Companies & Sectors
Wipro sacks two techies over lawsuit in Britain
Wipro Ltd has sacked an Indian male and a female employee working at its development centre in Britain over a lawsuit filed by the latter, the global software major said on Wednesday.
 
"Though we do not comment on ongoing lawsuits, both employees -- Manoj Punja, 54, and Shreya Ukil, 39 -- were relieved from service after an impartial inquiry established that they had violated our stated policy," Wipro said in a statement here.
 
The IT bellwether's statement came in response to a media report in London that Ukil had accused the company of gender discrimination, unequal pay and harassment and sought compensation up to one million pounds (nearly Rs.10 crore).
 
According to the media report, Ukil filed the lawsuit with the central London employment tribunal, claiming that she was forced into an affair by Punja, a married man who was her superior as head of Wipro's back office operations in Britain.
 
"I was also paid far less (75,000 pounds a year) compared with 150,000 pounds per annum paid to male colleagues," Ukil, who was sales and market development manager, charged.
 
Ukil alleged that the company's culture required women to be subservient and as a result, many other women employees had left owing to similar experiences.
 
The company, however, said its policy on conflict of interest required employees to disclose to it any personal relationship that could create conflict.
 
"Failure to disclose such relationships would result in disciplinary action, including and up to separation," the company asserted in the statement.
 
Claiming that the company had serious objection to scurrilous allegations, the statement said it would take legal action against insidious and defamatory charges.
 
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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SC refers plea on Aadhaar to larger bench
The larger bench will decide whether Aadhaar number can be used for schemes other than PDS & LPG as sought by various authorities and regulators like RBI, SEBI, TRAI, IRDA, PFRDA and others
 
In a setback to the central government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to modify its 11th August order restricting the use of Aadhaar card for distribution of food grain under PDS, supply of kerosene oil and LPG.
 
The apex court bench of Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde and Justice C Nagappan while declining, for now, referred a batch of petitions seeking clarification/modification of the 11 August 2015 order to the larger bench, saying that the main matter has been referred to the larger bench so the application seeking relaxation of the order too should be referred to it.
 
The main matter relates to challenge to the validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the grounds that biometric data and iris scan collected under it violated the fundamental right to privacy of the citizens.
 
The Court also directed the Registry to put all the applications seeking clarification or modification before Chief Justice HL Dattu for appropriate order.
 
Seeking clarification on usage of Aadhaar number, regulators like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) as well as state-run insurer Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) had reached the Supreme Court. These regulators and LIC along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had asked for clarification on the apex court's order notwithstanding the fact that the SC had for the fourth time on 11 August 2015, had reiterated that Aadhaar cannot be a condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to citizens.
 
Markets regulator SEBI, in its application, has urged the court to modify its order to permit it to use Aadhaar number in the securities market for the confirmation of address of the brokers and intermediaries under the know-your-customer (KYC) scheme.
 
Similarly, the RBI has sought the modification of the order saying that if customers voluntarily share their Aadhaar number, then they may be permitted to do so for the purpose of banking transactions.
 
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in its application too has urged the Court to permit it to issue Aadhaar number to the people who are voluntarily approaching it for the same.
 
The three-judge Bench, while issuing directions on 11 August 2015, had referred all the petitions before it to a larger bench to determine whether right to privacy was a fundamental right.
 
The Court's 11th August order referring the matter to a larger bench had come on a batch of petitions including by Karnataka High Court's former judge KS Puttaswamy and Pune-based Nagarik Chetana Manch represented by senior counsel Shyam Divan, who have contended that the biometric details being collected for the issuance of Aadhaar violated the fundamental right to privacy of the citizens as personal data was not protected and was vulnerable to exposure and misuse.
 
This position was disputed by the central government, which had contended that the right to privacy was not a fundamental right as it referred to 1954 verdict by the bench eight judges and 1964 verdict by six judges bench which had both held this position. But the smaller benches of two or three judges took a contrary position, which the central government had contended was in breach of judicial discipline where smaller benches had to abide by the verdict of larger benches.
 
In the wake of the conflicting judgments, the bench of Justice Chelameswar, Justice Bobde and Justice Nagappan by their 11th August order had referred, to a larger bench, an authoritative decision on the status of right to privacy.

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Festive season will have little to cheer realty industry
With affordability and safety of investment being the key for home buyers, the latest round of repo rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may see only a marginal improvement in demand and may not act as a catalyst to stimulate sales in this festive season.
 
After the announcement of unexpectedly high 50 basis points cut in repo rate by the RBI on September 29, it was expected that the move would improve market sentiment, leading to increased demand and more sales especially as only a part of the multiple rate cuts amounting to 75 basis points effected this year before September 29, was passed on to the consumers by the banks.
 
But now, within a week of RBI announcement, the hopes of real estate developers and home buyers seem to have been belied as the banks have not transmitted the cut to the consumers. The State Bank of India (SBI), which earlier announced a 40 basis points cut in its base rate, has now revised its decision by reducing the base rate cut by 50 percent to protect its margins.
 
Few other banks had announced 20-30 basis points cut in their base rates and home loan rates are still hovering well over nine percent. What is more confusing is the SBI's new policy to offer home loans at 20 basis points higher than the base rate to women and 25 basis points higher than the base rate to men in contrast to its earlier policy of offering home loans to women at base rate and to men at five basis points above base rate. In this scenario, the inability of the banks to transmit the RBI rate cut to home buyers is sending negative signals.
 
