In 2002 Sanjeev Dandona was charge-sheeted by the CBI along with seven other people, including three officials from the Transport Department of Delhi Government, for allegedly issuing forged permits for new auto-rickshaws
A local court in Mumbai has extended the custody of Speak Asia’s financial consultant, Sanjeev Dandona and the web designer, Nayan Khandor, who was responsible for designing e-surveys, till 12th October.
An official from the Economic Offence Wings (EOW), who preferred anonymity, told Moneylife, “Their custody has been extended till 12th October.”
Mr Dandona was arrested by the EOW on 29th September, after it was learnt that he was the proxy owner of Kritanj Management & Allied Services and is linked with Speak Asia. Kritanj Management is the master distributor of Singapore-based Haren Ventures Pte Ltd (HVP) for e-zines in India. Mr Dandona is also alleged to be advising HVP and Tulsient Tech Pvt Ltd and also transferring funds collected by Speak Asia agents to Singapore.
Just the day after the arrest of Mr Dandona, it was revealed that the online surveys, which Speak Asia used to claim (and its agents used to believe), were actually created not in Singapore, but in Mumbai. This was revealed following a confession from Nayan Khandor, a Web designer and director of Dadar (central Mumbai)-based Brand Salon, that his firm was active in creating the online surveys for Speak Asia.
According to an investigation officer, Mr Khandor confessed that he was given the task of creating online surveys and designing the e-magazine by Speak Asia's chief executive Manoj Kumar Sharma and has been involved in this job since February 2010. The material seized from Mr Khandor’s office also indicates his close relation with Speak Asia. He was arrested on 30th September.
When asked about the investigations, the official added, “They are being examined on various counts. Dandona has given some leads relating to the top bosses such as Manoj Kumar and Haren Kaur of Speak Asia. Nayan was just responsible for the designs, so not much has been revealed from him.”
Moneylife had reported earlier that Mr Dandona has confessed that Speak Asia was running a Ponzi scheme.
Earlier in 2002, Mr Dandona was charge-sheeted by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) along with seven other people, including three officials from the Transport Department of Delhi Government for allegedly issuing forged permits for new auto-rickshaws. Last year in May, Justice Vipin Gandhi of the Delhi High Court dismissed Mr Dandona’s petition saying, "Prima facie, his involvement appears to be deep-rooted. It cannot be said that on the basis of the allegations contained in the charge-sheet the petitioner WP (Crl.) 586/2010 Page 15 of 16 may not have been involved in the criminal acts attributed to him. Consequently, I see no merit in this petition and dismiss the same.”
Nifty may move in the range of 5,030 and 5,135
Across-the-board buying by institutional investors and hopes of an end to the euro-zone debt crisis led the market higher for the second day in a row. Last week, we had mentioned that the trend is on the positive side; the index is now in the zone where we may see a move up to 5,000-5,100. Today the Nifty crossed the level of 4,955, which is its 20-day moving average, indicating further gains on the cards. The Nifty’s past two days’ gains has wiped off the losses of the three trading days ending 5 October 2011. From here, we may see the Nifty moving in the range of 5,030 and 5,135.
The domestic market opened flat ahead of the corporate earnings season, which kicks off this week. Negative sentiments in the global markets also weighed on investors. The Nifty opened down one point at 4,887 while the Sensex rose 37 points to resume trade at 16,270. The benchmarks fell to their day’s lows in initial trade with the Nifty falling to 4,882, and the Sensex slipping to 16,231.
However, across-the-board buying by institutional investors in subsequent trade resulted in all sectoral indices trading higher. The indices pared some of the gains in noon trade but the green opening of the key European indices after assurance from French and German leaders that they would come up with a new plan by the end of the month to ease the region’s debt crisis helped the domestic market edge higher in post-noon trade. The market hit the intraday high in the closing minutes of the session wherein the Nifty touched 4,991 and the Sensex 16,596. The indices closed near those levels with the Nifty gaining 92 points at 4,980 and the Sensex settling at 16,557, a jump of 325 points over its previous close. The NSE (National Stock Exchange) saw a volume of 54.73 crore shares.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 1092:545.
While the broader indices also ended in the positive, they lagged behind the Sensex today. The BSE Mid-cap index gained 1.36% and the BSE Small-cap index rose 0.97%.
Barring the BSE Healthcare (down 0.06%), all other sectoral indices settled higher. The gainers were led by BSE Realty (up 3.22%), BSE IT (up 2.85%), BSE Consumer Durables (up 2.78%), BSE Oil & Gas (up 2.72%) and BSE TECk (up 2.66%).
The top Sensex gainers were Tata Motors (up 7.40%), Tata Power (up 5.44%), DLF (up 4.74%), Wipro (up 4.42%) and Sterlite Industries (up 3.48%). The top losers were Maruti Suzuki (down 3.58%), Sun Pharma (down 1.38%), Jindal Steel (down 1.37%), Cipla (down 0.82%) and Larsen & Toubro (down 0.51%).
The major gainers on the Nifty were Tata Motors (up 6.47%), Sesa Goa (up 5.51%), Tata Power (up 5.29%), DLF (up 4.84%) and IDFC (up 4.81%). Maruti Suzuki (down 3.79%), Jindal Steel (down 1.70%), Sun Pharma (down 1.30%), Cipla (down 0.98%) and Siemens (down 0.70%) settled at the bottom of the index.
