Citizens' Issues
Traders' body asks Salman to drop 'Khan Market' from his portal
New Delhi : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday asked actor Salman Khan to withdraw the "Khan Market" name from his shopping portal to protect the brand name of the market here designated as the most expensive retail location in India.
 
"CAIT has shot up a communication to actor Salman Khan today (Sunday) urging him to withdraw the name of Khan Market from his web portal 'khanmarketonline.com' which he has announced on his birthday on December 27, 2015," CAIT said in a statement here.
 
Established in 1951, Kahn Market was, last month, ranked the 24th most expensive retail location worldwide in a report by global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.
 
"The name chosen by Salman Khan is more deceptive and infringes the rights of traders of Khan Market," said CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal.
 
"We will not allow anyone to encroach upon the goodwill earned by traders for the market in the last 65 years," he added.
 
CAIT contended that things sold on 'khanmarketonline' would also be construed as sold by traders of the actual and physical Khan Market, leading to confusion and misunderstandings for consumers.
 
Sales discounts that Salman Khan may offer on products may lead to confusion and embarrassing situations for traders and consumers, the statement added.
 
Describing Khan Market itself as a brand, CAIT said: "A name by custom/practice/usage over a long period of time by a group of persons becomes an intellectual property right of that group of persons is an integral part of principle of natural justice. Accordingly, the first lien of using the name 'Khan Market' lies with traders of Khan Market only."
 
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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SEBI: Mainly a Big Bureaucracy
SEBI top management is focused on its entitlements, guarding its turf, it has little interaction with investors
 
In the 23-odd years since it got its statutory teeth, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already had its statute amended to become one of the most powerful regulators in the world. But SEBI is certainly not a lean, mean and ferocious watchdog for investors and financial consumers. It is a big bureaucracy, focused on its own entitlements, and guarding its regulatory turf; it has minimal interaction with those it was set up to protect and makes little effort to understand their needs and concerns. 
 
Ignoring its core constituency of financial consumers and investors has meant that SEBI fails to inspire confidence among them or work cohesively in the financial system. This is probably one of the reasons why the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission has recommended the merger of all financial regulators into one super-regulator and a separation of their grievance redress functions into a new financial redress agency to offer unified grievance resolution across the financial sector. 
 
In June 2015, a task force was set up to draw a road map for this redress agency; but, unless it studies the mistakes of the past, a new agency will only repeat the problems of existing financial regulators. Worse, it may create a new bureaucracy supported by costs and fees collected from users and, yet, fail to provide the most tangible redress that all investors seek—refund of the money lost due to cheating, mis-selling and misrepresentation or compensation for poor service or delays. The record of all Indian regulators has been pathetic on this front. 
 
When SEBI got its statutory teeth after the 1992 securities scam, over half the senior officials were brought on deputation from other enforcement and investigation agencies. The new watchdog required people with experience of regulatory and supervisory responsibilities and handling investigations. Soon, SEBI became a coveted destination because of its powers, connections with corporate India, a less bureaucratic set-up, frequent opportunities for foreign travel, better perks and significantly more attractive allowances than other government departments. A stint at SEBI also guaranteed extremely well-paid jobs and foreign postings with the world’s top finance companies. Consequently, attrition rates were high in its first decade of operations. Today, senior positions at SEBI, as chairman or whole-time members (WTMs), are coveted for the same reasons with the bonus of extending the career of retiring bureaucrats by five years. 
 
The focus on power and perks has led to a lopsided growth of the organisation where the all-powerful chairman, with a say on coveted assignments, directs everything that is good, bad and ugly about the regulator. A former chairman had told me, “SEBI is a chairman-centric organisation,” even though he himself built a nice façade of decentralised decisions made by key committees. But, after several SEBI chairmen have imperiously bent and interpreted rules to appoint their chosen people to key senior positions, the organisation is beginning to rebel. 
 
A resurgent SEBI Employees’ Association is now a formally registered body and has begun to voice its protest about capricious appointments at senior level which deny promotions to those who have been with SEBI for over two decades and can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. Even highly competent officials of proven integrity are now forced to report to officers who are junior to them, because they have joined SEBI on deputation from the income-tax department, the police or other government agencies. The situation has become extremely messy after the merger of SEBI and the Forward Markets Commission in 2015.
 
