Kingfisher pilots threaten not to fly from tonight

In an indication of a showdown with the Kingfisher management, a section of the Delhi-based pilots reported sick on Thursday, while their Mumbai counterparts decided not to fly from tonight

Mumbai: A section of Kingfisher pilots have decided not to fly from tonight to protest "backtracking" by the management on its "assurance" of remitting their January salaries from 9th May, a move which is likely to compound the woes of fliers already hit by the ongoing stir by Air India pilots.

"The management had said that it would start giving January salaries from 9th May onwards. However, it has backtracked on its commitment," Kingfisher sources told PTI.

According to sources, Kingfisher Airline Chairman Vijay Mallya had "assured" the staff in his 5th May communication of remitting their January salaries from Wednesday onwards.

In an indication of a showdown with the management, a section of the Delhi-based pilots of the cash-strapped airline reported sick on Thursday, while their Mumbai counterparts decided not to fly from tonight, the sources said.

The Kingfisher spokesperson was not available for comment.

At 2.23pm, Kingfisher was trading a percent down at Rs13.8 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the Sensex was marginally down at 16,462.


Economy & Nation Exclusive
Carborundum Universal to invest Rs200 crore for expansion with promising growth prospects

Carborundum Universal has posted strong fiscal results, cut its debt and plans to expand further by investing over Rs200 crore

Carborundum Universal (CUMI) has decided to spend Rs200 crore on its capacity expansion plans. Consolidated net sales for the 2012 fiscal grew by 24%, to Rs1,969 crore, when compared to last year, has compelled the company to expand further. The overall results were driven by strong sales of its largest segment, abrasives, which grew more than 20%, from Rs690 crore to Rs831 crore. Likewise, its second largest business segment, electro minerals, grew from Rs598 crore to Rs727 crore, an increase of 21.57%. This was helped by robust performance of its Russian operations. The operating profits (EBITDA) grew by 29%, from Rs312 crore to Rs402 crore over the course of the 2012 fiscal. Its operating profit margins grew by to 20.42% from 19.60%, indicating margin expansion to the tune of 82 bps.

While its fiscal results were strong, its fourth quarter results were lacklustre, owing to economic conditions over the last three months. Net sales for the quarter ended in March 2012 increased only by 1.09% to Rs523.42 crore, year on year. Its operating profits barely budged and move up only 1.18%. Despite these, its net profits grew strongly, by 14.01% to Rs55.54 crore.

The stock is currently quoting at Rs158, with a market capitalisation-operation profit ratio of 3.68 and a price earnings ratio of 13.67, indicating that growth factors have not been factored in yet.

The company has also managed to reduce its debt-equity ratio from 0.33 to 0.22, an impressive reduction, aided by repaying off long-term debts of Rs41.32 crore. The capacity expansion coupled with reducing debt is a sign of confidence.

The overall results are very good, considering the volatile economic conditions over the last one year. CUMI has been a leader in the abrasives segment for quite a long time now. This is a good sign, as it is not straying from what it is good at. It is now beefing up its core operations further, by investing in capacity expansion as well as a new greenfield plant to meet additional requirement of fired and castable refactories. Refactories are mainly used for ceramics as well as industrial process of manufacturing of fertilisers and cements. It is also used for glass-making and foundries. Earlier, it had invested in Russia and South Africa plants, and the same is expected to be completed this year. It is already a leader in the vitrified bonded abrasives category in Russia.

CUMI is part of the Murugappa Group, one of the biggest conglomerates in south India, that includes cycle manufacturer Tube Investments of India, Coromandel International, EID Parry, Parry Agro Industries to name a few. Carborundum Universal has been delisted from Madras Stock Exchange. However, it continues to be traded National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange.


Public Interest Exclusive
Probe former CJI KG Balakrishnan: Supreme Court

The apex court has asked a competent authority to look into allegations of misconduct against the former CJI even though it has refused to direct the government to recommend a presidential reference to remove justice Balakrishnan as NHRC chairman

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the competent authority of the Centre to look into the allegation of judicial misconduct against the former chief justice of India and current National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan (KG Balakrishnan) for his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court.

The court passed the order on a PIL (public interest litigation) by non-government organisation (NGO) Common Cause, which had sought directions from the court to the government to make a presidential reference to the apex court for removal of former CJI Balakrishnan as the chairman of NHRC.

