Citizens' Issues
Mumbai gangster Arun Gawli gets life term for murdering Shiv Sena corporator

During arguments on sentencing in the MCOCA Court, Gawli, the once feared underworld don said that there was no reason for him to kill the Sena corporator for a 'paltry' amount of Rs30 lakh

Mumbai: Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar murder case, reports PTI.


Special MCOCA court judge Prithviraj Chavan, while pronouncing the judgement here, also imposed a fine of Rs17 lakhs on Gawli, failing which he will have to undergo an additional three-year imprisonment.


Ten others were also awarded life imprisonment in the case while accused Sunil Ghate was convicted only under Arms Act and has been sent to three years' rigorous imprisonment.


The court also sent Gawli to ten-year imprisonment each for being a member of the organised crime syndicate and extortion.


While pronouncing the sentence, judge Chavan said "Instead of death I am giving you life imprisonment."


During arguments on sentencing in the MCOCA Court, the once feared underworld don had told judge Chavan that there was no reason for him to kill the Sena corporator for a 'paltry' amount of Rs30 lakh.


"After 2007 BMC elections, when Shiv Sena was not in majority it was our Akhil Bharatiya Sena who gave them support of four corporators (to attain majority). At that time each of our corporator commanded very high monetary value (for providing support) and there was no reason for me to kill Jamsandekar for Rs30 lakh," Gawli argued.


On 24th August, the former MLA and 11 others were found guilty of murdering Jamsandekar in 2008. According to the charge sheet, a sum of Rs30 lakh was paid to the Gawli gang for eliminating the Sena corporator over a land deal.


Earlier, Gawli's lawyer Sudeep Passbola had argued in the court that his client should not be given capital punishment, as demanded by the prosecution. "Give a dog a bad name and shoot it - that should not be the principle," Passbola had said.


According to police, the contract for killing Jamsandekar was given by Sahebrao Bhintade and Bala Surve, who were reportedly the Sena corporator's rivals in construction business and local politics.


Crime Branch had said the other reason why Jamsandekar was killed was that Bintade and Surve were eyeing a plot at Saki Naka in suburban Mumbai and the corporator reportedly "refused to cooperate".


Jamsandekar was murdered at the behest of Gawli, who had, along with the co-accused, conspired to eliminate him. He was shot dead in March 2008 at his residence in suburban Ghatkopar.


Gawli was arrested on 21 May 2008 and is in custody since then. On 7 October 2010, the court framed charges against Gawli and other accused under MCOCA, sections 302 (murder), 34 (common intention) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. All accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges.


Demanding death penalty for Gawli and co-accused Vijay Giri and Pratap Borse, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare had said this was the first case in which the kingpin of an organised crime syndicate had been convicted.


Thakare had said Gawli was heading an organised crime syndicate and used Akhil Bhartiya Sena (ABS) as a political front for his "criminal activities".


"The gang slowly expanded its horizons, where they misguided youth and got them to do illegal work," Thakare had said, adding the gang members continued to operate from jail.


Gawli's lawyer Sudeep Passbola said Jamsandekar was not targeted for extortion but for political vendetta and rivalry.


High Court gives a go ahead to Kudankulam Nuclear project

Dismissing a batch of petitions challenging commissioning of units 1 and 2 of KNPP, the High Court said the project did not suffer from any infirmity for want of any clearance from any authorities

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday gave its nod to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), clearing the decks for the fuel loading and commissioning of unit 1 of the controversy-hit Indo-Russian project, reports PTI.


Dismissing a batch of petitions challenging commissioning of units 1 and 2 of KNPP, a division bench comprising justices P Jyothimani and M Duraiswamy said the project did not suffer from any infirmity for want of any clearance from any authorities.


"There is absolutely no impediment to proceed in units 1 and 2 of KNPP," the bench said in its order, which was keenly awaited for loading the real fuel in the 1,000 MW unit 1.


