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Slugfest begins as Max Hospital resume services

After fighting a battle for more than 10 days, services at Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh resumed on Wednesday. The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday. “The operation of the impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.As the decision to open the hospital came out in public, a political slugfest kicked off between BJP and AAP over the decision. Neither the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal not the Delhi government owned up to the decision fearing public outrage, instead who is ‘ruling’ the Finance Commissioner became the trending topic.”Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made.We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning. However, the ‘Appellate authority’ has not been specified by the officials.The L-G house stated on Wednesday that no officials from the hospital met Baijal regarding the cancellation order. “The powers of appellate authority, being a quasi judicial function are performed by the Financial Commissioner, Delhi as per his/her judgment without any interference or supervision by any authority,” a statement from L-G house stated.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead. A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.”On what basis & by whose decision was the appellate authority formed to hear the Max Shalimar Bagh licence cancellation appeal ? How did the appellate authority reach to the conclusion in the first hearing itself that a stay can be given on the DGHS decision ??,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagender Sharma tweeted.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues. The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.”The Commissioner falls under the jurisdiction of the L-G and not Delhi government. We were not even informed about the order,” said a senior Delhi government official.The blame game between AAP and BJP began with both the parties turning it into a political issue. “It was just to attract public attention. The government has taken back its decision. There is definitely some behind this decision,” said Manoj Tiwari president, Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”What was the tearing hurry for the appellate authority to stay the cancellation of Max Shalimar Bagh licence ? Why did the heart beat only for profit making hospital & not the new borns ?? Decision on whose directions ??,” Delhi AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

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Delhi’s Max Hospital that wrongly declared baby dead resumes services after 10 days

Exactly 10 days after the Delhi government cancelled the licence of Max Hospital after its doctors wrongly declared a 22-week-old premature baby dead, the Shalimar Bagh hospital has resumed its services on Wednesday.The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday.“The operation of impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the licence of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead.A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.Also readNo relief for Max hospital yet, matter further shifted for hearing on January 9 “Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made. We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning.However, Delhi government is still waiting for the order to examine the further course of action.Also readDelhi L-G Anil Baijal may look into govt decision on Max hospital“We were present in the hearing and the commissioner had not given any relief to the hospital. We are checking with our legal team,” said Dr Kirti Bhushan, director general of health services, Delhi government.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.Also readFamily celebrates loss of Max Hospital’s licenceThe authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues.The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh on a monthly basis treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD, attends to over 1,600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in inpatient wards.

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NDTV entitled to tax deduction on news software export: Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the findings of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) that NDTV Ltd was entitled for income tax deductions on television news software produced and exported by it outside the country.A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Pratibha M Singh dismissed the Income Tax department’s appeal against the ITAT July 2004 decision, which had held that NDTV Ltd was entitled to the deduction under Section 80HHE of the Act.”The assessee (NDTV) has in the present case discharged its onus of showing that the television programmes produced by it answers the description of computer software under clause (b) to the explanation to Section 80HHE of the Act.”Therefore, the ultimate conclusion reached by the ITAT calls for no interference. For all the aforementioned reasons, the question framed by the court by the order dated August 17 2005 is answered in the affirmative, that is, in favour of NDTV and against the Revenue (department),” the bench said.During the hearing of the appeal, the high court had framed a question for examination as to whether the television news software produced and exported by NDTV abroad was customised electronic data and thereby eligible for deduction under Section 80 HHE of the Act.Section 80HHE of the Income Tax Act provides for deduction in respect of profits earned from export of computer software etc if the firm brings convertable foreign exchange into the country within a period of six months from the end of the previous year.The income tax department had moved the court challenging the ITAT order on the ground that there was an error in the findings.The revenue department had submitted that the matter be remanded back to the ITAT for a fresh adjudication on merits.On other hand, NDTV counsel senior advocate M S Syali and advocate Mayank Naghad had opposed the request for remand of the proceedings.Agreeing with the NDTV’s contention, the bench observed “considerable time having elapsed, remanding the matter to the ITAT for that purpose would only delay the matter further”.The matter concerned NDTV’s claim under section 80HHE seeking deduction from taxability of revenue from export of News Programme to Star TV for the assessment year 1999-00.

