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Priyanka Vadra Case: HP High Court PRO given clean chit without fair probe, alleges RTI activist in his letter to CJ

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RTI activist requested the court to hand over the case to the Cyber Crime Cell of the Himachal Pradesh Police to obtain exact factual data from the Google authorities

SHIMLA- In high-profile case of land purchase by Priyanka Vadra in Shimla, RTI Activist, Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, has again written to the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court criticizing clean chit given to its Public Relation of Officer, Sanveev Sethi, without proper and fair probe.

In July, the activist had alleged the PRO of leaking court orders prior to scheduled date, which had led to misinterpretation by newspapers along with causing damage to reputation of the court.

Correction: Priyanka had purchased three-and-half Bigha of land, not 4.45

The activist had sought the details of Priyanka Vadra ‘s Shimla land purchase deal under RTI Act 2005, which was challenged in the High Court. An order passed by court during one of the hearings of Civil Writ Petition (CWP -3144/2015) on July 28, 2016, the activist had reported leak of court’s order to journalists one day prior to the scheduled date and had written to the Chief Justice reporting the same.

Read About the Case: PRO leaked HP High Court orders in Priyanka Vadra land deal case prior to official announcement, alleges RTI activist

On the basis of his complaint submitted on July 30, 2016, an inquiry was conducted by the LD. Deputy Registrar-cum-Special Private Secretary, said the activist.  The PRO was given clean-chit without recording the statement of the complainant (the activist). The activist called it against the principal of natural justice as it denied the complainant from registering his statement against the accused.

The procedure of the inquiry being conducted by the LD. Deputy Registrar-cum-Special Private Secretary to the Hon’ble Chief Justice was totally against the basic rules of the Natural Justice. I was not involved in the said inquiry and without giving me any chance to represent my side uncalled for observations were put on records and a clean chit is granted to the PRO of the High Court,

said the activist.

The activist also alleged that he was not informed regarding the results of the inquiry and had to file an RTI to obtain the same.

The Ld. Dy. Registrar, Prem Chand Verma did not even send me the outcome of the said inquiry and I had to obtain the same by invoking the provisions of the RTI Act 2005,

the activist further stated in the letter.

The PRO, in his statement, reasons that anyone can temper with details of e-mails sent through Google (G) Mail. However, the registrar didn’t confirm the truth by seeking details of the sent mail from the service provider (Gmail), he further said.

Also Read: Lawyer steps back in high-profile Priyanka Vadra ‘land purchase case’, RTI activist requests HC to appoint Amicus Curiae

The activist rubbished the allegation made against him by the PRO in his statement that the details of time were tempered with.\

Google authorities should be involved so that it is ascertained that at what level the tampering of the mail, if it happened, took place,

pleaded the activist to the Chief Justice.

I strongly deny the said observations of the Dy. Registrar and request him to hand over the case to the Cyber Crime Cell of the Himachal Pradesh Police so that the exact fact can be obtained from the Google authorities,

the activist demanded.

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Misc News/Press Release

Video: Fire in Shimla’s Gumma devours Rs. 40 lakh property  

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Shimla: In a tragic incident of fire breakout in Gumma area of Kotkhai region in Shimla district on Saturday, about six rooms of a three-story building were lost. The fire brigade saved the two storeys and buildings adjacent to it.

No loss of life was reported, but the estimated loss of assets was initially assessed at about 40 lakh rupees.The owner of the house was identified as Rohit Chauhan.

Rohit’s mother was alone at the house when the fire broke out at about 3 PM. His mother called for help. However, the fire gutted six rooms on the third storey along with all belongings by the time the fire service reached the spot.

gumma-fire

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit.

While the other two stories housed shops, the third one was Rohit’s home.

The district administration has given Rs. 20,000 as a relief to the victim family.

