The apex court also asked the petitioner, Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, to file fresh petition with all the relevant documents stating what action Centre has so far taken on the issue
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Indian government to recover around Rs20,000 crore tax dues from UK telecom company Vodafone and to restrain the government from going ahead with arbitration on the issue.
A bench headed by Justice HL Dattu, however, allowed the petitioner, former Additional Solicitor General Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, to file fresh petition with all the relevant documents stating what action Centre has so far been taken on the issue.
At the beginning of the proceedings, the Bench asked the petitioner whether he has talked to the concerned authorities and got relevant documents on the issue.
Bhattacharyya, who deals with tax matters and was a law officer during the regime of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), submitted that the Centre is not implementing the rule which was amended in 2012 to claim taxes and pleaded to the apex court to intervene in the matter by directing the Centre to administer the Income Tax Act "impartially, even handedly and without fear or favour".
"It amounts to arbitrariness of state action not to enforce law (Section 9 of IT Act) for 27 months after its enactment. This violates Article 14 of the Constitution," the petition said, adding, "Allowing arbitration proceedings under India-Netherland Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) would flagrantly violate rule of law."
He submitted that the I-T Act does not recognise conciliation as a dispute settlement mechanism and the tax dispute does not come within the ambit of BIPA.
Recently, the government had appointed former Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti as arbitrator in the tax dispute case.
The government's decision was in response to an arbitration notice served by Vodafone International Holdings BV In April under BIPA for resolving the dispute.
Nifty may head higher though gains may be marginal
The NSE Nifty opened Tuesday above the 7,600 level and stayed there for the entire trading session though the move was in a narrow range. The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 25,470 while the Nifty opened at 7,629. Sensex moved in the range of 25,467 and 25,572 while Nifty moved between 7,618 and 7,650. Sensex closed at 25,516 (up 103 points or 0.40%) while Nifty closed at 7,635 (up 23 points or 0.31%). The NSE recorded a volume of 102.61 crore shares. India VIX fell 1.17% to close at 17.6625.
Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were Auto (3.16%), Metal (2.10%), MNC (1.73%), Realty (1.34%) and Consumption (0.91%) while the top five losers were IT (1.10%), Energy (0.53%), Pharma (0.46%), PSU Bank (0.31%) and Service (0.19%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 30 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Hindalco (6.64%), Maruti (5.87%), Tata Motors (4.96%), M&M (4.14%) and Tata Steel (2.43%). The top five losers were Tech Mahindra (1.95%), BPCL (1.90%), Asian Paints (1.68%), Wipro (1.54%) and TCS (1.41%).
Of the 1,582 companies on the NSE, 995 companies closed in the green, 531 companies closed in the red while 56 companies closed flat.
Market today awaited Markit Economics to unveil the results of a monthly survey on India's manufacturing sector for June 2014. A survey from Markit Economics showed that growth in the Indian manufacturing sector was maintained in June 2014. Adjusted for seasonal variations, the seasonally adjusted HSBC India Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose marginally to 51.5 in June from 51.4 in May. Manufacturing production rose for the eighth successive month in June 2014. There was a moderate expansion of incoming new orders, with growth in export orders at three-month high, the survey showed.
The fiscal deficit for the period April-May 2014 was Rs2.40 lakh crore, which amounted to 45.6% of the budget estimates (BE) compared with 33.3% of BE during the same period last year according to the data released by the government after trading hours on Monday.
The output of eight core industries, having a combined weight of 37.90% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded an increase of 2.3% in May 2013. The output has shown an increase of 3.3% for April-May 2014.
Oil marketing companies has hiked petrol prices by Rs1.69 per litre also raising diesel price by 50 paise per litre, which will come into effect from 1 July 2014. The hike in diesel and petrol price is mainly contributed by ongoing Iraq crisis and forex market fluctuations.
Price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was today hiked by Rs16.50 per cylinder. The price of non-subsidised LPG, which customers buy after using up their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders, was raised by Rs16.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder, the first hike in six months.
