Regulations
Sitaraman of SBI convicted 23 years after the Securities Scam of 1992 surfaced
Sitaraman who had helped Harshad Mehta as an SBI employee was convicted by the Bombay High Court, along with MS Srinavasan of State Bank of Saurashtra
 
On 23rd April 1992, when the Times of India first reported that Rs500 crore had been credited to the Big Bull’s (Harshad Mehta’s account) thanks to a missing SGL (Securities General Ledger) receipt, the man at the centre of it all was R Sitaraman, the manager. Over 23 years later, the Special Court set up for the expeditious trial of offences has finally delivered a verdict convicting R Sitaraman and a former chief manager of State Bank of India (SBI) and MS Srinivasan of State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) in case 1 of 1996. Justice Roshan Dalvi, on her last day in office (30 October 2015) sentenced the two to four years rigorious imprisonment and a fine of Rs5 lakh each for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The accused have also been asked to pay a compensation of Rs5 crore as compensation for embezzlement. 
 
The order says, Srinivasan and Sitaraman are “exposed and uncovered to have caused tremendous loss aggregating to several hundreds of crores of rupees to SBS and SBI unbefitting their position as public servants responsible to the public exchequer. They are seen to have degraded themselves in misappropriating public property for illegal and criminal ends causing enormous monetary loss to the public exchequer. Their acts can well be termed anti-national as such acts had caused a tremendous economic strain and drain upon the country resulting in the scam of 1992. The sentence against them must account for wanton economic loss to the country reflecting the deprecation for the subterfuge of accused A1 & A8 and the consequent conundrum caused to our country. They have not only corrupted themselves but corroded the country”.  
 
Sucheta Dalal, managing editor of Moneylife had broken that story in 1992. She later co-authored a book on the huge securities scam of 1992, titled The Scam, co-authored with Debashis Basu. The book starts with the desperate hunt for Mr Sitaraman by SBI’s vigilance chief at Palani near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, where he had gone for his son’s thread ceremony. This was after the Bank had discovered a gaping hole of Rs574 crore in the SGLs that it held.
 
The events that snowballed after the article was published engulfed the entire banking system and exposed the antiquated systems of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) public debt office and dangers of brokers dominating the then powerful Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). 
 
Some 23 years later, the Court has been able to deliver the verdict on that case. The first paragraph of the judgement itself points to the pointlessness of long-delayed judgements. Of the 22 accused facing trial, three were discharged, three are dead and only two are convicted after 16 were given the benefit of doubt.  Even here, the involvement of one of the two, is not very clear to those who followed and wrote about the case in details two decades ago. 
 
Justice Roshan Dalvi’s judgement has brought the curtain down on one act of this saga; the final act will be played out in the Supreme Court, probably after another long delay. Ironically, the Special Court at the Bombay was set up under a new act for “expeditious” hearing of the scam cases. Of course, scams of far bigger magnitude have occurred in the country since the securities scam of 1992. 

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COMMENTS

vswami

1 year ago

Addendum:
wrt the readers' outburst in the form of comments on the over 2 decades delay, in the court delivering its verdict, what is more puzzling is the 'reaction', rather than the delay grieved about.

Why should one say so? For finding an answer,simply have in view:

Q

We, as a nation, have some fine qualities but a sense of the value of time is not one of them. Perhaps, there are historical reasons. Ancient India had evolved the concepts of eternity and infinity. So what do years wasted in a litigation matter against the backdrop of eternity. Believing in incarnation, what does it matter if you waste this life. You will have many more lives in which to make good.

Our cases drag on over a length of time which makes eternity intelligible

The law may or may not be an ass but is certainly a snail; cases proceed at a pace as unduly slow in a community of snails.

Justice has to be blind but I see no reason why it should also be lame; here it just hobbles along, barely able to walk.

UQ

(A narration from Palkhivala’s published speech (1987) - "The Judiciary and the Legal Profession", in the Book- We, the Nation THE LOST DECADES)

Key Note: It is commonly believed, rightly or wrongly, that the root cause lies in the fact -of -life- for -ages that 'human being', created as the only supposed-to-be rational of all, is still in the process of 'evolution'. Should , however, anyone not mind to go by the wisdom gathered in hindsight,the imponderable requiring an attempt to find an answer is-what is right word to appropriately signify just the reversed process ?!


Hemlata Mohan

1 year ago

If in such an important case where a Spl Court was constituted took 23 years to deliver the verdict,what can the common man expect from the normal courts?
Shame on us!

