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A Delhi court today dismissed the bail plea of OP Khaitan & Co managing partner Gautam Khaitan, arrested in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper deal.
Special judge VK Gupta denied bail to Khaitan who is in judicial custody.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), while opposing the bail plea, had last Wednesday informed the court that he did not join the trial in Italy and the arrest warrants were still pending against him in an Italian court.
The ED statement came after Khaitan had moved a fresh bail plea, citing an Italian court acquitting two foreigners of graft charges.
Khaitan told the court that in a similar case, the Italian court passed a verdict exonerating two foreign nationals accused of bribery and corruption in India and in this view, the ED’s allegation that he had received kickbacks now stands “eroded”.
The investigating agency countered it and said that an Aug 5 order of the Italian court shows that Khaitan was involved in money laundering as the court there has mentioned about the illegal acts.
The Italian court Oct 9 acquitted former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and ex-AgustaWestland head Bruno Spagnolini of corruption charges in the chopper deal with India.
They were, however, sentenced to a two-year jail term on lesser charges of falsification of invoices.
Khaitan, who was on the board of the Chandigarh-based company Aeromatrix, was arrested a day after the agency conducted a search of his premises Sep 22.
The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from British firm AgustaWestland came under scrutiny after Italian authorities alleged that the company paid a bribe to clinch the deal with India, inked in February 2010.
India Jan 1 terminated the Rs.3,600 crore (about $770 million) deal with AgustaWestland for the purchase of the choppers following allegations of kickbacks having been paid to fix the deal.
India had paid around 45 percent of the total contract value for the choppers meant to ferry the president, the prime minister and other VIPs.
The ED had registered a case in this deal in July 2013 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and booked former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, foreign nationals Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke, companies like AgustaWestland, its parent company Italy-based Finmeccanica, Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix as well as two companies based in Mauritius and Tunisia, a few other firms and unidentified people in its criminal complaint.
The ED named 21 entities in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation lodged a separate case in March 2013 against Tyagi and others in connection with the kickback allegations.
16 hours ago
Amarchand Mangaldas together with Japanese firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune advised Sumitomo Corporation Japan, with Amarchand also advising SMAS Auto Leasing India on acquiring the auto leasing business of New Delhi-based Carzonrent, which was advised by Kochhar & Co. The acquisition was for Rs 200 crore, as reported by the Times of India.
Amarchand Delhi partner Puja Sondhi, principal associate Ramanuj Gopalan, senior associate Sushrut Biswal and associate Vasudha Sharma acted for Sumitomo and SMAS. Kochhar Delhi partner Niti Paul, senior associate Maureen Z Ralte and associate Rakshit Kapoor acted for Carzonrent.
SMAS, a Japanese automobile joint venture, enters the Indian market through this deal, reported Mint.
Sathasivam guide to journalism: No reason to 'prevent' media from court reporting (if journos always read judgments first)
Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam today told journalists to ensure that they report court cases after reading the judgments.
“First get the copy of the judgment... these days in the Supreme Court, it’s available on the internet after two or three hours. Then read the judgment and report. If such a thing takes place, I don’t find any reason to prevent the media from reporting court cases,” said Sathasivam, a former chief justice of India.
Delivering the convocation address at the Institute of Journalism here, he said journalism is a noble profession which not only informs the people but also enables and empowers them.
“A true journalist should be a reporter of the present and a pointer to the future. It was feared in the recent past that with the advent of electronic media and its astounding sweep, journalism would lose its impact and be relegated to the background.
“But the magic of the printed word and that of journalistic pursuit remained unaffected. In fact, both are complementary rather than contradictory, each aiding and abetting the other for mutual benefit,” he said.
Sathasivam urged journalists not to start and end as mere pen-pushers, transmitting news parrot-like to the reader.
“He has to analyse every bit of news, and report only those that will prove to be true. He should be honest to the core, but at the same time use his faculty of discretion to the full,” he added.
RamJet blasts gov't, Rohatgi for invoking treaty confidentiality to keep alleged black money stashers secret
The central government today told the Supreme Court that it could not disclose the names, received from foreign governments, of people who have allegedly stashed away their ill-gotten money to tax havens, as it was bound by the confidentiality clause under the double taxation avoidance agreement.
Its stand was made in an application seeking modification of an earlier court order asking it to disclose the names all such people it had received from German government to the petitioner Ram Jethmalani.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the application for an urgent hearing before a bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice AK Sikri.
The government has said that the names of such account holders against whom the prosecution has been launched could be disclosed as they are in public domain but in case of others, it was bound by the confidentiality clause.
