HC notice to CBI on bail pleas of Kanimozhi, 4 others

Earlier, special judge OP Saini had denied bail to Ms Kanimozhi and others, saying the charges against them are of grave nature and the CBI’s concession of not objecting to their bail pleas was of “no consequence in the eyes of law”

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) response on the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and four others arrested for their alleged roles in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, reports PTI.

Issuing notice to the CBI, justice VK Shali sought the probe agency’s reply on the bail pleas of the five accused by 1st December.

Besides Ms Kanimozhi, the four others who have moved the high court against a special court order denying them bail on 3rd November are DMK-run Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal and Bollywood producer Karim Morani.

Appearing for Ms Kanimozhi, senior advocate Altaf Ahmed contended before the bench that the trial court has ignored the CBI’s willingness to allow bail to the five accused.

Senior advocate Mohan Parasaran, appearing for CBI, again told the court that it has no objection to the bail.

“We reiterate the stand taken before the trial court. There is no deviation from that,” the senior lawyer said.

The response of CBI counsel came after justice Shali asked CBI if there was any change in the stand taken by the agency on the bail pleas before the trial court.

DMK supremo Mr Karunanidhi’s daughter Ms Kanimozhi has been in Tihar Jail since her arrest on 20th May. She was denied bail by the trial court.

Earlier, special judge OP Saini had denied bail to Ms Kanimozhi and others, saying the charges against them are of grave nature and the CBI’s concession of not objecting to their bail pleas was of “no consequence in the eyes of law”.

The CBI had preferred not to oppose the bail pleas of Ms Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar, Asif Balwa, Rajeev Agarwal and Karim Morani, whose names had figured in the supplementary charge-sheet filed on 25th April.

The accused have been in jail for the last five to nine months.

Denying bail to Ms Kanimozhi, the court had also rejected her plea for it on grounds of being a woman, saying that she “belongs to upper echelons of society and is also a Member of Parliament” and cannot be “said to be suffering on account of being a woman”.

Justice Saini had dismissed the bail pleas of a total of eight accused on 3rd November. Others whose bail pleas were dismissed are former telecom minister A Raja’s erstwhile private secretary RK Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, besides Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa. Mr Raja had not moved court for bail.

Dismissing Mr Morani’s submission that he was sick and not in good health and should be granted bail as per section 437 of the CrPC, the judge had said the medical records do not suggest that “standard of illness of Mr Morani is so high as to categorise his custody as detrimental to his health”.

Regarding the defence counsel’s contentions that they should be granted bail as there was no apprehension of their influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence, the court had said this is a case of “unprecedented nature” which suggests that witnesses would be under a lot of pressure.

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Competition Appellate Tribunal stays Rs630 crore penalty on DLF

While Compat has stayed the Rs630 crore penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India on realty major DLF over alleged abuse of dominant market position, the tribunal clarified that that if DLF loses its case, the company will have to deposit the entire amount along with 9% interest

New Delhi: The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) today stayed the Rs630 crore penalty imposed by fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) on realty major DLF over alleged abuse of dominant market position, reports PTI.

A three-member bench headed by justice Arijit Pasayat stayed the operation of the CCI order imposing the penalty.

However, the tribunal clarified in an interim order that if DLF loses its case, the company will have to deposit the entire amount along with 9% interest.

It also asked the company to give an undertaking within a period of three months regarding its liability to pay the penalty and interest if it loses the case.

Meanwhile, the tribunal also directed DLF and the flat owners’ association to submit a draft of the revised terms of their agreement, as directed by the CCI in its order, within a period of eight weeks.

The case pertains to the CCI’s imposition of a hefty penalty of Rs630 crore on DLF on 12th August for alleged abuse of its dominant position and the issuance of a ‘cease and desist’ order over unfair conditions imposed on the buyers of its flats.

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Rajaratnam slapped with $92 million penalty in insider trading

Judge Jed Rakoff of the US district court for the Southern District of New York entered his final judgement on Tuesday finding Sri Lankan hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam liable for a civil monetary penalty of over $92 million, the largest penalty ever assessed against an individual in an insider trading case of Securities and Exchange Commission

New York: A US judge has ordered disgraced billionaire Raj Rajaratnam to pay over $92 million as penalty in the insider trading case filed against him by the US financial regulator, saying the “huge and brazen nature” of his fraud “cries out” for such an unprecedented fine, reports PTI.

Judge Jed Rakoff of the US district court for the Southern District of New York entered his final judgement on Tuesday finding Mr Rajaratnam liable for a civil monetary penalty of $92,805,705, the largest penalty ever assessed against an individual in an insider trading case of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In the criminal case against Mr Rajaratnam, the Sri Lankan hedge fund founder was ordered to pay more than $53.8 million in forfeiture of illicit gains and $10 million in criminal fines.

The total amount of monetary sanctions imposed on Mr Rajaratnam in the civil and criminal cases now stands at more than $156.6 million.

In imposing the fine, judge Rakoff said such a severe civil penalty will bring home the message that insider trading should be “a money-losing proposition” for anyone who plans to engage in it.

He said the penalty is further justified given Mr Rajaratnam’s networth which “considerably exceeds” the penalties in the criminal case.

“When to this is added the huge and brazen nature of Mr Rajaratnam’s insider trading scheme, which, even by his own estimate, netted tens of millions of dollars and continued for years, this case cries out for the kind of civil penalty that will deprive this defendant of a material part of his fortune,” judge Rakoff said in his judgement.

Mr Rajaratnam, described by prosecutors as the “modern face of insider trading”, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last month for his role in the massive insider trading scheme, in which he made millions of dollars in illegal profits through inside information passed on to him, including by Indian American Wall Street tycoon Rajat Gupta.

Federal prosecutors and the SEC have also charged Mr Gupta with securities fraud.

Mr Gupta, accused of illegally tipping Mr Rajaratnam while serving on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble, will face trial next year.

The SEC had brought civil charges against Mr Rajaratnam in October 2009, alleging that he and several others including his New York-based hedge fund advisory firm Galleon engaged in a massive insider trading scheme.

“The penalty imposed on Wednesday reflects the historic proportions of Raj Rajaratnam’s illegal conduct and its impact on the integrity of our markets,” director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Robert Khuzami said.

The SEC’s action against Mr Rajaratnam and Galleon was part of a larger insider trading probe that has resulted in civil charges against a total of 29 individuals and entities including hedge fund advisers, Wall Street professionals, and corporate insiders.

The SEC also filed new insider trading charges against Mr Rajaratnam alleging that he caused various Galleon funds to trade based on Mr Gupta’s inside information, generating illicit profits and avoiding losses of more than $23 million.

This insider trading action against Mr Rajaratnam remains pending before judge Rakoff.

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