Delhi HC dismisses DLF plea against SEBI probe

Sinha, a businessman from Delhi had alleged that DLF and its directors and agents had lured and compelled him to transfer certain plots of land and did not fulfil the promise of developing the land and providing him higher returns

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has dismissed realty major DLF Ltd's plea against market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)'s decision to probe an allegation that the realty company had duped a businessman of Rs34 crore, reports PTI.


A bench headed by Justice S Ravindra Bhat dismissed DLF's plea, upholding a single-judge bench order of the court which had also imposed a cost of Rs2 lakh on it.


DLF had earlier moved the single judge-bench to quash SEBI's order dated 20 October 2011 to probe into city-based businessman Kimsuk Krishna Sinha's allegation of 2007 against real-estate company and its associate firm Sudipti Estates.


DLF had said SEBI's order was passed "erroneously and in blatant violation of the principle of natural justice."


The single judge on 3rd January this year had dismissed DLF's plea against the market regulator's decision saying SEBI's order was "based on reasons."


SEBI had passed the order following a 2011 direction of the high court to it to look into Sinha's complaint against DLF Group and Sudipti Estates.


Sinha had alleged that DLF and its directors/ agents had "lured and compelled" him to transfer certain plots of land and did not fulfil the promise of developing the land and providing him higher returns.


Sinha had alleged Sudipti, DLF Home Developers Ltd and DLF Estate Developers Ltd were sister concerns inextricably linked and were part of the DLF group.


DLF has, however, said that Sudipti is a separate legal entity owned and controlled by different individuals.


The construction major in a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP), filed for a public issue in May 2006, had mentioned that Sudipti was its associate company.


The DRHP, however, had been withdrawn and a fresh prospectus was filed in January 2007 in which Sudipti was not mentioned as an associate.


RBI gives infra lending status to host of sub-sectors

RBI said the credit facility extended by lenders to a borrower in about 30 odd sub-segments like roads and bridges, LNG and oil pipelines, water treatment plants, telecom towers, and three-star hotels would qualify as infrastructure lending

Mumbai: Giving a boost to key segments like roads and bridges, LNG and oil pipelines, water treatment plants, telecom towers, and three-star hotels, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given them 'infrastructure status' and paved way for them to avail easier funding from banks, reports PTI.


In a notification, RBI said the credit facility extended by lenders (banks and select financial institutions) to a borrower in about 30 odd sub-segment of the infrastructure sector will qualify as "infrastructure lending".


With 'infrastructure lending status' companies can avail loans for a longer period at lower rate of interest.


The government had been wanting to give a boost to the infrastructure sector to revive the sagging economy


In the transport category, roads and bridges, ports, inland waterways, airport, railway track, tunnels, viaducts, bridges, urban public transport will qualify for infrastructure lending.


In the energy segment, generation, transmission, distribution, oil pipelines, oil/gas/liquefied natural gas storage facility and gas pipelines would qualify.


Likewise, solid waste management, water supply pipelines, water treatment plants, sewage collection, treatment and disposal system, irrigation (dams, channels, embankments), storm water drainage system projects come under infrastructure lending


Telecommunication, telecommunication towers, education institutions, hospitals, three-star or higher category hotels located outside cities with over one million population, common infrastructure for industrial parks, SEZ, tourism facilities, agriculture markets, fertiliser (capital investment), post harvest storage infrastructure for agriculture, terminal markets, soil-testing laboratories, cold chain etc would also be included under infrastructure lending, it said.


RBI said the new definition for infrastructure lending was provided to avoid confusion and difficulties that arise due to multiplicity of definitions among various regulators, as lending to the sector has grown significantly.


The revised definition would be effective immediately, RBI said.


The exposure of banks to projects under sub-sectors which were included under the previous definition of infrastructure, but not included under the revised definition, will continue to get the benefits under infrastructure lending for such exposures till the completion of the projects, it added.


"However, any fresh lending to those sub-sectors from the date of this circular will not qualify as infrastructure lending," RBI said.


Banks can open administration office in large cities sans RBI permission

RBI allowed banks to open to open offices exclusively performing administrative and controlling functions in Tier-I centres without obtaining permission from the central bank

Mumbai: Banks need not seek permission of the Reserve Bank of India to open administrative offices in large cities (Tier-I), reports PTI.


"With a view to further increasing operational flexibility of banks, it has been decided to permit domestic scheduled commercial banks (other than RRBs) to open offices exclusively performing administrative and controlling functions in Tier-I centres without the need to obtain prior permission," it said in notification today.


Currently, banks (excluding RRBs) are permitted to open branches in Tier-II to Tier-VI centres (with population less than 100,000) and in rural, semi-urban and urban centres in north-eastern states and Sikkim without seeking its permission.


In its second quarter Monetary Policy 2012-13 in mid-October, RBI had proposed to permit banks to open offices in Tier-I centres as well.


RBI, however, said the permission granted would be subject to regulatory and supervisory comfort and it would have the option to withhold permissions granted on a case-to-case basis.


Though, the apex bank made it clear that opening of branches including Central Processing Centres (CPCs)/ Service Branches by banks in tier I centres (with population of 100,000 and above) will continue to require its prior permission.


In a separate notification, RBI asked the banks to strictly adhere to the policy and guidelines for hiring of premises on lease or rental basis in metropolitan, urban, semi-urban and rural areas.


"It has been observed in certain cases that banks have not complied with the ... instructions while acquiring premises for their branches causing avoidable inconvenience to customers and possible reputation risk to the banks," it said.


Banks are required to formulate guidelines for acquiring premises on lease or rental basis including delegation of power at various levels.


As well they are required to ensure that the location of the branch complies with the local norms, laws of Municipal Corporation, Nagar Palika, town area authority, village panchayat or any other competent authority.


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