Bank Aadhaar linking: RBI never issued any order, reveals RTI

Even as banks are on an overdrive to push customers to link their Aadhaar numbers to bank accounts on the threat of suspending accounts, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has told us that it has never issued any such directions. This was in response to a Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by me. The RBI’s emphatic RTI response makes it clear that the decision is entirely that of the central government.
The RBI’s response says, “The Government has issued a Gazette Notification GSR 538(E) dated 1 June 2017 regarding Prevention of Money laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, inter-alia, making furnishing of Aadhaar (for those individuals who are eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar) and permanent number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account. It may be noted that Reserve Bank has not yet issued instruction in this regard”.
Responding to a specific query on providing copy of the file along with file notings regarding mandatory linking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts, the Reserve Bank stated it “has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory liking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts.”
When explicitly asked if RBI had taken permission from the Supreme Court for mandatory linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar number, especially when the apex court had restricted its usage for six schemes, the Reserve Bank stated that is has not filed any petition before the SC.”
Replies from RBI clearly show that it is the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, which is frightening and coercing people into linking bank accounts with Aadhaar, under the pretext of preventing money laundering. This reasoning is quite bizarre because it seems to treat every bank customer as money launderer and criminal involved in money laundering, unless they link their Aadhaar number with bank account.
Experts have questioned the legal validity of this action and even moved the Supreme Court alleging contempt of its orders. The SC has restricted usage of Aadhaar to six schemes, where the government is providing some benefits or subsidy to individuals.
The Gazette Notification (GSR 538(E)) is also in contravention with the orders passed by five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court as well as Aadhaar Act 2016. In its order on 15 October 2015, the apex court had said:
“After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11 August 2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, PDS Scheme and the LPG Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11 August 2015. We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23 September 2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.”
Earlier, the RBI itself had raised serious concerns on Aadhaar in terms of terror financing and money laundering before reluctantly agreeing to the use of the UID in 2011.
The Gazette Notification issued by Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, for mandatory linking of bank accounts and Aadhaar number is in contravention of the Aadhaar Act. Especially, Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act states furnishing of Aadhaar to establish identity for receipt of subsidy, benefit or service for which expenditure is incurred from Consolidated Fund of India.
An individual bank customer, in most cases, uses own money to open or operate the account and not from the Consolidated Fund of India. Also there are a large number of taxpayers, who are not even eligible to receive any subsidy or benefits from any Central Ministry or State Government. Yet, they too are forced to link their self-financed bank account with Aadhaar number.
One circular (No 23111/Gen/2017/Legal-UIDAI dated 15 September 2016) issued by Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Chief Executive of UIDAI about Section 7 says the Central Ministries or State Governments, who wants to use Aadhaar should issue a notification stating the service, benefits or subsidies from the Consolidated Fund of India, which require the beneficiary’s Aadhaar authentication or furnishing proof of Aadhaar. (See image below).
Linking a bank account with an Aadhaar number has no advantage either to the bank or the customer. This is because the customer’s PAN number, which has been issued by the Income Tax Department, is already linked to majority bank accounts. The PAN number actually provides much more information than the Aadhaar number and is linked with all financial instruments of the banks’ customers.
In addition, banks are mandated to strictly follow know-your-customer (KYC) procedure for all its customers. For KYC, the RBI considers passport, driving licence, PAN card, Voter’s ID card issued by the Election Commission of India, job card issued by NREGA duly signed by an officer of the State Government, and letter issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number as six officially valid documents (OVDs). Explaining the OVDs, RBI says, customers, at their option, can submit one of the six OVDs for proof of identity and proof of address.
What is more serious in this mandatory linkage business is the Government thinking and treatment to every bank customer as money launderer without Aadhaar. That too when the Government machinery has several tools at their disposable to identify any bank account that is used for money laundering purpose.
One such tool used by the Income Tax Department is procuring statement of financial transaction or reportable account (FTRA), previously called as Annual Information Return (AIR). Under FTRA, banks had to furnish information on cash deposits or cash withdrawals (including through bearer’s cheque) aggregating to Rs50,000 or more in a financial year, in or from one or more current account of a person. Additionally, post offices, NBFCs, companies, mutual funds, registrars or sub-registrars, Regional Transport Officers (RTOs), District Collectors and stock exchanges also have to submit high value transactions to the I-T Department.
If the government has all tools and capability to identity money laundering taking place in bank accounts, why then it is forcing each and every account holder to link Aadhaar, which is illegal as it contravenes the Supreme Court orders.
One Dr Kalyani Menon Sen had already filed a petition in the Supreme Court against mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers, says a report from The Hindu.
The petition challenges Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 for mandatory submission of Aadhaar number for individual clients, companies, partnership firms and trusts for opening of bank accounts, maintaining existing bank accounts, making financial transactions of and above Rs50,000 and crediting foreign remittance into ‘small accounts’.
The petition says the Government’s move to link bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar number violates fundamental Right to Privacy and equates citizens, including the elderly, women and students, with money launders.
The apex court is scheduled to hear several linked cases on Aadhaar in November. Hope it considers this forceful linking of bank account with Aadhaar number as well.
http://www.moneylife.in/article/bank-aadhaar-linking-rbi-never-issued-any-order-reveals-rti/51926.html
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Linking Aadhaar to mobile and bank accounts is illegal