The government has said that such disclosures would be counter productive for get information on black money stashed away in tax havens as foreign governments would not share such information in future.
The court had Aug 20 directed the central government to give Jethmalani details of the account holders in banks of Liechtenstein that were submitted to the court on May 1. The court’s order came as senior counsel Anil Divan told the court that government had given him the names of 18 people against whom prosecution has been launched but held back the names of eight people.
However, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, the petitioner in the plea seeking steps to bring back black money stashed away in tax havens, assailed the government position saying that it could as well be the position of people involved in taking ill-gotten money to tax havens and not that of the government.
Jethmalani Friday told the court that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
The apex court by its July 4, 2011 order had set up the SIT which was mandated to undertake the investigations into the unaccounted money stashed away outside the country in tax havens and foreign banks and take steps to bring it back.
The SIT comprises the revenue secretary, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the director of the Intelligence Bureau, the director, enforcement directorate, the director, of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the director general of the Narcotics Control Bureau, director general, Revenue Intelligence, director, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Joint Secretary, (FT & TR-I) in the CBDT The court had said that SIT would also include director, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
However, the SIT could not get operational till May 1 as the government dragged its feet on the issuing the notification. On May 1, the apex court held that there was no ambiguity in July 4, 2011 order and directed the central government to issue the necessary notification.
Initially by July 4, 2011, SIT was headed by former apex court judge Justice BP Jeevan Reddy with another former judge Justice MB Shah as second in commandA
However, Justice Jeevan Reddy withdrew from the SIT citing personal reasons. The court by its May 1 order made Justice MB Shah the chairman with another former apex court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice chairman.
Realty major DLF today moved the securities tribunal against the order passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) banning it and six of its executives from the capital markets for three years on charges of misleading investors.
A DLF spokesperson told IANS that the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) will hear its appeal against the Securities and Exchange Board of India Oct 22.
Ahead of filing the appeal, DLF had said in a statement that it had done no wrong nor had any law been violated during the initial public offer or otherwise. DLF had raised Rs.9,187 crore through the public offer in 2007.
“DLF and its board were guided by, and acted on, the advice of eminent legal advisors, merchant bankers and audit firms while formulating its Offer documents,” the statement had said.
“DLF will defend itself to the fullest extent against any adverse findings and measures contained in the order passed by SEBI DLF has full faith in the judicial process and is confident of vindication of its stand in the near future.”
Those prohibited from the markets include the chairman K P Singh, his son and vice-chair Rajiv Singh, daughter and whole-time director Pia Singh. Others barred are the managing director, TC Goyal, and senior officials Kameshwar Swarup and Ramesh Sanka.
The Supreme Court Friday granted bail to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, convicted of possessing assests disproportionate to her known sources of income.
Alongwith Jayalalithaa, her aide Sasikala Natarajan and two others have also been granted bail.
PTI tweeted: “Jaya volunteered before SC to be kept in confinement in house for 2-3 months while pressing for bail.”
Update: However, the final order by the court, which has now been published, does not specify house arrest as a condition.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said that all four will be released on bail subject to the satisfaction of the condition by the trial court.
The court made it clear that Jayalalithaa and three others will complete their appeal with all relevant documents before the high court in a matter of two months and thereafter, it will ask the high court to expedite and complete the hearing on the appeal within three months.
The court told senior counsel Fali Nariman, who appeared for Jayalalithaa after Ram Jethmalani had represented her in the Karnataka high court bail plea, that it will not grant a day more to his client if they don’t complete the paperwork of their appeal before the high court with all the documents within a span of two months.
Jayalalithaa is presently in a Bangalore jail after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case. The former chief minister was awarded four-year prison term and a fine of Rs.100 crore.
She had moved to the Supreme Court Oct 9 seeking the bail.
Jayalalithaa, along with her aide Sasikala Natrajan, VK Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi, Oct 7 were refused bail by the Karnataka high court which held that there were no grounds for granting bail.
Besides her health grounds, Jayalalithaa has invoked section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the suspension of her sentence and grant of bail till the pendency of her appeal against the trial court order.
The high court Oct 7, while declining bail to Jayalalithaa and three others, had relied on apex court orders as it ruled that putting the sentence on hold after an appeal is filed against the trial court order was not automatic. It had said that plea for bail after the conviction was different from the plea for bail while the trial was on.
It had also cited the apex court ruling that “corruption amounts to violation of human rights and leads to economic imbalances”.
In the 18 year old disproportionate assets case, the trial court in Bangalore Sep 27, convicted Jayalalithaa for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income and sentenced her to four jail term and Rs. 100 crore fine.
