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HC sends Malvinder, Sunil Godhwani to one-day ED custody

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Malvinder Singh Sunil Godhwani

New Delhi, Nov 27 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sent former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh and former CMD Sunil Godhwani to Enforcement Directorate custody till Thursday in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Limited (RFL).

Justice Chandra Shekhar while setting aside a trial court order sent the two to one-day ED remand.

The Enforcement Directorate filed a plea challenging an order by Special CBI Court sending former Religare promoter Malvinder Singh and its former CMD Sunil Godhwani to judicial custody in relation to the Religare Finvest money laundering case.

Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case against the two arises out of an FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing on a complaint by Religare Finvest.

Manpreet Suri of Religare Finvest had accused Malvinder Singh, his brother Shivinder Singh, Godhwani and others of siphoning funds and misappropriation of funds to the tune of over Rs 2,000 crore.

While all the accused in the Delhi Police case were in judicial custody, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Malvinder and Godhwani on November 14.

The Court extended their custody with the Enforcement Directorate twice on November 15 and November 18 for three day and five days, respectively, the Court of Special CBI Judge Sandeep Yadav.

However, on November 23, the CBI Court rejected Enforcement Directorate’s plea for extension of custody and remanded the two in judicial custody till December 7.

Seeking a direction to set aside the order, the ED argued that in terms of Section 167 CrPC, the Agency was entitled to 15 days custody of the accused persons.

It was argued that although there was no change in circumstances, the CBI judge wrongly remanded the accused in judicial custody.

Acknowledging that investigation could be carried out in judicial custody as well, the Enforcement Directorate submitted that there were “practical difficulties” in the present case as it involved voluminous documents from the last 10 years that needed to be placed before the accused persons.

Enforcement Directorate was represented by ASG Maninder Acharya, Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Nitesh Rana.

Meanwhile on Monday, a Saket Court dismissed the bail applications filed by accused Shivinder Singh, Kavi Arora and Sunil Godhwani while on the other hand, Malvinder withdrew his bail plea.

“Looking at the gravity of the offence and the magnitude of public money involved and on the basis of the above discussions, I am not inclined to grant bail to the applicant/accused at this stage. Bail application is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

During the arguments on bail, senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta and Mohit Mathur appearing for complainant Religare said, “Loans were disbursed to shell companies known to promoters and the ultimate beneficiary was RHC. It has further been argued that Shivender Mohan Singh was the 50% share holder with RHC. It has been submitted that the report of RBI finds undue influence of the promoter group and that unsecured loans had been given to the shell entities for reason being known to the promoters.”

Gupta further alleged that Shivender Mohan Singh had influence and control over the affairs of REL, RFL, RHC and other shell entities, also.

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Real GDP growth to remain negative in H1, full fiscal: RBI Gov Shaktikanta Das

RBI MPC meet: More protracted spread of the pandemic, deviations from the forecast of a normal monsoon, and global financial market volatility are the key downside risks, said Das

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National debt under Modi govt surges
  • Covid-19 impact: India’s GDP to contract 6.1% in FY21, says Nomura
  • Coronavirus crisis: Banks should raise capital proactively, says RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das
  • Rising real lending rates causing steep slump in credit flows, GDP

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the real GDP growth of the country is expected to remain in the contraction zone. “Real GDP in the first half of the year is expected to remain in the contraction zone.

For the year 2021 as a whole real GDP growth is also estimated to be negative,” said Governor Das during the MPC presser on Thursday.

Das said that in case of an early containment of the COVID-19 spread, there could be an upside to the outlook. “More protracted spread of the pandemic, deviations from the forecast of a normal monsoon, and global financial market volatility are the key downside risks,” he added.

“As regards the outlook for growth, the MPC noted that the recovery of the rural economy is expected to be robust, buoyed by the progress in kharif sowing. Manufacturing firms expect domestic demand to recover gradually from Q2 and to sustain through Q1 2021-22. On the other hand, consumer confidence turned more pessimistic in July relative to the preceding round of the Reserve Bank’s survey. External demand is expected to remain anaemic under the weight of the global recession and 5 contractions in global trade,” Das stated.