 Here is what you can do if you are forced

 
Mobile linkage
Various telecom companies are citing TRAI and DOT notifications to force you to link Aadhaar to your mobile else face disconnection. While it is not amusing that the government believes that a SIM issued in someone’s name is used by the same person and terrorists and criminals do KYCwith their own documents or Aadhaar, here are just three ways that requiring an Aadhaar to obtain a SIM endangers India:
1. It enables terrorists, criminals and anti-national forces to obtain multiple SIMs through eKYC, claims of eKYC, or submitting Aadhaar cards of other persons and use them in turn to open bank accounts for money laundering and financing anti-national activities.
2. It facilitates obtaining all documents like passport, and drivers licenses by using the new SIM and the Aadhaar. It, therefore, destroys our ability to distinguish a citizen from an illegal immigrant. It is therefore like the disease AIDS for the country.
3. The SIM treated as a proof of identity of the user allows infiltration of the country, even its defence services, with terrorists and anti-nationals causing a national security threat.
Here are just three ways that requiring an Aadhaar to obtain a SIM endangers you:
1. Because Aadhaar and one time passcode (OTP) are treated as “second factor authentication”, SIMs issued with your Aadhaar will be the single point for fraudsters to hack your identity, commit crime and rob you of your property, dignity, liberty, equality and access to justice.
2. Bank accounts opened using your Aadhaar and SIM, as well as property transactions, registration of contracts will no longer be in your control or with your knowledge and traceability. Because the use of “your” SIM in these instances will leave little deniability, if you are accused of these acts, it will destroy your right to justice.
3. The SIMs issued using your Aadhaar allow anyone in possession of such SIMs to impersonate you in both your private and public life. Not only will you have no way to know of such misuse, but you even have no ability to prove and control the misuse.
Bank linkage
Most banks have gone on an overdrive of threatening to freeze existing bank accounts unless customers to link Aadhaar. They are also refusing to open new bank accounts without Aadhaar, citing GSR 538(E), the amendment to the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)(PMLA), on June 1st 2017.
It is not amusing either that the government believes that Aadhaar identifies anyone at all, provides proof of the persons authorisation or consent to opening bank accounts or even to do bank transactions. Here are just three ways that linking an Aadhaar number to a bank account or carrying out bank transactions destroys India’s financial systems:
1. When pressured to link Aadhaar to bank accounts, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines. The RBI also highlighted that at best the Aadhaar is a third party identification and such third party identification is not used in banking practices anywhere in the world. It had also highlighted that the use of eKYC destroys customer acquisition information and customer records. As such, Aadhaar enables millions of shell bank accounts to be opened.
2. Bank accounts opened with Aadhaar can be created and operated remotely and therefore create a framework for money laundering at a scale that is impossible with pre-Aadhaar KYC. In five years post Aadhaar KYC, bank accounts in India have doubled from 44 crore to 88 crore and deposits have also doubled from Rs66 lakh crore to Rs122 lakh crore suggesting shell accounts with black money being parked in them.
3. Aadhaar-enabled Payment Systems (AEPS) transfer money from Aadhaar to Aadhaar number and not bank accounts. Such money transfers do not leave money trail and therefore facilitate money laundering in ways that was not possible with National Electronics Funds Transfer System (NEFT) or Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
Here are just three ways that linking Aadhaar to your bank accounts endangers you:
1. Your bank account becomes Aadhaar enabled allowing AEPS to transfer money into or from your account as soon as you link it to Aadhaar. This means all money transfers through the AEPS to or from your bank account will be un-traceable and therefore, also irreversible.
2. Money transfers to your account can now be hijacked by a “phishing” account that links itself to your Aadhaar number to receive money meant for you. Such money transfers may become impossible to track and reverse, as they do not leave any money trail.
3. Crime committed using duplicate accounts opened with your Aadhaar number will point to you, not the fraudster. This will also leave you defenseless and deprive you of recourse to justice.
What can you do?
Neither the Aadhaar linkage to mobiles nor the linkage to bank accounts is legal. In fact, it even violates the orders of the Supreme Court and is counter to the Rule of Law. The coercion to link Aadhaar to mobile phones started because of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecom (DoT) colluded to ignore the Court’s orders, the rule of law, and existing legislation to produce notifications that mislead, misquote and cause coercion.
The coercion to link bank accounts started because the Department of Revenue, under the Ministry of Finance issued an illegal notification ignoring the law, Court orders and the rule of law.