Publish impunged orders on website: CIC to Madras HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Information Commission has directed the Madras High Court registry to upload impugned orders of lower courts and tribunals on its website in larger public interest. Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur said the disclosures would help the general public, litigants and stakeholders link the orders of the High Court with impugned or challenged orders. The case pertained to activist R K Jain who had approached the Commission with a plea that several orders of the High Court and details of impugned orders had not been uploaded on the website. Jain said under the provisions of section 4 of the RTI Act, details of impugned orders were required to be disclosed by each public authority, including the High Court. Section 4 of the RTI Act stated the respondent was required to upload a class of information and not post orders in a “pick and choose” manner, he said. A Madras High Court official said that before June 2014, under directions of the court, only those judgments which were specifically indicated or instructed for uploading were posted on the website. Jain told the commission the information he had sought from 2012 to 2014 was not available on the website. The official said judicial records were not required to be uploaded on the website under suo motu disclosures as per section 4 of the RTI Act. A third party may take a certified copy of a judicial record by following the procedure laid down in the Rules of High Court of Madras, Appellate side, 1965, and not under the RTI Act, he said. He submitted that if the sought for information was ordered to be provided, it would amount to directing the public authority to collate and collect the information from each file and then provide the information to the appellant. This would divert the resources of the public authority disproportionately, the court official said. Chief Information Commissioner Mathur said the appellant was not seeking a certified copy of the impugned orders of the lower courts and that he wanted only details of the impugned orders which he stated should also have been available on the website of the High Court in larger public interest. “Hence, Rules of High Court of Madras, Appellate Side, 1965, would not come in the picture in providing the sought for information,” he said. Mathur directed the Registry to furnish to Jain, if available, the impugned order details of the cases mentioned in the RTI requests, free of cost, within 30 days of the receipt of the order. “The Commission recommends that the details of the impugned order of the lower Courts/Tribunal etc may be made available on the website of the High Court in order to help the general public, litigants and all other stakeholders in linking the High Court’s orders and judgments with the impugned orders,” he said in his recent order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Deadline ends: 23 states, UTs set up real estate regulatory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the deadline for mandatory registration of ongoing projects under real estate rules ending today, 23 states and UTs have either established permanent or interim regulatory authority for the purpose. Under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERDA), every state and UT must have its own regulator. Developers will not be able to market their projects, both ongoing or upcoming, till they register either with the permanent or interim regulator in states. For ongoing projects, where completion or occupancy certificate has not been given, the deadline for registration ends today. Only 4 states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab — have established permanent Real Estate Regulatory Authority, while 19 states/UTs have established interim authority, an official with the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said. Till now, only 23 States/UTs have notified the rules under the Act, while six states have drafted the rules but have not yet notified. A total of nine states/UTs have appointed interim Appellate Tribunal under the Real Estate Act, while only 7 states have started the online registration under the Act. Maharashtra has received about 3,700 applications for project registration and 3,800 for agent registrations, while Gujarat got 110 applications for registration of projects and 80 for agents, the official said. Madhya Pradesh got 700 applications for registration, both projects and agents, while Karnataka got about 160 applications for project registration and 54 for agent registrations, he added. Rajasthan received about 196 applications for Project Registration and 143 for agent registrations, the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Green norms okayed to insulate wildlife from infra projects’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Environment Ministry has approved “eco-friendly” guidelines to reduce impacts of infrastructure projects on wildlife, the Lok Sabha was informed today. “Yes, the Environment Ministry has approved ‘ecofriendly measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructures on wildlife’ guidelines framed by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun,” Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply. He said these guidelines provide standard template on structural and non-structural measures for mitigating the impact of roads, railway tracks and power lines on wildlife, including birds. He said that the department of revenue in the Finance Ministry has notified the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, Experience and Other Conditions of Members) Rules 2017.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Petition wants court to refrain Pak govt from pardoning Jadhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lahore High Court today held hearing on a petition seeking a court order for stopping the Pakistan government from “pardoning or reducing the sentence” of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav. Petitioner Mahmood Ahmed Naqvi also pleaded the court to order hanging 46-year-old Jadhav without any further delay, saying that the convict had confessed his involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan. “Kulbhushan Jadhav is a RAW agent and his confession that he had committed terrorism in Pakistan leaves no room for any concession to him,” he said and requested the court to issue an order stopping the Nawaz government from giving any concession like pardoning or reducing his sentence. Justice Shahid Karim sent the petition to the chief justice for constitution of another bench to hear it as he (judge) was going on leave. On June 22, Jadhav had filed a mercy petition before Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In a statement, the Inter Services Public Relations, media wing of Pakistan military, has claimed that Jadhav has admitted to his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan and expressed remorse at the resultant loss of many precious innocent lives and extensive damage to property due to his actions. “Jadhav is seeking forgiveness for his actions and he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” it said. Jadhav had earlier filed an appeal to the Military Appellate Court, which was rejected. His mercy petition to military appellate court was also rejected. He had been sentenced to death by a military court in April for espionage and terrorism. International Court of Justice in May halted the execution on India’s appeal. In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench of the International Court of Justice restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav. Pakistan claims it arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak releases Kulbhushan Jadhav’s confessional video; India terms it attempt to influence ICJ through false propaganda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In response to a query regarding the so-called confessional video of Kulbhushan Jadhav and a press release by Pakistan in the matter today, India said that the developments bring out once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Jadhav on concocted charges, continued violation of his legal and consular rights and an attempt to introduce prejudice in the proceedings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). “Pakistan has never disclosed even to the ICJ Jadhav’s purported appeal to a military tribunal in Pakistan and has effectively prevented his parents from pursuing the appeal and the petition filed by Jadhav’s mother. The details and circumstances of the alleged mercy petition by Jadhav are not clear and even the fact of its existence is doubtful, shrouded as the proceedings against Jadhav have been in opacity,” the government said in a statement.The government added that it had once again demanded earlier this week Consular Access to Mr. Jadhav and reiterated his family’s request for visas.
ALSO READ Full text of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s second confessional video“Manufactured facts cannot alter the reality, and do not detract from the fact that Pakistan is in violation of its international obligation to India and Jadhav. We expect Pakistan to abide by the order of ICJ staying Jadhav’s execution and desist from attempting to influence the ICJ proceedings through false propaganda.India is determined to pursue the matter in ICJ and is confident that justice will be done without being affected in any manner by these unwarranted and misleading steps taken by Pakistan.”
ALSO READ WATCH: Kulbhushan Jadhav’s seeks ‘forgiveness’ his actionsEarlier, Jadhav had submitted second mercy plea to Pakistan Army chief, claimed ISPR. It has also released a confessional video where Kulbhushan Jadhav describes how he was a covert RAW agent and undertook several operations for it. In the video, it is seen that Jadhav confesses to his ‘crimes’ and asks for mercy on compassionate ground. Earlier Jadhav had sent mercy petition to military appellate court which was rejected.The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a statement, claimed that in his plea, Jadhav has “admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities” in Pakistan and “expressed remorse” at the resultant loss of lives and extensive damage to property. “Seeking forgiveness for his actions he has requested the Chief of Army Staff to spare his life on compassionate grounds,” the ISPR said. The statement said that Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, had earlier appealed to the Military Appellate Court which was rejected.Under the law he is eligible to appeal for clemency to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and if rejected, subsequently to the Pakistan President. The military also released a “second confessional video”, in which purportedly Jadhav can be seen “accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage”. The Army said it released the video “so that the world should know what India has done and continues to do against Pakistan.”

