Companies & Sectors
Unilever ends Mayogate by dropping lawsuit

The maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise closed the book on Mayogate Thursday, announcing that it had withdrawn its lawsuit against Hampton Creek, the maker of a competing vegan spread called Just Mayo, which doesn’t contain eggs.

 

Unilever has decided to withdraw its lawsuit against Hampton Creek so that Hampton Creek can address its label directly with industry groups and appropriate regulatory authorities,” said Mike Faherty, vice president for foods at Unilever North America.

Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick said there are no plans to change Just Mayo’s labeling.


We feel proud,” he said in regard to the lawsuit being withdrawn. The 34-year-old CEO said Hampton Creek received “tens of thousands” of supportive emails from consumers who share the young company’s mission of sustainable eating.


In its lawsuit, Unilever had argued that the name “Just Mayo” and the prominent image of an egg on the label constituted false advertising because the vegan product doesn’t contain any egg ingredients. By the FDA’s definition, the lawsuit argued, mayonnaise isn’t mayonnaise without eggs

 

Read Full Story Here :

 

Courtesy : Truthinadvertising.org

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In 2008 Mumbai Attacks, Piles of Spy Data, but an Uncompleted Puzzle

Indian and British intelligence agencies monitored the online activities of a key plotter but couldn’t connect the dots.

 

This story was co-published with the New York Times and Frontline.

 

In the fall of 2008, a 30-year-old computer expert named Zarrar Shah roamed from outposts in the northern mountains of Pakistan to safe houses near the Arabian Sea, plotting mayhem in Mumbai, India’s commercial gem.

 

Mr. Shah, the technology chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terror group, and fellow conspirators used Google Earth to show militants the routes to their targets in the city. He set up an Internet phone system to disguise his location by routing his calls through New Jersey. Shortly before an assault that would kill 166 people, including six Americans, Mr. Shah searched online for a Jewish hostel and two luxury hotels, all sites of the eventual carnage.


But he did not know that by September, the British were spying on many of his online activities, tracking his Internet searches and messages, according to former American and Indian officials and classified documents disclosed by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.


They were not the only spies watching. Mr. Shah drew similar scrutiny from an Indian intelligence agency, according to a former official who was briefed on the operation. The United States was unaware of the two agencies’ efforts, American officials say, but had picked up signs of a plot through other electronic and human sources, and warned Indian security officials several times in the months before the attack.


What happened next may rank among the most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft. The intelligence agencies of the three nations did not pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance and other tools, which might have allowed them to disrupt a terror strike so scarring that it is often called India’s 9/11.

 

Read Full Story Here :

 

Courtesy : ProPublica.org

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Co-operative housing society (CHS) issues and how to deal with them

In most cooperative housing societies or CHS, both the members and managing committee are left with bitterness towards each other, which according to Advocate Vinod Sampat, can be avoided through open discussions and by following procedures

 

Many residents are not familiar with the workings of their cooperative housing societies (CHS), and are left confused while dealing with a variety of civic and legal compliances. In addition, most of the times, both the members as well as managing committee are left with bitterness that can be avoided altogether through discussion and compliance with the procedures.

 

Advocate Vinod Sampat, an expert in CHS matters, while speaking at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation, reiterated that common issues in any CHS could be resolved by discussion. "If this does not solve the issue, the complainant may have to raise it to appropriate authorities, like deputy registrar for cooperatives, consumer or cooperative court, municipal corporation and police," he told a packed audience.

 

"However, in several issues with CHS, Consumer Courts have given most effective decisions. In fact the complainant can make it effective from day one by requesting for interim relief. For example, you can ask to transfer the property card in the society's name in the interim in your case for the conveyance," Adv Sampat said.

 

Sometimes, there are disagreements between housing societies and individual apartment owners, as well as outsiders. However, many individual apartment owners are at a loss as far as grievance is concerned and do not know how to proceed with their complaint. There are several issues in a CHS, like car parking, leakages, fraudulent auditing, unauthorised construction (like Campa Cola), and many other issues. Homeowners need to know as to what is the right recourse to take action and to ensure that their rights are upheld.

