SC sets aside SAT order upholding fines on investment firms

The court's direction came over a petition filed by the three firms, which contended that they could not respond to summons issued by SEBI as they hadn't received the proper attachments

The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday set aside an order passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which had upheld fines imposed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on three investment firms for not complying with the market regulator's summons, reports PTI.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, directed SAT to hear the cases filed by the three brokerage houses again.

The bench also directed the three Kolkata-based investment firms - Gateway Computers, Tricon Business and Delton Exim - to pay Rs1 lakh each. "The tribunal (SAT), on the payment of such an amount, would hear the cases... would be listed before the tribunal on 26th July for directions," the court said.

SAT would also give the firms time to file their supporting applications, it added.

The apex court said that SAT had not accorded the brokers a proper hearing and dismissed the cases in the absence of their counsel.

The court's direction came over a petition filed by the three firms, which contended that they could not respond to summons issued by SEBI officials as they hadn't received the proper attachments.

The matter related to trading of shares of Nageshwar Investment Ltd, which witnessed an enormous rise between April 2005 and November 2005. Following this, SEBI initiated an investigation and issued summons to the firms - asking them to produce the relevant documents.

Despite receiving three summons from the regulatory body, the firms had failed to furnish any documents.

Following this, SEBI issued notices asking the firms to explain why action should not be taken against them for non-compliance of its order.

The firms responded by stating that they had not received the annexures attached to the summons.

Not satisfied with the explanation, the market regulator imposed a fine of Rs15 lakh on them under Section 15 A of the SEBI Act in April 2009.

This was challenged by them before SAT, which rejected their contention that SEBI had not provided them with enough time to collect the relevant data and documents.


Reliance Power achieves financial closure of Krishnapatnam UMPP

IDBI Bank was the lead arranger of the Rs13,125 crore debt with Power Finance Corporation acting as joint lead arranger. A consortium of over 15 banks and financial institutions are participating in the financing arrangements

Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power (R-Power) today said it has tied up finances for its Rs 17,500 crore ultra mega power project (UMPP) at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, reports PTI.

The 4,000 MW coal fired project is being financed in 75:25 debt-equity ratio, R-Power said in a press statement.

"R-Power announces the financial closure of its 4,000 MW Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project being developed by Coastal Andhra Pradesh Ltd, its wholly-owned subsidiary," it said.

The company has executed financing agreements for the imported coal fired project, the largest in South India.

The project "will supply power at a competitive levelised tariff of Rs2.33 per kilo-Watt-hour (or unit) to the four states — Andhra Pradesh (1,600 MW), Maharashtra (800 MW), Tamil Nadu (800 MW) and Karnataka (800 MW)."

IDBI Bank was the lead arranger of the Rs13,125 crore debt with Power Finance Corporation (PFC) acting as joint lead arranger.

"A consortium of over 15 banks and financial institutions are participating in the financing arrangements," the statement said.

The consortium includes REC, LIC, Uco Bank, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Bank, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, Vijaya Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Yes Bank and Indian Bank.

"With the financial closure for the Krishnapatnam UMPP, we have completed the financing arrangements for two UMPPs awarded to us by the government and have secured funding for a capacity of 10,000 MW," R-Power CEO J P Chalasani said.

The company had earlier achieved financial closure of Sasan ultra-mega power project.

"The Krishnapatnam financing is an important milestone as we undertake the implementation of our power project portfolio of over 37,000 MW," he said without giving details.


Why are Indian ads confirming to some clichéd stereotypes?

A number of recent advertisements are portraying Africans in a negative light. While Indians scream blue murder whenever they feel they are at the receiving end of racism, why are our ads so insensitive?

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) plans to pull up the recent LMN ad that was being aired, on the grounds that the advertisement was portraying Africans in a negative manner. Why are Indian ads confirming to some ugly stereotypes?

"This type of racial stereotyping is against our code," said ASCI's secretary general, Alan Collaco. Under Chapter 3 of ASCI's code, the ad for the LMN drink from Parle Agro has broken the rule which states that no advertisements can deride any race, caste, colour, creed or nationality. ASCI has already sent a letter to the agency behind the ad.

