Records go ‘missing’, yet enhancements computed; Whether the issue of enhancement is disturbing the citizens?
Information panel asks HSVP to lodge FIR against official
The Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) issued notices of “hefty and erroneous” enhancement costs to allottees of Sector 3 in Fatehabad and when a resident sought information under the RTI Act regarding price fixation of plots, it replied that the file was not traceable.
Hearing appeal of information seeker Gagan Bajaj, an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the State Information Commission has directed the HVSP to initiate action against the delinquent official and lodge an FIR against him.
A month after the HSVP (erstwhile HUDA) sent “hefty and erroneous” notices of allottees in Fatehabad in September last year, Bajaj moved an RTI plea seeking copy of price fixation policy, price fixation formula, final price worked out by HUDA, rates approved by price fixation committee, stock inventory of all commercial and other saleable sites in the sector etc.
While Bajaj received information on some points, he was informed that the file was not traceable in the record in reply to the final price worked out and rates approved by the price fixation committee.
Smelling a rat as to how HUDA could reach a figure for enhancements when the file pertaining to price fixation is missing, Bajaj filed an appeal before the State Information Commission.
Chief Information Commissioner Yash Pal Singhal observes that the sought information relates to record which is permanent in nature. The explanation given by the respondents is not acceptable. The information sought by the appellant needs to be furnished to him.
“The commission recommends to the Chief Administrator, HSVP, Panchkula, that if any record is not available relating to this RTI application, then appropriate action be initiated against the delinquent as per the applicable service rules. If any mala fide is proved for misplacing the records then FIR be registered against the delinquent official with the police under intimation to the commission latest by September 28,” the order reads.
Notably, it is not the first instance where the HVSP has informed information seekers that the records were untraceable.
In a similar matter, then State Information Commissioner Urvashi Gulati had ordered registration of an FIR in 2014.
However, when information was recently sought as to whether any letter has been written so far to the police to lodge the FIR, the HVSP had replied in the negative.
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HSSC cash-for- job scam: First accused gets bail; Will the bail of the accused in the scam?
In the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) cash-for-job scam, the Panchkula court has granted bail to accused Sukhwinder, who was working as assistant with the HSSC.
Recently SIT of the Haryana Police had filed a charge-sheet against nine accused in the Panchkula court.
Sukhwinder is the first accused who has got bail in the cash-for-job scam.
The SIT had filed the charge-sheet against Subhash Sharma, who was heading the confidentiality branch of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) when the alleged scam took place, besides another Subhash of the HSSC, assistants Anil Kumar, Rohtash Sharma and Sukhwinder, and IT cell employee of the HSSC Puneet Saini, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) employee Balwan, former manpower provider Dharminder and Irrigation Department assistant Surender Kumar.
The police had lodged an FIR against the accused on April 5 in the Sector 5 police station under Sections 166, 167, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IT Act.
The SIT has already submitted the call records of all accused before the Panchkula court in a sealed cover.
The Haryana Chief Minister’s flying squad had arrested the accused on April 5. The scam is linked to the appointment of drivers, clerks and nurses against posts advertised by the commission over one-and-a-half-year ago.
Two minors raped in Hisar; Are the girls safe in Haryana?
Teacher assaults Class III girl, while father violates teenager
A student of primary government school was allegedly raped by her class teacher at a village of the Narnaund region of the district. The incident occurred on Friday. The accused teacher, Satyawan, was arrested soon after the family lodged a complaint on night.
Enraged over the incident, the villagers on Monday locked the school and demanded immediate suspension of the accused teacher and transfer of the entire school staff.
The DSP, Narender Kadian, rushed to the spot and placated the protesters.
The victim, a Class III student, told her parents that the class teacher took her to a toilet of the school on Friday during school hours and committed the crime.
The teacher allegedly threatened the girl that he would strike off her name from the school if she revealed the incident to anybody.
When the girl complained of pain on Sunday evening, her parents took her to a doctor, who informed the parents that the girl had been raped. Later, after counselling the girl revealed the incident.
District Education Officer Baljeet Sehrawat said the accused teacher had been suspended and they had also recommended termination of his services to the higher authorities. He also accepted the demand for transfer of other staff as well.
In another incident, a 13-year-old girl, a student of Class VIII, alleged that she was repeatedly raped by her father in a village in the Barwala block of the district.
The accused is father of three girls – the youngest is three years of age. His wife is suffering from paralysis, thus unable to move.
