Citizens' Issues
President Pranab Mukherjee clears anti-rape bill

The new law states that an offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of the convict's natural life and with a fine

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.


Mukherjee accorded his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 on Tuesday, brought against the backdrop of the country-wide outrage over Delhi gang-rape, and it will now be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, an official release said today.


The bill, passed by Lok Sabha on 19th March and by Rajya Sabha on 21st March, has replaced an ordinance promulgated on 3rd February.


It amends various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.


With an aim of providing a strong deterrent against crimes like rapes, the new law states that an offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of the convict's natural life and with a fine.


It has provisions for handing out death sentence to offenders who may have been convicted earlier for such crimes.


The law, for the first time, defines stalking and voyeurism as non-bailable offences if repeated for a second time. Perpetrators of acid attack will attract a 10-year jail.


It also defines acid attack as a crime besides granting a victim the right to self-defence. It also has provisions for imposing a minimum 10-year jail term for perpetrators of such acts.


The law has fixed age for consensual sex at 18 years.


New sections to prevent stalking and voyeurism were introduced following a strong demand from women's organisations.


The amendments seek to define and prescribe punishment for the offences of stalking, voyeurism and sexual harassment. The law also seeks to widen the definition of rape, broaden the ambit of aggravated rape and enhance the punishment for such crimes.


It also provides that all hospitals shall immediately provide first aid and/or medical treatment free of cost to the victims of acid attack or rape, and failure to do so will attract punishment.


The new law provisions for a minimum imprisonment of seven years which may extend to imprisonment for natural life, and a fine for rape convict if he is found to be a police officer, a public servant, armed forces personnel or management or hospital staff.


The law also seeks to amend the Indian Evidence Act to allow a rape victim, if she is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, to record her statement before a judicial magistrate with the assistance of an interpreter or a special educator. It also has provisions to video-graph the proceedings.


Sensex, Nifty headed down: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty has to make a higher high and stay above today's low. Or else, it may move to the level of 5,545


The market snapped its four-day winning streak and closed lower today on selling in rate-sensitive sectors like realty, capital goods, auto and metal. The Nifty will have to make a higher high and stay above today's low, else may move to the level of 5,545. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 70.45 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 629:878.


The market opened in the negative on profit booking after four days of gains on pressure from fast moving consumer goods, oil & gas and auto sectors. On the other hand, the Asian markets were mostly higher in morning trade hopes of a favourable outcome from the Bank of Japan’s two-day policy meeting which got underway today. US markets closed higher on Tuesday as the government put off plans to reduce payments for private Medicare Advantage for seniors.


The Nifty opened eight points lower at 5,740 and the Sensex resumed trade at 19,034, a fall of seven points from its previous close. The Sensex hit its intraday highs in initial trade with the index at 19,035 while the Nifty’s high came in the noon session at 5,746.


The market witnessed choppy trade in the morning session although the benchmarks were in the negative terrain. The benchmarks extended their losses in the second half led by auto, oil & gas and technology sectors. A negative opening of the European markets added to the woes of local investors in post-noon trade.


The slide continued in late trade with the market dipping to its lows in the last half hour of trade. The Nifty fell to 5,651 and the Sensex dropping to 18,722. Snapping its four-day winning streak, the market closed marginally off the lows of the day with 11 of the 13 sectoral indices settling in the red.


The Nifty declined 75 points (1.31%) to close at 5,673 and the Sensex settled at 18,802, down 239 points or 1.26%.


Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index dropped 0.81% and the BSE Small-cap index fell 0.41%.


Except for BSE Healthcare (up 0.17%) and BSE Power (up 0.06%), all the sectoral indices closed in the negative. The top losers were BSE Realty (down 2.68%); BSE Capital Goods (down 2.29%); BSE Auto (down 2.23%); BSE Metal (down 2.08%) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.82%).


