Daily Archive: February 22, 2018

Crisis-Hit Maldives Accuses India Of ‘Distorting Facts” About Emergency

NEW DELHI : In a scathing rebuttal, the Maldives Government said India’s description of the 30-day extension of Emergency as "unconstitutional", was "a clear distortion of facts" and accused New Delhi of ignoring "facts and ground realities" in the tiny island nation.

The strongly-worded statement issued by Maldives Foreign Ministry said there was no doubt the country was "experiencing one of the most difficult periods" in its history. It asked friends and partners including India to "refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country".

This is the first time that crisis-hit Maldives has directly responded to the Indian government’s statement on the imposition of Emergency.

"The Government of Maldives takes note of the public statements issued by the Government of India that ignore the facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives," the statement said.

New Delhi, which had earlier called the imposition of emergency by the Abdulla Yameen government a "disturbing" development, had yesterday held his government’s decision to extend Emergency to be "in contravention" with its Constitution.

Today, New Delhi reiterated the point, declaring that India "did not see any valid reason" for the Maldives government to extend emergency.

"We… would continue to urge the government of Maldives to release political prisoners, release the Chief Justice, implement the Supreme Court and restore the normal functioning of the institutions of democracy," Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of India’s Foreign Ministry said.

Rotomac Owner Vikram Kothari, Son Arrested Over Rs. 3,700-Crore Loan Default

New Delhi : Industrialist Vikram Kothari, the promoter of Rotomac Pens, and his son Rahul Kothari, were arrested today in Rs 3,700-crore loan default case.

The Kotharis allegedly owes Rs. 3,695 crore to Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Union Bank of India.

Investigators had raided the billionaire’s home and establishments in Kanpur on Thursday. Mr Kothari and his son were questioned all day on Wednesday.

Vikram Kothari has denied any wrongdoing. "Yes, I took a loan from the bank but it’s wrong information that I haven’t paid," he had said.

The CBI has filed a case based on a complaint by Bank of Baroda, one of the banks from which Vikram Kothari had taken loans.

The Rotomac case coincides with the CBI’s investigation into the massive PNB scam in which bank officials helped Nirav Modi and others get credit from overseas banks using fake guarantees. Nirav Modi and his family left the country in the first week of January.

Allahabad HC refuses plea against UP CM in 2007 riot case

Lucknow, Feb 22, In a big relief to Yogi Adityanath, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday refused to admit a plea for a CBI probe to prosecute the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in a 2007 riot case that had left one person dead.

Adityanath, along with the then Gorakhpur Mayor Anju Chowdhary and legislator Radha Mohan Agarwal, was accused of inciting a mob to riot in the over a decade old case.

A bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice A.C. Sharma hearing the petition filed by Parvez Parwaz ruled that no case would be reopened against them.

The bench had reserved its decision on the petition on December 18, 2017, and pronounced it on Thursday.

Railways mulls vacuum toilets in trains

New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Vacuum toilets seen on aircraft may soon be a reality on Indian trains if a trial-run of such toilets, to be installed in 500 coaches, is successful, a top Railways official said.

Speaking at the launch of an application for railway vendors here, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today conceded that vacuum toilets could be an alternative to bio-toilets, which he said had issues of bad odour and clogging.

“After Lohaniji (Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani) came to Railways, he took a decision on vacuum toilets. Some problems of clogging and bad smell had arisen in bio-toilets. While the engineering department has addressed some of the problems, changes have been initiated,” Goyal said.

Lohani added that the Railways would soon start installing such toilets in 500 coaches on a trial basis where “air draft” would be induced into the toilets to prevent bad odour from emanating.

“One way to address the odour problem is to normally induce air draft into the bio-toilets, this will lead to proper suction. We have ordered these for 500 coaches and then we will access the result, then if needed, we will order more,” said Lohani.

A bio-vacuum toilet has a suction pump that reduces the requirement of water. Most vacuum systems flush with just half a gallon (2 litres) of fluid or less compared to bio-toilets, which require up to 15 litres per flush.

We share the concern of home buyers: SC to Amrapali

New Delhi, Feb 22  The Supreme Court today told the embattled Amrapali Group that it shared the concerns of home buyers and the real estate firm should consider their “plight” and abide by the proposal to complete the housing projects and hand them possession in accordance with the time frame.

A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy permitted the group to “immediately start” the work as proposed by the firm in the residential towers of its Leisure Park housing project in Greater Noida West in Uttar Pradesh and said the group should be “true” to the assurances given in the court as well as to the home buyers.

The top court asked the builder to furnish an undertaking by March 7 regarding the proposals given by it to the court.

“The concern of home buyers is also shared by the court at this stage. There is evident financial crunch. 13 developers are willing to help you. To this extent, we are okay. Look at the plight of the home buyers. They are waiting for 8-9 years. They have invested their money. They are waiting. Whatever proposal you are bringing, they (home buyers) must be satisfied,” the bench told senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, who was representing Amrapali.

