Right to Information
Landmark RTI order asks auto rickshaw permit information to be put in public domain

A case where a Thane RTO PIO had ordered an RTI applicant to fork over a whopping Rs55.44 lakh pertaining to auto-rickshaw permits was overturned by the chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad and he ordered the state transport commissioner to disclose information

The chief information commissioner (CIC), Ratnakar Gaikwad, overturned Thane Regional Transport Office (RTO) public information officer (PIO) decision to make RTI applicant pay Rs55.44 lakh and has ordered the state transport commissioner to provide the computerised information regarding auto-rickshaw permits free of cost on a CD to RTI applicant & activist Anil Mahadik. The order further said that the RTI applicant should be allowed to inspect the non-computerised data and up to 1,000 pages can be given at free of cost by registered post/personally given till 12 February 2014.

Earlier, Anil Mahadik had filed an application on November 18, seeking details of auto-rickshaw permits, believing there could be malpractices within. RTI activist, Anil Mahadik, was told by the state transport commissioner that there were 73,993 registered auto-rickshaws and 36,887 auto-rickshaw permits, and that he had to pay Rs50 per permit and the same amount per registered auto-rickshaw. Therefore, the total amount comes to Rs55.44 lakh [(73,993 * 50) + (36,887 * 50) = Rs55.44 lakh].

However, he was stone-walled when the public information officer blocked his request by asking him to fork over a fee of Rs54.44 lakh! Even the first appellate authority upheld the PIO’s ruling. Anil then filed a complaint against the chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad about this episode. Along with Bhaskar Prabhu, Anil Mahadik successfully made their case to the CIC. It was decided to rule in favour of Mr Anil Mahadik, that information pertaining to auto-rickshaw permits should be displayed suo moto on the website as per provisions of Section 4 (1) (b) of the Right to Information Act. The same must be done before 28th February. The CIC called the PIO attitude "irresponsible behaviour and lack of knowledge of the law"

Shailesh Gandhi applauded this ruling and said, “I congratulate Anil Mahadik, Bhaskar Prabhu and Mr Ratnkar Gaikwad for this order. Suo moto disclosures under Section 4 of the RTI Act of most information, sought by citizens, are the way to take transparency and accountability forward.”

Below is the attached order in Marathi.


Birla Sun Life Focused Equity Fund – An RGESS scheme

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has recently launched a close ended equity scheme which will invest in eligible securities as per Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS)

Like other Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) eligible mutual funds, the new RGESS scheme from Birla Sun Life (BSL) Mutual Fund—BSL Focused Equity Fund—would invest over 95% of its portfolio in equity instruments (mainly companies present on the BSE 100 index or the CNX 100 index) that are specified as eligible securities under the RGESS and would have a term of three years.

RGESSs are similar to ELSS; however, to claim the tax benefit of investing in the schemes under RGESS, investors should meet the requirements of “new retail investor”. A DEMAT account is compulsory for RGESS, however, a DEMAT account is required only if you are eligible and are looking for tax benefits, else one can invest in this scheme like you would in any other mutual fund scheme.

No redemption or repurchase will be permitted prior to maturity of the scheme. The scheme will be listed on BSE, NSE and/or any other recognized stock exchanges as may be decided by fund house from time to time and the unit holders who wish to redeem units may do so through stock exchange at prevailing listed price on such Stock Exchange, subject to lock-in period under RGESS, if any.

Eligible Securities as defined under RGESS guidelines means any of the following:

(a) equity shares, on the day of purchase, falling in the list of equity declared as "BSE-100" or "CNX-100" by the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange, as the case may be;

(b) equity shares of public sector enterprises which are categorised as Maharatna, Navratna or Miniratna by the Central Government;

(c) Units of Exchange Traded Funds or mutual fund schemes with RGESS eligible securities as underlying, as mentioned in sub-clause (a) or sub-clause (b) above, provided they are listed and traded on a stock exchange and settled through a depository mechanism;

(d) Follow on Public Offer of point (a) and (b) above;

(e) New Fund Offers of point (c) above;

(f) Initial Public Offer of a public sector undertaking wherein the government shareholding is at least fifty-one per cent, which is scheduled for getting listed in the relevant previous year and whose annual turnover is not less than four thousand crore rupees during each of the preceding three years.

BSL Mutual Fund is one of the better performing mutual fund houses. However, as in the case of all close-ended equity schemes, the returns you get from these schemes depend on when you invest (at the time of the new fund offer) and when the scheme matures. A lot would depend on the valuation of the market when you invest in the scheme and the market scenario at the maturity of the scheme. Your returns could vary considerably depending on these factors.

Anil Shah, who has over 20 years of experience in equity research and investments, would be the fund manager of the scheme.


Minimum Application Amount


Minimum of Rs5,000 and in multiples of Rs10 thereafter during the New Fund Offer period


No redemption (repurchase) of units is allowed before the maturity of the scheme. Investors wishing to exit may do so by selling their units through stock exchange

Benchmark Index

CNX 100

Expense Ratio

A. Maximum total expense ratio (TER) permissible under Regulation 52(6)(c)(i)## Upto 2.50%

B. Additional expenses under regulation 52(6A)(c) Upto 0.20%

C. Additional expense for gross new inflows from specified cities under Regulation 52(6A)(b) to improve geographical Upto 0.30%



Top NRI businessman convicted and jailed in Oman

NRI businessman P Mohamad Ali of Galfar Engineering has been convicted to three years in jail and will be deported back

P Mohamed Ali, one of the richest Indian businessmen in the Gulf and managing director of Galfar Engineering, has been arrested and sentenced to three years to prison by an Omani court, for corruption and bribery. His crime was that he bribed an Omani bureaucrat, Juma Al Hinai, an official in the Finance Ministry who also serves as head of the tenders committee at state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). It is reported that P Mohamad Ali bribed Mr Al Hinai around 200,000 rials (Rs3.2 crore) in order to facilitate Galfar operations and extend one of the contracts awarded by PDO. Another executive of Galfar, Abdul Majeed Nushad, was too convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison. It is believed that over 20 other government officials are standing trial in Oman for oil industry-related corruption.

The Galfar corruption case was one of the most high profile cases in Oman and was followed closely for months. Yet, the same was somehow ignored by the Indian media. Only the Times of India had a passing mention of his stepping down from the post, but stopped short of writing of the arrest (the article is dated January 16th but the court conviction happened on January 11th). The New Indian Express carried a small story of the arrest. The ArabianBusiness.com, a news portal in the Middle East, called the Galfar corruption and graft case a “tip of the iceberg”.

P Mohamad Ali, who hails from Thrissur, Kerala, was reportedly the 9th richest Indian businessman in the Gulf region, with his networth believed to be $725 million. Interestingly, Mr Mohamed Ali was being recommended for a Padma Shri award. He is also the recipient of the Oman Government’s “Civil Order Grade Three”, a civilian award.

P Mohamad Ali was brought to trial in November 2013. According to Gulf News, he was not only sentenced to three years in jail but was also ordered to pay 600,000 rials (Rs9.65 crore) in fines, after which he will be deported to India. In an ironic twist, Mohamad Ali’s own website had a slogan that read: “Truth has the sharpest edge. There is tremendous strength in honesty!”




3 years ago

Madhyamam (News Paper) and Media One (TV Channel) are promoted by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

During the launch of MediaOne Logo Mr. Ali says:

"25 years ago when first Madhyamam news print idea was mooted along with those promoters I was also very much involved in promoting their idea and supporting their idea and part of them”.

Please hear his speech in English:


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