Guru Pandyar, his wife Arundathi as well as Srinivas Sista and his wife Lalita filed applications for personal bankruptcy at Western District of Washington after being involved in multimillion dollar business fraud
Guru Pandyar (Prasad Rao Pandyar-Guru), his wife Arundathi as well as Srinivas and Lalita Sista, all associated with beleaguered Prithvi Information Solutions have filed for personal bankruptcy in the US.
Both the couples are named in a multi-million dollar business fraud in which Kyko Global Inc, a Canadian company, is seeking $18 million from Prithvi Info Solutions, its promoters and associates.
The Pandyar couple is director/president of Avani Investment Inc while Guru Pandyar himself is an officer of Prithvi Info Solutions and Prithvi Catalytic (now renamed as Abilius) and full time employee of various other affiliated companies of Prithvi Info. On the other hand Sista is named as director/president of Ananya Capital Inc and officer of certain related affiliates and full time employee of various other affiliated companies of Prithvi Info Solutions and Madhavi Vuppalapati, founder of the company.
Both Guru Pandyars and Sistas have filed bankruptcy petition on 17 June 2014 before the Western District of Washington. In most cases, the filing of the bankruptcy case automatically stays certain collection and other actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. Under certain circumstances, the stay may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the debtor can request the court to extend or impose a stay.
The case related to a suit filed by Kyko Global seeking to recover damages of over $18 million from Prithvi Info Solutions, which was once a high flying part of India's software story and had been purchased by many top foreign funds.
As reported by Moneylife in November 2011, Prithvi Info Solutions entered into an agreement with Kyko Global Inc, a Canadian company, for certain factoring services. Prithvi was to sell to Kyko some of its customer account receivables for IT services and authorise direct payment on those customer accounts receivable to be made to Kyko.
When Kyko tried to contact the alleged customer companies directly for payments, it discovered that some of them were associates of Prithvi, who had posed as clients and created and executed the verifications. In order to get the money back, Kyko filed a lawsuit on 16 June 2013 against Prithvi Information Solutions at the US District Court in Seattle.
In the lawsuit, Kyko alleged that, "To further secure the amounts owed to Kyko, on or about 29 March 2013, Madhavi, Pandyar and Sista agreed on behalf of various affiliated companies of Prithvi Info Solutions to enter into a cross-guarantee promising to pay on demand the full amounts owned to Kyko. The cross-guarantee was signed by Madhavi, Pandyar and his wife, Sista and their affiliated companies, Catalytic, Prithvi Solutions, Prithvi Info Solutions, Inalytix Inc, Ananya and Avani. Each of these cross-guarantors promised 'on a joint and several basis, to guarantee the obligations of each debtor to Kyko in respect to the payments of all the accounts receivable...by each debtor'."
"In reality the cross-guarantees were yet another component of defendants' fraudulent schemes, and an attempt to conceal the scheme and ultimate truth of the scam from Kyko," the Canadian company alleged in its complaint.
In September 2013, Kyko filed a Writ of Garnishment against Prithvi Information Solutions. Kyko claimed damages of $18,431,765.90 ($18.43 million) inclusive of balance of judgement, prejudgement interest and interest of judgement from 9 June 2013 to 23 September 2013.
In the Writ of Garnishment, Kyko had named Prithvi Information Solutions Ltd, Prithvi Catalytic Inc, Prithvi Information Solutions International LLC, Prithvi Solutions Inc, Inalytix Inc, International Business Solutions Inc, Avani Investments Inc, Ananya Capital Inc, Madhavi Vuppalapati and her husband Anandhan Jagaraman, Guru Pandyar and his wife Arundathi, Srinivas Sista and his wife Lalita, DCGS Inc, EPP Inc, Financial Oxygen Inc, Huawei Latin American Solutions Inc and L3C Inc.
Earlier in April 2014, following directions from a US District Court to recover money, the Sheriff from King County auctioned personal assets of Madhavi Vuppalapati, founder of Prithvi Info, to recover $17 million.
You may also want to read...
Competition Commission of Singapore feels the Jet-Etihad alliance relates to the provision of international air passenger transport services with a specific focus on the Singapore origin and destination city pairs
The Jet Airways-Etihad deal is facing fresh trouble as the Competition Commission of Singapore has begun a scrutiny of the deal to probe any possible violation of its competition laws.
The deal, which involves purchase of a 24% stake in Naresh Goyal-led Jet for about Rs2,060 crore by Etihad and other tie-ups, has been going through turbulent times ever since it was announced more than a year ago in April 2013.
