Citizens' Issues
When Divorce Doth Us Part… With the Cash
The miya-bibi takrar is a never ending serial, everywhere, all the time—from our plumber to Hollywood movie stars, from one-night stands to live-in relations, humble zoppadpattis to the palatial bungalows. But the bottom-line is invariably money.
 
The march to court is always on a carpet of indignation and acrimony. Roses that bloomed yesterday are shredded today, shorn of fragrance; exposed thorns growing deadlier by the day. It is always a pathetic sight.
 
Scene 1: Display of love for the child. Usually, only one child is involved, the sourness having overflowed in the first couple of years. The author’s take on this is that both parties realise that neither is growing any younger; and one makes hay while the sun shines. Thence, the sense of urgency.
 
Deep down, there is a calculating machine, whirring away. If grapes and sugarcane can be squeezed dry, why not put the spouse through the wringer? Hindu law is very egalitarian in this respect. The ‘broke’ husband can ask for alimony from the moneyed wife. It’s true; it’s the law, since 1956. Mostly, that is not the case.
 
While there is never a specific claim of a virgin birth, or, of a single-cell fission reproduction, the art of claiming possession of ‘MY child’ throws up ingenious arguments. Often, the judge talks to the child, in chambers usually, to determine what is best for the kid. While some communities have built-in mechanisms favouring the mother, many considerations are juggled around. One side wins, the other side loses. A Solomon has to come to judgement.
 
When wrangling over the custody of ‘MY child’ is over, the bargaining starts. How much? When? Why so little? Why so much? Is it fair to ME? 
 
What is the right amount to give and to take? There are no fixed scientific formulae. Judicial decisions weigh a number of factors, ranging from assets, income, style of living, age, health, number of dependants from the marriage, age of the children and their educational prospects. It’s always a tough call.
 
We advise clients to work out a fixed lump-sum amount. Warring spouses need not see each other again; especially over money, whence most battles start. The giver always demurs. Hides the assets; a criminality. Or fakes inability. The other side conjures up Herculean burdens. Ingenious excuses meet hardened counter-points. If a clean break is arrived at, excellent. If not? Maintenance payment is the answer.
 
Pre-Modi, milk was available at Rs48. Three years later, one pays Rs62. Had the learned judge factored that in? Children survive on milk, insists the custodian spouse. There must be a mechanism to compensate me: “I need more money.” Unfortunately, it’s always money. The other party cites the sanctity of a contract. 
 
Equity is a fantastic judicial tool. Some may call it an escape mechanism, others, a fudge. Even a favour. We call it a call to common sense. But does common sense have a place in law, when most think of the law as an ass?
 
Greek law has some fine pointers in such matters. A Section on family law reads: “Irrespective of the provisions of paragraph (1) the amount of child support is automatically increased by 10% every 24 months…”
 
A divorced mother sought increased funds. The ‘ex’ balked. He brought in his constitutional right to be heard; that is, heard again. He relied on the latter part of the law which said “...The Court may, following an application made by the person liable to provide child support, order that this automatic increase shall not apply and/or that the increase is restricted.”
 
You be the judge. Would you side with the mother or the father? 
 
The court, by an eight to four majority, stood up for the mother, rejecting the argument of unconstitutionality. The problem is that the law is badly drafted. But such mundane deliberations are of no use to the litigants, who want straight answers. That means that the 10% increase is justified, but disputable. WOW! 

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Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum requests action against PricewaterhouseCoopers
Delhi-based Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum (CWBF) has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take immediate action against PricewaterhouseCoopers India Pvt Ltd (PwC) for allegedly posing threat to national interests.
 
CWBF, in a release says, "A number of highly disconcerting issues involving PwC, which pose serious threat to national interests, safety of investments of common man, result in significant losses to the public exchequer and which expose lack of efficacy of controls in the banking system have come to the notice of the CWBF. Further PwC has been found guilty of criminal acts by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) and by the Special CBI Court. Despite this, PwC is being rewarded with significant government business including those where there are direct conflicts of interest."
 
The Forum is headed by Justice AP Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court with Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan as its Member Secretary. Other members of the Forum include Prof Aruna Roy, former Finance Secretary EAS Sarma, Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, Admiral Lara Ramdas and Wajahat Habibullah, former Chief Election Commissioner. 
 
 

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COMMENTS

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 weeks ago

It is rightly said that Finance minister should have initiated action but our PM said and lashed at ICAI for not taking disciplinary action on erring CAs overlooking PWC where action should have initiated long back.Catching petty CA is no great.

A BANERJEE

2 weeks ago

As rightly stated in the article and worth quoting: "...PwC has been found guilty of criminal acts by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) and by the Special CBI Court. Despite this, PwC is being rewarded with significant government business including those where there are direct conflicts of interest." It is indeed strange and shocking that a group of eminent citizens should take up the issue with FM who ought to have taken necessary action in this regard on his own. And, this happens during a nationalistic dispensation! Will the PM take this matter up in the interest of the country?

Nifty, Sensex in an uptrend again – Wednesday closing report
We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might move sideways. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Wednesday and closed with small gains over Tuesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Expectations of robust quarterly results, along with buying in energy sector stocks pushed the Indian equity markets higher on Wednesday. According to market observers, gains were capped due to investors' reluctance to further invest in expensive market conditions and caution over the upcoming macro-economic inflation and industrial production data points. 
 
Key Indian equity indices were trading flat in the afternoon session on Wednesday. India's annual retail inflation eased to a record low of 1.54% during June, while the country's factory output growth also slowed to 1.7% in May, official data showed on Wednesday. As per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Consumer Price Index (CPI), retail inflation was dragged lower by a sharp fall in prices of food items like pulses, vegetables and other perishables. The current inflation rate is the lowest since the series began in 2012. The June retail inflation rate fell when compared with May, when it prevailed at a higher rate of 2.18%. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the country's June retail inflation was lower from 5.77% CPI rate reported for the corresponding month of last year. The other key macro-economic data -- Index of Industrial Production (IIP) -- released by the CSO showed that on a sequential basis, the output rose slower than the revised estimates for April 2017. The growth estimates for April 2017 were revised to 2.79% from 3.1%.
 
Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought stocks worth Rs 361.25 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested Rs330.58 crore. Hindustan Unilever, ONGC, ACC and Bharti Infratel gained the most on both indices, while Mahindra and Mahindra as well as TCS were the top losers. Oil and gas sector's stocks gained the most followed by auto, telecom, bank, capital goods, whereas IT (information technology) stocks ended in the red.
 
Lending major IndusInd Bank on Tuesday reported a rise of 26% in its net profit for the first quarter (Q1) of 2017-18. According to the lending major, its net profit during the quarter under review rose to Rs836.55 crore from Rs661.38 crore reported for the corresponding period of last fiscal.
 
"The quarter saw the momentum of the economy gradually picking up as the process of remonetisation moved towards completion," Romesh Sobti, MD and CEO, IndusInd Bank was quoted as saying in a statement. "With consumption activity slowly picking up, there is a sustained rise in credit uptake. Against the challenging environment, the bank has shown consistent performance, riding on the positive sentiment in the economy." Beside, IndusInd Bank reported that its net interest income (NII) for Q1 augmented by 31% to Rs1,774.06 crore from Rs1,356.42 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Net Interest Margin (NIM) for the current quarter is 4.00 per cent as against 3.97% in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, the statement said. Net NPA (non-performing asset) as on June 30, 2017 is at 0.44% as against 0.38% on June 30, 2016. IndusInd Bank shares closed at Rs1,572.70, up 0.86% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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