Mahesh S Bhatt

1 year ago

Stupid delayed justice loses meaning/sense.

Why Judges are getting strength in giving correct judgements on last day pf their tenure is also worth examining.

Sucheta another success Congrats.

Can we have time defined justice like USA?

What laws we need to implement to make it happen is Sucheta your expertise advice GOI/Law Ministry.

Mahesh

vswami

1 year ago

IMPROMPTU

Makes for an utterly disgustful read; essentially the extremely wanting / utter absence sense of 'time' and failure of conscious noting of its value, to the humanity at large!

Is it not an obvious instance of proverbial, - HEAD i win, TAIL you lose ?!

POINTS (in abundance) To Ponder:

WHAT IS AILING THE humanity AT LARGE today, more than ever before?

A very useful article,- not to miss any word, or line, or underlying message, to be so found if individual's own mind./brain/ intellect / conscience lends scope to so FIND / REALIZE impromptu – for “SELF MOTIVATION” culminating in "self-improvement" , to start with !

< Latest on "PERSONAL EXCELLENCE"
https://in-mg61.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=ac5t8btc33jvl#1843571739

And many, many more- particularly to anyone being a 'public servant', in its most comprehensive sense, - those in PSBs being no exception,to the rules and norms of profound 'ethical behavior'




SuchindranathAiyerS

1 year ago

Throughout the World, the Judiciary exist to shut the stable doors after the horses have fled. But India's judiciary excel. They shut the doors after the stable has collapsed. I was informed by a Senior Advocate that India's courts make a habit of adjourning and delaying cases not because of their incompetence or incapacity to read English, add, subtract, know the law or assess evidence, but, because, they hope that given enough time, the parties will come to an amicable settlement or resign themselves to their fate. This judicial disregard for the rule of law, combined with the Police disinclination to enforce the rule of law encouraged by India's grotesque Constitution and laws have resulted in India. 143 out of 172 countries in Internal Peace and Stability in just 69 fell years.

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

India is country of belated justice.23 years is more than One generation.Therefore common man avoid to climb staircase of Judiciary as no one can predict when justice will be delivered.As all sectors in life is infested with corruption,judiciary is more infested with corruption and sword of contempt is used to suppress common man's voice.

Sunil Rebello

1 year ago

here justice served late - is better than not served.
but the delay is also criminal. our justice system requires a complete overhaul - in order that justice can be delivered on time to serve its purpose.
by now Srinivasan and Sitaraman may be nearing their life end.
Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu this was one of your early scoops.. which you kept building on every day and every year.
May the good Lord bless you both with Good Health and peace of mind.

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Sunil Rebello 1 year ago

I fully agree with Sunil Rebello's views.
How Court will recover the fine from these two culprits is a moot question.
My best wishes to Sucheta Dalal & Dedbashish Basu, for their perseverance, for all these years with judicial proceedings.

Lessons from Bejing: Why India must rethink industries, technology
As I write this, I spot over a dozen Chinese men outside my Beijing hotel room wearing air purifier masks on their faces - the price they paid for technology. It stirred some alarming thoughts about where India is heading, and why India has a need to rethink each of its steps towards technological advancement.
 
In this world of homogenization, all metros seem the same, Berlin to Beijing - glittering malls, tall building, fast food and speedy cars.
 
Beijing was also no different from Delhi except for Mandarin on its billboards and it gave the look of what Delhi could be few years ahead -- high speed metros, better looking cars, better looking buildings, cleaner and orderly streets, but men much petite.
 
As high as my expectations were, from a country pioneering in technology, to be battling its pollution levels and other effects of technology, the country seemed to have lost equally bad in its struggle.
 
Living in Delhi, pollution was something which I could see around, but Beijing also got me to experience it. As soon as I stepped out of the airport, my nostrils were flaring up, being an asthma fighter, immediately finding it difficult to breathe. Although there have been attempts from the Chinese government -- denying registrations to older cars and factories -- to fight their pollution monster, the issue seems to be not all that simple to settle the fight.
 
Some of China's pollution fighting technologies earlier, which ran on coal-generated electricity, thereby contributed to higher carbon emissions although air quality would get better - a technology to fight another technology.
 
Result was the sight of a huge population - young to old - donning air purifiers, attempting to breathe cleaner air. Although these air purifiers could filter particulate contaminants in the air there is no evidence that these filters could help in long-term.
 
According to the US Department of State Air Quality Monitoring Program's 'Mission China', the air quality index for Beijing on any average 24 hours of a day shows "unhealthy for sensitive groups" - nearly as unhealthy as smoking 40 cigarettes a day, as per a study.
 
