2G scam: Court refuses bail to Shahid Balwa, two others

The court also took into account CBI’s apprehensions that the accused, if released on bail at this stage, may influence the witnesses as many of them are employed in their companies

New Delhi: Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, an accused in second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, was today refused bail by a Delhi court which said he has failed to “make out a case” for his release from jail in view of the apprehension that witnesses could be influenced, reports PTI.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge OP Saini, exclusively dealing with the 2G case, also dismissed the bail pleas of Mr Balwa’s cousin, Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, accused of facilitating Rs200 crore bribe to Kalaignar TV in which DMK MP Kanimozhi holds a 20% share.

“Considering the magnitude of the crime, nature and enormity of the allegations, character of evidence on record and the apprehension that the witnesses may be influenced in case if the accused are released on bail, I have no hesitation in holding that accused have failed to make out a case for bail. Bail applications are without merits and the same are dismissed,” the judge said.

The court also took into account CBI’s apprehensions that the accused, if released on bail at this stage, may influence the witnesses as many of them are employed in their companies.

“As such, when there is relationship of employer and employee between the accused and the witnesses or the accused is comparatively in an advantageous position, economically and financially vis-à-vis the witnesses, such an apprehension cannot be dismissed as unfounded,” the judge noted.

Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal are directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd in which Shahid Balwa also holds a stake.

The court said the allegation against the three accused are “grave” and there are supporting evidence on record against them.

“I have extracted in detail the facts of the case, nature of allegations against the accused persons, role played by them and the evidence on record.

“The same requires no detailed discussion and the facts are self-speaking. As such, there are grave allegations against all three accused and there is supporting evidence also on record,” the court said.

While pressing for Shahid Balwa's bail, advocate Majid Mammon had submitted before the court that his client had already been interrogated and if he is kept in custody, he may not be able to defend himself properly.

“The record of the case is voluminous and its disposal may take substantial time and the accused cannot be kept in custody indefinitely,” Mr Majid had argued.

He had contended that allegations against Shahid Balwa were false and he had to suffer loss. He added that the state exchequer suffered no loss and the grant of letter of intents (LoIs), UAS licences and spectrum were as per the policy of the government of India.

Special public prosecutor UU Lalit had opposed his bail plea saying that the case is of grave nature and while seeking bail, the accused have to make out a case for bail.

Mr Lalit had also referred to the facts as to how the cut-off date was changed, control of Swan Telecom was transferred and how the grant of LoIs, licences and spectrum were manipulated.

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IRDA seeks Life Insurance Council’s views on IPO norms

Deliberations on allowing insurance companies to list on the bourses have been going on between capital markets regulator SEBI and IRDA for nearly three years now

New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has sought the Life Insurance Council’s views on a revised draft of the proposed new guidelines for initial public offers (IPOs) by insurers, reports PTI.

Sources said the insurance regulator has sent a revised copy of the draft IPO guidelines to the council, seeking its comments prior to finalisation of the IPO guidelines for life insurance companies.

Deliberations on allowing insurance companies to list on the bourses have been going on between capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and IRDA for nearly three years now.

SEBI had in October last year given the go-ahead to insurance companies for coming out with IPOs. Under the current SEBI law, companies which have a track record of three successive years profit and have been in business for 10 years are allowed to list on the bourses.

Several of the insurance joint ventures, including Reliance Life, are about to complete 10 years of operations in India, while HDFC Standard Life and ICICI Prudential Life have already completed a decade of business here.

At present, besides state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), 22 private companies are offering life insurance policies. Over the last 10 years, the industry’s assets grew seven-fold to over Rs14 lakh crore.

As per the disclosure norms in the offer document mandated by SEBI, the insurers would have to disclose risk factors specific to their companies.

Also, the offer document would have a glossary of terms used in the insurance sector.

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Mandhana Industries net for FY10-11 jumps 53.80%, revenue up 33.96%

For the fourth quarter, Mandhana Industries saw its net profit touching Rs17.47 crore, which is a 17.73 % rise over the net profit of Rs14.84 crore for the corresponding period last year

Textile & garment maker, Mandhana Industries Ltd, reported its annual audited profit & revenue numbers with a 33.96% rise in revenue and a robust 53.80% jump in the net profit for the year ended on 31 March 2011.

For the fourth quarter, while the company saw its net profit touching Rs17.47 crore, which is a 17.73 % rise over the net profit of Rs14.84 crore for the corresponding period last year, its net sales increased by nearly 57.88% to Rs294.49 crore in the reporting quarter from Rs186.53 crore for the corresponding quarter last fiscal year.

Manish Mandhana, managing director, Mandhana Industries said, “We are delighted that we have exceeded the targets set for ourselves for the year both in terms of sales and profits. Though the last quarter has seen declines in operating and net margins on back of volatile raw material prices and negative non-operating incomes, the annual sales and profits have both grown substantially over the previous financial year. The expanded weaving capacities became operational towards the end of the financial year. With the new garmenting capacities at Tarapur and Baramati becoming operational in phases in the next financial year and also with ‘Being Human’ retail stores rolling out by the end of calendar year, we are well poised to take a further leap in the ensuing year.”

Commenting on the challenges on the business front, Mitesh Shah, vice president, finance & corporate affairs, Mandhana Industries said, “The yarn prices continue to be highly volatile thereby affecting the stability of our existing operating margins. We have been partially successful in balancing the margins through achieving higher sales realisations with our cutting edge in designing coupled with wide product offerings both in fabrics and garments. We have also evolved a better mechanism to systematically hedge our foreign currency exposures and have been successful in managing the volatility in foreign exchange rates to our advantage. For the subsequent periods, our endeavour shall be to improve the operating margins through efficient and economical procurement practices.”

On Tuesday, Mandhana Industries ended 0.47% down at Rs180.10 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.10% to 18,011.97.

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