Regulations
RBI asked to keep close watch on fund diversion
There are a few instances where defaulting borrowers diverted funds by opening multiple current accounts outside the members of the consortium that provided the debt
 
The Finance Ministry has asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to tighten lending norms to prevent borrowers from opening multiple current account outside their consortium of banks.
 
There are a few instances where defaulting borrowers indulged in diversion of funds have taken place by opening of multiple current account outside the members of the consortium.
 
Therefore, sources said, the Finance Ministry has urged RBI to tighten the norms and monitoring system so that such activities could be prevented.
 
According to sources, Kingfisher Airlines allegedly diverted funds by opening a current account in HDFC Bank and has a balance of Rs7.5 crore as on date.
 
This fact was not known to the consortium of lenders headed by State Bank of India (SBI). These banks have an outstanding debt of Rs6,521 crore from the now-grounded carrier.
 
Such diversion can be monitored by Reserve Bank as it is sector regulator and there is a need to strengthen the monitoring mechanism.
 
There has been a spate of defaults taking place in banking system. Majority of them are due to slow economic growth but there is small proportion of cases where defaults are intentional.
 
Recently, the Finance Ministry had ordered limited forensic audit into some non-performing accounts of Kolkata— based UCO Bank to find out whether there were any irregularities in sanction of loans.
 
Forensic audit is being conducted against Dena Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) where some officials were suspected of misappropriating funds worth Rs436 crore from their fixed deposit customers.
 
Gross NPA of the public sector banks increased to Rs2.27 lakh crore at the end of March 2014 from Rs1.64 lakh crore a year ago.
 
Financial Stability Report released by RBI recently said that infrastructure, iron and steel, textiles, mining and aviation services contributed significantly to the level of stressed advances.
 
The share of these five sub-sectors in total advances is the highest for public sector banks.
 
The amount of loan restructured rose more than 11-fold between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
 
At the end of 2010-11, the restructured loans stood at Rs6,614.40 crore that rose significantly to Rs76,479.06 crore at the end of 2012-13.

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COMMENTS

rs

2 years ago

There should be restriction on the bank which allows opening of current account in the name of customers who have borrowed from elsewhere. If banks knowingly open it, they should be penalised. The consortium members also should not be careless as any movement of funds from their account to another Bank should put them on alert.

Supreme Court rejects Nithyananda’s plea against potency test
The apex court had also said that there is no reason why an accused in a rape case should not be subjected to potency test
 
Controversial self-proclaimed godman Nithyananda will have to undergo potency test in a 2010 rape case with the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissing his plea. 
 
Nithyananda had challenged the Karnataka High Court’s order directing him to take the medical test.
 
A Bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai refused to give any relief to Nithyananda.
 
The Bench, while hearing the case, on 20th August had questioned the controversial godman for his reluctance to undergo the test, saying such examinations are becoming necessary day-by-day in view of rise in rape cases.
 
The Bench had also said that there is no reason why an accused in a rape case should not be subjected to potency test and had questioned the police for delay in conducting the test in the 2010 case.
 
The apex court had on 21st August reserved its verdict on Nithyananda’s plea.
 
The Karnataka High Court had on 1st August stayed the non-bailable arrest warrant issued by a Ramanagaram court against Nithyananda and four of his followers in connection with the case.
 
It had directed Nithyananda to present himself before the investigating officer for the medical test and also to appear before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ramanagaram, on 18th August.
 
It had passed the order on the petitions filed by Nithyananda and his followers questioning the 28th July order of the CJM.
 
They had claimed that the Chief Judicial Magistrate was not justified in issuing the non-bailable arrest warrant against them as the high court in its 16th July order did not direct them to be present before the CJM on 28th July, but it was the date given for the trial court to commence hearing in the rape case, which was pending for four years.
 
In its 16th July order, the High Court had upheld the 2012 order of the CJM, who had allowed the plea of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to subject Nithyananda to medical test to find out whether or not he was capable of having sexual intercourse, and also to collect his blood and voice samples.
 
Observing that Nithyananda had been granted regular bail, the high court in the 16th July order had made it clear that he should be taken into custody only for the limited purpose of subjecting him to medical test and for collecting voice and blood samples, if he voluntarily failed to appear before the investigating officer.

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COMMENTS

M P Rao

2 years ago

1) Anybody who is accused of sexual misconduct should not be allowed to refuse to undergo potency test, especially if he denies it.
2) Only those who have something to hide and avoid or delay the Investigation and / prosecution only indulge in legal obstructions.
3) Anyone who indulged in sexual misconduct cannot be a godman and shouldn't be allowed to become a Mathadhipathi. :(

When under investigation Judge returns to bench
Barry Kamins, a senior New York judge under investigation for ethical misconduct, is back on the bench while his case is handled in secret 
 
The hall is cavernous on the fourth floor of the Queens Supreme Court building. Whispers feel magnified as they echo amid the marble floors and vaulted ceiling. The whispers are of lawyers and clients, their lives in one kind of legal limbo or another, figuring out the next bit of strategy.
 
The newest judge on the court's fourth floor is Barry Kamins, a man with as prestigious a resume as any in the New York state court system. But his future is also uncertain: Kamins is currently being investigated by the state Commission on Judicial conduct for a range of possible ethical violations.
 
