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Mallya quits United Spirits, receives golden parachute

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Mallya sold the controlling stock in his United Spirits, and has now received a golden parachute severance to walk away

Mallya sold the controlling stock in his United Spirits, and has now received a golden parachute severance to walk away

(DIYA TV) — Vijay Mallya announced Thursday he will relinquish his post as chairman of United Spirits after the company’s new owner offered to compensate him Rs 515 crore ($75 million U.S.) for the departure, as well as absolve him of all liabilities over scrutinized fiscal issues at the company founded by his family. The deal now has the spotlight, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has begun looking into possible violations in corporate governance because of the severance.

Specifically, Sebi is investigating the business practices of United Spirits, its main promoter, UK-based Diageo Plc., Mallya himself, and group firms that are currently or have been investors in India’s leading liquor provider. The vast intricacies of Mallya’s severance have led Sebi to scrutinize its mechanics, and could soon begin questioning USL, Diageo, Mallya and others. Additionally, regulators are taking a closer look at USL shares to make sure there have been no violations of insider trading and other irregularities.

Anonymous sources inside Sebi have revealed that the corporate affairs ministry and additional agencies may begin independent investigations after the deal struck between Mallya and United Spirits raised “serious doubts” about whether the corporate governance norms have been followed in “letter and spirit” in this matter.

When it rains, it pours

Mallya hasn’t caught many breaks lately — the latest news comes in addition to an earlier probe which alleged financial regularities relating to loans advanced to his group, UB Firms, including for the long-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Sebi has already charged the same group with rule violations, and the corporate ministry is investigating alleged violations of provisions of the Companies Act.

Sahara Force India, a Formula 1 racing team created by a consortium of businessmen, led by Mallya

Sahara Force India, a Formula 1 racing team created by a consortium of businessmen, led by Mallya

Even more, several financial transactions which United Spirits, Mallya and various UB Group firms with entities abroad, including those before Diageo buying into the company, are under heavy scrutiny. Some of the aforementioned deals resulted in Mallya’s venture into the world of professional sport like cricket, Formula One, and most recently his embarkment into the Caribbean Premiere League.

Flash and Pizazz

Forever regarded as the flamboyant type, Mallya has been referred to on countless occasions as the “King of Good Times,” until his empire ran into a wall, beginning with the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya’s multi-billion dollar sale of his controlling stock to Diageo, and the severance deal he struck, brings to an end the year-long battle he has been in with USL.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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