2G scam: SC asks CBI response on its stand on Kanimozhi

The apex court asked the additional solicitor general Haren Raval to make a statement before it on Tuesday on what basis it took decision not to oppose the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi and four others in the trial court in 2G scam after the other accused in the case pleaded that the CBI should also treat them on equal footing as far as bail is concerned

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to explain on what basis it took decision not to oppose the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi and four others in the trial court in second generation (2G) scam, reports PTI.

A bench of justices GS Singhvi and HL Dattu asked the additional solicitor general Haren Raval to make a statement before it on Tuesday in this regard after it was pleaded by other accused in the case that the investigating agency should also treat them on equal footing as far as bail is concerned.

The court was hearing bail pleas of five corporate five corporate honchos who pleaded that they should be released as there is no chance of them tampering with the evidence.

The investigating agency, however, opposed the bail plea of corporate executives—Unitech Wireless’ MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom’s Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group's executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara—who have approached the apex court for bail.

Earlier the agency on 24th October did not oppose the bail plea of Ms Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood producer Karim Morani before a special CBI court here.

It had, however, opposed bail plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and former telecom minister A Raja’s ex-private secretary RK Chandolia in the trial court.

Other accused in the case include Mr Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and three telecom firms Reliance Telecom, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless.

All the accused have pleaded that they have not done anything wrong and refuted the charge of drawing illegal benefits in allocation of 2G spectrum.

The 2G spectrum scandal involved officials in the government of India illegally undercharging mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones. The spectrum scam has cost the government Rs1.76 lakh crore.

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Lower provision, corporate loans push ICICI net up 22% to Rs1,503 crore

ICICI Bank’s standalone net profit in the September quarter jumped 22% to Rs1,503 crore from Rs1,236 crore in the year-ago period, while the net interest income grew nearly 14% to Rs2,506 crore from Rs2,204 crore and the fee income rose 7% to Rs1,700 crore from Rs1,590 crore

Mumbai: The country’s second largest lender ICICI Bank, which today posted a 22% rise in Q2 net, driven by a near 30% spike in corporate loans and an uptick in retail advances coupled with lower bad loan provisions, is bullish on profitability and advances growth, reports PTI.

The largest private lender said its standalone net profit in the September quarter jumped 22% to Rs1,503 crore from Rs1,236 crore in the year-ago period, while the net interest income (NII) grew nearly 14% to Rs2,506 crore from Rs2,204 crore, while the fee income rose 7% to Rs1,700 crore from Rs1,590 crore.

Total income basis increased to Rs9,897.17 crore during the quarter from Rs7,887.03 crore.

Attributing the better-than expected number to all- round growth, managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar said in a conference call this afternoon that “our loan growth was diversified in the September quarter, being led by corporate loan book which grew nearly 30%, primarily driven by working capital advances.

“What was significant was the 4% growth in the retail loan book, because for the past two years, we had not been consciously growing our retail assets at all. A part of the advances growth came from sanctions made in the previous quarter.”

Significantly, the bank’s net non-performing assets as a percentage of total loans fell sharply by 50% to 0.93% at the end of the reporting quarter at Rs319 crore, from Rs641 crore or 1.62% a year earlier, driven by a major improvement on the retail and non-secured loan books.

Its provision coverage ratio rose to 78% during the period, well above the RBI-mandated 70%.

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DGCA finds ‘blatant’ disregard of norms by flying schools

The discrepancies recorded in the DGCA audit include fudged recording of flying hours, no proper syllabus, non-availability of proper documentation, lack of essential infrastructure and even non-maintenance of air strips

New Delhi: ‘Blatant disregard’ of norms has been detected in the functioning of most flying schools in the country with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) warning them of strong action including cancellation of their permits if they failed to comply with the guidelines within 30 days, reports PTI.

The audit by the DGCA came in the wake of the fake pilot scam which led to cancellation of licences of over a score of pilots a few months ago for submission of fake or forged documents.

DGCA teams carried out audits of 40 flying schools across the country since mid-April and found discrepancies in almost all of them, DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan told reporters at the sidelines of a CII conference on civil aviation here.

“We have given them 30 days to comply with the guidelines or face stringent action,” he said when asked about the status of the audit into the flying training schools.

He, however, said the two state-run bodies—Rae Bareli-based Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy and Gondia Flying School—were functioning as per the guidelines.

Terming the audit findings as ‘disturbing’, DGCA sources warned of action, including closure of some schools, if ‘blatant disregard of norms’ continued.

The discrepancies recorded in the audit include fudged recording of flying hours, no proper syllabus, non-availability of proper documentation, lack of essential infrastructure and even non-maintenance of air strips, the sources said.

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