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Mumbai, 27th January, 2017: Justice Chinnasamy Swaminathan Karnan of Culcutta High Court and formerly of Madras High Court, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take action against "high corruption at the judiciary". In his letter dated 23rdJanuary, 2017, Justice CS Karnan furnished the prime minister with "an initial list of corrupt judges", and in addition, three other officers of Madras High Court, who he implied had detailed knowledge and proof of the corrupt acts of the 20 judges. Justice Karnan asked for all these persons to be "interrogated by the officers of the Central Agencies" – probably referring to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Justice CS Karnan's recent writings and actions have confronted India with huge questions and challenges, namely:
a) Is Justice CS Karnan a judge a nutcase – a man with impaired mental functioning? If so, what constitutional safeguards does the nation have to remove him, to prevent him from damaging the reputation and function of the higher judiciary?
b) Alternatively, is Justice CS Karnan a whistleblower revealing rampant corruption in Madras High Court and Supreme Court? If so, what constitutional mechanisms does India have to conduct proper investigation of his allegations?
Read Justice CS Karnan's letter to the Prime Minister below:
The judges named in this letter are mostly Justice Karnan's former colleagues, namely:
  1. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice of Madras High Court and earlier, Punjab and Haryana High Court
  2. Justice S Manikumar of Madras High Court
  3. Justice V Ramasubramanian of Madras High Court
  4. Justice (Retd) Chitra Venkataraman of Madras High Court
  5. Justice (Retd) RS Ramanathan of Madras High Court\
  6. Justice RK Agrawal of Supreme Court
  7. Justice TS Thakur, who recently retired as Chief Justice of India
  8. Justice MY Eqbal (Retd), former Chief Justice of Madras High Court and Supreme Court judge
  9. Justice (Retd) FM Ibrahim Kalifulla of Supreme Court
  10. Justice (Retd) Satish Agnihotri of Madras High Court
  11. Justice (Retd) Elipe Dharma Rao of Madras High Court
  12. Justice (Retd) KN Basha of Madras High Court
  13. Justice (Retd) G M Akbar Ali of Madras High Court
  14. Justice (Retd) Aruna Jagadeesan of Madras High Court
  15. Justice V Dhanapalan of Madras High Court, with whom CS Karnan had a public quarrel.
  16. Justice MM Sundresh of Madras High Court
  17. Justice N Kirubakaran of Madras High Court
  18. Justice S Nagamuthu of Madras High Court
  19. Justice T Raja of Madras High Court
  20. Justice M Sathyanarayan of Madras High Court
So, in the light of this letter, let us consider whether Karnan is a raving nutcase that the judiciary is unable to rid itself of. Is justice Karnan a living proof of the fact that there is almost no way of getting rid of a bad or incompetent judge?
Or is Karnan a whistleblower exposing the corruption of Indian judiciary, and deserving of the respect and gratitude of all Indian citizens? And therefore, is he a living proof of the fact that even a High Court judge cannot bring corrupt judges to justice?
The jury is still out on that one.
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com
Posted in Public Interest by
Sulaiman Bhimani 
9323642081
sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com

BUJ condemns HT Media's decision to shut down 6 editions

The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) strongly condemns the illegal decision of HT Media Ltd to shut down six editions of Hindustan Times (HT) at Bhopal, Indore, Ranchi, Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi with effect from 09 January 2017.

The closing down of six editions at one go is an unprecedented event in the history of Indian print media and has clearly been done to circumvent the implementation of the Majithia Wage Board Award which was upheld by the Supreme Court by its judgment dated 07 February 2014.

Apart from closing down six editions, HT Media Ltd is also illegally "pruning" staff in various departments as well as in The Mint, a sister publication from the Group and has shut down the business bureaus in Mumbai and Delhi, besides the bureau in Kolkata. Hundreds of journalists are likely to lose their jobs as a consequence of these malicious and illegal decisions.

