Woman board member: 180 NSE listed firms failed to comply

The deadline for induction of woman director expired on March 31.


As many as 180 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have not inducted a woman director so far as required by the Companies Act and officials expect the market regulator to come out with its views and penalties for non-compliance.
The deadline for induction of woman director expired on March 31.
"At least 180 companies out of 1,456 NSE listed companies that have to comply with the rule of having a woman director have failed to fulfil the requirement," Pranav Haldea, managing director, Prime Database told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
The company operates in the database space pertaining to the primary capital market, covering fund raising by Indian corporates.
"Perhaps next week, the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) shall come out with its order on companies that have not complied with the woman director norm," he said.
Supreme Court advocate and insurance, company, competition law expert D. Varadarajan told IANS: "Simply put, every listed company or every other public company having a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore or more or a turnover of Rs.300 crore or more should have a woman on its board."
A company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than Rs.50,000 but which may extend to Rs.500,000 under the company law, Varadarajan said.
"This is a positive move to include women in the mainstream of corporate governance," Rajshree Pathy, chairperson, Confederation of Indian Industry-southern region (CII-SR), told IANS.
Pathy is also the chairperson and managing director of the Coimbatore-based Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Ltd.
"Women are naturally inclined to think of aspects/dimensions in a business that men sometimes are in denial/ignore for reasons best known to themselves that may impact the performance of the board. Therefore, women could potentially add that extra value," she said.
Agreeing with her was Haldea, who said: "A woman director would certainly bring a different perspective on varied issues that men may overlook."
However, he said many companies have inducted close relatives of the promoters to comply with the law.
"However, women on the board merely for the sake of a legislation should not be construed as 'patronising' of women," Pathy said.
She added: "Board members, man or woman should be selected on merit, achievements and for the purpose of adding value to the company. The selection process is important."
Speaking at a training programme for woman directors, organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ranjana Kumar, former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, said: "Be assertive and do not get overawed by the company size or other personalities in the board."
Kumar, who also headed NABARD and Canara Bank, and worked as director in several corporate boards said woman directors should be assertive at the board meeting and their views should be supported by data and facts.
She told the gathering to remember that independent directors represent the shareholders. Kumar also urged aspirants to go through in detail not only the board meeting agenda papers, but also the minutes of previous board meetings.


Khattar's 'zero tolerance' ends with Khemka, Kasni?

Both officers tried to cleanse the system in the departments they were heading. Khemka and Kasni have seen 46 and 60 transfers respectively in their service


Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's oft-repeated "zero tolerance to corruption" claim seems to be flying in the face of his government's handling of upright IAS officers Ashok Khemka and Pradeep Kasni. The 'zero tolerance' seems to end at the doors of officers who dared to challenge the corrupt system.
Both officers were abruptly removed from their posts by the Khattar government just days after they, in their respective jurisdictions, tried to cleanse the system in the departments they were heading. Khemka and Kasni have seen 46 and 60 transfers respectively in their service.
When the Khattar government took office on October 26 last year, heading the first BJP government in Haryana, it was widely believed that Khemka and Kasni, who had dared to take on the powers that be in the previous Congress government headed by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, would be picked for important assignments. 
There were reports that Khemka could join the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). But nothing of this sort happened.
Both officers were picked up for assignments which were not really in consonance with the expectations from the BJP government.
Khemka, whose actions had caught the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election speeches in Haryana last year, hit the headlines in October 2012 when he cancelled the mutation of a Rs.58-crore land deal between Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty giant DLF and ordered a probe into the controversial land deals of Vadra in Haryana.
He was shunted out this week from the state's transport department to the inconsequential archaeology and museums department.
Khemka's transfer, it is becoming clear, happened because he upset the powerful lobby of transporters who have been violating rules with impunity over the years and endangering the lives of other motorists by plying over-sized trucks and heavy vehicle trailers on the roads. 
Khemka had ordered that trucks and trailers adhere to the prescribed dimensions or go off the roads. The illegal vehicles have stayed on -- but Khemka lost the post in just about four months.
Khemka tweeted after the latest transfer: "Tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful."
All hell broke loose for the Khattar government though the chief minister tried to sheepishly defend Khemka's transfer as a "routine administrative matter". 
From Chandigarh to Hisar to Bengaluru, the Khattar government and the BJP put up a weak-kneed defence in the transfer controversy.
In the case of Pradeep Kasni, who had challenged Hooda's last-minute appointments to constitutional posts just before the assembly polls, the transfer was even more abrupt. 
He was transferred in December last year within a month of being made the divisional commissioner of Gurgaon, which adjoins the national capital. Most people believe that the land mafia's pressure worked on the Khattar government.
Kasni fell out of favour with the Khattar government after he submitted a report to the government on how Haryana's revenue officials had allegedly connived with land grabbers in Gurgaon and adjoining areas. 
After his transfer, Kasni, who expressed his "surprise" at being shunted out, was without a post for some time.
Ironically, a few officers who were considered close to the previous Hooda regime over the past 10 years, have ended up with lucrative postings in the Khattar government too.




