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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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Shimla Police Nabs Escaped Murder Accused from Tara Devi Forest After Two Days

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Shimla Police has nabbed the undertrial accused of murder who had escaped from the custody of policemen on Wednesday. The accused was re-captured from the forests near the Tara Devi temple after a search operation of two days. The teams of police used drone cameras and search dogs in this search operation.

On November 17, 2021, Dadi Ram aka Sagar (37) – a Nepalese who was booked for the rape and murder of his mother-in-law on July 31, 2020, in Theog, Shimla district, and was kept at the Model Central Jail Kanda – had ditched two policemen near Tavi mod (curve) while he was being taken to the court for a hearing. He had jumped down the forest and was at large since then.

CCTV footage from a nearby building had also appeared in which the accused was seen escaping the custody of policemen. The incident had drawn flak for the Shimla Police, and several questions were raised on the working of the police. The people raised various questions; like why a murder accused was not handcuffed? Why the police didn’t use a vehicle to take him to court?

According to the district police, after the accused escaped, teams of police from Boileauganj and other concerned police stations were formed and deployed in re-capturing him. The teams also included jawans from the 6th India Reserve Battalion and Rapid Action Force. Alongwith search operations in Forests around Taradevi and Shoghi, checking of buses and vehicles at barriers and trains was also conducted regularly.

As per the police, on November 19, 2021, the accused was spotted in the forest near Tara Devi through a drone camera. The teams of police cordoned the forest and searched for the accused. Eventually, the teams succeeded in capturing the accused. He has been brought to the Boileauganj police station.  

 

 

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Negligence of HP University in Mark-Sheet Evaluation Allegedly Costs One Year Loss to Student, HC Issues Notice to Varsity on PIL

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh University is again in the news after a student of Government College, Hamirpur, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the State High Court alleging loss of one year to his career due to negligence of the varsity in evaluating his answer sheet.

It’s pertinent to mention that, varsity administration, especially Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sikandar Kumar, is already under fire for allegedly tweaking rules to allow admission of his ward and wards of a couple of other officials to PhD by bypassing mandatory entrance exams/NET/JRF.

In the current case, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sabina issued notices to the Registrar and the Controller of Examination of  HP University, Shimla.

As per the petitioner, Keshav Singh, he was a student of B.Sc (Maths) in the Government College, Hamirpur, for the session 2017-2020. He appeared in the examination for the 5th semester in November 2019.  In February 2020, he appeared in IIT Jam and scored 40.33 marks out of 100 and became eligible to get admission in M.Sc(PG Course) NIT.

However, in June 2020, the results of the 5th semester were declared and he was given only 5 marks out of 70 in one of the subjects, due to which he could not get admission to the NIT.  He has further said that he had a good academic record and attempted most of the questions in this exam. He applied for rechecking of his paper.  After re-checking, 42 marks were enhanced and he scored 47 marks in that subject. But the re-evaluation result was declared after counselling for the M.Sc. By that time, all the seats were filled up and he couldn’t get an admission.

Though he again cleared the exam for  IIT Jam, 2021, the student alleged that the mental harassment and mental distress he faced was irreparable. He lost one year during the era of this cut-throat competition and thousands of people overtook him, he said. He also alleged that due to negligence of the respondent University, he remained deprived of investing his one year for making his career bright as he could not attend any counselling of IIT/NIT JAM and could not fill up any forms for any competitive exam. For this loss,  the varsity is liable to pay compensation to him, he pleaded.

The petitioner has prayed in the court to direct the respondents to pay him adequate compensation and to adopt a fair and proper manner of checking the answer sheets so that in the future no one faces the same situation as has been faced by him.

The HP High Court directed the respondents (varsity) to file their reply within three weeks and posted the matter for December 8, 2021.

 

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The Himalayan Expedition “Silk Route – Chapter Hatu” Trek & Run Competition Concludes Successfully

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Shimla-As a joint venture, ‘The Himalayan Expedition Silk Route’ – a new trek and run competition- was organized at Narkanda, Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh on 14th, November 2021. Organized by Adventure North, Kawasaki Advertisers, Deodar Cottage, and Homeland Himalaya; the inaugural event was entitled ‘Chapter Hatu’. During this first trek, the participants had to trek 4.5 km uphill to the Hatu Peak – at an altitude of 3400 meters. Followed by a downhill trek of 9 km for the Adventure category.

However, the competitive runners, including two girl athletes, had to run another 14 km to Khadarala to complete the race.

A total of 31 people, from children aged 8-years-old to senior citizens, participated in the inaugural leg.

hatu trek competition

The event was flagged off from the Sili Kandli at 8:19 am.

The race was organized in two categories; “Adventure” for the trekking enthusiasts and the “Competitive” category for the endurance challengers.

himalayan silk route chapter hatu

Along the entire route, 13 teams were available at hydration desks placed at every two kilometers. Also, a well-equipped ambulance with a medic team of three, including a female, was in place.

Rahul Beakta of Theog, Shimla, won the competition by completing 26.5 km in 2 hours 56 minutes. He was followed by Bappan, Shimla, and Captain Vineet Sharma, Kathlee Ghat. The entire competitive and adventure leg was completed successfully, without any injury.

winners of silk route trekking

“It was the first promotional event for a trek and run of 300 km to scale the old ‘Silk Route from Narkanda to Namgia (near China border)’ with a minimal carbon footprint. We plan the second chapter with an additional 60 km in 2022,” the organizers informed.

“This marathon goes through the apple belt of the mid-Sutlej region all along the silk route to Shipki La. Be a part of this heritage and run along the paths and trails of this lost era, ‘The Silk Route’, which has lost its prominence in the modern world, the organizers further added.

The second leg of The Himalaya Expedition is scheduled for October 2022.

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