Major fire burns vital records at SHCIL’s underground vault in Navi Mumbai
A major fire, believed to have been caused by a short circuit is understood to have burnt down vital records of Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL), one of country’s top share custodian. According to preliminary reports, the fire damaged entire basement of SHCIL’s operations office at Mahape in Navi Mumbai which has three levels of vaults that stores some of the most vital documents relating to Indian business.
  
Since most people that we have attempted to talk to are tight-lipped, there is no record of the extent of damage and the documents that have been burnt. SHCIL has made no attempt to inform stock exchanges, which were completely unaware of the fire until 4pm, although it is reported to have broken last night. Eyewitnesses say that they were asked to leave the premises last even as thick smoke engulfed the office. 
 
 
Fire officials on the spot told us that the fire broke out even earlier at about 5.45pm on Monday and fire brigade from across the area is trying to douse the file. “Even now (at 4.20pm Tuesday), we can see heavy flames in the basement. SHCIL officials told us that there were documents inside the vault, which are burning. Our officers are unable to even enter the premises due to heavy smoke there,” S Chaudhary, Officer, Fire & Emergency Services, Navi Mumbai, told Moneylife.
 
The fire also raised concern of the 127 truck loads of documents sbumitted by Sahara to SEBI. However, speaking with Business Line, Ramesh NGS, Chief Executive and Managing Director of SHCIL, said, most Sahara documents were safe.
 
Over 10 fire tenders from fire stations of MIDC, Vashi, Airoli and Thane Belapur Industries Association (TBIA) are still fighting to douse the flames at SHCIL’s underground vault.
 
   
SHCIL, in a statement, stated, "The repository where the physical documents of StockHolding Document Management Services are stored have been affected partially. The extent of loss of property is yet to be assessed. There is no injury or loss of life due to this incident."

The company also said that the fire was restricted to one of the four bays at the basement level and all major operations, including the data centre, are up and running.
 
So what exactly does the SHCIL facility contain? The core documents under its custody are held by a subsidiary organisation known as SHCIL Document Management Services (earlier known as SHCIL Projects). Almost every major contract and agreement relating to loans, pledges, international funding, public-private partnership agreements and a wide range of commercial agreements of banks and institutions with borrowers were kept in the safe custody of SHCIL vaults. We understand there is a massive insurance cover on these documents too. However, there is no estimate as yet about the extent of damage and what has been affected.
 
SHCIL is the largest custodial and depository services provider to brokers and institutional investors in the capital markets and banking sector.
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    COMMENTS

    sohan modak

    2 years ago

    sounds like a set up-p on one hand and a monumental goof up by SHCIL which should have digitized all docs. But, then, that is what is India.. who cares?... chalti ka nam gadee!...

    Parimal Shah

    2 years ago

    Same Old trick used now by white collar guys.
    Earlier this trick was used by real estate mafias to usurp the land.
    Now white collared people are trying to usurp fiscal and all type of assets including money in different forms.

    REPLY

    Blank Indian

    In Reply to Parimal Shah 2 years ago

    100% correct.This is an old trick.Other areas where such short Ckt.occures are Tehsildar's land record rooms,Bank loan record rooms,Rooms where govt.contract records are kept.Funnily these fires never take place at own houses of the officials.

    Ramesh I

    2 years ago

    It's a shame the Govt doesn't force agencies like SHCIL to use digital options to upload customers' data, which can be kept backed up at multiple locations for additional safety from natural calamities too. The DigiLocker facility for citizens to upload their important documents in the Govt managed online secure digital locker is sufficient for most individuals, but Govt should ensure even organizations like SHCIL, which are custodians of critical financial details of consumers also do so. Of course, such 'fire accidents' do occur in even Govt offices (like the one at Maharashtra's Mantralaya a few years ago) 'conveniently' destroying crucial Govt & citizens' records. Hope that is not the case in this SHCIL case.