2 years ago

The corrupt officers who thrived under Hooda led Congress has been found by Khattar led BJP Govt as high utility players so nothing surprising. A Khemka IAS can find irregularities but since Govts have long stopped delivering results Khattar and his Party would have seen it is better to make hay while Sun is shining. So don't be surprised these identified officers will deliver to Khattar a better business model than the Rober Vadra-DLF model which will make Khattar Kush Hua

Sun TV remains silent, Maran alleges political vendetta

The impact of the ED action on the Sun TV Network Ltd's scrip would be known only on Monday when markets open for trading


The Sun TV group continued to maintain a studied silence on Friday over the attachment of assets worth Rs.742.58 crore by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) belonging to Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kaveri Kalanithi and other group companies.
Senior group officials were not available for comments for the second successive day, though it was business as usual at various channels owned by the group.
However, former telecom minister and DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran has termed the ED action as political vendetta.
The impact of the ED action on the Sun TV Network Ltd's scrip would be known only on Monday when markets open for trading.
On April 1, the Sun TV's scrip closed at Rs.453.85 in the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Kalanithi Maran owns 75 percent of the Sun TV's shares.
On Wednesday, the ED announced attachment of assets (moveable and immovable) worth Rs.742.58 crore belonging to the Maran brothers, Kaveri Kalanithi and group companies in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
Dayanidhi Maran said the assets belonging to him that were attached by the ED were acquired long before the alleged crime.
According to Dayanidhi Maran, foreign investments in an Indian company could be made only with the approval of the central government.
He claimed the Aircel-Maxis deal was above the board.
The former telecom minister claimed that he would fight the case and win.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help Malaysian businessmen T. Ananda Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner C. Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
Sivasankaran alleged that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. He also alleged that the company made investments through Astro Network in a firm stated to be owned by the Maran family.
Four companies - Chennai-based Sun Direct TV, Britain-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius - have also been named in charges filed on August 29, 2014 by the CBI.
The CBI said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused.
It has booked all the accused on charges of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On Wednesday, the ED said its investigations revealed that illegal gratification of Rs.742.58 crore was paid by the companies based in Mauritius for Dayanidhi Maran in the two companies, namely Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Ltd. (SAFL).
These two companies are owned and controlled by Kalanithi Maran. The money has been utilised by the companies in their business or investments, the ED said.
"The offence of money laundering under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is being investigated in respect of offences punishable under Section 120-B of the IPC read with Sections 7, 12 and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which are scheduled offences under PMLA and is punishable under Section 4 of the act," it said.
The CBI has filed a chargesheet against the Maran brothers and their companies, including foreign firms.
So, the attachment of the illegal gratification by Dayanidhi Maran has been done thereafter, as per provisions of the PMLA, the ED said.
The investigation under the PMLA revealed that promoters of SDTPL were Kalanithi Maran his wife Kaveri Kalanithi, the ED said.
These two people are holding 80 percent shares of the SDTPL.
The shareholders of the SAFL are Sun TV Network Ltd. (60 percent) and 20 percent each are with A.H. Multisoft Pvt. Ltd. and South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd., Mauritius.
Kalanithi Maran and Kaveri Kalanithi are having 90 percent and 10 percent shareholding respectively in Kal Comm Pvt. Ltd., the ED said.
According to the ED, the following properties were attached under Section 5(1) of the PMLA:
1. Fixed deposits held by Dayanidhi Maran and others - Rs.7.47 crore. 
2. Fixed deposits held by SDTPL - Rs.31.34 crore. 
3. Fixed deposits held by SAFL - Rs.6.19 crore. 
4. Mutual funds held by SAFL - Rs.15.14 crore. 
5. Fixed deposit held by Kalanithi Maran - Rs.100 crore. 
6. Mutual funds held by Kalanithi Maran - Rs.2.78 crore. 
7. Fixed deposit held by Kaveri Kalanithi - Rs.1.3 crore. 
8. Mutual funds held by Kaveri Kalanithi - Rs.1.78 crore. 
9. Land and building owned by Kal Comm Private Limited - Rs.171.55 crore. 
10. Free-hold land and building owned by Sun Network TV Pvt. Ltd. - Rs.266 crore. 
11. Shares of SDTPL held by Kalanithi Maran - Rs.139 crore.


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