The case against Jayalalithaa and three others related to period from 1991 to 1996 involving Rs. 66.65 crores when she became chief minister for the first time.
4 days ago
IDIA diversity initiative scholar and NUJS Kolkata third-year student Shivam was selected to represent the law school at the 12th William C Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, after he secured the third rank in NUJS’ intra university moot selection rounds.
Having represented NUJS at the 24th Manfred Lachs Space moot last year Shivam was lauded on the IDIA’s website as “one of the most promising IDIA Scholars”.
IDIA has requested for sponsorship for him since the expenses for his participation at the moot, which is scheduled for 15 March, will run up to an estimated Rs 1,50,000.
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AZB & Partners advised dialysis service provider DaVita Healthcare Partners in buying 49 per cent stake in Express Clinics which was advised by Economic Laws Practice (ELP).
AZB Mumbai partner Alka Nalavadi and senior associates Percis Anklesaria, Vijay Manjrekar and Arvind Ramesh acted for Davita.
ELP Mumbai partner Sujjain Talwar, associate partner Vinayak Burman, senior associate Archana Khosla and associate Amoolya Narayan acted for Express and its existing shareholders Somerset and Lotus Management.
DaVita had entered the Indian subcontinent in 2011, acquiring a strategic stake in NEA backed NephroLife Care according to Deal Curry.
Senior counsel P Chidambaram, former Congress finance minister, has picked up his law practice again four months after his party’s electoral defeat, representing Reliance Infra in a Supreme Court dispute with GVK and Larsen & Toubro over hydropower projects, reported the Financial Express.
5 days ago
15 October 2014
The Delhi University (DU) has submitted a proposal to the Delhi high court for construction of a single campus for the three law schools under its umbrella that are currently operating from separate buildings, reported The Hindu and others.
The new building, 75 per cent of which is allegedly ready, will house DU’s three law centres — Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-I and Law Centre-II — adjacent to the faculty of law on the North Campus, next academic session onward.
When a seven-member Bar Council of India (BCI) team visited the law centres for inspection on Tuesday, the Delhi University Students’ Union presented it with a memorandum demanding better infrastructure.
The BCI inspection was pursuant to the university’s application for re-affiliation filed with the BCI after the regulator ordered the rejection of advocate enrolment applications of recent graduates of the university.
The BCI had similarly cracked down on Osmania University and forbade its graduates from enrolling as advocates after the university protested the Rs 1.5 lakh inspection fee demanded by the regulator.
15 October 2014
14 October 2014
The Supreme Court will Friday hear the bail plea of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, who is at present in a Bangalore jail after her conviction in a corruption case.
The former Tamil Nadu chief minister was sentenced to four years in prison and a Rs.100 crore fine.
A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said the matter would be heard Friday as senior counsel Fali Nariman mentioned her matter for listing and an early hearing.
Jayalalithaa moved the apex court Oct 9 after the Karnataka high court Oct 7 turned down her bail plea, as well as of other convicts Sasikala Natrajan, VK Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi. The court held that there were no grounds for granting them bail.
Besides health grounds, Jayalalithaa invoked Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the suspension of her sentence and grant of bail till the pendency of her appeal against the trial court order convicting and sentencing her in the case.
The high court had relied on apex court orders as it ruled that putting the sentence on hold after an appeal is filed against the trial court order was not automatic. It said the plea for bail after the conviction was different from the plea for bail while the trial was on.
It also cited the apex court ruling that “corruption amounts to violation of human rights and leads to economic imbalances”.
A trial court in Bangalore Sep 27 convicted Jayalalithaa in the 18-year-old case for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.
The case related to period from 1991 to 1996 involving Rs.66.65 crore when she became chief minister for the first time.
13 October 2014
J Sagar Associates advised Bay Capital Investment Managers and the promoters of Sterling Holiday Resorts India on selling Sterling for Rs 870 crore to the Prem Watsa-backed Thomas Cook India, which was advised by AZB & Partners.
JSA Mumbai partners Sandeep Mehta and Rajesh Pal and senior associate Malav Shah acted for Bay Capital and Sterling’s promoters. AZB partner Ashwin Ramanathan, senior associate Bhavi Sanghvi and associate Rinki Ganguli acted for Thomas Cook.
This is Thomas Cook India's second purchase after Ikya Human Solutions in February 2013 and marks its foray into the hospitality sector, reported the TOI.
13 October 2014
- Bombay HC fines Rs 40 lakh exemplary penal costs on 'sponsored', meritless litigants against developer, but grants stay anyway
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