The court's directions came on the plea of Rohit Shekhar seeking to compel ND Tiwari to furnish his blood sample at the earliest to decide the four-year-old paternity suit
New Delhi: Congress leader ND Tiwari was on Monday asked by the Delhi High Court to appear in person on 26th May before it to give blood sample for a DNA test to decide the paternity suit of a man claiming to be his son, reports PTI.
"Defendent number 1 (Tiwari) is directed to appear on 26th May at 12 noon along with his two photographs," Joint Registrar of Delhi High Court, Deepak Garg, said, adding that the court should not rush to take police assistance for enforcing its order.
86-year-old Tiwari "be given an opportunity to voluntarily comply with the order," Garg said and asked the medical chief of the dispensary, located inside the high court premises, to appoint a doctor for collecting the blood sample on 26th May, the next date of hearing.
The court's direction came after it was informed that the requisite DNA kit has been received by the high court registry from Hyderabad-based lab Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD).
Justice Reva Khetrapal of the high court had on 16th May ordered its registrar to take police assistance for bringing the defiant veteran Congress leader here for taking his blood sample to decide the paternity suit.
Justice Khetrapal had came down heavily on the counsel representing the Dehradun-based Congress leader, after he sought adjournment of hearing on the ground that a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court on the issue.
The court had said that considering the age of Tiwari, the order of taking the blood sample is required to be implemented "as expeditiously as possible otherwise an irreparable loss is bound to visit the plaintiff".
The court's directions came on the plea of 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar seeking to compel Tiwari to furnish his blood sample at the earliest to decide the four-year-old paternity suit. He has sought a judicial declaration that Tiwari is his biological father.
The high court had on 14th May asked Tiwari to inform it within two days as to whether he wants to voluntarily give his blood sample for DNA test in the paternity suit or police force be used for obtaining it.
Justice Khetrapal had also told the counsel for Tiwari that his client will not leave India till he gives his blood sample for the requisite DNA test in the matter in the wake of orders of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
Tiwari, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, was earlier directed by the high court and the apex court to furnish a blood sample for the DNA test.
The court was hearing a fresh plea by Shekhar against Tiwari, a former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, seeking that he be asked to give the blood sample to ascertain whether he was the biological father of the petitioner.
The veteran leader had recently suffered set backs in the high court and the Supreme Court in his bid to avoid giving his blood sample.
A two-judge bench of the high court had said that even police force could be used for compelling Tiwari to comply with the earlier order in the case as non-implementation of judicial orders would make courts a "laughing stock".
Tiwari had moved the apex court against the order but he could not get any relief.
"Enough is enough. You (Tiwari) were not present on earlier occasions. Having regard to your age, we had told you to give sample in a sealed cover. We gave you protection under Article 21, but enough is enough," justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad had said.
Shekhar had moved the fresh plea that the court should appoint a commissioner to take Tiwari's blood sample with assistance from police, as mandated by the 27th April order.
American and Indian businessmen in Washington have voiced their concerns over high tariff and non-tariff barriers, restrictions on foreign investment, lack of transparency and defence offset requirements in India, says the US ambassador
Chennai: Several recent policy decisions by India have caused "significant concern" and "dampened sentiment" about its investment climate, US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell said on Monday, reports PTI.
"The adoption of manufacturing policies discriminatory to foreign companies and the inclusion of retroactive tax provisions in the Finance Bill are two examples," Powell said, addressing members of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).
Voicing concern over challenges to trade and investment, she also called for a level playing field for US companies doing business with India.
Powell said she was committed to ensuring that US companies can compete on a level playing field in India and operate in the same open and fair environment that Indian firms enjoy in the US.
Powell said she had met US and Indian businessmen in Washington before her arrival, and they voiced their concerns over high tariff and non-tariff barriers, restrictions on foreign investment, lack of transparency and defence offset requirements.
Recently, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee encouraging him to reassure foreign investors that India would continue to welcome foreign capital by "advancing important economic reforms," she said.
On the economic opportunities between the two, Powell said both India and the US were "poised to sign an additional $8 billion in direct commercial and foreign military sales," through which India would assume a larger leadership role in the region and effectively respond to security concerns and humanitarian relief operations.
Noting US-India partnership in the defence sector has experienced one of the highest growth rates in the region, she said, "With the C-17, C-130J sale, we have more than doubled our total Foreign Military Sales and posted sales making India the third largest FMS market for 2011." .
The US envoy said Air India's purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft would be a significant boost for US jobs and exports and the Indian aviation sector.
"The fuel-efficient Dreamliners are a key component of Air India's restructuring plan as India positions itself to become a global aviation hub," Powell said.
Observing that the total bilateral trade in goods and services was expected to reach $100 billion this year, she said both countries were engaged in technical discussions on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) that would help foster investment opportunities.
She said Washington's recent announcement of a new model BIT has contributed to the active advancement of BIT negotiations between the two countries and "we are expecting a new round to kick off very soon".
"A BIT would enhance transparency and predictability to investors, and support economic growth and job creation in both our countries," she said.
India has become one of the fastest growing sources of investment in the US, creating well-paid jobs for tens of thousands of Americans, she said, adding, nearly 50% of the high-tech Start-ups in Silicon Valley and Washington are owned by Indians or Indian-Americans.
Citing a McKinsey report, which said India needed $143 billion investments in health care, $392 billion in transportation infrastructure and $1.25 trillion in energy production by 2030, Powell said that by reducing barriers to foreign investment, US companies can help India accomplish these ambitious goals.
Bolstering bilateral trade and investment, expanding defence cooperation, enhancing ties in international fora, counter-terrorism and global threats were her objectives, she said.