Government notifications forcing you to link Aadhaar to mobiles, bank accounts and other services are illegal, contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court and a disrespect of the rule of law. You can send letters to the authorities that you too can reuse and demand they respect orders of the Supreme Court of India, the Rule of Law and protect national interests as well as yourself.

Here are Open Letters to TRAI Chairman and Secretary Revenue to end illegal Aadhaar Coercion. The first to the Chairman of TRAI and the second to the Secretary, Dept of Revenue, asking them to end the illegalities, restore respect of the Supreme Court and respect the Rule of Law. You too can endorse them and spread them by mailing/emailing them, or sharing them on social media till the respective government offices respect the orders of the Supreme Court. Together, let us restore the Rule of Law, the protection of our national security, financial integrity and respect for national interests.
(Dr Anupam Saraph is a renowned expert in governance of complex systems and advises governments and businesses across the world. He can be reached @anupamsaraph)
***********************************************************************************
October 2nd 2017 
Chairman,
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India 
Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhawan (next to Zakir Hussain College) 
Jawaharlal Nehru Marg (Old Minto Road) 
New Delhi: 110 002
cp@trai.gov.in @rssharma3 @trai 
Dear Mr RS Sharma,
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
Mr. Sanjeev Banzal, Advisor(NSL) recommended, vide No 102-2/2015-NSL-II dated January 20th 2017, to the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications to use Aadhaar based eKYC to re-verify existing mobile subscribers. 
Mr. Prashant Verma, ADG (AS-II) of Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications (Access Services Cell) has been instructing all unified licensees, unified access service licensees and cellular mobile service licensees vide File No. 800-26/2016-AS.IIdated 23.03.2017 to re-verify all existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar based eKYC process. Mr. Verma uses the documentation by the order of two member bench of the Supreme Court in WP(C) 607/2016 dated 06.02.2017 of the position brought to its notice as a direction of the court. He also asks the licensees to destroy old customer acquisition forms after an Aadhaar “verification”.
Mr Sanjay Kapur had filed an IA on behalf of the TRAI (IA 22, 23 of 2015) on Oct 3rd 2015 with the prayer to modify its order of 11.08.2015 in WP 494 of 2012 to permit biometric eKYC for paperless activation of telephone connections/SIM cards as an alternative process to the existing process of verification of telecom subscribers, till the disposal of the present writ petition. Kindly note the following:
1. A five member bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India in its order dated Oct 15th 2015, turned down your prayer to allow linkage of Aadhaar numbers with SIM activation. The court reiterated all its previous orders. In particular we draw your attention that the court  stated that:
1. “After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11.08.2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, P.D.S. Scheme and the L.P.G. Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11.08.2015” 
2. “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013
3. “We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”
2. The three member bench of the Court had noted earlier in its order of August 11, 2015 that: “The learned Attorney General had stated that the respondent Union of India would ensure that Aadhaar cards would only be issued on a consensual basis after informing the public at large about the fact that the preparation of Aadhaar card involving the parting of biometric information of the individual, which shall however not be used for any purpose other than a social benefit schemes.”. It had therefore ordered that 
1. “The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;
2. “The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation. 
3. In its first order of September 23, 2013, the apex court had highlighted that “In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory”.
4. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
It is evident that all communications of the TRAI/DOT to require linkage of Aadhaar are invalid and bad in law. Moreover, they are also in contempt of the Supreme Court and are showing complete disrespect for the Rule of Law. 
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not continue to commit contempt of the Supreme Court of India, disregard the Rule of Law and get embroiled in needless controversy and criminality that results from the use and linkage of Aadhaar with the issue and use of SIM and telephones, we require that you kindly issue an immediate and urgent notification and advertise widely highlighting these facts and that mobile and telephone companies can not and do not require or use Aadhaar numbers or Aadhaar information for any process.
Sincerely yours,
CC 
1. TRAI members and Advisors

