Citizens' Issues
2G case: Chief Justice refers accused plea to special bench

Expressing reservation in hearing the plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and other accused for staying order of a special bench, the bench headed by Chief Justice Kabir referred the matter to the same bench

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir on Thursday said it cannot adjudicate the plea of 2G case accused for recall of orders of another bench which had stayed the proceedings on all petitions linked to the spectrum case before the Delhi High Court, reports PTI.


"Let the matter be sent before the same bench," the bench, also comprising justices SS Nijjar and J Chelameswar said.


It expressed reservation in hearing the plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and other accused for stay of the 11 April 2011 and 9 November 2012 orders of a special bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi which had directed that no court other than the apex court shall entertain any application relating to the case.


The accused have also questioned the authority of the bench for monitoring developments in the case after filing of the charge sheets contending that it was against the guidelines of the apex court which had clearly stated that the monitoring of the case comes to an end with filing of the charge sheet.


"We can only ask another bench to deal with the matter and decide," the bench told their counsel Ram Jethmalani, who argued the orders violated the principle of natural justice as they were passed without hearing the accused persons.


The hour-long hearing started with heated exchange between the CJI and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who represented the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), on whose PIL along with the petition of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, the apex court had quashed the licences for the 2G spectrum and had ordered the CBI probe into the scam.


Bhushan too wanted to be heard, but the CJI said CPIL cannot be allowed to be impleaded in the matter as there was no "certificate of authorisation" for Bhushan to appear for it in the case.


The bench did not agree with Bhushan that under the rules regulating the society, he being the general secretary of the NGO was entitled to file petitions on its behalf.


The bench was of the view that the authorisation certificate for appearing in the matter has to be issued by the governing body of the NGO.


The advocate said he was finding it as an "extra-ordinary" situation in the court.


After brief exchange, the bench said "kindly show us authorisation, we will hear you."


It commenced the hearing of the plea of accused, asking CBI counsel KK Venugopal to make submissions on his objection from hearing the petition.


Venugopal said the plea for recall of orders of another bench was "not maintainable" as the special bench which passed an ex-parte order had issue notices to them seeking their response.


Jethmalani, however, said the petition was maintainable as it was relating to the fundamental rights of persons to seek redressal from courts.


The bench said such redressal can be sought from the bench which was dealing with the matter.


Besides Balwa, others who have approached the apex court are Vinod Goenka, promoter of Swan Telecom, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal (both directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd).


Gold Savings Scheme from jewellers: What you need to know

Many jewellers offer gold savings schemes wherein you pay specific number of instalments to get bonus added by the jeweller at the end of the period. Find out the different offers available today and what you need to be aware of before signing up

Jewellers offer schemes like Tanishq (Titan Industries) Golden Harvest Jewellery savings scheme wherein you pay in instalments for fixed duration (11 months) and the jeweller will pay the last instalment. With this amount you can buy gold anywhere in India from any Tanishq showroom at the end of the year. The payment of last instalment works out to be over 15% return on your scaled investment in the golden harvest scheme. There is no tax deducted and no regulatory hassles like Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.


Many jewellers are offering similar Gold Savings Scheme (GSS) and they are popular as high gold price preclude those without lump-sum cash to make a big purchase. Before you sign-up, you need to know the risk factors and understand the alternate options to jeweller GSS.


The inherent drawbacks with GSS include

  • Being at the mercy of gold prices at the end of scheme term – If gold prices are higher at the end of your agreed term with jeweller than the period you made instalment payments, you won’t gain much with GSS.


  • High making charges from reputed jewellers selling branded jewellery - There is huge variance in jewellery making charges between different jewellers, but you cannot negotiate it when you are buying under GSS. There are normally 12% to 20% making charges and wastages; some jewellers charge almost 30% making charges for intricate jewellery. Check if the scheme allows low or no making charge for plain gold jewellery. For example, GRT jewellers Gold Tree scheme specifies “No making charge for plain gold jewellery (except special design and Nages items)”.


  • There are no options for buying gold or silver coins, bars, solitaire at end of the term - You can only buy jewellery at their stores.


  • Terms and Conditions (T&C) for missed payment or premature withdrawal – Need to understand it as well as other fine print. For example, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Kalpavruksha Plan is for buying 22kt gold, diamond or platinum jewellery while Tanishq Golden Harvest scheme allows you to buy 18kt diamond and 22kt gold jewellery.


  • There is no regulator for GSS offered by jewellers - If you risk a small jewellery shop to take your instalments, you risk a huge loss if you find that the jeweller shut the shop. Clearly, GSS is for those who want to make gold jewellery in near future and not for investors. It is not for putting large chunk of your savings.



