Nifty has to close above 6,715 to regain strength
On Monday the Indian indices opened higher and then managed to move up till around 1.30pm. After that, both the benchmark started giving up gains and closed marginally higher than Friday’s close.
S&P BSE 30-share Sensex opened at 22,413 while NSE 50-share Nifty opened at 6,682. Sensex hit a low of 22,354 while the Nifty hit low of 6,680. Sensex, however, moved lower after hitting a high of 22,592 and closed at 22,445 (up 41 points or 0.18%). Nifty hit a high of 6,741 and closed at 6,699 (up 5 points or 0.07%). The NSE recorded a volume of 64.16 crore shares.
Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were Metal (1.35%), Energy (1.22%), CPSE (0.93%), PSU Bank (0.71%) and Commodities (0.70%). The top five losers were IT (1.03%), Pharma (0.96%), Media (0.89%), Realty (0.75%) and Service (0.68%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 25 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Hindalco (5.13%), Jindal Steel (2.01%), Tata Steel (1.77%), Reliance Industries (1.76%) and ONGC (1.73%). The top five losers were HCL Technologies (3.21%), HDFC (2.64%), Cipla (2.23%), Tata Power (1.93%) and NMDC (1.84%).
Of the 1,544 companies on the NSE, 619 companies closed in the green, 855 companies closed in the red while 70 companies closed flat.
Nearly a year after it blocked India's $5 billion deal to take stake in Kashagan oilfield, Kazakhstan has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) a stake in a medium sized Abai oil block in the Caspian Sea. OVL, the overseas arm of ONGC, has been offered 25% interest in the Abai block, which according to Kazakhstan government had an estimated 2.8 billion barrels of oil reserves. ONGC was among the top two gainers in Sensex 30 pack.
Cipla was among the top two losers in the Sensex. Cipla has said that "essential" medicines be made available to people at affordable rates.
Century Textiles revenue and operating profit were up for March 2014 quarter over the year ago period. The company declared a full year dividend of Rs5.50 per share or 55%. In the previous year the same amount was paid as dividend. The stock was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE.
Financial Technologies has informed BSE that the board met on 2 May 2014 and took note on the progress on the divestment of 24% stake in MCX, since the last Board meeting held on 25 April 2014. The Board was to deliberate on the final bidder at Board Meeting held on 2 May 2014. However, in the light of developments of MCX releasing executive summary of the Report of special audit conducted by PwC, some of the bidders have requested for the full report and also further information about MCX. Their request has been sent to MCX by the investment bankers. In view of this, the bidders have not submitted binding bids. Accordingly, the Board has decided to meet again on 10 May 2014 to review the progress on the divestment of 24% stake in MCX. Financial Technologies, top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE, fell 4.99% to close at Rs285.70 on the BSE.
US indices closed lower on Friday. The labor market shifted into a higher gear in April with payroll gains showing the most widespread advance in two years, a sign the US economic expansion is on the verge of speeding up. The 288,000 increase in employment marked the biggest upside surprise since February 2012 and followed a 203,000 rise the prior month, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. An index measuring the share of industries hiring climbed to 67, the highest level since January 2012. The jobless rate dropped to 6.3%, the lowest since September 2008.
Except for Shanghai Composite (0.05%), Jakarta Composite (0.08%) and Taiwan Weighted (0.04%) all the other Asian indices closed in the negative. Hang Seng (1.28%) was the top loser.
European indices were showing mixed performance while US Futures were trading lower.
In a fresh setback to Maharashtra's former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the Supreme Court dismissed his plea challenging the Election Commission’s jurisdiction to enquire into paid news
The Supreme Court on Monday said that the Election Commission has the jurisdiction and can enquire into complaints on paid news against a political leader if the expenditure incurred on it is not disclosed.
A bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik dismissed the plea of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan challenging the Commission’s jurisdiction to enquire into such issues.
It also directed the Commission to enquire into the complaint against Chavan within 45 days.
The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by Chavan challenging the Delhi High Court verdict, which had refused to grant any relief to Chavan on the issue of paid news. The apex court in 2011 had stayed a probe by EC into the authenticity of Chavan’s spendings during the 2009 state assembly polls allegedly involving expenses on “paid news”.
In the 2009 Assembly elections, Chavan had shown only Rs5,000 as his campaign expenditure whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has lodged a case against him in the Commission, has been able to show that tens of crore were spent by him on paid news.
Paid news is the phenomenon where politicians pay newspapers and channels to run stories favourable to them. Basically, this is an advertisement that is camouflaged as news amounting to betrayal of the reader’s trust.
According to The Hindu, the Ashok Chavan case involves some of the top newspaper groups in the country who have vigorously denied charges of wrongdoing. The issue broke into print when three major newspapers carried exactly the same hagiographical story on Chavan — under different bylines. It also involved scores of full pages of “news” appearing in these and other publications singing Chavan’s praises while completely blacking out any mention of his rival in the Bhokar constituency of Nanded, Dr Madhav Kinhalkar. The publications defended these full pages as 'news'.
