Page 1

10-16 April 2015

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017

Vol. 4 No. 34  Pages 16  ` 10

Get Real

Trust, but Verify { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


n urge to make a ‘killing’, a desire for ‘assured’ income, or a means to earn some ‘yield’ on a large stack of cash, has forced many people in Gurgaon, and in fact from across the country, to ‘invest’ in Real Estate in this City in many ‘forms’ – and in the process many have fallen prey to unscrupulous ‘builders’ and ‘agents’. Apart from losses in property frauds, hundreds of crores have been lost in 'investments' in various ‘ponzi’ schemes that are being run by builders, para-finance companies and even private chit-funds in and around the Millennium City. What is surprising is that even well educated professionals have been equally as gullible (and of course greedy) as

uneducated farmers. Gurgaon has become the hub for these kinds of frauds because there is huge amount of cash floating in the City, due to the extensive and extremely profitable (till recently) sale and resale of land and property, by locals as well as national and even global players. The City is now ripe territory for such crimes. Even a village that did not have a single millionaire a decade ago now boasts of half the families being filthy rich. And the Real Estate transactions have been cash based – in large part or even fully. This huge unaccounted ‘bonus’, buttressed by rental and other income (again largely cash), has given the scamsters a lot of space to play in. Recently the Gurgaon Police lodged an FIR against a Delhi-based couple and a Gurgaon local for defrauding a senior citizen of Rs. 2.65


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crores, by ‘selling’ a plot in Sushant Lok that they did not own. In a similar case, five people last month were booked for selling a plot that did not belong to them, to a property dealer. The five, including a woman, had duped the dealer of a couple of lakhs before they were caught. The same plot in Sector 67 had been used as a gambit to cheat a buyer of Rs 50 lakhs some years ago. While several such cases of individuals cheating gullible citizens have come to the fore, experts say that many frauds are not reported to the police as the victims do not wish the transaction to be made public for various reasons. Everything was better, if not fine, when the Real Estate industry was ‘growing’. Now, with a sluggish, if not dead, market for over a year, a number of fly-by-night builders are showing their true colours. They have no intention of completing their projects, as ‘investor churning’ and the consequent 'price fixing' is no longer possible. They have shut shop and seem to have no intention to repay the hard earned money of many buyers. Gurgaon Police has


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Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered immediate stoppage of construction activities around Golf Course Road, because of uncontrolled and high dust emissions. It seems that the Administration will now propose (to the High Court) that it needs to dig multiple community borewells to ensure supply of water to the residents of Sectors 68 to 80! HUDA has reportedly been unable to lay pipelines to these sectors from its Sector 51 boosting station. This is called Make in Gurgaon - the Gurgaon mode of development, wherein civic infrastructure and amenities are always an afterthought. Digging of borewells in Gurgaon is banned (by the same Administration), due to the depleting and dangerously low water level across the City. A new flyover on NH8 near Rampura has ‘sunk’. Pink City Expressway Pvt. Ltd., the concessionnaire, reportedly said that this was because leakage of diesel from a vehicle had damaged the bitumen!


10-16 April 2015

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017 Vol. 4 No. 34   10-16 April 2015

THE WEEK THAT WAS  CM asks for a separate


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondent:

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High Court for Haryana, and for a Bench of the High Court to be set up in South-West Haryana (which includes Gurgaon); there are 49,000 cases pertaining to Gurgaon that are today pending in the Punjab & Haryana HC. Agricultural experts expect a 5% reduction in Haryana’s wheat output this year, due to unseasonal rains. Haryana identifies 2,000 acres of panchayat land across the State for the setting up of Solar power plants, mainly of 200MW capacity. The State imposes a Rs 1 lakh fine on anyone stocking or making illegal plastic bags. All DCs in the State have been asked to inspect the safety measures and safety audit reports of cinema halls in their areas. CM asks all ‘State VIPs’ not to use their security cover as a ‘status symbol’; the CM’s cover has been reduced by 183, within an overall reduction of 700 security personnel. e-admissions for 504 identified govt. schools in Haryana have started from April 1 (including 24 schools in Gurgaon District). CM Khattar proposes that gyms should be set up in all large parks of the State.

 Akash Yadav and his 3 accomplices, wanted for the murder of his ‘friend’, are arrested – Yadav had earlier, in 2007 (as a minor), shot a schoolmate.  A 12-year-old boy jumps from the 10th. floor of Kendriya Vihar society after an argument with his mother.  A maid is kidnapped from her residence in Wazirabad village by 5 men, raped and held hostage; they also demand Rs 1 lakh – the police rescue her and arrest all the men.  A man is arrested for the kidnap and rape of a college student two months ago – the girl is now pregnant and admitted at the

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Civil Hospital.  A man is held for trying to rape his 19-year-old daughter, in Badshahpur.  A woman accuses her estranged husband of rape; he had just been released on bail from jail.  A shopkeeper is arrested for sodomising an 8-year-old boy in a Manesar village.  Hundreds of villagers block MG Road to protest the recent rape of a 5-year-old and demand the accused be punished swiftly and harshly.  It is discovered that the Class 10 girl who committed suicide in January had been raped.  A UP murder accused is arrested in Sector 10.  A staff member of HUDA is booked for abetting the suicide of a part time revenue official; he had asked for money to make that person permanent.  A pathology lab technician in a private hospital is booked for molesting a woman from Carterpuri village.  An auto operator (owning 5 autos) is shot at on Khandsa Road – 2 people are booked.  A woman residing in Rajiv Nagar sets herself on fire after an argument with her husband.

Gurgaon Police is working on a specific 5-point Action Plan over the next 3 months: removing traffic jams from key identified areas; coming down hard on vehicle theft and snatchings; redressing issues at police stations; improving the response of the Police Control Room; and improving services with the help of the private sector.

 The Manesar-based ‘chit fund’ scam continues to grow – it is now estimated at over Rs 200 crores, involving almost 50 victims.  Gurgaon Police appoints a nodal officer to facilitate investigation into cases of abuse and cruelty towards animals.  An ex-policeman’s son is arrested for impersonating a Union Minister’s relative and asking for favours/giving ‘orders’.  A man accused of stealing more than 20 expensive (mainly Honda) cars over the course of a year or two, is arrested near Jharsa village; 3 cars are recovered.  The driver of a truck carrying zinc is tied up and his truck looted by a car-borne gang, on NH8.  Bike borne youth snatch a bag containing over 2 kilos of gold from a jeweller in Badshahpur.  A mobile snatcher duo is arrested.

 Haryana Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi asks for a feasibility report to be prepared on routing the Metro via ‘old’ Gurgaon.  In a specific case before it, the Supreme Court orders an increase in compensation for land taken from farmers for the setting up an SEZ in Gurgaon.  After reviewing the Draft MCG Budget, local Councillors provide for a separate Rs 50 crores fund that would be used for development work in HUDA and private

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sector areas; part of this would also be apportioned to Councillors, especially for the provision of basic civic services in the unauthorised colonies in their respective wards. CM sanctions the 3 proposed underpasses for Gurgaon – at IFFCO Chowk, Signature Towers and Rajiv Chowk.  Prepaid booths have been set up for Pink Autos at 2 Metro stations.  MCG jurisdiction is proposed to be increased by adding 14 more villages to its current 47. MCG begins the delimitation exercise at ward level in preparation of the municipal elections next year; 7 villages that were omitted earlier will be included in the MCG jurisdiction this time. Gurgaon Consumer Forum directs a Delhi-based real estate firm to refund Rs. 4.25 lakhs (plus interest at 9%) to a buyer of their flat in Bhiwadi. The stagnant real estate market has led to Circle rates across the City remaining unchanged, against a normal annual hike of 10 to 15% over the last many years. 5 City schools have been recognised as Adarsh Schools – Senior Secondary Schools in Kadipur, Bhim Nagar, Chakarpur and Sector 43, and the Govt. High School in Islampur. Teachers protest election (BLO) duty by registering a complaint at the CM Window. CM will inaugurate an auditorium (700 capacity) at Girls College, Sector 14, on April 11. The Rajiv Chowk traffic rerouting experiment seems to be working, and the Chowk may soon be made signal free. As part of Raahgiri, 150 cyclists pedal from Galleria Market, Gurgaon to Connaught Place, New Delhi to help create higher awareness on pollution. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated with fervour; thousands also take part in a Jagannath Rath Yatra. Showers over the weekend lead to huge potholes, traffic snarls and long power outages. Many witness the ‘red moon’ lunar eclipse on Saturday evening.


