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Sahara SEBI Issue – Statement from Keshav Mohan, Advocate

We are disappointed with the judgment that has been delivered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court earlier today. We are still in the process of reading and understanding the judgment. The voluminous evidence that we have already submitted to substantiate our stance may have possibly been misunderstood.We maintain that we have already refunded to 93% of our investors. Most of the payments made were in cash, as per the RBI norms and in accordance

with SEBI and SAT orders. In addition to ledger entries, we had also submitted original vouchers, receipts and other concerned documents in original being physical proof of the payments and are with SEBI pending verification.

We expect to return to the Hon’ble Court in the near future with further evidence of our compliance of the Hon’ble Court’s previous orders, and to satisfy the Hon’ble Court of our earnest intentions moving forward.

The Hon’ble Court has indicated that it expects us to make a new proposal. Since the beginning, we have been trying hard to present the best practical proposal. We have always maintained that this will be actually a double payment which we are asked to make hence a serious relook into the business and financial status is required each time. In light of today’s direction, we will try our best to derive a fresh proposal to the best of our capacity and  hoping to satisfy the Hon’ble Court. For this, we would also apply to the Hon’ble Court that our properties and bank accounts be defreezed so that we are in a position to come up to the expectations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

We take this opportunity to reiterate our deep and abiding respect for the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and our commitment to follow the order in letter and spirit.

Keshav Mohan
Advocate

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week

Australian officials supervising the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said on Saturday that an underwater search for the black box recorder based on “pings” possibly from the device could be completed in five to seven days.

Operators aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean, as the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in this handout picture taken April 14, 2014.
Operators aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy’s Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean, as the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in this handout picture taken April 14, 2014.

A U.S. Navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.

After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10 km (6.2 miles) around the location in which one of four pings believed to have come from the black box recorders was detected on April 8, officials said.

“Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email.

Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.

The comment came in response to a request for clarification from the agency, after it said in a statement on Thursday that previous media reports suggesting the underwater search could take as long as several months were inaccurate.

Search planes and ships from a half dozen countries have tried in vain to catch any glimpse of the wreckage after nearly two months of daily sorties, making this the most expensive such operation in aviation history.

DRONE GOES DEEPER THAN EVER BEFORE

After almost two weeks without a signal, and long past the black box battery’s 30-day life expectancy, authorities are increasingly reliant on the $4 million U.S. Bluefin-21 drone, which on Saturday was expected to dive to unprecedented depths.

Because visual searches of the ocean surface have yielded no concrete evidence, the drone and its ability to search deep beneath the ocean surface with “side scan” sonar has become the focal point of the search 2,000 km (1,200 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth.

The search has thus far centred on a city-sized area where a series of “pings” led authorities to believe the plane’s black box may be located. The current refined search area is based on one such transmission.

After the drone’s searches were frustrated by an automatic safety mechanism which returns it to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 4.5 km (14,763 feet), authorities have adjusted the mechanism and have sent it as deep as 4,695 metres (15,403 feet), a record.

But hopes that it might soon guide searchers to wreckage are dwindling with no sign of the plane after six deployments spanning 133 square kilometres (83 square miles). Footage from the drone’s sixth mission was still being analysed, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said on Saturday.

Malaysian acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said in a Twitter post that the government’s Deployment of Assets Committee was considering using more autonomous underwater vehicles, a possible sign of growing confidence in the vessels. He did not elaborate.

On Monday, the search coordinator, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the air and surface search for debris would likely end by midweek as the operation shifted its focus to the ocean floor.

But the air and surface searches have continued daily, and on Saturday the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships would help with the day’s search covering about 50,200 square kilometres (31,000 square miles) across three areas.

Mayawati asks Dalits, Muslims to vote unitedly for BSP

Addressing a largely-attended election meeting here, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said no change has come in economic condition of Dalits and minorities during the over 50-year rule of Congress and six years of BJP at the Centre.

It was only the BSP that could address the grievances of the Dalits, the poor and the minorities, she said and urged the people to vote for her party.

Attacking BJP, she said it was the party of capitalists and “dhanna seths with whose money the elections were being fought”.

