Companies & Sectors
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

3 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.


Gaza ceasefire in trouble: Fighting erupts two hours after start of the truce

It was not immediately clear as to which side broke the ceasefire amid claims and counter-claims


A 72-hour ceasefire brokered by the US and the UN was in jeopardy just two hours after it began on Friday, with the Palestinian militant groups accusing Israel of killing four persons in the Gaza Strip by artillery shelling and Tel Aviv blaming militants of firing rockets.


Four Palestinians were killed and 20 others injured in an Israeli artillery attack near the southern Rafiah area today, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.


Palestinian sources claimed that three others were shot by Israeli sniper fire in the southern Gaza Strip.


An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson said they were looking into the incidents.


Around the same time, two Code Red sirens were heard in Eshkol Regional Council. Two rockets landed in an open area, Israel's Channel 10 reported.


It was not immediately clear as to which side broke the ceasefire amid claims and counter-claims.


The announcement of the truce between Israel and Palestinians was made in a statement released in New Delhi, where US Secretary of State John Kerry is on a visit.


The temporary humanitarian ceasefire came into effect early Friday after Israel accepted a joint proposal from the US and the UN which took into consideration a key demand by it.


Israel had been demanding that any ceasefire deal include a condition that allows its troops to remain in Gaza over the 72-hour truce which it says it would utilise to locate and neutralise tunnels infiltrating into Israel.


Representatives of the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, and an Israeli delegation are in Cairo to work on a sustainable truce beyond the next 72 hours.


Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are also camping in the Egyptian capital but talks with Israel are carried out informally through mediators as the militant factions do not recognise the Jewish state.


The Palestinian death toll in the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza surpassed that of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 as the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks reached 1,450 yesterday in its 25th day.


According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 1,417 Palestinians were killed during Operation Cast Lead, which was the longest conflict between the two sides lasting 22 days, before the current fighting began.


The death count on the Israeli side also saw a significant increase with 61 soldiers killed this time compared to 10 in 2008-09. Three Israeli civilians and a Thai national working in Israel died in rocket and mortar attacks.


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