memberak@trai.gov.in
mamidala@ee.iitd.ac.in
secretary@trai.gov.in
pradvbcs@trai.gov.in
sunil.bajpai@trai.gov.in
pradvnsl@trai.gov.in
skmishra@trai.gov.in
advcait@trai.gov.in
advadmn@trai.gov.in
advlegal@trai.gov.in
mkasim@trai.gov.in
advqos@trai.gov.in
advifn@trai.gov.in
advmn@trai.gov.in
advfea1@trai.gov.in
sanjeet.singh@trai.gov.in
arvindsinha59@gmail.com
adv.bengaluru@trai.gov.in
adv.jaipur@trai.gov.in
adv.kolkata@trai.gov.in
muralighanta@gmail.com

2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201 Email: supremecourt@nic.in

***********************************************************************************
October 2nd 2017
Secretary,
Ministry of Finance,
128-A/North Block, 
New Delhi
Dear Dr Hasmukh Adhia,
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
Mandeep Kaur, Dy. Secretary of your department notified GSR 538(E), citing powers conferred by sub-section (1) read with clause (h), clause (i), clause (j) and clause (k) of sub-section (2) of section 73 of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003), on June 1st 2017.
We draw your attention to the following:
1. A five member bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India in its order dated Oct 15th 2015, had reiterated all its previous orders. In particular we draw your attention that the court  stated that:
1. “After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11.08.2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, P.D.S. Scheme and the L.P.G. Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Providend Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11.08.2015” 
2. “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013”
3. “We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”
5. The three member bench of the court had noted earlier in its order of August 11, 2015 that: “The learned Attorney General had stated that the respondent Union of India would ensure that Aadhaar cards would only be issued on a consensual basis after informing the public at large about the fact that the preparation of Aadhaar card involving the parting of biometric information of the individual, which shall however not be used for any purpose other than a social benefit schemes.”. It had therefore ordered that 
1. “The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;”
2. “The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation. 
6. In its first order of September 23, 2013  court had highlighted that “In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for  not  getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had  issued a circular making it mandatory”.
7. Under section 74 of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003) every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.The rules have not been laid before the Parliament as required by parliamentary procedure
8. Furthermore while clause (h) of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)was omitted by s. 29 with effect from 15.2.2013 and clause (i), clause (j) and clause (k) of sub-section (2) of section 73 does not allow for freezing of any  asset or making it inoperable.
9. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
It is evident that the GSR 538(E) to require linkage of Aadhaar is invalid and bad in law. More over it is in contempt of the Supreme Court and a disrespect for the Rule of Law. The tactic to coerce people under an invalid legislation that is in contempt of court is undemocratic and deplorable at the very least.
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not continue to commit contempt of the Supreme Court of India, disregard the Rule of Law and get embroiled in needless controversy, money-laundering, and criminality that results from the use and linkage of Aadhaar with the opening of bank accounts and undertaking financial transactions, we require that you kindly issue an immediate and urgent notification and advertise widely highlighting these facts and that banks can not and do not require or use Aadhaar numbers or Aadhaar information for any process including KYC and payment transactions.
Sincerely yours,
CC 
1. Dr Urjit R Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, 16th floor, Central Office Building, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai – 400 001 urjitrpatel@rbi.org.ingovernor@rbi.org.in for similar action to notify banks to purge all Aadhaar usage
2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201 Email: supremecourt@nic.in

Bhagtani – Jaycee Court Proceedings

DO U AGREE WITH BELOW MENTIONED SUBMISSIONS IS IT NOT SHAMEFUL FOR MCHI TO HAVE SUCH PERSONS AS OFFICE BEARERS/MANAGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS? Mumbai, 29th September, 2017: The hopes of hundreds of victims of Bhagtani builders ill-fated Riyo project in Mira Road today when Justice Revati Mohite Dere of Bombay High Court gave a strict order requiring Dipesh, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani to pay back Rs 22 crore to the victims within 6 months, as a pre-condition for their anticipatory bail.

Click here to read today’s order in Criminal Anticipatory Bail Application no. 1553 of 2017, wherein there were roughly 175 interveners in four Criminal Applications (CA no. 862, 882, 901 and 910 of 2017).

 

MAIN POINTS IN TODAY’S ORDER:

1) Counsel for Bhagtani builders was forced to undertake that (a) the builders will deposit Rs.22 crores (as per the judge’s directions on 15th Sept), in 6 equal installments, within six months from today (b) that the first installment will be deposited on or before 12th October, 2017 and (c) the balance 5 installments, thereafter, within one month each and (d) if there is a single default, the protection can be vacated. (e) An affidavit-cum-undertaking of the Bhagtanis stating the above is to be submitted on Tuesday, 3rd October.

