Citizens' Issues
Four tonnes of Maggi products to be destroyed in Goa
Over four tonnes of Maggi products have been collected by Nestle in Goa and will now be destroyed in the presence of officials of the state Food Drugs Authority, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Monday.
 
"All stock is being withdrawn. Stocks amounting to something like 4,000-odd kg have been collected by them (Nestle). I have instructed that it is to be destroyed in the presence of FDA officials," Parsekar told reporters on the sidelines of an education department event in Porvorim, near the state capital.
 
The chief minister has already ordered a ban on Nestle's Maggi products from Monday until further notice.
 
Goa last week conducted two tests, both of which said the levels of MSG and lead were below permissible levels and therefore the product was safe for consumption.
 
However, both were rejected by the central government's Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which called the tests "inappropriate".
 
The FDA has now sent a fresh sample of Maggi manufactured in a local unit to a Karnataka-based government laboratory for tests on the directions of the FSSAI.

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Sun TV Network's scrip tumbles
Share prices of South Indian language satellite channel broadcasting major Sun TV Network Ltd tumbled at the bourses on Monday following the news that its channels were going off air.
 
The scrip closed at Rs.278.90 on Monday after opening at Rs.320.75 and touching the day's low of Rs.258. On Friday, the scrip closed at Rs.356.35.
 
Meanwhile, clarifying the news report in an English business daily, the company in a filing with the BSE, said: "We wish to state that no communication has been received by the company in this regard from any ministry and all our channels continue to be on air."
 
According to the news report, the home ministry has denied security clearance to 33 channels of the company owing to pending cases against company promoter Kalanithi Maran and his brother and former union communications minister Dayanidhi Maran.
 
Last fiscal, the company posted profit of Rs.737.23 crore on a total income of Rs.2,331.45 crore.
 
This is the second time this fiscal the prices of Sun TV Network's scrip has gone down sharply.
 
In April, the scrip's price came down after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has attached property worth some Rs.750 crore of Sun TV Network's promoters in connection with the 2G case.
 
On April 1, the ED said it has attached properties worth Rs.742.58 crore belonging to Sun TV's principal promoter Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kaveri Kalanithi and his brother Dayanidhi Maran, who was a minister in the previous United Progress Alliance (UPA) government, in the Aircel-Maxis case.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has argued in the courts that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help a Malaysian businessmen, T. Ananda Krishnan, buy Aircel by coercing its owner C. Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
 
Sivasankaran alleged that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his firm. He also alleged that the company made investments through Astro Network in a firm purportedly owned by the Marans.
 
Four companies -- the Chennai-based Sun Direct TV, Britain-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius -- have also been named in charges filed on August 29, 2014, by the CBI.
 
The CBI said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused and booked all of them on the charges of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
On April 1, the ED said its probe revealed that illegal gratification of Rs.742.58 crore was paid by the companies based in Mauritius, meant for Dayanidhi Maran, in two companies -- Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Ltd. (SAFL).
 
The main shareholder of the SAFL is Sun TV Network with 60 percent, while 20 percent each is with A.H. Multisoft Pvt. Ltd. and South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd., Mauritius.

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Mumbai's horse-drawn Victorias to go from June 2016
Justice Menon and Justice Oka ordered the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation to shut down all the stables housing these horses after one year
 
The horse-drawn Victorias, a familiar sight for joyrides in Mumbai's tourist areas, will become history from June 2016 after the Bombay High Court on Monday termed them "completely illegal".
 
A division bench comprising Justices A.K. Menon and A.S. Oka directed the government to come up with a rehabilitation scheme for the some 700 families which will be affected by the decision -- as well as the horses.
 
The government has been directed to ascertain the exact number of families to be hit by the ban and submit its rehabilitation scheme to the court by December 31.
 
Justice Menon and Justice Oka ordered the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation to shut down all the stables housing these horses after one year.
 
The judges' order came on a PIL filed by NGO Animal and Birds Charitable Trust and others in which the People for the Ethical Treatment to Animals (PETA) was an intervenor.
 
In May 2014, the Mumbai Traffic Police had ruled that the Victorias were not a means of public conveyance and sought a ban on them.
 
A medical report by the PETA submitted to the high court said that in the first six months of 2009, there were 64 to 119 cases of injuries to horses every month besides cases of cruelty on the animals.
 
The BMC told the court that since 1973, no new licence to ply Victorias had been issued.
 
The PIL cited various issues including malnutrition of the horses, overwork, lack of proper care, their poor living conditions, and injuries and cruelty by the owners and handlers.
 
The division bench, while ordering the rehabilitation of the horses, asked the government to consider any offer for the purpose coming from any animal welfare NGO.
 
Presently, according to figures filed before the court, there are around 170 horses and 130 Victorias which ply mainly in a restricted area of south Mumbai between Colaba and Nariman Point.
 
The carriages were an integral part of Mumbai commute for a long time before they were overtaken by cabs, buses, trams and suburban trains.
 
Over the years, since they were suitable only for short distances and not popular during monsoon, they became unviable both for the operators and customers.
 
As Mumbai's traffic grew in leaps and bounds, the Victorias were relegated to certain designated areas of Mumbai though they continue to be used regularly in places like Gorai, on the city's outskirts.

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