Finance Act: Appointment norms for NGT diluted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The judiciary will no longer have an equal say in the appointment, selection and removal of the chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-led government published the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities Rules, earlier this month in which it has tweaked and diluted the norms for appointment and selection of chairpersons of various Tribunals, including the NGT.The Rules were published on June 1 in pursuant to the provisions of the Finance Act and DNA had reported on Tuesday how it took away the judiciary’s powers in appointments to Tribunals.The Rules do not make it mandatory for the NGT chairperson to be a sitting judge of Supreme Court or Chief Justice of High Court, as was the stated criterion under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. In fact, the Rules say that even a person who has been a judicial member or expert member for three years is qualified to be the NGT’s chairperson. Further, it states that a “person of ability, integrity and standing, and having special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than twenty five years in law including five years’ practical experience in the field of environment and forests”, can be the NGT chairperson.As far as selection is concerned, the role of the executive has increased and the judiciary’s has reduced. A search-cum-selection committee, comprising of at least four members, will have a sole member with a judicial background, which would be the Chief Justice of India or his nominee. The secretary, ministry of environment, forests and climate change, another secretary level officer, appointed by the Centre and two experts, nominated by Centre would form this committee.As has been done in the appointment of the chairperson, the criteria for judicial members, too, has been diluted. Whereas a person of the stature of at least a judge of the High Court was required to be a judicial member, now, even additional secretaries from the department of legal affairs are eligible to become judicial members.Even in matters of removal of chairpersons and judicial members, tweaking in the Rules allows bureaucrats in the central government to undertake a departmental inquiry against the chairperson and judicial members of NGT, on the basis of a complaint. As opposed to this, the NGT Act stated that the Central government could remove the NGT chairperson only in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.Environmental lawyers termed the Centre’s Rules as unconstitutional and a dilution of the NGT, which was created to protect the environment, even against the Centre and central agencies.”The entire aim of the Notification is to cripple the NGT and bring it under the control of the executive. The notification is unconstitutional as it is contrary to the separation of power between the judiciary and the executive. The predecessor of the NGT was the National Environment Appellate Authority and it was dysfunctional purely because of this reason. The same will be the fate of the NGT,” said lawyer Ritwick Dutta.Sanjay Parikh, senior advocate, Supreme Court said, “This is absolutely wrong. These changes should not be made through the Rules and rather, there should be separate amendments for them. The amendments cannot contradict the NGT Act. This amounts to the executive taking away powers of the judiciary,” said Sanjay Parikh, senior advocate, Supreme Court

