Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Call drops, Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets cases to come up today

SC will continue the hearing in the case to decide who was to blame for the issue of call drops

New Delhi: Matters of policy on penalty on call drops, ban on certain medicines, export of crude and mining in Odisha will continue to engage the court’s time today. The disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa’s will also be heard today.

Here’s a quick look at these cases.

Call drops case

The Supreme Court will continue the hearing in the case to decide who was to blame for the issue of call drops. Advocate Kapil Sibal, who told the court that penalising telcos is a populist measure, is likely to argue through the day. Telecom service providers moved the apex court after the Delhi high court upheld the penalty imposed on them for call drops. Earlier, the Supreme Court clarified that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had the authority to impose a penalty for call drops, but it would decide whose responsibility call drops were. Telcos are opposing the telecom consumer regulations notified in October that said for every call drop, the service providers would pay 1 for up to three call drops each day.

Cairn India’s plea to export excess crude

The case relates to a plea by Cairn India before the Delhi high court seeking export of excess crude it extracted from its Barmer oil fields in Rajasthan. Cairn India told the court in earlier hearings that despite repeated orders by the court, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) had failed to clarify if it would pick up its share of the crude oil, forcing the company to sell it to domestic companies at a loss. Cairn, a Vedanta group company, has a production sharing contract (PSC) with ONGC under which it gets 70% of crude from the well while the state-owned company gets 30%. Read more

On 1 March, Cairn told the court that no permission or no-objection certificate is required from the oil ministry for it to export the surplus and that it was permitted under the foreign trade policy. The case will next be heard today.

Wockhardt seeking stay on govt notification banning FDCs

After pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Abbott, MacLeods, P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and Glenmark successfully secured a stay on the government notification banning sale of fixed dose combination drugs, pharma giant Wockhardt is likely to approach the court today.

The government had banned 344 drug combinations under its notification passed on 10 March.

Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets case

The Supreme Court will continue hearing the final arguments on Thursday in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The appeal is filed by the Karnataka government against her acquittal in a disproportionate assets case. Karnataka’s prosecutor B.V. Acharya is likely to conclude arguments on behalf of the government and Jayalalithaa’s defence would begin after that.

Last year, the Karnataka government approached the apex court, saying that the high court ignored clinching evidence. Jayalalithaa was convicted by a special court in Bengaluru for amassing assets disproportionate to her income when she was the Tamil Nadu CM during 1991-1996.

Odisha iron ore mining case

An important ruling is awaited by the Supreme Court on Thursday on the renewal of “deemed leases" of mines under the Mines and Minerals Act (MMDR) in a case related to mining activity in Orissa.

The apex court in 2014, through an interim ruling, had halted mining activity in 26 iron and manganese ore mines in the state. The green bench of the court had said that such leases cannot operate under the provisions of “deemed extension" under Mineral Concession Rules (MCR), 1960 unless the government passed express orders for renewal.

The court on Thursday will interpret whether the government’s silence would be deemed extension of the lease.

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