Peddling snake oil

American television shows and radio waves are filled with advertisements for debt-settlement agencies that promise to do the impossible. Some ads claim that the Obama administration has a plan to let people with more than $10,000 in credit card debt walk away scot-free and that their services can help. But none of these claims are true.

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Local tension, global contagion

Investors are worried that the risk of default for US local governments is growing, amid signs that some regions are facing severe difficulty in curbing pension and budget deficits.

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Mandatory to sell helmets with two-wheelers: SC

Dismissing a plea filed by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the apex court said two-wheeler manufacturers would have to give BIS-certified helmets as ‘original equipment’

Two-wheeler makers will now have to sell a helmet along with their bikes and scooters after the Supreme Court (SC) today dismissed a plea by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) against such a step, reports PTI.

A bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly dismissed the petition filed by SIAM challenging an earlier order of the Delhi High Court.

The apex court said the manufacturers would have to give BIS certified helmets as "original equipment".

On 30 July, 2009, the high court made it mandatory for dealers to sell helmets along with new two-wheelers and said that the vehicle would not be registered by the authorities without it.

SIAM contended that the high court order would restrict the people's choice to buy their own helmet. Moreover, it would also force a person to buy a helmet again when he buys a new two-wheeler.

However, the apex court was not convinced with the argument and said, "Let there be more helmets. When you are buying a second scooter of Rs40,000, then you can buy a helmet also, which is of Rs300 only."

In its petition, SIAM had contended that by the orders of the high court, the choice of customers was curtailed, as they were forced to buy from the dealers of automobile companies and not from the open market.

The association further contended that it was against the Motor Vehicles Act, which "helmet for a person" only and not "helmet for a vehicle".

It also raised questions over the high court's direction to provide only those helmets conforming to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

"The high court made a serious error in directing that all purchasers of two-wheelers have to purchase helmet only from the dealer.

"This direction curtails the freedom of the purchaser to purchase helmet from the open market and third parties. It is also possible that in a particular case the purchaser may be buying a second vehicle and therefore may already have an existing helmet," said SIAM in its petition filed by counsels Vipin Nair and P B Suresh.

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