Citizens' Issues
Whatsoever a Man Soweth, that Shall He Reap
Once a reader queried whether this column carried ‘imagined’ instances. We replied that the law is far stranger than fiction and we had no need to invent stories. Now comes a judgement that puts many of our columns into one, single, perspective. It’s a merging of case studies and fortifies the maxim, ‘If there is a malady, there must be a remedy’.
 
A landlord is responsible for his property; the polluter pays; the wild beast theory and many others have been discussed before. This column revisits them.
 
Folks think that Switzerland is a whistle-clean country; the reason is that the Swiss collect all their junk in designated places. The authorities pay for the permission. “If you allow me to sweep my dirt under your carpet, I’ll compensate you.” Cash for trash. This went on for 10 years on a particular site, and the owner collected his dues. One day, he died.
 
His heirs inherited the pile of whatever it was. The three of them then sold it to someone else. The new proprietor now owned the stuff. And with it, a mountain of troubles. After 30 years of dumping, a routine site assessment found sub-soil leaching, and a pollution threat loomed. The latest owner asked for a competent authority ruling, claiming that it was not his fault and he must not be asked to pay.
 
Now, you be the judge
 
How would you decide this?
 
The Polluter pays. This is a now globally accepted axiom. In the current case, whom would you consider the polluter? The dumper or the one who permitted it? The principle says that all those responsible need to pay. One contracted, the other received. Which cat should be belled? One or both? The authorities gave a political solution: 75% by the dumper and the rest to be shared by the three heirs. The trio balked.
 
We are not the current owners, they said. Our benefactor was unaware of the pollution, and even if he were, liability is non-transferable. Why not charge the current owner who should not buy property with his eyes wide shut, they questioned. On the other hand, the authorities claimed that since covenants run with the land, so do liabilities; the heirs had not forsaken the bequest. They were not charged as polluters themselves; only clean-up costs were levied.
 
The matter went to the Supreme Court. There, various permutations and combinations were discussed. The underlying theme was about knowledge of the fact. Also, when and where this knowledge became known and to whom was this known. Who were the active participants in the act? Did they know of the polluting effects of the landfill? Was the trio aware of the pollution, when accepting the bequest?
 
Here, we need to discuss some points in law. One is that the owner of the property is responsible for such acts that damage others. The landlord is responsible, knowledgeable or otherwise. Next is the doctrine of election, which had serious repercussions on the judgement. Election is the choice of opting out. One is not bound to accept an inheritance and can, if one so chooses, not partake of the bequest. After all, the inheritance could be a kiss of death. It could be loaded with liabilities and should, therefore, be refused.
 
In the instant case, the trio was unaware of pollution at the time of claiming the property. If they had known of the strings attached, the bequest could have been refused. Again, the new buyer, the present owner, was also innocent, thanks to lack of knowledge. In fact, he had purchased the plot after it showed no signs of being a landfill. 
 
With both, the buyer and the seller displaying clean hands, on whom did the Supreme Court lay the 25% burden? While retaining the 75% costs on the dumper, it transferred the remaining costs on the community of citizens. Smart move.
 
Spread it thin so no one will complain. 

User

Transparent Screen: See the Road below Your Screen!

These days, the Smartphone has become a part of our lives. And many a time, we would like to start an app or send a text message while walking on the road. Transparent screen gives you the opportunity to see the road behind or underneath your phone, while you text or start an app. You can adjust the level of transparency to your convenience so that you are comfortable while using it. While on the one hand, it can avoid accidents and excessive use, in high-traffic conditions, it can actually cause accidents. So handle this app with care and use it sparingly, based on your best judgement.

https://goo.gl/0Yh1LW 

User

From price manipulation to substandard supplies, Welspun Group has a chequered past

Home textile maker Welspun India has been in the news for supplying inferior bed sheet variant to one of its prestigious customers, Target. According to Target, Welspun had substituted Egyptian cotton with a cheaper type of cotton. Target has said that it was in the process of ending all business with Welspun. Welspun’s other clients which are big retailers Wal-Mart and JCPenny, have also ordered a review. The street, as expected, reacted very negatively to the development with the stock price slumping by more than 40% during the last three days post these allegations. The stock has been on the lower circuit for three days in a row with hardly anyone being able to sell and exit. Welspun was in damage-control mode. It announced that it would appoint external auditors, one of the top four firms, in order to carry out an audit of its supply systems and processes. 

However, controversies are not new for the Welspun Group. It has been involved in a number of legal issues and allegations in the past. Welspun Group’s name surfaced in the Anjar land scam in 2004. In the scam, IAS officer Pradeep Sharma was accused of allotting land to Welspun near Anjar in Kutch at a price far lower than the market rate. Welspun had given a contract to a company named Value Packaging for corrugated printed board cartons. It was alleged that Value Packaging was given a contract at a much higher rate in lieu of allotting land at a lower price. The accused in the scam was a related party to Value Packaging. 
 