 

Talking about responsibilities and rights of management committee and members in a housing society, Adv Sampat said, “Use video recording for each meeting. Take advantage of technology to put a cap on the powers of the managing committee. In addition, societies cannot make a member shut down a shop or beauty parlour she is running in her own flat. Lastly, make a Will about your property so that your heir and relatives can get their due.”

 

He further spoke on conveyance and re-development. “Unfortunately, the real estate sector is unregulated, and few people have knowledge about its various laws. And even fewer can stand up to the powerful builders’ lobby,” he added.

 

The Campa Cola episode shows that co-operative housing societies must exercise due caution, when it comes to maintaining and ensuring that their buildings comply with the law.

 

As per the provisions of section 11 of the Maharashtra Ownerships Flats Act (MOFA), the promoter is duty-bound to complete his title and convey the same to the organisation of persons who had bought the flat (i.e. cooperative society, CHS, home buyer, apartment owner, etc). The conveyance has to be executed and the promoter or builder has to deliver the title relating to the property. It is also the duty of the promoter to file a copy of the conveyance with the flat purchasers and the competent authority under section 11(2).

 

 

Problem

Suggestion Solution

A

AGAINST BUILDERS (ACT FAST BEFORE NEW ACT IS INTRODUCED!)

1

Sale of open parking space by builder, sale of pocket terrace by builder, not executing the conveyance, not giving statement of accounts, not obtaining occupation certificate, not obtaining building completion certificate, not handing over original documents of title of the property, not transferring the property card in favour of the legal entity

a) Approach Consumer Court for deficiency of service;

 

b) Approach the criminal court for cheating, criminal breach of trust, mischief, violations of the provisions of Sec. 11 & 13 of MOF Act;

 

c) Lodge  complaint  with  ULC  Department  as undertakings are given that conveyance will be executed within a stipulated period of time at the time of release of the plot from ULC;

 

d) Lodge complaint with ISO authorities if the builder has got an ISO certificate;

 

e) Lodge complaint with SEBI if the builder is going for a public issue and has not made the disclosures in the prospectus;

 

f)  Lodge complaint with BMC to black list the builder;

 

g) Lodge complaint with police seeking permission to take out morcha by peaceful means to protest against the acts of the builder.

2

Builder  not  sharing  the  amounts received from allotment of hoardings, installation of mobile tower on the societies terrace

a) Approach the consumer courts for deficiency of service;

 

b) Request police authorities to file an FIR;

 

c) Approach city civil court;

 

d) Approach High Court.

3

Builders developing adjacent plot and apprehension  is  there  that  the FSI/TDR of the society is being used

a) Write letters to BMC objecting to the same;

 

b) File a suit in High Court/ city civil court/ consumer courts praying for an injunction restraining the builder from utilizing the FSI/TDR of the plot of land for which the society has already been formed.

B

CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

1

Society not allowing visitors to park their vehicles in the building premises

a) Approach the police authorities stating that there is violation of the provisions of Table 15 READ WITH Regulation 36 of the Development Control Rules, read with Regulation 36 which stipulates that 10% (now 25%) of the parking space has to be kept vacant for the visitors;

 

b) Lodge a complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation requesting the Corporation to cancel the occupation certificate as the terms and conditions pertaining to IOD have been violated.

2


Society not allotting car parking space to members

a) Draw the attention to the provisions of Table 15 Regulation 36 of Development Control Rules of Greater Mumbai;

 

b) Approach Consumer Forum for deficiency of service;

 

c) Approach Co-operative Court;

 

d) Approach Registrar’s office;

 

e) Note if you have other like minded members who are deprived of parking one each can approach different authorities;

 

f)  It will not make difference if the builder has sold car parking space to some other flat purchasers.