“Chavan’s poll expenditure account also stated that he had spent less than Rs7 lakh on his entire campaign and a mere Rs5,379 on newspaper advertisements, well below the expenditure limit. If his accounts are valid, then he managed to hold two rallies involving Bollywood superstar Salman Khan — and drawing tens of thousands of people — at a cost of less than Rs 4,500 each,” senior journalist P Sainath wrote in the report published in The Hindu.
The probe was launched by EC on complaints filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kirit Somaiyya.
The Press Council of India later released the report on Paid News (dated 30 July 2010) on its website, following the direction by the Delhi High Court. The report prepared under the chairmanship of Justice GR Ray (former head of the Press Council) has been placed in the public domain (more details at http://presscouncil.nic.in/HOME.HTM ).
Concerned over the serious dimensions acquired by the phenomenon of payment for news in the media in the General Elections 2009, the Council not only took cognizance of the matter suo moto, but also considered representations from various eminent persons. The report records that “Sections of the media in India have willy-nilly become participants and players in such practices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics which undermines democratic processes and norms— while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground.”
After the ‘paid news' scandal surfaced, the Press Council under Justice GN Ray set up a subcommittee to inquire into the racket. The committee comprising Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, senior journalist, and Sreenivas Reddy, produced an explosive 71-page report which clearly mentioned the names (and details) of the personalities who were involved in this racket.
However, the recommendation of the Press Council report were withheld from the public until an RTI (Right to Information) Application from journalist Manu Moudgil forced Press Council to come out with all the relevant details by 10th October after an order from the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
Later in May 2013, in a major twist to the Ashok Chavan vs. Madhav Kinhalkar legal battle, leading civil society organisations and eminent individuals have approached the Supreme Court to implead themselves into the case. According to a report from The Hindu, the line-up of distinguished individuals included veteran journalist and editor BG Verghese, former Chief Election Commissioners of India (CEC) N Gopalaswami and JM Lyngdoh, and former adviser to the ECI, KJ Rao. Gopalaswami told P Sainath that, “The government had joined Chavan in challenging the Election Commission’s power to disqualify a candidate under Section 10A of the Act for his failure to submit a correct and true rendering of his election expenditure”.
This action followed the Union Law Ministry filing a counter-affidavit on behalf of the Government in the Ashok Chavan case. That affidavit, first reported by The Hindu on March 20, asserts that “the power of the Election Commission to disqualify a person arises only in the event of failure to lodge an account of expenses and not for any other reason, including the correctness or otherwise of such accounts.” Simply put: the government claims the ECI has no right to disqualify a candidate even if his accounts are found to be improper or fraudulent. If accepted, this would virtually gut the powers of that Constitutional body, senior journalist Sainath wrote in a report published by The Hindu.
NCP and National Conference, the two allies of UPA, as well as BJP have questioned the move to appoint a judge to head the snoopgate probe
Following stiff opposition from its allies, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Monday decided to drop its move to name a judge to head the Commission set up to probe the snooping on a young woman by Gujarat police allegedly at the instance of chief minister Narendra Modi.
“We have left the decision on appointing a judge to the next Government,” Government sources said a day after two UPA constituents Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and National Conference openly opposed the move in the “dying days” of UPA-II.
A controversy had broken out last week when senior ministers – Kapil Sibal (Law) and Sushilkumar Shinde (Home) – told the media that a judge would be named into the surveillance, which was dubbed as ‘snoopgate’, before 16th May when the counting of votes in the Lok Sabha elections will be taken up.
The announcement came under severe attack from the BJP, which slammed the UPA saying it was practising vendetta out of desperation of defeat in the elections.
BJP questioned the move saying the original decision of the Cabinet was taken in December and they could not decide on a judge all these days.
The party also questioned the need for such a probe when the State government itself had ordered a commission of inquiry into the same subject.
However, what apparently took the Government by surprise was the opposition from its allies. Yesterday, NCP leader Praful Patel had said: “When the results of the Lok Sabha elections are due in two weeks’ time, where is the need for such an enquiry.”
Significantly, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday to convey the party’s view in the matter. NCP is the second largest constituent of the Congress-led UPA.
Striking a similar note, National Conference leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said if the decision to appoint a judge could not be taken in December, then it was wrong to appoint a judge five months later.
“Was talking to my dad last night and he felt the same way -- setting up a commission of inquiry in the dying hours of UPA 2 is just wrong.
“If the decision to appoint a commission was taken in December it should have been implemented. To appoint a judge 5 months later is wrong,” Omar tweeted.
It was alleged that illegal surveillance was carried out on a young woman architect in Gujarat in 2009 at the behest of Modi and Amit Shah, who was the Home Minister at that time.
Unfazed by the opposition from its two allies, Congress spokesperson and Mahila Congress chief Shoba Oza had said there was “no compromise” on going ahead with the probe as the matter does not involve any political party but women of the country who constitute half of the population.