Consumer Issues
Subrata Roy denied parole, Sahara allowed to sell hotels

In a continuing series of setbacks for Sahara and Subrata Roy, the SC again denied parole or bail for Roy, to be able to complete sales of his overseas hotels in order to put together and furnish the required bail guarantee


The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to grant bail or parole to Sahara chief Subrata Roy. At the same time the apex court allowed Roy to hold discussions for helping the Sahara group to sell its hotels abroad for raising funds for his bail.


While allowing the Sahara Group to either sell or mortgage its hotels in London and New York, the SC said that it would not allow parole or bail for Roy to complete these deals.
The apex court, however, agreed to let Roy be involved in the sale proceedings by allowing him to hold negotiations for the sales in police custody 'whenever and wherever' Roy wished. 
The SC said, “We will allow you to hold negotiations with the clients outside jail between 10am to 4pm under police custody.”
Roy's lawyers had requested the Supreme Court that he be given parole to allow him to be able to raise the funds required to be furnished for bail.
Roy's current internment in Tihar Jail has been ongoing since 4 March 2014. He was jailed for contempt of court when he failed to appear before the court repeatedly in a case relating to raising of funds for two Sahara Group companies. The Supreme Court, in a 2012 order, had ordered the Sahara Group to return 24,000 crore raised by the Group, agreeing with SEBI that Sahara had not met listing norms. 
Subrata Roy and the Sahara Group had been struggling to put together the Rs10,000 crore bail guarantee as ordered by the Court. In this regard, he had sought release for 40 days so that he could negotiate and complete the sale of three overseas hotels owned by the Sahara Group.


Asian Paints Q1 net profit up 23% to Rs338.7 crore

For the June quarter, Asian Paints reported higher net profit at Rs338.7 crore due to robust sales growth from decorative paint segment


Asian Paints Ltd, India's largest paint manufacturer, posted a higher first quarter net profit mainly on robust sales, especially from decorative paint business


For the quarter to end-June, Asian Paints said its consolidated net profit increased 23% to Rs338.7 crore from Rs275.2 crore while its total revenues, including sales, grew 18.3% to Rs3,362.2 crore from Rs2841.1 crore, same period a year ago.


“Decorative paint business registered double digit growth during the quarter across geographies. Performance of the international units were a mixed bag with units in Carribbean, UAE, Singapore, and Bangladesh doing well. Operations in Egypt were affected due to weak business sentiment in that country,” said KBS Anand, managing director and chief executive officer, Asian Paints in a release.


Asian Paints closed Tuesday 1.5% up at Rs602 on the BSE, while the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day 1.2% higher at 26,025.


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UN tightens norms on lead level in infant formula, arsenic in rice

The Codex Alimentarius Commission under the UN has set out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice


Adopting new standards to protect consumer health worldwide, United Nations (UN) food standards body Codex Alimentarius Commission has set out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice.


The Commission, jointly run by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), sets global food safety and quality standards to promote safer and more nutritious food for consumers worldwide.


Codex standards serve in many cases as a basis for national legislation and provide the food safety benchmarks for international food trade.


In an annual meeting held this week, FAO said, “The Commission adopted a recommendation that no more than 0.01mg per kg of lead should be permitted in infant formula as consumed.”


Lead occurs in the environment and trace amounts can end up in the ingredients that are used in the production of infant formula. Levels of lead in infant formula can be controlled by sourcing raw materials from areas where lead is less present, it said in a statement.


Also for the first time, Codex adopted a maximum level for arsenic in rice at 0.2 mg per kg, FAO said.


Stating that rice in particular can take up more arsenic than other crops, FAO said as a staple food for millions of people, it can contribute significantly to arsenic exposure, which is detrimental to human health.


Arsenic contamination in rice is of particular concern in some Asian countries where paddy fields are irrigated with groundwater containing arsenic-rich sediments pumped from shallow tube wells, it said, adding that improved irrigation and agricultural practices can help reduce arsenic contamination.


The Codex Commission also agreed to develop a new code of practice that will help countries comply with the maximum level set and provide producers with good agricultural and manufacturing techniques to prevent and reduce contamination.


It recommended that the use of certain veterinary drugs should be restricted in food-producing animals in order to prevent residual amounts of the drugs remaining in meat, milk, eggs or honey.


The eight drugs (chloramphenicol, malachite green, carbadox, furazolidone, nitrofural, chlorpromazine, stilbenes and olaquinadox), including antimicrobials and growth promoters, can potentially have adverse effects on human health and may contribute to the development of drug resistance, FAO said.  


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