3

Co-operative Housing Society collecting exorbitant amounts at the time of transfer of flat, collecting exorbitant amount towards non occupancy charges

a) Approach consumer court for deficiency in service;

 

b) Approach police station for extortion, mischief against all the members of the managing committee with a specific request to lodge a First Information Report (FIR);

 

c) Approach metropolitan magistrates court;

 

d) Lodge complaint against auditor for professional misconduct.

4

a) Managing committee members not  issuing share certificate to members;

 

b) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against the members of the managing committee who have misused the funds of the society;

 

c) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against defaulters who are managing committee members

a) Approach Consumer Forum against society;

 

b) Approach Co-operative Court;

 

c) Approach the office of the registrar to remove the managing committee members;

 

d) If more complainants are there they can approach different authorities.

5

Co-operative Housing Society and its members employing minors

a) Lodge complaint for violations of Juvenile Workers Act, 1986, Bye law No 161(C), stipulates a punishment up to one year imprisonment and/or fine up to Rs20,000

 

b) Lodge complaint with labour & police authorities

C

CRITICS CORNER

1

Office bearers behaving as dictators.

Some members are having parties and disturbing the peace in the building

To lodge complaints with the registrar of co-operative societies, approach co-operative court or consumer forum;

 

For certain matters contact police authorities

2

Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against unauthorised construction

Lodge complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) for unauthorised construction

3

Co-operative Housing Society not responding to queries as regards payment of service tax

Do the correspondence with service tax department

4

Co-operative Housing Society not maintaining fire fighting equipments

As per section 3(1) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 read with rule 4(2) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures

Rules every society having a building of ground plus four floors and above have to submit / arrange to submit every half yearly a certificate to the fire authorities. I would like to have a copy of the same at my cost for the last three years. Take up such matters with fire authorities.

5

Co-operative Housing Society not showing records related to

various expenses being incurred by the society

Draw the attention of office bearers to the circular dated 10/3/1995 issued by co operative department.

6

Complaint  against  chartered accountant who has audited the accounts of the society

Write to Institute of Chartered Accountants of India highlighting provisions of act, rules and bye laws; Example: Exorbitant amount collected as donation, security not given by persons handling cash. Rule 107-B.

 

Money collected for car parking deposit, amounts of some members waived off, legal expenses recovered from only some members + action at consumer forum.

7

Complaint against auditor on the panel of registrar

Request the authorities to take disciplinary action against the auditor;

 

Request the authorities to remove the name of the auditor from the panel of auditors;

 

If it is a case of negligence approach the consumer forum for the losses caused with a prayer to recover the same from the auditor;

 

File criminal case. In our view permission to file criminal case from government authorities is required only if the person is appointed by the government;

 

If the employee is appointed by the head of the state then permission is not required.

8

Complaint against government officers for not giving the proper information

 

Always keep camera spy pen with you. It is not known when it can come handy

Approach the higher authorities;

 

Ask for the actions initiated against him in his earlier postings;

 

Ask the pending departmental proceedings going against him as of date;

 

Here RTI Act can be of help to you.

D

COURT MATTERS

1

Government officer not passing the order after the matter is kept closed for order.

 

 

Politely state that the judgment in the case has been reserved since a long time. Order XX Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 fixes a model Time Limit of 30 for pronouncement of Judgment. Therefore please pronounce the judgment at an early date and do the real justice since ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ (You may also ask for all orders being passed by the said quasi judicial authority)

2

No track record as to the court case

Insist on roznamas of all the dates of the hearing

3

Reply received from advocates that

court is not sitting

Tell the advocate to take up the matter with the judge; who has got additional charge of the said court.

4

How to speed up court case

 

 

If you are a senior citizen you have a right to request the court to take up the matter for expeditious hearings in the light of the high court circular dated 3/08/2009. If a long date is given insist for a shorter date;

 

You can approach the higher court for directions to expedite the court case if there is urgency in the matter. File miscellaneous applications to get the necessary information.

5

How to protect ones interest in matters where there is possibility of litigation.

 

ALWAYS  CARRY  LATEST GADGETS AND RECORD

Use modern technologies like Google search and ask for help;

 

Tell your advocate to pray for ad interim injunction;

 

Tell the court for the appointment of court commissioner.

