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Thursday,25-February-2021

Business

Madras High Court: RBI employees aren’t government servants

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The Madras High Court has observed that the employees of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cannot be referred to as “government servants” while identifying their employment status.

The Division Bench, comprising of Justice K.K. Sasidharan and Justice P.D. Audikesavulu, said: “The fact that the central government has persuasive control over RBI would not make its employees central government employees…

“It is true that the RBI is a state within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India. Even then it cannot be said that its employees are all regular Government employees.”

The observation came after an RBI employee, E. Manoj Kumar, had moved the High Court seeking declaration of his result in the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC).

While filling up the questionnaire in the application form for Combined Civil Services-I Examination, Kumar had identified himself as a non-government employee in 2016.

The Commission withheld his result on the ground of suppression of material particulars in the application form regarding his employment with the Reserve Bank of India.

“Are you a Government employee?” was one of the queries in the questionnaire published by the TNPSC. Kumar answered it in the negative.

He cleared the written test, and was selected for the appointment to the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

However, his appointment met with a road block, and when he moved the court, a single bench at the Madras High Court dismissed his plea citing that the instruction on the application was very clear.

The instructions to the candidates contained not only government service, but there was also a provision to declare other services. It said that non-disclosure of the bank service is equivalent to suppression of information attracting disqualification.

The Division Bench though observed that the application form did not have a separate column clearly indicating the candidates to declare their nature of employment.

Taking a contrary view on Kumar’s plea, it observed that the column in the application form contained only one service for disclosure viz., “Government Service”, and thus it would not be possible for a Bank employee to record that he is a Government employee.

The bench noted that Kumar had correctly filled the application form for the examination.

It said: “Even the entry in question was correctly filled up by the appellant. He is not responsible for the preparation of an incorrect questionnaire by the TNPSC.”

Setting aside the single bench’s order passed on March 26, the Division Bench of the High Court directed the TNPSC to forward Kumar’s candidature to the government to take action regarding his appointment within one week.

Business

Sensex up 500 points, Nifty reclaims 15,000

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Growth chart. (File Photo: IANS)

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Thursday with the BSE Sensex rising over 500 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange also rose above the 15,000 mark.

Healthy buying activity was witnessed in metal, IT, banking and finance stocks.

Around 9.45 a.m., Sensex was at 51,323.82, higher by 542.13 points or 1.07 per cent from its previous close of 50,781.69.

It opened at 51,207.61 and has so far touched an intraday high of 51,386.12 and a low of 51,057.74 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,149.65, higher by 167.65 points or 1.12 per cent from its previous close.

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Business

As oilcos wait & watch, fuel prices remain steady

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Petrol

Oil marketing companies on Thursday continued with their wait and watch strategy and kept retail prices of petrol and diesel unchanged for the second consecutive day.

Accordingly, price of petrol continued to be at Rs 90.93 a litre and diesel Rs 81.32 a litre in the capital.

Elsewhere in the country as well, fuel prices remained unchanged after oil companies increased its pump prices on 13 of the last 17 days.

In the 13 increases since February 9, price have gone up by Rs 3.98 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.19 a litre in Delhi.

The price pause on Thursday may be momentary as global oil prices are on the boil with benchmark Brent crude prices remaining above $67 a barrel. The product prices in international market has also firmed up over restricted supplies and a demand pick up.

The increase of fuel prices in the previous weeks has taken petrol across historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol price is Rs 97.34 a litre while diesel is Rs 88.44 a litre.

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol crossed Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 25 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.22 and Rs 7.45 per litre respectively so far this year.

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Business

Traders across India to go on strike on Friday

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Going ahead with their protest against arbitrary regulations and changes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and alleged norm violations by e-commerce giants, traders across the country will go a day-long strike on Friday.

In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) the umbrella body which has called for the strike said that over 8 crore traders belonging to more than 40,000 trade associations across country will observe the ‘Bharat Vyapar Bandh’ to protest against some of the “draconian, arbitrary and critical” amendments made recently in GST rules.

It will also urge the government to rectify glitches in e-commerce for preventing violation of law by foreign e-commerce companies.

The All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) an apex body of 1 crore transporters have already supported the strike and has also announced ‘Chakka Jam’ of transport sector on Friday all over India.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that not only traders but even small industries, hawkers, and women entrepreneurs among others will also join the bandh.

Further, associations of chartered accountants and tax advocates have supported the strike and have informed their clients not to visit their offices on Friday.

Khandelwal further said that on Friday as a mark of protest, ‘dharna’ will be held in more than 1,500 towns and cities across states and no traders will login to GST portal to register their protest.

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