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Get Real

Trust, but Verify  Contd from p 1 recently registered cases against more than a few builders (some even ‘reputed’), for failing to deliver on their promises to buyers for years, or for selling property without any relevant legal documents. While these cases of fraud may appear isolated, many in the industry believe that the underlying pattern is common. Sanjay Sharma, a Real Estate consultant, says that intense greed for ever-expensive needs is what tempts many people to invest in companies and assets that are of dubious quality. Referring to the assured return schemes offered by various ‘developers’, Sharma says that a ‘reputed’ company launched an assured return scheme in Manesar in 2007, promising assured returns, and later rentals as well. A large amount of money was mopped up with the help of heavy media advertising. The company later launched another scheme in Gurgaon, for setting up a commercial project, and crores were collected. However when the people asked the company to return their money, the promoters simply defaulted. The reportedly strong influence of many builders on the previous government ensured that even the police could do little. Such was the environment that even para-bankers, with no authenticity, opened shop and operated with impunity in the City. While the Real Estate industry still offers the promise of a physical product to its buyers, the realm of these financers is totally shady and, despite many scams, even leading to suicides, this ‘shadow banking industry’ in the City is growing. The transactions are conducted simply on ‘reference’, implying trust - a commodity that is the most brittle nowadays. Based on positive references and a business that appeared to be doing rather well, a bakery owner in Palam Vihar managed to borrow almost Rs. 5 crores from the informal channel of ‘financers’ - many of them being erstwhile landowners of Bijwasan, Bajghera and villages around Palam Vihar. Impressed by the glib talk and

‘sophisticated’ manners of the businessman, they gave him lakhs of rupees without any proper legal documentation and formalities. The rates of interest were almost usurious, ranging between 4 to even 10 per cent per month in some cases. Vijay (name changed), who hails from a nearby village, says that he received interest at about 3 per cent for a year, and so decided to increase his loan amount. Lamenting now he says, “For the last one year I have got no interest, and the latest news is that the bakery owner has sold his house and gone underground.” In fact when some of the financers went to ask for money from the businessmen they were confronted by the family members, who alleged that they were being harassed and threatened to call the police. Amit, a Real Estate dealer, avers that if someone is lending money at more than 3 to 4 per cent per month interest, then there are good chances that the borrower will default.“ A majority of the people who take to fraud did not start their business to indulge in such activities, but their inability to handle failure sucks them into a vortex of deceit,” he adds. He personally knows of people who had to ‘indulge’ in shortchanging people after the market projections for Real Estate went completely wrong. Pawan, who has got caught in one such con, says, “Many erstwhile farmers have been ruined because of these operators, and I would strongly recommend that they should not give their money to anyone offering high interest or who promises to double their money in 3 years. That is not possible.” There was a time when everyone in the City was becoming rich, investing in land and property, but once the things started slowing down, the skeletons came tumbling out. Even some of the top Real Estate companies in Gurgaon are being booked for making wrong promises, siphoning off money meant for a project, not meeting the standards and launching projects without sanctions. A Palam Vihar resident says that had the government

agencies or the lenders been alert, most financial rip-offs could have been avoided. For example, the baker was a habitual offender, who has carried out similar scams in the past in neighbouring Delhi - and is likely to repeat

the offence. Analysts and police officials say that such crimes flourish because of the presence of both motivated scamsters and moneyed but greedy ‘investors’, along with an ‘involved’ bureaucracy and politicians. Despite the heat

Gurgaon Police Checklist - to help prevent Real Estate frauds: Request for all the documents in original, for verification. Verify ownership from the Municipality or Sub-Registrar Office (SRO) by yourself or by legal counsel, and also make local enquiries. Check (for) signatures on all the documents; you can ask for fingerprints along with the signatures. Check the (General) Power of Attorney (GPA), to confirm whether the seller actually has the right to sell the property. If possible contact the person who has given the GPA and confirm what he has given the power(s) for and to whom. Also check whether he has given a GPA to any other person earlier. Check the designated land use of the property from the MRO (office) – to confirm whether the said land is Assigned land, Bhoodan land, Agricultural land, Inam land etc. Check for clear title from MRO Office, and collect copies of: Pahani, since 1956 1954-56 khasra Proceedings of patta passbook. Check if the property is free from any and all types of encroachments. Check if property has been mortgaged or if any case has been filed in any court. Check records of MRO office and SRO concerned. Check if all due payments have been paid to urban bodies, SRO and electricity company, and for water & sewerage. For land in dispute or in litigation, approach the bailiff of the concerned court or the arbitrator appointed by a High Court. Pay the applicable stamp duty in full. Obtain physical delivery of the property along with the title deeds.

C overS tory being finally turned on now, the crimes are still growing because the scamsters believe that the reward of successfully carrying out a con far exceeds the risk of getting caught and punished. Globally too the rate of crime varies inversely with the intensity of enforcement of rules. Sharma says that the tendency to get rich quick and to not be left behind is still prevalent in this City. = With many across the board having been cheated, there is now a clamour for the setting up of a Better Business Bureau, like in the United States. Sanjay Sharma says that consumers in US can lodge a complaint with this Bureau, and it remains in the public domain so that anyone can check the veracity of various businesses. “There is a centralised database. You can check any business and the character of its owners,” he says. In India, shady operators can start a business, run a scam, get caught, close shop, and then set up another company to start scamming again. Police investigations don’t leave any trail that can be checked and analysed. In this scenario it is therefore hardly surprising that a company like Mahadev Mutual Benefit Company, which has had a shady past, was able to run a ‘ponzi’ scheme worth hundreds of crores in Manesar for years; almost 50 people and entities have been scammed. The Police probe took over a year before they were able to register cases under Economic Offences. The Company had promised high returns and, after collecting crores mainly from gullible farmers, had then closed its offices, prompting a wave of protests. Similarly, a large number of buyers in Gurgaon and Rewari lost crores because PACL freely mopped up funds from investors by offering high interest rates, and when the time came to pay it vanished. American psychologist Cialdini has written that a large number of people get trapped by these cons because their greed is exploited to trap them. He adds: ‘When the intent is not right it leads to manipulation, and that is done best by scamsters who sell people hope, make excuses as long as one can, attack the messenger to detract scrutiny of one’s own actions, and exploit human gullibility in an extreme fashion’. GL Sharma, who is a politician and realtor as well, suggests that people should verify the authenticity of documents with revenue officials while buying a property. In many cases a single property is mortgaged to

C overS tory

10-16 April 2015

Will a first FIR lead much further? { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

Bravehearts Maybe sensing that the Police is finding it difficult

to restrict the daily crimes, on or off the road even during the day - let alone catching the culprits - a couple of women decided that they should take appropriate action on the spot. The recent heist attempted at a bank by a gang of criminals was aborted not because of timely police intervention but because two brave women staff raised an alarm even in the face of death threats. Fortunately the robbers panicked and ran away. The CCTVs installed at the bank will hopefully help nab the criminals. Pooja and Shweta, the courageous ladies, were working at an ICICI Bank branch in ‘old’ Gurgaon. These two young women, from middle class families, could have stayed quiet and ‘co-operated’, because the guns were trained on them. They would not have been blamed for the robbery. But these courageous ladies chose to act. Without flinching, they raised an alarm, which alerted their colleagues and resulted in the robbers rushing for the exit. As a precaution the Bank has transferred the ladies to another branch.

they hold against any State action. “The FIRs against builders are just to ask them to fall in line with the new political bosses, and to send them a message that a new dispensation is running the show,” quips Bhardwaj. Dharamvir Yadav, a long time activist, says that tall statements are made, action is promised but nothing has changed in the City. The maintenance remains poor, the builders refuse to provide power infrastructure, projects continue to be delayed, and roads, lanes and drains remain in bad shape. Yadav had hoped that the BJP would bring a change in the way the government functions, but he says his hopes have been dashed. However, Dharmendra Jha, who lives in Rosewood Estate, is happy with new BJP government. “They are at least listening to our woes and taking some action. Recently Rao Narbir Singh had visited our colony and sanctioned funds for building a road. When has this happened in the past?” says Jha. He adds that issuance of FIRs against builders is a positive step, which would pave the way for the prosecution of those who have not delivered on their promises. If the Police are able to prosecute even a single builder, then a strong message would go to rest of them, he says. Gurgaon Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk told Friday Gurgaon that the cases filed against builders would be investigated and taken to their logical conclusion without any fear or favour. He added that most of the cases against builders have been filed under laws in which misdemeanors can be compounded, and settlements are acceptable. However, if the police investigation finds something patently illegal or there is no compromise by either side, then the matter will be decided by the court(s). u

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30 Jan-5 Feb

Vol. 4 No. 24

 Pages 16


 ` 10

The Unmak ing RNI No. HAREN


{ Abhishek Behl

write to us

FG }

at letters@ fridaygurgaon hile the State of Haryana cies have and its civic not been infras able agenlike water tructure, includ to provide adequ , power, ing basic ate isting Gurga sanitation ameni the previo on city and resideand roads to the ties exnts, the pendently us government decision to relent (of the NCR by Master Plann Board) pushlessly and indeing (2021, residents 2025, 2031) ahead with its of has The Maste even the new sectors most now left the ing more r Plans that were vulnerable. than Real prepared apart from Estate alloca were noththe shorta gaon is ge of natur tions. As a result now being , al resou will proba enveloped bly remai in a smoky rces, Gurunending n haze (and constructionso for decades), cupancy thanks to activity being low the - despite The most and there pressing being few current octer table new buyer under the issue, however, s. is that the which could City waindeed haveis getting dange rously low, disastrous consequenc es,


Postal Regn.

