the Manipur High Court, where there were only two judges against the sanctioned strength of seven. Having lost his case before a Single Bench, the petitioner had moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of his case to the Gauhati High Court as it was not possible to form a Division Bench without including the Single Judge who had dismissed his case. The senior judge is also the Acting Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court. As the Bench asked him about the pending recommendation regarding appointment of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar as the Chief Justice of the Manipur HC, the Attorney General said the appointment would be notified shortly. “Shortly means three months?” the Bench asked. “Please call for the matter again after 10 days. It will be done,” Venugopal replied. Maintaining that it did not want to go into the larger picture, the Bench asked the government to file an affidavit in 10 days regarding appointments in high courts in the North-East. “People in the North-East are suffering… what are they supposed to do? They come to Delhi before us, to say that please transfer our case to other high courts. They spend money for this,” the Bench said. At one point during the hearing, Venugopal said the National Judicial Appointments Commission was a better option.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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