    Mallika (Mallika) Chellappa

    2 years ago

    Whenever there is a fire, I suspect an attempt to destroy evidence. There is a field called disaster management and recovery, which, apart from helping creatures in distress, also aims at protecting vital data resources in such a scenario. Can a scanned copy of a destroyed original hold water in court? Only time will tell, and in Indian courts, that may be a very long time! Of course, backups of digital records are acceptable, provided there is an audit trail and it is unblemished and secure

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    2 years ago

    In a country where hard copies are not safe, what price digital records? I am glad that the last of my RBI issued Govt bonds have matured and been repaid. Other wise they might have got caught up in an unscheduled "abil in" of the Indian State:

    Prof. Lalji Singh: A man of dreams, courage and commitment (Obituary)
    Prof. Lalji Singh, who died after suffering a massive heart attack late on Sunday night, worked single-handedly, without mincing any words, to present his vision of Indian biological sciences.
     
    He was a very straight-forward and to-the-point scientist, who would never gravitate to get his things done. Starting his career as a Group Leader at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, he subsequently went on to become its Director. During his time, CCMB rose beyond the dreams of its Founder Director, Dr. Pushpa Bhargava, who was instrumental in identifying this gem. 
     
    Prof. Lalji Singh's work fetched him the very earnestly deserved title of Father of DNA Fingerprinting in India. Based on his translational work on DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, the government asked him to establish the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) with a mandate of making it a nodal center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics for all species and several diseases. He wanted it to be a center for excellence as a part of CCMB but the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, was keen on converting it into an autonomous Institute. 
     
    When he took over as Director, CCMB in 1998, he single-mindedly transformed the scientific infrastructure and built several centers of excellence within CCMB, starting with the National Facility for Transgenic and Gene Knockout Mice and adding several other such major facilities. 
     
    To name a few, these were the Advanced Laboratory for Structural Biology research, a center for undertaking research aimed at conservation of endangered species (LACONES), BSL-II and BSL-III facilities for undertaking research on infectious diseases and a dedicated centre for translational research on regenerative medicine (CRF). 
     
    This was the real phase of CCMB's diversification of activities not only in terms of creating infrastructure but in finding and persuading many outstanding investigators in these areas to join CCMB. Indeed, several of these colleagues have been contributing immensely to the cause of biology research in India. 
     
    These achievements and his credibility culminated in such heights that his alma mater, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) chose him to as its Vice Chancellor. The functioning of institutions and universities are diametrically opposite but here too, he was instrumental in taking several critical decisions in shaping a new future for BHU.
     
    He was a man of very few words, but was always full of commitment and action. He defied all rules of remaining in power and thus never gravitated to anyone to remain at the top, either in his genre of science or administration. His scientific work of understanding the genetic structure of Indian human populations not only saw him writing some of the best research papers on the subject in the world but this researches will have implications for India's future health policy. 
     
    He had one regret in his life -- India could not participate in the International Human Genome Initiative thanks to unwise cynicism on the part of Indian scientific fraternity. True to his nature and like a real leader, he was not demoralised and went on to fulfill this dream by deviating into the Human Genome Diversity of Indian population. 
     
    His work led to many cover page articles in Nature. His presence and proximity was so infectious that he created a battalion of scientists who are capable of fulfilling his dreams to their logical conclusion. He instilled the enthusiasm and excitement in everyone who came in contact with him. 
     
    In addition to building institutions and capacities, he also conceptualised the Association of DNA Fingerprinting and Associated DNA Technologies (ADNAT) with the sole objective of imparting exhaustive hands-on-training, interacting with the best scientists in the world in the form of symposia and preparing quality control guidelines for emerging technologies. 
     
    Today, ADNAT symposia and workshops are one of the most sought after meetings by India's younger scientists. Incidentally, ADNAT will, in 2018, celebrate its Silver Jubilee by organising an international symposium and multiple workshops in the country's northeastern region. 
     
    Prof. Lalji was always attracted to his roots. He came from a small village, Kalwari in Jaunpur and rose to become one of the most illustrious scientists of India. His commitment helped him to conceptualise, the Genome Foundation with the objective of taking the most advanced technologies to rural India, where healthcare is barely available. 
     