UP government appoints Guv to help address homebuyers’ plaint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh government has selected Governor Ram Naik and the yet-to-be-appointed additional chief secretary of state housing and urban planning, as authorities to whom homebuyers can voice their complaints.The duo have been appointed in the absence of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for which thousands of homebuyers in UP-NCR, especially in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad have been pressing for. The authority was supposed to come into effect from May 1, but as of now there has been no sign of its formation. “Since RERA has not been formed in the state, the UP Governor and additional chief secretary of UP housing and planning department will hear complaints till the body is formed,” Special secretary of UP housing and urban department Shiv Janam Chaudhary told DNA.The state government was to form the authority within one year of the commencement of the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016. The Act which came into force on May 1, mandates a regulatory authority for buyers, sellers and other players involved in the sector. Under the provisions of the Act, the liabilities of a developer are chalked out by this authority. Developers are mandated to register their projects and agents too will have to register themselves with the regulatory authority. Apart from this authority, sources say that a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal too has to be set up by the state government. The tribunal will hear appeals against rulings made by the authority, by developers and buyers, and rule on them accordingly. Federation of Association of Apartment Owners (FedAoA) patron Alok Kumar told DNA that the media, especially newspapers, are raising the voices of home buyers, who had been duped by developers in the country. “There are home buyers, who are forced to pay instalments against their home loans and house rents as well. Even after that burden, the home buyers have not received their dream homes for seven or eight years. We have moved court to get justice for them,” Kumar said.

