Hasan Ali likely to appear before ED on 7th March

Tax enforcement agencies are trying to locate properties of Hasan Ali Khan abroad which could be attached or auctioned to extract from him a huge tax liability to the tune of Rs40,000 crore

Mumbai: Pune-based real estate consultant and stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, who is alleged to have stashed away over $8 billion in Swiss banks, is likely to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 7th March, reports PTI.

The agency recently sent a notice to Mr Khan, who is under investigation for money laundering and for allegedly transferring cash/valuable assets outside the country by unlawful means with the help of foreign nationals.

Mr Khan had appeared before Income Tax (I-T) authorities here on 18th February apparently in connection with notices issued to him on 31 December 2008, over alleged huge tax evasions following undisclosed funds in several foreign bank accounts, including $8 billion in an account in the Zurich branch of UBS. However, UBS had denied any business relationship with Mr Khan.

Tax enforcement agencies are now trying to locate properties of Mr Khan abroad which could be attached or auctioned to extract from him a huge tax liability to the tune of Rs40,000 crore.

Earlier, in January 2007, the I-T department had raided Mr Khan's residence at Koregaon Park in Pune and had seized documents that showed that he had $8.04 billion in a UBS account in Zurich.

The raid followed a revelation that Mr Khan had allegedly concealed his income and not filed income tax returns since 1999. The department had also raided his properties in Mumbai and Hyderabad.


CBI drafts list of ineligible cos on 2G scam

The CBI has roped in the Enforcement Directorate to help it in locating the money trail and violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act and stake-holding patterns in some of the firms which acted as front for other telecom companies

New Delhi: Zeroing on the criminal conspiracy relating to the second generation (2G) scam among corporates, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is preparing a list of all ineligible telecom companies which had got the licences in 2008, reports PTI.

Besides, the agency is conducting a "microscopic examination" of a deal between Tata Group's real estate and infrastructure development arm Tata Realty & Infrastructure and Unitech whereby the latter had received a loan, which the agency claims, have been diverted, official sources said.

Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is likely to be summoned again to the CBI in connection with the case for allegedly playing an important role in the deal, they said.

The CBI has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials to help it in locating the money trail and violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and stake-holding patterns in some of the firms which acted as front for other telecom companies.

Sources said the CBI has decided to send Letters Rogatory (LRs) to two countries-Cyprus and Norway-to find out source of funding of telecom firms who were awarded spectrum.

A Letters Rogatory is a formal request issued by a competent court to a foreign court and processed by the ministry of external affairs on behalf of the investigative agencies to obtain information about individuals and entities.

"A list of ineligible firms is being drafted and its findings on criminal conspiracy/culpability will be finalised within two weeks' time," a CBI official said.

The CBI, which has been directed to file a charge-sheet by 31st March by the Supreme Court, is likely to question DMK MP K Kanimozhi, the daughter of Tamil Nadu chief minister K Karunanidhi, in connection with the scam, they said.

Sources said CBI sleuths have found irregularities in funding Rs214 crore to Kalaignar TV, a regional channel operational mainly in Tamil Nadu in which Karunanidhi family members allegedly have majority stakes, by DB Realty.

Earlier, the CBI had questioned R Krishna Kumar and Sanjay B Ugale, chairman and managing director, respectively, of Tata Realty & Infrastructure and Anil Sardana, former CEO of Tata Teleservices Ltd.

The CBI had also questioned Sanjay Chandra of Unitech on issues relating to offloading of majority stake to Norway based company Telenor after getting 2G spectrum license.

The agency is probing whether Tata Real Estate had paid Rs1,600 crore to Unitech for a land deal at a time when the real estate company was applying for 2G licence in 2007.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had in its report presumed losses to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore in distributing spectrum to certain telecom firms due to certain procedural lapses.


NACO: An incomplete message

The commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices should have addressed the misconceptions about AIDS that lead to this discrimination

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has released a semi-finished commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices. In the TV ad, an executive called Mohit has been sacked due to him being found HIV positive. (Shouldn't the chap consider suing?).

All his colleagues stand up for him, and as a protest, they all submit their resignations to their boss (who is the cad who ordered young Mohit to be kicked out). They cite silly reasons. Someone is not happy with his work chair, another one doesn't like the office cafeteria, a third one finds the tube lights irritating. One bugger even wants to sign up as an extra in Bollywood. When the stunned boss wants to know why everyone is quitting on stupid grounds, one feisty lady exec tells him it's because he terminated Mohit's services on stupid grounds.

Of course, since this is an ad, the meanie, insensitive boss is immediately reformed. Not only does he welcome the HIV positive Mohit back to work, he himself tenders his resignation out of shame. The core message in the advert is this: 'Discriminate against those people who discriminate against those suffering from AIDS.'

Hmm. It's an interesting ad, but I think it's a good job half done. While it will help create awareness about HIV and hopefully encourage those discriminating against the victims of the disease to think again, the commercial actually needs to do more work. Maybe the plan is to deal with it in the sequel, or at least I hope that's the case.

Here's what's missing: Any boss who sacks an employee because she/he has AIDS, does so because of his own lack of understanding of the disease. And not because he's callous or insensitive. He most likely considers AIDS to be infectious through the air and through a slight touch (a la influenza). And that misconception is what frightens the chap into discriminating against employees who are HIV positive. Ergo, the communication has to address this unfounded fear of his, frontally and brutally. Simply telling him not to discriminate isn't going to be enough. The boss needs to be told WHY he mustn't discriminate. In that context, NACO's ad is incomplete.

To give you a parallel, it's like my mom asking me to be positive about the nation's future. (It's a tough ask, trust me!) Vis-a-vis explaining to me why I should be positive. (Er, not to be confused with HIV positive!)



Mrs R Merchant

6 years ago

Dear Mr Thakraney
I look forward to your comments as a marketing & advertising critic. This time when the FM has announced 10% Excise on Branded Garments I would have thought someone will raise the negative impact this will have on Consumer Protection. A brand assures you of quality, fair price and provided one a recourse in case the product fails ones expectations. The world over brands help protect customers. Will it not be a negative both for consumers and manufacturers as also retail.Will someone draw the attention of the FM this is not fair.It needs re-looking at

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