PUNJAB CM GREETS PEOPLE ON THE OCCASION
OF CHHATH PUJA
Chandigarh November 2, 2008
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today extended
his warm greetings to the people from Bihar in particular and other
parts of the country in general settled in Punjab on the auspicious
occasion on the Chhath Puja.
In a message the Chief Minister said that India was a country
bestowed with a unique feature of 'unity in diversity' where people
of different faiths, religions and casts celebrate their festivals
in unison and perfect harmony. He hoped that the sacred occasion
of Chhath Puja would offer an opportunity to further strengthen
the bonds of Integrity, Compassion, Goodwill and Brotherhood to
demonstrate the true spirit of secularism . He appealed the people
to celebrate this auspicious occasion rising above the parochial
consideration of cast, color and creed.
PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT TO LAUNCH
MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION
CENTRES IN 17 DISTRICTS
3 Permanent Lok Adalats also to be inaugurated on 8th November
Chandigarh, November 4, 2008
In an effort to institutionalize Alternative Dispute Resolution
and explore possibilities of settlements of disputes by parties
themselves, the Punjab & Haryana High Court is poised to launch
Mediation and Conciliation Centres, aptly called "Sampoorna
Samadhan Kendras" in 17 District Courts in the States of Punjab
and Haryana from 8th November 2008. Simultaneously, 3 Permanent
Lok Adalats are also slated to function from that day in the Punjab
& Haryana High Court.
Giving details, a spokesperson for the Punjab Legal Services Authority
stated that Mediation and Conciliation along with Arbitration and
Lok Adalats have emerged as important alternate means of conflict
resolution in the recent past. Mediation is a process in which an
impartial or neutral third party assists disputants in finding a
mutually acceptable solution. Besides being participatory, it is
both voluntary and confidential. It revolves around the willingness
of the parties to resolve their disputes and the skills of the mediator
to guide parties towards and acceptable settlement.
Elaborating further, he stated that Mediation differs significantly
from both litigation and arbitration. In the latter cases, the decision
is subject to be challenged by way of appeal or otherwise. Further
unlike litigation and arbitration, the Mediator does not give his
or her own judgment about the dispute. In Mediation, parties are
encouraged to end their disputes on a voluntary basis. While Mediation
should ideally precede litigation, parties are at liberty to opt
for it at any stage of litigation. The services of Mediation can
be used by parties directly or through a reference by the Court.
If mediation fails, the rights of the litigants before the Court
remain intact and they can avail of the remedies available to them
under the law.
The spokesperson informed that Section 89 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908 makes it obligatory for the Court to give a fair
chance to a conciliated or negotiated settlement before adjudication
is embarked upon. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 also
makes provision for enabling settlements. At the highest level,
the Indian Judiciary has decided that mediation will be increasingly
used in the legal system. Punjab and Haryana High Court has initiated
Mediation by passing an order in a pending litigation with the consent
of the parties to try mediation in cases it considers fit and appropriate.
Where the mediation is directed by the Court, the Mediators are
appointed by the Nodal Officer under the directions of the Mediation
and Conciliation Committee of the High Court from the pane of trained
and experienced Mediators, who are members of the High Court Bar
The Delhi High Court had embarked on the project on a pilot basis.
Taking a lead from the success of the Mediation centres there, the
Punjab & Haryana High Court started a Mediation Centre in the
High Court as well as in the District Courts at Chandigarh wherein
senior counsels have been devoting their time and energy as impartial
Mediators. Buoyed by its success, the Punjab & Haryana High
Court has now embarked upon setting up similar Centres at the district
level in the District and Sessions Courts premises. 9 Mediation
and Conciliation Centres in Haryana and 8 in Punjab would become
functional on 8th November 2008 after their inauguration by Hon'ble
Mr. Justice SB Sinha, Judge Supreme Court of India in the presence
of Hon'ble Mr. Justice T S Thakur, Chief Justice of Punjab &
Haryana High Court through a process of video conferencing. The
districts being covered in the present phase are Jalandhar, Ludhiana,
Amritsar, Patiala, Sangrur, Faridkot at Moga, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur
in Punjab and Rohtak, Gurgaon, Hisar, Faridabad, Sonepat, Rewari,
Karnal, Kurukshtera and Jind in Haryana.