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Sirmaur Tragedy: 7-year-old mauled to death by pack of stray dogs

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stray dogs maul a kid to death in Hiamchal pradesh

Shimla: In a spine-chilling incident, a pack of about half-a-dozen stray dogs on Saturday attacked and mauled a 7-year-old boy in Amarkot village in Paonta sub-division, Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh. As per the initial reports, the brutal attack by the dogs inflicted severe injuries on the head, throat, and neck.

On hearing the cries of the boy, the nearby people rushed to rescue the boy. However, dogs were so aggressive that they bit a couple of these people too.

The boy succumbed to the injuries on the way to the hospital. The boy was identified as Vikki, son of a migrant labour of Uttar Prades. The family was heart-broken after their piece of heart died a horrible death.

The head of the Amarkot village, Rakesh Mehraloo, said repeated complaints were made regarding the growing stray dog menace to the administration. Rakesh told media that some incidents of attack by stray dogs were also reported previously, which were also brought to the attention of the administration.

The administration, however, turned a blind eye towards the complaints and did not take any measure to solve this grieve issue, he said.

If the administration had acted timely, such a horrific incident could have been prevented.

It is pertinent to mention that the state government has also ignored the provision of dog-shelters and showed lackadaisical attitude in regular sterilizing of stray dogs.

Rest, the littering of food waste attract stray dogs and facilitate their reproduction, leading to such a nightmare.

The incident has created panic among the residents about the safety of their children.

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Drought-like situation haunts Himachal as no rain, snow in stock, HP DM holds emergency meeting 

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Drought-like situation in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: As snow and rain continue to evade the peak winter season in Himachal Pradesh, which is already facing 49 percent post-monsoon rain deficiency, the State Disaster Management called a meeting to embraces for the impact of the drought-like situation in the State.

Today, the maximum day temperature in the capital Shimla was recorded at 19 Degree Celsius while the day was hottest for Una at 27 Degree Celsius.

While a debate over the role of global warming behind erratic changes in the weather can also be heard, the Met Department blamed the western disturbances, which, it said, are not strong this year, hence, there is no precipitation.

The nigh temperature in winters remains close to seven to nine Degrees Celsius, which is four to five notches above from the average temperature witnessed during this time of the year. If the same pattern continues for the next two weeks, then it will not only hit the Rs. 20,000-crore apple industry but the tourist influx too.

The apple growers need moisture and several hundred chilling hours to ensure ample apple crop, and this year they are short of the required chilling hours. 

The apple production, which was over 850 metric ton in 2011, has already been reducing.

Other crops like green almonds, tomatoes, pears, apricots, cabbage, cauliflower etc will also be affected due to dry weather.

The hoteliers and ski resorts are witnessing fall in tourist influx as the chances of snowfall are scarce.

Meeting of HP Disaster Mangement 

In wake of the drought-like situation, the Principal Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management) Onkar Chand Sharma held a meeting with senior officers of various departments including the Deputy Commissioners of all 12 districts video conferencing.

Onkar Sharma said the government has analyzed entire rainfall data of all districts. It was found that there is a deficiency of 49 percent in the State (post-monsoon).

The meteorological department has predicted chances of scattered to moderate rainfall during 23-24 January 2018. Except that, the weather is likely to remain mostly dry until January 22 and January 25 onwards. 

However, the government said that the state has received ample rainfall during December 2017, therefore, the Rabi crops and the drinking water supply are unaffected so far.

The Disaster Managment will prepare a contingency plan to combat the drought-like situations, said the Secretary. 

There are 45 labs of the IPH department for the testing of drinking water supply, he informed.

The Deputy Commissioners were asked to ensure water quality testing randomly up to the subdivision level and arrange water tankers in water-scarce areas as well as fodder for livestock.

All the districts were also directed to take remedial measures to stop contamination of drinking water sources. Besides it, the Secretary directed super chlorination in all districts to prevent water-borne diseases like Jaundice.

Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Shri D.C. Rana, Director, Indian Meteorological Department Shri Manmohan Singh, Chief Engineer of IPH Department, senior officers from Horticulture and Agriculture also attended the meeting.

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