No. GRG/35


of Gurgaon II PaNDEY


he decision by the Gurgaon Police to file FIRs against some builders has elated many adversely impacted home buyers, who till now were feeling frustrated by the failure of the authorities to help them in any way. The sway of the builders has been so strong and long in Gurgaon that no arm of the State had been able to touch them. They pretty much ruled the roost, with ‘support’ from the administration and even enforcement agencies. The hands of the police were also tied, because these matters were mostly considered civil disputes, and there was anyway little political will to get the police involved. The only recourse for buyers was to approach the courts or the Competition Commission of India. However, the recent decision by the Haryana government to let the police lodge FIRs against errant builders has given hope to the aggrieved that justice will be done. However, this decision has (surprisingly) not particularly enthused civil society activists, many of whom have worked closely with the administration and govt. In fact they term these FIRs as a whitewash and predict that it will have no effect on the corruption infested system. They believe that a piecemeal approach like this, more for ‘effect’, cannot tackle the systemic malaise in the Real Estate sector in Gurgaon. BK Dhawan, a functionary of the Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FAOA), believes that registering of FIRs is not a solution to the problems being faced by apartment

buyers. “We had hoped that the new government would bring in a systematic change in the functioning of the Real Estate industry in Gurgaon and Haryana, but surprisingly there has been little change. No effort has been made to ensure that the Haryana Apartment Owners Act is applied in letter and spirit,” alleges Dhawan. The builder-buyer agreements remain skewed, and the common areas in the majority of condominiums are still being controlled by developers, he adds. Others agree, and say that there should have also been a concerted effort to streamline DTCP and HUDA, and to clear the confusion caused by multiple agencies. They believe that there has been little change in the functioning and attitude of the builders. The builders have been able to ‘manage’ the BJP also. BJP activist Subash Talwar, who has been greatly influenced by PM Modi, feels dejected and says that the Haryana government has shown no resolve to rein in vested interests, and what happened in the past continues even today. Talwar says that they have been able to get relief in the Ambience Lagoon dispute with the builder only because of the court; the government and its functionaries have not been of much help to the residents. He in fact rues that instead of taking action against the realty bigwigs, there seem to be vested interests in the government who are interested in letting the status quo prevail. Ashok Bhardwaj, a politician based in Gurgaon, says that the relations between the builders in NCR and the governments cannot go bad, because they are important allies during elections. Builders generate a majority of the funds needed to fight the political battles, and this is the ‘insurance’ that

warn exper ts. While ciety are discussing the authorities in (curre and ways to nt) tackle this civil sobusy buildi Gurgaon, the situation Real Estate apartmentsng more castles industry in the air. and comm up in the Thousands is new Gurga ercial complexes of tened GII on sector are comin g lines are by FG), while water s (58 to 115 – chrisyet to be , power ever, have set up. and sewag Sever already e are now ‘completed’ al builders, giving posses their projec howgross violat sion to ts, the autho ion of the rules, apartment buyer and rities. They s, in with the ground collusion are still water for deviously of is that the all their extracting projects. will now water from these And the irony be same illega water tanke sold to the haple l ss reside tubewells rs (as the dream)! nts throu official supply gh remains It was only a pipea chance plaza that visit to through brought this illega the Kherki Doula tankers l use and toll by constr sale of water uction compa nies, to the Prakhar

multiple financial institutions and later sold to unsuspecting buyers. Sometimes the real owners of a property give a General Power of Attorney (GPA) for the same to multiple persons. The cheat takes money from multiple buyers and makes good his escape before the matter is brought before the revenue authorities. In certain cases the same plot is registered in the name of two or more people. Even government land belonging to civic agencies, and forest land, is sold falsely. There are also other issues, like the encroachment of plots. Gurgaon Police, which is investigating a number of cases of land fraud and other issues related to housing, has issued a Checklist, to make people aware about the dos and don’ts while undertaking property transactions. Professionals aver that checking one’s personal greed is the best way to avoid these pitfalls, but in the Millennium City where everyone wants to get rich quick, buy the best car and the best apartment, it is unlikely that self-regulation will succeed. The fraudsters need to be determinedly deterred by the strong arm of the law. A few ‘high-profile’ scam-builders need to spend a few years in a very ordinary building – called a jail. The extended slowdown in the industry will also help to separate the men from the boys, and the (long term) developers from mere (short term) builders – many of the latter having indulged in the ongoing Real Estate scams. u


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C ivic/S ocial

10-16 April 2015 prakhar PANDEY

WhatsApp-ealing WhatsApp-alling { Alka Gurha }

S Damaged auto lane near Civil Hospital

Dump at the under construction FOB at Dundahera

Policing the Roads { Barnali Dutta/FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


he sky may be the limit for the Millennium City, but matters on the ground are effectively choking its growth. Long lines of vehicles even during non-peak hours, parked SUVs blocking traffic, blaring horns and frayed tempers – it’s often a road to nowhere in Gurgaon. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the Director General of Police, Haryana, Yash Pal Singal, has asked Gurgaon Police to tackle the traffic menace in the City on a war footing. Over the next few months, efforts will be made to unclog traffic flows at (five) key points in the City. But solving Gurgaon’s traffic problems also requires simultaneous actions from the civic administration, especially in the area of infrastructure modification and improvement. “Most traffic issues are connected with the status of roads and civic infrastructure,“ says Joint Police Commissioner (JCP) Bharti Arora, who is directing the actions on traffic. Ms Arora has outlined 38 steps that need to be taken by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon and HUDA. The actions required of MCG include: 1) Setting up of traffic lights at ten points, including CRPF Chowk and Mata Mandir Chowk 2) Repairing of the auto lane at Mahavir Chowk 3) Fixing of halogen lamps at sev-

Encroachments on road

eral dark, unsafe areas 4) Repairing of roads and damaged central verges and railings 5) Putting up of traffic sign boards on all roads and painting of zebra crossings at intersections 6) Traffic booths at nine points 7) Completion of road widening and other works now under progress, especially at places like Atul Kataria Chowk  and Khandsa Chowk. The actions required of HUDA include: 1) Road widening in Sectors, especially 53 and 56 2) Repairing of traffic signals 3) Repairing of damaged roads, especially from Khandsa Chowk to Basai Chowk, and near Nathupur Market 4) Putting up traffic umbrellas at crucial T-points  5) Installing grills on central verges of important roads, especially near HUDA City Centre and Dronacharya Metro stations 6) Setting up of foot overbridges on the roads connecting HUDA City Centre to Fortis, Unitech Business

MCG has been trying to resolve issues – including something as basic as its role – ever since its birth 5 years ago; and HUDA has never felt itself accountable for Gurgaon’s civic maintenance and services.