2) One of the counsels for interveners pointed out that in addition to the above-mentioned list given by the police Investigating Officer, there were other 18 investors, and that he was in the process of filing an intervention application. Their amount would be an additional Rs.3-4 crores.

3) Mr Mundargi (counsel for Bhagtani builders) stated that the builders were ready to deposit the additional amount of the additional investors who are not included in the list tendered by him today, after the list and the amounts are verified.

4) The matter is now “stood over” to 3rd October, 2017 at 3.00 p.m, for tendering the affidavit-cum-undertaking of the applicants.

5) Interim protection (i.e. protection from arrest) granted earlier to continue till the next date i.e. 13th October.

 

IMPORTANT POINTS MENTIONED ORALLY IN TODAY’S PROCEEDINGS:

a) The Investigating Officer said in response to a question that Dipesh and Mukesh Bhagtani are in India. (Dipesh was on the court premises, it seems, though not in the courtroom. The whereabouts of Lakshman Bhagtani were not discussed.)

b) With reference to another another anticipatory bail application (ABA no. 1725 of 2017) filed yesterday by Bhagtani builders for protection in the case of an FIR u/s IPC sections 420, 120(B) and 34, and MOFA sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 13 and 14, Justice Mohite Dere asked why multiple agencies (i.e. Santa Cruz police station and EOW) were involved in filing FIRs on the same topic. Hence, EOW is directed to take all cases in this matter (i.e. Riyo in particular, and Bhagtani builders in general).Aggrieved Bhagtani investors, in future, please go to EOW and Santa Cruz and register FIRs.

c) It is felt that allottees should not deposit any Post Dated Cheques (PDCs) that may be in their possession. Otherwise, it will be seen as trying to take double payment from Bhagtanis.

 

THE BIG MESSAGE FROM TODAY’S PROCEEDINGS:Many FIRs have been registered by Bhagtani’s victims, and they will come up before Bombay High Court soon. The Bhagtani scam will now make headlines, and the tide will turn against them and in favour of their victims. Bhagtani victims from Sapphire, Savannah, Serenity and other projects should now gather courage to go and file FIR immediately with EOW. Join the tidal wave of Bhagtani victims fighting for their rights!

SHARED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Adv Vinod Sampat


It’s Time to Go Green: Save the Planet and Money Too

Bengaluru’s world famous eyesore, Bellandur Lake became a headlining act on national and international media, as news reports highlighted how it had caught fire, with foam coming right into pedestrians faces. A change.org campaign demanding an immediate cleanup of the lake has collected over 31,000 signatures so far, while the local authorities have installed water sprinklers around areas where it tends to froth. Yet, the problem doesn’t seem to be solvable until the city’s citizens take accountability to treat their sewage. Actually improving the cities we live in would be a lot easier if we, as individuals, take some steps that don’t just help the environment, but also actually save us a fair bit of money.

Nearly 650 million litres of untreated sewage is discharged into Bengaluru’s vicinity every day, says S Vishwanath of the Bengaluru-based company Biome Environmental Solutions. The firm works on water sustainability solutions in government schools and drought affected areas. He points out that this problem has existed for fifteen years, and it’s only after the foam started hitting the cars and two-wheelers in the city that people took notice. “It was frothing in Vishwavati Valley, where farmers had to deal with this froth since 2000. This is clearly a question of industrial consumption levels of detergents and fatty acids and other stuff which is going into the lakes,” Vishwanath says.

(Also seeSmart Cities Won’t Work Without Smart Citizens)

Vishwanath’s himself harvests water from the roof at the highest level of his home for cooking and drinking, while the water from lower roofs is used for landscaping and gardening. All the grey water (washing machine water and bath water) is funnelled through a series of filtration tanks, where grey water is stored, and plants, algae and bacteria break it down, removing phosphates and nitrates from the water. Guppies are put in so that mosquito larvae don’t breed.

greywater_filtration_feature2.jpg“The fish eat the larvae, and they are also functional indicators. If they start to die, then the water is not getting treated enough,” Vishwanath explains. Eventually, the filtered water is used for in the garden and for flushing the loo below. In theory, this water can also recharge the groundwater. An eco-san toilet installed on the roof recycles urine as fertiliser for plants, while solids are composted in blue drums, so that no human waste goes out of the house.

