Digital Locker scheme challenged in Supreme Court
Creating Digital Locker services only for Aadhaar holders is a threat to the right of equality for Indian citizens, alleges Sudhir Yadav, the petitioner
 
The Narendra Modi government's decision to create digital lockers for citizens by mandatorily using Aadhaar numbers is challenged in the Supreme Court. In the petition, one Sudhir Yadav has prayed before the apex court for exemplary punishment to the concerned officers who has flouted the Supreme Court directions for not making Aadhaar number mandatory for availing benefits from the government.
 
Yadav said, "Despite the clear orders of the Supreme Court, the Modi Government has announced a new service, which is totally Aadhaar-based and even if anybody wants to create an account on that website digitallocker.gov.in that person has to provide Aadhaar number that is clearly violation of Supreme Court order."
 
While launching the Digital India week, Prime Minister Modi had announced the Digital Locker service for all citizens to store valuable documents online. However, only those who have procured an Aadhaar number can access it.
 
"Due to this act of Government, the right of equality is under threat as people who have not enrolled for Aadhaar cannot access the website of Digital Locker even if they are citizens of India and they contribute in the society," Yadav alleged in the petition. 
 
Karnataka High Court's former judge K S Puttaswamy had moved the Court in 2012 contending that the entire Aadhaar scheme was unconstitutional as the biometric data collected under it was an incursion and transgression of individual privacy. The apex court is likely to hear the matter concerning and illegality of 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number on 21 July 2015.
 
Earlier in March 2015, a bench of Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde and Justice C Nagappan reiterated it was incumbent upon the central government to ensure that the states complied with the Supreme Court's order of not making Aadhaar mandatory for availing social benefits under various schemes.
 
The apex court by its 23 September 2013 order, had said "no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar in spite of the fact that some authorities had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."
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    COMMENTS

    saravanan ramamoorthy

    5 years ago

    when congress was in power, doing nothing, where were these petitioners ?

    MONEYLIFE IMPACT: Regulators taking stock of the risky algo trading
    Last month, Moneylife blew the whistle on high frequency or algo trading taking place in Indian stock markets by going public with a whistle-blowers report on how select investors fixed the system. Financial market regulators, RBI and SEBI are seriously looking at the risky algo trading that can jeopardise interest of retail investors 
     
    Financial market regulators, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) appears to have swung into action against the increasing influence of algorithm trading or high frequency trading (HFT). Last month, Moneylife wrote about algo trading or HFT in India that was possibly going on in National Stock Exchange (NSE). The article, published on 19th June reportedly seems to have alarmed and forced the regulators to take a closer look at gaps in the existing regulations and explore ways of strengthening them. Interestingly, SEBI and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have maintained a deafening silence on the alarming disclosures in the whistleblowers letter despite multiple reminders by Moneylife before and after publishing the report. We wrote to the SEBI Chairman UK Sinha, NSE chairman Ravi Narain, and managing director Chitra Ramakrishnan seeking their reaction to the letter. 
     
    The Financial Stability Report (FSR) for June 2015 released by RBI on 25th June, has warned against the rising popularity of superfast algorithm trading, saying its complex coding and ultra-low latency due to its advanced communication platforms increase risks of erroneous trades and manipulations in stock markets. Further, the fact that the share of algo orders in total orders and the share of cancelled algo orders in the total number of cancelled orders is around 90% creates concerns relating to systemic risks, the FSR says.
     
    According to the report, volumes in algo trading and HFT have increased substantially over the past few years in the cash segment to about 40% of total trades by March 2015 on both exchanges from 17% on NSE and 11% on BSE in 2011. The report is a collective assessment of a sub-committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council that includes all financial market regulators.
     
     
    The report also pointed fingers at certain instances of abnormal market movements in Indian stocks, which have been attributed, by market experts, to algo trading or HFT. 
     
    On 6 May 2015, the S&P BSE Sensex and NSE's CNX Nifty fell by over 2% wiping out their entire gains for the year, because of strong selling on algo trading platforms, says a report from Reuters. (http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/05/06/markets-india-stocks-idINKBN0NR0D820150506)
     
    Moneylife has repeatedly argued that India has no system of monitoring complex automated systems, leave alone complex trading systems which are based on complex mathematical algorithms. Consequently, organisations that operate such technology have become a law unto themselves, supervised by nobody. Even when there is a major glitch or a fat finger trade, no report is put into the public domain. 
     