At the outset, Kumar gave details of the ongoing housing projects, stages of work and the likely time to complete construction. He referred to the works related to 19 towers of Leisure Park project while giving information like number of floors, saleable area, proposed likely time to complete the finishing work, balance amount payable by the home buyers and expenditure to be incurred by the group.

The bench noted that as per details given by the group, the likely time to complete the work and deliver possession of flats ranged from three to 15 months.

The group told the court that Rs 87.28 crore would be required to complete the finishing works in these towers.

On being asked by the court about the guarantee that the arrangements as proposed would be implemented, Kumar said 12 developers, in addition to Galaxy Group, were willing to collaborate for the purpose and assurance by these builders were testified by their individual letters which were annexed in the record.

The counsel representing the home buyers expressed some reservations on the arrangements proposed by the group and said these 13 builders should be asked to give undertakings in this regard.

When Kumar said that “adequate undertaking” would be given by Amrapali Group and its promoters, the bench permitted the group to immediately start the works in the residential towers as it has proposed.

“On the basis of arrangements as proposed and in order to examine the bonafide of the proposal and progress of works that would be made, list this matter after a month,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on March 27.

The bench asked the group to give an undertaking by March 7 and said that issues with regard to other unfinished projects of the group would be taken up for consideration on March 15.

During the hearing, Kumar gave details of the towers in Leisure Park project and said Tower One having 90 units was of a total value of Rs 20.30 crore, out of which the group has received Rs 17.67 crore and Rs 2.63 crore remained as balance.

He said that Rs 4.93 crore was required for the remaining construction work and the group would try to complete the work and hand over possession of flats to the buyers as soon as possible and there were total of 1,665 flats there.

When the bench asked how would the group generate Rs 4.93 crore, Kumar said other builders were willing to associate with them for this purpose including finance.

During the hearing, the bench observed, “there is apparent and visible financial crunch. The question is how will you generate the amount?”.

“This Rs 4.93 crore figure should not escalate. We must be sure, if we accept your proposal, that the work will be done within the time given by you,” it said and raised queries regarding source of fund and timely execution of work by third parties.

Kumar said the builders have shown willingness to associate with the group and once the towers are completed, the firm would get the money which would be used to complete other towers.

When the home buyers said the flats which would be handed over to them as per the proposal should be “habitable”, the bench said, “we will ensure it”.

The home buyers also raised the issue of Amrapali Silicon city project but the bench said it would deal with it later. The Group said in Silicon city project, there were total of 3,335 flats and works would be completed there.

The bench also told the home buyers that the court would enforce the undertaking which would be furnished by the group.

The company, which is facing insolvency proceedings initiated by the creditor bank for not repaying the loan, had earlier told the top court in an affidavit that it was not in a position to complete the projects and hand over possession of flats to over 42,000 home-buyers in a time-bound manner. It had said the properties were needed to be developed with the help of co-developers.

Source: PTI

Gaku Nakanishi appointed as CEO of Honda Cars India

New Delhi: Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co on Thursday announced appointment of Gaku Nakanishi as the president & CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd.

Nakanishi, who will take over from incumbent Yoichiro Ueno, will assume the role from 1 April, consequent to the management changes announced annually by Honda Motor Co. Ltd, the company said in a statement.

Ueno will move to New Business Strategy Division, Business Development Supervisory Unit in Honda Motor Co. Ltd for accelerating formulation of new business strategy and pursuit of open innovation in the area of future mobility, it added.

During his tenure in India, Ueno was instrumental in fortifying the premium brand positioning of Honda and spearheaded introduction of several premium models in India including BR-V, Accord Hybrid, New City and WR-V, the company said.

NDMC withdraws in HC sealing notice on Le Meridien

New Delhi, Feb 22 The New Delhi Municipal Corporation today told the Delhi High Court that it has withdrawn its yesterday’s notice sealing certain portions of luxury hotel Le Meridien, which was part of alleged illegal construction.

The court noted that the hotel will seek some documents and inspection reports of the premises from the NDMC. On receiving these documents, the hotel authorities would reply to the NDMC’s January 19 show cause notice which had said that the construction carried out in the commercial block of the hotel was unauthorised” and without the prior approval of civic body.

Thereafter, the corporation could take action as per law, the court noted.

The matter had reached the high court after the hotel approached it against the corporation’s move to seal certain portions, including restaurant, banquet halls, gymnasium and other common areas. In a late development last night, the court directed it to de-seal the area as an interim relief.

During the day, Justice Rekha Palli was informed by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain that the NDMC’s February 21 sealing order be treated as withdrawn as it was passed without giving relevant documents, including inspection reports, to the hotel authorities.

Jain, however, opposed the hotel’s plea challenging the sealing action of the corporation and said the petition was not maintainable.

Source: PTI