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Inflation rises to 9.9% in February

During February, sugar prices rose by 55.5% year-on-year while potatoes turned costlier by 30% and pulses by 35.58%. Among fuel items, petrol prices rose by 11.7% and high-speed diesel by around 9%

Wholesale price-based inflation rose to 9.89% in February from 8.56% in the previous month due to increase in prices of certain food items such as sugar and the hike in excise duty on fuel announced last month, reports PTI.

Sugar prices rose by 55.5% in February year-on-year while potatoes turned costlier by 30% and pulses by 35.58%. Among fuel items, petrol prices rose by 11.7% and high-speed diesel by around 9%.

Overall, the fuel index for the month rose by 1.5%. Non-coking coal rose 12%, coking coal 9% and high-speed diesel and petrol by 2% each.

Inflation is expected to rise further following the hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel in the Budget.

To tame inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its quarterly monetary review, had asked banks to keep aside more cash with them. It hiked the cash reserve ratio—the amount banks have to park with the apex bank—by 75 basis points to 5.75%, which would suck out Rs36,000 crore from the system.

The RBI's projection of inflation touching 8.5% by this fiscal-end has already been breached last month.
 

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SC refuses bail to Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju

The bench was in no mood to relent and said that Mr Raju, being the main accused, has the propensity to influence the witnesses and, hence, his bail cannot be granted

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the bail application of disgraced Satyam founder, Ramalinga Raju, the main accused in a multi-crore fraud case, reports PTI.

"When serious crimes are committed, people are bound to be in jail," a bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan observed.

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Verma and BS Chauhan, was in no mood to relent and said that Mr Raju, being the main accused, has the propensity to influence the witnesses and, hence, his bail could not be granted.

It also rejected 56-year-old Mr Raju's argument that he was entitled to bail as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had already filed the third charge-sheet in the case and that he was suffering from serious health ailments like cardiac problem and hepatitis.

The bench noted, "He (Mr Raju) is also getting proper medical treatment."

Senior counsel S Andhiarjuna submitted that Mr Raju was languishing in jail since January 2009. The trial court would be required to examine 671 witnesses and peruse 1.60 lakh documents, further extending his stay in prison, he said.

He also submitted that several other accused including some senior auditors have been awarded bail and, hence, Mr Raju was entitled to the same on the principle of parity.

The bench rejected the repeated pleas of Mr Raju that the CBI should at least be given a notice on Mr Raju's bail application.

The apex court said that Mr Raju cannot be released until the main witnesses in the case are examined.

It said that Mr Raju can file an appropriate application for his bail at a later stage when all the main witnesses are examined.

 

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