A recent New York City Department of Investigation report that examined Charles J. Hynes's campaign spending and other conduct during his failed bid for a seventh term as Brooklyn District Attorney found that Kamins had been providing legal and political advice to Hynes over many months. The report revealed that Kamins, then the supervising judge for all of Brooklyn, recommended staff, prepped Hynes for debates and even provided extra legal advice dealing with active cases being handled by Hynes' office.
 
Following the June 3 DOI report, Kamins was removed from his senior position. But 10 weeks later, he is back on the bench hearing disputes over property values and deciding foreclosure cases.
 
David Bookstaver, the spokesman for the New York State Court system, said that, by law, a judge can only be removed or otherwise disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
 
"Right now there is no mechanism to keep him from the bench. This isn't subjective, it's the constitution," Bookstaver said. "There is a process."
 
ProPublica has spent much of the last two years examining the troubled oversight system for prosecutors who abuse their power. That examination has found that prosecutors, even those who engage in flagrant misconduct, are almost never punished. And in the rare cases in which state disciplinary panels do undertake a review of complaints of misconduct, those proceedings are conducted in secret, and word of any discipline typically remains unknown to the public.
 
Much of the work of the Commission on Judicial Conduct also takes place in secret, and in Queens Supreme Court there is no obvious way for anyone to know that Kamins may be facing serious discipline.
 
Robert Tembeckjian, the administrator of the commission, said investigations can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete, "depending on the complexity of the case and the volume of complaints."
 
"It is a lengthy process, not an easy thing to do," Tembeckjian said. "It shouldn't be easy. Like anybody accused of wrongdoing, a judge should have the ability to confront the charges."
 
Kamins has not spoken publicly since the report was issued. His lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said shortly after the report's release that Kamins would never abuse his judicial position. Efforts to reach Shechtman on Monday were not successful.
 
Tembeckjian, in an interview, said his commission has advocated for more power for decades — seeking state legislative approval for its hearings to be public and for the authority to suspend a judge temporarily.
 
"The commission does already have significant authority, but our experience over 40 years is that there are other tools we should have to render the appropriate discipline," Tembeckjian said.
 
Lawrence Goldman, a lawyer who served on the judicial conduct commission from 1990 to 2006, said "for years the commission has said in its annual report that the cases should be made public."
 
Tembeckjian agrees.
 
"It would help educate the public and help the proceedings," he said.
 
New York's is one of 15 state commissions that conduct their investigations in secret.
"I think it is not a high priority in the state legislature. Sometimes a bill pops up in the state senate, sometimes in the assembly. In the past 30 years it has maybe come to a vote four or five times," Tembeckjian said.
 
According to the commission, only 23 New York judges were disciplined in the 100 years prior to the commission's creation in 1974. Previously, discipline was handed down by a loose network of ad hoc courts with no permanent employees. The Commission currently has 46 full time employees and offices in New York, Albany and Rochester.
 
There are currently 10 commissioners and one vacancy awaiting appointment from the governor. The leader of the State Assembly and the Chief Judge on the Court of Appeals also appoint commissioners. Eight members need to agree before a decision is made. The discipline is then recommended to the Court of Appeals.
 
In its history, the commission has recommended that 168 judges be removed from their positions. The vast majority of the cases involved judges sitting in the state's more local courts, including town and village courts.
 
The commission can also admonish or censure judges, two levels of public discipline short of removal. Judges can also be pressed to resign. But to some, the commission's powers still feel limited.
 
Goldman said there has long been support for the idea of allowing the commission to suspend or otherwise limit a judge's powers during any investigation into their conduct.
This year the commission has taken action against seven judges, all from upstate or Long Island. Four agreed to resign, two were censured and one judge was admonished. None were as prominent as Kamins, but Tembeckjian said the commission is not afraid to act against any judge.
 
"The commission's approach is to examine the behavior regardless of how powerful the judge is," Tembeckjian said.
 
The Department of Investigation report on Kamins shocked many in the New York legal community.
 
Kamins has advised the New York City Justice Task force, served on the New York Law Journal Board of Editors and has taught at Fordham and Brooklyn Law schools. He is the author of numerous law articles, and in recent years had won a number of appointments to positions of great influence and authority within the state court system.
 
"This is a guy who was president of the New York City Bar. A guy who could have made a big living with a private firm, but instead stayed in the criminal courts," Goldman said.
The DOI report focused on hundreds of email exchanges Kamins had with Hynes. On a near daily basis, Kamins instructed the district attorney — on how to get re-elected, on how to deal with his own legal problems, and, perhaps most damningly, on how to manage any damage from an investigation into possibly wrongful convictions involving the district attorney's office over the years.
 
"I don't charge much for political consulting," Kamins joked to Hynes in an email dated June 3, 2012.
 
"You are the new David Garth," Hynes responded.
 
Garth was a man described by the New York Times in 1989 as the "grandfather of modern political advertising."
 
Bookstaver, the spokesman for the court system, indicated that, in assigning Kamins to a Queens courthouse, there was some value seen in keeping Kamins out of the Brooklyn courts, where he had spent his career as a prosecutor, defense lawyer and powerful judge.
It is in that Queens courthouse, then, that until the commission rules — perhaps soon, perhaps in 18 months — Kamins will be deciding people's legal fates.
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org 

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