Four of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The gainers were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 1.54%); NTPC (up 0.94%); Tata Power (up 0.73%) and ITC (up 0.24%). The chief losers were Bharti Airtel (down 3.95%); Bajaj Auto (down 3.68%); Tata Motors (down 3.45%); Larsen & Toubro (down 3.01%) and Sterlite Industries (down 2.79%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Adani Power (up 8.79%) and United Breweries (up 5.61%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—AstraZeneca Pharma India (down 4.94%) and Tech Mahindra (down 4.64%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Jetking Info (up 20%) and Welspun Investments & Commercials (up 19.95%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Kama Holdings (down 16.48%) and Everlon Synthetics (down 14.29%).


Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, six ended in the green. The key gainers were Sun Pharma (up 1.40%); NTPC (up 1.18%); Ranbaxy (up 1%); Tata Power (up 0.31%) and Dr Reddy's Lab (up 0.04%). The major losers were NMDC (down 4.26%); DLF (down 4.22%); Bharti Airtel (down 3.87%); Bajaj Auto (down 3.85%) and Bank of Baroda (down 3.65%).


Markets in Asia closed mostly higher on speculations that the Japanese central bank will announced fresh stimulus measures at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday and on positive economic indicators from the US.


The Jakarta Composite rose 0.49%; the KLSE Composite added 0.02 %; the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.99%; the Straits Times gained 0.13% ant the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.375. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.11%; the Hang Seng declined 0.14% and the Seoul Composite lost 0.15%.


At the time of writing, the key European indices were trading with losses of up to 0.50% while the US stock futures were marginally in the green.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares amounting Rs45.41 crore on Tuesday while domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities totalling Rs205.80 crore.


Mercator has sold its very large crude carrier MT Kamakshi Prem (built 2006, 299,235 DWT) to one of its subsidiaries in Singapore as a strategic decision. The stock fell 1.74% to close at Rs14.10 on the NSE.


With reference to the earlier announcement dated 2 April 2013 regarding indefinite strike by workmen, GKB Ophthalmics has now informed that the workmen affiliated to Goa Trade & Commercial Worker’s Union (affiliated to AITUC), have called off their strike unconditionally and have resumed work on 3 April 2013. The stock fell 4.81% to close at Rs19.80 on the NSE.


Problems of Being an Indian Entrepreneur-I: I was never interested in money

This is the first part of the four-part series on the difficulties of an entrepreneur doing business in India and how India loses by forcing small businesses to pay for bribes and lose out to multinationals. PS Deodhar talks about his background and his love for engineering

Friends and relatives often ask me one question that puzzles them: Why is APLAB not a thousand crore company despite its reputation for high its quality products, innovation and business integrity and solid exports. The answer is simple and two-fold—my upbringing and, two, our sense of integrity and unfaltering resistance to making deals with government authorities. Unfortunately, in India, there’s a price to be paid for being honest and full of integrity.


Chasing money never excited me. Business circles like the chambers of commerce, CII or FICCI do not interest me either. I do hold in great esteem a few of the successful entreprenuers whose money has been a corollary of their great vision, extra-ordinary skill and wisdom. They wear their wealth very elegantly and conduct themselves in a gracefully simple manner. However, there is another kind that make me sick—those who conduct themselves without any respect to society, law & order and integrity. I never can admire their commercial success accrued through moral and legal compromises. This type of business people will never be role models for anyone with respect for law and integrity.


In India, one also has to be willing to make compromises. My domain knowledge happens to be in electronics and engineering materials. I never really pushed my team for monetary growth. I was happy as long as my company had enough wealth to invest in the development of products that excited me. I preferred to focus on product development, continued learning of technological advances and deliver products that consumers wanted which other Indian companies could not. My ego booster is technological achievement. I have the mindset of a craftsman and love to harness technology to provide a well-crafted solution. This is because I had the benefit of coming from a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) family.


I had adequate technical knowledge and skills in design and production of well-engineered electronic products. In the early years, I enjoyed great benefits of being a pioneer. Many companies were admirers of APLAB: IIT Bombay, BARC, TIFR, Bharat Electronics, Indian Telephone Industries, NAL and many others. We were developing products for them, helping them to substitute imports with superior domestic products.