“If the party wins it will work for those who paid for their election expenses,” she said.

Coming down heavily on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, she said he had now started talking about his Dalit root, but had not so far specified which caste among the Dalits he hailed from.

Slamming Modi over the 2002 riots, she said the country would be plunged into communal riots and would be destroyed if Modi even by mistake becomes the prime minister.

She said there was neither communal amity nor law and order in Uttar Pradesh and held the SP government responsible for the Muzaffarnagar riots, in which “both Muslims and Hindus had suffered”.

Listing out the “works” done by the government when she was in power four times in the state, Mayawati said good work for “sarva samaj”, especially the Dalits, minorities and the poor of the upper castes, would be extended to the whole country, if BSP got the reins of government at the Centre.

She said as many as 17 Muslims had been given BSP tickets for the Lok Sabha polls, and claimed in Firozabad she had to change the nominee after the SP “government wrongly put the party’s Muslim candidate in jail and harassed another Muslim hopeful” forcing her to give the ticket to a kshatriya.

Taking a dig at RLD candidate Amar Singh, she said he was bringing “dancers and singers” from Mumbai to woo the crowds, and added while these artistes could provide entertainment, they could not get votes for Singh.

Mayawati said, “He destroys whichever party he goes to. Even Ajit Singh (RLD chief) himself will not be able to win with Amar Singh around him,” she said.

Mayawati ended her speech with a fervent appeal to her supporters to send enough members to the Lok Sabha so that a “Daughter of the Dalit class can become the Prime Minister”.

Beximco to bring DTH Services to the Common Households of Bangladesh

Beximco, a corporate venture which has revived the industrial sector in a country like Bangladesh, which is still categorized as a developing country, has yet again undertaken a new venture. The giant business venture has been granted the license to launch DTH services in the country, essentially to make a foray into providing an experience of high-definition TV viewing for its citizens. Beximco Group is the largest business venture in Bangladesh, spearheaded by the iconic Salman F Rahman. The company, with the backing of Rahman’s expertise evolved to become the country’s largest private conglomerate from a mere trading company.

The company stands on the pillar of its mission to “taking Bangladesh to the world”. Abiding by its mission, the company has multiplied in terms of its venture in textiles, marine food, pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology, ceramics, financial services and more. The company’s products are a brand in the country and meet international standards in terms of their quality. It houses more than 48,000 employees with recorded total revenue of around $ 834 million in the year 2010.

The company reached yet another milestone by signing the shareholder agreement with the General Satellite to launch the country’s first ever DTH operator. The agreement for the joint venture between the two companies licensed for providing DTH services in the country was signed by the Director of Foreign Broadcasting Projects Department, S.L. Dolgopolsky. The motive of this multi-million corporate company behind this joint venture is to enable its countrymen experience the splendor of high quality and high-definition TV viewing. The new quality TV viewing will match the quality picture displayed by the range of digital technologies like TATA Sky, who have already made it big in other Asian countries.

Besides class-TV viewing, Beximco is driven by its philanthropic mission to enable access to TV in the regions with considerably minimal reach of cable TV and terrestrial TV. This is another leap that the company has made to stride its countrymen towards the path of growth and success. This achievement has been prominently acknowledged by both the common natives as well as the government authority of the country. With this service, the general public have easy access to popular channels aired across the world and stay in touch with the world’s most happening and breaking news. The service will contribute significantly to improve people’s quality of life through entertainment and infotainment. The quality of the picture and multiple features to be offered in this service will make TV viewing experience delightful for the natives of the country.

Researchers develop new optical device, could help build faster computers

Here comes an optical device that may lead to new and more powerful computers that run faster and cooler. Researchers at Washington University in St Louis have developed an essential component of new computers that would run on light.

“We believe that our discovery would benefit many other fields involving electronics, acoustics, plasmonics and meta-materials,” said Lan Yang, an associate professor of electrical and systems engineering at Washington University.

The team created an optical diode by coupling tiny doughnut-shaped optical resonators – one with gain and the other with loss – on a silicon chip.

