Applicability of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (the FEO Act) which came into existence on 21st April 2018 has been fairly a subject of criticism due to its infamous & draconian provisions. Let us examine these draconian provisions of the Act on the touchstone of the Constitution of India, 1950. 

Rohan Garg, Partner, Fox Mandal

One of the foremost aspects of any Act is its applicability. The provisions of the FEO Act shall apply to any individual who is, or becomes, a fugitive economic offender on or after the date of coming into force of this Act. However, when we analyse some relevant sections of the FEO Act, we find that Section 10(3) of this Act states that a notice under sub-section (1) shall (a) require the individual to appear at a specified place and time and that failure to appear on the specified place and time shall result in a declaration of the individual as a fugitive economic offender and confiscation of property under this Act. 

Concurrently, Section 12 (Declaration of fugitive economic offender) of this act states that after hearing the application under section 4, if the Special Court is satisfied that an individual is a fugitive economic offender, it may, by an order, declare the individual as a fugitive economic offender for reasons to be recorded in writing. According to Section 14 (Power to disallow civil claims) of this Act, on declaration of an individual as a fugitive economic offender, any Court or tribunal in India, in any civil proceeding before it, may, disallow such individual from putting forward or defending any civil claim.

Let us now examine these sections on the touchstone of the Constitution of India, especially in relation to Article 14, 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India. Article 14 states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. The FEO Act, as the name suggests, applies to an individual who is declared a fugitive economic offender. The far-reaching effect of such a declaration is that all his properties are confiscated to the Government and disposed, even before the accused is proven guilty. 

The golden principle of criminal law that is “an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty’ is completely undermined by such confiscation. Another significant and infamous consequence is that the individual is barred from defending any civil claim before any court in India, once he is declared fugitive. Furthermore, the Act appears to be nothing but offering an unlawful bait to an individual, which is either to surrender and return to India to face prosecution or lose claim on all properties as well as right to file or defend any civil matter. Therefore, the individuals who are grouped as “fugitives” bear the brunt of this Act. 

The question that needs immediate consideration is whether an individual who has left India can be asked to return through the FEO Act even if the Extradition Act already exists for the same very purpose?  Moreover, as per Article 300A of the Constitution of India, no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. Here also, the authority of the FEO Act is in question. Also, the Section 12 of the FEO Act which empowers confiscation of the properties is in the teeth of the Article 300A of the Constitution of India for the simple reason that the manner in which an individual is declared a fugitive is prima facie unconstitutional. 

As pointed above, the way an individual is declared a fugitive wholly undermines the extradition Act and renders it meaningless. It also violates the right to equal protection of law because on one hand, an individual is unable to defend his extradition if he returns to India pursuant to FEO proceedings and on the other hand, he loses his properties if he refuses to return to India under the FEO proceedings and continues to lawfully defend his extradition. In my opinion, these two Acts cannot be simultaneously applied by India. Another facet of this infamous legislation is that it also undermines right to life and liberty under the Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The appropriate law to bring back an individual residing in a foreign country is Extradition and not the FEO. 

An individual has a fundamental right to personal liberty and to live with dignity. He has a right to legally defend himself from placing himself within the jurisdiction of a State where his arrest is wanted, which will curtail his personal liberty. The FEO Act undermines these legal rights. It also undermines the Extradition Act and the safeguards it provides to an individual to restrain his extradition. Moreover, the FEO Act and the Extradition Act cannot apply simultaneously because it results in the clash of interests and rights of an accused. 

Conclusion

Hence, the sustainability of the FEO Act will be tested on the touchstone of Articles 14, 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India. It will also have to be seen how the Courts view the fact that the simultaneous application of both the FEO Act and the Extradition Act adversely affect the legal rights of an accused and the fact that the FEO Act undermines the Extradition Act and renders it toothless or meaningless will require considerable contemplation by the Constitutional Courts in the times to come. Based on the discussion above, in my opinion, the FEO Act not only violates the Articles of the Constitution of India but also renders the Extradition Act meaningless by depriving an individual of it.