Various chairmen have encouraged such migration and deputation, not because it brings new competency and experience to SEBI, but because executive directors (EDs), on short duration contracts, owe complete allegiance to them. Several have seen their SEBI appointment as a post-retirement perk and many serve out their contract with very little connect with the organisation or the capital market. But chairmen, who know how to work the system, can skilfully manipulate these appointments too, especially when it comes to granting extensions to a favoured few. 
 
One chairman got a WTM to exonerate a large corporate house embroiled in a scam by dangling the possibility of an extension. Once the exoneration was done, he wrote to the government against extending the tenure of the pliant WTM. The reappointment of Prashant Sharan for a second term as WTM in 2012 has been challenged by an NGO (non-governmental organisation) in the Delhi High Court. The NGO claims that Mr Saran was appointed without a valid clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The NGO also alleges that chairman UK Sinha got SEBI’s chief vigilance officer, RK Padmanabhan, to give clearance to Mr Saran, although he was his direct boss—the same SEBI lectures the corporate sector on governance. Interestingly, both these officers have been ‘examined’ by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with an investigation into irregularities by the promoters of Bank of Rajasthan. The CBI is investigating whether the case against the Bank’s promoters has been deliberately weakened, delayed and penalties against it have been diluted by SEBI. There are whispers in SEBI about who issued directions to do this and whether there was a quid pro quo for following such orders.
 
The department of economic affairs (DEA) at the finance ministry, which is in charge of supervising SEBI, has maintained a studied silence on the matter, even though the secretary, DEA, is on the SEBI board. The simmering discontent within SEBI’s ranks is not merely about appointments, but also a sense of neglect of their rights and welfare by the organisation. 
 
On 14th December, the SEBI Employees’ Association wrote to the chairman expressing their concern at the large number of officials being summoned by various investigation agencies such as CBI, the income-tax department and the economic offences wing to record their views on various decisions taken in the course of their work. The letter says that 70 out of SEBI’s 652 officials have been summoned—this has doubled in the recent past. 
 
While it is true that all officials should be accountable and open to investigation of dubious actions, organisations such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have evolved a system of dealing with inquiries. Income-tax officers are protected by their statute when it comes to work-related decisions. Both organisations have evolved an informal protocol of sorts, where investigation agencies, such as CBI or the police, will visit their offices for routine inquiries and summon officials only if a ‘preliminary enquiry’ is formally opened. 
 
SEBI has not evolved any such mechanism to support its officials, says the Association. This is partly due to callousness and partly because of the machinations of SEBI’s own top brass. That the SEBI chairman was listed as a regular visitor to the home of a controversial former CBI director has been a matter of much speculation inside the organisation. 
 
Ironically, the officers’ protest comes at a time when several of SEBI’s senior-most officers have been ‘examined’ by CBI, not only in the Bank of Rajasthan matter, but also the Saradha chit fund scam and the MCX (Multi Commodity Exchange of India) group. Moreover, allegations of corruption had dogged the organisation right from the early 1990s and, yet, no official has ever been held accountable, despite two massive securities scams, a permanently damaged primary capital market and the exodus of retail investors. 
 
But SEBI officers are not arguing for immunity: they say that indiscriminate summons, humiliation and questioning by other agencies at the fact-finding stage, is causing widespread demoralisation, especially when the organisation offers no support. All this points to a dysfunctional organisation which needs a complete overhaul of its structure, appointments and human resources policy, in order to make it an effective regulator. More importantly, we need to ensure that new agencies, such as the super regulator or grievance redress body, if they are formed, are structured correctly from the beginning and do not merely add to the number of useless institutions and regulators in the financial market. 
 

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COMMENTS

PPM

1 year ago

India is a real banana republic!!!!