    Moneylife has a detailed document that came by snail mail from Singapore and addressed to Mr BK Gupta, DGM, SEBI. It is dated 14th January 2015 with a copy to Sucheta Dalal. It is not clear what SEBI has done with it in all these months.
     
    According to media reports, SEBI is working on rules to regulate algo trading. Quoting two sources familiar with the matter, a report from Business Standard, says,"...among the points under consideration are means to slow down the pace of trading through introduction of measures, including a minimum resting time for orders before execution, and randomising the time priority of orders an exchange receives."
     
    "To eliminate 'fleeting orders' or those that appear and then disappear within a short period, a mechanism might be introduced to prevent cancellation or modification of an order until sometime from its submission. We are mulling to introduce a minimum resting period of 500-600 milliseconds," one of the sources told the newspaper.
     
    In April 2008, algo trading was introduced in India with the advent of direct market access (DMA). Though these trades are monitored by SEBI, the FSR report expressed apprehensions that they could result in market manipulation.
     
    Earlier in January, SEBI tightened controls on its circuit breaker mechanism, in addition to the existing coordinated trading halt in all equity and equity derivative markets nationwide on 10%, 15% and 20% movement either way of the Sensex and the Nifty. 
     
    Michael Lewis’s best-selling book, 'Flash boys: A Wall Street Revolt', published in March 2014, has triggered a global debate on algo or high frequency trading. The book discusses rise of high frequency trading in US equity markets and argues that the US markets are rigged by the HFT traders.
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    COMMENTS

    N Kanitkar

    5 years ago

    I have noticed something similar when i placed orders in equities. When you look at the 'Best 5 bids and offers' for that stock and placed a buy order with say a price 20 paise more than the highest bidder, an order would appear 05 paise more than mine. So i decided to play it for a while. I kept moving my price up and down but the other order would automatically place an order 05 paise more than mine. It was unnerving.

    This is not possible unless i have automated monitoring systems i guess.

    V ganesan

    5 years ago

    The best solution is Ban futures and options in individual stocks.If iam right stock futures derivatives is available only in INDIA.othercountries are having only INDEX FUTURES .My request to RBI SEBI NSE BSE GOVT OF INDIA to look into this very seriously.Thanks for MONEYLIFE EFFORTS AND TO RECOMMEND THE concerned authorities to allow ONLY index futures and options for risk control .Refer my earlier coomment in your article dated 19 th june .Again tahaks.

    REPLY

    Sunil Rebello

    In Reply to V ganesan 5 years ago

    The Ban in FNO for individual stocks is necessary - why are we allowing FNO for individual stocks?
    i can only think of one reason - our political masters want to wash their BLACK earnings via the Indian Stock market.
    Pray that enough pressure is put to ban FNO for individual stocks in INDIA also

    SEBI to focus on cost incurred by mutual fund investor
    India's market regulator on Tuesday said it will focus on the cost to a mutual fund investor as part of its customer protection measures.
     
    Speaking at the CII Mutual Fund Summit here, Securities and Exchange Board of India chairman U.K.Sinha said consumer protection is one of the prime focus areas of SEBI and cost to investor will be an important aspect of the future course of action.
     
    The finance ministry has also set-up a Financial Stability Development Council to take into account the cost structures, he said at the event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
     
    Sinha said that the mutual fund industry has helped in countering the volatility caused by the investments pattern of foreign portfolio investors and brought macroeconomic stability to Indian markets.
     
    He further stated that the government's decision of allowing the Employees Provident Fund (EPFO) to invest in mutual fund schemes is a great achievement.
     
    Sinha also urged the industry to think of medium to long-term measures for its sustainable growth, and also now focus on how equitably they are serving the requirements of the customers.
     
    In the last three years, measures like reduction in transaction charges, introduction of consolidated account statements, availability of mutual fund units in demat form, fungibility of total expense ratio, encouraging voting by asset managers to protect interest of minority share holders, addition disclosure of distributors, tax clarity on offshore funds, recent announcement in the budget over tax clarity for scheme mergers and many more were implemented, he said.
     
  • User 

    COMMENTS

    Nilesh KAMERKAR

    5 years ago

    1. Was it wise to have bought whatever FIIs sold? - Or

    2. Whether FIIs exploited the liquidity created by money flowing into MFs to book some profits? &

    3. FII own approx 25% of Indian equities. If they were to offload meaningful amount of equities - how much of it can MFs really absorb?

    To say MFs have brought macroeconomic stability is . . . Dil ko behlane ke liye khayal achha hai

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