Impromptu meetings called by the management were a learning experience for all. The 36th part of a series describing the unknown triumphs and travails of doing international business
The hotel industry is based on the ability of the staff to give best and memorable customer service as possible. This is the backbone of hospitality that everyone in the industry must learn and employ at every stage of their activities.
Once in a while, the staff at the Courtyard would have meetings at short notice when senior managers would be present. The human resources director, aided by the front office manager, would simply play back some of the taped telephone conversations that the front desk associates had with a customer, who had called seeking help, assistance and guidance! Of course, the person answering the phones, as a matter of route job, did not know that his/her telecon was being actually recorded! This was known as “telephone audit”, a widely accepted practice in the industry. Both our successful handling of the caller, or the botched up call was discussed and those who ‘failed’ to please the customer was separately called in for special training or advice as to how they should improve themselves for the future! It was always a learning experience all the time!
In addition to this, was the guest commentary cards that were filled in and left by the guests during their stay. Of course, on the top of this, randomly picked guests would also get an email questionnaire for them to fill in their experience of their recent stay. Every single unfavourable comment was investigated; the person concerned was given additional training to improve, suitable letters of apology written to the guest and thanking them for the trouble they took in bringing such matters to the notice of the management.
Rosemary, our director of housekeeping, had been brought to the Front office, for her not only to get cross training, but to feel the direct impact of the customer’s concerns about the house keeping work. In my case, I was assigned to work with Victoria, popularly known as Vicky, for handling the actual housekeeping job; this meant to spend half a day, simply watching her do all the chores involved in cleaning a room—changing of beds, bringing in new linen, remove used toiletries and replace with fresh materials, towels and even washing the bathroom completely.
Vicky could do this generally in 22 to 25 minutes, while the maximum time given was 30 minutes per room. I think it took me about three days of practice to be able to reach some 40 minutes per room, which still was a good speed, considering my being a greenhorn, while she was a veteran with years of experience!
Our sales management had landed an airline contract; which meant a guaranteed allocation of some eight rooms per night; and they had the option to ask for another four more at the same special price! Not only these had to be kept all the time, we had to ensure their collection and delivery back at the airport by our coach, at short notices. They were nice, friendly, smiling and courteous in dealing with one and all.
On one occasion, I had taken the crew members to the airport and had just returned back, parked the van in the portico, and got inside the front desk, when the airhostess, whom I had dropped, was frantically asking for me. I spoke to her, she wanted me to hurry back and see if she had left her small handbag in the seat to the right of the driver, in the third row! I rushed back to find that the handbag was lying just below the seat! I answered the call, and told her that I was rushing back to deliver the same. When I did, she opened her bag to show the money, all her documents that she was supposed to deliver to the bank the next morning! She gave me a big hug and a thank you note to the management followed immediately thereafter.
My other colleagues in the hotel, like Andrea, Robi and Maria were kind and supportive. The teamwork was fantastic.
As a guest relations associate, one had to anticipate the customer’s needs. We had to place ourselves in the shoes of the customer and be prepared to assist them, so that every single act of the staff leaves a memorable feeling in the minds of the guest. Most of the guests would come in and ask for stamps so that they can mail the letters, which they probably wrote in the flight. I found we were running short of these, and I made it a point to get stamps not only for local mails, but also overseas, as we had a great number of clients who came from Europe and Latin America.
Likewise, there were some others, who came to town, and stayed with us, always left part of the baggage and laundry. This was taken care, and invariably we would have them delivered in their preset rooms just before they actually checked in!
Most of the hotels had USA Today, the national daily, delivered to their rooms, on a complimentary basis; but living in Virginia and across the river Potomac was Washington DC, the home of Washington Post! I took up the issue with the GM during one of our meetings and from next day, we had on sale in the front desk.
Our coach service not only covered trips to the airport and back, but also the nearby eateries and the Crystal City Metro. Very often on these runs, I had the occasion to see some other guests waiting for a pick up. On one occasion, I heard the two waiting guests complaining that in spite of their calls their van had not turned up. When I enquired where they were heading for, they replied that they were put up in Hyatt, which was actually next door to us. I invited them to join us, and dropped them at their hotel first, and suggested to them that they might consider staying with us the next time they are in the city! I did explain to them that sometimes, the traffic was so bad on the roads, that even the best of drivers would find it difficult to make the runs!
I was now permanently assigned to the afternoon shift, though occasionally my services were utilized in the mornings as well. Krista called me in to have a chat, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to know from her that I had a fair chance to be promoted to the supervisory position in the Alexandria Sheraton Suites, a member unit of the Starwood Hotels, subject to my being interviewed and selected by their front office manager.
The interview took place a couple of days later, on my day off; I met Chad Couture, a young and bright manager, who was friendly and knowledgeable. My knowledge of computers was limited, as it was then, and he emphasised that the system in use in Sheraton was quite different from the one employed by Courtyard by Marriott, and he made it abundantly clear that it was not easy to master it! My initial training would last for a week in the morning shift, after which, I would be assigned to the evening shift for at least two weeks before a final decision made for my work timings.
Without much ado, I was simply transferred to the Sheraton Suites the following week and notification put up in the Courtyard on the day of my joining duty, as we had to train another person to join the front desk, though, we had already groomed an existing staff member to take over my shoes as guest relations associate.
We had already moved into our own townhouse in Chimney Wood Court, my new hotel was less than four miles from my home. And I looked forward to making a long innings with the Starwood Hotels.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts. From being the advisor to exporters, he took over the mantle of a trader, travelled far and wide, and switched over to setting up garment factories and then worked in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)