Stocks
Nifty, Sensex may go sideways – Monday closing report

As long as Nifty stays above 8,270, the index will edge higher

 

In Friday’s closing report, we had mentioned that the Nifty may continue to edge higher if it manages to stay above 8,240. The index opened lower but started moving higher.
After reaching near to Friday’s close the index moved sideways up to the beginning of the noon session. It then lost its strength and went into the negative. It regained strength and moved higher and finally managed closing the session in the green for the third consecutive session. Market sentiments were initially affected by the concern that Europe's stimulus plans may not solve the euro region's economic woes.
 
Sensex opened at 27,524 and hit its low at 27,324 while Nifty opened at 8,291 and hit its low at 8,246. At the end of the session Sensex reached up to 27,621 and closed at 27,585 (up 127 points or 0.46%) while Nifty reached up to 8,333 and closed at 8,323 (up 39 points or 0.46%). The NSE recorded a volume of 74.84 crore shares. India VIX rose 0.97% to close at 16.1100.
 
Today, the government will unveil industrial production data for November 2014 and on CPI inflation for December 2014.
 
India plans to implement a common goods and services tax across the country in the course of next year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reportedly said today.
 
India's growth slowdown has bottomed out and the pace of economic expansion is expected to accelerate, finance ministry's chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian reportedly said on Monday.
 
BEML (10.07%) was among the top two gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week high today. It recently received Star Performer Award in the export category for the year 2012-13 at an event organised by EEPC India.
 
Videocon Industries (6.07%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. BSE has asked for a clarification from the company for the new article appearing in media that it is looking at buyers for its telecom business.
 
Hindustan Unilever (3.84%) continued to be the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. It hit its new 52-week high today.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the divestment programme would be pursued on priority and will involve more than one PSU during this quarter ending March. Coal India (4.54%) was the top loser in Sensex 30 stock.
 
On Friday US indices closed in the red. US job growth increased briskly in December, but wages posted their biggest decline in at least eight years in a sign the tightening labour market has yet to give much of a boost to workers. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 252,000 last month after an upwardly revised jump of 353,000 in November, the Labor Department said. The jobless rate fell 0.2 percentage point to a 6-1/2-year low of 5.6%, but that was mainly because people left the labour force.
 
Asian indices which were trading today showed mixed performance. Hang Seng (0.45%) and NZSE 50 (0.45%) were the top gainers while Shanghai Composite (1.71%) was the top loser.
 
European indices were in the green while US Futures were trading higher. French gross domestic product expanded 0.1% in the fourth quarter from the third, the central bank said.
 

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Delhi Assembly to go to polls on 7th February, counting on 10th February

While elections would be held on 7th February, counting of votes would take places on 10th February in Delhi

 

Ending months of hibernation in the national capital, the Election Commission on Monday said the Delhi assembly elections would be held on 7th February in single phase. Counting of votes would take place on 10th February, the EC said.
 
With the announcement of polls, Model Code of Conduct has come into force in Delhi with immediate effect. According to EC, about 1.30 crore voters in 70 constituencies would exercise their franchise in Delhi Assembly polls.
 
Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampat also announced by elections for Srirangam in Tamil Nadu, Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal will also be held on 7th February.
 
In November 2014, President Pranab Mukherjee, dissolved the Delhi Assembly, paving the way for fresh elections that will end the political hibernation since the Aam Admi Party (AAP) government led by Arvind Kejriwal fell in February.
 
President Mukherjee took the decision following a report from Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s report recommending dissolution of the Delhi Assembly. The Lt Governor had recommended to the President dissolution of the Delhi Assembly as major players Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), AAP and Congress expressed “inability” to form government and preferred holding of polls.
 

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RTI applicants are not consumers, rules NCDRC

An RTI applicant cannot approach Consumer Forum seeking compensation for deficiency in services rendered by public authorities

 

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has said that Right to Information (RTI) applicants seeking information from public authorities are not consumers as per the Consumer Act. In addition, all RTI applications and redressal or grievances, if any, have to be dealt as per the RTI Act only, the NCDRC said.
 
In an judgement given on 8 January 2015, the three member bench of NCDRC declared that no RTI applicant can file a complaint before a Consumer Forum seeking redressal in case of any deficiency services rendered by a Public Information Officer (PIO) or Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) in any public authority.
 
This decision would help clear the confusion regarding whether an RTI applicant can be treated as a consumer, as she pays certain fees while filing an application. The Bench said, “…because the RTI Act was set up as a special statute, which also articulates a procedure for  grievance redressal, allowing RTI applicants to approach the Consumer Forum would beat the ‘legislative intent’ of the RTI Act.” 
 
Under the Act, the State or Central Information Commission is empowered to impose a penalty upon the PIO/CPIO in question and also recommend disciplinary action against them. Moreover, under Sub Section (6) of Section 18, they can also direct the concerned PIO/CPIO to pay a suitable compensation to the aggrieved RTI applicant, the Bench said. 
 
According to the judgement, allowing RTI applicants to be treated as “consumers” and hence letting them approach Consumer Forums in order to seek compensation would “open two parallel machineries, for enforcement of the same rights created by a special statute”. Furthermore, “The ambit of RTI Act is confined to one service i.e. supply of information, whereas the Consumer Protection Act deals with deficiencies in a wide variety of services rendered for consideration,” the judgement reads. 
 
The judgement also states, “Consumer fora are ‘courts’ for the purpose of Section 23 of the RTI Act, which is significant, because Section 23 of the RTI Act bars the jurisdiction of courts. As explained in the judgement, the very purpose of doing this was ‘to exclude invocation of a redressal mechanism’ other than that provided under the special Act.”
 
This would avoid any confusions or disputes with respect to the grievance redressal mechanism for any RTI applicant in future. The judgement clearly articulates that no RTI applicant can be considered a “consumer”, and that the Consumer Forum is barred from intervening in any matters pertaining to the provisions under the RTI Act. 
 

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