Money & Banking
SC seeks Mallya's response on banks plea on transfer of $40 mn to his children
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya to respond to the allegation by a consortium of banks led by the SBI that he had transferred $40 million to his children in violation of the orders by the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court.
 
The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.M.Khanwilkar sought response from Mallya after senior counsel Shyam Divan told the court of the development.
 
Divan told the court that Mallya has to pay Rs 9,000 crore to the consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, that were loaned to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and instead of repaying the money, Mallya transferred it to his children.
 
Mallya had received $40 million as part of a $75 million settlement with Diageo to step down as Chairman of the Diageo-controlled United Spirits. 
 
Divan argued that $40 million should have come to banks.
 
Asking Mallya to file a response, the court fixed the next hearing on February 2.
 
In the course of the last hearings of the matter on October 25, the top court had lashed out on Mallya for failing to make full disclosure of his assets including the details of the $40 million he got in February 2016 from British liquor major Diageo.
 
Observing that "We are not happy the way disclosure was made," the court had said it was "prima facie of the view that Vijay Mallya has not made proper disclosure in terms of the order of April 7, 2016".
 
Besides SBI, other banks on the consortium are the State Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Mysore, Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of 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.

User

Bulls back in saddle - Wednesday closing report
Positive global cues, coupled with healthy third quarter (Q3) results pushed the Indian equities markets higher on Wednesday. Besides, higher global crude oil prices and anticipation of sops to be announced during the Union Budget enhanced investors' risk-taking appetite. Healthy buying was witnessed in banking, metal and capital goods stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged up by 92.05 points or 1.11 per cent to 8,380.65 points. The Sensex touched a high of 27,174.87 points and a low of 26,978.44 points during the intra-day trade.
 
The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls - with 1,726 advances and 1,079 declines. On Tuesday, the Indian equities markets surged on the back of expectations on more spending support from the upcoming Union Budget and a strengthened rupee. 
 
In the broader market, BSE Midcap index (up 1.4%) outperformed the headline indices. BSE Smallcap index gained 0.9%.
 
Metal index rose on account of rise in international coking coal prices and China’s expected cut down of steel output in the next fiscal. Tata Steel sizzled as reports on Chinese steel companies reducing its steep output surfaced in markets in the early hours of the trading session. BSE Metal settled the day 4.4% higher, led by gains in Jindal Steel (up 9.2%), Hindalco (up 6.4%), SAIL (up 6.3%), Nalco (up 6%), and Coal India (up 5.6%).
 
IndusInd Bank rallied more than 6%. Lupin shares gained more than 2% on account of approval from US Food and Drug Administration for Desoximetasone cream that is used for relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.
 
Investors await the key quarterly corporate results from software services firm TCS and Infosys. The IT giants will report their December quarter earnings on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Stocks of both firms ended flat today. 
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The Asian markets was trading on a two-month high as investors were on the edge watching for President-elect Donald Trump's news conference later in the day for any clues to his policies on tax, fiscal spending, international trade and currencies.
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 
 

User

No information on appointment of 3 information commissioners
So, KL Bishnoi, former Director General of Police, Sambhaji Sarkunde, former IAS officer and Dilip Dharurkar, journalist from Aurangabad, have been appointed State Information Commissioners of Maharashtra last week. 
 
While the state government is taking credit of filling up these vacancies that were vacant for two years, the truth is their selections violate several norms set for such appointments. 
 
Continuing with its audacity in violating norms laid down for selection of information commissioners in the Right to Information (RTI) Act, as accepted by the Supreme Court in the revised petition in the Namit Sharma case and directives by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT), the state government has appointed the three information commissioners in complete secrecy.
 
Thanks to lack of transparency, we do not know whether they have a clean chit from the intelligence agencies as regards their service record and whether they qualify as “persons of eminence” in their respective field. The following are the reasons why the three appointments can be termed as null and void.
 
