Consumer Issues
Bombay HC rejects Railways proposal to levy cess for medical services

Samir Zaveri, who had filed the PIL, told the court that annual income of the suburban Railways was Rs1,824 crore, while expenditure was Rs1,624 leaving a balance of Rs200 crore as surplus


The Bombay High Court has rejected the proposal of Central and Western Railways to levy cess on Mumbai suburban commuters for funding emergency medical centres at stations. The HC said it is the statutory obligation of the authorities under the Constitution to provide such service. 
Suresh Kumar, Railway Counsel, informed a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka that the authorities were proposing to levy a cess on monthly season ticket holders for such services. 
The Bench, while hearing a petition filed by railway and RTI activist Samir Zaveri, rejected the proposal saying that the Railways were under the obligation to provide emergency medical services free of cost to the commuters. Even the Constitution gave a right to the citizens to enjoy the right to safety, the bench ruled. 
While the Railways pleaded that their expenditure exceeded income and hence a levy was proposed, the petitioner, Zaveri, who himself lost both his legs in an accident, argued that suburban Railways were making a profit. 
Zaveri said he had learnt through an RTI that the annual income of the suburban Railways was to the tune of Rs1,824 crore, while the expenditure was Rs1,624 leaving a balance of Rs200 crore as surplus. 
The court also ordered the Railways to provide Emergency Medical Rooms at all the stations as soon as possible. 
The Railways informed that at big stations, where the accidents have numbered more than 100 in the recent months, emergency medical rooms would be set up in three months and at other stations they would come up in the next six months. 
The bench, however, asked the Railways to provide such services at the earliest. 
The court directed the Maharashtra Government to provide cardiac care unit to the ambulances stationed at the railway stations to carry accident victims to hospitals in emergency. 
"In keeping with the court orders, the Railways have to provide at their own cost an emergency medical room equipped with a bed, doctor and a nurse at every station and also keep ambulance as stand by to shift injured to hospitals in case of accidents," said the bench.
After a trauma centre was set up at Dadar railway station on the orders of the court, the HC in March 2013 ordered the Railways to consider setting up such rooms at other major stations — Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Bandra, Andheri, Borivli, Vasai, Palghar, Kurla, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Karjat, Wadala, Vashi and Panvel — which had seen over a 100 accidents in the previous year. 
Hundreds of people die every year on city's suburban railway system after falling from overcrowded trains and crossing the tracks, the PIL said and sought medical facilities for accident victims in the "golden hour" (within one hour of the accident).
According to railway police statistics, about 3,600 people die and over 4,000 are injured every year, with activists blaming overcrowding and the lackadaisical attitude of railway authorities for the mishaps. 
Moneylife Foundation has set up the Samir Zaveri Railway Helpline that provides email assistance to all commuters. 




2 years ago

Great Work (Seva to society)

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Dear Samir,
Well deserved act acomplished. I am sure your continuous zeal will ensure implementation in the not too distant.Kudos once again.


2 years ago

My heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for your PIL and rest of the services provided by you Shri Samir.

Virendra Jain

Legal Amendments: Fixing Things or Adding to the Mess?

With amendments to the Companies Act 2013, the present government seems to be moving quickly to address past mistakes in legislation. But has it done a thorough job?


One area where the Modi government seems to be moving swiftly and silently is to fix bad laws that were written by the UPA over the past decade. The new Companies Act, 2013, to replace the Companies Act 1956, was hurriedly pushed through parliament in the last few months of UPA government, despite serious concerns about its broad sweep, onerous reporting requirements and draconian provisions. (Check out Moneylife Cover Story, 19 September 2013, New Companies Bill & SEBI Ordinance: Hope, Hype & Horror).


The managing director of a blue-chip company told me that the government had received seven lakh representations from companies, chambers of commerce and professionals about hardship it would cause. Every one of them was ignored and the Act was hurriedly passed.


The NDA, after it swept to power, has been quietly making changes through hurried notifications. So, a little after a year the Companies Act, 2013, was passed, the Lok Sabha, on 17th December, has passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014. Getting the Bill cleared by the Rajya Sabha will be more difficult but not because members will be more diligent in examining the Bill in greater detail.


The amendment, among other things, seeks to address the confidentiality and privacy concerns of businesses. The previous Act required certain board resolutions to be filed with the RoC (registrar of companies); public inspection of such documents will now be prohibited. However, industry wanted the government to scrap the filing requirement itself which hasn’t happened. What I am concerned with is the lack of any public discussion while amending a key Act, especially since the government seems to be listening only to the concerns of big industry houses and chambers of commerce and not to investors, depositors or small businesses, running private limited companies.


The amended Act prescribes specific punishment for raising deposits in violation of the provisions of the new Act. This will stop many dubious companies raising deposits in the garb of hybrid bonds and debentures without being subject to any regulation. But it still does not address the problem of MCA’s failure to act decisively to redress complaints.


