CIC directs MEA to disclose details about Anderson extradition case

The Central Information Commission says information is of significant importance to the public, particularly families who suffered in the Bhopal gas tragedy

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Ministry of External Affairs to disclose the communication between it and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

The CIC issued the order, while overruling the ministry's objections that it could not give this information as the matter was sub-judice. The Commission said that this could not be sufficient ground to deny information to the public.

The Ministry had said that disclosure of correspondence between it and the CBI could adversely affect the Anderson extradition case. It also said that it had not spent any money in the case, PTI reports.

Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said that the matter was of significance to the general public and particularly to the families of the victims who have been awaiting justice for 26 years.

The CIC's direction was issued on an RTI application that sought these details. "It is also a matter of general awareness that the case related to the extradition of Mr Warren Anderson has been heard and judgment reserved by the Supreme Court recently. Therefore, no question of impeding the process of extradition arises," Ms Dixit said in the order.

"The Commission directs the public authority to provide all the information as available with them in their official records relating to the matter, and as sought by the complainant, by or within 10 June 2011," she said.


Schneider Electric to buy 74% stake in Luminous Power

Luminous employs approximately 3,000 people in eight different industrial sites in India and one in China

French firm Schneider Electric said it will invest Rs1,400 crore to acquire a 74% stake in the country's Luminous Power Technologies Pvt Ltd, which is engaged in providing inverters, UPS and power storage systems for homes and small and medium-sized businesses.

"Schneider Electric acquires 74% of Luminous Power Technologies Pvt Ltd to secure a position in India's inverter and power market. The purchase price for 74% of the shares is Rs1,400 crore," a company statement said.

Luminous employs approximately 3,000 people in eight different industrial sites in India and one in China. It generated revenues of Rs1,100 crore for the financial year ended March 2011, it said.

Luminous will bring a strong brand name in the Indian market for inverters and power storage, a diverse portfolio that includes inverters for homes and small and medium enterprises, deep-cycle batteries, uninterruptible power supply, physical infrastructure solutions for IT & telecom, renewable energy systems (wind and solar) and engineering design and support services to Schneider Electric.

It would also give Schneider Electric a broad customer base, with 30 lakh existing inverter users, and also access to institutional clients in particular government and telecom sectors.


Listing of SMEs will help attract large investors: FISME

Public listing would give a safer option for venture capital funds and private equity companies to invest in SMEs

Public listing of small and medium enterprises on the stock exchanges will help them in attracting investments from large investors like venture capital funds and private equity players, FISME (Federation of Indian Small and Medium Enterprises) said.

The SME body said that public listing would give a safer option for venture capital funds and private equity companies to invest in SMEs.

"These large investors are hesitant to invest in SMEs as there is no well-defined time to get back their investments. Once SMEs get listed, venture capital funds and private equity firms will invest," FISME President VK Agarwal said.

Both the leading equity bourses of the country, the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE (National Stock Exchange) were given a nod by capital markets regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) to launch exchanges exclusively for small-and-medium enterprises.

The idea of having dedicated stock exchanges for smaller businesses, which largely contribute to the country's economy, has been in the working for long and SEBI had laid out the guidelines for such exchanges last year.

Considering the lean nature of the companies which will be listed, SEBI has relaxed some rules for listing on such exchanges.

SMEs employ 60 million people and contribute 8% to the country's gross domestic product.


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