Citizens' Issues
Rajya Sabha proceedings stalled over National Herald case
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday witnessed repeated adjournments in the pre-lunch session after the Congress members created a ruckus over the National Herald case for the second consecutive day and the BJD members protested over the Polavaram project.
 
Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2.00 p.m. when it assembled at 12.15 p.m. after three brief adjournments.
 
Soon after the house assembled for the day, Congress members stormed the chairman's podium raising the issue of summons to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.
 
The Congress members shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also protested against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the Polavaram project, a multi-purpose dam in Andhra Pradesh whose reservoir spreads into parts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
 
They trooped bear the chairman's podium and held placards demanding that the Polavaram Dam project be stopped.
 
Amid the din, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house till 11.30 a.m.
 
When the house reassembled, Congress and BJD members went close to the speaker's chair and shouted slogans.
 
Congress members were shouting slogans like "Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi."
 
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: "The Congress party is stalling the development of the county. Whistleblowers protection bill and ST/SC (prevention of atrocities) amendment bill are listed in today's business."
 
He said that the government is ready to discuss any issue on the floor of the house.
 
"If the Congress party feels any kind of discrimination, we are ready to discuss. They are protesting inside and outside parliament and disrupting government's development agenda," he said.
 
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "We want discussions against Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments."
 
As the ruckus continued, Kurien adjourned the house till 12 noon.
 
At 12 noon, similar scenes were witnessed and Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 12.15 p.m and then till 2.00 p.m.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Stock manipulation: Mahanivesh (India) Ltd
Mahanivesh shot up by 502% between March 2014 and December 2015
 
Mahanivesh is supposedly into arranging ‘project finance’ and investments. But its main income is from trading. In September 2015, the company’s management decided to pursue the fad of the decade—e-commerce—and decided to change the name of the company. 
 
For the year ended September 2015 Mahanivesh reported revenue of Rs51.66 crore, up from Rs49.67 crore (just 4%) for the comparable period last year. But it reported a net loss of Rs2 lakh for the year ended September 2015, and net loss of Rs30,000 for the year ended September 2014. 
 
Despite virtually no profits being generated over the past three years, the stock shot up by 502%, to Rs514 on 2 December 2015, from Rs85 on 22 March 2014. In fact, the stock staged a continuous rally of 614%, from Rs98 on 13 October 2014 to an intra-day high of Rs700 on 13 November 2015. However, since then, the stock price has been on a decline. It has fallen nearly 26% from the peak. The stock has averaged just about 12 trades a day from March 2014 to November 2015. In the 79 days that the stock was traded, of the four-month period ended November 2015, on an average, just one to four trades per day were conducted. As on 30 September 2015, Mahanivesh had just 243 shareholders. 
 
In 2007, the company was suspended by the Bombay Stock Exchange for not complying with the listing agreement. Will the regulator investigate this suspicious trading activity?

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Identity Theft and Its Avatars
Identity theft is a serious issue. But, in India, the rich and the powerful get away with using the identities of their employees (drivers and domestic helpers) as fronts for large business transactions, by naming them as directors in benami companies. Why is India so tolerant about the issue?
 
I dentity theft is a serious issue. But, in India, where the rich and the powerful get away with using the identities of their employees (drivers and domestic helpers) as fronts for large business transactions, by naming them as directors in benami companies, the gravity of the matter does not seem to upset people. 
 
On 17th November, Moneylife’s website reported a filing on the statutory corporate filing database of United Kingdom, companieshouse.gov.uk. It showed that SGFX Financials, a UK-registered entity set up in December 2010, had former Union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar as a director between 13 December 2010 and 5 January 2011. Following his exit, a breath-taking £70 billion came into the company; the company itself was quickly dissolved in November 2012. A day after our report, The Economic Times reported that Mr Pawar had filed a complaint with the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police against two directors of SGFX Financials, Sarvesh Narendra Bharde (it is actually Gade) and Shahnaz Ashraf, for ‘falsely and fraudulently’ submitting Mr Pawar’s name as a director, without his knowledge. Mr Pawar reportedly admitted that all other details about him, in the corporate filings, were accurate. On 22nd November, The Times of India reported that the EOW “may not register an FIR against the suspects (Sarvesh Gade and Shahnaz Ashraf) since they have publicly apologised for technical error that caused the inclusion of Pawar’s name in their company as a director.” As simple as that. 
 
The two had tried to blame the technical error on the UK firm, called Companies Made Simple, which, in turn, denied having filled out the forms. Pune-based RTI activist, Vijay Kumbhar, tweeted a Facebook post of SGFX Financial, which prominently displayed Mr Pawar’s photo and was even ‘liked’ by Mr Gade. How that happened will remain a mystery. 
 
Another case that is almost buried by the ‘tolerance’ debate is the allegation by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Dr Subramaniam Swamy, that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had represented himself as a British citizen in UK corporate filings. He revealed documents and corporate filings about a company called Backops Limited for several years. UK’s Companies House records reveal three versions: there are some records relating to Rahul Gandhi’s company, Backops Limited, where he is shown to be a British national; there are some other records of the same company that show him as an Indian national. And there is, apparently, a third record where he is shown as British but a handwritten change has been made—the word ‘British’ has been scratched out and replaced by ‘Indian’. The Congress has, predictably, dismissed Dr Swamy’s allegations, while Mr Gandhi challenged the government to arrest him. After a furore, mainly on social media, the matter seems to have been buried by the media and the political class, although Dr Swamy is unlikely to give up so easily. 
 