Money laundering: HC stays tribunal order on property deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today stayed a tribunal’s order allowing use of a property by a leading textile chain after hearing a plea of the Enforcement Directorate that its purchase allegedly involved money laundering. A division bench comprising justices R Mahadevan and M Govindaraj stayed the order of the Delhi-based Appellate Tribunal for cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) allowing ED plea seeking stay. The tribunal had allowed Pothys textiles to deposit 50 per cent of the purchase value of a property it had bought to the ED and use it. The matter relates to a property purchased by Pothys in Kancheepuram measuring about 12,945 sq ft for constructing a textile show room. The property was bought from Dhanalakshmi Sridhar for a sale consideration of Rs 5,30,74,500. She is the daughter of one Sridhar Dhanapal who is facing various criminal charges including offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. However, the property was attached by the PMLA authorities and the provisional attachment order was upheld by the Adjudicating authority at New Delhi. Pothys petitioned the PMLA Appellate Tribunal seeking stay on the “Notice of Physical Possession,” issued by the ED authorities dated January 11, 2017. They submitted that they were innocent and if possession of property was taken by authorities, they may have to face losses and lose their reputation as well. After hearing the plea, the Tribunal directed Pothy s to pay 50 per cent of the purchase value to the account of ED and use the property. This order of the tribunal was challenged by the ED in the Madras High Court. ED contended that the tribunal failed to consider that textile firm instead of making payment to the seller Dhanalakshmi Sridhar, had remitted it in the account of Kumari, wife of Sridhar who is facing cases. The couple are Dubai residents, it was pointed out. Since Kumari was not the actual seller in the said deal, it clearly proved that the transaction involved money laundering, the ED submitted and sought the High Court to set-aside the Tribunal’s order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JNU sedition case: Police special cell asks 31 students to join probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi Police special cell has asked 31 students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to join probe in the sedition case involving Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.The students have been given three days – from April 27 to April 29 – to appear before it.The special cell also asked the students of the university to be present at admin block 12 pm afterwards.The Patiala House Court in August last year granted regular bail to JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and two other students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya in a case of sedition.The Delhi High Court in September last year extended the interim relief to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who have been charged with sedition.The court directed to JNU that interim relief to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya will continue till September 29.Both had sought directions against the decision of Appellate Authority of JNU with regard to rustication and fines imposed on them, in relation with the February 9 event.Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Kanhaiya Kumar are being prosecuted by the Delhi Police for allegedly raising anti-India slogans on the JNU campus at a meeting organised on February 9 last year in memory of perpetrator of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, Afzal Guru.

SC grants three weeks to Govt to fill up vacancies in ITAT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today granted three weeks to the Centre to fill up the vacancies of presidents and vice presidents in different benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITAT) across the country. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to file a compliance affidavit before court before the next date of hearing. The court passed the directions after the Centre informed the bench that the process of filling up the vacancies in ITAT was at an advanced stage and sought three weeks to do the needful. “The Solicitor General states that the process of finalising the selection of presiding officer in ITAT is in advanced stage and seeks three weeks time for making the final appointments,” the bench said. The court had earlier this month pulled up the Centre over the delay in the appointments, saying that the ITAT was one of the key sources of revenue earning for the government, which was still moving at a snail’s pace in filling up the vacancies. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by one Akshay Pundir, contending that “ad hocism has become order of the day as many of the posts of senior vice presidents and vice presidents have not been filled up”. The petition, filed through advocate Sanjeeb Panigrahi, had said “the timely appointment of Presidents, Vice- Presidents and members will go a long way in tackling the burgeoning tax litigations in the country.” The plea said “the government is not taking steps to appoint the presidents, nor is it clearing the names of vice presidents. Therefore a chaos will arise in business circles if no person would be appointed as President before the vacancy arises.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DoPT seeks public opinion on new RTI rules