After months of scrutiny, the deal got consummated late last year after clearance by various Indian regulators, including the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
However, the deal has now come under the scanner of the Competition Commission of Singapore, as the alliance 'relates to the provision of international air passenger transport services (and associated support services), with a specific focus on the Singapore origin and destination city pairs'.
The CCS said in a notification that it was seeking feedback from the public and other stakeholders till 11th July, after which it would take its final call on the deal.
The notification was issued “in relation to Section 34 of the Competition Act which prohibits agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within Singapore’’.
The CCS further said the Jet-Etihad alliance “includes pricing, route and schedule coordination, marketing, code-sharing, networks, customer service and resourcing decisions between the parties.
“The parties envisage that the proposed commercial alliance will result in various efficiencies and synergies. These include lower administrative costs, sharing of joint resources, better customer services and efficient administration of the parties’ respective businesses,” it added.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates and it operates to over 85 passenger and cargo destinations in over 50 countries.
Jet is a leading airline in India, operating to over 50 domestic and 20 international destinations.
The two carriers are members of any of the three major international aviation alliances (Star Alliance, Oneworld and Sky Team), CCS said.
The CCS is a statutory board functioning under the purview of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore.
The Competition Act of Singapore empowers the CCS to investigate alleged anti-competitive activities, determine if such activities infringe the Act and impose suitable remedies, directions and financial penalties.
Keeping in mind a second airport for Bengaluru, reviving the old HAL airport needs government attention
Recently, Hyderabad hosted the Aerospace Luminary Lecture series sponsored by the Hyderabad Chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India. RK Tyagi, chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), while delivering the keynote address is reported to have stated: "nowhere in the world are airports closed once a new one is developed. It happens only in India. In fact, most cities take pride in having more than one airport. Therefore, we will make efforts to revive the Bangalore airport".
Tyagi appears to have further stated that HAL was ready to operate civil aircrafts at Ojhar (Nasik), which is about 200kms from Mumbai and 220kms from Pune. He felt that such a move would boost the regional economy also.
It may be recalled that until the modern Bangalore International Airport (BIA) was built and commissioned, HAL airport at Bangalore handled all domestic as well as international flights, both of which have grown tremendously in the last few years. It may be noted that BIA has now been renamed as Kempegowda International Airport. The diversion of all civilian flights to the new airport was part of the contractual agreement.
The old airport, soon thereafter, lost its past glory which was because it was easily accessible and could be motored down in 15 to 20 minutes. For the new airport (KIA) it would take a minimum of one to one and a half hours from the city centre, depending upon traffic and the time of the day!
Air passengers who were accustomed to getting dropped by family members to the old airport would now shudder to think of such a drive; airport cabs started with Rs300 per trip now charge over Rs600, on the top of which, they have to pay a toll fee too! Such incidental charges have been rising in the last couple of years.
The Civil Aviation industry is growing by the day and air travel is no longer a luxury meant for the rich, and because of its competitive nature and increasing number of players, there is a growing demand for good and economical service.
There are government plans to increase number of airports in two and three-tier towns and cities. Domestic air travel has also increased and low cost carriers, meeting the regional needs have begun to appear on the scene. A few months ago, Air Costa started its operations from Vijayawada; last week Air Asia began its flights from Bangalore and in a few months, we would expect Tata-SIA to commence their operations too!
Since this industry is expanding, the Civil Aviation Policy of the government suggests setting up a Civil Aviation University. Press reports indicate that there are 17 approved training schools in operation, against the 40 licensed, and the demand for trained, qualified staff has also increased. By a rule of the thumb, at least 100 direct jobs will be created for each new aircraft added to the industry, which obviously would change depending upon the type of aircraft and frequency of flights. In fact, it is estimated that this industry would create employment opportunity for over 350,000 people. If new airports are built, the construction industry would also
give a boost to the employment scene.
It is now necessary that the Aviation Ministry draw up a 10-year master plan to:
- set up a civil aviation university
- identify the prospective towns/cities for building new airports
- identify which of these airports will be private and others PPP
- establish 2nd and 3rd airports in all metropolitan cities
- Civil Aviation University must establish overseas associates to facilitate their students to go for extensive training which is not available in the country
Finally, we may also remember that due to the intense competition between low cost domestic carriers, tickets have become cheaper as compared to the very high cost of cab fares to and from airports. The Government must also consider how HAL's old Bangalore airport can be revived to make it possible for domestic carriers to use this facility, which will be a boon to the travellers.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)