This tolerance for shady records, benami dealings and incorrect reporting to statutory databases extends beyond our shores to other powerful Indians too. Consider the explosive story by Nilita Vachani in The Nation and the Caravan magazine about how Anil Kumar, former partner at McKinsey & Company, stole the identity of an illiterate domestic help—Manju Das—to open offshore accounts in her name and collect illicit payments for revealing insider information in the famous case involving Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon Group and Rajat Gupta. Anil Kumar was convicted, but got away with a lighter sentence of two-year probation in 2012, a fine of $25,000 and forfeiture of $2.26 million in shady earnings, in exchange for agreeing to testify against his two friends. The revelations about Manju Das seem to have been quietly dropped as a part of the deal with the United States authorities, for testifying against his close friends Rajat Gupta (former head of Mckinsey) and Raj Rajaratnam leading to their imprisonment. 
 
This extraordinary tolerance for the misuse of identity, probably, explains why politicians across the spectrum (barring a few rare exceptions) have no interest in ensuring that the Unique Identification Number is legislated by parliament, with clear checks & balances put in place after a debate. It also explains why valid concerns about the flawed Aadhaar database do not resonate with ordinary Indians. 
 

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COMMENTS

Mahesh S Bhatt

12 months ago

Legal system prostitutes with Political systems.

Politicians use/abuse/misuse Laws to square the Political equations.

Life Goes On

Truth cannot stand the test of time/money as it loses relevance after a while.

So how it matters

Carry On Move India let Anarchy prevail.

Some Nathuram/Beant Singh/Nalini Singh will rise to give EXTRA Judicial judgements.

Life Goes on

Mahesh S Bhatt

12 months ago

Why does it not happen to common man & only uncommon Gandhi's Pawar etc.

Law is great 13 years Salman freed.No alcohol/nodriving/no murder.

Simple fact is small people get caught in legal web.

Rich break through web by creating moneywebs

Politicians use State Immmunity with impunity & money bags to buy justice.

Time is anyway not a criteria in Indian jurisprudence.

Enjoy the Hypocrisy of largest democrazy.INDIA.Ha Ha Ha

manoharlalsharma

12 months ago

But who will tie bell to cat ?

Meenal Mamdani

12 months ago

Dear Ms. Dalal
I don’t think that I misunderstood your article. It was eyecatching because Mr. Pawar's name was involved.

In this case, Mr. Gade listed Mr. Pawar as a director in his company, apparently without Mr. Pawar’s knowledge. So Mr. Gade stole Mr. Pawar’s identity to attract huge sums of money to his company. The question is how the banks and entity that registers the companies in UK accepted the fraud and moreover, once it was exposed, did not start criminal proceedings against Mr. Gade. This is not a minor error that can be passed off as of no consequence. This suggests that the banks and corporation registration entities in UK must be a party to the fraud.

Mr. Pawar seemed unperturbed perhaps because he knew that the most elementary investigation would prove that the papers substantiating his identity were fraudulent. Indian authorities like EOW have no jurisdiction in UK and unless Mr. Gade is an Indian citizen, cannot haul him up in an Indian court. Also the crime occurred in UK, not India, so UK should pursue this. I don’t think that we can hold Mr. Pawar responsible for this crime unless we can prove that he knew of this fraud and agreed to it.

In USA, identity theft occurs but involving hundreds and at a stretch thousands of dollars, perpetrated by petty criminals and involves ordinary citizens. There has never been one of this magnitude involving billions of dollars and prominent personalities.

I have no doubt that identity theft occurs in India because of inadequate literacy among a large proportion of poor people and the feudal mindset and behavior of the wealthier class. It is all the more reason to build in safeguards like PAN card and Aadhar card to prevent such thefts. I hope that MoneyLife will urge the adoption of both of these safeguards in all financial transactions.

KAVIRAJ B PATIL

12 months ago

With the vast majority of Indians too engrossed in their daily battle of survival and too tired at the end of the day to notice what their netas are upto, it is very convenient for the netas. While not scratching each other's back, they indulge in fairy tales to lull the toiling masses to sleep. It is only mavericks like Mr. Swamy who seem to treat the "Swach Bharath" seriously.

Mahesh S Bhatt

12 months ago

Big Thefts are simple.

Sharad Pawar was Agri Minister & he let the NSEL scam worth 8800 crore happen by simple disconnection of warehouse & broking house separation.

So enjoy.

Mahesh

Meenal Mamdani

12 months ago

This has been an embarrassing episode for MoneyLife as a supposed expose has turned out to be a typing error in the computer. The reporting team should have verified the accuracy of the data before rushing to print the astounding news.
Mr. Subramaniam Swamy too has counted on the sensational aspect of his claim to get wide public exposure before the charges have been investigated.
On the contrary, the case of Anil Kumar's misuse of his maid's name on a bank account appears to have been thoroughly investigated before reporting in the press.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 12 months ago

Ms Mamdani

I am surprised. There was no typing error. There was no embarrassment. The problem is in your understanding of the report.
The numbers were 100% accurate as reported to the British website

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