Citizens' Issues
RCOM puts on hold Free Basics launch
Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCOM) on Wednesday said that following the Indian telecom regulator's directive, the commercial launch of Facebook's Free Basics has been put on hold till it gets clearance.
 
"As directed by TRAI, the commercial launch of Free Basics has been kept in abeyance, till they consider all details and convey a specific approval," a Reliance Communications spokesperson said.
 
RCOM is the only telecom service provider offering Free Basics in India.
 
According to advertisements in the media: "Free Basics by Facebook is a first step to connecting one billion Indians to jobs, education, and opportunities online, and ultimately a better future. But Free Basics is at risk of being banned, slowing progress towards digital equality in India."
 
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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Court rejects Saibaba's bail plea, issues contempt notice to Arundhati
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected Delhi University professor G.N Saibaba's bail plea, directing him to surrender within two days, and also ordered criminal contempt proceedings against author Arundhati Roy for an article on Saibaba's arrest published in a magazine in May.
 
Maharashtra Police had arrested Saibaba over his alleged Maoist links in May 2014.
 
The Nagpur bench dismissed Saibaba's interim bail order issued by the Bombay High Court on May 30, which granted him interim relief till December 31 to avail treatment for his serious medical condition. It directed Saibaba to surrender at the Nagpur Central Jail.
 
The Bombay High Court had given him bail taking suo motu cognizance of a news report about his health and a letter by activist Purnima Upadhyay.
 
The court had then observed that Saibaba's life could be in danger if he was not released for medical treatment.
 
Rejecting the bail plea on Wednesday, Justice A.B. Chaudhari said: "There is a prima facie case against the applicant based on strong evidence and in fact, the applicant who is an intellectual has used his intelligentsia for anti-national activities for which there is strong evidence against him as discussed and, therefore, the case of the applicant cannot be considered on the ground of parity," he said.
 
When contacted, Saibaba told IANS that he has not yet decided about his future course of action. "We received it only today. I don't know what to do next," he said.
 
The court also refused to consider his plea based on his health condition citing a certificate from the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in Delhi's Vasant Kunj area.
 
"Perusal of the above certificate clearly shows the present health condition of the applicant. It is perfectly normal and is in the same position as it was when he was in jail. There is no change therein from the date of his arrest," it said.
 
The court also ordered proceedings for criminal contempt to be initiated against author Arundhati Roy for her article titled "Professor, POW" on Saibaba's arrest that was published in Outlook magazine on May 18, 2015.
 
Observing that Roy made scandalous observations against the central, state governments and police in her article, the court issued notice to her for contempt of court, returnable on January 25, 2016.
 
"Scandalous and scurrilous allegations are made by author Arundhati Roy in the said article against the judiciary," the court said.
 
It said she "indirectly questioned the sanctity of the order" made by Justice S.B. Shukre for rejecting the bail application filed by Saibaba.
 
It said that by making such allegations and remarks about the bail rejection order, Roy has interfered in the administration of justice.
 
Meanwhile, in a statement condemning the court order, the Committee for the Defence and release of Dr.G.N. Saibaba said: "It is disturbing that while all the five other co-accused in the same case along with Saibaba have already been granted regular bail, a 90 percent-disabled professor is being denied the same.
 
"We condemn this rejection of permanent bail of G.N. Saibaba and the quashing of his interim bail and appeal to all progressive and democratic people to stand up to such a travesty of justice," the group said.
 
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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IRDAI can direct insurer to get listed
The Indian insurance regulator has the power to direct any general/health/reinsurer to get listed in a stock exchange if the situation warrants, as per the IRDAI (Issuance of Capital by Indian Insurance Companies transacting other than Life Insurance Business) Regulations, 2015.
 
The regulations gazetted on December 15, 2015 were uploaded on Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India's (IRDAI) website on Wednesday.
 
According to the regulations, the IRDAI may direct an Indian insurance company transacting general/health/reinsurance business to get listed on the stock exchange(s) if the circumstances so warrant.
 
"Such company shall, notwithstanding the lock-in period, within a period of one year from the date of such directions, comply with the directions issued by the Authority," the regulations stipulate.
 
According to the regulations, no Indian general/health/reinsurer shall approach the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for public issue of shares and for any subsequent issue, without the specific previous approval of IRDAI in writing.
 
The regulations allow the insurers governed by it to go public even after getting the Certificate of Incorporation but the promoters/investors have to abide by the lock-in period stipulated by IRDAI.
 
The IRDAI while giving its approval can stipulate the extent to which the promoters/investors shall dilute; the maximum subscription which may be allotted to any class of foreign investor; minimum lock-in period for promoters/investors and other conditions that it may levy.
 
While giving its nod to an insurer to go public, the IRDAI will take into consideration the period for which the company has been in business; its compliance with the regulatory requirements; the maintenance of the prescribed regulatory solvency margin as at the end of the preceding six quarters commencing from the quarter immediately prior to the date of filing the application; compliance with the Corporate Governance Guidelines; compliance with the requirements of "Indian owned and controlled" as defined under the Insurance Act read with the Indian Insurance Companies (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2015; and the insurer's record of policyholder protection.
 
Curiously IRDAI has not stipulated any timeline for granting approvals but said it would issue the same as expeditiously as possible.
 
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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