(The author of the article is Mr. Rohan Garg, Partner, Fox Mandal)

Ramagya Group launches Ramagya Theatre Lab to open new opportunities for theatre artists

Breaking new ground in the world of theatre, Ramagya Group has launched Ramagya Theatre Lab with the aim to open new professional possibilities for theatre aspirants across India. With a vision to support artists and channelise their creative energies, Ramagya Theatre Lab engages audience through intimate theatre and platform performances. 

Championed by Ramagya Group, the Ramagya Theatre Lab is designed, and developed by Mr Gyanendra Singh – one of the most eminent theatre practitioners in India today. Mr Gyanendra Singh, who is popularly known as Anshu is renowned for his unique approach towards acting. Some of his eminent works have received critical acclaim in Mr Uday Prakash’s “Tiricch” that is one of his magnum opus production that echoes eminence and creativity. Among his other memorable performances are Rag Darbari, Bade Bhai Sahab, Ramsajeevan ki prem Katha, Waiting for Godot, Andher Nagari, Dusara Adhyay and many more. As a polyglot, he has staged performances in English, Hindi, Marathi as well as in Sanskrit, and has won numerous awards, accolades, and media mentions throughout his outstanding theatrical career.

Announcing the launch of the Ramagya Theatre Lab, Mr. Utkarsh Gupta, Managing Director, Ramagya Group said, “The idea of the Ramagya Theatre Lab is to provide an uplifting recreational ground to theatre enthusiasts, literature aficionados, and everyone looking for the holistic development of self by experiencing the wholesomeness of performing arts. It is indeed a perfect amalgamation of engagement, entertainment and education. ”  

“The Ramagya Theatre Lab is conceptualised to create a vibe of freedom and sense of discovering oneself. The sole purpose of the Ramagya Theatre Lab as it sounds, is to experiment with performing arts and literature in a space that allows the individuals to embrace their spirits without inhibitions,” added Mr Gyanendra Singh.

The Ramagya Theatre lab is open for anyone who wishes to learn, unlearn research, comprehend, enjoy, and appreciate diverse aspects of theatre life and walk into the realm of acting. Recently, Shri Devendra Raj Ankur, former Director of National School of Drama (NSD), has also joined the advisory board of the Ramagya Theatre Lab. At the virtually organised launch of the Ramagya Theatre lab, Mr Gyanendra Singh and Shri Devendra Raj Ankur, gave some healthy insights on how the theatre industry has also been affected in the pandemic, especially during the lockdown period. The event also witnessed a series of discussions on ‘Transformation of Theatre from Stagecraft to Virtual Reality’ and how to use the current period as an advantage. Shri Devendra Raj Ankur suggested all the artists to sit tight and read as much as they can by downloading stories like Natyashastra and Stanislavsky from the internet and submerge themselves in their characters. 

The Ramagya Theatre lab also has a digital wing called ‘Ramagya Digital’ where various artists from diversified backgrounds can be offered a digital platform to showcase their talents. Various groups can come together and read their lines and practice online on Ramagya Digital platform. Ramagya Theatre Lab is an endeavour to enable and encourage the community of art lovers and practitioners towards nurturing creativity and honing their craft. The lab has been meticulously synthesized by top experts to develop an area that has an aura, which naturally squeezes the creative nectar out of the soul of an artist. The vision is to be the dream-adda of every theatre enthusiast with intimate theatre space, rehearsal room, screening room, craft lab, library, and pantry.

MMCF celebrates 51 years of its ‘service to humanity’

Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation completes 51 years.

Maharishi Harit Rashi embedded the pledge in Bappa Rawal to ensure that his successors shall continue to honour the ‘Service to Humanity’ at all times. 

Dignitaries attending the foundation ceremony of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation on 20th October 1969 held in front of Shambhu Niwas Palace at Basant Chowk, The Palace, Udaipur

After the independence of India, the aforementioned responsibility became difficult to continue. In these circumstances, the prestige of 1400 years of Mewar Family was on line. So, Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar in his wisdom established the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation in 1969 at Udaipur.  Through the efficient  functioning  of MMCF, he ensured  the continuity of Maharana’s pledge and commitment. This Charitable Foundation completes 51 years today. 

