Diwali celebrations are going on, however on the economic front nothing seems working for the Indian government, as industrial production and exports are down while inflation is nearing double digit. Even the much talked about 2G spectrum auctions has received a lukewarm response
A police probe came across evidence to corroborate the charge that Kerala Information Commissioner K Natarajan had urged a police official investigating the land gift case to spare CPI-M leader Achuthanandan
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor HR Bhardwaj has suspended state Information Commissioner K Natarajan for allegedly intervening in the land-gift case involving CPI(M) stalwart VS Achuthanandan, reports PTI.
Action against Natarajan, a former DIG of police, was taken on the basis of the recommendation made by the state Government following a police probe which came across evidence to corroborate the charge that the Information Commissioner had urged a police official investigating the case to spare Achuthanandan.
According to official sources, the Governor had also written to the Supreme Court to conduct a detailed inquiry into the charge to decide whether Natarajan should be terminated from the post.
Under the law, the Supreme Court was the competent authority in taking termination procedures against information commissioners.
The complaint against Natarajan was given by DySP VG Kunhan, probing the land gift case in which Achuthanandan figures as the first accused.
The inquiry conducted by ADGP (Vigilance), R Sreelekha had found that Natarajan had been putting pressure on Kunhan to spare Achuthanandan in the case. The audio tape of the conversation purportedly made by Natarajan to Kunhan was aired by Malayalam TV channels a few weeks ago.
The case against Achuthanandan pertains to alleged violation of norms while allotting land to TK Soman, an ex-serviceman and his close relative in Kasaragod district when he was Chief Minister heading the previous LDF ministry.
Achuthanandan, the then Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sheela Thomas, personal assistant Suresh and former Revenue Minister KP Rajendran are among the accused in the case. The matter came to light at the fag-end of the previous LDF rule and a vigilance probe was ordered by the present UDF government.
An FIR has been registered with Achuthanandan as the first accused in a Vigilance court at Kozhikode.
Natarajan was appointed Information Commissioner during Achuthanandan's tenure as Chief Minister.
United Spirits earns a very poor return on capital employed and growth is in low single digits. The Sepetmber quarter was terrible, too. Diageo will have to do a lot of work before shareholders can benefit
While India will become one of the largest markets by sales for Diageo after the US, following the deal to buy a majority stake in United Spirits, and will attract more focus from senior management, it is doubtful whether shareholders will gain much in the absence of revenue and earnings momentum. Even as Diageo announced the deal, the September quarter results were highly disappointing.
Of course, most of the cash raised will be used to pay down the debt and that will lead to significant reduction in interest costs. But this is the only positive for shareholders from this deal.
Marketing spend will be stepped up to improving the portfolio mix, said Diageo, in a conference call. It will also look closely at other parts of the business including supply chain, sourcing and outsourced manufacturing with a view to improving efficiency and improving profitability. Revenues of United Spirits have stagnated at around Rs2000 crore a quarter for the past two years while operating profit has fluctuated between Rs300 crore.