No advertisement was issued calling for applications for the post of State Information Commissioners. 
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had issued a circular in 2014 which stated that “(the) Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed that for the sake of consistency and uniformity in approach, the procedure for selection of information commissioner, which includes amongst other things advertising the post and shortlisting by a search committee may be adopted for appointment to the post of Chief Information Commissioner as well. Such short listed panel may then be placed before the selection committee for its consideration.”
 
The persons chosen are not of ‘eminence’ in their particular fields 
In its revised petition in the Supreme Court in 12 September 2012, in the Namit Sharma judgment case, the following submission was made by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which was accepted.
 
It stated, “Retired bureaucrats do not qualify for description as ‘persons of eminence in public life’ as the relevant civil service conduct rules prevent them from taking an active part in public life while being in government service. So, serious efforts must be made to appoint candidates with specialised knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned in Section 12(5) and 15(5) of the RTI Act.”
 
The Supreme Court, in this judgment, also said:  
“We direct that only persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned in Sections 12(5) and 15(5) of the Act be considered for appointment as Information Commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner.
 
“We further direct that persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in all the fields mentioned in Sections 12(5) and 15(5) of the Act, namely, law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance, be considered by the Committees under Sections 12(3) and 15(3) of the Act for appointment as Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioners.”
 
State government completely violated directions of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) 
The MAT order dated 16 April 2015 had directed the chief secretary of Maharashtra to frame Rules for the selection of the post of State Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners within eight weeks of the order, the deadline of which was 15 June 2015. Besides, it has made some strong observations on the prejudiced and casual manner in which the High-Powered Committee that is responsible for selecting information commissioners, functions. 
 
Following are the main points from the MAT order:
  • These posts must be publicised and there should be transparency in appointments of information commissioners.
  • There is an urgent need to make rules consistent with the provisions of Right To Information Act, 2005, especially Section 15, for selections to the posts of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners. It is desirable to have the rules in place much before the next selection is taken up for consideration by the High Powered Committee under the Information Act. The directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Namit Sharma’s case (reviews judgment) be carefully perused and implemented.
  • It will be within the discretion of the Committee to fix the eligibility criteria for the said posts. But there again, the provisions of the Information Act may be strictly followed and it should be ensured that the legislative mandate to have eminent persons from all the various disciplines like Law, Science and Technology etc. should be given full scope 
  • The criteria should be duly publicised well in advance before the selection process begins. Sufficiency and mode of publicity of the said criteria will be within the discretion of the Committee
  • The selection process must be transparent and definitive without any scope for apprehension of partiality and favouritism. There must be a definite time frame from the commencement of the said process till its conclusion.
  • The Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, is requested to bring this judgment of the notice of the Hon’ble Chairman and Hon’ble members of the Committee for information and action. …the Chief Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra may report compliance herewith within eight weeks from today (16 April 2015).”
 
This hard-hitting order from the MAT was a sequel to the complaint filed by Ahmednagar resident John Kharat who had also applied for the post of Information Commissioner. He had challenged the selection of the SCIC as well as Information Commissioners PW Patil (Nagpur), DB Deshpande (Aurangabad) and MS Shah (Nashik) in 2010. 
 
Pune-based RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar says, “How did these three potential candidates for the post of information commissioners come to know that the state government has asked for applications, which is the basic criteria for selection of information commissioners?”
 
Here is the GR issued by the Maharashtra government appointing three information commissioners under the RTI Act…
 

 

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

User

COMMENTS

Alok Asthana

3 months ago

This is the BJP era of India. Do not expect ANY transparency or adherence to judicial orders. These guys are a law unto themselves. That is exactly why Indians should wake up, while there is still time.

Anuj Sinha

3 months ago

The intention behind such crony selections and postings is obvious. Do not probe the government's action. Stone wall such queries that can be embarrassing. Well written post!

shivkumar

3 months ago

It is a sad state of affairs. Firstly, the State Government fails to appoint the Information Commissioners for over two years. Secondly, when the appointments are made they are

done not only in secrecy but in total violation of the applicable rules, keeping in view the SC judgment.

What this proves is the utter contempt the Government seems to have for the law as also the public opinion

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)