Sunday, March 30, 2008

Criminal investigation ordered in the Anil Ambani case ...

In a talk I had with my friend from India today, he mentioned about the case he filed last Novemebr 2007 against one of the biggest and most influential people in his country. Coming from an Asian country like him and knowing how money and power can often influence the outcome of investigations, I can only wish him luck in his efforts and hope that many benefit in the end. I am sure justice will find its way where it is due....

Below is the press release on the case. I am posting this in support of his advocacy for truth and efforts against graft and corruption.


On 29th November 2007, Honorable Justice Smt. K. K. Patil of JFMC (Anti-Corruption) Pune, ordered investigation of offences, of criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy to strip, the 13 lakh shareholders of Reliance Capital Ltd, off a valuable property. Besides Mr. Anil Ambani, the other accused are Mr. Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Mr. Rajendra P. Chitale and Mr. C. P. Jain ( the other Directors of RCL ). Criminal complaint 4134 / 2007, has been filed by a RCL shareholder Mr. V. M. Raste. He is also the convener of Corporate Watch, a not for profit organisation. Advocate Mr. Rohan V. Nahar appeared on behalf of Mr. Raste.

Mr. Anil Ambani is the chairman of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group ( ADAG ), besides being the Chairman of Reliance Capital Ltd ( RCL ) and Reliance Energy Ltd ( REL ). RCL was holding over 1.32 crore shares of REL till 21st May 2007.

On this day RCL sold these shares to a company owned by Mr. Anil Ambani at mere Rs.512.30 per share, even though the directors knew the true value.

Companies run share buy-back schemes, when they think their shares are substantially underpriced in the markets. REL had a buy-back scheme up to a price of Rs.525 per share, during the year 2004-2005. Since then, the profit per share has gone up from Rs.26 per share to Rs.37 per share. Similarly, the book value has gone up from Rs.292per share to Rs.410 per share. These are the two important parameters, which determine the share value/price.

As per the REL price, Rs. 1662.50 on 29th November 07, the shareholders of RCL lost Rs.1,500 crores and Mr. Anil Ambani ( including his family ) gained by the same amount.

This is a very clear case of abuse of shareholder trust by the company chairman and the members of the board of directors. This is also a criminal conspiracy to strip the shareholders off their valuable property. In the days, when the corporates are playing an increasingly important role in our society, it is important that such cases are swiftly and firmly dealt with, to avoid recurrance.

More so, because RCL deals with investor money through Reliance Mutual Fund and Reliance Insurance.

Mr V M Raste
Dated the 30th November, 2007.
12 Maithilee, 34/5 Erandwana, Pune 411004. Phone + 91 20 2543 6648.
email :

related entries: Samvedana Anashan ends, The Fasting Starts, Press release: Samvedana Anashan, Samvedana Anashan: Fasting for Good Governance to fight hunger, etc.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning to be Responsible...

My daughter asked her father yesterday what he would do if she lost the money to pay for her tuition fee. Her question did make me think of what my reaction would be. Angry maybe. And also disappointed that she still cannot be responsible enough to handle a big amount of money at her age. I didn't dwell much on it though since the possibility that she would lose such an amount is low. We almost always issue a check to pay for their tuition and their father goes to school to pay for it.

It was a hypothetical question she raised because her classmate lost the tuition money her parents gave her. Her classmate and other friends apparently hanged out at the house of another classmate and lost the money there.Though her classmate was allowed to take her final exams, she has been trying to sell personal things to raise the amount she lost so she won't have to tell her parents. Php8,000 isn't a small amount here. For some, that could already be a month's pay. And for parents who work hard to get their children through school, that could very well make tempers rise and parents cry.

The classroom Adviser spoke to the classmates who were in the house when the money was one admitted getting the money. It's sad when friendships turn sour and one's honesty is questioned because of money, especially if the suspected one is your own best friend.

My daughter can be skeptical like me though, she said losing the money was her classmate's version. And she did agree that her classmate was wrong in going out with friends when she should have been in school paying her tuition fee first. I hope she learned from her classmate's mistake...

Saturday, March 08, 2008


For those still unaware of it, there's an International Women's Day (IWD) website. Please visit it for updates on women's equal rights, events and matters concerning women.

Women's groups have been using the logos below to symbolize what they stand for and emphasize their advocacies. HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!

IWD global


Purple, green and white are the official international women's colours.

The colours originated from the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), in the UK in 1908. The colours were said to represent:

  • white for purity in public as well as private life
  • purple for justice, dignity, self-reverence and self-respect (and representing the women's vote)
  • green for hope and new life.

The colours unified the women's movement and emphasised the femininity of the suffragettes. The tricolour of the WSPU soon became a visual cue for the women's movement in other countries. Purple, green and white were worn on International Women's Day and were used for other women's movement banners and posters.

More recently, two changes have occured:

  • the use of the colour white has more recently been rejected as 'purity' is a controversial issue and attitudes towards the role of 'purity' from women differ greatly
  • the introduction of the colour gold representing 'a new dawn' has been commonly used to represent the second wave of feminism.

IWD global


Many women's groups around the world who understand, respect and chose to honour the history and progress made by the suffragettes use purple as their predominant representative colour.

These websites of women's groups use the representative purple:

IWD global

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The New Yorkers Home for aWedding...

My kids' paternal second cousins from New York came home 2 weeks ago for a wedding. Both bride and groom are based in New York. But like most Filipino families living overseas, their heritage remains deeply rooted in their veins. Though the groom was born and bred in New York, he wanted their wedding held at their neighborhood church which I heard his father helped build. When asked by the priest why he wanted to get married in Manila, he said that whenever he was here for vacation, he felt he was always coming home.

Ex-President Cory Aquino who lives in the same neighborhood here as the groom's family, attended the wedding. I saw her laughing and amused when during the offering ceremony, the bride's New York-born and bred male cousin marched towards the altar with his 5'8" statuesque model-like sister (what a real beauty!). He sported a thick, waist-length curly hair and a beard longer than Bin Laden's (his uncle jokingly introduced him to us as Bin Laden's relative ). The ex-President interrupted the picture-taking at the altar after the wedding to greet the new bride and groom and to have a picture with them taken before she left.

All 3 families from the bride's side came home for the wedding. A cousin who was last here in 1975 requested that we attend the wedding because she wanted to meet me (and I thought, ohhh ok...) The wedding somehow softened the bride's family's mourning for the 5 relatives who perished in a New York fire last December. The lone surviver from the fire also had his 22nd birthday yesterday. He seemed to enjoy himself as he and his cousins tried to outdo each other on the dance floor doing the typical New York streetdances. Maybe it was just as well that my kids hadn't been there. My daughter looking so much like his late 11-year old sister could have affected him last night. Too bad though that they weren't able to enjoy the night with their second cousins.

The flower girl at my wedding is now 22 and such a tomboy with very short boyish haircut. She even wore a man's Barong instead of a dress. I didn't recognize her when I saw her for the first time after more than 15 years. She didn't look female, lol.

Somehow I enjoyed the celebration, too. The food was really good ( but I couldn't jump in and swim on the chocolate fountain like someone suggested since it was just a fondue ) .The relatives were nice to me. But since I have future plans, I couldn't help keeping my distance....