News & Notes 760:Report Working Committee over the month of July, 2018
Report Working Committee over the month of July, 2018
The main issues dealt with in this period are:
1) General meeting: The Working Committee reported on its work in a general meeting on June 12th. The main topics discussed were visa, the proposed highway through Auroville, and the disputed land purchase. A report of this meeting has been published.
2) Proposed highway: A report of the Highway Task Force has been published at [...]
3) Visa issues
- a) Visa situation Paris.
- The requirement from the Indian Embassy in Paris that Auroville applicants for an Entry Visa have to submit a financial guarantee has been dropped.
- b) Refused entry into India.
- Two Auroville residents have been refused entry into India by the Indian immigration authorities, even though they held a valid entry visa. Upon enquiry, we were informed that the reason is that they have been working as private individuals in India outside Auroville. This is a violation of the Auroville Visa conditions.
- We strongly urge anyone who engages in work outside of Auroville (including but not limited to giving classes, performances, presentations or seminars, playing music, Djing, consulting, construction, selling art/items) to make sure that the scope of work falls within the parameters of their relevant Auroville-registered unit or activity, as mentioned in the registration documents.
- If an Aurovilian engages in work outside of Auroville which is done in person and not done through an Auroville registered entity or is not within the scope of that activity, it violates the Auroville visa conditions and is grounds for refusal of entry into India.
- c) Aurovilian waiting for their visa abroad.
- One Aurovilian is waiting inordinately long for the Indian mission to issue her the new Entry Visa.
4) Maintenance is not liable for GST: The Finance Ministry of the Government of India has decided that ‘Auroville maintenance’ is not liable to GST.
5) GST registration and de-registration: The Finance Ministry has also advised that a committee consisting of jurisdictional Central and State GST Commissionerates be constituted to guide the Auroville Foundation for achieving easier GST compliance by taking appropriate action for registration / deregistration of its various business verticals.
6) Disputed land purchase.
- a) Legal status: At the advice of the Working Committee, the Secretary has employed Mr. Praveen Kumar, Addl. Public Prosecutor Pondicherry, and Ms. Jayendra Saraswathi to initiate both civil and criminal action against all involved in the deal - the sellers, the broker, and the sub-registrar - to secure the possession of the land.
- They have filed a criminal complaint at all the levels of police administration, from the CM special cell to Anti-land grab cell to Vigilance and Anti-corruption cell against the Sub Registrar's Office.
- Subsequently, the Anti land grab cell conducted a hearing with both the Auroville Foundation and the seller, represented by the broker Elumalai, on 9th July 2018.
- As the local Auroville Police station did not file the FIR as per Auroville's complaint, our lawyers have consulted criminal lawyer Mr. K. Sukumaran in Chennai. At his advice a writ petition for police protection for person and possession of the property based upon the three complaints filed by the Land Board have been filed. In addition, an affidavit has been filed before the Magistrate requesting him to instruct the police to file an FIR based upon the criminal complaint filed by the lawyers.
- The lawyers are also investigating if the 2009 Tindivanam case has any substance, and have asked for the case status and details from the Tindivanam sub court and Madras High Court.
- b) Investigation into irregularities: The former executives of the Land Board have requested an investigation to be conducted on how the documents pertaining to the 2009 Tindivanam court case came into the Land Board file. The Working Committee is trying to find out how best to approach this issue.
The Working Committee
Carel, Hemant, Inge, Mandakini, Partha, Ranjithkumar, Sauro.