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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Supreme Court on Burglary in Insurance Policies ~ 'contra proferenterm' rule !

Insurance is  a contract and every contract  should be interpreted strictly !

Underwriters evaluate the risk and the premium is based on exposure, the probable chance of occurrence, frequency and severity.  Burglary insurance provides indemnity for loss or damage to property insured from the premises insured directly resultant from acts of burglary. From an Insurance angle, it is not the value of the goods that alone that matters.  Goods that can be sold easily in retail and grey markets [eg. Cigarette packs / batteries] are bad risks as compared to those which cannot be sold easily [eg. Special medicines].  Smaller items with high value [eg.,diamond rings] are worser risk than bulky items like machinery. Again those who have ready market in retail [eg mobile phones] are  bad risks as compared to those which cannot be sold so easily [say precision machinery].  In contrast, exhibition items / objects with antique value are higher risks unless proper security arrangements are in place. 

Often the terms are used interchangeably and interpreted loosely.  People tend to claim all losses as genuine, without looking into the terms of coverage.  In a peril defined policy, occurrence being genuine alone would not warrant consideration – loss or damage should be attributable to an insured peril. 

Section 378 of IPC defines theft and section 379 talks of the punishment for theft. Sec445 is House breaking.—A person is said to commit “house-breaking” who commits house-trespass if he effects his entrance into the house or any part of it in any of the six ways described; or if, being in the house or any part of it for the purpose of committing an offence, or, having committed an offence therein, he quits the house or any part of it in any of such six ways !! .. .. however, Insurance Policies define ‘Burglary’.  The policy interprets ‘burglary’ as to mean actual theft or an attempt thereat:
a)  accompanied by an actual forcible and violent entry into or exit from any building at the premises or
b)  following assault or violence to any person  or threat thereof.

Here is a recent deliverance of the Supreme Court of India, that should bring cheers to Insurers. [Civil Appeal no. 1130 of 2007] :  M/s. Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd. Vs. New India Assurance Company Ltd. & ANR.

The appeal was made by Industrial Promotion & Investment Corpn of Orissa, a wholly owned Public Sector Undertaking of the Government of Orissa.  They had extended a term loan of Rs. 40,74,000/- to M/s. Josna Casting Centre Orissa Pvt. Ltd.  As the party defaulted, the Industrial Corpn.  took over the assets in 1992.  They insured the assets against Fire and Burglary policies. At the time of auctioning the seized assets in 1997 it was observed that some parts of the plant and machinery were missing from the factory premises. FIR was filed at Balasore and Insurance claim lodged for a value of 34.40 lakhs under Burglary policy  - the claim was repudiated by Insurers stating loss was not within the purview of Policy.  The Appellant filed application before MRTP Commission, which too was rejected.  They preferred appeal in the Apex Court. 

The Counsel for appellant contended that policy covers burglary and applying the rule of contra proferentem ’ the words 'theft following an actual forcible and violent entry/or exit from the premises' are with reference only to house breaking and not burglary. He contended that forcible and violent entry is not necessary for making a valid claim under the policy and that it would be sufficient if  there is theft of certain goods from the factory premises, which fact has been proved by the Appellant. Mr. Mehta stated that clauses in the case  in United India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Harchand Rai Chandan Lal and urged  that the Commission committed an error in relying upon the said judgment to reject the Claim Application for the Appellant.

Advocate representing the Insurer submitted that there is no difference and urged that an insurance policy is akin to a commercial contract and has to be construed strictly. He  submitted that a forcible entry and/or exit is compulsory for maintainability of a claim under the policy.

The Hon’ble Court held that there is no error committed by the MRTP Commission in rejecting the Claim of the Appellant. It is clear from the facts of the present case that the Appellant has made out a case of theft without a forcible entry. The case of the Appellant is that forcible entry is not required for a claim to be made under the policy. Following the well-accepted principle that a contract of insurance which is like any other commercial contract should be interpreted strictly, we are of the opinion that the policy covers loss or damage by burglary or house breaking which have been explained as theft following an actual, forcible and violent entry from the premises. A plain reading of the policy would show that a forcible entry should precede the theft, and unless they are proved, the claim cannot be accepted.

