Citizens' Issues
Supreme Court refuses to review its verdict on criminalising gay sex

In a big setback to the LGBT community, the Supreme Court dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by the Centre and gay rights activists against its December 2013 verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to relook into its verdict criminalising gay sex in the country.

 

In an in-chamber proceeding, a Bench of Justices HL Dattu and SJ Mukhopadhaya, dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by the Centre and gay rights activists against its December 2013 verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment.

 

In a big setback to the LGBT community, the Supreme Court 11th December had set aside the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising gay sex and thrown the ball into Parliament’s court for amending the law.

 

The judgment revived the penal provision making gay sex an offence punishable with life imprisonment in a setback to people fighting a battle for recognition of their sexual preferences.

 

Seeking a stay on the operation of the judgment, gay rights activists, including NGO Naz Foundation, had said thousands from the LGBT community became open about their sexual identity during the past four years after the high court decriminalised gay sex and they are now facing the threat of being prosecuted.

 

They had submitted that criminalising gay sex amounts to violation of fundamental rights of the LGBT community.

 

The NGO had submitted there are a number of “grave errors of law” and “wrong application of law” in the judgment which needs to be corrected.

 

“This court has failed to consider the submission that Section 377 violates the right to health of men who have sex with men, since criminalisation of same sex activity impedes access to health services, including HIV prevention efforts.

 

This contention was supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this court,” the review petition had said.

 

Amid huge outrage against the judgment, the Centre had also filed a review petition in the apex court seeking a relook to “avoid grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT” persons who have been aggrieved by the apex court judgment contending it is “unsustainable” as it “suffers from errors”.

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TRAI paves way for mobile operators to trade airwaves

Mobile operators can trade spectrum which they have bought through auction or have paid market price as per the guidelines issued by telecom regulator TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday cleared the spectrum trading guidelines that would allow mobile operators to buy and sell airwaves. Operators can trade spectrum which they have bought through auction or have paid market price. Administratively allocated spectrum cannot be traded.

 

According to the guidelines recommended by TRAI, the Government may collect a transaction fee on spectrum being traded between telecom companies.

 

Spectrum trading is expected to change the dynamics of the industry as it will allow operators to buy and sell airwaves according to their needs. For example, an operator with more subscribers in a circle can buy additional spectrum from another player. Currently, spectrum trading is not allowed in India.

 

The proposed transaction fee would be one per cent of the transaction amount. Operators selling spectrum through the trading mechanism will have to notify the Telecom Department about the quantity of spectrum being sold and the price.

 

There is also a lock-in period for the spectrum traded. If an operator buys spectrum through the trading route, then it will not be permitted to sell any airwaves in the same frequency band for two years.

 

The seller is free to choose the mechanism to find a prospective buyer, including the auction route.

 

Spectrum trading refers to the transfer of rights to use the spectrum. The words ‘seller’ and ‘buyer’ are used in the context of transferring the rights from one user to another. When a block of spectrum is traded, the associated rights and obligations of the spectrum block shall stand transferred from the seller to the buyer.

 

Under spectrum trading, only outright transfer of spectrum is permitted, that is, the ownership of the usage right is transferred to the buyer. Spectrum leasing is not permitted at this point of time.

 

Spectrum trading will not alter the original validity period of spectrum assignment.

 

A licensee shall not be allowed to trade in spectrum if it has been established that it is in breach of terms and conditions of the licence and the licensor has ordered for revocation/termination of its licence.

 

For the present, spectrum trading shall be permitted only on a pan-LSA (Licensed Service Area) basis, that is, spectrum cannot be traded for a part of the LSA. In case the spectrum assigned to the seller is restricted to part of the LSA by the licensor, then, after trading, the rights and obligations of the seller for the remaining part of the LSA with regard to assignment of that spectrum shall also stand transferred to the buyer.

 

Suppose, due to non-availability of spectrum in some of the districts of an LSA, spectrum has been assigned to a TSP (seller) in only some parts of an LSA (say in 22 districts out of total 33 districts of Rajasthan) with a promise to assign spectrum in the remaining on its availability and it transfers its right to use the spectrum to another TSP (buyer) through spectrum trading. Then, whenever spectrum in remaining 11 districts become available, the spectrum in these districts shall be assigned to the buyer in line with the promise to the seller, after the payment of the balance amount for the remaining 11 districts, if applicable.

 

The seller and the buyer will be required to inform the licensor regarding the spectrum trade, six weeks prior to the effective date of trade. However, no permission will be required from the Licensor/Government for Spectrum Trading.

 

All spectrum bands earmarked for Access Services by the licensor will be treated as tradable spectrum bands. Currently, spectrum in 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz spectrum bands have been allocated for Access Services.

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Ajanta Pharma Q3 net profit up 92% on higher exports

During the December quarter, Ajanta Pharma reported higher net profit at Rs62 crore on healthy growth in IPM segment and exports

Ajanta Pharma, the speciality pharmaceutical formulation company, has reported a 92% jump in its third quarter net profit on robust sales in India and higher exports.
 

For the quarter to end-December, the pharmaceutical company said its net profit rose to Rs62 crore from Rs33 crore while its total revenues increased 31% to Rs301 crore from Rs229 crore, same period last year.
 

during the December 2013 quarter, recorded 92% growth in its net profit and total sales due to robust domestic sales and exports.
 

However, the rate of sales growth for Ajanta Pharma is less than average three-quarter year-on-year growth rate of 40%, according to Moneylife analysis.
 

“We had a good quarter fuelled by strong business performance in India and emerging markets,” said Rajesh Agrawal, joint managing director of Ajanta Pharma.
 

During the December quarter, the pharma company said its total sales in domestic market increased 38% to Rs98 crore which includes Rs84 crore from Indian pharmaceutical markets (IPM) and institution sales of Rs14 crore.
 

Ajanta Pharma’s exports stood at Rs195 crore, a growth of 26% compared with year ago. Roughly 65% of Ajanta’s operating income came from exports. Some of the markets where Ajanta exports are: Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), West Asia, South-East Asia and Latin America.
 

During the last one year, FIIs shareholding in the company grew to 2.74% from 1.34% in a same period a year ago. Similarly, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) shareholding grew to 0.04% from 0.02% while promoter shareholding grew to 73.60% from 72.70%.
 

During December quarter Ajanta Pharma has filed four abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) with United States Food and Drug Administration US FDA, out of which two are already approved. Ajanta Pharma also filed total 109 product registration dossiers in the emerging markets.
 

At 3.41PM on Tuesday, Ajanta Pharma was trading 3.9% up at Rs939.8 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark Sensex was marginally down at 20,683.
 

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