On 2 December 2010, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had banned promoter entities Welspun Corp from trading citing trade practices which were ‘fraudulent and unfair.’ The ban on promoter entities was lifted in an order dated 16 March 2012. The other companies that were accused on the same were Murli Industries, Ackruti City and Brushman India. SEBI had also prohibited businessman Sanjay Dangi and his group entities from dealing in any securities on account of charges of manipulation of share prices. According to SEBI, the four firms had raised funds through a qualified institutional placement or foreign currency convertible bonds during 2007-2009 and the Dangi group was observed to be trading churning the shares of these firms and manipulating the share prices. 
 
According to a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) order, there was substantial increase in the price of scrip (Welspun Corp) from to around Rs275 from Rs75 during the period 9 March 2009 to 19 November 2009. This was accompanied by spurts in volume in the scrip.  During to period 1 January 2009 to 25 March 2010, entities belonging to the Dangi group and Ashika group, along with Welspun Group itself were actively trading in the scrip, according to SEBI order. Majority of the activities of these clients in the derivatives segment was confined to this scrip. 
 
SEBI found that there were linkages between the Dangi group entities with the promoters of these companies. Welspun Trading Ltd, which is one of the promoters of Welspun, had stake in Dangi group entities. Another promoter entity GRG Cosmetics Ltd had a stake in Amit Business Ltd, a Dangi Group entity. 
 
In the second half of 2006, Welspun Corp into a contract for supplying pipes of specified certifications. The customer alleged that the pipes supplied did not meet the grade of steel specified. Many other customers of Welspun Corp had gone to the courts including Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC and T&R Pipeline Services on this score. Welspun Corp had then passed on the blame to Arcelor Mittal for supplying defective steel. Litigations like these have not only been very expensive for Welspun Corp, but have also damaged the brand of the company. Welspun India closed at Rs59.30 today, down nearly 10% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). 
 

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

9 months ago

I inherited Welspun shares few yrs ago when I knew nothing about shares(and sold it then in 2010).Now when I know substantially whats good for me in equities I still donot understand why we had welspun shares.Im quite sure even Wimbledon wl cancell their annual contract with Welspun.

ramanamurty malla

9 months ago

Thorough investigation should be initiated to inquire into wrong doings of Welspun group. You should ask Sebi to investigate sudden increase in share prices of Heritage foods and Jubilant Life Sciences in short period. How Sebi is unable to control unscrupulous traders games in controlling share prices with least quantity of deliveries. Innocent investors can loose hard earned money in this game. SEBI monitoring practice has to improve drastically

REPLY

Abhishek Kedia

In Reply to ramanamurty malla 9 months ago

Ramanmurtyji I too conveyed the same issue with moneylife .. thanks for raising the concern again

Abhishek Kedia

In Reply to ramanamurty malla 9 months ago

Ramanmurtyji I too conveyed the same issue with moneylife .. thanks for raising the concern again

Abhishek Kedia

In Reply to ramanamurty malla 9 months ago

Ramanmurtyji I too conveyed the same issue with moneylife .. thanks for raising the concern again

Srinivas Sreeram

9 months ago

Welspun has always had some unethical practices and each time it was pushed under the carpet. When doing international trade, one has to commit and should not changes for granted and contract management has been very poor thinking they can buy anyone for a price.

Abhishek Kedia

9 months ago

Dear Team,

A very informative article, also I would draw your attention towards few Scrips were even some respected Investors are there they are surging just by trading -
1. Jubliant Life Sciences - INR 300 to INR 500 in just 15 days.
2. Heritage Foods - INR 500 to INR 770 in 1month

I have written because the average delivery position is more than 50% but recently it is less than 20% which clearly shows trading and in high volumes.
I am writing as because of or the other way investor gets influenced and loose money.
Moneylife also give suggestion but recently when scrips went up it gave updates to hold also.. which is very fair.

So, I would request you to please look into such scrips.. Hope to get a reply

Abhishek Kedia

9 months ago

Dear Team,

A very informative article, also I would draw your attention towards few Scrips were even some respected Investors are there they are surging just by trading -
1. Jubliant Life Sciences - INR 300 to INR 500 in just 15 days.
2. Heritage Foods - INR 500 to INR 770 in 1month

I have written because the average delivery position is more than 50% but recently it is less than 20% which clearly shows trading and in high volumes.
I am writing as because of or the other way investor gets influenced and loose money.
Moneylife also give suggestion but recently when scrips went up it gave updates to hold also.. which is very fair.

So, I would request you to please look into such scrips.. Hope to get a reply

Abhishek Kedia

9 months ago

Dear Team,

A very informative article, also I would draw your attention towards few Scrips were even some respected Investors are there they are surging just by trading -
1. Jubliant Life Sciences - INR 300 to INR 500 in just 15 days.
2. Heritage Foods - INR 500 to INR 770 in 1month

I have written because the average delivery position is more than 50% but recently it is less than 20% which clearly shows trading and in high volumes.
I am writing as because of or the other way investor gets influenced and loose money.
Moneylife also give suggestion but recently when scrips went up it gave updates to hold also.. which is very fair.

So, I would request you to please look into such scrips.. Hope to get a reply

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