Every year, the Foundation selects people of eminence from different streams to honour them, so that the new generation can take inspiration from them. Thus, in the establishment of the Indian Nation the Foundation should contribute, which would be prestigious for the MMCF. Whatever the Foundation has been able to achieve to preserve traditions, culture and the living heritage of Mewar is for all to see.

OSRAM gets ready for the show again with its XBO Cinema Lamps and HMI Studio lamps

As the country is now in the unlock phase, with the resumption of major activities, multiplex theatres and film shootings are also all set to be operational now. With this, OSRAM, the century- old German Lighting Legend is all set for a re-take with XBO® lights for digital projectors in multiplex theatres and HMI® lights for Film/TV/OTT shooting.

While the new digital cinema projectors and large screens require a high light output, OSRAM´s XBO cinema lamps rise to the challenge with a level of luminance that guarantees brilliant, high-resolution images. For the past 60 years, the OSRAM XBO lamps have delighted audiences worldwide and transformed the visit in the cinema into an experience to remember. Even as the age of digital cinema has placed huge demands on projection technology, the OSRAM XBO cinema lamps stay one step ahead the demands with continuous improvements and upgrades. OSRAM offers a range of technically-advanced XBO cinema lamps customized for projectors by BARCO, Christie, NEC and Sony.

Mr. Avinder Singh, CEO- OSRAM Lighting Pvt Ltd India said, “In the light of current global scenario, the overall pie for entertainment may increase, even though shares of different formats might change. With the new govt. directives for multiplexes and shooting studios, we can expect a dawn after a long night for all associate industries, where XBO Cinema lamps and HMI Studio Lamps are also part of it. As always, OSRAM remains committed to deliver world-class quality to its valued customers in all its products segments even in post-COVID era.”

Watching a movie in a theatre is therapeutic and concentrated viewing. To dress up and go to the cinema and laugh with others – cannot be imagined in other platforms. OSRAM, inventor of HMI lights has been producing high quality studio lamps for over 50 years with exciting new innovations and this lighting plays a major role in creating those unforgettable moments in movies/OTT/TV productions. 

HMI DIGITAL’s line of single-ended metal halide lamps offers extremely bright light (of up to 100 lumens per watt), a color temperature that approximates daylight (6000 K), and a high colour rendering index (> 90). Whether using analog or digital film, OSRAM’s HMI DIGITAL line has a lamp for your production. With single-ended metal halide lamps ranging from 200 W to 18000 W, HMI DIGITAL is suited for entertainment applications from film sets to theater stages.

HMI STUDIO lamps shine twice brighter than a tungsten halogen lamp with a similar wattage. These metal halide lamps provide a natural-looking light and reveal a set’s true colors with a high CRI of more than 90. With the patented doped UV-Stop quartz outer jacket, these lamps reduce the harmful UVB and UVC emissions by 99.9%. Compared to a traditional studio lighting setup with multiple tungsten halogen and metal halide lamp fixtures, using HMI STUDIO in daylight fixtures makes separate halogen fixtures redundant. When paired with fixtures, HMI STUDIO lamps deliver a warm tungsten color temperature. Film and TV productions can save time and become more cost-effective, while benefiting from two times the brightness (compared to tungsten halogen lamps of a similar wattage).

Ace Group launches exclusive Luxury Line residences with innovative festive scheme for Ace Divino

In view of the upcoming festive season, Ace Group is all geared up to garner more and more discerning customers for Ace Divino, a premium residential project located in Sector-1, Greater Noida West, Delhi-NCR. The Group has come out with a very attractive scheme for Ace Divino Luxury Line – Exclusive for Exclusives which includes extraordinary opportunity for the chosen few to own stunning Penthouses, Garden Floors and 4 Bedroom Apartments at Ace Divino with basic price starting from Rs 46 lakh to Rs 1.81crore. 

Adding a refreshing touch to the festive spirits of its valued customers, Ace Group has launched a unique festive offering with a special No EMI till Offer of Possession (10:90) payment plan for the prospective homebuyers of this project. It has unveiled its luxury line of homes at a time when interest rates are reduced and prices are stable, thus making it an apt time for real estate investment.