The Court added that a comparison of the terms as defined in the policy in the case of United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Harchand Rai Chandan Lal (supra) and the scope of cover in the proposal form in the instant case are similar.  In the earlier case it was held that  "The policy is a contract between the parties and both parties are bound by the terms of contract.

As per the definition of the word "burglary", followed with violence, makes it clear that if any theft is committed it should necessarily be preceded with violence i.e. entry into the premises for committing theft should involve force or violence or threat to insurer or to his employees or to the members of his family. Therefore, the element of force and violence is a condition precedent for burglary and housebreaking. The term 'burglary' as defined in the English Dictionary means an illegal entry into the building with an intent to commit crime such as theft. But in absence of violence or force the insurer cannot claim indemnification against the insurance company.

The terms of the policy have to be construed as it is and we cannot add or subtract something. Howsoever liberally we may construe the policy but we cannot take liberalism to the extent of substituting the words which are not intended. It is true that in common parlance the term "burglary" would mean theft but it has to be preceded with force or violence. If the element of force and violence is not present then the insurer cannot claim compensation against theft from the insurance company.

The policy may be so framed as to apply only to violent entry from the outside; or the violent entry into a room within the insured premises may be sufficient. In any case, the violence must be connected with the act of entry; if the entry is obtained without violence, the subsequent use of violence to effect the theft, as for instance where a show-case is broken open, does not bring the loss within the policy.

The Court further dealt  with the submission made by counsel for the Appellant regarding the rule of contra proferentem. The Common Law rule of construction "verba chartarum fortius accipiuntur contra proferentem" means that ambiguity in the wording of the policy is to be resolved against the party who prepared it. MacGillivray on Insurance Law deals with the rule of contra proferentem as follows:
"The contra proferentem rule of construction arises only where there is a wording employed by those drafting the clause which leaves the court unable to decide by ordinary principles of interpretation which of two meanings is the right one. "One must not use the rule to create the ambiguity - one must find the ambiguity first." The words should receive their ordinary and natural meaning unless that is displaced by a real ambiguity either appearing on the face of the policy or, possibly, by extrinsic evidence of surrounding circumstances."

Court in a classical deliverance said – the  assured cannot put his own meaning upon a policy, but, where it is ambiguous, it is to be construed in the sense in which he might reasonably have understood it. If the insurers wish to escape liability under given circumstances, they must use words admitting of no possible doubt, expressed by the parties and it is not for the Court to make a new contract, however reasonable.

The Court referring to another case : United India Vs  Orient Treasures (P) Ltd. held that there is no ambiguity in the insurance policy and so the rule of contra proferentem was not applicable.  The Court upheld the  order of the MRTP Commission and dismissed the Appeal with no order as to costs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Aug 2016.
Photo credit :

The judgement of the Apex Court is largely reproduced  

Monday, August 29, 2016

it is not entirely rain ! ~ but live relay snap that denied a win for Indians

We have seen the propensity of MSD to take it to the last ball to finish ~ it was looking another good one – a couple of huge sixers by Dhoni evaporating into the stand and one followed by KL Rahul… a gettable last over ~ 2 off the last – Dhoni getting out – anti-climax, immediate reaction by some on twitter, FB and other social media !

The start of the second Twenty20 International of the two-match series between West Indies and India was  delayed by nearly an hour, officials  announced. The match was scheduled to start 10:00 am Eastern Caribbean time at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)  reported a delay because of “technical reasons”. A 30 minute delay was first announced followed by an extra ten minutes – eventually, the delay becoming an hour.

Some confusion – before we read, there was the time difference, as we comfortably sat to see the matches in late evening.  A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.  Remember that couple of years back, then Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi  announced his decision to reset the clock in the State an hour ahead of IST to save energy and increase productivity. Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. A dual time zone in India, if Assam were to turn its clock forward by an hour, would  not only create “unimaginable chaos” in a country of India’s demographic size, but also barely meet its intended goal of saving energy.

