Citizens' Issues
Sahara gets 10 days to negotiate sale of overseas property

Sahara group's jailed chief Subrata Roy would stay in a conference hall at Tihar Jail complex for 10 working days from 5th August and negotiate with prospective buyers the sale of the group's assets in London and New York


The Supreme Court on Friday gave 10 working days from 5th August to Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to negotiate the sale of the group's offshore property from a conference room in Tihar Jail.


The apex court also allowed Roy to stay in a conference hall in the Tihar jail complex for ten working days to negotiate with prospective buyers of the group's assets.


The Court issued direction to the Delhi government to notify the conference hall as 'jail' so that daily movements between barracks and the conference hall would not be required and negotiations could be done beyond 8pm, the official lock-in time of the jail.


Meanwhile, SEBI counsel Arvind Datar raised concerns over the swelling dues of Sahara group. He said, as per the Supreme Court's order in August 2012, two Sahara group companies were to refund Rs24,029 crore with 15% interest, which has now gone to over Rs39,000 crore. "Please ask them (Sahara) to submit a plan when they are selling and what," Datar requested to the Bench.


"SEBI's concern is legitimate," Justice TS Thakur said, adding, "the bail, when it materialises would be interim and if the remaining sum is not paid within reasonable time, the accused may have to return to jail."


On Wednesday, the apex court allowed Roy, who has been in jail for the last five months, to use the conference room in Tihar jail complex for negotiation with potential buyers of his luxury hotels in New York and London to raise Rs10,000 crore to get regular bail.


Tihar jail authorities suggested that Roy can hold consultations either in the conference room or the guest house within the jail complex with a condition that people would be allowed to come inside jail only between 6am to 8pm and internet connection would be provided by it.


Opting for the option of a conference hall in the Tihar jail court complex, senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Roy, had expressed some difficulty with the lock out time of 6am and lock in time of 8pm because it did not facilitate negotiations with buyers or lenders in New York.


SC issues warrant against Dinesh Dalmia of DSQ Software

The apex court has also asked Dalmia, the MD of DSQ Software to appear before it on 25th August


The Supreme Court has issued a bailable warrant against Dinesh Dalmia, the managing director of DSQ Software, who was barred from markets for seven years by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


A bench headed by Justice JS Khehar also summoned him on 25th August after his lawyer told the court that he had no instructions from Dalmia on the matter, says a report from Financial Express.


Last year in October, market regulator SEBI barred DSQ Software and its promoter Dinesh Dalmia from capital markets for seven years on charges of fraudulent trading in 1998 that had led to a sharp rise the company's stock price. SEBI also barred DSQ Software's four other directors from market for five years besides ordering Dalmia and the company to deposit Rs630 crore till investigations were completed.


SEBI also found that DSQ and Dalmia made misleading statements which had the effect of inducing purchase of securities by public that in turn increased the market price of the shares of the company.


"The percentage rise in the price of the shares of DSQ was considerably higher as compared to that of other companies in the same industry. Percentage increase in other scrips varied from 140%-340%, whereas increase in the price of the shares of DSQ was around 750% during January-December 1998," the market regulator had said.


In its order dated 3 October 2013, SEBI said it observed that Dalmia, being the promoter and managing director of DSQ, was responsible for reducing the free float of shares by purchasing shares through his wife (Radha Dalmia) and filing cases in the court directly and indirectly through his affiliated entities which resulted in the stay of transferability of a substantial number of shares (28% of the equity capital).


SEBI found that three cases including one against UTI Bank, Kolkata branch were filed by Dalmia and other entities related to him to create an artificial scarcity of floating stock.


The market regulator had conducted a probe into the trading of the shares of DSQ for the year 1998 when a sharp rise in the price of the scrip was observed.


DSQ (formerly known as Square D Software) was mainly promoted by Dalmia and his group entities -- Ganapati Commerce, Ganapati Combines, Lexus Exports, and Square D Exports. These firms were wholly owned by Dalmia, his friends and family members.


Dalmia was the managing director of DSQ Software when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested him for his involvement in a stock scam. He made money by transferring DSQ shares in the name of UK-based New Vision Investment Ltd and un-allotted shares in the name of Dinesh Dalmia Technology Trust. However, according to investigation reports, about 1.3 crore DSQ shares were not listed on any exchange.


In 2004, SEBI had asked the company to deposit Rs630 crore in an escrow account, the value of 1.3 crore shares, taking into account the average price of the scrips during the relevant time.



Errol Fernandes

2 years ago

If the SC has asked the company to deposit 630 crore for 1.3 crore, is it possible that shareholders of DSQ software now Origin Agrostar may get something for their dud shares?

Delhi HC refuses a stay on NPPA order fixing drug prices

The High Court also sought response of NPPA on a plea by an organisation of drug manufacturers, challenging the drug regulator's 10th July notification that brought over 100 medicines under price control


The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay order from National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixing prices of over 100 non-scheduled drugs.


The High Court also sought response of NPPA on a plea by an organisation of drug manufacturers, challenging the drug regulator's 10th July notification that brought over 100 medicines under price control.


A bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru, however, refused to allow Organisation of Pharma Producers of India's (OPPI) interim plea seeking a stay or status quo order preventing the government from taking any further steps in pursuance of its notification.


"I am not inclined to stay it or pass any ad-interim order. Issue notice. Respondent (NPPA) to file counter (reply) in three weeks and rejoinder thereto in two weeks. List on 29th September," Justice Bakhru said.


"Show that the power exercised by you (NPPA) is not unbridled as contended by them (OPPI)," the Court said to the drug regulator which was represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain.


The Court also observed that paragraph 19 of the 2013 Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) does not restrict price fixation to only essential drugs.


Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA in extraordinary circumstances, if it considers necessary so to do in public interest, to fix the ceiling price or retail price of any drug for such period as it deems fit.


During the proceedings, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for OPPI, argued that NPPA has cited extraordinary circumstances to fix caps on the prices of over 100 drugs, which are non-scheduled formulations and lie outside the scope of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), but without saying what the extraordinary circumstances are.


Sibal also said that as per the government's drug policy regime, prices of non-scheduled drugs are to be monitored, not fixed.


"The government can interfere with the prices of non-scheduled drugs only if there is an increase of 10% more in their cost in a particular year," Sibal said.


"They (government) can only decrease the price by 10% and that too for one year. That is the drug policy regime," he added.


He also said that the government can include these drugs in the NLEM.


ASG Jain, however, said the "paramount" reason behind the fixation of caps on the prices of these drugs was public interest and added that OPPI has not challenged the notification or paragraph 19 of DPCO.


He also questioned the locus of the organisation to file the present petition.


The NPPA on 10th July had brought prices of over 100 non-scheduled drugs under price control as per paragraph 19 of DPCO.


While bringing these drugs under price control, the NPPA has noted that it is of the considered view that there exists huge inter-brand price differences in branded-generics/ off patent drugs, which is indicative of a severe market failure.


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