    He was been very actively pursuing his initiatives with Genome Foundation and as late as on December 2, 2017 he was working with two of us to write grant applications on behalf of the Foundation since he could not be a Principal Investigator on the applications, having crossed 70 years of age. For all of us who knew him, age was just a number which has nothing to do with enthusiasm and dynamism. Lately, he was dreaming that all the genome research being supported by various agencies in India needed to come under one umbrella.
     
    The CCMB, BHU, Genome Foundation, ADNAT and his extended family of researchers and scientists mourns the unfortunate early demise of Prof. Lalji Singh with utmost gratitude and humbleness. We pray to almighty for his peaceful heavenly abode. The ADNAT and the Genome Foundation, without Prof. Lalji Singh, are unimaginable but we pledge to fulfill his dreams. 
     
    Finally, at times, he would have appeared to some of the urban sophisticated lot a bit raw but that only reflected his rural upbringing, commitment to the cause, his uprightness and the courage to say things which needed to be said.
     
    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

    Harish Kohli

    2 years ago

    I had never heard of him till I read his obituary. Obscure, if I may use this word. Never sought limelight and that is true for all great scientists we have had . He joins the other great scientists like C.V Raman, Homi Bhaba, Vikram Sarabhai, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Har Govind Khurana, S.N. Bose, Mhenad Saha, our ex President Abdul Kalam Azad, Satish Dhavan and many others whom I cannot recall at this moment. With these greats together, I wonder what they are doing now.

    Supreme Court Advocate Dhavan decides to give up court practice
    In a stunning development, which only underlines the growing turmoil in the Indian judiciary, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan announced that he is giving up court practice on account of humiliation in court. In a short two-line letter addressed to Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misran he said: “After the humiliating end to the Delhi case, I have decided to give up Court practice. You are entitled to take back my Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered”. The letter and Mr Dhavan’s interviews have been published several law websites and are being circulated on social media.
     
    LiveLaw, which interviewed Mr Dhavan quotes him saying, “I was humiliated. The whole court was laughing at me. This is my final decision. I have decided not to make appearance in any court”.
     
    According to LiveLaw, the five-Judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court concluded its hearing in Delhi v Centre and reserved its judgment on December 6. The conclusion of the hearing a little after 4 p.m. was marred by heated exchanges between the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra, and the senior counsel for the Delhi Government, Rajeev Dhavan.
     
    Dhavan then submitted that Article 239 has to be read as a whole, and not in isolation.  The Chief Justice objected to it asking why he was making it an issue when nobody suggested it.  This is an uncalled for and unwanted argument, the CJI described Dhavan’s submission, pointed out LiveLaw. Unhappy with Dhavan’s continued submissions on the same point, the CJI said: “You go on shouting. You are always like that.  We will give our judgment”.  
     
    Concluding his submissions, Dhavan apologised to the bench, if he had misunderstood its interventions during the hearing, reports LiveLaw. Later, Dhavan decided to give up his court practice.
     
    Incidentally, it is important to note that only a couple of days ago, the CJI had lashed out at senior counsel making high-pitched arguments in court. Although this was aimed at several senior counsel, Mr Dhavan is among them. The CJI was particularly upset at the tone of arguments in the Ayodhya case (where some counsel had threatened to walk out) and that of a Parsi woman losing her religious identity after marriage.
     
    “What happened on Wednesday (in Delhi-Centre case) was atrocious and what happened a day before (in the Ayodhya case) was more atrocious,” the bench, which also comprised Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had said.
     
    The spate of controversies over hearings in the apex court is quite stunning to ordinary people, whose confidence in the judiciary is increasingly turning shaky.
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    COMMENTS

    c babu challa

    2 years ago

    The faith of the people in the apex court should be preserved and there should not be any question of ridicule during case hearing. It is a matter of great concern Delhi state which is more than 20 years old is yet to understand who is the head of the state, an elected representative or a nominated person. Forget about Delhi, the court has to decide who is supreme elected person or a nominated person. By all common sense an elected representative is more responsible and knows the people than a nominated person. I donot understand for how long the court wants to debate and give a clear judgement.

    P b Sarma

    2 years ago

    If a VIP is a victim his case is heard in one or two days.But if a VIP is accused it may take a few decades for the case to be taken up for arguments.Why the double standards.With the urgent hearings of VIP cases the cases related to common man are trampled for decades and Justice delayed is Justice denied.

