Citizens' Issues
Italian marine gets three months extension on health ground

The SC allowed the plea of Massimiliano Latorre, who had recently undergone heart surgery in Italy after the Indian government said there was no objection to allow his plea on humanitarian ground


The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted three months extension to Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre to stay in his country on medical grounds. Latorre is one of the accused of killing Indian fishermen in 2012 near Kerala coast.
A bench headed by Justice AR Dave allowed the plea of the marine, who had recently undergone heart surgery in Italy after the Centre said there was no objection to allow his plea on humanitarian ground.
The Bench also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and Shiva Kirti Singh permitted a plea of the Marine after Italian ambassador gave an identical undertaking which was given by him on 12 September 2014, when Latorre was allowed to go to his country last year for four months for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke on 31st August.
Additional Solicitor General PL Narasimha told the bench that he has an instruction that the Marine be considered for his plea provided the Italian ambassador furnishes the identical undertaking.
Senior advocate Soli Sorabji, appearing for the Marine, said that the ambassador is ready with the undertaking on the same terms and conditions.


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Car Deals May Soon Go Online

On the cards: online auctions


Will we be seeing online auctions as well as reverse auctions for selling and buying new and old motor vehicles soon? Seems likely, considering how inventory levels for some makes and models at the end of the year are at stratospheric levels. More than one consortium of people in the automobile trade—from DSAs to banks and manufacturers to dealers are planning for such auctions.


There are many different ways in which this can work; but almost all will have to include physical display and touch-feel of vehicle as well as standardisation of seller and buyer documentation. The coming application of the goods and services tax (GST) is likely to make this business more streamlined; otherwise, the transactions will need to remain between the original owner and actual buyer without the intermediary actually holding the ownership of the car at any stage.


Will this bring down prices for the eventual buyer? It might, especially in urban centres, where cost of real estate makes maintaining showrooms expensive. In this case, all or most of the search as well as the negotiations and narrowing down will be done online, and it will only be the final look-see that will need to be done on a personal visit.


Get the Best of Your Free Car Services


You do NOT have to send your car or bike to the same dealer you bought it from, for after-sales service. In fact, it may well be a better idea to send it for free services and guarantee repairs to a competing dealer’s workshop, from within the same manufacturer’s network. The reason is simple: the competing dealer will try to keep the billed costs down.


Since you, as a customer, are on free/pre-paid service and warranty, it does not matter to you; so please take advantage of this wonderful option while the vehicle is still under pre-paid or free service and/or warranties.


Safety Measures for Taxi Services


Some simple measures can be applied, to make taxi travel safer in all cities across India:

• Vehicle and permit number to be painted inside the taxi on doors, behind the front seat, dashboard and on the outside of doors.

• Two-tone colour should be used—black-yellow till the ‘waist’ of the car which comes just below the window, instead of the current requirement of the two-tone that is used just on roof.

• Photocopy of vehicle driver’s licence and other details to be available in a pouch on the windscreen as well as behind the front seat.

• Phone number and full postal address of vehicle owner should be painted on both sides of the taxi.

• Four-digit numeric part of the registration number should be painted on the roof of the vehicle for easier spotting from above, in a big font size of at least 30 centimetres height of numerical on the roof (painted flat).

• Child-lock on rear doors should be permanently disabled by law and this needs to be checked by passengers after entering the vehicle.

• Rear windows should always be of the manual winding down variety, instead of power windows which can be locked by the driver.


• ‘Emergency help’ switch to be provided in the rear seat of the vehicle which sets off a horn and warning flashers of the motor vehicle.


None of these steps requires rocket science of any major electronic sort; these are just basic precautions which can protect both, the driver and the passenger


(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)


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