Citizens' Issues
Radia tape leakage: Government's probe hardly satisfactory says SC

The apex court also took strong exception to the Centre's failure to put in place a proper mechanism to prevent such leakage in future

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre over leakage of its taped conversation of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia saying its probe report is hardly satisfactory, reports PTI.

 

A bench of justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya also took strong exception to the Centre's failure to put in place a proper mechanism to prevent such leakage in future.

 

"Those probe reports are hardly satisfactory. The less said the better. Somebody must be made accountable for the leakage," the bench said after the Centre submitted to it that the leakage has not been done on its part or by its officials.

 

"There is no reply on how to prevent such leakages in future. In future it will again happen. If you are not able to protect, then why you go for tapping," the bench observed.

 

It also said the probe report submitted by the government does not specifically give clean chit to any department.

 

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata had moved the apex court on 29 November 2010 for action against those involved in the leakage of the tapes saying that the leakage amounted to infringement of his fundamental right to life, which includes right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

 

The conversations were recorded by the government as part of surveillance of Radia's phone, ordered by the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) on a complaint received by the Finance Minister on 16 November 2007 alleging that within a span of nine years, she had built up a business empire worth Rs300 crore.

 

The government had recorded 180 days of Radia's conversations -- first from 20 August 2008 onwards for 60 days and then from 19th October for another 60 days. Later on 11 May 2009, her phone was again put on surveillance for another 60 days following a fresh order given on 8th May.

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COMMENTS

ashok sen

5 years ago

Mr. Ratan Tata must be naiive to make a statement that the leakage amounted to infringement of his fundamental right to life, which includes right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

How many of our politicians understand this fundamental right, and that he has been wronged.I am pained to say that the people of Ratan Tatas calibre, who constantly try and increase their shareholders wealth, in the best traditions of business,are a breed apart in this wretched country of ours.
I do not condone corruption, but what is worse is the totally indifferent attitude of our politicians to outright flouting of all decency in public life; the only aim is to enrich themselves, immaterial of what happens as a result of their actions.

Competition Commission rejects plea on insecticides import

The informant has also not submitted any material to show that insecticide importers and manufacturers are charging exorbitant prices either due to any anti-competitive agreement, the CCI said while rejecting the plea

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a plea against the Agriculture Ministry that alleged existing registration norms for importing insecticides create monopoly of existing players in that segment, reports PTI.

 

The CCI said the material submitted before it does not provide the basis for a prime facie opinion to refer the case to its Director General for investigation. Hence, the matter is closed, it said in an order.

 

No violations of Section 3 (related to anti-competitive agreements) and Section 4 (regarding abuse of market position) under Competition Act 2002 were found, it added.

 

The case was filed against the Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Agriculture Commissioner and Chairman of the Registration Committee and Secretary of Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee.

 

The Commission said the informant -- Saurabh Bhargava from Madhya Pradesh -- was aggrieved by the rules with regard to registration of insecticides for importing into India.

 

According to the order, the informant said the conditions prescribed for grant of registration certificate were onerous and created monopoly in respect of the existing entrants.

 

Further, the informant said it was difficult for new entrants to get themselves registered. As a result, there was monopoly in the market and exorbitant prices were being charged by insecticide importers and manufacturers.

 

"The informant has also not submitted any material to show that insecticide importers and manufacturers are charging exorbitant prices either due to any anti-competitive agreement between them or any dominant player amongst them is abusing its dominance in the relevant market," the order said.

 

The Commission noted that the impugned conditions prescribed for grant of registration certificate cannot be termed either as anti-competitive agreement or as abuse of dominant position.

 

As per the order, the three entities cannot be termed either as enterprises or as being participants in the market under consideration.

 

"The question of violation of Sections 3 or 4 of the Act, therefore, does not arise.

 

"The opposite parties are primarily responsible for administration of The Insecticides Act, 1968 and rules framed thereunder, including the related technical and procedural responsibilities and, as such, their activities would normally not be covered under the Competition Act, 2002 unless there are strong grounds to suggest otherwise," it added.

 

In an dissenting order on the issue, Commission Member R Prasad said there exists a "prima facie case" that deserves to be investigated further.

 

"After carefully considering the entire material on record, I am of the view that there exists a prima facie case of anti-competitive effect due to the conduct of the opposite parties and there is a need on the part of the Commission to intervene to correct the situation for the welfare of the consumers," Prasad said in his dissenting order.

 

As per this order, the anti-competitive situation is arising due to the interpretation of the relevant section of the Insecticides Act and unless the parties' activities are set right, the market would not see benefits of competition.

 

"... I am of the opinion that there exists a prima facie case in the matter and deserve to be sent for investigation by the DG," the dissenting order noted.

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Government inspecting chit-funds, multi-level marketing companies

Ministry of Corporate Affairs has asked RoC to probe the accounts of chit fund companies and certain MLM firms while the SFIO has recommended setting up of a specific central regulatory agency for implementation of Prize Chit and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978

 
New Delhi: As many as 87 companies have come under the scanner for alleged irregularities related to chit fund schemes and money circulation in the garb of multi-level marketing, the government said, reports PTI.
 
The Registrar of Companies (RoC) and its Regional Directors have been asked to scrutinise the balance sheets and inspect the books of accounts and other records of these 87 companies, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs RPN Singh informed the Rajya Sabha.
 
In reply to a query whether the Ministry has asked RoC to probe the accounts of chit fund companies and certain multi- level marketing (MLM) firms, the minister replied in affirmative.
 
Singh said the directions have been issued on the basis of specific complaints received by the Ministry against these companies, which are "alleged to be carrying on the activities related to prize chit fund and money circulation in the garb of multi-level marketing".
 
The minister was asked whether complaints have been received from investors about being cheated through MLM money circulation schemes.
 
Singh further said that Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has recommended setting up of a specific central regulatory agency for the implementation of the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978.
 
The Act is administered by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), which has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Group consisting of representatives from DFS, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the Reserve Bank, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Department of Consumer Affairs and Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
 
The Group will draft model rules on MLM companies and on the prohibited schemes under this Act, and also frame clarificatory guidelines on how to distinguish between direct sales from disguised money circulation schemes.
 
To another question on whether the investigations were being referred to SFIO, rather than being conducted by RoCs, Singh said that multi-dimensional financial irregularities and frauds of complex nature are normally assigned to SFIO.
 
He said that SFIO is a "multi-disciplinary investigative agency comprising of experts from banking sector, capital market, company law, general law, forensic, audit, taxation, information technology etc."
 
The minister further said that various sections of the Companies Act empowers the central government to appoint inspectors for investigation of affairs of a company, but no extra-judicial power is bestowed upon the SFIO.
 
He said that RoC has powers to call for necessary information or explanation from any company, based on the documents submitted to its office by the company, and submit a report to the central government.
 
On the basis of RoC report, the government can order investigations into the affairs of the company.
 
In reply to another question on whether applications under Right to Information (RTI) Act are piling up in the various offices of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Singh said that all RTI applications are attended to on a priority basis.
 

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COMMENTS

MOHAN

5 years ago

.

Money chain companies are cheating laborers and retired people

Nano Excel MLM Chief's bail plea rejected by supreme court:


The Hon. Supreme Court Rejected bail application of Mr. Maddineni, Managing Director of Nano Excel MLM. Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice C.Prasad observed that Money chain companies are cheating laborer and retired people. Court asked whether these types of companies can be called “Blade” companies.

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