Remember the match was played in Florida.  Time in the United States, by law, is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states and its possessions, with most of the United States observing daylight saving time (DST) for approximately the spring, summer, and fall months. Official and highly precise timekeeping services (clocks) are provided by two federal agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (an agency of the Department of Commerce); and its military counterpart, the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). The clocks run by these services are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations. It is the combination of the time zone and daylight saving rules, along with the timekeeping services, which determines the legal civil time for any U.S. location at any moment.

India’s chances of levelling the series after a heartbreaking one-run loss in the thrilling first Paytm T20I against West Indies were dashed when the second and the final match was called off due to wet patches on the outfield following rain.  Indians clearly looked in control unlike the earlier match having bowled out the mighty West Indies  for just 143 runs in 19.4 overs at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill.

When India’s chase began, openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinjya Rahane were batting on 10 and four respectively, when the play was halted with India 15/0 after two overs, needing another 129 runs from 18 overs. With the outfield developing wet patches, even three more overs of play, which would have ensured a result was not possible.  When it started raining, by DLS – India without losing a wicket had to score 27 in 5 overs (the minimum required for a result !)

So when play was finally called-off, Indians felt robbed of an easy victory. Earlier, captain MS Dhoni once again won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Indian bowlers were sharp and made brilliant use of their variations. Leg spinner Amit Mishra, who replaced Stuart Binny was in the thick of the action and on many occasions, the West Indies batsmen failed to read him. Mishra removed the dangerous Johnson Charles (43 off 24) on the first ball he bowled in the final Powerplay over and bowled Dwayne Bravo with a googly and captain Carlos Brathwaite with a flighted delivery.  Amit perhaps would not have been there, if Indians had time to have a T20 line-up – as in the earlier T20 squad Pawan Negi and Harbhajan Singh had edged him out.

The rain and also the technical delay – most probably due to live feed from satellite not being available denied the victory.  In the world of Commercials, it is the bizarre case of not starting the match, simply because it could not go live on air !!! ~ the weather was perfect, everything else was in place – but technology, the relaying back to the cricket crazy nation denied a chance.

This two-match series in Florida, which West Indies won 1-0, was supposed to be an exercise to take the game into a new market, a market where fans are used to being treated better than cricket tends to treat fans in India. The broadcasters had paid massive sums for the rights and deserved some consideration, but there was rain expected later in the afternoon.  It is further reported that at around 12.40pm, with India looking to be on their way to a win having restricted West Indies, it rained for around 20 minutes. The ground didn't have a Super Sopper, and wasn't covered fully. The business area was promptly ready for play and the deep parts of the outfield drained well too, but the top of the bowlers' run-ups, around the area where the painted advertisements are, didn't dry up. The captains were seen looking at that particular area with concern minutes before the game was called off at 2pm.

The official presentation was carried out in gloomy circumstances with the official interviewer steering clear of even mentioning the delayed start, without which the crowd would have had a result. The studio shows and the official interviewer only spoke of how humans are helpless against "mother nature" and "weather". Without being prompted, the West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite said he hoped the drainage and equipment would improve at the ground, which he said was a wonderful venue otherwise.

The World knows the truth, yet would not speak !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Aug 2016.

Photo credit : and news source espncricinfo.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Evin Lewis and KL Rahul make fast centuries ~ West Indies laughs at Florida

This left-hander replaced Chris Gayle and perhaps outsmarted him… .. .. Do you what brackets : Wayne Parnell, Izatullah Dawlatzai and Stuart Binny together ? Today, everyone knows – Stuart Broad stands at top having conceded 36 runs in a single over in T20 and after him these three : Stuart Binny joining the list having been mauled by E Lewis at Lauderhill, Florida.

In the end whose ton was better ?

