Posts tagged ‘Bombay High Court’


India’s Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others | Reuters

This action demonstrates the new pro-business attitude of Modi’s government.

“India’s decision to drop a tax dispute with Vodafone Group Plc(VOD.L) is likely to mean relief for Royal Dutch Shell PLC(RDSa.L) and others caught in similar, protracted battles, as the government tries to attract much-needed foreign investment.

A Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in London January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

India’s image as an investment destination has been tarnished by a reputation for red tape, unpredictable rules and a tax office long seen as over zealous in its pursuit of foreign firms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government, seeking to reboot a slowing economy, has sought to change that.

Late on Wednesday, the government said it would not appeal a Bombay High Court ruling in favour of Vodafone, the biggest foreign investor in India.

“It’s a departure from the past when all the high-value tax cases were always litigated,” said Himanshu Shekar Sinha, a partner at law firm Trilegal.

“With this, the government has sent a clear direction that appeals should not be filed routinely.”

Tax lawyers said they expected cases such as those involving IBM (IBM.N), Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and others could now be resolved instead through negotiation.”

via India’s Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others | Reuters.


With court ban on illegal mosque loudspeakers, some Mumbai Muslims oppose street prayers too

The performance of religious practices in public spaces has occasionally caused friction in Indian cities. On July 30, the Bombay High Court addressed one particularly vexing source of strain when it asked the city police to take down all illegal loudspeakers attached to mosques in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

The court’s directive came in response to a public interest litigation filed by a Navi Mumbai resident against the unauthorised loudspeakers during prayer time at mosques. The court specified that all illegal loudspeakers, whether installed at mosques or at Ganesh or Navratri pandals, should be removed “irrespective of religion, caste or community”.

Even though the loudspeaker issue has been repeatedly politicised in Maharashtra (in 2010, the Shiv Sena had demanded a blanket ban on all mosque loudspeakers after the party was booked for violating noise norms at its Dussehra rally), several Muslim activists came out in support of the court directive.

But the call to prayer being announced on loudspeakers is not the only Muslim practice that some members of other communities complain about. In densely-populated cities like Mumbai, when large numbers of devotees gather to pray their Friday namaz, the congregation often spills out of the mosques and into the streets outside, hindering traffic and pedestrian movements for up to 30 minutes.

For many Muslim activists, this phenomenon is as much of an inconvenience to the public as the loudspeakers. But they believe the government has a greater role to play in helping to solve the problem.

“Nobody really likes to pray namaz outside on the streets, because it inconveniences so many people,” said Ghulam Arif, president of the Qartaba Wisdom Club, a Mumbai-based non-profit organisation that works on social issues. The only reason the practice continues, he said, is because the community is too large to fit into the existing mosques.

“The government could give Muslims the permission to organise Friday prayers in open grounds and maidans near mosques,” said Arif.

The community has been recommending a specific solution to the problem for nearly two decades: allowing mosques to expand by granting them additional floor space index. Increasing FSI  – the ratio of plot size to the height of a building that can be erected on it  –  would mean a greater number of floors to accommodate more worshippers.

via – News. Politics. Culture..

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