Two Judicial Officers from each of these districts have been imparted
exhaustive training separately to act as Mediators. Till date, 21
Advocates and 38 Judicial Officers have been trained in the process
of Mediation and another batch is scheduled to be trained from 8th
November 2008, for which the inauguration would be done by Hon'ble
Mr. Justice SB Sinha of Supreme Court of India.
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mahesh Grover of the Punjab & Haryana High
Court, Chairman of the High Court Mediation & Conciliation Committee,
stated that it is probably for the first time in the country's legal
history that 17 Mediation and Conciliation Centres spread over two
States would become functional simultaneously in different districts.
The Committee has set for itself the target to not only cover the
remaining districts in the two States but to also set up similar
Centres at the Sub-Divisional level, said Justice Grover.
Chairman of the Legal Services Committee of the Punjab & Haryana
High Court, Hon'ble Mr. Justice KS Grewal stated that the 3 Lok
Adalats to be inaugurated by Hon'ble Mr. Justice SB Sinha of Supreme
Court on 8th November would each be headed by a retired Judge of
the High Court. Retired Justices AL Bahri, SK Jain and Mrs. Bakshish
Kaur have been designated for the purpose. Initially, these Lok
Adalats would be taking up cases related to Motor Accident claims
which have been referred by competent Courts. However, over a period
of time other matters would also be taken up for settlement by these
Lok Adalats, he added.
US BASED MERIAL ANIMAL HEALTH PHARMACEUTICAL
COMPANY FIRMS UP RS.500 CRORE FDI IN FMD VACCINE FACILITY AT LALRU
CHANDIGARH NOVEMBER 4, 2008
Despite the global economic meltdown, US based MERIAL the only
global pharmaceutical company exclusively devoted to animal health
today firmed up $100 million dollars (Rs.500 crore) Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) in Punjab by setting up a Foot and Mouth Disease
(FMD) Vaccine manufacturing project at Lalru in district SAS Nagar
An assurance to this effect was given by President MERIAL Dr. Jean-Loius
Crosia during a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash
Singh Badal here at his official residence this morning.
Dr. Crosia informed the Chief Minister that MERIAL was a world
leading, innovation-driven animal health company providing a comprehensive
range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance
of a wide range of animals. He pointed out MERIAL employed approximately
5000 people and had world wide operations in more than 150 countries.
MERIAL is the joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. (USA)
and Sanofi-Aventis (France).
Dr. Crosia further said that the MERIAL scouted for investment
destination in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh
and Karnataka, after getting favourable response from Punjab Government
and on-spot delivery of services had firmed up investment in the
state. This would be the fourth FMD Vaccine manufacturing plant
in the country and three other such plants were located in South
and West. It was also informed in the meeting that first phase of
the project would be completed by 2010 and the second & third
phases would be functional by 2011 & 2013 respectively.
Dr. Crosia revealed that MERIAL India Pvt. Ltd. with an investment
of Rs.250 crore would also set up a R&D centre to explore India's
domestic requirements of F&D vaccine, besides a full-fledged
production plant being established in Punjab. He further informed
that the company had already purchased 20 acres of land in Lalru.
Dr. Crosia said, "This new Biotechnology facility with world-class
process and standards for production and R&D of FMD vaccines
in Punjab will be comparable to our facilities in UK, Brazil and
The Chief Minister thanked Dr. Crosia for reposing confidence in
Punjab keeping in view congenial investment climate which it offered
to the prospective investors added that the FDI worth Rs.500 crore
would act as a catalyst to attract much more such investments in
the state, besides giving impetus to the local employment potential
both direct as well as indirect. Mr. Badal said that the upcoming
FMD vaccine project would certainly give a boost to the dairy industry
in the state as Punjab had the highest per capita availability of
milk per day i.e. 901 grams which was 3.88 times higher than National
Mr. Badal further said that it was the high time to adopt allied
farming in the fields of dairy, fishery, bee-keeping, piggery etc.