The Coal Ministry is considering auctioning 25 captive coal blocks which were taken back from the companies due to their failure in developing them.
Maruti Suzuki (6.01%), among the top four gainers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE and top two gainers in the Sensex 30 pack, said its total vehicles sales rose 33.5% to 112,773 units in June 2014 over June 2013. Total domestic sales jumped 31.10% to 100,964 units in June 2014 over June 2013. Total exports rose 58.40% to 11,809 units in June 2014 over June 2013. Total passenger car sales rose 32.3% to 86,223 units in June 2014 over June 2013.
In contrast to Monday, today the PSU Bank saw selling pressures which led them to appear among the top losers in the ‘A’ group of the BSE. Union Bank (2.45%), Allahabad Bank (2.38%), Andhra Bank (2.19%), Dena Bank (2.11%), Central Bank (2.06%), IDBI Bank (1.64%), Indian Bank (1.50%) and Syndicate Bank (1.46%) were among the top 20 losers in the ‘A’ group of the BSE.
Rupee strengthened against dollar pushing software stocks lower. They were among among the top five losers in Sensex, led by TCS (1.20%), Wipro (1.16%) and Infosys (0.76%).
Asian indices had a mixed performance. Among those which were trading, Nikkei 225 (1.08%) was the top gainer while KLSE Composite (0.19%) was the top loser.
China's manufacturing expanded in June at the fastest pace this year. The Purchasing Managers' Index was at 51, increasing from May's 50.8, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. A similar index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 50.7 in June from the previous month's 49.4. Numbers above 50 signal expansion.
European indices were trading in the green. US Futures were trading higher.
Funds operating from Mauritius, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as role of some major financial institutions from the US, Europe and within India are being examined by SEBI
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is probing a possible nexus between promoters of listed companies, investment bankers and foreign funds through misuse of the controversial ’participatory note’ (P-Note) route. SEBI suspects illicit insider trading and market manipulation for such activities.
SEBI probe follows several instances of listed company shares being possibly manipulated through concerted efforts of their promoters and market intermediaries such as investment banks and foreign funds during share sales.
Those under the scanner include funds operating from the financial centres of Mauritius, Singapore and Hong Kong, while the role of some major financial institutions from the US, Europe and within India are also being examined, a senior official said.
SEBI is currently in the process of seeking details from these banks and the listed companies concerned and some of these entities have promised full cooperation in the matter.
The probe so far has suggested that foreign funds, including well-known hedge funds that recently expanded their exposure to Indian markets, could have abused a lacuna in the disclosure-based regulatory regime to make illicit gains.
In many cases, trades were done through offshore derivative instruments, commonly known as P-Notes.
SEBI has tightened P-Note norms after coming across instances of misuse and has made it mandatory for registered foreign institutional investors (FIIs) issuing them to collect details of the real beneficiary owners of funds to be invested through this route.
P-Notes are instruments issued by registered FIIs to overseas investors such as high networth individuals and hedge funds who wish to invest in the Indian markets without directly registering themselves with SEBI. Earlier, it used to be difficult to establish the real identity of the P-Note holders on whose behalf FIIs traded in India.
While FIIs are obliged to identify the real beneficiary owners of funds used by P-Note holders, its disclosure-based regime results in a time lag and SEBI gets to the end of the money trail only after conducting an enquiry.
There are no plans to revise P-Note rules as the current framework was prepared to improve ease of investing by foreign entities. SEBI is confident that its strong surveillance mechanism and cooperation by registered market intermediaries would help it effectively crack down on the manipulators.
Investments through P-Notes surged to Rs2.12 lakh crore as on 31st May, the highest level in the past six years.
SEBI is also counting on help from foreign peers in its widened probe into these suspected cases of manipulation.
In one ongoing probe, SEBI has barred a hedge fund managed by Hong Kong-based Factorial Capital Management from the Indian markets through an interim order on ‘insider trading’ charges in L&T Finance shares.