While Compat has stayed the Rs630 crore penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India on realty major DLF over alleged abuse of dominant market position, the tribunal clarified that that if DLF loses its case, the company will have to deposit the entire amount along with 9% interest
New Delhi: The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) today stayed the Rs630 crore penalty imposed by fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) on realty major DLF over alleged abuse of dominant market position, reports PTI.
A three-member bench headed by justice Arijit Pasayat stayed the operation of the CCI order imposing the penalty.
However, the tribunal clarified in an interim order that if DLF loses its case, the company will have to deposit the entire amount along with 9% interest.
It also asked the company to give an undertaking within a period of three months regarding its liability to pay the penalty and interest if it loses the case.
Meanwhile, the tribunal also directed DLF and the flat owners’ association to submit a draft of the revised terms of their agreement, as directed by the CCI in its order, within a period of eight weeks.
The case pertains to the CCI’s imposition of a hefty penalty of Rs630 crore on DLF on 12th August for alleged abuse of its dominant position and the issuance of a ‘cease and desist’ order over unfair conditions imposed on the buyers of its flats.
Judge Jed Rakoff of the US district court for the Southern District of New York entered his final judgement on Tuesday finding Sri Lankan hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam liable for a civil monetary penalty of over $92 million, the largest penalty ever assessed against an individual in an insider trading case of Securities and Exchange Commission
New York: A US judge has ordered disgraced billionaire Raj Rajaratnam to pay over $92 million as penalty in the insider trading case filed against him by the US financial regulator, saying the “huge and brazen nature” of his fraud “cries out” for such an unprecedented fine, reports PTI.
Judge Jed Rakoff of the US district court for the Southern District of New York entered his final judgement on Tuesday finding Mr Rajaratnam liable for a civil monetary penalty of $92,805,705, the largest penalty ever assessed against an individual in an insider trading case of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In the criminal case against Mr Rajaratnam, the Sri Lankan hedge fund founder was ordered to pay more than $53.8 million in forfeiture of illicit gains and $10 million in criminal fines.
The total amount of monetary sanctions imposed on Mr Rajaratnam in the civil and criminal cases now stands at more than $156.6 million.
In imposing the fine, judge Rakoff said such a severe civil penalty will bring home the message that insider trading should be “a money-losing proposition” for anyone who plans to engage in it.
He said the penalty is further justified given Mr Rajaratnam’s networth which “considerably exceeds” the penalties in the criminal case.
“When to this is added the huge and brazen nature of Mr Rajaratnam’s insider trading scheme, which, even by his own estimate, netted tens of millions of dollars and continued for years, this case cries out for the kind of civil penalty that will deprive this defendant of a material part of his fortune,” judge Rakoff said in his judgement.
Mr Rajaratnam, described by prosecutors as the “modern face of insider trading”, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last month for his role in the massive insider trading scheme, in which he made millions of dollars in illegal profits through inside information passed on to him, including by Indian American Wall Street tycoon Rajat Gupta.
Federal prosecutors and the SEC have also charged Mr Gupta with securities fraud.
Mr Gupta, accused of illegally tipping Mr Rajaratnam while serving on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble, will face trial next year.
The SEC had brought civil charges against Mr Rajaratnam in October 2009, alleging that he and several others including his New York-based hedge fund advisory firm Galleon engaged in a massive insider trading scheme.
“The penalty imposed on Wednesday reflects the historic proportions of Raj Rajaratnam’s illegal conduct and its impact on the integrity of our markets,” director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Robert Khuzami said.
The SEC’s action against Mr Rajaratnam and Galleon was part of a larger insider trading probe that has resulted in civil charges against a total of 29 individuals and entities including hedge fund advisers, Wall Street professionals, and corporate insiders.
The SEC also filed new insider trading charges against Mr Rajaratnam alleging that he caused various Galleon funds to trade based on Mr Gupta’s inside information, generating illicit profits and avoiding losses of more than $23 million.
This insider trading action against Mr Rajaratnam remains pending before judge Rakoff.
One of the biggest-ever defence contract for 126 fighter jets worth a huge $11 billion will be closely watched for any signs of corruption in the deal. Mr Antony and Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi better watch out as at the first sign of corruption, the whistles will be out and blowing loudly across the land
India is finalising one of the country’s biggest-ever defence contracts. The order is for 126 fighter jets worth an immense $11 billion. These jets are meant to replace the country’s ageing fleet of MiG 21s, which make up one-third of the Indian Air Force’s jet fighters which have been crashing regularly for no other reason but that they are aged.
Originally six companies and consortia put in bids for the tenders which were announced in early 2011. The six were: Dassault of France which is offering its Rafale jet fighter; a consortium of the pan-European EADS, BAE Systems of the UK and Finmeccania of Italy. This grouping is offering the plane called the Eurofighter Typhoon; Lockheed Martin of the US bid with its F-16 fighter aircraft; Boeing of the US which placed on the table its bid to supply the F-18 Super Hornet; Saab of Sweden offered its Gripen fighter and Russia which wanted to sell its MiG 35.
India made a shortlist of two in April this year: Dassault’s Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon of the pan-European consortium. The bids for the shortlisted two fighters were opened last Friday. No details have been released as to what the bids offer.
The defence ministry, it is understood, will evaluate the bids on the basis of three criteria: The cost of acquisition and what is known as the “life-cycle cost of the aircraft” and “military offset considerations.” The last criterion covers the extent of technology transfer and the investment the bidders will put into the country’s defence industries if they are chosen.
According to informed sources, the two US companies lost out because they did not offer their latest and technologically most advanced jet fighters. The controls imposed by the US government on transfer of technology to India also came in the way of these two companies.
India’s jet fighter order is stated to be of vital importance to the shortlisted bidders. Both are looking for export markets since defence budgets are shrinking in the developed world.
The Eurofighter Typhoon has four main customers: the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. Austria and Saudi Arabia also operate the jet. But military sources say there are no other firm export orders for the Typhoon at present.
The stakes are said to be higher for the Dassault. The Rafale came out as France’s decision to pull out of the pan-European project with Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy to share the development costs of a new fighter that ultimately became the Typhoon. The Rafale has no customers outside France. Dassault is hoping to sell the Rafale to Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.
All this is fine and till now everything is going by the book. But the future could be worrying. The financial well-being of both the shortlisted bidders depends heavily on securing our order. Therefore, the cynic would be justified in warning that there could be ‘pressures’ a la Bofors on the politicians, bureaucrats and Air Force bigwigs deciding the deal.
And then, $11 billion is a huge, humongous amount of money. When such money changes hands, it is but human nature that some of it will adhere to sticky fingers and become unstuck in a ‘safe’ banking haven in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.
Luckily, perhaps, we have a supposed incorruptible in AK Antony, the defence minister. And we hope that he will continue to maintain his reputation while dealing with this order.
Still, we at Moneylife and in the huge Indian press as well feel constrained to issue a warning.
We will be watching this deal very closely. We assure Mr Antony and Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi that we will be able to sniff out the first odour of corruption in this deal. The press has its sources of information.
So the trio had better take care. At the first sign of corruption, the whistles will be out and blowing loudly across the land.
(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected]).