This has worried both the industry chambers like Assocham and Credai, the apex body of real estate developers who have demanded stimulus in the form of tax incentives and supporting measures like introduction of teaser loans besides passing on the RBI rate cut to consumers.They feel that things have hardly changed during the last one year with home sales taking a beating.
 
Despite the developers trying all kinds of marketing gimmicks including subvention schemes with upfront payment as low as 5 percent of home price, interest waiver for 2-3 years and freebies, sale velocity has not picked up. Rather, it is a matter of concern that during the first half of this year, the sales have plummeted by 50 percent.
 
Both investors and end users have deserted the residential property market - investors due to slow moving market with stagnant or dipping prices and end users due to unaffordable prices and concern about the safety of their investment because of massive delivery defaults.
 
These investor-led markets have largest number of delivery defaults and highest unsold units. NCR tops with 232,000 unsold units, followed by Mumbai with 170,000 units while Bangalore, Pune and Chennai have 111,000, 70,000 and 60,000 unsold units respectively.
 
The extraordinarily high inventory and muted sales call for price rationalisation. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had asked developers to cut prices to spur sales in view of high unsold inventory.
 
Even Credai chairman Irfan Razack, immediately after taking over, advised developers to offload high inventory by rationalising prices. But developers are holding on to prices on the ground that low margins due to steep rise in input costs and high cost of loan sevicing, do not give them enough leg room to bring down prices. 
 
But what they are ignoring is that the latent demand is not getting translating into sales due to affordability concerns. Today, considering the median house price to average annual income ratio, the affordability is quite low. 
 
In Delhi NCR and Mumbai markets, it is double the ideal ratio of 5-6 ,though in cities like Bangalore, the ratio is more or less favourable. Instead of offering direct price discounts, developers are offering indirect discounts in the form of club fee, registration and stamp duty waiver.
 
Besides unaffordable property prices and high interest rates, long delays in project completion is proving to be a home buyers' nightmare. It is a double whammy for them as due to delayed delivery, they are forced to bear the burden of both EMI and house rent, especially when the job market is unfavourable.
 
There is no price relief to home buyers even for newly launched projects. During festive season, it's been a standard practice with developers to launch new projects at attractive prices.
 
Developers are also banking on NRIs. They are reaching out to them through many property portals and through property fairs at their doorstep. After the devaluation of rupee against dollar,followed by cut in interest rates.NRIs are taking interest in residential property in India.
 
In addition, there are attractive financial deals and allied services like property management, PIO card, bank finance and assistance regarding fund repatriation to woo them. Quite a few developers focusing on NRIs are attributing 10-20 percent of their total sales to them.
 
However, domestic home buyers, especially end- users who form the bulk of customers, are not enthused enough to jump in the fray. They still seem to be waiting for prices to fall.And in the backdrop of interest rate dampner, it looks unlikely that this festive season will turn out to be a saviour for both developers and home buyers and the realty sector may take longer to ride out the current slowdown.
 
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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COMMENTS

ANIL SHAH

1 year ago

It should read 'NCR tops with 2.32 lakh units' and not 232000 lakh units.

NARENDRA NEGANDHI

1 year ago

My comments reg so called great brand called Godrej- Property at Ahmedabad

I was very much under the awe of Parsis attitude towards everything including their contirbution to India. But alas, I made a mistake once... i invested in Godrej Garden City Ahmedabad. Please dont ever that mistake... I caution you all.
1) Booked in April 12, was promised possession March 14
2) Paid 80% by March 13 as per scheidule- no delays in payment
3) Followed up 100 times.after march 14
got a response from Adi Godrej's office- "we will revert to you".None else below even responded. even Adi's office- no further action
4) In January 15 suddenly get a mail- pay up balance otherwise......
5) Paid up balance like a poor goat on Bakri-id including the one required to be paid on possession as per order
6) Godrej gets Occupation certificate called BU in gujarat) in February 15. for inexplicable reasons do not send till May.
till then I send mails & phone calls. Except a noble girl called Tanu sharma from Godrej Mumbai- no one to help. Including Adi or Pirojsha etc....
7) then I am told that we can go over to Ahmedabad to execute the documents. List of documents, DDs or cheques for Legal costs etc all arranged.
8) Then one funny issue....Individuals have to apply for Electricity meter. You dont get it ready. It is not a part of Possession. godrej can help in temporary connection but for that pay deposit etc...... long process....
9) we go to execute the agreement on a pre scheduled day & what we find--- we have to sign in front of Godrej Employee. since lawyer had lost some family member. we still did it in July 15
10) then our form for electrical connection is taken
11) actual execution in front of registrar took place after one more month ie in August 15
12) executed document is ready in Godrej's office in September
13) the process of getting approval from Uttar gujarat Elec Supply co has now started.
14) on checking when it will be done--- response--- we dont know but say 45 days. on asking 45 days or 45 working days, the lady on phone jumps at it saying 45 working days so effectively 70 days. Poor Maths of that lady or may be she was going on leave & counted that period as non business day.
15) so now I expect the electrical connection in November 15 & then the actual possession in useful condition.
& worst of all...... Godrej charges me the maintenance from February 15 ie the day of OC..... Is it not heights...is that the "Brand Godrej?"
request all of you to share to reach Godrej seniors to look into

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