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has proposed a new set of rules for processing Right to Information applications, complaints and appeals and has sought suggestions from the public by April 15. The proposed rules, aimed at replacing RTI rules of 2012, have been placed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on its website for comments from public.”The time given is too less. There is no official press release in this regard as well. How will people know that something like is placed on website for them to give opinion,” RTI activist Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra said. A major proposal now allows the Central Information Commission (CIC) to convert a complaint into second appeal which would mean it can order the disclosure of information to an applicant who has come under complaint clause of the RTI Act which was not the case earlier.”The Commission may in its discretion allow a prayer for any amendment of a complaint during the course of its hearing, including conversion of the complaint into second appeal, if available remedies have been exhausted, on a prayer made by the complainant,” the draft rules state.The Supreme Court had held in one of its orders that Section 18 of the RTI Act provides for complaint while Section 19 of the RTI Act provides mechanism of second appeal. It had said that the CIC while hearing a plea under complaint clause cannot order disclosure of the information which can only be provided if the person is approaching it under second appeal or section 19 of the Act.Another provision says that the proceedings before the Commission will abate in case of death of the appellant. The new draft rules also allow the Commission to use its discretion for allowing withdrawal of appeal or a complaint if appellant requests but such requests cannot be entertained once the matter has been decided by it.Some RTI activists have objected to such suggestions by the government in the past saying information seekers may be coerced by people with vested interests and may even be killed as the information against them cannot be ordered to be disclosed in such cases.The rules also introduce provisions like providing a copy of complaint and appeal to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) before approaching the CIC. A proof in this regard will also be submitted to the Commission along with the complaint or appeal.The applicants will have to declare that the matter submitted by them before the Commission has not been decided or pending before the Commission or any court. The applicants can now file complaints within 135 days of filing the RTI application only. Any delay in filing the complaint will have to be accompanied with the request for condonation of delay.If the RTI applicant does not know the name and address of the CPIO or the First Appellate authority in a government department, he will have to provide a copy of his complaint to the department before approaching the Commission. The new proposed process asks the Commission to get replies from the CPIO within a specified time before issuing notices to them.

CBI, ED register criminal case against Hasan Ali Khan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan has been booked by the CBI and the ED for corruption and money laundering allegations respectively in separate cases, six years after he came under scanner for purported tax evasion. The CBI sources said the agency has registered a case against Khan and unknown officials for alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption. The action has been taken on the basis of a complaint received from tax authorities, they said. The sources refused to give any further details as it may affect their probe. The Enforcement Directorate has registered a fresh case of money laundering against Khan, six years after he was booked in a case by it for generation of black money. Officials said the agency has filed a fresh FIR, called the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in ED’s parlance, recently and has named “Khan and certain unknown government officials and politicians” in it. The fresh FIR by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Khan, touted to be one of the highest tax evaders of the country, is significant as sources said some “fresh evidence has been found” by investigators which includes sensitive information received from foreign shores. The new complaint against Khan comes after about six years as he was first booked by the ED in 2011 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and had been arrested too. Officials indicated that while the first ED complaint did not name any government official or politician associated with Khan (62), but ED’s probe has now thrown some light on these contacts. The role of certain I-T department officials who probed this case is also under the scanner of the agency, they said. It is expected that the agency could launch fresh action of searches and questioning in this case, which has been talked about as one of the most important black money cases of the country. The Khan case is the only one listed by name in the terms of reference of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money that was constituted by the government in 2014 on the directions of the Supreme Court. The agency, after many years, had swooped down on the premises of Khan and his relatives in Pune and Mumbai in February last year and had seized Rs 26.30 lakh cash and some “vital” computer hardware and hard drives. He was also questioned by a top level team of ED and CBI officials last year after this action. Khan was released on bail in August 2015 after he was in ED custody for many years. Khan came under the scrutiny from multiple agencies including the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police in 2007 which had been probing him and his associates for charges of money laundering, income tax evasion and violations of the Passport Act. He was slapped with an Income Tax notice demanding taxes over Rs 50,000 crore and it was claimed to be the biggest individual case of black money stashed abroad and also that of the highest tax evasion by an individual in the country. However, an order by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) last year had pegged his tax liability at about Rs 75 crore. The ED had also attached few immovable assets of Khan under PMLA as part of its probe against him, his wife Rheema and others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

"Securing of GI tag and maintaining the status from

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>infringement is not a one-day show; the role of the registered proprietor (after registration of GI application, the applicant is honoured with the term ‘registered proprietor’) is awarded with the responsibility of protecting the product as well as the producers. The non-appearance of the applicant even after providing repeated opportunities shows that the applicant is not willing to prosecute the application,” it said. “As per records of application and reply submitted by the applicant, it has come to notice that the applicant has not fulfilled the requirements for registration as per the Act in curing the fundamental deficiency. The applicant is in default in the prosecution of the instant application filed under the Act, and the said application for registration of ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’ in Geographical Indications is treated as abandoned for want of prosecution,” the order said. A geographical indication points to a specific place or region of production that determines the characteristic qualities of the product which originates from that place. It is important that the product derives its qualities and reputation from that place. An appeal, if any, relating to the proceedings may be preferred to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, Chennai within three months from the date of order, the applicant was informed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Odisha to set up Real Estate Tribunal & Regulatory Authority