The accused’s wife heard screams of her daughter who returned home from her aunt’s house recently. She saw her husband (victim’s father) sexually assaulting the girl.
The woman informed her sister about the incident. During counselling, the girl revealed that her father sexually assaulted her first time in March 2017. Afterwards, she left home and started living with her mother’s sister in another village of the Agroha block of the district. But whenever she had to return home for some work, her father used to rape her.
The victim’s aunt informed the village sarpanch, who called the police. Police spokesperson Harish Bhardwaj said the police on Monday arrested the father and produced him in a local court, which remanded him in judicial custody.
Pollution board orders closure of 8 industrial units in Panipat; Whether it is necessary for industries to shut down industries?
Directs UHBVN to disconnect power supplies to industries
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has ordered the closure of eight industrial units in the district for violating norms. The CPCB directed the UHBVN to disconnect power connections of these units.
Sources said that teams of the CPCB had raided various industrial units in May to assess the adequacy of the existing pollution control measures under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
On May 14, the team raided Shivalik Prints and Shree Krishna Industries in the industrial area, but found the units closed.
On May 17, the teams raided Naveen Processors in Phase-1 here and RKH Handicraft (P) Limited in Sector 25 (Part-2) and both the units were found closed. The team inspected NK Fastner in Samalkha and the unit was found violating the pollution control norms. The team also visited Mittal Steels in the industrial area, Samalkha, and found the unit functioning without the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and untreated waste was being discharged into the open.
On May 21, the team raided Prakash Woolen Mills in the industrial area, but the unit, too, was found closed.
On May 24, the CPCB team visited VSP Enterprises on the Chulkana road near Kiwana village and found the ETP non-operational and effluent was found overflowing outside the unit.
On the basis of the report submitted by the inspecting teams, CPCB Chairman SP Parihar directed to close down all eight industrial units. The chairman also ordered that the units should not resume operation until permission was obtained for the same from the CPCB.
The CPCB also directed the MD, UHBVN, to disconnect industrial electricity connections of these units and supply power only for the domestic and security purposes.
- May 14, CPCB team raids Shivalik Prints and Shree Krishna Industries and finds the units closed.
- May 17, teams raid Naveen Processors and RKH Handicraft (P) Limited, but find the units closed. The team inspects NK Fastner in Samalkha and finds the unit violating pollution control norms.
- May 17, the team visits Mittal Steels in the industrial area, Samalkha, and finds the unit functioning without the Effluent Treatment Plant.
- May 21, team raids Prakash Woolen Mills in the industrial area and finds the unit, too, closed.
- On May 24, team visits VSP Enterprises near Kiwana village and finds the ETP non-operational.
Rein in sexual harassment at workplace, govt reminds depts; Is safety of women necessary?
With several government departments not showing seriousness in effective implementation of laws related to sexual harassment of women at workplace, the state government has yet again drawn their attention towards the issue.
Raja Sekhar Vundru, Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development Department, on Monday wrote to administrative secretaries of all departments on the issue.
“The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, came into force on December 9, 2013. The state government has notified deputy commissioners as district officers to exercise powers and discharge functions under the Act,” says Vundru’s letter.
Drawing attention of the administrative secretaries towards the writ petition —Initiative for Inclusion Foundation Vs Union of India — pending in the Supreme Court, the letter says the petitioner has prayed that all states and union territories should implement the Act and rules made under it without any further delay.
With the letter, a brief note highlighting relevant sections of the Act has also been sent to the departments.
Earlier in February, the Women and Child Development Department had written to all DCs asking them to constitute Local Complaints Committees (LCCs) in their respective districts.
Sources said most DCs have already constituted LCCs in their respective districts and appointed nodal officers under Section 6 of the Act. However, many departments, boards, corporations and other bodies are yet to take such measures.
Notably, even the office of the Chief Secretary did not have a LCC in place when a woman IAS officer used Facebook with a complaint of sexual harassment against her boss last month.
It was only after media reports on the issue and the Haryana State Commission for Women took cognisance of the matter that a committee was constituted under Additional Chief Secretary Navraj Sandhu.
Vundru said the Women and Child Development Department was in the process of making a calendar for organising workshops in departments, board and corporations so that awareness could be created on various provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act.
He said under the Act, the government also has power to authorise any officer to make inspection of records and workplace in relation to sexual harassment, who would submit a report of such inspection to it within period specified in the order.