2G case: CBI may file charge-sheet against some Essar officials

Attorney general GE Vahanvati has endorsed the stand of CBI director AP Singh for filing a charge-sheet against some of the officials of the Essar group for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy for securing 2G spectrum and also suppressing information

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may file a charge-sheet against some officials of Ruias-led multinational conglomerate Essar in the second generation (2G) spectrum case, a move for which attorney general GE Vahanvati has given his nod, reports PTI.

The CBI has claimed that Essar had more than 10% of cross-holdings in Loop Telecom which was against the norms, a charge denied by the two companies.

Sources privy to the development said that the attorney general (AG) has endorsed the stand of CBI director AP Singh for filing a charge-sheet against some of the officials of the Essar group for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy for securing 2G spectrum and also suppressing information.

The final decision in the matter would be taken by the CBI director after taking into account the opinion of the AG, its own prosecution director and Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which had said that Essar had less than 3% of shares in Loop Telecom, they said.

Essar has maintained that it had adhered to the rules and complied with the telecom guidelines.

The sources said CBI, whose stand has been backed by the AG, may file its last charge-sheet against some members of Ruia family and other officials of the Essar group for suppressing facts.

The CBI had approached the country’s top law officer after its prosecution department differed with its findings on cross-holding of shares of Essar in Loop Telecom in connection with the 2G scam, contending there is no ground for a case against it, the sources said, maintaining the agency has not the report so far.

The opinion of the agency’s Department of Prosecution (DoP) was similar to the one given by the corporate affairs ministry, which had given a clean chit to Essar, saying its shareholding pattern was 2.15%, less than the mandatory 10% when 2G licence was granted, they said.

The CBI, however, has alleged that the cross-holding of shares of Essar in Loop Telecom was over the prescribed 10%, a charge denied by both the companies.

The Registrar of Companies (RoC) in Mumbai has said, “The Essar Group, directly or indirectly, held only 2.15% of Loop Telecom as on 3 September 2007, i.e. the date on which the application was made to DoT for UAS licence.”

The RoC letter also said that the documents of the company do not substantiate ‘Associate’ relationship between “Essar Group and Khaitan Group” as alleged.

Several officials of the companies, including Prashant Ruia, have been quizzed by the CBI at length ever since the agency started its probe in the case.

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4% agri growth will check inflation in 12th Plan: Plan panel

The Planning Commission is aiming at 4% farm growth in the 12th Plan (2012-17), the same level targeted in the 11th Plan (2007-12). Plan panel member Abhijit Sen suggested that growth in production of foodgrain has been satisfactory, but the country needs to improve production of other crops, including pulses and oilseeds

New Delhi: The Planning Commission today said 4% growth of the agriculture sector is required to keep a check on inflationary pressure in the 12th Five Year Plan beginning April 2012, reports PTI.

“During the 11th Plan, we will have 3.3% to 3.5% agriculture growth... short of (targeted) 4%... In a sense, inflation shows that this is simply not enough (to tame price rise)," Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen said here while addressing a conference on agriculture.

Mr Sen also suggested that growth in production of foodgrain has been satisfactory, but the country needs to improve production of other crops, including pulses and oilseeds.

The Commission is aiming at 4% farm growth in the 12th Plan (2012-17), the same level targeted in the 11th Plan (2007-12).

Mr Sen’s statement is significant in view of persistently high inflation, particularly in food items. The government has come under severe attack as inflation is hovering close to the double-digit mark.

Inflation for the month of September stood at 9.72% and food inflation in the country touched a nine-month high of 12.21% in the week ended 22nd October on the back of costlier vegetables, pulses and milk.

About supply side constraints fuelling food inflation, he said, “The supply side constraints are not worse than they were.”

Earlier last month, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said, “The current inflation pressures are mainly because of supply side constraints of agricultural products.”