to supplement the farmers' income as the traditional agriculture
had already reached a point of saturation due to low returns as
compared to higher input costs. The Chief Minister assured Dr. Crosia
that Punjab government would provide all possible infrastructure
back-up support and also depute a nodal officer to oversee the progress
of the project on day to day basis and to offer one stop services.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included
Local Government & Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Chief
Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru,
Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry SC Aggarwal, Principal Secretary
Industries & Commerce SS Channy, Additional Principal Secretary
to Chief Minister AK Mahajan, chairman, Punjab pollution Control
Board Yogesh Goel, Director-cum-Secretary VN Janjua besides the
representatives from MERIAL India Pvt. Ltd. comprising Finance Director
Ms. Samia Jaber, Country Head Mayank Parekh, Anil Nagpal and SD
BADAL RELEASES SPECIAL ISSUE OF PUNJABI
MAGAZINE MEHRAM DEDICATED TO 300TH YEAR OF GURTA GADDI DIVAS
CHANDIGARH NOVEMBER 4, 2008
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today released a
special issue of Punjabi monthly magazine 'Mehram' dedicated to
the Tercentenary Celebrations of Gurta Gaddi Divas of Sri Guru Granth
Sahib here this morning.
Giving the details of the special issue, Mr. SS Bir, Editor-in-Chief
of the Mehram group of publications said that it contained 300 coloured
pages with relevant photographs and articles contributed by eminent
Sikh Scholars on the different aspects highlighting the basic philosophy
and ideology of Sri Guru Granth sahib in context to human and social
evolution. Likewise, a 124 pages special supplement in English was
also released on the occasion by the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister appreciated the initiative of Mr. Bir for bringing
out the these special issues focused on the Tercentenary Celebrations
of Gurta Gaddi Divas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and hoped that it
would act as a beacon for the millions of readers to acquaint themselves
with the universal message of holy Granth Sahib as an 'Eternal Guru'.
Mr. Bir was accompanied by his son Mr. Gurpreet Singh Bir and noted
Punjabi writer Mr. Darbara Singh Khalon.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included
Media Advisor to the Chief Minister Mr. Harcharn Bains, Chief Secretary
RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru.
SCRIBES' DELEGATION CALL ON CHIEF MINISTER
CHANDIARH NOVEMBER 4, 2008
Virtually giving effect to the recommendations of the Public Relations
Minister, Mr.Bikram Singh Majithia, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr.
Parkash Singh Badal today ordered the setting up of State and District
Level Joint Committees of Government and Media representatives to
look into complaints by and against the media persons in the State.
These committees would also advise the Government on the guidelines
to be observed for greater media -Government interaction and understanding.
These committees would also keep the Minister for Information and
Public Relations apprised of their suggestions and recommendations
from time to time.
Stating this Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains
said here today that similar committees would be set up at every
district headquarter also. While Mr. Bains would be the Chairperson
of the State level committee, the Deputy Commissioners of respective
districts would head these panels in their areas.
Mr. Bains said that the State level committee would also have
Principal Secretary Department of Home Affairs and Justice, President
or Secretary General of the Chandigarh Press Club, a representative
of the organization of the affected journalist or of the person
aggrieved against a particular Media person/persons and Legal experts
Similarly, said Mr.Bains the District level committees would have,
in addition to the Deputy Commissioner, District Information Public
Relations Officer, an accredited journalist (to be nominated by
the media), a representative of the organization of the affected
journalist or his perceived victim/victims , and a nominee of the
Chief Minister as member.
Mr. Bains said that these committees have been set up in pursuance
of the commitments made in the SAD-BJP manifesto and are based on
the recommendations made by Mr. Majithia to the Chief Minister.