Centre and Max Hospital 7) Putting up ‘No Parking/Towaway Zone’ boards on MG Road 8) Ensuring that towing cranes are constantly moving around in select areas. One of the special features of Indian roads is the presence of all sorts of vendors on the pavements and roadsides. Gurgaon is no exception. These vendors are demanding halogen lamps, for helping them conduct better business after sundown and for the safety of themselves and commuters. Auto rickshaw drivers have other complaints and requirements. Raju, an auto rickshaw driver, says, “Driving on Gurgaon roads is fraught with dangers. You just cannot avoid potholes, which seem to come up anywhere, anytime; these are perilous - for the passengers, for me and for the vehicle. We need roads that we can safely drive on.”  In a meeting that the Police authorities had with MCG officials, they detailed the problems and urged the officials to redress these as soon as possible. Ms Arora, JCP, adds, “From our side we continue to take multiple actions. We have been undertaking a crusade against drunk driving for some time now, and are now targeting underage drivers. MCG and HUDA have to adopt a more proactive stance. Civic infrastructure needs persistent care and maintenance.” When FG spoke to some MCG officials about the issues, they were defensive. ”We have almost finished our work on the foot overbridge at Dundaheda and we are also looking into the requirement for halogen lamps. We have enough funds but these issues require time to resolve. We need to investigate, prepare tenders and get approvals, before we can start working,” an official says. Police sources, however, contest the MCG stance. “We agree that things do take time. But we shared the problems and requirements with them quite some time back. MCG and HUDA have had enough time to act,” says a police officer. “We are confident that the problems will be resolved soon,” the MCG official reassures. Famous last words….again? u

o we are driving out of our apartment complex when we see a lady walking in the middle of the road. Since honking in the residential area is a strict no-no, we slow down and wait for her to make way for the car. But the lady with the headphones continues to walk… busy smiling at her phone. When we rev up the engine, she turns and gives us an angry urban middle class stare. Then, as we drive past, she does a little pantomime to say something like, ‘Can’t you see, idiots? Andhe ho kyaa?’ Or some such polite retort. It is amazing how we have begun to dedicatedly engage in an activity called WhatsApp-ing - gazing at our phones absent-mindedly or star struck as millions of ingenious bots push the limits of ‘creativity’. With more than seventy million WhatsApp users in India, everyone and his nephew is rattling off jokes and/or laughing mercilessly. And after you have lolled and rolled, they urge you to forward the joke because ‘market mein naya hai’. Being tech-challenged, I woke up late to this tech wonder. I had to buy a new phone after being continuously sidelined by friends who made plans for ‘meet-ups’ using this app. Little did I know that WhatsApp will also bring me closer to relatives that I had never met…or had any desire to meet. Those who had never said hello in person now wish me ‘good morning’ at five in the morning. The good person that I am, I reciprocate by forwarding them the longest possible lame joke around bedtime. I wasn’t good on religion, but I now wish all my friends a happy ‘Guruvaar’ by sharing divine pictures of gurus. What began as a party planner tool has made me so devout that much before I debate breakfast choices, I forward holy messages lest some unforeseen tragedy befalls me that day. For someone who was also historically challenged, unaware of the different kinds of ‘New Years’, this miraculous App enables me to wish Chinese, Islamic, Thai and Hindi New Years. What’s more, WhatsApp has also infused my staid ‘atma’ with the spirit of ‘killer shayari’. However, there’s nothing more challenging than being visually so. So when I posted a ‘thumbs-up’ in response to the loss of an Indian wicket, I had to profusely apologise and tearfully clarify that I was no traitor. I was just groggy or without my reading glasses. It gets worse. I wasn’t even aware that there was an icon for ‘shit’. As recently as last month, perhaps in my slumber, I posted the dirty icon in response to a picture of my cousin’s fiancé. Needless to say I wasn’t invited for the engagement party. So what’s my quibble? None. Except that I wish there was a way to restrict messages longer than twenty words. I also wish there was a way to exit the group without anyone knowing about it. Of course I have the choice to mute and ignore, but that means I sometimes lose important messages. Now, somehow, if I could get access to the AAP WhatsApp, I would love to find out who is the ‘chor’, who is ‘mila hua’ and who is the real ‘Kamina’ (or ‘Kaminey’). u

K id C orner

10-16 April 2015 Ryan International School, Sector 40


Sporty Fashion


yan International School, Sector 40 conducted an Intra Class Fashion Show for the students of Classes I & II. The topic was ‘My Favourite Sports Star’. True education enables a child to discover his/ her inner richness, and the good schools endeavour to inspire and empower their students  to be confident speakers and performers through various activities and competitions.

A Book A Day...

beginning; w day and a new very day is a ne entrate on sterday and conc forget about ye of s tomorrow' ase your dream your today, to ch or 40 marked ct nal School, Se io at rn te In an Ry with a special the new session the first day of hers. The theme ucted by the teac assembly cond Day'.  l Children’s Book was 'Internationa ks are Our oo 'B ented a skit, es pr rs he ac te The students to d motivated  the Best Friends', an their favourite ing of books as take up the read readers are emphasised that pastime. It was owledge. kn ing enhances leaders and read


Top Science Talent

Health in our hands


yan International School, Sector 40 organised a radio jockey show, 'How to keep ourselves healthy', to help create better awareness on health and nutrition. School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma emphasised that 'he who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything in the world'.

Welcome to Ryan


yan Global School, Sector 40 organised an Induction Programme to welcome the new parents into the Ryan family. The School’s motto 'Learning is Growing' and the 12 Vision Points were highlighted.


yan International School, Sector 40 was ranked amongst the top 3 schools in Gurgaon in the National Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE) 2015 examination. Ryanite Divij Deo made the School proud by winning the First position at the NSTSE National Level. He was crowned the National Winner amongst lakhs of students who had appeared for the examination from all over India.

Olympiad Gurus


he students of Gurugram Public School (GPS) had participated late last year in the English, Hindi, French and Science Olympiad organised by Silver Zone, the results of which were received recently. GPS students won 19 Gold, 14 Silver and 13 Bronze medals in different categories. Sahil Bakshi was ranked Second in the State in French and also won a Special prize and three Gold medals.

If you wish to be featured in ‘Kid Corner’ (for publishing your school’s activities and achievements), please mail us at


S piritual

10-16 April 2015

The Sin of Addiction

Set Your Mind

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

{ Shobha Lidder }


addiction, with many becoming obsessed with the hope of winning the jackpot. All these, in turn, put great stress on families, which results in more broken homes. Children of gamblers suffer from an acute lack of attention. In the Rigveda a gambler says, ‘My wife holds me aloof, my mother hates me’. The wretched man finds none to comfort him. Gambling has also been referred to as the ‘secret disorder’. Gamblers will rarely seek treatment for this disorder, unless forced by circumstances, or when they have reached a particularly low point in their lives. Even then, for some the addiction soon regains control. A majority of gamblers are alcoholics, and a vast number of alcoholics may have a comorbid gambling addiction, often undiagnosed. Two of my very close friends took their lives because of the great penury their families had to undergo, due to their failed gamble in the share market. Another friend, who owned a huge business empire, lost it all to gambling. Those caught in the vicious gambling (and invariably alcoholism) whirlpool often eat and sleep poorly, get no exercise and suffer depression and ill-health (like cardiovascular problems, headaches and gastro-intestinal illnesses). Those in their last throes experience little of their earlier adrenaline buzz or even a raised heartbeat; in fact their heart rates increase after they have finished gambling - indicating withdrawal effects. If we live satisfied with our lot as providentially given to us, and positively work towards attaining our developmental goals in life, we will gradually grow into healthy sustainable natural beings. The problems arise when we try to bypass the ‘karmic cycle’ and attempt to take charge of the Universe’s control panel, because we think that we can

control our destiny. Alcoholism and gambling are but two of the ‘consequences’ that we pick up on the way. Recovery from them is a gradual process. Like anyone who has had an unfortunate habit, dependency or addiction would know, it comes by keeping good association and by replacing a negative with something positive. We can live through each moment of our lives on this planet either submerged in the blind alley of addiction and self-destruction or soaked in the Divine light of love and compassion for all. This choice He has left on us. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at

It is so difficult to change old mind sets The dependency on others for your happiness If my best friend has dropped me And moved on, how do I keep equanimity If my mother didn’t will me my fair share Then I despair If my sister gets more dimes than I do I feel blue If my son doesn’t dote on me no more I have someone to blame for If my spouse is vagrant, not steady I am flagrant n frenzied If my daughter is busy nine to nine Why do I feel confined? If my neighbour doesn’t smile at me I harbour animosity If some gossip monger in the park Slights me with a snide remark On my personal life I lash back, stifled If service vendors cheat If my boss doesn’t treat Me with courtesy, is rude He shatters my mood I forget, I am a blissful entity I am the power, purity These are my soul qualities If I change my mindset I can win my own bets. Shobha Lidder Writer, Journalist, Teacher, Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

ber 2014

24-30 Octo

has The Lotus  Pages 16

l Regn. No.