Most markets in Asia closed higher on optimism that a solution to end the debt crisis in Europe is being drawn up. However, stocks in China closed at their lowest since March 2009, after local media reported a fall in property sales volumes during the Golden Week holiday last week, seen as a boom time for realty sales.
The Hang Seng added 0.02%; the Jakarta Composite gained 0.74%; the Straits Times climbed 1.06% and the Seoul Composite rose 0.38%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.61% and the KLSE Composite lost 0.21%. Markets in Japan and Taiwan were closed for a local holiday.
Back home, institutional investors—foreign and domestic—were net buyers in the equities segment on Friday. Foreign institutional investors infused Rs491.55 crore into stocks and domestic institutional investors pumped in Rs19.41 crore.
Global consultancy and IT services provider Mahindra Satyam (Satyam Computer Services) has partnered with iPipeline, a specialist in providing innovative marketing, selling and processing solutions to the banking, financial services and insurance and markets. As a part of the partnership Mahindra Satyam will position iPipelines customer relationship management (CRM) tools for financial services to banking and financial services clients in West Asia, besides the Asia-Pacific and India markets. Satyam gained 3.85% to close at Rs70.15 on the NSE.
Jindal Power (JPL), a subsidiary of Jindal Steel & Power, has sought a no objection certificate (NOC) from the coal ministry for the proposed expansion of its thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh at an estimated cost of Rs13,410 crore. The company has sought the NOC as the existing plant at Tamnar, in Chhattisgarh, is situated over a coal-bearing area having reserves of about 50 million tonnes. Jindal Steel & Power lost 1.70% to settle at Rs475 on the NSE.
Onco Therapies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Strides Arcolab, has received US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval for Cladribine Injection 1mg/ml packaged in 10mg/ml single dose vials. The US market for generic Cladribine is about $5.3 million with only one major player.
Cladribine is a part of the oncology portfolio licensed to Pfizer in January 2010 for the US market. The product is expected to be launched shortly. Strides settled at Rs343.60 on the NSE, up 0.38% higher.
Entity comes down heavily on media outlets and the prominent Maharashtra politician for media reports supporting him, and his challenge of the Election Commission pre-poll rules
The Delhi High Court has handed both the political circuit and the media a ticking time bomb with its judgment in the Ashok Chavan (former Maharashtra Chief Minister) case on ‘paid news’. The ex-CM had challenged the power of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to go into the truth (or falsity) of his 2009 poll expenses. Those proceedings in the ECI had gained infamy as the ‘paid news’ case.
The Press Council of India has released the report on Paid News (dated 30 July 2010) on its website, following the direction by the Delhi High Court. The report prepared under the chairmanship of Justice GR Ray (former head of the Press Council) has been placed in the public domain (more details at http://presscouncil.nic.in/HOME.HTM).
Concerned over the serious dimensions acquired by the phenomenon of payment for news in the media in the General Elections 2009, the Council not only took cognizance of the matter suo moto, but also considered representations from various eminent persons. The report records that “Sections of the media in India have willy-nilly become participants and players in such practices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics which undermines democratic processes and norms— while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground.”
The major observations of the report include:
(a) The election time ‘paid news’ phenomenon has three dimensions, which include:
1) The reader or the viewer does not get a correct picture of the personality or performance of the candidate in whose favour (or against) he decides to cast his vote.
2) Contesting candidates perhaps do not show it in their election expense account thereby violating the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, framed by the Election Commission of India under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
3) Newspapers and television channels which received money in cash but did not disclose it in their official statements of accounts have violated the Companies Act, 1956, as well as the Income-Tax Act, 1961, besides other laws.
(b) It was felt that there should be a clear distinction drawn between the managements and editorial staff in media companies and that the independence of the editor should be maintained and safeguarded.
(c ) The Election Commission of India should set up a special cell to receive complaints about ‘paid news’ in the run-up to the conduct of elections and initiate a process through which expeditious action could be taken on the basis of such complaints.
(d) There should be a debate among all concerned stakeholders on whether a directive of the Supreme Court of India that enjoins television channels to stop broadcasting campaign-related information on candidates and political parties 48 hours before elections take place, should be extended to the print medium since such a restriction does not apply to this section of the media at present.
The recommendations of the Council are as follows:
a) Representation of the People Act, 1951, be amended to make incidence of paid news a punishable electoral malpractice.
b) The Press Council of India must be fully empowered to adjudicate the complaints of ‘paid news’ and give final judgment in the matter.
c) The Press Council Act be amended to make its recommendations binding and electronic media be brought under its purview, and
d) Press Council of India should be reconstituted to include representatives from electronic and other media.
After the ‘paid news' scandal surfaced, the Press Council under Justice GN Ray set up a subcommittee to inquire into the racket. The committee comprising Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, senior journalist, and Sreenivas Reddy, produced an explosive 71-page report which clearly mentioned the names (and details) of the personalities who were involved in this racket.
However, the recommendation of the Press Council report were withheld from the public until an RTI (Right to Information) Application from journalist Manu Moudgil forced to Press Council to come out with all the relevant details by 10th October after an order from the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
Earlier, on Friday (7th October), the new chairman of the Press Council (who has taken over from Justice G N Ray), had said that “non-issues often get prominence in media.” Former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju had said that “real issues” get ignored in the media but ‘persuasion’ rather than ‘coercion’ is the method which he would favour.
Justice Katju said he had called informal meetings with senior journalists and would prefer an approach of consensus towards highlighting the right issues. Though the Press Council Act is confined to the print media, Justice Katju had said that he would hold discussions with the electronic media journalists as well.