HT Media Ltd, a BSE listed entity, with a yearly turnover of over Rs 2000 crore has not implemented the Award in any of its units and has forced employees to submit undertakings under Clause 20(j) of the Award to renounce the benefits under it.

The Company has also failed to implement Clause 9(b) of the Award which entitles even those working on contract basis to receive Variable Pay at the rate of 30 per cent of basic scale.

Section 16-A of The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 (45 of 1955) expressly prohibits a newspaper establishment from dismissing, discharging or retrenching any newspaper employee by reason of its liability for payment of wages under the Award.

Further, the Hon'ble Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of Contempt petitions filed against various newspaper establish managements and was all set to hear arguments on several legal issues including an interpretation of Clause 20 (j) of the Award.

It is astonishing that a hugely profitable company like HT Media Ltd (whose third quarter of Calendar 2016 earnings stood at Rs 602.23 crore) has chosen to illegally close down six editions of Hindustan Times and sack several other journalists working in various bureaus rather than implement the Majithia Wage Board Award.

Furthermore, the Company's official website has projected a total revenue of Rs 662.40 crore, in Q1FY2017, which constitutes an increase of 7.5 per cent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. It also maintains a strong balance sheet position with a net cash of Rs 823.40 crore.

The BUJ demands that the management of HT Media Ltd should immediately revoke its decisions to shut down six editions and sack journalists in various bureaus, failing which it will draw the attention of the Honorable Supreme Court to these developments in the hearing slated for 10 January 2017.

BRIHANMUMBAI UNION OF JOURNALISTS

23-24-25, Prospect Chambers Annexe, D.N.Road, MUMBAI - 400 001

Phone: 022-22816671

Friday, 9 December 2016

Delayed Ekta Parksville: Builder offers full refund plus 9% interest

Mumbai, 9th December 2016: Vineet Malik, a flat-buyer in Ekta Parksville aggrieved by the interminable delay in project completion and occupation certificate, received a pleasant surprise a couple of days ago. Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt Ltd sent him a letter that agreed to cancel the deal and refund the entire amount paid by him – Rs 25.24 lakhs – and additionally, interest of 9%. The total amount that Ekta World offered to pay is Rs 34.57 lakhs.
This letter was received in the wake of patient exchange of correspondence and meetings by Vineet Malik with CMD Ashok Mohanani, plus mainstream media and social media coverage (especially our blog) and also my and Sulaiman Bhimani's meeting and negotiation with the builder's men on Vineet Malik's behalf.
Ekta World's letter dated 3rd December 2016 proposed interest payment of Rs 9.32 lakhs to Vineet Malik.
At first, this seemed like an extremely generous offer, and any aggrieved buyer should be thrilled by this success! But let us examine the issue a bit more closely. After a delay of more than three years (and counting) in delivering the agreed flat in the Virar project, Ekta World is, "as a goodwill gesture" agreeing to pay back the paid amount plus 9% interest. This rate of interest is no more than what he would have had to pay for a project loan.
On the other hand, what is the penalty and interest that the buyer would have to pay Ekta World if he had slipped up in paying up his installments on time? Read this excerpt from the one-sided Registered Agreement.
The agreement states Ekta World can terminate the contract after giving the helpless buyer only seven days notice, if he slipped up in paying even one installment! Not only that, he would further forfeit 20% of the total consideration i.e. Rs 5.2 lakhs. Read this excerpt from the agreement.
Further, in case the builder chose not to terminate the contract unilaterally, the interest payable by the buyer for the delayed payment would be 24%. Read this excerpt.
So, 24% interest from buyer, 9% interest from builder. Does that sound fair? Vineet Malik doesn't think so.
Therefore, this feisty investor is turning down Ekta World's generous offer of interest of Rs 9.32 lakhs for five years. He will continue fighting for his just and equitable dues i.e. 24% interest on the refunded amount.
Issued in Public Interest by
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com
Posted By
Sulaiman Bhilani
9323642081