319, Posta



Vol. 4 No. 10

 `10

14 35/2012-20



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ne out of twelve people in this world is supposedly a drunkard…and it all starts with one social drink! As per the April 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, reduction of alcohol consumption is an important cancer prevention strategy, as alcohol is a known carcinogen even when consumed in small quantities. Studies have consistently shown that alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver; more recent research has shown that alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and breast. As per estimates, alcohol accounts for about four percent of all cancer-related deaths worldwide. Drinking changes a person’s sense of time - the span of the present as well as the sense of relative importance of the present and future. The use of intoxicants is viewed as a hindrance to the development of an enlightened mind. Buddhist monks are expected to refrain from the consumption of any fermented or distilled beverages, since they could prevent mindfulness. Indeed, why would God condone the consumption of alcohol when it could lead to separation from Him? In Buddhism the Right View - which can also be translated as ‘right perspective’, ‘right outlook’ or ‘right understanding’ - is the right way of looking at life, nature and the world, to understand how our reality works. An understanding of Right View inspires the person to lead a virtuous life, free of the use of any intoxicants, through the mastery of the art of mindfulness. Gambling is an addiction that devalues a human. The gambler within a person’s psyche tries to outrun the odds; in fact gamblers, in their hurry to ‘strike’, often attempt to outrun time! Once a gambling behaviour is ‘learned’, a gambler will keep playing at a high rate, even when the win rate is low. Winning soon becomes less important than playing. A gambler increasingly becomes self-centred and manipulative; he readily lies. His funds and luck finally run out, leaving him destitute in every sense. The separation from or rejection by society culminates in a frightening sense of unreality and emptiness within him. The sin of gambling has a bad effect on society. It promotes crime, as those who lose their money often take to stealing, or get drunk to drown out their sorrow. It contributes to greater poverty, as it entices even those who cannot afford it, to gamble. It leads to



Desi Ap



9868163312 9818303901

W ellness

10-16 April 2015

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


erspectives do matter. What is junk or waste for one, may represent big value in the eyes of another. In the history of mankind, many an accidental discovery has later turned out to be a gold mine. More than 8,000 years ago, one such voila moment was when the milk of goats or cows went sour. The resultant curd (solid) and whey (liquid) separated naturally. This curd of coagulated protein – primarily casein - became the earliest known cheese. Whey is the liquid remaining after the milk has been curdled and strained. Whey, though a byproduct of cheese manufacture, packs quite a nutritional punch of its own. The Greek physician Hippocrates (b.460 BC), who said ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’, held the health-boosting properties of Whey in high regard. In ancient Ayurveda texts there is mention of five kinds of ‘Matthha’ (Whey) – of which the most beneficial are ‘Takra’ and ‘Chhaachh’. Takra is curd mixed with water and Chhaachh is a clean-tasting drink, which is obtained when curd is churned to remove the butter from it and ample water is added. Chhaachh is very often had with rock salt, ‘jeera’ (cumin) and other digestive herbs added in. It is a cool, light, thirst-quenching appetiser and digestive aid, as


A Designer Protein Weighs In it can remove excessive vata (wind) formation and also alleviate bile complications. In Europe too, by the 17th. century this ‘byproduct of the cheese industry’ had become very popular as a health tonic. In recent years, Whey protein isolate-based drinks and shakes have become very popular with sports enthusiasts, for building lean muscle and shedding fat. In the 1930s, Rutgers University reported the high mineral

ave you ever looked at your plate and wondered what you are ‘really’ eating? What you believe to be nutritious can very well be harmful and cause diseases that have lasting side effects. Intentional, unintentional and incidental adulteration of food is a worldwide phenomenon that is emerging as a major threat to the health and well being of people. According to estimates of the World Health Organisation (WHO), unsafe food is linked to the deaths of around 2 million people annually - many of them children. Food containing dangerous adulterants, harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, edible oils, cereals, wheat and gram flour, pulses, coffee, tea and other beverages. Adulterated food does not just take away the nutrition from your daily plate, it substitutes it with potentially lethal substances. “Food safety is a vital issue of serious concern in India. We do not know our source of food and the path it took before reaching our plates. Pesticide residues containing deadly arsenic, traces of petroleum oil,

content in Whey and stated that it could be an effective treatment for rickets and tuberculosis. During the last decade several studies suggest that Whey protein may be able to halt a host of pathologies as also restore and sustain cellular energy. Interestingly, Whey protein seems to have the ability to temper the free radical activity of cancer cells; it ensures that the human body becomes an ‘unfriendly host’ for cancer cells. In 2005 a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from the Lund University in Sweden made headline news for people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Whey appears to stimulate insulin release and Whey supplements can help regulate and reduce spikes in blood sugar levels. To sum up, Whey is a great dietary choice to help build muscles and/or shed excess fat. It helps maintain a ‘positive protein balance’. Given all its benefits, Whey is now

considered a powerful and healthy super-food for almost any age group.

Tip of the Week

For maximum benefit, source natural Whey protein from grass-fed cows. Alternatively, you can go for a high quality nutritional Whey supplement of any reputed nutraceutical brand. Dried SweetDairy Whey (DSW) typically contains 1114.5% protein, whereas protein in Whey Protein Concentrates (WPC) can go as high as 34 to 85%. Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) has a protein content of 90% or higher. Whey is truly a no-frills ‘designer-protein’ - designed to be absorbed thoroughly and quickly. The speed of absorption matters, because it affects the anabolic (muscle-building) qualities of the protein. As a snack food, a Whey protein bar is both filling as well as nutritious.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Forms of Whey

Liquid Whey contains lactose, vitamins, protein and minerals, along with traces of fat. The nutritional value of ‘Sweet Whey’, obtained from rennet coagulation, differs slightly from that of ‘Acid Whey’, wherein coagulation is done with citric acid or lemon juice. For example, the latter has significantly more calcium, phosphorous and zinc. Whey is a high quality source of

What’s On Your Plate? rodent droppings, dangerous diseasecausing bacteria and traces of metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminum have often been found in our food products. Health regulatory authorities have prescribed safe limits for such elements in different food items. However, the continuous consumption of food that is contaminated beyond safe limits may cause us serious damage,” says Dr Satish Koul, General Physician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon. These are the potentially dangerous consequences of some common adulterants: Toxic Chemicals: Excess usage of pesticides on fruit and vegetable crops results in ‘residue’ on them. For example, arsenic traces can be found on apples that have been sprayed with lead arsenate. Lead-containing dust can get into crops or lead can enter food during its processing or through food containers. Lead chromate is often added to turmeric powder and spices. Fruit juices and drinks stored in cadmium-plated vessels may lead to the presence of cad-

mium traces, which can result in liver and kidney damage. Deadly Micro-organisms: Sometimes food items are stored in dangerous conditions, like in places infested with rodents. There may be lack of hygiene during the processing and packaging of food. These conditions can cause dangerous disease-causing bacteria and viruses to thrive. The resulting food infection can have serious health consequences - from vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to hepatitis. Petroleum fractions: The edible oils we use might be contaminated with mineral oil such as white oil, or petroleum traces. When consumed over time, these can increase the risk of some cancer(s). Other adulterants: Artificial coloured seeds are often added to mustard or cumin seeds, and this can cause glaucoma and cardiac arrest. Used tea leaves, iron filings or saw dust are often added to tea, which can have serious health consequences, including cancer. So, how does one stay alert? While we cannot ensure that what we consume


protein, whether measured by Protein Digestibility (PD) - the proportion of protein that is absorbed by the body, Biological Value (BV) - the proportion of absorbed protein that is retained for growth and maintenance, or Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) - the gain in body weight per unit (gram) of protein consumed. The Biological Value of Whey is as high as that of egg or meat, with the added value of it being fatfree. Of the 20 Amino acids in the protein base of the human body, nine essentially come from our diet, because our cells cannot manufacture them. Whey protein is one source that provides all nine essential Amino acids. In fact the Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) - leucine, isoleucine, and valine - and other fractions found in Whey can mimic the anti-ageing benefits of calorie-restriction diets. In addition, this superfood provides a number of bioactive immune-system enhancing components. Good quality Whey protein provides all the key amino acids for the production of glutathione - the ‘master antioxidant’ that helps to dramatically lower oxidative stress and inhibits the diseases of ageing. u For Education purposes only; always consult a Healthcare Practitioner for medical conditions

is 100 per cent safe unless we cultivate the food ourselves, we can certainly be more alert to minimising our exposure to harmful adulterants. Follow these practices: - Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, avoid consumption of raw food, cook the food well and keep it at safe temperatures. - Always use purified water (drinking water) for cooking. Water from the supply lines may contain harmful chemicals such as lead and dangerous bacteria and viruses - some of which may not die even after cooking. - Do not buy groceries and food ingredients from shops and outlets that are dirty and unhygienic. Also check if the outlet that you buy from is regularly checked by food inspectors. - Pulses and cereals that are sold ‘open’ are most likely to be adulterated. Buy packaged produce, and make sure that the packaging is intact and the expiry date is a few months away. - Keep yourself aware of the happenings in your community. In case you hear about people falling ill after eating from a particular place or from buying certain food items, report the matter to the health authorities. u


10-16 April 2015

C omment

With the debate on the role of the High Courts and Supreme Court being the flavour of the week, thanks to contributions by the PM and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, here is a reiteration of FG’s take.

