Yesterday we mentioned that Nifty is headed for 6,080 but the market is vulnerable to a sharp decline
Upbeat quarterly performance by TCS and gains in realty, banking and FMCG stocks enabled the volatile market close higher for the second day in a row. However, the market is in a continued risky uptrend. Yesterday we mentioned that Nifty is headed for 6,080 but the market is vulnerable to a sharp decline. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 69.76 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 845:861.
The market opened firm on the back of better-than-expected quarterly earnings announced by IT major TCS after the market closed yesterday. On the global front, Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on concerns about the corporate earnings. Overnight markets in the US ended flat on reports that Apple Inc cut orders for parts for the iPhone5 due to weak demand.
Back home, the Nifty opened 14 points up at 6,308 and the Sensex started the day at 20,000, a gain of 94 points over its previous close. However, the benchmarks could not sustain the gains and were soon trending lower, albeit still in the positive. Range-bound trade followed amid strong volatility.
The market dipped into the red to touch their lows in noon trade on selling pressure in healthcare, PSU, power and oil & gas stocks. At this point the Nifty slipped to 6,019 and the Sensex dropped to 19,882.
The fall was temporary as the benchmarks picked up momentum once again on buying support from realty, fast moving consumer goods, banking and consumer durables sectors. The upmove the market to its intraday high in the last hour wherein the Nifty climbed to 6,069 and the Sensex surged to 20,037.
A small bout of profit taking towards the close of the trading session resulted in the market settling off the highs. The Nifty settled 33 points (0.54%) higher at 6,057 and the Sensex posted a gain of 80 points (0.40%) to finish the session at 19,987, off the 20,000 mark breached earlier.
While the Sensex continued its gains for the second day, the broader indices closed on a mixed note. The BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.27% and the BSE Small-cap index lost 0.06%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE Realty (up 1.05%); BSE Bankex (up 0.72%); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.59%); BSE TECk (up 0.58%) and BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.45%). BSE Metal (down 0.30%) and BSE IT (down 0.23%) ended lower.
Fifteen of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were Bharti Airtel (up 4.81%); ITC (up 1.98%); ICICI Bank (up 1.53%); Tata Power (up 1.51%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.07%). The main losers were Coal India (down 1.54%); Sterlite Industries (down 1.31%); Jindal Steel (down 0.74%); Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 0.66%) and Infosys (down 0.62%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Idea Cellular (up 8.27%) and Berger Paints (up 7.91%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Jaiprakash Power Ventures (down 4.82%) and United Breweries (down 3.93%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Shalimar Paints (up 19.98%) and Beryl Drugs (up 16.67%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Ari Consolidated Investments (down 20.70%) and Vikas Globalone (down 18.70%).
Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 29 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were Bharti Airtel (up 5.23%); Ambuja Cement (up 4.03%); BPCL (up 3.39%); Axis Bank (up 3.02%) and UltraTech Cement (up 2.88%). The main losers were Sesa Goa (down 1.70%); Coal India (down 1.21%); HCL Technologies (down 1.16%); Asian Paints (down 0.95%) and Reliance Infrastructure (down 0.81%).
Markets in Asia pared their early gains and settled mostly lower following a warning from US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke about the fragility of the country’s economic growth and the possible default on its debt.
The Hang Seng declined 0.14%; the Jakarta Composite fell 0.10%; the KLSE Composite lost 0.03%; the Straits Times dropped 0.68%; the Seoul Composite tanked 1.16% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.75% lower. Among the gainers, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.60% and the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.72%.
At the time of writing, two of the three main markets in Europe were in the positive while the US stock futures were marginally lower.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs611.10 crore on Monday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities totalling Rs1,210.55 crore.
A consortium led by state-owned Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers is in talks with Canada-based Encanto Potash for a long term supply agreement of 2 million tonnes per annum of potash. RCF said Encanto Potash Corp has offered a discount of 8% on ruling market rate of muriate of potash (MoP) to India during the preliminary talks held in December, 2012. RCF settled 0.72% lower at Rs54.90 on the NSE.
