Stocks
Sun TV Network's scrip tumbles
Share prices of South Indian language satellite channel broadcasting major Sun TV Network Ltd tumbled at the bourses on Monday following the news that its channels were going off air.
 
The scrip closed at Rs.278.90 on Monday after opening at Rs.320.75 and touching the day's low of Rs.258. On Friday, the scrip closed at Rs.356.35.
 
Meanwhile, clarifying the news report in an English business daily, the company in a filing with the BSE, said: "We wish to state that no communication has been received by the company in this regard from any ministry and all our channels continue to be on air."
 
According to the news report, the home ministry has denied security clearance to 33 channels of the company owing to pending cases against company promoter Kalanithi Maran and his brother and former union communications minister Dayanidhi Maran.
 
Last fiscal, the company posted profit of Rs.737.23 crore on a total income of Rs.2,331.45 crore.
 
This is the second time this fiscal the prices of Sun TV Network's scrip has gone down sharply.
 
In April, the scrip's price came down after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has attached property worth some Rs.750 crore of Sun TV Network's promoters in connection with the 2G case.
 
On April 1, the ED said it has attached properties worth Rs.742.58 crore belonging to Sun TV's principal promoter Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kaveri Kalanithi and his brother Dayanidhi Maran, who was a minister in the previous United Progress Alliance (UPA) government, in the Aircel-Maxis case.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has argued in the courts that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help a Malaysian businessmen, T. Ananda Krishnan, buy Aircel by coercing its owner C. Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
 
Sivasankaran alleged that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his firm. He also alleged that the company made investments through Astro Network in a firm purportedly owned by the Marans.
 
Four companies -- the Chennai-based Sun Direct TV, Britain-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius -- have also been named in charges filed on August 29, 2014, by the CBI.
 
The CBI said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused and booked all of them on the charges of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
On April 1, the ED said its probe revealed that illegal gratification of Rs.742.58 crore was paid by the companies based in Mauritius, meant for Dayanidhi Maran, in two companies -- Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Ltd. (SAFL).
 
The main shareholder of the SAFL is Sun TV Network with 60 percent, while 20 percent each is with A.H. Multisoft Pvt. Ltd. and South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd., Mauritius.

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Mumbai's horse-drawn Victorias to go from June 2016
Justice Menon and Justice Oka ordered the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation to shut down all the stables housing these horses after one year
 
The horse-drawn Victorias, a familiar sight for joyrides in Mumbai's tourist areas, will become history from June 2016 after the Bombay High Court on Monday termed them "completely illegal".
 
A division bench comprising Justices A.K. Menon and A.S. Oka directed the government to come up with a rehabilitation scheme for the some 700 families which will be affected by the decision -- as well as the horses.
 
The government has been directed to ascertain the exact number of families to be hit by the ban and submit its rehabilitation scheme to the court by December 31.
 
Justice Menon and Justice Oka ordered the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation to shut down all the stables housing these horses after one year.
 
The judges' order came on a PIL filed by NGO Animal and Birds Charitable Trust and others in which the People for the Ethical Treatment to Animals (PETA) was an intervenor.
 
In May 2014, the Mumbai Traffic Police had ruled that the Victorias were not a means of public conveyance and sought a ban on them.
 
A medical report by the PETA submitted to the high court said that in the first six months of 2009, there were 64 to 119 cases of injuries to horses every month besides cases of cruelty on the animals.
 
The BMC told the court that since 1973, no new licence to ply Victorias had been issued.
 
The PIL cited various issues including malnutrition of the horses, overwork, lack of proper care, their poor living conditions, and injuries and cruelty by the owners and handlers.
 
The division bench, while ordering the rehabilitation of the horses, asked the government to consider any offer for the purpose coming from any animal welfare NGO.
 
Presently, according to figures filed before the court, there are around 170 horses and 130 Victorias which ply mainly in a restricted area of south Mumbai between Colaba and Nariman Point.
 
The carriages were an integral part of Mumbai commute for a long time before they were overtaken by cabs, buses, trams and suburban trains.
 
Over the years, since they were suitable only for short distances and not popular during monsoon, they became unviable both for the operators and customers.
 
As Mumbai's traffic grew in leaps and bounds, the Victorias were relegated to certain designated areas of Mumbai though they continue to be used regularly in places like Gorai, on the city's outskirts.

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Government companies exempted from managerial remuneration limits
In an attempt to retain or attract talent, the central government has exempted government companies from the limits pertaining to managerial remuneration, it was announced here on Monday.
 
According to a statement issued by the corporate affairs ministry, private companies have also been allowed to accept deposits from members without creating deposit repayment reserve, offer of circular and others.
 
The ministry has also issued the final notifications under Section 462 of the Companies Act, 2013 providing exemptions to government/private/nidhi and charitable companies formed under section 8 of the Act (formerly called section 25 companies).
 
As per the notification, government-owned companies have been exempted from the limits pertaining to managerial remuneration, restriction on maximum number of directorships and disqualification of directors in certain cases.
 
The provisions in respect of nomination and remuneration committee have also been relaxed in respect of their applicability to directors/managerial people, the statement said.
 
Similarly flexibility is provided to government companies by modifying the provisions relating to loans to directors, loans and investments by companies and related party transactions.
 
The exemption for government companies to retain the suffix "Ltd." even if incorporated as private limited company, has been continued as per the exemption available under Companies Act, 1956.
 
Modifications in the provisions relating to place of holding general meetings have also been made.
 
According to the statement, provisions in respect of rotation of directors and right of persons to stand for directorship are exempted for wholly owned government companies, while provisions on forming opinion about integrity, expertise/experience of independent directors have been modified to provide flexibility to concerned ministry/department.
 
For government companies engaged in producing defence equipment, the provisions of section 186 (loans and investments by companies) and Accounting Standard-17 (Segment Reporting) will not be applicable.
 
As for the private companies, the exemptions relax the provisions pertaining to related party transactions; shorter period for offering securities to members through rights offer; simple majority approval for employee stock option plans and easier procedure for holding annual general meetings, the statement said.
 
The government has also provided flexibility to private companies in the types of share capital that could be issued and exemptions from filing board resolutions.
 
The requirement of mandatory consent of shareholders with regard to certain transactions relating to sale of undertaking, investments, borrowings and others have been omitted.
 
Keeping the auditors happy, the government has exempted one person/dormant companies and those with less than Rs.100 crore share capital from calculating the limit of 20 companies for audit, as per the statement.
 
Private companies not having any investment by any incorporated body have been allowed to extend loans to directors subject to certain conditions relating to bank borrowings and default thereof.
 
An interested director of a private company can now participate in the board meeting after declaring his interest.
 
Charitable companies have been allowed to give 14 days notice for holding general meeting instead of 21 days and have also been exempted from provisions dealing with appointment of independent directors, nomination and remuneration committees.
 
The charitable companies need not have independent directors on their audit committees and the restrictions on the number of directorships does not apply to them.
 
These companies are allowed to hold board meetings once in six months instead of four meetings in a year, as prescribed for other companies.
 
On the other hand, provisions relating to serving of documents to members of Nidhi companies and payment of dividend have been modified to provide more flexibility.
 
According to the statement, provisions relating to private placement have been partially relaxed for such companies.
 
These companies have also been exempted from the requirements of section 62 which relates to further issue of share capital, and the notice amount of Rs. 100,000 provided under section 160 has been reduced to Rs. 10,000 for these companies.
 
Provisions of section 185 in respect of loans to directors have been relaxed for these companies with the condition that loan is given to a director or his relative in his capacity as member and the disclosure is made in the accounts.

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