Following orders from the apex court, the Custodian released money from the big bull's assets to the I-T department and SBI
The Mumbai-based office of the Custodian has released about Rs2,194.9 crore from Harshad Mehta's assets to the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Income-Tax (I-T) department, said, AK Toprani, director, Office of the Custodian. This disbursement, made against the outstanding dues of Harshad Mehta group is the largest and first of its kind in India.
At a meeting held in Mumbai, Satish Loomba, Custodian, handed over Rs1995.66 crore and Rs199.25 crore to senior revenue and bank officials, respectively, the Office of the Custodian said in a press note. BP Gaur, Director General of Investigation (Central) and Nilima Mansukhani, Chief Commissioner of I-T, Maharashtra received the payment on behalf of the I-T department, while B Sriram, Chief General Manager (Securities) from SBI accepted the payments.
The family of Harshad Mehta has tried to get an interim stay on the payment disbursement, however, the Supreme Court on 14th March, while admitting a civil appeal from the Mehta family, denied interim stay on the High Court order. The apex court, however clarified that if ultimately the I-T department and the financial institutions are required to bring back the entire or part of the amount disbursed in terms of the impugned order, it shall also include the interest at a rate as may be directed by the court.
The Supreme Court, however, said, "The amount of Rs25 crore, directed to be paid to Canbank Financial Services Ltd, in terms of the impugned order shall not be disbursed to them, if not already released."
Last month, the Bombay High Court directed the Custodian to release Rs1,995.66 crore to the I-T department to clear its dues from the Harshad Mehta group. The I-T department had moved the High Court to claim its dues for the 10-month period when the securities scam hit the market in 1991-92, perpetrated by late Mr Mehta, also known as the 'Big Bull'.
Harshad Mehta, who died of a heart attack in Mumbai in December 2001, faced allegations of diverting huge amounts of public money to the securities market. The Joint Parliamentary Committee, set up for the 1992 scam, had estimated the quantum of the scam at approximately Rs4,400 crore.
Family says he hung himself; police say he died under mysterious circumstances. Investigating agencies were probing his role in the 2G scam
Chennai: In a dramatic twist in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam probe, Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of former telecom minister A Raja and under investigation in the case, died in mysterious circumstances with his family claiming he committed suicide, reports PTI.
"He was brought dead to the Apollo hospital at about 1:30 pm. The family says he had hanged himself. Police is yet to verify anything. We are investigating," Chennai police commissioner T Rajendran told PTI.
Police have rushed to his house and are conducting enquiries.
When the body of 47-year-old Mr Batcha was taken to the hospital, doctors declared him "brought dead."
Hospital sources said the body would be taken to a government hospital for post-mortem.
Mr Batcha was the managing director of Greenhouse Promoters, a firm under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The CBI along with the ED had conducted searches at his premises late last year.
Both CBI and ED were probing the possibility of his firms acting as a front for the former minister. Both the agencies have questioned him earlier in connection with the case.
Though analysts are not sure whether any further tightening of interest rate can check the price rise, the central bank seems to have few options but to hike rates
New Delhi: Amidst high food inflation, falling industry output and uncertain crude oil prices, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to raise key policy rates by 25 basis points in its mid-quarterly review tomorrow, reports PTI.
The RBI is expected to hike interest rates by 25 basis points, said State Bank of India (SBI) chief finance officer (CFO) Hemant Contractor.
Despite moderation, food inflation is still high at 9.52% on account of rising prices of essential items. At the same time, factory output grew by 3.7% in January compared to 16.7% in the same month a year ago.
"Current growth and inflation trends clearly warrant that we persist with the anti-inflationary monetary stance. Looking beyond 2010-11, the Reserve Bank expects the domestic growth momentum to stabilise," RBI governor D Subbarao had said in the last policy review announced on 25 January 2011.
"Inflation is expected to moderate from the first quarter of 2011-12, but several upside risks are already visible. The monetary stance will be determined by how these factors impact the overall inflationary scenario," the governor had said.
Wholesale price based inflation inched up to 8.31% in February, against 8.23% in January.
The central bank has raised policy rates seven times since March 2010, with a hike of 175 basis points in short-term lending (repo) rate and 225 basis points in short-term borrowing (reverse) repo rate in its bid to arrest inflation.
Though analysts are not sure whether any further tightening of interest rate can check the price rise, the central bank seems to have few options but to hike rates.
"RBI is unlikely to raise rates in the upcoming policy review," said Corporation Bank chairman and managing director Ramnath Pradeep.
It is to be noted that RBI chose not to tinker with the policy rates in its December 2010 review, even though food inflation was in double digits.
"RBI till now has clearly communicated the stance that they want to balance between growth and inflation. That's why they want to take a calibrated stance to raise rates. From that perspective, 25 basis points hike seems to be on the cards," said Standard Chartered head (research) Samiran Chakrabarty.
Echoing a similar view, Crisil chief economist DK Joshi said: "RBI may raise key policy rates by 25 basis points to arrest food inflation spreading to the manufacturing sector."