It’s possible to build an eco-friendly house, with features for rainwater harvesting, solar heating, and using environmentally friendly materials for construction, at around the same per-square foot cost as traditional building methods, experts say. Retrofitting can be a little more expensive, but over time, the saving from consuming less water and electricity won’t just mean a cleaner environment, but also smaller monthly bills.

According to a report, ‘green’ construction can lower energy consumption by 30-50 percent, and lower water consumption by 30-70 percent. Short term planning is a particularly big culprit; a one-star rated gadget like an A/C or geyser might be significantly cheaper than a similar product with a higher energy efficiency rating, but the added electricity it consumes has a real cost, in terms of pollution and your finances over time.

common_oxen2.jpgWaste management and chemical pollution are as big an issue as excess consumption. One of the main reasons for Bengaluru’s frothing lakes seems to be our everyday detergent – which has foaming agents, surface active agents, and phosphate. Delara Damania, founder of Bengaluru-based Common Oxenwhich makes natural cleaning agents for the home, points out that even wastewater sludge goes into farms, and comes back into our food. “The fact that nobody is regulating this is just mind-boggling,” she says.

Her startup is built around the problem of eliminating phosphates from household cleaning. “Phosphates on their own are not a bad thing, but they encourage the proliferation of water hyacinths, and other fast-growing weeds, that sort of suck out the oxygen and kill the other aquatic animals, and that’s what spoils the water bodies,” she says.

Vani Murthy, one of Bengaluru’s most active waste management campaigners, is launching a mission to get one million people to compost their green waste at home. “It’s a one week challenge, and is building up to a launch,” she says. “If you could, on your part, take care of that half a kg of waste that you generate, than asking the municipality. That’s one action that can have a direct impact on the future of the planet itself.”
Composting is one action you can do for a better world, she says. “You are dealing with 60 percent of the waste right where it is being generated, converting it into something that is so important for the soil to grow your own food,” Murthy adds. “The safest food is what you grow, because you know what you are putting in there.”

Once you understand the process of aeration, the breakdown of food into micro-organisms, Composting can be a lifetime practice, a gateway to rooftop gardening. Murthy bartered her compost for seeds in her early days, and now she has three terrace gardens growing her own food. The organic terrace gardening group on Facebook has 27,000 members, and out of that, 6,000 to 7,000 are from Bengaluru, she says. They have quarterly events where people bring their produce called Oota from Your Thota.

For the first-time composter, she recommends doing it at zero expense, using an old bucket with some holes in it. “Start off with peels, egg shells, fruit peels. Dry leaves can be added to the compost mix, as it absorbs moisture from the peels and keeps the pile balanced. It does not let the wet waste get compacted,” she says. A composting kit needs a bit of shade, and has to be protected from rain. Cow dung or sour butter milk can be used as a source of microorganisms.

“The basic rule is that it should be well aerated. If it doesn’t breathe, it becomes anaerobic, and that’s when it starts to stink. For aeration, it should not be packed in too compact – it takes a few tries to get the right balance,” she says.

Reducing your energy footprint
If you’re planning to build a green home or live in one, Teri’s Griha Rating Booklet has a bunch of useful parameters to evaluate and rank housing projects by, with a points based rating system based on various criterion. These include factors such as materials used, environmental impact, energy use, water harvesting, low-power devices, 5-star rated electronics, amount of daylight used, surface reflectivity, and cooling.

Teri’s rating system stresses on local sourcing of components – there are somethings that you lose points for – for example you can’t use Italian marble, because it has a higher carbon footprint because of the transportation cost.

Some of the things to look into include insulated walls and roof construction, which can reduce you air conditioning bill in the summer and your heating costs in the winter. Smaller windows will also help – large windows look nice, but turn your home into a greenhouse, which isn’t very suitable in India. You can also look into alternative energy, such as solar panels, and solar heating for water; rainwater harvesting can also make a big impact.

TeriGriha_graphic.jpgMaterials like teak wood, and quarried stone that has to be transported from afar are a bad idea when you’re building a new house. Fly ash bricks and locally sourced materials, design that promotes ventilation instead of air-conditioning, and planning for things like low-flow water and low-energy lighting all add up and make a big impact over time.

Prasanto Roy, who lives in India’s first Teri Griha home, which scored 96 percent overall on their Teri’s ratings, said that building a green home doesn’t come with a significant cost overhead.

“Other houses that have been built in this area cost more than this one, and they don’t even use green features. That is because they have used more expensive finishes, fittings, Italian marble,” he says. “For us, it cost ten percent more per square foot to build this house. There are some savings you get directly in the capex itself, as you need less equipment, and so on.”