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National Consumer forum hauls up Nizam Institute for lapses in medical services

According to NCDRC ruling, Hyderabad-based NIMS and two of its doctors showed deficiency in medical service leading to death of a patient in 2000

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has hauled up Hyderabad-based Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and two of its doctors for lapses in medical services leading to a patient’s death and directed them to pay Rs3 lakh to the victim’s family as compensation.

The victim, Vinayaka Rao, died on 16th December 2000 after he fell down in bathroom a day ago, while he was under going a treatment for acute leukaemia at NIMS. His wife N Shree Mani, along with her three children filed a case in State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission of Andhra Pradesh against NIMS alleging the hospital and two of its doctor did not provide timely treatment to Mr Rao.

According to the petition Mr Rao was suffering from acute leukaemia. He was consulted at NIMS on 27 November 2000, where the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia was diagnosed and same day he was admitted in the hospital for treatment. On 15th December, the patient developed high fever and was prescribed medicines after check up by a doctor. After few hours, Mr Rao fell in the bathroom but there was no doctor  available at that time to treat him. According to Mrs Shree Mani, the same doctor was reached over phone, who then advised to give another tablet to Mr Rao.

Mrs Mani says that when the patient fells down, a CT scan was required as he was suffering from high fever, hence it “shows lack of reasonable and timely care.”
Defending that there was not any deviation of medical practice in treating the patient, NIMS said, “It is not uncommon for patients to remain in excellent health and suddenly deteriorate while on chemotherapy. As for sudden high fever on 15 December 2000, NIMS stated that, “The spike in fever was due to neutropenic fever. It is not a reflection of the platelet count or hemoglobin.”

Considering medical literatures showing that infection and hemorrhage are primary causes of death in patients with leukemia and fever is sensitive but non-specific sign of infection in neutropenic patients, the Andhra Pradesh Consumer Forum ruled out the case of medical negligence.  

Mrs Mani challenged the decision of state commission and appealed to the NCDRC. As she could not obtain a report from an independent medical expert, the NCDRC sent all the details of the treatment given to Mr Rao to All India Institute of Medical Science (AIMS), New Delhi for assessment.

The committee of AIIMS, in its assessment on the fall of the patient in the bathroom, stated that, “It has been established from the record that the patient had a fall on the 15th day of his treatment, but the details of the fall, injury sustained if any, clinical condition post fall and CT scan are not available. There is a mention of altered sensoriumon on 16th day that may be a part of Intra Cranial event (which may be a neurological manifestation) or Neutropenic shock because of infection.”

The victim’s wife personally argued that there was no treatment record for 15th December 200. The next entry was made on 16th December. The NCDRC said, “This explains why AIIMS have observed in their report that no record of clinical condition of the patient from the afternoon of 15th December till the morning of 16th December is available”

The Commission also noted that “the observation of the expert committee that in the absence of record of the clinical condition of the patient from 15th December afternoon to 16th morning, they (AIIMS) were not in a position to comment whether there was medical negligence or not.”

Considering the observations of the AIIMS expert committee and the records of treatment on 15th December where the hospital decided not to discharge the patient, NCRDC stated that NIMS committed two serious lapses. “While the condition of the patient warranted assessment of the effect of fall in the bathroom (whether by CT scan or any other investigation) it was not done,” the Commission noted.

In its final order, the NCRDC said, “What compounds these two lapses is that the patient was running high temperature. In fact, it was serious enough for the NIMS and the doctors to postpone his discharge fixed for 15 December 2000. Secondly, as per their own evidence, NIMS knew that sudden deterioration in the condition of the patient was a strong possibility. Thirdly, the doctor knew about high fever and had been telephonically informed about the fall. In our considered view, these lapses amount to deficiency of service, within the meaning of Section 2(1) (g) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.”

The Commission ordered that the allegation of deficiency of service is upheld and lump sum compensation of Rs3 lakh should be given to Mr Rao’s widow and his children, with an interest at 7% from the date of the complaint, within a period of three months.

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