The classic Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City shots at night that I sought as a tourist were rather hazy owing to the smog and were tough to crack them right.
 
The average PM2.5 levels figured between 101-150, as against the safe 0-50 level, and even touched the '"unhealthy" level (151-200) at night. These levels, according to the department, means "active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion"
 
India, which is still on its road to technological advancement, aims at replicating the Chinese ways, be it "Make in India", be it attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) for its industries and businesses. But its capital city Delhi's air pollution already has touched "hazardous" levels.
 
As per the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the PM2.5 levels in Delhi's air are always above the prescribed safe levels of 60 with an average of 100 units of particulate matter pollution in the air, reaching levels as high as 300 during winters. Delhi has bagged the spot of its competitor Beijing, which was considered to be the most polluted city for long.
 
According to a World Health Organization study last year the concentration of PM2.5 was higher in Delhi than in Beijing, proving Delhi to have the filthiest air in the world.
 
Shouldn't these be indicators for India to rethink technology, industries?
 
Beijing has now assumed its path of green energy, and shut some of its conventional coal-run industries, electricity out of coal to adopt gas-run methods and other non-conventional methods and has improved its air quality much better than before.
 
It was a much needed move for Beijing, to have cleaner means of transportation. A simple move to have "only bicycle" track has helped Beijing a lot - persuading many to use their bicycles or electric bikes. On a majority of the days, there were more bicycles than there would be cars on the road, a solution Delhi needs.
 
Whereas studies on Delhi have been bringing out even horrific angles to the city's pollution. The most recent study by University of Surrey shows that Delhi's air has a "toxic blend" of geography, poor energy resources and unfavourable weather that dangerously "boosts" its pollution.
 
Delhi, I hope you're listening.
 
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.

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COMMENTS

Silloo Marker

1 year ago

The above article on very high pollution levels in China and now in Delhi, creates fear of worse things to come unless we clean up our act. Fear seems to be the key to a lot of things we do or not do in life today. This clouds our thinking and does not allow us to work out reasonable solutions with a calm mind. Breathing clean air is not just the responsibility of some government, it can only happen if everyone decides to drive less and walk more, to share more (yes, even one's prized car or TV or computer), to take what one needs and not give in to greed. Technology does not play a part till people put some common sense into play first. Silloo Marker

Maruti Suzuki's October sales up 29 percent
 India's manufacturing sector growth waned further and touched a 22-month low in October largely due to a slower increase in new orders, a leading international business survey showed on Monday.
 
Revealing the weakest purchasing activity since December 2013, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded an eight-month low in October at 50.7, down from 51.2 in September and from 52.3 in August.
 
According to the PMI report published by financial information services provider Markit, in which a value above 50 in the reading index indicates an overall increase in manufacturing and below 50 an overall decrease, expansion in production and order books were the weakest in their current 24-month growth sequence.
 
"Rates of expansion in both production and order books were the weakest in their current 24-month sequences of growth, with panellists reporting challenging economic conditions and a reluctance among clients to commit to new projects," the report said.
 
"PMI data for October show a further loss of growth momentum across the Indian manufacturing economy, with a slower rise in new business inflows resulting in a weaker expansion of output," said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit and the report's author.
 
Despite the slowdown in new order growth, manufacturers recruited additional workers in October. Employment rose only marginally for the first time since January.
 
"Undeterred by tough economic conditions overall, firms took extra staff in October. This, combined with a further drop in inventories of finished goods, suggests that production growth may rebound in coming months," Lima said.
 
The report said October saw inflationary pressures return to India's manufacturing economy. Average purchase costs rose, though the rate of increase was "slight", the survey said.
 
Part of the additional cost was passed on to clients by raising tariffs.
 
"A return to inflationary pressures, meanwhile, indicates that RBI may pause its loosening cycle for the rest of the year following a 50 basis points cut of the key repo rate in September," Lima said.
 
"Upcoming survey data will show how effective the central bank's effort to revive the economy has been," Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on September 29 cut the RBI's repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, to 6.75 percent making it the third cut in the bank's short-term lending rate this year.
 
The RBI has also lowered its GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.4 percent, from its earlier projection of 7.6 percent.
 
Under the PMI, the manufacturing sector is divided into 8 broad categories of basic metals, chemicals and plastics, electrical and optical, food and drink, mechanical engineering, textiles and clothing, timber and paper and transport.
 
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.

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