The LMN ad goes something like this - two dark-skinned individuals who reside in the desert are dying of thirst and are unable to get a single drop of water. Both eventually end up chasing water hoses, mistake taps for digging tools in their desperation - they even try to suckle a cheetah and finally try to kill each other for water. It can be argued that the ad is trying to stand out from the rest, but it clearly portrays that Africans cannot figure out the difference between a tap and a digging instrument.

Coke's ad for its lemon drink Sprite also takes a similar approach. The commercial portrays a fat dumb guy and a slim smart guy, both stuck in the jungles of Africa and who are trapped by one of the continent's tribes. The fat dumb guy tries to please the chief by breaking into what he thinks is an African dance. He only manages to agitate the chief who decides to make a meal out of him. But the slim smart guy offers the chief a bottle of Sprite and wins him over! All the stereotyped clichés in this ad (fat guys are dumb; slim guys are smart and African tribes are cannibals), apparently wasn't caught by ASCI's radar.

Mr Collaco maintains that there are no other such ads airing on television. But look around and you will find more.

 Ads for fairness creams are big culprits. In a country where 'fair' is equal to 'lovely' and people obsess over every incremental shade from dark to fair (see any matrimonial classified column for further proof), it is clearly big business to encourage and perpetuate stereotypes. Advertisers want gullible young girls to believe that a fairer skin - which can be achieved through the contents of a tube - will get them glamorous jobs, the perfect husband or the winner's crown at a beauty pageant. After making it big with women, most manufacturers have now expanded their market by launching fairness creams for men. According to a few 'surveys' carried out by these whitening cream peddlers, even men would prefer a whiter complexion!

An important component of advertising is suggestion and not information. Advertising makes use of associations, appeal to emotion and the drives dormant in the subconscious. It also reaches out to desires in the target audience-like happiness, health, fitness, appearance, self-esteem, reputation, belonging, social status, identity, adventure and reward.

Ergo, when ads confirm to some clichéd stereotypes, they are actually strengthening them in the minds of viewers and readers.  

Industry people tell us that advertising thrives on stereotyping because it is easy. The association of lungis with south Indians and dumbness with the obese are easily recognisable stereotypes and hence find quick acceptance with customers, goes the argument.

"Yes, ads often stereotype groups and communities. And that is because so does popular culture. Ads only feed on popular perceptions, they parasite on existing prejudices, for a quick connect with audiences. Remember that the job of commercial ads is not to enforce social change; their intention is to sell products and make money. And riding existing perceptions leads to that quicker," said Anil Thakraney, advertising expert and  columnist.

"Sometimes it's about the advertiser trying hard to play to the gallery. One would say, sometimes a bit too hard," said Macklin Lacerda, creative group head, Draftfcb+Ulka.

However, veteran ad man Prahlad Kakkar told Moneylife that certain stereotypes are needed for depiction. "How can you show a Goan without a guitar in his hand? It's needed because it brings about an association to the viewer."

He also said - quite correctly, one would admit in some instances - that people need to lighten up. "Come on, people need to stop taking things so seriously; we've been cracking Sardarji jokes for hundreds of years. So, do you mean to say that Sardarjis are stupid? Give people a break, learn to smile and laugh at yourself or else it would be the end of entertainment in advertisements."

We agree too. However, some stereotypes are just fun-but ads like the ones that sell fairness creams and foster racism are definitely not.



pushkar kulkarni

7 years ago

how about the toothpaste ads, which claim IDA association??i have never uinderstood what is the sanctity of ida and what "authority" it carries. iot is just making fool of people. i assume ida is owned by colgate?? or majorly sponsored by colgate??


7 years ago

Ads indulge in stereotyping because it's easy, doesn't require much thought or creativity and appeals to the lowest common denominator which is also the largest segment of the audience. As for racism, it's the usual double standard: we are probably more racist than anybody else, but object long and loud when we are the victims.

TP Viswanathan

7 years ago

This is interesting. When Johnson and Johnson likens its Baby Powder with Mother's Milk, where are the bosses of Advertisement Standards Council looking at!! It is really frustrating and hurting when that ad is aired in various languages. One has to undergo an orientation course to make complaint on line in the format devised by the Council. A attempted that but stopped at that as I was unable to decipher what they want by repeating the same question. Can't the Council accept a plan advertisement from the consumer?

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