Roy’s house is made of two types of fly-ash bricks, which are easily available. Around 70-80 percent of the material was locally sourced. The supply chain for green materials has improved since he built his home, with Teri’s website cataloging the suppliers. “Today, almost everything can be sourced locally, but electronics like controller systems, were imports,” he adds.

“For a typical house, depending on where you are, the one thing to focus on is cooling the home passively, so that you need less active cooling,” he explains. “Go increasingly on to LED lights, and you pick the low hanging fruits – the lights which are always on, and so on. Staircase lights can have motion sensors,” he says, so they will not only be on when needed. “A solar power is a simple enough system to add on, can be paired with an inverter or used directly, a 1 KVA solar panel for around Rs. 1.5 lakhs is a very worthwhile thing to do,” as this can help you reduce your dependence on the grid, and save significant amounts of money over time.

At the same time, low-flow fixtures reduce water waste, and your water bill as well, and rainwater harvesting can be good for the environment and will also reduce your dependence on expensive water tankers, when the municipal supply runs short.

Sriram Sharma

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/others/features/its-time-to-go-green-save-the-planet-and-money-too-764286


Maharashtra govt says display GSTIN and GST certificate or pay Rs 25,000 penalty

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The Maharashtra government in a trade circular has asked all those who have received the 15-digit Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN) to display the number on the board and certificate of registration at a prominent location at the business premises. Failing to which, the state government says, the person will be liable for penalty of up to Rs25,000.
The trade circular (43T of 2017) issued on 25 September 2017  by Rajiv Jalota, Commissioner of Sales Tax, Maharashtra states, “…every registered person should display certificate of registration at his principal place of business and at every additional place or places of business. It is also required to display his GSTIN on the name of board which should be exhibited at the entry of the his principal place of business and at every additional place or places of business. The GSTIN should be prominently displayed in bold letter so as to be easily visible to visitors, especially to the customers/ vendees.”
Rule 18 of the Maharashtra Goods and Service Tax (MSGT) Rules, 2017 mandates display of GSTIN on the name board.
“Rule 18- Display of registration certificate and Goods and Service Tax Identification Number on the name board –
•Every registered person shall display his certificate of registration in a prominent location at his principal place of business and that every additional place or places of business.
•Every registered person shall display his Goods and Services Tax Identification Number on the name board exhibited at the entry of his principal place of business and at every additional place or places of business.”
Additionally, as per the circular, there is a penalty of Rs10,000 on issuance of incorrect tax invoice. Rule 5(1)(f) of the MGST Rules says that every registered person exercising the option to pay tax under section 10 of the MGST Act i.e. every registered person opting under the composition scheme shall mention the words ‘Composition taxable person not eligible to collect tax on supplies’ at the top of the bill of supply issued by him.
Under Rule 46(b) of the MGST Rules, the person is expected to issue an invoice in unique and consecutive serial number. “However, many a times, it is seen that the invoices are not numbered in a serial manner but are randomly numbered or not numbered at all. It is to be noted that the same is against the provision of the Act and not following the provisions will attract penalty under section 122(1)(i) of the MGST Act, 2017. It is also to be noted that any deviation from the provisions will be taken seriously,” the trade circular says.
Under Section 122 (1)(i), the penalty is Rs10,000.
http://www.moneylife.in/article/maharashtra-govt-says-display-gstin-and-gst-certificate-or-pay-rs25000-penalty/51749.html

Mumbai Municipality for Waste Management

MCGM has designated officers in each Ward to help and assist with any queries on implementation of Waste Segregation.

The Ward wise list of officers and their contact numbers are shown in the image.

Let us know if you have any trouble in contacting them or if you have any further questions.

www.facebook.com/groups/togethervcan


What can you do if your employer does not pay your salary or infinitely delays it?

It is quite common in India for employers to deny salary to employees, especially at the time of firing them. They think that employee’s have no options or the resources to pursue a case against an employer. In reality, there are several things an employee can do that can land an employer in real trouble. However, the knowledge regarding the same is not available in public domain and lawyer’s advice come costly. At ClikLawyer.com, we have been getting many such cases recently. We decided to share our best strategies for benefit of all Indians.

There are several legal process that can be followed by an employee to recover salary or wages. The first step that we recommend is sending a good notice from a credible lawyer who has a track record of doing such matters. However, before we tell you more about that, let us get you introduced to some basic concepts in Indian labour laws that deal with the issues of non-payment of wages or salary.

India has an entire law on payment of salary called Payment of Wages Act, though it does not apply to all levels of employees. It usually applies to low-wage blue caller workers.