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To protect people from being victim of any real estate fraud, Odisha government has decided to set up a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal and a Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Odisha’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singhdeo informed this to assembly yesterday. He said the State Cabinet has given its seal of approval to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, based on which such steps will be taken. He said the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal will be headed by a retired Judge or sitting Judge of High Court. Two experts will assist the tribunal to adjudicate the disputes. About formation of Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the Minister further informed that it will be headed by a senior administrative officer of the rank of Additional Secretary in Central Government. The chief of the regulatory authority will be selected by a three-member panel comprising of Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Law Department Secretaries. Singhdeo said steps are being taken to protect customers from being victim of any real estate fraud. As per the act, the registration for sale and purchase of properties is mandatory and violation will attract jail term and fine. The accused will have to pay fine amounting to 10 per cent of the total purchase price of the property and undergo three years jail term, the minister maintained. This apart, five per cent fine will also be taken from the broker of the property deal along with a jail term. He said the real estate developers cannot charge more than 10 per cent of the project cost from the customer before providing the sale agreement as per the new rules. A separate bank account for each project will be opened in which 70 per cent of the total project cost will be deposited in it that could only be utilised for project cost. Singhdeo also said that each company has to submit their five-year performance report religiously to the regulatory authority. “These rules have been framed for bringing in transparency and efficiency. There were complaints of people falling prey to cheats and getting harassed. These rules have been framed to put an end to fraud,” said Singhdeo. However, Real Estate Developers Association (REDA) has expressed surprise and alleged that opinion of stakeholders associated with real estate business was not taken by the government before framing of the rules. “It is surprise for us. They have framed the rules without intimating, without consulting or without taking the opinion of any of the stakeholders,” said REDA president Kantilal Patel.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chennai: Penalty of Rs 28 cr imposed on Sasikala’s nephew Dinakaran by HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court confirmed an order of FERA Appellate Board on Friday imposing a penalty of Rs 28 crore on former AIADMK MP and party General Secretary VK Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran in a case initiated by the Enforcement Directorate in 1996. First bench comprising Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by Dinakaran challenging FERA board’s May 5, 2000, order.The matter related to receipt of more than US $10 million by Dinkaran in alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act in 1994-95. Originally, a total penalty of Rs 31 crore was imposed on Dinakaran by the Enforcement Directorate Special Director (FERA), New Delhi, on February 6, 1998, for contravention of provisions of Sec 8(1), 9(1) (a) and 14 of FERA.Aggrieved by this, Dinakaran filed an appeal in the FERA Appellate Board, which in its May 5, 2000, order found him guilty on all counts in respect of all alleged transactions, but reduced the amount involved from US $1,04,93,313 to US $62,61,313 and imposed a total penalty of Rs 28 crore. Challenging this, Dinakaran filed the present petition in the high court the same year.In its order, the bench said a perusal of records showed that the appellant had been given a fair opportunity. As found by the appellate authority, the guilt of appellant was culled out only from the documentary evidence and the entire statements of the other witnesses were discarded. “Thus the plea of bias put forth by the appellant does not hold any water. Appellate authority had independently examined the issues based on the evidence on record afresh. The order of the appellate authority is hereby confirmed,” it said dismissing Dinakaran’s petition.The ED had imposed the penalty following a show cause notice issued to Dinakaran. The notice had alleged that the accused, a resident of India, being not an authorised dealer in foreign exchange, had acquired foreign exchange totalling US $1,04,93,313 during 1994-95 without the previous general or special permission of the Reserve Bank of India.The foreign exchange amount was deposited in the current account of Dipper Investments Company Ltd, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and of which Dinakaran was a director, with the Barclays Bank, Sutton, UK, violating section 8(1) and 9(1)(a) of FERA.

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