Justice, My Lords



Secretaries to fight against the arbitrary transfers in their ustice today is being denied to the people…and even being bureaucracy. In fact the Courts should go a step further and buried without being hurried. At one end of the scale suo moto take up some special cases of bureaucrats who have the State does not provide for the bare necessities…and been ‘victimised’. The justices surely know that perhaps even at the other, the Courts do little to protect the aam aadmi’s more important than delivering punishment to the guilty is to person and property. Meanwhile the privileged continue to ensure that the innocent are well-supported and protected. make a mockery of justice; what benefit is it to see some of them being punished after 20 years – if that? The Judiciary It is also time to set up timelines, guidelines and norms for evoften escapes deep scrutiny. That is surprising, since it has ery type of case (and not just when something ‘new’ comes up the capacity to not only decide, but even dictate, and deter. - like the 1 year timeline given for criminal cases against MPs). The Judiciary, constitutionally the most independent of our There may not be unanimity, and there will be few precise anbodies, has disappointed us most - also because we expect swers – but that is fine. Thereafter, let special benches, called more from it than our other institutions, many of which stand compromised. Yes, we have allowed many politicians to become Special Courts – at 4 Regional locations across India – review deviations against the timelines and guidelines on a monthly a law unto themselves, and in some areas it is virtually the basis. Special Courts would not be part of any ‘heirarchy’ of law of the jungle that rules. In this scenario, we do not do courts. These Special Courts would also have another role to justice to our courts and lawyers and judges by not criticising play. Although the SC does play ‘activist’ with the Executive at them enough. For a body that is critical of the Executive, and the Centre, and even with Delhi as a Union Territory, the imrightly so, and even increasingly comments on areas at the pact has remained ‘local’. The High Courts across the Country ‘borders’, the Supreme Court (SC) seems to be sadly ignoring have not been as zealous at State level. Given the reality that the the rot within – both in the judicial system and even at its decisions of the Executive, even the PM, no longer hold sway own Court. How else does one explain the amount of cases across the land, and that governance in many States is at an allthat are languishing for years and decades – while many have time low, the Special Courts should step not even been taken up? ‘Tareek pe in on behalf of the aam aadmis in their tareek’ will only give birth to more Regions and hold Chief Ministers and vigilantes. What system does the SC use The Special Courts should also Chief Secretaries more accountable. For for ensuring in-house compliances and engage with the Fourth Estate, example, on the issue of ‘unauthorised productivity? How does the Supreme the Media; the other Estates have colonies’, Master Plans, Changes of Court judge if there is a ‘widespread been pulled up enough, while Land Use (CLUs) and the like, incoming failure’ of implementation of its Media has often conveniently and outgoing Chief Secretaries should judgements? How does it judge the ducked under the umbrella of sign off on the status at the start and end ‘interest of the public at large’? Why Press Freedom. It is time to of their tenures. This should also apply cannot the Chief Justices of every discuss the separation of Church to the relevant and pertinent matters at High Court, and the Supreme Court, the levels of the Cabinet Secretary and scrutinise exceptions for a change. & State in the Media. All Editors the Secretaries of various Ministries at Let them basically review all cases & Publishers need to be called the Centre. The Special Courts should where: orders have been passed, but not in, in groups or collectively. Let also handle PILs (that seem to today bog executed, for say 6 months; excessive Media be in the ‘hot seat’ for a the SC down) – maybe specialising as adjournments (in terms of time period change. Note for our TV brethren: Regional Teams. They could invite exand/or number of adjournments) Please do ensure that TV Judges of HCs and SC on specific need have taken place; hearings have ‘debates’ on even Supreme Court basis. The Supreme Court should be occoncluded, but a verdict has not been judgements are not reduced cupied with ‘graver’ matters of the Nadelivered, for say 3 months. And then to the ‘normal’ cacophony. tion and its citizens - for Constitutional ensure timely action directly, under Sometimes at least there needs matters and maybe ‘high profile’ cases. their authority, for every such case. to be reasoned debate. For example, Mumbai slums are crying But, before all else, it is time that the out for intervention; maybe even GurgaSupreme Court pronounces Contempt Fast-track Courts have mainly on real estate scams should be given suo of Court against all those who have the disappointed. By just setting moto cognizance – for their sheer scale, authority (mainly the PM, Cabinet and them up or resurrecting them, and for the profile of people allegedly CMs) to implement its rulings but have and that too in the thousands, as involved. Further, despite SC’s intervennot done so - repeatedly. SC should no a show of ‘action’, we have only tions, old scourges - like untouchability, more tolerate this. The punishment disappointed many citizens (esp. child marriage, no widow remarriage should be exemplary. Any Contempt women) even more. Fast-track and Sati - outlawed for centuries, are of Court should not only lead to heavy Courts cannot be measured on still practised and need to be clmaped strictures and penalties on lawyers and a relative basis against current down on. Someone also needs to bat for persons or establishments concerned, norms – which are anyway the ‘upper class’ poor and bowl out the but should also influence the timing completely unacceptable. They ‘SC/ST rich’ from reservations. and outcome of a case. Chief Justices must work on separate absolute should also think of setting an example guidelines. For example, Will a fresh-thinking Chief Justice care for, and providing the courage to, Chief adjournments – for whatever to awake this country to a new dawn Secretaries and the Cabinet Secretary. reason – should just not be of justice? Will we need to wait for a They must ensure that arbitrary acceptable. woman, for that? Or is the jury out on transfers of judges are just not allowed. that too?u This should embolden some Chief

10-16 April 2015 With the CM pitching for a separate High Court (HC) for Haryana, and for a Bench of the High Court to be set up in South-West Haryana (which includes Gurgaon), we have pulled out and updated FG’s March 2014 Cover Page article on this. There are 49,000 cases pertaining to Gurgaon (the highest of any District) that are today pending in the Punjab & Haryana HC.

A Bench at the High Table { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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t is a daily ritual – early morning, hundreds of lawyers from Gurgaon pack their bags and files and rev their cars, to make the pilgrimage to the Punjab and Haryana High Court based in Chandigarh. While the legal fraternity may have become habitual to this in the last almost 50 years, life is really very difficult for the increasing number of litigants who have to not only bear the legal costs but also spend a lot of money on their boarding, lodging and travel. Everything seems to require resolution in Chandigarh only. With Gurgaon becoming the financial and corporate capital of Haryana, the number of legal cases and writs filed in the High Court has also multiplied. The increased travel, cost and inconvenience, and often the delay in justice, has intensified the demand for a separate Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana Court to be set up in Gurgaon. The local legal fraternity says that despite the strong need, this decision has always been delayed due to political reasons. Advocate T R Bhatnagar, a senior lawyer, told Friday Gurgaon that the setting up of a Division Benach would help reduce the legal costs, end the need for daily commutes to Chandigarh and specifically benefit numerous Real Estate buyers, developers as well as corporates based in the City. An important legal reason is that a direct first litigation in the form of a Writ can only be filed in a High Court. The rising number of Real Estate disputes, including those for acquisition of land by the State/developers, has led to a geometric rise in litigation, which requires all the affected parties to approach the High Court in Chandigarh. The corporates, and Gurgaonbased industry, also have to run to the State capital for important legal issues, and feel that a Bench in Gurgaon could be of great service. “We called on the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1999, and took up the matter of setting up a Bench in Gurgaon, as the local litigants as well as lawyers were facing problems. We were given a patient hearing but noth-

ing moved afterwards,” said Bhatnagar. He pointed out that while the proposed ‘Tower of Justice’ (new judicial complex) in Gurgaon is a positive step, justice would remain ineffective if Gurgaon did not get a separate Division Bench of the High Court. The Tower of Justice will house 55 District and Sessions Courts. The building will have a provision of 15 additional courtrooms, with each floor of the 9-storied building having waiting areas as well as seating arrangements for Assistant District Attorneys. Durgesh Boken, a senior lawyer, felt that empowering Gurgaon with a Division Bench would solve more problems than the setting up of this building, as there are just too many cases of Gurgaon pending in the High Court in Chandigarh. Even currently the number of cases, including Writ Petitions and Appeals, being filed in the High Court, is the most from Gurgaon, said Boken. A lawyer alleged that a National Law College, which was to be established in Gurgaon, has been set up in So-

nipat. The lawyers pointed out that if a separate High Court Bench can be set up in Jammu, and if Nainital can have a High Court (despite the Uttaranchal capital being in Dehradun), why cannot a Division Bench be set up in Gurgaon – the commercial capital of Haryana? Almost half the revenue of the State - in terms of taxes and government levies - is contributed by the Millennium City. Senior lawyer Vidya Raja opined that two things that a Division Bench in Gurgaon would immediately impact would be the litigation cost and the timely delivery of justice. The current inordinate delays would be severely reduced. She also supported the need for an independent High Court for Haryana, as it would help greatly in reducing the burden on the (combined) High Court of Punjab and Haryana. Gurgaon-based lawyer Ram Avatar Gupta,