Essar Oil today returned to black with a net profit of Rs32 crore in the December quarter and said it had received the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval to raise $2.2 billion foreign currency loans to refinance expensive rupee debt. The stock fell 0.14% to close at Rs73.15 on the NSE.
CK Birla group company Hindustan Motors (HM) is open to talks with other auto-makers for utilising the surplus capacity at its Chennai plant which was de-merged recently, a top company official has said. While the Chennai facility has a capacity of
24,000 units per annum, the plant is currently nearly 2,000 units of SUVs, namely Pajero and Outlander. The stock rose 6.14% to close at Rs12.10 on the NSE.
It makes sense for the moneyed class to demand a night-life on par with top international cities, but why are they unable to lobby for legitimate licenses and policy changes, instead of operating without completing legal formalities and subjecting innocent customers to the risk of raids and humiliation?
Blue Frog, a plush and happening pub in South Mumbai, frequented by the rich and famous, which was one of those targeted by vigilante cop Vasant Dhoble, remains in violation of several rules and regulations. Advocate Abha Singh, who has taken up the issue, says the firebrand and honest cop was humiliated and transferred in violation of the Maharashtra Government Servants Act, 2005, while those caught violating the law by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dhoble are having a heyday.
The ACP was transferred to a Control Room job after a hawker suffered a heart attack and died during an eviction drive in suburban Santacruz last week. Mr Dhoble has been in the news for the last two years. He came into the limelight for carrying out raids on late-night parties and bars, and then in September 2012 was moved from the Social Services Branch to the Vakola division. While his actions and tactics have caused an outrage among politicians and the super-rich, a large body of ordinary persons and activists are very vocal in their support for Dhoble, a one-man army against illegal occupation of roads and pavements by hawkers or flouting of licensing rules by bars and eateries.
According to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, the ACP was transferred to a non-executive post to ensure an impartial probe into the charge that his highhandedness caused the death of the hawker. “Though an autopsy has confirmed that the hawker died because of a brain haemorrhage, the probe was necessary in view of the controversy and complaints,” the chief minister said.
Dhoble was dumped to the Control Room for doing his duty honestly, but those law violators, such as the upmarket pub Blue Frog, against which full evidence is there on record, is being helped by those very people for whom Dhoble is a villain, claims Advocate Abha Singh.
She provides the following details in a press note, which she says are backed up by documentary evidence: On 17 June 2008, Blue Frog received a licence for using the place purely as a restaurant serving food and beverages and no live music, dance or DJ was permitted. This licence had been renewed up 31 March 2012. After overcoming several objections, on 20 January 2011 Blue Frog was permitted to have a live band only. It was also mandated in the license that for every performance NOC from “Rangbhumi Prayog Parinirkshan Mandal” shall be obtained and “any type or any kind of dance by any person should not be allowed”. This licence was valid up to 31 December 2011.
“Since the licence had expired and it had not been renewed because cancellation of its original licence was proposed, hence, it was required for Blue Frog to shut down its operations till the time the licence was renewed. However, this was not done and the pub continued with its activities,” said Adv Singh.
She said, while this pub was operational, there were repeated violations of laws of the Bombay Police Act, 1951. In the process, seven cases were registered by the police from time to time. In view of increasing violations, on 12 June 2012, ACP Dhoble raided the pub. After the raid by Dhoble, the process of cancellation of licence of Blue Frog got accelerated and on 16 June 2012, Kishor Jadhav, Deputy Commissioner of Police, sent a strong report to the Commissioner for cancelling licence of the pub.
Adv Singh said, despite the fact that such severe indictment has been made on Blue Frog, yet the pub goes on openly even today and the office of the Commissioner of Police, who transferred Dhoble overnight, is yet to shut down Blue Frog even though seven months have elapsed after Dhoble’s action.
While Maharashtra CM had admitted that Congress MP Priya Dutt and MLA Krishna Hegde met him to protest against Dhoble’s actions in Santacruz. Several former top officials feel that the action against Dhoble is politically motivated, especially give the fact that the hawker died of natural causes. Incidentally on the same day, according to media reports, a slum dweller in Dahisar died due to heart attack during a demolition drive under police watch. But this incident has been ignored by the politicians and authorities.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has also alleged that Dhoble was transferred due to pressure from MP Priya Dutt and some legislators. “Those who work efficiently should not be transferred in such a manner. I have read that the hawker died of brain haemorrhage. The CM has already said Dhoble has been transferred to allow a fair inquiry. The NCP is not opposing his stand, but we want the inquiry to be completed at the earliest and Dhoble should be reinstated if he is not at fault," he told reporters in Nashik.