He said that the MPC has noted that in such an environment of unprecedented stress, supporting recovery of the economy would assume primacy in the conduct of the monetary policy. “While the space for further monetary policy is available, it is important to use it judiciously to maximise the beneficial effects on the underlying economy,” Das highlighted.

Das said there were signs of recovery across the world. “Monetary Policy Committee noted that in India too, economic activity had started to recover, but surges of fresh infections have forced fresh lockdowns, hence several high-frequency indicators have levelled off,” he added.

Additionally, the MPC putting all debates to rest, left the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent and would maintain an accommodative stance.

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RBI leaves repo rate unchanged at 4%, reverse repo rate at 3.35%: Shaktikanta Das

RBI is perhaps the only central bank in the world which has set up a special quarantine facility for continuity of critical operations.

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Shaktikanta Das

Repo rate remains unchanged at 4%, and Reverse repo rate also remains unchanged at 3.3%, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.

Accommodative stance of the monetary policy will continue as long as necessary to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic, while ensuring that inflation remains within target going forward.

RBI is perhaps the only central bank in the world which has set up a special quarantine facility for continuity of critical operations.

Taking into consideration all factors, the GDP growth in the first half of the year is estimated to remain in the contraction zone. For the year 2020-21 as a whole, real GDP growth is also estimated to be negative: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that in India too, economic activity had started to recover, but surges of fresh infections have forced fresh lockdowns, hence several high-frequency indicators have levelled off: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

With COVID19 infections rising under fragile micro-economic&financial conditions, we propose to take regulatory&developmental measures – enhance liquidity support for financial markets, ease financial stress caused by COVID19 while strengthening credit discipline improve the flow of credit, deepen digital payment systems and facilitate innovations by leveraging technology.

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Facebook launches TikTok-like product inside Instagram

Similar to TikTok, Reels users can record short mobile-friendly vertical videos, then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

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The product immediately got uptake with several celebrities, following a push by Facebook to attract creative talent before launch: actress Jessica Alba posted a video with her family promoting her Honest Company’s masks, while comedian Mindy Kaling showed off an intentionally underwhelming quarantine “workout” routine.

Reels’ debut comes days after Microsoft said it was in talks to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations from China’s ByteDance. ByteDance has agreed to divest parts of TikTok, sources have said, under pressure from the White House, which has threatened to ban it and other Chinese-owned apps over data security concerns.

The launch escalates a bruising fight between Facebook and TikTok, with each casting the other as a threat. Both have been eager to attract American teenagers, many of whom have flocked to TikTok in the last two years.

Reels was first tested in Brazil in 2018 and then later in France, Germany and India, which was TikTok’s biggest market until the Indian government banned it last month following a border clash with China. Facebook also tried out a standalone app called Lasso which did not gain much traction.

Similar to TikTok, Reels users can record short mobile-friendly vertical videos, then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

Those similarities led TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer to call Reels a “copycat product” that could coast on Instagram’s enormous existing user base after “their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.”

Facebook faced similar charges at a congressional hearing on U.S. tech companies’ alleged abuse of market power last week, with lawmakers suggesting the company has copied rivals like Snapchat for anti-competitive reasons.

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s vice president of product, acknowledged the similarities in a Tuesday video conference call with reporters and said that “inspiration for products comes from everywhere,” including Facebook’s teams and “the ecosystem more broadly.”

Instagram is not yet planning to offer advertising or other ways for users to make money through Reels, although it did recruit young online stars like dancer Merrick Hanna and musician Tiagz – who was recently signed by Sony/ATV after rising to fame via TikTok memes – to test the product ahead of launch.

The company paid the creators for production costs, Shah said.

Joe Gagliese, chief executive of influencer marketing agency Viral Nation, said Reels was poised to mimic Instagram’s success with Stories, a product modeled on Snapchat’s core offering.

“They’re a huge monstrous threat (to TikTok),” he said. “The current turmoil couldn’t be playing more into (Instagram’s) court to launch this thing.”

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