The NGO had alleged that the ex-CJI and his relatives amassed wealth far exceeding their legal income during Justice Balakrishnan's tenure as an apex court judge.

According to a PTI report, a bench of justices BS Chauhan and JS Khehar said if there is any truth in the allegations, then it is for the president to make a reference to the Supreme Court, on the advice of council of ministers, for inquiry against the former CJI.

The Supreme Court, however, refused to direct the Centre to recommend a presidential reference to remove him from NHRC.

Earlier, former chief justice JS Verma, former apex court Judge VR Krishna Iyer, noted jurist Fali S Nariman, former member of NHRC Sudarshan Agrawal and prominent activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan had called for justice Balakrishnan to step down from the chairmanship of the NHRC pending an inquiry into the matter.

Justice HL Gokhale of the Supreme Court also had accused justice Balakrishnan of misrepresenting facts to conceal sacked telecom minister A Raja's attempt to influence Justice R Reghupathy of the Madras High Court, on behalf of two murder accused known to the DMK leader.

Justice Balakrishnan had been elevated as a Supreme Court judge in June 2000 and was appointed the Chief Justice of India on 14 January 2007. He retired on 12 May 2010 after which he was appointed NHRC chairman.

The NGO had also sought directions to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for making a reference to the apex court under the Human Rights Act to look into the allegations of 'misbehaviour' against justice Balakrishnan. The court had reserved its verdict on the NGO's plea on 7th May.

A provision under the Human Rights Act says the NHRC chairperson or its members cannot be removed from their offices unless the President of India orders it on the ground of proved misbehaviour, ascertained by the Supreme Court after an inquiry on the president's reference for the probe.

Common Cause, in its petition, had annexed media reports as documents to buttress its allegations that 'benami' properties were acquired by justice Balakrishnan's kin during his tenure in the Supreme Court.

On an earlier date of hearing, the Centre had informed the apex court that it is probing into the allegations that justice Balakrishnan and his relatives had amassed disproportionate assets during his tenure as a judge and had submitted a probe status report to it in a sealed envelop.

The court after going through the report had asked the government to tell it as to what further action it intended to take on the allegations against the former CJI and appraise it about it.

According to media reports, justice Balakrishnan's son-in-law and Indian Youth Congress leader PV Srinijan, who did not have any land four years ago, is now the owner of property worth hundreds of thousands of rupees.

During his tenure as Chief Justice of India, he also tried to exempt the Office of the chief justice of India from the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Justice Balakrishnan ordered the Supreme Court registry to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgement making the office of the CJI amenable to the RTI act. He has also spoken about the need for amending the RTI act in the interests of the right to privacy.



Nagesh Kini FCA

5 years ago

Mr. Balakrishnan, he no longer deserves to be called "justice" ought to have gracefully stepped down from the NHRC.
Possibly he thinks he can get away with blue murder just like his equally dishonourable predecessors Ramaswamy and Sen.
The charges are very serious from blatant corrupt practices to tampering with Raja's case and most unbecoming of the position of CJI.
There is absolutely no case for wasting nation's money on the fruitless exercises of Presidential Reference and Impeachment by Parliament, we all know what happened in the two cases - ended as damp squibs.
That he was, and not is a sitting CJI, should not make any difference in the eyes of law. He has been given enough opportunity to defend himself. The CBI should straight away charge him.We are not living in Orwel's land of 'some being more equal than others'. Gone are days of Gandhi/Annagiri.
This is a fit case for Team Anna's IAC to pursue to its logical end to bring about conviction.Otherwise they are not worth the Anti-corruption crusade they crow about.


Gopinath Prabhu

In Reply to Nagesh Kini FCA 5 years ago

The biggest irony is that he can only be removed on a reference by the President :)

anil bhatia

5 years ago

the EX- chief justice of india is under the suspicion of graft charges . the justice sen was tried in to the joint session of parliament for impeachment but nothing happened .In india the judiaciary and administerative quasi judicial officials are not worried about the wrong and illogical orders and judgements in various courts after getting bribed . becuase none has been tried since independece to today so who is going to afraid of being caught .even the administerative and revenue officials on quasi judicial position do deliberatly defy and made disobedience to various court orders as everyone knows that nothing is going to happen and the officials will transfer and refuse to accept the court's notices !

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