The question here is, if the pub is so influential and frequented by Mumbai’s most wealthy and powerful people, why is it unable to have its permits and licenses in place? It makes sense for the moneyed class to demand a night-life on par with major international cities, but why are they unable to lobby for legitimate licenses and policy changes, instead of operating without completing legal formalities and subjecting innocent customers to the risk of raids and humiliation.
A Pension Trust controlled and substantially financed by the government is a Public Authority under the RTI Act. This is the 21st in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC, that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
A Pension Trust controlled and substantially financed by the government is a Public Authority as defined by Section 2 (h) (i) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, ordered the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) Employees Terminal Benefit Fund-2002, to appoint a Public Information Officer (PIO) and suo moto disclose information under Section 4 of the RTI Act.
“The Pension Trust is a public authority according to the definition given in Section 2(h)(i) of the RTI Act. The Pension Trust is directed to appoint a PIO and First Appellate Authority before 31 March 2010. The Commission directs the Pension Trust to ensure that it meet its obligations to suo moto disclose information under Section 4 of the RTI Act by 30 April 2010,” the Central Information Commission (CIC) said in its order dated 26 February 2010.
New Delhi resident SK Choudhary, on 15 April 2009 sought information from the PIO of Delhi Transco (erstwhile DVB) about the Pension Trust. He sought information about...
a) Copy of documents in relation to formation of Pension Trust.
b) The procedure to collect funds from successor entities of DVB in lieu of pensionary benefits which need to be paid to the employees on and after superannuation.
c) The status of funds in the Pension Trust at the time of unbundling of DVB.
d) The number of pensioners at the time of unbundling of DVB.
e) The number of pensioners as on current date and the total available cash in the Pension Trust.
f) Whether all distribution companies are contributing the prescribed amount towards pensionary benefits of the erstwhile DVB employees.
g) Action taken by the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to make up for the shortfall in funds of the Pension Trust.
The PIO did not reply to the RTI. However, through a written submission, he mentioned that DVB Employees Terminal Benefits Fund-2002 (ETBF) the Pension Trust which was not under the administrative control of the department and therefore he was unable to provide information to the appellant.
On 27 April 2009, the PIO, under Section 6 (3) of the RTI Act, transferred the application to manager of the Pension Trust. KG Vishwanathan, the manager of DVB ETBF-2002 stated that he received the RTI application only on 31 August 2009.
During a hearing, he told the Commission that ETBF-2002 has taken an opinion from standing counsel and submitted it before the Board of Trustees. The opinion of the Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) was also obtained which advised that DVB ETBF-2002 is not a public authority, Mr Vishwanathan said.
When asked about the funding received by the Trust from the government, he said the DVB, a GNCTD undertaking, had provided Rs443.10 crore and the Delhi government provided one time funding of Rs886.00 crore to the Trust. He also accepted that the Trust is using an office provided by Delhi Transco.
In an interim order on 5 January 2010, Mr Gandhi asked the manager to submit audited income and expenditure statements and the balance sheets from the inception of DVB ETBF-2002 until present to the Commission to determine whether it is public authority.
During a hearing on 26 February 2010, the Commission said it received the documents from the manager, of ETBF-2002 and the main issue before it is whether the Pension Trust is a public authority within the ambit of the RTI Act or not.
Section 2(h) of the RTI Act defines public authority as…
2(h) "public authority" means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted-
(a) by or under the Constitution;
(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
(c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any-
(i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
(ii) non-government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government;
Mr Vishwanathan also submitted a copy of the opinion given by ASG Parag Tripathi on which the Trust has relied to refuse information. The ASG has mentioned Section 3(d) of the Tripartite Agreement under which the Trust was formed which states:
3(d) The government shall create a Pension Fund in the form of a trust and the pensionary benefits of absorbed employees shall be paid out of such Pension fund.