At the time of the formation of Haryana in 1966, the State government did not favour a separate High Court for Haryana - and the Punjab High Court became the Court for both the States. While Prime Minister Morarji Desai and the then Home Minister were anyway not in favour of separate High Courts, the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana also preferred a common High Court – especially when faced with the prospect that their independent High Courts would be ‘overseen’ by the Delhi High Court. Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar has written that in 1966 there was a very strong demand by the legal and political fraternity of Haryana for a separate High Court. However, given the political situation in 1966, it was obvious that if separate High Courts were asked for by Punjab or Haryana, then jurisdiction over Chandigarh would be vested with the Delhi High Court. This would mean that all the writs and original jurisdictions (of Punjab and Haryana cases) would go to the Delhi High Court. Importantly, all challenges to orders passed by both the governments would have to be fought before the Delhi High Court – meaning inconvenience, cost and ineffectiveness…apart from the embarrassment of both governments being answerable to an outside High Court. The State CMs would also have lost ‘control’ on the appointment of High Court judges.

GURGAON The Punjab High Court had ‘descended’ from the Lahore High Court, which was a powerful institution with a great legacy. At the time of India’s Independence, the Punjab High Court had jurisdiction over Delhi. Thereafter, in 1953, a Circuit Court had started in Delhi - which ultimately transformed into the Delhi High Court. When Delhi had a Circuit Court, the Gurgaon Bar Association had suggested that the Delhi Court should have jurisdiction over Gurgaon, but it was not agreed to.

who has been making the rounds of Chandigarh since his entry into the profession, said that the time has come for the political parties in Haryana to come together and think about the welfare of the people and the interests of justice, rather than just playing parochial politics. “Gurgaon, despite being less empowered politically, has the financial and corporate mass to rightfully seek a separate Division Bench. In fact it is long overdue, and the State should immediately set it up and then start working for an independent High Court for the State of Haryana”, he said. The demand for an independent High Court,

13 however, has deeper implications. While the politicians (and even lawyers) of Haryana may want a separate High Court, it would have to be within Chandigarh only. They would not like to loosen their grip on the State Capital or their (dormant) demand for the Union Territory of Chandigarh to be their (sole) State capital. Conversely, while the political parties and lawyers in Punjab do not oppose the demand for a separate High Court for Haryana, they obviously want it to be set up outside Chandigarh. Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh told Friday Gurgaon that the increasing litigation in H a r y a n a obviously calls for a separate High Court, but it should be set up in the State capital only. He also said that the setting up of a Division Bench in Gurgaon would help the local people in a big way, as the City, a new-age metropolis, has become notorious for ever-increasing litigations. Gurgaon lawyers, when asked about ex-Chief Minister Hooda’s calling for the bifurcation of the High Court last year, said that it had only been election posturing. Hooda, while participating in a conference of Chief Ministers, had called for the bifurcation of the premises, judges, staff and other resources of the Punjab and Haryana High Court – saying that a separate High Court was the Constitutional right of Haryana. He had also called for an adjustment in the ratio of judges (between Punjab and Haryana) to 50:50, as the litigations arising in Haryana were far more than in neighbouring Punjab. The legal fraternity of Haryana is also miffed that very few Haryana judges have presided as the Chief Justice of the High Court; in fact many term it as discrimination. A separate High Court for Haryana would also provide a new route for elevation to the Supreme Court - which would benefit many judges from the Haryana cadre. However, a new High Court for Haryana would require that a Bill be passed in the State and the National assemblies, which is quite a tall order. It is also still a politically ‘debatable’ point. There should, however, be no need for further debate on the setting up of a Division Bench in Gurgaon. The commercial capital, the Millennium City, surely deserves this – and it now needs to be courted accordingly. u


B on V ivant

10-16 April 2015

Ready for the World { Barnali Dutta/FG }

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prakhar PANDEY

he Gurgaon beauty, Aditi Arya, is India’s hope at the Miss World Beauty Pageant to be held in the sizzling tourist locations of Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia. Come October and the whole of India will be rooting for the local belle, who is not only a pretty face and lissome body, but also quite a brainy lady. She is working as an analyst at Ernst & Young, one of the four big audit firms of the world. Miss World India, Aditi, Miss will pit her beauty & wit against 57 gorgeous women from across the globe, all of whom would be aiming to wrest the crown from last year’s winner Rolene Strauss of South Africa. Aditi is today the most sought after person in Gurgaon. Everyone wants to meet this wonder girl. RWA President Sanu Kapila of Nirvana Country, where Aditi’s family stays, says that requests have poured in from all quarters. Kapila, a close acquaintance of Aditi’s family,

says that they had moved in to Nirvana about a year ago. “Her parents are nice, simple and honest. And these values seem to have been well imbibed by the vivacious Aditi. No wonder all her answers at the pageant came straight from her heart!” he says. Ask Aditi if she was always focused on this event and her reply is, “If someone asked me a couple of years ago if that thought ever crossed my mind, I would have replied in the negative.” But when the opportunity came her way, she dreamt of making it beyond Miss Delhi. “I wanted to be Miss India and I have worked very hard to get there. I have always given my hundred percent to all the opportunities that have come my way,” she says. “So give it your all, you never know which way life may take you,” is Aditi’s message for all those who come to see her. “I had never imagined that I would be Miss India. Now I am even more focused. I want to be Miss World," she says with a steely determination. Aditi is the latest icon of Gurgaon, a role model for many aspiring young girls. At the age of 21 Aditi has already gained huge stardom. A stream of visitors, many of them youngsters, comes to see her every day. Often there is a scramble for her autograph. Aditi, of course, is getting pretty ‘used to’ such adulation. She also knows that there will be much more if she manages to win the world crown. This thought gives her immense strength…and loads of patience as well. Aditi’s mother is of course a proud woman. When asked about her daughter, she answers all queries with patience. “My daughter is a very soft spoken girl. But that does not mean she has ever lacked determination,” she says. “Till recently her total concentration had been on her career. Earlier, during her education, Aditi had been extremely studious. After completing her graduation from Delhi University she had joined an MBA course at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. It was here that the seed - of competing for the Femina Miss India pageant - was sown,” says her mother. When Aditi approached her parents with the proposal, they agreed to support her dreams. However, young Aditi never gave up on the idea of building a strong career for herself. Her deferred admission to the MBA course at ISB landed her an analyst’s job at Ernst & Young. She promptly took on this new challenge in her life. When the time came to compete for the Miss Delhi crown, she plunged wholeheartedly into it and came out tops. That paved the way for the higher goal – Miss India. This was achieved on March 28th this year at a glittering ceremony at the Yashraj Studios in Mumbai. Aditi Arya aspires to represent India at multiple platforms and holds a tremendous desire to bring the Miss World crown back to India. Yet, as a child, she was more of a happygo-lucky kid. Her mother got a little emotional while talking about her childhood. “She was an extremely happy child and always did very well in school. But even at a tender age she would

dream of doing something different and doing some good for the country as well,” says her mother. Her younger sister is a chip off the old block. “As of now I do not have any ‘glamour world’ plans. I am quite happy as I am and I am very happy for my sister. I also want to continue with my studies and see how I discover myself in the future,” she says. Nirvana residents too are very proud of Aditi. “She has her feet planted firmly on earth,” gushes a fellow resident. “At such a young age she landed a plum job. Now she is Miss India as well. And yet she is so down to earth, so loving and caring and always displays a warm heart,” she adds, on the sidelines of a function held at Nirvana to celebrate Aditi’s success. Aditi was at her charming best at the function. Addressed the crowd she said, “Femina Miss India has helped me groom myself better and also helped me learn so many new things,” her eyes turning gently to her approving mother who stood at her side. Aditi disagreed with the notion that such platforms have too many distractions and often ruin one’s character. “I do not subscribe to such views. Everything really depends on the person. Aditi with her family.