Thousands of depositors have filed complaints with the CLB (company law board) against companies like Elder Pharma, Birla Power Solutions, Neesa Leisure, Plethico Pharma, Ind Swift, Micro Technologies India, Ankur Drugs, Asian Electronics and the Ansal group, for failure to pay interest or refund matured deposits. There is no response. What happens to these cases? What happens in future to such cases, if the new law is not used in the interests of the depositors?



Anil S Desai

8 months ago

For all these companies, this is new channel for corruption and money laundering.
Modi Govt. talking so much against corruption seems to be doing nothing to get get the hard earned money back to depositors.

Vinod Joshi

8 months ago

Apart from the points from Mr. Girme's, there is total apathy from bureaucrats and police to move the things at faster pace. I believe there is a racket in bureaucracy who purposely supporting these purporators. Of course our FM did nothing about it after making so many complaints.

Nikhil S Girme

10 months ago

New Deposits Act 2013 or 2014..what difference does it make to Sr citizens who are waiting for their money from fraudulent companies like Unitech, Jaiprakash, Neesa, Phadnis, Tricom India, Bilcare Ltd,Plethico, is exactly one year since this article was published but I cant control myself but get very angry that the govt has done something which they are still not aware deposits Act instead of strenghtening the position of depositors have further diluted the law...All the above companies promoters must be made stripped, their faces blackened and hanged in front of the public..And on top of this Arun Jaitley who himself is now under corruption charges also should be taken to task..PMO is only interested majorly in handshaking all over the world and giving same old boring speeches but no action...We have written , mailed, twittered atleast 100 times to PMO, FMO but no response besides lipservice...When will the govt swign in action on these companies....? Very very frustrating ...We have one of the worst law makers with no accountability..From last 9 mths we are meeting Gujarat Inspector General of Police to register a simple complaint against an already arrested IAS office cum promoter of Neesa for non repayment of deposits to the tune of 60 Cr...but nobody wants to move...Pls Ms Dalal can you get things moving ?

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

Indian law's contradicts its own intentions.

Nifty, Sensex may be under pressure – Tuesday closing report

If Nifty closes below 8,250, we may see some more weakness


We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that the S&P CNX Nifty may continue to rise higher if it manages stay above 8,227. Today the benchmark opened flat and after a minor setback at the beginning, it moved higher to hit the day’s high. The index then started moving in a range up to 11.25 am. However, after this a gradual decline followed for the remaining session and the index closed in the negative after three consecutive days of gains.
Sensex opened at 27,733 while Nifty opened at 8,325. Sensex moved lower to the level of 27,475 after hitting a high of 27,851 while Nifty hit a high 8,365 before reaching the low of 8,253. Sensex closed at 27,506 (down 195 points or 0.71%), while Nifty closed at 8,267 (down 57 points or 0.68%). NSE recorded a volume of 69.17 crore shares. India VIX rose 7.65% to 15.2975.
The futures & options segment contracts for December 2014 expire tomorrow as the stock market remains closed on Thursday on account of Christmas.
The market was awaiting the outcome of the assembly elections results held at Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir. The latest trends showed that the BJP was leading in the Jharkhand assembly while People's Democratic Party was leading in Jammu & Kashmir.
Gujarat Gas (18.24%) and DCB Bank (6.08%) were among the top two gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Both of them hit their 52-week high today. It has been reported that mobile payments solutions provider iKaaz has tied up with DCB Bank to offer tap and pay mobile payment which will allow consumers to perform cashless transactions across various retailers in India.
Rasoya Proteins (4.65%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It went on to hit a new 52-week low today.
NTPC (2.88%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. NTPC has signed of a term loan facility of Rs 2,000 crore with Bank of Baroda. The loan has a door-to-door tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure. 
Tata Power (3.09%) was among the top two losers among the Sensex 30 stocks. Tata Power informed the BSE that a technical snag developed in Unit No.7 at Trombay Thermal Power Generating Station. The gas turbine generator rotor of the combined cycle gas based unit developed an inter-turn short and ground. However, there is no associated damage to any other equipment. The exact extent of the fault / repair and schedule required would be known once the rotor end rings are dismantled and fault / damage is closely examined.
On Monday, US indices closed in the green. Asian indices showed mixed performance. Among those indices trading today, KLSE Composite (0.29%) was the top gainer while Shanghai Composite (3.03%) was the top loser.
China recorded a deficit of $20.8 billion in its services trade with the rest of the world in November, official data showed on Tuesday. That was wider than a $17.2 billion deficit in the services trade for October. China previously reported a record $54.47 billion surplus on its merchandise trade in November. In November, the tourism sector recorded a deficit of $7.5 billion, while "other business services" had a deficit of $9.5 billion, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement on its website Tuesday. Over the first 11 months of the year, the country's services trade posted a deficit of $154.9 billion, the regulator said. The nation had a surplus of $332.5 billion in its merchandise trade over the same 11-month period.
European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading marginally higher.


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