My priority was always to put unrelenting efforts in manufacturing such products and trying to match them with those from Europe in terms of quality and packaging. My annual visits to Japan in the early seventies, and then to Germany till the early eighties, helped me understand the intricacies of technological excellence. I challenged to attempt their technological approach in India.


I recollect, in 1967, Lt General AC Aiyappa, chairman of BEL, called me, offering a challenge to develop an AC Voltage Regulator to meet the K114E environmental endurance test. The product had to work at -40°C, that too in a moving military vehicle. Within four weeks, I went with a sample that passed all the stringent tests. This helped BEL to replace a similar product from Siemens. Big orders followed from the Indian military for decades! Never ever was there a word about a bribe or a gift.


My first mentor was an engineer par excellence who lived and breathed engineering: Late MG Bhat of Automatic Electric. We quickly developed mutual respect and appreciation. He was a total “hands-on” electrical and mechanical engineer and had an outstanding range of electrical products, ranging from electrical panel meters to variable torroidal transformers and resin-cast metering transformers. All these were deeply integrated developments started with basic materials. Bhat and I together developed India's first stepper motor and a range of line voltage regulators. All his products were highly respected by big electrical engineering groups in India. He introduced me to Japan, which we often visited together. Our skills were complementary and in 1964, two years after I set up Applied Electronics Laboratories, Bhat became my sleeping shareholder in APLAB. Throughout his life, he never once questioned the way I managed APLAB. A few mutual friends often tell me that he was proud of what I was doing.


In the second part of the series, he will discuss how the company evolved, by using quality engineering and talent, to grow from a small company to a world-class exporter and finally how his decision to work for the government and honest approach affected his company.


(PS Deodhar is founder and former chairman of the APLAB Group of companies. He is also the former chairman of the Electronics Commission of the Government of India and was an advisor to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on electronics. He also was the chairman of the Broadcast Council in 1992-93 that set in motion the privatisation of the electronic media with metro channels.)

Read the Second part of the series




3 years ago

all i hear is crying and bitc hing and moaning and crying.


4 years ago

MDT and Deodhar Jee : Difficulties expressed by you are not applicable to mfg industries but also to service industies working from residence. (1) No firm( both Prop and Partnership) can open the account in any bank unless they submit two certificates from Govt. Agencies such as Professional Tax(PT). Service Tax(ST) Shop n Establishment Act (SET) ,Sales Tax etc (SLT). Generally person working from home do not apply for SLT, as once it is established he is doing business, the Society where stays, Municipality etc. charges double for water tax, electric companies for electricity and host of periodical returns. Getting your name in PT is difficult, as they insist for bank details of the firm and bank do not open account unless you provide registrations. There is no sales tax for service industry and service tax is applicable only when income limit exceeds Rs.10.00 lacs. Even for PT u need two certificates - one for employer and one for employee with host of periodical returns.

Resham Thakur

4 years ago

I totally agree with Mr.P.S.Deodhar' frank views, even i feel that we are sailing in the same boat. In India, it's just next to impossible to do any good work or business honestly & sincerely, your own colleagues & friends from your fraternity will laugh at you & make a joke of you. I remember Justice Markandey Katju's golden worlds " 90 % Indians are fools" I would further like to improve & correct him, Sir, it is 99 % not 90 %. We Indians are Morons & bottom lickers of people in power, where as I am a bottom kicker of all these rogue characters in power. Our house,offices & furniture manufacturing factories were raided by corrupt IT & ST departments on several occasions, just to harass us & coerce us in paying bribes. We refused to bow down. We will fight till the end,in courts, but will never ever pay bribes to these scavengers & spineless creatures (men in power). Jai Hind!


4 years ago

Aplabs products were amongst the most rugged devices I have ever used. Their bench top power supplies were more abused than used - and never ever failed.


p s d

In Reply to jtd 4 years ago


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