Probe Agency Order In Tech Mahindra Money Laundering Case, Set Aside

Probe Agency Order In Tech Mahindra Money Laundering Case, Set Aside

The agency provisionally attached the amount alleging that it was ill-gotten proceeds of Satyam Computers

Hyderabad: 

The Hyderabad High Court today set aside an Enforcement Directorate order provisionally attaching Rs. 822 crore worth of fixed deposits belonging to Satyam Computer Services Ltd, which was acquired by Tech Mahindra.

In 2012, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued provisional attachment orders freezing fixed deposits of Satyam (now merged into Tech Mahindra) in connection with its probe in the money laundering case.

The agency provisionally attached the amount alleging that it was ill-gotten proceeds of Satyam Computers.

A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and J Uma Devi today set aside the ED’s orders.

Vivek Reddy, counsel for Tech Mahindra, told PTI they argued that there was no money when the Tech Mahindra took over the fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services Ltd (SCCL) in 2009 and on the other hand, the Mahindra group company had to infuse money to revive the B Ramalinga Raju-founded company.

“Our argument was that there was no proceeds of money when Tech Mahindra (TechM) took over the company (SCSL). There was no money in the company then and they (TechM) had to infuse money into the company.

“So where is the question of any ill-gotten money when the company had negative balance?” he said.

P V P Suresh Kumar, representing the ED, said the agency might approach the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s order.

“One of the strongest grounds (for an appeal in the top court) was that the CBI special court had earlier convicted Ramalinga Raju and brothers.”

“In view of that conviction, it clearly shows that there was a contravention of the Money Laundering Act and IPC provisions. In such a situation, the attachment order passed by the Enforcement Directorate was valid and correct, according to the contravention,” Mr Kumar said.

“The ED will approach the Supreme Court after going through the order copy,” he said.

Earlier, a single bench judge had stayed all further proceedings pursuant to the ED’s attachment order.

Challenging the single judge order, the probe agency had filed a writ appeal before a division bench.

The bench had in 2014 issued orders dismissing the ED’s appeal, saying the act of the agency was contrary to rules.

Tech Mahindra argued that it was a victim of fraud and no proceedings could go under the provisions of the PMLA against “victims of fraud”.

The ED had attached the accounts of SCCL as its probe claimed to have found that B Ramalinga Raju and his associates “wrongfully” offloaded inflated shares of the company by way of sale or pledging of shares.

[“source-ndtv”]

Higher education in India gets a Rs 8,000 crore boost

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

New Delhi: To increase investment in higher educational institutions, the Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by expanding its capital base to Rs 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs 1 trillion by 2022.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government wants to increase investments in higher education, for which an announcement was made in the last budget and HEFA was established.

“At that time its authorised capital was Rs 2,000 crore and now it has been increased to Rs 10,000 crore,” Prasad said, adding that earlier central government universities and other new varsities didn’t get advantage of HEFA but in today’s cabinet meeting, it was decided that they can utilise this fund.

In his Union Budget 2018, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced a new initiative of the government—‘‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)”—to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. HEFA, a joint venture company of Canara Bank and Ministry of Human Resource Development which provides financial assistance for creation of educational infrastructure and R&D in India’s premier higher educational Institutions, was tasked to fund this initiative.

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion against estimated expenditure of Rs 1.22 trillion in 2017-18.

[“Source-livemint”]

 

Keep Away From Benami Transactions, Warns Income Tax Department

Keep Away From Benami Transactions, Warns Income Tax Department

The taxman is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday warned people to “keep away” from benami transactions, cautioning that violations under the newly enacted law invites criminal prosecution and rigorous imprisonment up to seven years. The department put out its alert in a public advertisement published in leading national dailies.

Titled “Keep Away from Benami Transactions”, it described black money as a “crime against humanity” and urged “conscientious citizens to help the government in eradicating it”.

“Benamidar (in whose name benami proper is standing), beneficiary (who actually paid consideration) and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable and may face rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 25 per cent of fair market value of benami property,” the I-T advertisement said.

The tax department attached benami assets worth Rs. 1,833 crore across the country, issued 517 notices and made 541 attachments, from November 1, 2016 to October 2017.

The department started initiating action under the new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 from November 1, 2016.

The advertisement added that “persons who furnish false information to authorities under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 2016, are prosecutable and may be imprisoned up to 5 years besides being liable to pay fine up to 10 per cent of fair market value of benami property”.

It added that benami property “may be attached and confiscated by the government” and that this action will be in in addition to prosecution under the Income Tax Act of 1961 for tax evasion charges.

The Income Tax Department is the nodal department to enforce the Benami Act in the country.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Mark Walhberg Was Paid 1,500 Times More Than Michelle Williams To Reshoot Film

Williams earned $1,000 in total, much less than the $1.5 million that Wahlberg earned.

Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes 2018 (Image Credit: AFP)

Hollywood is voicing its outrage over reports that Mark Wahlberg was paid 1,500 times more than Michelle Williams to reshoot scenes for kidnap drama “All the Money in the World.”

Ridley Scott partially re-shot his latest movie after Kevin Spacey was fired due to sexual misconduct allegations, with both Wahlberg and Williams called back to act opposite Spacey’s replacement, Christopher Plummer.

But Williams, according to USA Today, earned a daily allowance of $80 for her work — amounting to under $1,000 in total and less than 0.07 percent of the $1.5 million that Wahlberg earned.

“Please go see Michelle’s performance in ‘All the Money in the World.’ She’s a brilliant Oscar-nominated Golden Globe-winning actress,” raged an indignant Jessica Chastain on Twitter.

“She has been in the industry for 20 years. She deserves more than one percent of her male co-star’s salary.”

Actress and activist Amber Tamblyn described the reported pay gap as “totally unacceptable” while veteran producer Judd Apatow said it was “so messed up that it is almost hard to believe.”

Golden Globe-winning actress Mia Farrow said the disparity was “outrageously unfair,” adding that she was “never, ever paid even a quarter of what the male lead received.”

Williams previously told USA Today she appreciated efforts to reshoot the film, which recounts the kidnapping of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty’s grandson, adding that “they could have my salary.”

Scott said the actors, including Williams and Wahlberg, turned up “for nothing” for the 10-day November re-shoot but USA Today reported that Wahlberg’s agency later renegotiated his “hefty fee.”

At Sunday’s Golden Globes — where “All the Money in the World” came home empty-handed despite three nominations — male and female actors wore black to highlight sexual misconduct and also to promote gender parity.

The protest was organized in part by the newly-launched Time’s Up campaign led by female stars including Williams to address gender discrimination in Hollywood and other industries.

As her date, Williams brought civil rights activist Tarana Burke, the creator in 2006 of the “Me Too” movement to raise awareness of the ubiquity of sexual abuse. The phrase was co-opted by actress Alyssa Milano last year for the #MeToo social media campaign against sexual misconduct in Hollywood.

Representatives for Wahlberg and Williams did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

[“Source-ndtv”]