Mr. Ajay Chaudhary, Chairman and Managing Director, Ace Group said, “With an aim to add yet another reason to cheer in the festive season, we have unveiled our exclusive Luxury Line at Ace Divino, which provides never before experienced levels of luxury living. During the most auspicious period of celebrations such an enticing offering will surely bring joy and happiness in the lives of our valued customers. We are confident that the prospective homebuyers will make the most of this exciting opportunity. ” 

He added that Greater Noida West has already emerged as one of the most excellent residential locations with the recent approval of building five metro stations on Greater Noida West extension corridor of Aqua Line. “A significant development, it will further improve the fast-track connectivity of this world-class location with not only the national capital but Gurugram and Faridabad as well, making it the most sought after residential heaven,” he said.  

Apart from the exclusive Luxury Line (Penthouses, Garden Floors and 4 bedroom apartments), Ace Divino also offers 2/3 BHK spacious apartments of floor district starting from 995 Sq.ft. to 1565 Sq.ft. Settled amidst abundance of greenery, Ace Divino provides exclusive features and modern amenities such as a swimming pool with a different pool for kids, Yoga and Meditation Hall, Gymnasium, Health club and Spa, among others. 

The apartments at Ace Divino are built keeping in mind Vaastu to spread positive vibes all around and one of the major highlights of the project is the classic concept of Zen Garden in the middle of the towers that connect the towers of the project with each other. Soothing to the senses, this hanging piece of greens will also provide an excellent rejuvenation deck besides offering a great view of the skyline. With an unmatched blend of modesty and elegance in aesthetically beautiful apartments, Ace Divino is located in close proximity to world-class shopping malls, educational institutions, hospitals and entertainment centres.

USHA SHRIRAM launches an exciting new range of LED lighting Products to support Atmanirbhar Bharat

Contributing towards the making of Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India), USHA SHRIRAM, the country’s trusted consumer durable brand, has launched a wide range of LED lighting products both for domestic and commercial applications under its most sought-after brand ‘Eurolex’. Committed to Make in India initiatives, USHA SHRIRAM has unveiled the country’s largest range of energy efficient LED lamps with an aim to make this festive season very special and a truly joyous occasion for its valued customers. USHA SHRIRAM has come up with the most exciting series of LED Lights comprising Bulbs, Tube Lights, Down Lighters (Square and Round), Ceiling Mounted Panels (Square and Round), Dome Lights, Cob Lights, Night Lamp-Sparkle, Clean Room Light, Spot Light, Linear Light, Flood Lights and 2×2 panel lights, among others.  

The launch comprises the largest range of energy efficient LED lamps equipped with brightMax Technology which gives it a strong competitive edge over its counterparts. While brightness of ordinary LED Lamps available in the market reduces within a short period of time, USHA SHRIRAM LED lamps with brightMax Technology ensures long lasting brightness with superior electrical circuit and components. Further, the long lasting and energy efficient BIS certified USHA SHRIRAM LED lamps offer much longer burning hours. Simple and easy installation is another important feature of these LED lights.

Commenting on the launch of its new range of LED lighting products, Mr Satnam Sandhu, Executive Director, USHA SHRIRAM said, “USHA SHRIRAM has already created a legacy of superior quality LED products to meet the varied requirements of Indian consumers. Continuing with the same commitment we have introduced our new range of LEDs which truly demonstrate our customer-inspired innovation. At the onset of festive season, all these state-of-the-art LED lighting products launched by us will take the cheer and happiness to the next level.”

USHA SHRIRAM offers a wide range of International quality LED lighting solutions and its products ranging from residential to retail and commercial lighting, provides effective and energy efficient lighting solutions for multiple environments. The seamless integration of USHA LED lights into the structure of the product/appliances provides artistic freedom to the designers to give a distinctive edge to a conventional product.

A multi-product company USHA SHRIRAM Enterprises is one of the most trusted brands in India known for its focus on innovation and technology. The company offers a gamut of product categories in Lighting, Appliances, Cookware, Water and Air Purifiers, Fans, Mobile Phones, Furniture, Luggage, CCTV Camera, TV as well as Mattresses, and it has even diversified into Hotel industry.