The court also said the Union and Tamil Nadu governments shall oversee the plant continuously and take steps to protect the interests of the people and fishermen in the area.


Besides undertaking awareness schemes, the state government should establish a multi-speciality hospital and schools with hostel facilities for locals and children, give financial assistance for the fishermen in the area to have mechanised boats and provide port and cold storage facilities to store fish catch.


The Collector of Tirunelveli, the district in which plant is situated, should ensure off-shore safety drills regularly involving the public, it said.


Another bench comprising justices P Jyothimani and P Devadoss dismissed a petition challenging the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)'s clearance for loading real fuel in the plant.


The bench said, "It is not for the court to suspect the statutory authorities, until a classic case is made out...the court does not have expertise to suspect the statutory authorities' opinion."


It also said that all the 17 safety recommendations made by the Task Force should be implemented as committed and the "nuclear loading can go ahead."


The AERB had recently given its approval for loading the real fuel in the first reactor of the plant, taking the project a step closer to commissioning.


The commissioning of the first of the 2 x 1,000 MW units of the Indo Russian project was slated for December last year, but protests by local people on grounds of safety concerns delayed it.


Reacting to the verdict, People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) convenor SP Udayakumar, spearheading the protest, said, "It is one-sided and against the people, who are struggling for the past one year in a democratic way. Injustice has been done and we will appeal in the Supreme Court."


JSW Ispat’s merger with JSW Steel will be negative, says Nomura

JSW Ispat’s management had guided that the merger with JSW Steel would happen once the company turns profitable. Is the time ripe now for the merger? asks Nomura

News reports suggest that JSW Ispat might be merged into JSW Steel in the next few weeks. JSW Ispat denies it but it had earlier suggested that the merger would happen once the company turns profitable. Nomura Equity Research has analysed the scenario, if the merger does take place this year and believes that the merger at current levels would be negative for JSW Steel given JSW Ispat shares would ideally get a negative value owing to low profitability and high debt. JSW Steel already holds close to a 49.3% stake in JSW Ispat. Nomura predicts that JSW Steel shares could fall by Rs45 post-merger.


Nomura’s estimates include: Post merger, JSW Steel would have total consolidated EBITDA of Rs7,500 crore in FY13 and Rs8,200 crore in FY14. The merged entity will have an equity value of Rs15,800 crore. However, JSW Steel would benefit from JSW Ispat’s deferred tax assets of Rs2,090 crore. JSW Steel can use it over the next six years and hence, ascribe an NPV (Net Present Value) of Rs1,290 crore to the deferred tax assets. As a result, JSW Steel on a consolidated basis would have value of Rs721 per equity share, compared with the current target price of Rs766 per equity share.


Nomura expects equity dilution of 7.5%-8.1% for JSW Steel on account of the merger. So to acquire the remaining shares, JSW Steel would have to issue 16.9-18.2 million shares.


As per news reports, the merger ratio would be in the range of one share of JSW Steel per 70-75 shares of JSW Ispat. JSW Steel currently has 223 million shares, which would go up to 241.2 million shares (assuming merger at a ratio of 1:70).


Leverage is likely to increase significantly for the consolidate entity, according to Nomura analysts. More than the impact on the P&L account, JSW Steel’s balance sheet would see major deterioration on account of this merger. JSW Steel’s total consolidated net debt would go up to Rs25,000 crore (from current Rs17,500 crore) and debt-equity ratio would also increase from 1.03 (currently) to 1.4 (post-merger).


In spite of Nomura saying that the merger would be a negative development for JSW Steel, there could be some synergy benefits from lower interest costs for JSW Ispat debt. Currently, the average cost of debt for JSW Ispat is close to 15%, while the same for JSW Steel is close to 7.5%. This could result in savings of close to Rs350 crore and an increase in net profit of Rs250 crore, assuming that the interest cost on the debt of JSW Ispat comes down to 10%, says Nomura.


Overall, the merger could be described as less favourable for investors and more desirable for management and employees of the companies.


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