Effective September 11, 2012, the wage ceiling under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 was increased to an average wage ceiling of INR 18,000 per month pursuant to a notification by the Indian Government. If you are not covered under this act, other remedies are still available.

Let’s see what the Payment of Wages Act has to say in this matter.

Section 4 of the payment of wages Act states –

Fixation of wage period every person responsible for the payment of wages under Section 3 shall fix periods in respect of which such wages shall be payable. No wage period shall exceed one month.

Reference 2 – Section 4 payment of wages Act

Monthly Salary Distribution Requirements:

A person is working in an establishment with a wage not more than one thousand, the wage to the particular person shall be paid before the expiry of the seventh day.A person with the wage of more than one thousand shall be paid before the expiry of the tenth day.If the employee is terminated by the employer the wages earned by him shall be paid before the expiry of the second working day from the day his employment is terminated.

What steps can be taken by employee:

If your employer is not paying your salary, you can get these remedies.

A) Approach Labour Commissioner:

If an employer doesn’t pay up your salary, you can approach the labour commissioner. They will help you to reconcile this matter and if no solution is reached labour commissioner will hand over this matter to the court whereby a case against your employer may be pursued.

B) Industrial Dispute Act:

An employee can file a suit under Section 33(c) of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 recovery of money due from an employer.When the salary is due from the employer, the employee himself or any other person authorized by him in writing on his behalf can claim recover money.In case of the employee death, the authorized person or heirs make an application to the labour court for recovery of money due.The court will further issue a certificate on being satisfied that the salary is due and the collector shall proceed to recover the same.If any question arises as to the amount of money due or as to the amount at which such benefit should be computed, it would be computed according to rules under this Act.

Labour Court Time Line:

Cases have to be decided by such labour court within period not exceeding Three Monthsprovided that where the presiding officer of a labour court considers it necessary or expedient so to do, he may for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend such period by such further period as may he think fit.

Reference 3 – Section 33(c)(2) Industrial Dispute Act, 1947

What about executives, managers and those who earn above INR 18,000 a month?

If you are manager or executive level employee, you can file a case against the company in the civil court under order 37 of Court of civil procedure. This is faster than the usual slow procedure in civil courts, called a summary suit. It is quite effective, but should not be pursued as a first resort. There are easier things at your disposal as well. Out of 100 cases, maybe 5-7 requires such effort. However, many lawyers are quick to jump to this. Before opting for this, ask your lawyer to exhaust other means.

What if company is not paying with a fraudulent or dishonest intent?

If an employee is affected by the company’s fraudulent activities, then he may seek some strong actions.

The following remedies would be available in such cases:

Employer Fraud Punishment:

Section 447 of Companies Act, 2013 lays down punishment for fraud.Person shall be liable for imprisonment not less than 6 months which may extend to 10 years.Fine not less than amount involved in fraud which may extend upto three times of the fraud amount.Subsequent measures can be taken under Section 447 of the Act.An employee can also file a criminal case against the company under Indian Penal Code.

First Step To recover unpaid salary

Step 1: We strongly recommend sending a legal notice enumerating all the actions that you may take from a credible lawyer. Before going to a lawyer, ensure that they have some track record in doing such work. From ClikLawyer, you can file a notice like this for INR 2500 only. You should not pay above INR 3000 in any case.

Step 2: If this does not work, approaching police for a cheating case, where there is enough evidence for such fraud, is critical. At this stage, it is important to prepare a detailed case file to give to police, and your lawyer should assist you in this. A majority of such complaints are not accepted due to weak drafting and lack of prima facie evidence. This is where a good lawyer can make a lot of difference. ClikLawyer charges INR 2500 to handle a police complaint matter at present.

Step 3: Where criminal case is not an option, or does not produce results, we recommend going for a summary suit or labour court, as the case may be. In our experience of handling such matters in large numbers, we can say that not more than 10% of such disputes need to go to this stage if the matter was handled well in earlier stages. Challenge is that lawyers are more comfortable and earns more money at this stage, so if they don’t have your interest in mind they might hurry to this stage.

Important things to keep in mind when you are trying to recover your unpaid salary

The notice is a very important psychological tool, and getting the salary in less time is a psychological game. If the employer understands the consequences quickly, he will settle before you need to go to court, which keeps costs low as well. However, only a few lawyers do this kind of work because it may not be very profitable for them.

There are many cases in India where employer does not pay salary for a month or couple of months and easily get away with the same. A good example is of Kingfisher Airlines. When it shut down its operations, many workers were not paid their dues.

 

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