Finance ministry set to reply to Vodafone’s rejoinder

The Inter-Ministerial Group, which has sent the reply to the PM for approval, will send it to Vodafone after clearance from the PMO

New Delhi: Dismissing Vodafone's contention in the Rs20,000-crore tax case, the finance ministry has prepared a reply to the company's rejoinder which would be sent after approval of the prime minister, reports PTI.

"We did not agree with Vodafone ... The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Vodafone has prepared reply of Vodafone's rejoinder. The reply will be sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) first. After approval of the PMO, it will be sent to Vodafone," a senior official said after the meeting of IMG.

The government had earlier formed the IMG to look into the arbitration notice send by the telecom major under the India-Netherlands bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPA).

The government has already replied to the initial notice arguing that tax matters are not covered under the BIPA. Following this, the British telecom major sent the rejoinder seeking an assurance that the retrospective tax amendments would not apply to acquisition of Hutchinson's stake in Hutch-Essar in 2007.

The notice to the rejoinder, which has been prepared by the IMG, will have to be approved by prime minister Manmohan Singh, who had taken over the finance portfolio following the exit of Pranab Mukherjee.

Following amendment to the Income-Tax Act with retrospective effect, Vodafone may be asked to pay Rs20,000 crore tax, interest and penalty for its 2007 acquisition despite wining the tax case in the Supreme Court.


Zenotech founder drags FIPB to court over Daiichi Sankyo stake buy

The Zenotech founder alleged that FIPB granted permission to Daiichi Sankyo to acquire 20% stake in his company without board approval

Hyderabad: Zenotech Laboratories founder and managing director Jayaram Chigurupati has challenged the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to Daiichi Sankyo for buying 20% stake in his company, reports PTI.

As on January 2008, Ranbaxy held around 45% stake in Zenotech. In June 2008, Ranbaxy was acquired by Daiichi Sankyo, giving the Japanese pharma giant automatic control over the city-based biotech company.

Following FIPB's approval, Daiichi Sankyo in September 2010 said it had completed the acquisition of the 68.86 lakh shares (20%) in Zenotech through the open offer route.

Ranbaxy and Daichi together hold 66.84% share in Zenotech, including 20% stake that was acquired through open offer. Chigurupati holds 26% while the rest is held by public.

Chigurupati, in his petition, alleged that FIPB granted permission to Daiichi to acquire 20% stake in Zenotech without the company's board approval which is mandatory for any foreign company interested to acquire stake in any Indian company.

"Thus, the Respondent No2 (FIPB) was required to comply with the guidelines and ensure that there was resolution from the Board of Directors of the Indian company supporting the foreign investment before issuing approval to the foreign company.

"In the present case, Respondent No2 has issued the impugned approval to Respondent No3 (Daiichi Sankyo) despite there being no such resolution passed by the Board of Directors of Respondent No4 (Zenotech) supporting the induction of foreign equity from Respondent No3 into its share capital," Chigurupati said in his petition.

Seeking relief, the petition requested the court "to set aside the approval dated 6.10.2008 granted by the Respondent No2 to Respondent No3 to acquire 20% of the equity shareholding of Respondent No4."

Ranbaxy did not respond to emails seeking comment on the issue.

Chigurupati also said the FIPB also failed to ensure whether Daiichi's application for approval of foreign investment is supported by a shareholder's agreement or not.

Chigurupati requested the court to stay the approval order given to Daiichi to acquire stake in Zenotech and direct the Japanese pharma major not to exercise its voting rights in Zenotech during the pendency of the Writ Petition. He also requested the court to direct that no steps should be taken to change the ownership structure of Zenotech.

Last year, Chigurupati had contested Ranbaxy's decision to appoint BK Raizada as the managing director of Zenotech.

While Chigurupati claimed that there was an agreement with Ranbaxy for his continuance as MD of the company, the CLB passed orders in favour of Ranbaxy on 20th April last year upholding the appointment of Raizada as MD, saying the law doesn't prevent a company from having two MDs.


Women Commission asks Mumbai Police to look into rave party complaint

The State Commission for Women asked Mumbai Police to conduct an inquiry into allegations that the rights of women were violated during the raid on a rave party at Juhu

Mumbai: Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) has asked Mumbai Police Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into allegations that the rights of women were violated after police busted a rave party in the city on 20th May, reports PTI.

The commission gave the direction recently after taking cognisance of a complaint filed with it by social activist Santosh Daundkar through his lawyer YP Singh.

Daundkar has alleged that the police had drawn urine and blood samples of women (for drug tests) illegally "as there was no such provision under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)".

He said women were searched without following the mandatory procedure provided under the Act. "There is no provision under NDPS Act to detain a person for urine and blood samples once search in person has been done."

The social activist said 'dignified' women were paraded before the media, undermining their esteem. Prescribed procedure for arrest, as laid down by the Supreme Court, not followed," Daundkar maintained.

Late last month, Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said that 44 out of 92 people, who were rounded up from the rave party held at a plush hotel in suburban Juhu, had tested positive for drugs. These 44 were from a group of 46 men whose test results had been made public.

Among these, 27 had consumed cannabis, one had MDMA (better known as ecstasy, a drug usually taken in pill form) while 16 had consumed both the drugs, he had said.

The test results of 46 others, including two IPL cricketers Wayne Parnell and Rahul Sharma and 38 women, were awaited. Police had raided the hotel following inputs about the presence of drugs at the party. The participants were let off after their urine and blood samples were taken.

A rave party is essentially an event held without permission, usually outdoors or in basements, and is known for use of trance music, drugs and psychedelic lights.


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