This diode is capable of completely eliminating light transmission in one direction and greatly enhancing light transmission in the other nonreciprocal light transmission, explained lead author Bo Peng from Yang’s team.

“Coupling of so-called loss and gain devices using PT (parity-time)-symmetry could enable such advances as cloaking devices, stronger lasers that need less input power, and perhaps detectors that could ‘see’ a single atom,” Yang added.

To make the optical diode, the researchers used two micro-resonators positioned so that light can flow from one to the other.  One device is the “lossy” silica resonator. The other incorporates the chemical element erbium into the silica structure for gain.

When the rate of gain in one resonator exactly equals that of loss in the other, the “phase transition” occurs at a critical coupling distance between the resonators.

Simply put, when a “lossy” system is coupled with a “gain” system such that loss of energy exactly equals gain at an equilibrium point, a “phase transition” occurs.

“Our resonators are small enough to use in computers and future optical information processors,” Peng noted.

According to Yang, we built our optical diodes from silica which has very little material loss at the telecommunication wavelength. The concept can be extended to resonators made from other materials for better performances.

The PT symmetry concept can be extended to electronics, acoustics and other fields to create one-way channels, and photonic devices with advanced functionalities, said the paper, published in the journal Nature Physics.

SEBI trying to ‘siphon off’ investor refund: Sahara

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has claimed that it has spent close to Rs 60 cr in 2013-14 on locating genuine investors of SIRECL and SHICL.

Sahara India has alleged that market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is trying to “siphon off money from the funds” deposited by the group for refunding the investors of Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL). SEBI has claimed that it has spent close to Rs 60 cr in 2013-14 on locating genuine investors of Sahara group companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL).

“We have spent a huge chunk of our money on this and we are running out of money now. We had requested the Supreme Court to allow us to use the funds deposited by Sahara India so as we can meet the expenses incurred on this task,” said a senior official from SEBI requesting anonymity.

The official explained that SEBI has spent a large amount on not just locating the investors but also on the storage of the documents submitted by Sahara. In an email response to The Sunday Guardian, Sahara India’s counsel, Keshav Mohan, stated, “We suspect that this is a highly malicious campaign initiated by SEBI with a very clear intention to siphon off money from the funds that Saharas have deposited with SEBI, purely for the repayment to its investors. It is really unfortunate and unbecoming of a regulator, the way SEBI is blowing hot and cold, both at a time.”

He further pointed out that on Thursday, the counsel for SEBI had argued in the Supreme Court that SIRECL and SHICL issues were public issues, while now SEBI has made a plea that Sahara’s investors are untraceable. “We ask SEBI to disclose the basis of their contention, else withdraw their statement. The fact is that, when SEBI sent letters to about 20,000 account numbers and did not receive any responses for them, we immediately got affidavits from a large number of such investors and submitted to SEBI the affidavits, authentic Know Your Customer (KYC) documents and photographs of almost all those investors, who the regulator had tried to contact. Those who were already paid, confirmed that they had received redemption of their investments to their full satisfaction,” Mohan noted.

In a strong rebuttal to SEBI’s allegations, Mohan further added that the market regulator has not been following directions and has not refunded even Rs 1 cr to the investors, in the last 15 months. “It is not known, why SEBI is not following this direction, and why it is only interested in extracting money from Sahara…SEBI’s intentions are unfair and acutely malafide.”

Mohan also pointed out to the fact that on 4 March, SEBI told the court that it had completed the scanning and digitisation of the 3.03 crore investors’ documents provided by Sahara. Therefore the verification process has still not started.

Mohan also recounted that the Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narayan Meena in a reply to a question in Parliament had said that the money given by Sahara is for refund to the investors only and the money would not be utilised for any other purpose. “The money received by SEBI will only be used for the repayment of the investors and till now SEBI has only refunded only Rs 1 cr. This is a sinister attempt by SEBI to eat away investors’ money. Till now, in Saharas’ case SEBI has not shown any intention to protect the interest of investors, for which it has been constituted… we will not let SEBI make this another Golden Forest Case where investors have still not got their hard earned money and will stand and fight till the end in the interest of our investors.”