PC Jewellers

Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri

Gitanjali group

Gitanjali Jewels


GRT jewellers

Scheme name

Jewels for less




Golden Harvest

Gold Tree

Your instalments in months


12, 15, 18, 24

11, 21, 30




Jeweller’s bonus instalment in months


1, 1.5, 2, 3.5

1.5, 4.5, 9 for diamond, 1, 3, 6 for gold

2 for diamond, 1 for gold


1 plus cash incentive of 40% of one month instalment

Source: Jeweller website


Another kind of GSS allows you to lock the gold price at each instalment payment to avoid the drawbacks explained above. While this is good for the customer as you are actually doing a gold SIP (systematic investment plan), the jeweller usually will not offer any incentive like payment of last instalment. This is because the jeweller cannot use your instalment payment as a float in this case. They have to buy the gold and keep it aside for you or take huge risk of using the float with the hope that gold prices will reduce at the end of the term so that he can easily buy gold from your payments and give it to you.


Some may offer reduction in making charge to lure you into this type of GSS. Gitanjali group offers Swarna Mangal scheme which offers a carrot of 30% discount on making charges of the jewellery that you purchase. If you don’t find the incentive attractive, why would you risk by letting the jeweller lock-in the gold rate without giving you physical gold delivery. You would do well by taking physical gold delivery rather than opt for such type of GSS.


Moneylife had done a survey last year for cover story on gold. Almost half of the respondents were aware of jewellery GSS offered by jewellers such as Titan, but surprisingly only 15%would invest in such schemes and it was more for ease of payment rather than better returns or tax savings.


What are the other options GSS customers can turn to? Most of the Gold ETFs, FoF (fund of funds) do not offer physical delivery of gold and hence can be ruled out. E-Gold does allow physical delivery, but it along with Gold ETF needs a demat account and hence brokerage for buying and selling.


In the next article, we will give couple of new, innovative non-jeweller options for GSS customers.


Read -




4 years ago

Perhaps the most important thing to know is . . . How to say NO to these Gold Savings schemes.

RTI Judgement Series: PIO cannot deny information under Section 11 and Section 7(9)

The PIO was reprimanded for denying information in a casual manner by using Section 11 and Sect 7(9). This is the tenth in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Aligarh Muslim University was reprimanded for denying information in a casual manner and using Section 11 and Section 7(9) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While giving this judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner said “...the denial of information on the basis of these two sections was without any basis in law and denial of information can only be under Section 8(1) or Section 9”.
“The PIO will give the information to the appellant before 25 January 2009. He is also warned that denying information in this casual manner will invoke the penal provisions of Section 20 of the Act,” the Central Information Commission (CIC) said in its order dated 9 January 2009.
Aligarh-based Shema, on 6 July 2008 sought certain details about number of persons who had applied for certain inspection of exam answer papers. 
She sought information on following queries:
“1 How many persons applied for photocopies of OMR sheets or for the inspection of OMR sheets of any candidate appeared in any of the competitive admission tests organized by AMU, in 2008. Kindly let me know the dates of receipts of their application and names of examination, saving the names of applicants or the names of the candidates of roll nos.
2- How many persons applied for photocopies of question booklets or for the inspection of question booklet of any candidate appeared in any of the competitive admission tests organized by AMU, in 2008. Kindly let me know the dates of receipts of their applications and names of examination saving the names of applicants or the names of candidates or roll numbers.
3- How many persons applied for photocopies of answer keys or for the inspection of Answer Keys of question booklets given to any candidate appeared in any of the competitive admission tests organized by AMU, in 2008. Kindly let me know the dates of receipt of their applications saving the names of applicants or the names of candidates or roll numbers.”
The PIO however denied the information saying that "the desired information relates to the third party, as per section 11(1) of RTI Act, 2005, and therefore cannot be provided.”
Ms Shema then approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA). While rejecting her application, the FAA said, “Since the information sought by you does not help the office in its day-to-day functioning therefore it would put unnecessary burden on the resources. The request is rejected under Section 7(9) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, the information seeker being a resident within 1 km of this office can visit the section under prior intimation on any working day during office hours to go through the records herself. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed off”.
Not satisfied with the reply, she then approached the Commission. After hearing both the sides, Mr Gandhi, pointed out that denial of information on the basis of Section 11 and Section 7 (9) of the Act was without any basis in law and denial of information can only be under Section 8 (1) or Section 9.
“Section 11 sets out a procedure for giving the opportunity to a third party to give his objections and Section 7 (9) can be invoked only to state that information in the format demanded by the appellant is not possible. However the PIO would have to offer the information in an alternate format when invoking Section 7(9). Besides the queries do not lend themselves at all to using Section 11 or Section 7 (9),” the Commission said in its order issued on 9 January 2009.
Decision No. CIC/OK/A/2008/01256/SG/0937
Appeal No. CIC/OK/A/2008/01256
Appellant                                                        : Mrs Shema
                                                                                  Aligarh - 202002
Respondent 1.                                               : Wajid Ali
                                                                                  Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
                                                                                  O/o the Controller of Examination
                                                                                  Admission Section, AMU, Aligarh 


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