Krishna Bhati: Face of Indian education recognised at UK House of Commons

Krishna Bhati, an avid educationist,   honoured at 3rd Global League Institute Certification at the House of Commons, United Kingdom for her exemplary contribution in the field of education. The distinguished forum was presided over by Baroness Sandip Verma, chair of UN Women National Committee United Kingdom, member of the European Union Committee.

Mrs Krishna Bhati, Principal, Jaipuria Vidyalaya

While addressing the forum, Mrs Krishna Bhati, Principal, then heading Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya said, “Education must be holistic by integrating head, heart and hands as these youngsters will foster a humane society. Our children have picked up various art forms and we showcase the creativity of our children through exhibition, whether it’s blue pottery, textile designing, wood-work, sculpture-making and many such art forms”

Based in Jaipur City, a place of heritage, she conceptualized a framework called “five ‘E’s in Pre-vocational SUPW ( Socially Useful Productive Work ) classes”. As she explained, “We start with the first ‘E’ where we get the children to explore through orientation, whatever possible vocation, whatever possible craft they can relate to, and once we get them to explore various crafts we get them to exchange ideas and that gives us the second ‘E’. The third ‘ E’ is for exposure to work under tutelage of various artisans where children learn how the artisans earn. Then comes the fourth ‘E’ where students pick up skills hands- on from the artisans & their work which becomes Experiential Learning. Finally, the fifth ‘E’ brings them to the point of Exhibition of their handiwork culminating into Heritage Education on the Ramp.”

She propagates heritage art as an essential component of Skilling India through vocational education in schools. Her expertise lies in integrating various art forms into mainstream school education.

Krishna Bhati has been recognized as an educationist par excellence through numerous awards and accolades. She was bestowed with the prestigious “Rajasthan Gaurav Award” for demonstrating excellence in school leadership in 2016 and felicitated by H.H. Rajmata Padmani Devi of Jaipur. The school under her headship was ranked “No. 1 in Leadership” in the country in 2015 by Education World Magazine. She has worked in the leading schools of the country demonstrating her ability to achieve student learning outcomes, accelerate institutional growth and pioneer innovations in teaching-learning processes. She is passionate about making education child-centric, highly inclusive and value driven.

The Other Side Of The Lockdown

Today most of the world population is staying home but thanks to the power of the digital medium, the Netizens are connected to each other and the news as and when it breaks in any part of the globe.

In India, while the working class is freely accessing web channels and various social media platforms while working from home without restrictions imposed by organisations, the students are busy attending online classes or training but they too tend to switch to their social media accounts be it FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, etc during the frequent intervals of their screen time.

Capitalising the power of the World Wide Web and the social media, digital marketers consider the lockdown period as the best opportunity to attract the maximum eyeballs and run various campaigns to enhance the reach of their brands.

All brands and corporates are finding it worthwhile to invest their money in marketing activities. In fact, this is the time when RoI is the highest be it any platform of media (traditional or digital) as websites and digital editions of print publications are being read widely. News channels are recording the highest TRP and web portals are seeing highest number of visitor engagements as never before.

Organisations that are able to utilise this time for strategic, sharp and focused marketing activities will witness top-of-the-mind brand awareness and recall when the lockdown period is over and markets are open for customers online and offline. It will help the companies who invested in digital media marketing compensate the losses borne during this lockdown period.  Hence this is the best time in probably last several decades when the impact of social media marketing initiatives could be encashed the maximum.

At this challenging time, the famous saying of the American Author Napoleon Hill that “every adversity contains, at the same time, a seed of equivalent opportunity”, has become incredibly relevant for Social media marketing. In the current scenario, no brand across the spectrum can ignore the power of Digital or Social Marketing which has already witnessed a huge boom in the last couple of years. Especially with no newspaper being delivered and outdoor marketing has also lost its sheen in the lockdown, social media has the power to grab the maximum eyeballs.

 

(The author of the article is Mr Nikhil Singhal, Founder, Vigor Media Worldwide)

Striving to save the community

Even the world’s largest economies cannot afford to remain in lockdown forever. Hence after the continued lockdown of more than two months, finally India has decided to gradually open up its economy. With this have emerged even the larger challenges like how to protect yourself and others against coronavirus infection while continuing with your daily livelihood needs and uninterrupted business schedules.