If you want to, nothing can deter you from following an ethical and disciplined path in life,” she said. Aditi got emotional while sharing her views on the empowerment of women. ”The times have clearly changed. Even women need to think of building successful careers. They need to assert themselves in society. Sooner than later they will be respected for everyone” She was extremely happy to note that many girls from Haryana are stepping out of their homes. “Quite a number of girls from Haryana have excelled in various fields. I believe that the society here has started accepting the changes. Though many parts of Haryana are still steeped in old traditions and practices, now ‘beta’ and ‘beti’ are not viewed too differently,” she concluded. u

B on V ivant

10-16 April 2015

Itemising Dance { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }


ith her enchanting songs, her rare beauty and clever tricks, this wild ‘wanderess’ ensnared my soul like a gypsy-thief, and led me foolish and blind to where you find me now’ - Roman Payne, The Wanderess When one hears the term ‘item number’, the image of a catchy and often provocative dance sequence, which often has no link to the story of the Bollywood film, flashes before one’s eyes. Bollywood cinema has always been synonymous with song and dance sequences; Dance has been integral to its success. In fact, even some badly made films survived at the box office because of their ‘catchy’ dance sequences. ‘Item’ dance numbers have enticed the Indian moviegoing audience for decades – especially those in the ‘front stalls’. During the first fifty years of ‘Bollywood dancing’, the lead actresses also danced seductively, but only for the hero of the film, and the rare ‘item’ numbers, performed by professional dancer-actresses, were set in ‘shady’ surroundings - a veritable stereotype of masked morality. In the few cases where the heroine would dance in the presence of gangsters, smugglers and underworld dons, the ‘item number’ had a definite purpose – like the hoodwinking of the bad guys. This was considered an ‘acceptable’ act, within the overall concept of ‘victory of the good over the bad’. Sensing the popularity of ‘item numbers’ with the audience, by the 1970s almost all ‘popular movies’ had one dance sequence set in a nightclub or a ‘den’. With this was created a breed of ‘item dancers’, a trend that continued well into the 1980s. These ‘item dancers’, most of them performing cabarets in sleazy nightclubs, became an integral part of the pre-release publicity posters. Padma Khanna, Prema

Narayan, Jayashree T, Kalpana Iyer, Bindu and, not to forget the dancing diva, Helen became ‘household’ names. Though many lead actresses were exceptional dancers themselves, they probably would not have had the same ‘impact’ as these ‘item dancers’ – assuming first, of course, that that would have agreed! Imagine Asha Parekh performing ‘Piya tu ab to aaja’ in place of Helen (Caravan, 1970) or ‘Mera naam hai Shabnam’ in place of Bindu (Kati Patang, 1970), Rakhee performing ‘Reshmi ujala hai’ in place of Jayashree T (Sharmilee, 1971) and Hema Malini performing ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ in

place of Helen (Sholay, 1975). The nouveau hippy generation of the 1970s loved these dance sequences, which often relieved them of the ‘monotony’ of a three-hour ‘serious’ film. Thanks mainly to R.D. Burman’s catchy numbers, all these movies, aided by their dance numbers, became runaway hits. However, within a decade Indian society was ready for the ‘item course’ becoming the ‘main course’. By the beginning of the 1980s the sensuous item girls had been replaced by the lead heroines themselves. The actresses were bolder and had less inhibitions. Who can forget the talented Parveen Babi essaying the role of a club dancer in Namak Halaal (1982), enticing Shashi Kapoor with her dance sequence ‘Jawaani jaaneman haseen dilruba’. This trend continued well into the next decade, with heroines like Mandakini, Kimi Katkar, Sonam, Rati Agnihotri, Dimple (in her comeback avatar), Madhavi, Farah and Neelam. However, most of these heroines, and other new age vamps like Kunika, did not get the audience’s approval, and ‘item’ dance numbers went comatose for some time. Only Madhuri Dixit, the Queen of Bollywood for more than a decade, bucked the trend. ‘Ek do teen’ (Tezaab, 1988) and ‘Choli ke peeche kya hai’ (Khalnayak, 1993) became the dancing hits of the century. Failed actresses like Ayesha Jhulka, Sheeba and Kanchan, and even successful heroines like Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon tried to tread on the Madhuri path, but only had limited success. However, the strong potential of an ‘item song’ had by now been well acknowledged. By the turn of the millennium, producers were willing to put in crores of rupees for the shooting of one item song. Malaika Arora and Yana Gupta excelled as exclusive ‘item dancers’, lapping it up with Munni badnaam hui (Dabang, 2010) or Babuji zara dheere

chalo (Dum, 2003). New generation stars like Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone have had no inhibition in shedding clothes or performing acrobatic manoeuvers in ‘sizzling’ dance numbers like Chikni Chameli (Agneepath, 2012) or Dance like a Chhamiya (Happy New Year, 2014). These numbers had no bearing on the storyline and were intended only for entertainment. Some of these songs have become so popular that they are played by DJs at discotheques, parties and even marriages, where ‘respectable’ men and women shake a leg - a significant departure from the ‘moralistic’ society of the 1960s. Bollywood movies now rake in Rupees 100+ crores within five days of release. The ‘item’ dance numbers have become ‘use a few times and discard’ entities. It is hardly surprising that these ‘items’, shot at staggering budgets of around two crores rupees each (perhaps the total cost of making three art films) are forgotten within a


couple of months, replaced by new ‘item’ numbers - with new ‘dancer-heroines’ - that are being made in movie ‘factories’ every month. When the ‘overexposed’ Mallika Sherawat performed a standalone belly dance number, ‘Mayya Mayya’ (Guru, 2007), it was perhaps forgotten on the day of its release only. Contrast that with ‘Piya tu’ and ‘Mehbooba’ – evergreen even today. Most of the ‘item numbers’ no longer guarantee box office success. The current Indian movie-goer who now pays for the producer’s supper is an urban globalite who wants to see movies that have proper storylines. He can easily get his ‘item fix’ at YouTube or elsewhere on the Net. A song and dance in any form is fine as long as it is integral to the plot. Even Indian Cinema can no longer be just about any song and dance….anywhere. u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi danseuse and choreographer

Good Food Guide { Ankur Mithal }


s soon as I started reading the morning paper my stomach started growling. Straining my olfactory senses to understand the reason for this insouciance and not finding any, I picked up the morning paper once again. However, I soon discovered the reason for the grumbling. On the last page, which is where I start and gradually work my way towards the murders, rapes, political somersaults and bombings on the front page, was a small item about a popular Mediterranean restaurant that was celebrating a Nepolitano pizza festival. My stomach had apparently reached the item before my eyes had! Now, we all global folk by now know that most ‘proper names’ with an ‘o’ sound at the end must be Italian. What? Haven’t you heard of Al Pacino or Robert De Niro? Haven’t you seen ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’? Anyway, back to the paper. The Nepolitano festival promised to be a culinary delight, offering authentic Italian recipes and the freshest ingredients. This restaurant was worth a visit, I promised myself. Call me fussy it you will, and you may put it down to my banking days when I spent many years double-checking small transactions while missing out the big ones, but I always do a thorough verification before I commit myself. I looked up the Oxford dictionary… online of course…and there it was. Neapolitaine. That calmed me down; it confirmed that the cuisine on offer was authentic. How did I know? Because I know that no self-respecting Italian can (or wants to) spell English well. Since it was spelt incorrectly – Nepolitano, not Neapolitaine - the cuisine must be authentic. I made my way to the ‘authentic Italian’ restaurant. To make it as authentically Italian as it could get, I had pre-decided what I was going to order. I would go for leg of lambo and dal makhnio with naano. Eat your heartso out folkso!u

We Indians are fussy eaters. We enjoy a variety of cuisines from around the world but they must be cooked with ‘garam masala’ and ‘haldi’, softened in a mix of onions and tomatoes and cooked in vegetable or mustard oil. Importantly, we know an ‘authentic’ cuisine when we see one. However, cuisine today is increasingly becoming uni-dimensionally authentic. It is now touted as authentic Andhra coastal cuisine, Hyderabadi ‘biryani’ or Gujarati ‘thali’. What next? An authentic ‘khichri’ of authentic cuisines?


10-16 April 2015

G -Scape prakhar PANDEY

New Canal, Reservoir & Plant

Chandu Budhera Water Treatment Plant

Friday gurgaon 10 16 april, 2015 the change you wish to see

Friday gurgaon 10 16 april, 2015 the change you wish to see