Mumbai, 24 October, 2016: Ekta Group of builders cheats and bullies its customers – no two ways about it. Don't be fooled by clever PR campaigns, paid media, beautiful website, and estate agents. Don't get taken in by endorsements of reputed corporate like HDFC RealtyHDFC Red, or mentions in Magic Bricks Now. Don't get fooled by Anil Kapoor's endorsement and MCHI-Credai Awards for Customer Responsiveness. That's all smokescreen. The ground-reality is that Ekta Group, also known as Ekta World, is shamelessly unreliable. Booking a flat in an Ekta project means giving lakhs of rupees with no safeguards and no legal entitlements. Even when the flat-agreement is registered, it is an unfair, one-sided agreement that make you lose all your rights as a flat purchaser. Ekta builder's overall strategy is to make the buyer helpless. As they say in market language,"Builder ko haath kaatke de dene jaisa hai" -- like cutting off your hands and giving them to the builder!
Why are we making such harsh statements against a reputed builder? If you don't like long explanations, just read (1)brochure of Ekta Parksville and (2) flat-purchase agreement for Ekta Parksville. The brochure is full of rosy promises, whereas the sale agreement tells you that you have no rights and no legal entitlements at all. Builder ka sab kuch, buyer ka kuch nahin!The agreement is nothing but bhai-giri made out in legal language. Investors who have got the point can stop reading and go look for other places to put their hard earned money. Others, who want explanations, can continue reading about the actual experience of a customer. 
{Click to read the rebuttal to this press release by Ekta World CMD Ashok Mohanani OR continue reading the story of a flat-buyer below.}
 
The story of a flat-buyer:
  1. Five years ago, Vineet Malik of Gurgaon applied for a flat in Ekta Parksville project in Virar, at a price of Rs 26 lakhs. The first demand for payment by Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt. Ltd. came in November 2011. This amount was promptly paid. The verbal commitment given to him was that the flat would be delivered by December 2013 i.e. two years later.
  1. Four years later, in November 2015, the last demand note was sent by Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt. Ltd. Although 95% of the total consideration had already been paid, the flat-purchase agreement was not yet signed. The buyer was at the builder's mercy; the builder could break the deal even now.
  1. In March 2016, although the buyer had paid 97% of the total consideration, Ekta continued to refer to the deal as "provisional booking". See this indemnity bond given by the buyer.
  1. In May 2016, finally, the Flat Purchase Agreement was registered. (MOFA requires registered agreement at the time of receiving 20% of the total consideration, but these builders are laws unto themselves!) The agreement was full of discriminatory clauses making the buyer renounce all his legal rights. In a nutshell, the agreement says that flat-owner is only the owner of the four walls of his house, and he has no say in the common amenities promised in the lavish brochure. (Even if the builder reduces any or all of the amenities, and exploits the FSI of the land and/or any common area of the building, the flat-owner must keep quiet! Is this the kind of agreement one expects from a reputed builder?)
  1. According to the recently signed agreement, the promised date for giving possession is December 2016. But, judging from the current construction status, this promise will be broken. The entire site is under-construction; there is no way it can be completed for giving possession within two months. Buyers will be lucky to get possession even on December 2017!
These two pictures sum up the situation:
The flat purchase agreement says that flat-owner is only the owner of the four walls of his house, and he has no say in the common amenities promised in the lavish brochure.
Ekta Parksville – What was promised
 
The flat purchase agreement says that flat-owner is only the owner of the four walls of his house, and he has no say in the common amenities promised in the lavish brochure.
Ekta Parksville – What will be delivered in December 2016
 
In our next article, we will look at the discriminatory clauses in the flat-purchase Agreement which negate the lawful entitlements of the flat-purchaser.
Meanwhile, call us and share your own experiences regarding Ekta's projects.
[Acknowledgment: Thank you activist Sulaiman Bhimani for research and groundwork.]
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
98215 88114

krish.kkphoto@gmail.com


POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Sulaiman Bhimani
9323642081

sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com