Almost every day, get-rich-quick, pyramid or MLM schemes try to dazzle the gullible to loot their hard-earned money. Sucheta Dalal, Founder Trustee, Moneylife Foundation, conducted a seminar to warn people to stay away from such lucrative but fraudulent proposals
Was Shaheen Dhada punished rightly even when her post on Facebook was far from being “grossly offensive”?
The Facebook post of Shaheen Dhada has become a rallying point for citizens to defend their fundamental right of freedom of expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution. But are we focusing on the right issues? Citizens and media have loudly condemned the Shiv Sena leader who filed the complaint and the police who filed the FIR (first information report). Some others have been agitated sufficiently to ask for an amendment to Section 66 (a) of the IT Act. Section 66 (a) provides for punishment for “any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character”. If someone were to post vile abuses or threats continuously against a young girl, should it not constitute an offence?
Merely because some cartoons misuse and misunderstand the provisions of a law when dealing with cartoons, it does not mean we should go about changing laws. In the instant case young Shaheen had not posted anything that could even remotely qualify as “grossly offensive”, and hence the complaint filed was frivolous. The police should have recorded a non-cognisable complaint and forgotten it. Instead they made a cognizable FIR. Justice Markandey Katju has written to the Maharashtra chief minister asking him to “immediately order suspension, arrest, charge-sheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel responsible for arresting the women”. I think Mr Katju is being a trifle harsh on the wrong people and should also look elsewhere.
I understand that the two girls were produced before a magistrate. What is the role of the magistrate, when a person is produced before him? The only purpose for this requirement in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is to ensure that a judicial mind is applied judiciously before a remand or bail is given. The Sena leader who filed the complaint was wrong, and the police who filed the FIR was also wrong. However, it was the duty of the magistrate to have seen the gross absurdity of the charge and ordered release of the girls. The requirement of producing all arrested persons before a magistrate within 24 hours puts the responsibility on the magistrate to decide whether a prima facie case exists for giving a remand or bail. If it appears that no reasonable case exists the magistrate must refuse to allow any further detention. Since this does not happen, it leads to unnecessary harassment and piling up of cases. A magistrate must apply his mind to the matter before him and take responsibility.
Neither Mr Katju, nor citizens nor media are even questioning why the judicial check mandated by law did not work effectively. This is a very important legal safeguard against police arbitrariness or stupidity, but it does not appear to be working meaningfully. Judiciary is the guardian and monitor of the law. I wish Mr Katju, media and citizens recognized the failure of the judicial check in this case, so that the next time police slips up, the judicial process takes responsibility and a citizen is not traumatised for exercising her fundamental right.
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Nifty has to close above 5,655 to continue the rally
The market closed flat with a negative bias on the impasse in the Parliament for the second day in a row after the previous Monsoon Session was a wash-out. Today, after the Nifty witnessed a lower high and a lower low, the index had a flat ending. Yesterday we had mentioned that a strong close above 5,655 may bring more momentum to the uptrend and that the previous day low on the Nifty continues to be the crucial level to watch. We continue to maintain the stance. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a much lower volume of 55.15 crore shares and an advance decline ratio of 708:925.
A positive trend in the Asian bourses in morning trade helped the domestic market open with gains today. Economic indicators released this week point to an improvement in the economic outlook across the world. The Nifty opened seven points up at 5,635 and the Sensex started off at 18,544, a rise of 27 points over its previous close.
The benchmarks kept hovering on both sides of their previous closing levels in morning trade in the absence of any local cues. Buying in power, consumer durables and oil & gas stocks led the market to its intraday high around 10.30am. At this point the Nifty rose to 5,638 and the Sensex went up to 18,557.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee continued to decline against the dollar for the fourth consecutive day by slipping another 13 paise to 55.34 on sustained demand from banks and importers. The rupee resumed slightly higher at 55.20 per dollar as against the last closing level of 55.21 and hovered in a range of 55.20 and 55.36, before quoting 55.34 at 1040 hrs.
The indices pared their gains as profit booking was evident in late morning trade. The adjournment of the Parliament proceedings for the second day worried investors about the fate of the recently-announced reforms by the UPA government.
The market dipped to the day’s low in post-noon trade on selling in PSU, realty, banking, fast moving consumer goods and metal stocks. At the lows the Nifty fell to 5,694 and the Sensex dropped to 18,402.
Bargain hunting at the lows saw a splendid bounce-back in the last hour. However, the meagre gains could not help matters as the market settled with a minor loss, snapping its two-day winning streak. The Nifty lost one point to close at 5,627 and the Sensex finished trade at 18,507, down 11 points.
The broader indices closed in the green with the BSE Mid-cap index rising 0.06% and the BSE Small-cap index gaining 0.20%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE Auto (up 0.33%); BSE Oil & Gas (up 0.27%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.16%); BSE TECk (up 0.08%) and BSE Capital Goods (up 0.06%) The losers were led by BSE PSU (down 0.81%); BSE Realty (down 0.58%); BSE Healthcare (down 0.37%); BSE Bankex (down 0.34%) and BSE Metal (down 0.31%)..
Twelve of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The main gainers were BHEL (up 1.51%); Hero MotoCorp (up 1.21%); Tata Power (up 1.14%); Hindustan Unilever (up 1.04%) and Sun Pharma (up 1%). The main losers were NTPC (down 2.57%); GAIL India (down 1.95%); Cipla (down 1.62%); Wipro (down 1.38%) and ITC (down 0.95%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Jet Air India (up 15.85%) and Zee Entertainment (up 4.34%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Hindustan Copper (down 20%) and MMTC (down 4.64%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—JIK Industries (up 19.75%) and Compucom Software (up 19.53%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Spectacle Infotek (down 12.96%) and Beckons Industries (down 11.11%.
Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 21 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were Asian Paints (up 1.89%); BHEL (up 1.60%); HCL Technologies (up 1.55%); Hero MotoCorp (up 1.09%) and Tata Motors (up 0.99%). Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 3.28%); NTPC (down 2.84%); GAIL India (down 2.16%); Grasim Industries (down 2.13%) and BPCL (down 1.43%) settled as the chief losers on the index.
Markets in Asia settled mostly higher on optimism of a pick up in economic growth. Talk of the Chinese government cutting its reserve rate also boosted the market.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.58%; the Hang Seng advanced 0.79%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.30%; the Straits Times added 0.09%; the Seoul Composite climbed 0.62% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.10% hither. On the other hand, the KLSE Composite fell 0.26% while the Japanese market was closed for a local holiday today.
At the time of writing, the key European markets were mixed while the US stock futures were in the positive. The US markets will witness a truncated trading session today in view of Black Friday, the day when US consumers begin their shopping for the festive season.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks amounting to Rs114.75 crore on Thursday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities totalling Rs163.99 crore.
JK Papers, the flagship arm of the Singhania Group, is eyeing Rs2,500 crore business next fiscal. The company’s products are presently in all major cities as part of its pan-India presence. It proposes to tap Tier II and Tier III cities where JK Papers does not have a presence, as part of its plan to ramp up business. The stock jumped 3.47% to settle at Rs37.30 on the NSE.
Modi Rubber has entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture with Japan-based Asahi Organic Chemicals Industry Co for manufacture and sale of resin-coated sand. The joint venture will be formed with an outlay of Rs30 crore and will be named as “Asahi Modi Materials” with its headquarters at Gujarat, India. Modi Rubber settled 0.10% lower at Rs27.05 on the BSE.