He said that Mr. Majithia also got these recommendations incorporated
in the Punjab Govt.'s media policy.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Punjab and Chandigarh journalists
met Mr. Parkash Singh Badal at his residence this morning. The delegation
asked the Chief Minister, among other things, to set up the joint
Media-Government advisory panels. The delegations lead by Mr. Sarbjit
Singh Pandher, President, Chandigarh Press Club, also sought an
impartial enquiry into the alleged harassment of a journalist in
Jalandhar. Mr. Badal directed his Media Advisor to personally ensure
complete transparency and the observations of the rule of law in
the Jalandhar incident
RISE ABOVE PARTY AFFILIATIONS TO SAVE AMRITSAR
AIRPORT GOING INTO OBLIVION-MAJITHIA
Chandigarh, November 4: Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Information
& Public Relations Minister today made an impassioned appeal
to all political parties to sink their mutual differences and work
together to keep Holy City Amritsar on International tourist circuit
by saving Raja Sansi International Airport from going into oblivion.
In an emotional appeal, Mr. Majithia said that time has come that
all parties should rise above their party lines and petty politics
to save the hard won international status of Raja Sansi Airport.
He said that it was imperative for all of us to ensure that trade
and economy of Punjab was not hit due to sudden stoppage of international
flights to Raja Sansi Airport. It was the duty of every political
party to join hands for this crucial issue to convince Union Government
to ensure that it should issue notifications to make flights from
Amritsar viable for airlines. He said that retention of international
flights was necessary to decongest Delhi Airport as 29% traffic
in Delhi Airport was from Punjab.
The Minister said that Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar was the temporal
seats of Sikhs living all over the world and starting of international
flights in Raja Sansi Airport had facilitated their Annual pilgrimage.
The sudden stoppage of flights would now cause lot of inconvenience
to lacs of pilgrims to Sri Darbar Sahib and Mata Vaishno Devi.
Mr. Majithia said that starting of international flights from Amritsar
and opening up of Attari Border for trade route had sent a positive
signal to the investment community, international hotel chains,
NRI pilgrims and Amritsar had emerged as a favourite tourist, trade
and investment destination and this sudden stoppage of international
flights would have a negative impact on growing economy of Amritsar
The Minister stated that Amritsar which had been a great economic
centre in British times, had suffered on account of partition, repeated
wars with Pakistan and also during the decade long militancy in
Punjab. It was, therefore, important to keep the landing charges
at Amritsar Airport much lower than Delhi Airport to support economy
of Border region besides decongesting Delhi Airport. He said that
it was imperative for the parties to support trade and industry
in Punjab, the sword arm of nation especially at a time when whole
world economy was going into deep depression.
The Minister said that Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
had taken personal interest in the development of Amritsar as a
trading hub of South-East Asia and he should now instruct the Civil
Aviation Ministry and Commerce Ministry to issue relevant notifications
to reduce landing charges in Amritsar and to clear duty drawback
claims within 7 days.
Calling upon all political parties to launch a concerted and collective
campaign to maintain international character of Raja Sansi Airport,
Mr. Majithia said that every political party has a stake in the
development of Amritsar and it was crucial for all of us to clear
any road block coming in the way of development of Holy City Amritsar.
VIGILANCE NABBED 3 GOs & 13 NGOs
SEVEN CONVICTED IN GRAFT CASES
Chandigarh November 2, 2008
State Vigilance Bureau, in a drive against corruption in public
life, arrested 3 Gazzetted Officers (GOs) and 13 Non-Gazzetted Officers
(NGOs) in 16 different cases in last month and was able to secure
the conviction of seven accused in six different vigilance cases.
Disclosing this here today Mr. Harcharn Singh Bhullar, SSP-cum-Joint
Director (Admn.) Vigilance Bureau Punjab, said that Bureau has put
up its best efforts to eradicate corruption amongst public servants
and others in every sphere in the State. In this direction, the
Vigilance officers have registered trap cases, disproportionate
assets cases and criminal cases and ensured that suspect did not
escape judicial punishment in the various courts in the State.
Mr.Bhullar added that during the last month of October the Vigilance
had nabbed four revenue officials and two police officials red handed
accepting bribes in different cases. During this period VB had registered
two vigilance enquiries and four criminal cases against the suspect
officials to probe into the allegations during the month of October
Giving details he added that the special courts have sentenced
four NGOs and 2 private persons in six different vigilance cases
after finding them guilty for one year to two years.