    REPLY

    Ezeelok

    In Reply to P b Sarma 2 years ago

    It's all money Game. If you can afford expensive lawyers who wine & dine with "Justice is Blind" they can manage both ways. That's why we need an honest & strong leader for 20 years to streamline the most corrupt system !

    P b Sarma

    2 years ago

    Judicial system became redundant due to it's unchecked independence.The lawyers are making crores of Rupees without issuing any receipts or paying taxes.If you have money the lawyers and Judges grant any number of adjournments.When the cases are stinking for decades the lawyers and Judges enjoy happily the holidays which were started a few centuries back .The profession of lawyers and Judges became hereditary giving chance only to a very few new entrants.
    The Judiciary must have very effective internal vigilance mechanism to check inefficiency, favouritism, nepotism, corruption etc.Power corrupts everybody and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    REPLY

    Ezeelok

    In Reply to P b Sarma 2 years ago

    Nothing is redundant when there is dishonesty and conscious is compromised. It's all money Game. If you can afford expensive lawyers who wine & dine with "Justice is Blind" they can manage both ways. That's why we need an honest & strong leader for 20 years to streamline the most corrupt system !

    T.c. Shivswamy

    2 years ago

    Why this drama by so called seniors? Are they eyeing Bollywood slot?

    Ramesh I

    2 years ago

    Though Mr. Dhawan may have been a senior lawyer, I do agree with CJI Misra in this case. It is often seen that lawyers tend to indulge in long-winding arguments just to confuse or prolong their arguments and delay verdicts. It's time India moved away from its archaic British era legal system (including doing away with the ridiculous Your Lordship / Honour ref.) and make legal matters easier for common citizens to understand. Do away with all the legalese in Court verdicts.

    REPLY

    shadi katyal

    In Reply to Ramesh I 2 years ago

    You have articulated your opinion very well but could you please give us a model to work on.Yes I agree that your lordship etc should be swept away but before British gave us courts and IPC what did we had?

    Kumar Swamy

    2 years ago

    Judges are NOT law-makers. But they are acting like such which is against democratic principles (and corruption in judiciary and judge selection process).

    REPLY

    Ezeelok

    In Reply to Kumar Swamy 2 years ago

    In fact entire system is highly corrupt since Independence though corruption is on decline in the past few years. It's unfortunate & sad that we have to live with the Cancer known as Corruption practiced in Judiciary , Police , ED , IT and any/all Govr Departments with no exceptions as Corruption is blessed , aided & abetted by highly corrupt Politicians , Bureaucrats , Law
    Makers , law enforcement agencies etc etc. Who to complaint as higher the officer larger the Corruption.

    shadi katyal

    In Reply to Ezeelok 2 years ago

    Corruption in our land is now a part of our generics as is the mob rule.We have never learnt to obey any rules simple as to stand in a Q.The Law of the nation since independence is treated as a game.One can bend or turn the laws in your favour or can always buy it. If you related to any VIP or are VIP, Laws donot exist. So where do we go from here.
    Is the judiciary independent and if not why? One can call such judges as an impotent and non-judicial entity.
    We have seen criminals being released and cases being thrown out because of politiccal protection.
    What has happened to our culture we were so proud of it or was it just a fiction and only Law could keep us civil and now with these developments, can anyone without resources and support of political rulers expect any justice???

    Ezeelok

    2 years ago

    There should be Co-ordiality between Lawyers & Judges. It's habit of expensive lawyers to speak with high pitch voice to try & prove their point. Some arrogant & expensive lawyers include but are not limited to Dhavans , Sibals , Khurshids , Singhvis , Jethmalanis etc.

    shadi katyal

    2 years ago

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. Judiciary is not what it supposed to be.It needs guts and integrity to stand up to such atmosphere in the court to resign and walk away.
    After all justices are losing all the respect to the common man as being sold out to party in power and religion is playing mor part than justice. Democracy is at end so why not justices?

    Prasad Krishnapurkar

    2 years ago

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