Citizens' Issues
Supreme Court quashes law for setting up National Tax Tribunal

In a majority decision, the Constitution Bench of the apex court said that NTT encroached upon the power of higher judiciary


The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the a 2005 law for setting up National Tax Tribunal (NTT).


The Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justices JS Kehar, Jasti Chelameswar, AK Sikri and RF Nariman said, that the NTT encroached upon the power of higher judiciary, which can only decide questions of substantial law and not a tribunal.


The Bench quashed Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 13 of the National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005 rendering the law ineffective for all practical purposes.


The ruling could also affect all similar tribunals set up to decide substantial questions of law, including the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that is also facing legal challenge.


Details of the sections which have been struck down from the NTT Act include:


Section 5


The jurisdiction of the NTT may be exercised by the Benches to be constituted by the Chairperson. The Benches of the NTT shall sit in the NCT of Delh or such other places as the Central government may, in consultation with the Chairperson, may notify. The Chairperson may permit a Bench to hold a temporary sitting for a period not exceeding fifteen days at a place other than its ordinary place of seat. The Central government shall determine the number of Benches and each Bench shall consist of two members. The Central government may in consultation with the Chairperson transfer a Member from headquarters of Bench in one State to the the headquarters of another Bench in another State or to the headquarters of any other Bench within a Sate.


Section 6


The Chairperson of the NTT shall be a person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court. A person shall not be qualified for appointment as Member unless (a) he is or has been or is eligible to be a Judge of a High Court; or (b) he is or has been a Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal for at least seven years.


Section 7


The Chairperson and Members shall be appointed by the Central Government and on the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of (a)the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him; (b) the Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs); (c) the Secretary in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue). No appointment of the Chairperson or of other Members shall be invalidated merely by reason of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Selection Committee.


Section 8


The Chairperson and every other Member shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters office but shall be eligible for re-appointment. Maximum age for Chairperson is 68 years and maximum age for any other Member is 65 years.


Section 13


A party to an appeal other than the government may either appear in person or authorise one or more chartered accountants or legal practitioners or any person duly authorised by him to present his case before the NTT. The government may authorise one or more legal practitioners or any of its officers to present its case before the NTT.


Lear Capital’s 'Free' Silver Will Cost You $20,000

Know what you're getting into with this promotion for $500 worth of "free" silver coins


Lear Capital wants you to feel special, one of a kind. “We’re holding $500 worth of free silver coins!” reads a headline on “Just for you!”

But the reality is you have to purchase $20,000 of silver from the precious metals seller before you get the $500 worth of “free” silver. The fine print on explains this stipulation only as “on qualifying purchases.” You have to call the company to get the full story. So we did.

“The amount you get free is based on a percentage,” a company representative said, with notably less enthusiasm than the proclamations made on “With every amount you purchase, you get an additional 2 1/2 percent.”

So do the math — 2 1/2 percent of $20,000 is $500 — and there you have your “free” silver coins. You only had to buy the equivalent of a Hyundai first.

RELATED: Lear Capital: A Golden Opportunity?

But that’s not the only ploy in Lear Capital’s advertising arsenal. In a TV ad touting the same promotion, the company claims that silver has seen an average growth of 20 percent a year over the past decade. But it’s the decade ending in the year 2010.

Since then, the price of silver has plummeted more than 60 percent, from a high in April 2011 of $48.48 an ounce to its current rate of $18.50.


But you won’t find the above statistics mentioned in Lear Capital’s promotion for free silver, which we now know isn’t free. So much for you guys being buddy-buddy.

As with gold, an investment in silver and other precious metals can help diversify your portfolio and help hedge against inflation but it pays to ask yourself some questions before making that big purchase.



Nifty, Sensex rallies will be met with selling – Wednesday closing report

Nifty is like to put in an intraday rally soon. But such rallies will be met with selling


We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that the Indian indices are on course for a fall. On Wednesday, the indices moved close to yesterday’s closing for most of the session.


Of the two major plunges today, the one that made the indices to hit the day’s low was the Supreme Court judgement. The apex court cancelled all coal block allocations since 1993 except for government-run blocks that operate on a non-JV basis. However, the benchmarks made a smart recovery and re-entered the green zone. It again made a range bound ultimately to close lower for the second consecutive session.

S&P BSE Sensex opened at 26,818 and moved in the range of 26,560 and 26,845 before closing at 26,745 (down 31 points or 0.12%). The NSE's CNX Nifty opened at 8,016 and moved between 7,950 and 8,042 and closed at 8,002 (down 15 points or 0.19%). NSE recorded a volume of 99.77 crore shares. India VIX rose 1.01% to close at 12.5350.

Thursday trading session may be a volatile one with the expiry of September Futures & Options.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for a five-day visit to the US on 26 September 2014. Modi will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on 30 September 2014. The two leaders will discuss a range of issues of mutual interest in order to expand and deepen the US-India strategic partnership.

The Supreme Court scrapped all but four of the coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2010 which the court had termed illegal earlier. The bench also directed the companies, which were allocated coal blocks but had not operationalised them, to pay compensation to the government for the loss of exchequer. A penalty of Rs295 per tonne will be imposed on all cancelled block holders.

Post the verdict, Reliance Power (5.34%) and Coal India (5.02%) rallied and were among the top two gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Coal India was also the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. However, among the worst affected by this move were GMR Infrastructure (10.55%), Jindal Steel & Power (9.99%), which hit its 52-week low today.


Both were among the top three losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Jaypee Infratech (8.71%) was also among the major losers. Tata Steel (2.63%) was among the top two losers in Sensex 30 stock.

Oracle Financial Services Software which traded ex-dividend today fell 12.89% and was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE.

State Bank of India (2.68%) was the top loser in the Sensex 30 stock. The board of directors have decided to reduce the face value of equity shares of the bank from Rs10 per share to Re1 per share.

US indices closed Tuesday in the red.

US manufacturing activity hovered at a near 4-1/2-year high in September and factory employment surged, supporting views of sturdy economic growth this quarter. The growth picture was also boosted by other data on Tuesday which showed acceleration in the services industry growth this month. Markit said its preliminary or flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index was at 57.9, unchanged from August's reading when it touched its highest level since April 2010. A reading above 50 signals expansion in manufacturing. Factory employment increased for a second straight month, with a gauge of labour market conditions touching its highest level since March 2012. Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its general activity index for non-manufacturing firms jumped to 35.7 this month from 27.3 in August.

Asian indices showed mixed performances. Shanghai Composite (1.47%) was the top gainer while Jakarta Composite (0.27%) was the top loser.

European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading higher.

German business confidence fell for a fifth month even after the European Central Bank stepped up plans to revive the faltering euro-area recovery. The Ifo institute's business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 104.7 in September from 106.3 in August.


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