1)The Principal Secretary (Power) of the GNCT of Delhi shall be the chairperson of the Board of Trustees which shall include representatives of the Departments of finance, personnel, labour, the employees and experts in the relevant field to be nominated.
2)The procedure and the manner in which pensionary benefits are to be sanctioned and disbursed from the Pension Fund shall be determined by the government on recommendation of the Board of Trustees.
3) The government/DVB shall discharge their pensionary liability by paying in lump sum a one-time payment to the Pension Fund Trust the pension or service gratuity and retirement gratuity for the service rendered till the date of transfer on the DVB employees in the successor entities.
4) The manner of sharing the financial liability on account of payment of pensionary benefits by the successor entities shall be determined by the government.
5) The arrangements hereunder shall be applicable to the existing pensioners and to the existing employees on their superannuation in the new entities and shall not apply to the employees directly recruited by the new entities for whom it shall devise its own pension scheme and make arrangements for funding and disbursing the pensionary benefits.
6) The balance of provident fund standing at the credit of the absorbed employees on the date of their absorption in the new entities shall be transferred to the new provident fund Account of the employees to be retained and operated by the Trust.
According to the ASG, the Pension Trust caters to no public function or purpose and it is exclusively maintained and run for the benefit of its members. The Commission said it does not find merit in this argument. Whether a body performs public functions or for public purpose is not a criterion to decide whether it is a Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act.
Mr Gandhi said, the Commission feels that given that the Pension Trust provides terminal benefits to government servants, it certainly performs a public function, though this matter is not the decisive criteria to determine whether DVB ETBF is a Public Authority.
“...from the documents on records it appears that out of ten members of the Board of Trust, five persons are appointed by the government ex-officio. The Principal Secretary (Power) is the chairperson of the Pension Trust (as per the Tripartite Agreement); chairman & MD, Delhi Transco, Principal Secretary (Finance), Secretary (Law) and Secretary (Labour) are the four other ex-officio members of the Pension Trust. Therefore five of the ten members of the Board owe their positions on the board due to their nomination by the government. Thus it can certainly be stated that the government is in control of the Board of Trustees of the Pension Trust through its nominees,” Mr Gandhi noted.
In addition the Pension Trust has received Rs860 crore as one-time corpus from the GNCTD and Rs443.10 crore from DVB taking the total funding it received from the government to Rs1,303.1 crore. “According to the balance sheet on 31 March 2008, Rs1,295.5 crore is the total amount available with the Pension Trust. This mean the one-time amount given by the GNCTD alone is more than 66% of the amount now available with the Pension Trust. Therefore, the Commission finds that the GNCTD substantially finances the Pension Trust," the Commission said.
The CIC, in its order said that it comes to the conclusion that the Pension Trust is controlled and also substantially financed by the government and thus the Pension Trust is a Public Authority as defined by Section 2 (h)(i) of the RTI Act.
“...the Pension Trust is a Public Authority according to the definition given in section 2(h)(i) of the RTI Act. The Pension Trust is directed to appoint a PIO and First Appellate Authority before 31 March 2010. The DVB ETB Fund is directed to provide the information to the Complainant before 15 April 2010 with a copy to the Commission,” the order said.
It further added, “...it appears that most of the information sought by the complainant is information that should be suo moto disclosed by the respondent in accordance with its mandatory obligations under Section 4 of the RTI Act. The Commission directs the Pension Trust to ensure that it meet its obligations to suo moto disclose information under Section 4 of the RTI Act by 30 April 2010. A compliance report in this regard must be sent to the Commission before 7 May 2010.”
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001141/6992
Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001141
Complainant : SK Choudhary
New Delhi- 110058.
Respondent 1) : KV Krishna Kumar
Public Information Officer & DGM(HR)
Delhi Transco Limited,
Pension Trust, GNOCTD,
Shakti Sadan, Kotla Road,
Respondent 2) : KG Vishwanathan
Delhi Vidyut Board ETBF- 2002 (Pension Trust)
RPH Office Complex,
New Delhi - 110002