E

Right to Information -RTI

1

Despite writing no action is being initiated by government officers

Make an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to the public information officer.

2

Evasive replies are given by the public information officer. 4578 illegal cell towers in Mumbai. Action taken big zero. If a common man breaks the law will the BMC be lenient. What was our sleeping giant doing when such towers were installed? Why are criminal cases not being filed by BMC suo moto?

File an appeal. You may also file another application with the public information officer asking for information which may include copies of all the registers being maintained by the office, when the said registers are being updated, details of the registers which are incomplete, number of files in the office which are misplaced, not traceable, number of letters received per month by the office, details of the number of matters disposed of within one week, inspection of the files with specific reference to the files of the matters disposed of within one week. If you have asked for documents like certified true copy you can also approach the consumer forum as you are a consumer;

 

To put pressure you can tell your relative at say Gujarat to file a complaint from Gujarat in Gujarati. Section 11(c ) of the Consumer Protection Act, which stipulates that a case can be registered where the cause of action wholly or in part arises. (Samajnewale ko ishara kafi hai);

 

Ask for inspection and reply given to RTI queries in the last six months.

3

Society not getting copy of building plan

Write to the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities asking for the necessary information using  the Right to Information (RTI) act;

 

Also approach consumer forum for deficiency of services.

F

Police-related matters

 

Police not taking steps to lodge an FIR in case of a cognisable offence

Approach the magistrate u/s 154 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to direct the police officers to register an FIR.

G

How to draft complaint letters

 

 

Letter to Co-operative Society/ Government authorities.

 

 

Address to society, managing committee members and various government authorities;

 

Follow up with email to various government authorities;

 

Take up the matter on Lokshahi Din;

 

Just do not stick to one subject. Highlight all the wrong things done in the society;

 

Dramatise the facts; For eg: Say that the collective value of the property is approx Rs50 crore. If it is government department like BMS say that the yearly budget is Rs2,800 crore and the same is not properly utilised. Ask for information which will result in time being spent by the opposite party which information may not be very important for you;

 

Highlight instances of corruption, inefficiency pointed out by government authorities eg. Anti corruption bureau, comptroller and auditor general;

 

Request the government authorities to download the orders as is stipulated in Right to Information act. It is common knowledge that authorities do not do all their jobs as per provisions of all in all cases, follow up with Right to Information application if the matter pertains to government department.

 

LASTLY reserve your right to take action as per due process of law.

H

Action against auditors

 

 

 

You may also want to read...

 

Cooperative housing societies: Common issues and solutions

http://www.moneylife.in/article/cooperative-housing-societies-common-issues-and-solutions/35303.html

 

How to buy home or flat in Mumbai safely and smartly

http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-to-buy-home-or-flat-in-mumbai-safely-and-smartly/35314.html

 

Redevelopment of old building: Here is checklist for home owners, CHS office bearers

http://www.moneylife.in/article/redevelopment-of-old-building-here-is-checklist-for-home-owners-chs-office-bearers/35343.html

 

Deemed conveyance: Who is responsible, CHS or the builder?

http://www.moneylife.in/article/deemed-conveyance-a-responsibility-of-builder/35357.html

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COMMENTS

Ganesh Kamat

2 years ago

Rail Reform...

Why, Passenger Train is important ?

1) British gave us Mail/ Express and Passenger Trains.

2) We added Super Fast Trains in place of Passenger Train.

3) Passenger train are helpful for rural area farmers to
sell their farm product to Taluka/ District places, without
middleman hence creating Employment & better value to our farmers.

4) Now a day they are talking about bullet train !
they call this as their vision?

5)Today we are in need of MORE passenger Train First
Which cost hardly anything, for our farmer.

Unfortunately No M.P. Raise this Question In our Parliaments.

Ganesh Kamat

2 years ago

Rail Staff knows how their job,

can deliver if no expectation for

Posting & Promotion.

We are listening!

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