Anondita copyWhile the government has allowed businesses to resume their operations though under strict guidelines, it’s only ‘we’ who are responsible for our own health and safety. Following COVID-19 protocols in the workplace and everywhere is an urgent necessity to prevent this highly infectious disease. For this, we require to follow all government guidelines on a regular basis.

Moreover, we are already on the verge of community spread of COVID-19, hence all of us should be extra cautious about taking all preventive measures such as maintaining a safe distance from everyone, washing hands often, using sanitizers, wearing a face mask and putting on gloves to prevent contamination.

Among all these, masks and gloves are among the most essential items. However, currently there is massive shortage of them given the vast population of the country. The situation is so grim that recently a group of doctors from one of India’s premier medical institutions had openly raised their voice against the shortage of masks and gloves by stating, “Not just claps, give us personal protective gear.” It’s more painful to know that healthcare workers have not been provided with adequate safeguards, exposing them to grave risks.

In such a scenario it is the moral responsibility of all the corporates to come forward and ensure their contribution in the fight against COVID-19 by manufacturing these vital items in abundance. The government alone cannot fulfil the requirement since masks and gloves are in short supply everywhere around the globe. The only way out is to establish more and more manufacturing units to ensure speedy supply of high-quality masks and gloves not only for the general public, but also for our corona warriors which include doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, besides police and paramilitary forces.

Without securing supply chains of these items, we cannot even think of winning this long continuing battle against this pandemic. The government on its part should also find out ways to encourage companies from inside and outside the medical industry to help plug the face masks and gloves requirement gap. Here another larger responsibility falls on respective authorities to keep a check on unauthorised and low quality supply.

On our part, at Anondita Healthcare, we are doing as much as we can to fill the gaps in the supply of protective gear. In view of the fast growing requirement, we have doubled the production of surgical gloves at our manufacturing facilities. Our employees are working in double shifts to contribute in the noble mission so that our corona warriors should not suffer from the paucity of safety equipment. Our production units are running day and night to produce surgical gloves. As a socially responsible firm, we understand that we have the responsibility to support our communities in the best possible way.

 

(The author of this article is Mr. Anupam Ghosh, Director, Anondita Healthcare)

Ace Group resumes construction in its Noida, Greater Noida projects

Realty major Ace Group has announced to have resumed construction work in its projects ‘Ace Parkway’, Noida and ‘Ace Divino’, Greater Noida West after getting ‘In Situ permission’ from respective authorities. The developer is following all the protocols and necessary precautions related to COVID-19 at its construction sites to protect the health and safety of the labourers.

Ace Divino_Project Pic

Ace Group has resumed construction work with limited manpower and it has ensured measures to maintain strict social distancing norms and other safeguards like proper sanitisation, hygiene best practices at its construction sites. While the Ace Group is regularly sanitising its projects sites, it has also provided labourers with masks, gloves, sanitisers and soaps for washing hands frequently. The developer has also arranged for meals to be provided to the labourers twice a day. Ace Group is also carrying out their routine health check-ups, besides mandatory thermal scanning of everyone entering the construction sites.

Mr. Ajay Chaudhary, CMD, Ace Group said, “Despite facing some supply side hindrances of the construction materials due to the ongoing lockdown we have resumed construction at our projects sites with simultaneously ensuring the safety and well-being of our construction workers as our top priority. We are also creating awareness among them regarding social distancing and hygiene best practices to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a socially responsible firm, we also understand that we have the responsibility to support our communities especially those who are vulnerable hence we have also arranged for their meals, shelter and healthcare at our project sites. ”

Nestled in the lap of luxury at Sector-150, Noida, Ace Parkway encompasses spacious two, three and four BHK apartments. It’s a classic living destination for luxurious, ingenious and most importantly peaceful living with abundance of facilities and amenities. ‘Ace Divino’ located at Sector-1, Greater Noida West is the other most sought after residential project of Ace Group, which offers aesthetically beautiful apartments of two and three BHK. The premium apartments at Ace Divino imbibe all the modern amenities to provide Futuristic Living with in-campus shopping, Zen Garden and a host of World-Class features.