Sridhar Rao

1 year ago

SEBI is a complete failure where protection of financial products consumers is concerned. I recall in the early days of SEBI companies used to respond and address any complaints with great alacrity as it still was an unknown factor.

vnrao

1 year ago

all the regulatory authrities are wings of govt can we expect more than buracracy we have to judge whether job done is right and no corruption

Dipakkumar J Shah

1 year ago

Your comment is absolutely correct. I have as many as Acknowledgement of Complaint of Ratnamani Engineering Limited now Ratnamani Metals and Tubes Limited as back in 1994 and then, also Jindal Iron and Steel Co Limited since 1994. But no action is taken since. In Ratanamni case it is a case of dividend paid out of capital , illegal payment of dividnd , mere book entry of profit , not given full report to shareholders till this date.!! Public issue of shares of the same company was sanctioned by SEBI where in Dividend declared was shown , which is a fact in Prospectus that Dividend was also paid in 1992 out of capital, illegal payment of dividend , mere book entry of profit not disclosed properly and fully by Company and sanctions were given by SEBI!!!
\In the case of Jindal Iron and Steel Co Limited NCD with detachable warrants funds were issued not for the project to be implemented , but invested in the shares of Jindal Vijay Nagar Steel Limited . which ultimately hold by Jindal Perosonally in the name of Sun Invetsment Limited separated from Jindal Iron and Steel Co Limited. I have also acknowledgement of the complaint with SEBI. as many as more than 50 , but no action since 1994. Not only this but Convertible warrants were not opted even by management and also partly paid NCD , Debenture is a debt , were small investors Rs 1 Crore and more had been forefeited by Company. Investors interest is never looked in to. But only cash counter after abolition of CCI. This reminds me of my own case of CCI abolition for fraud in approvals. Manmohan Singh The Then Finance Minister put in Finance Bill, abolished the CCI in February 1992. My Petition was taken on 01.03.1992 or after ,immediately , no action By High Court of Gujarat !!! Since the office is abolished the petition is dismissed by Justice G T Nanavati. No action by Court for corruption in C C I ??? What more can be expected from all such Big names????!!!

REPLY

vnrao

In Reply to Dipakkumar J Shah 1 year ago

Companies act specifies the provisions relating to divedend paid out of capitalwhen the shareholders have passed it I do not think any issue left in it

Mahesh S Bhatt

1 year ago

India is aping USA Model.

In 2008 meltdown only 2 got jail.Rajat Gupta & Ratnaraman rest of all American Banks/Morgage Houses/Stock Brokers swindled the US & World worth $21 trillion valuations.

So wait & watch China is on cards for shakeup.

Amen Mahesh

Mahesh S Bhatt

1 year ago

Politician/Businessmen/Lawyers(MP's) nexus is systematically killing justice by delaying/deleting/creating legal loops.

Our country Law & Disorder is norm.

So Lalu/BCCI/Jayalatitha/list of endless scams continue.

Politicians failed Anna movement.

Corruption has terror at door step of Airforce door step but Government proudly says it protected assets.

Amen Mahesh

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

SEBI never stood to it's PREAMBLE"Protection of Investors"instead it became spectator of SCAMS that started since its birth in 1992.To shrug its responsibility SEBI started e-complaint scores.gov.in which is utter failure and anti investor friendly.In India regulators are shy in replying individuals instead they forward complaint to organisation or entity against whom complaint is made.In such scenario how one can expect JUSTICE from regulator.The need of time is accountability by staff and board of regulators.In India investors are running away from market is near no chances of recovery even though he is cheated by entity,as all have lost faith in courts due to delay and exorbitant cost for going to courts for failure of regulator.regulator.If SEBI would have been vigilant since beginning lakh of crores of money would have been saved the lectures by SEBI chairman showing concern for small investors is like shredding Crocodile tears.SEBI should publish daily market turn over for institutional,FIIs and high net-worth and small individuals investors.Giving sermons is easy but to get back confidence of small investors is big task and challenge for SEBI.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

An excellent hard hitting article from Sucheta Dalal which lives up to the expectations of readers of ML.

Is there a way to prevent SEBI directors from cashing in on their position in SEBI? Yes, if a rule is passed denying them any appointment in the private sector for at least 5 years after they leave SEBI.

Perhaps SEBI deliberately does not draw up and implement a protocol for officers who are called to testify. Then they can hold the threat of improper action over their heads in case the investigation turns up something suspicious.

Usually creating another organization to consolidate the functions of several just results in more babus, not necessarily more efficiency or more clarity. Perhaps that is why the consolidation is pushed by the powers-that-be, so that they look receptive to consumer concerns while at the same time assuring that nothing really changes.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

1 year ago

Thrust cost reduction down the throats of regulated entities, while enhancing own entitlements - That is being shamelessly hypocritical, no?

Fortnightly Market View: Will the Market Show Its Hand?
Bulls and bears are evenly poised
 
Two weeks ago, at the time of writing this...
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