Cricket attracts crowds ~ that is what this experimentation in Florida is all about. Making Cricket famous in US with large Indian crowds turning up there today.  Back home, Chepauk, which was deprived of International matches by many schemes [no World Cup ~ then no IPL too for the past two years !!] bustled with activity.  There were so many walking on roads nearer the stadium, buying tickets. The inaugural India Cements Tamil Nadu Premier League had a grand launch with the  cream of Kollywood participating in the opening ceremony.  It was Kollywood glamour of Shriya Saran,  Dhansika of Kabali with fireworks too added to the festive atmosphere.

Bharata Natyam, Tamil folk art and traditional Kerala dances too were performed by experts and children to mark the landmark event. Singer Karthik  sang  while actor Dhanush unveiled the trophy  with TNCA president N Srinivasan PS Raman, chairman of the league.  Dhoni had earlier been there.  The popular stands were filling with so many people.  The colourful stadium, facilities and the music and dance during breaks made the TNPL resemble IPL. It is good for the young players of the State though BCCI had designed to keep everyone out by rules and also conducting Duleep trophy at the same time.

At Florida today,  big disappointment to the crowd was Chris Gayle missing from the West Indies line-up because of injury. His replacement at the top of the order, Andre Fletcher, also the wicketkeeper, was expected to be in immediate action  - but Charles walked in with Evin Lewis.  Lewis debuted at Vidarbha Cricket Association, Jamtha, Nagpur in T20 no. 552 on 27th Mar 2016 – it was a double disaster.  He scratched for 7 balls without opening his account – out for a duck against Afganistan, who beat West Indies by 6 runs. 

India unveiled a bit of a surprise at the top of the order, with Shikhar Dhawan making way for KL Rahul, MS Dhoni won the toss and put WI in. Fletcher filled the void left by the sacked Denesh Ramdin. Kieron Pollard took Darren Sammy's place. Sunil Narine, back with a cleared action, replaced Sulieman Benn in the XI that West Indies played in their previous T20I. This was Carlos Brathwaite's captaincy debut.  WI made record breaking 245 /6 behind Australia’s 248 and Sri Lankans 260/6 the highest in this format. Evin Lewis made a classic 100 off 49 balls; shared 126 opening partnership with Johnson Charles who made 79 off mere 39 balls.

At break – a chase of 246 seemed improbable – and it went by the wire to the last ball !!

Indian chase was great in that 489 runs match. Debutant KL Rahul was brilliant – making century off 46 –missing the World record by a solitary delivery and remaining unbeaten 110 0ff 51 balls. We have many a times seen Dhoni making that finish.  Today too, he smashed a 108M six of Russel…. .. ..but in the end,  Dwayne Bravo outfoxed MS Dhoni and the centurion Rahul by defending seven runs in the last over. India needed two off the last ball, Bravo made Dhoni wait and wait before bowling a slower ball that was caught at short third man.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Aug 2016.

photos credit :

Thursday, August 25, 2016

spectacles distributed at SYMA - remembering KE Raghavan

Srinivas Youngmens Association (SYMA) has been doing service relentlessly since 1977.  Commemorating entry into 40th year of Service, on 15th Aug 2016, SYMA brought out a small handbook containing telephone numbers of utilities and services in and around Triplicane.  This was released in the Eye Camp that we conduct every year on the Independence day – in association with Lion Club (Venus), Sri Seervi Samaj Bhavan, Triplicane  Brahmins Welfare Association and Sri Sankara Eye Hospital, Pammal.

Around 130 people were screened ~ 16 persons were selected, taken to Sri Sankara Eye Hospital, Pammal on the same day.  Cataract surgery was done free for them and a day later, they were brought back to Triplicane in a van arranged by SYMA.  SYMA Office members and some members too went to the hospital on 16th Aug, met those who underwent eye surgery, providing them words of comfort.

31 persons were prescribed spectacles.  The eye-glasses were made by Sri Sankara Eye Hospital, Pammal and they were distributed in a function held at SYMA Medical Centre today @ 7.00 pm.
Today SYMA remembers Mr KE Raghavan, who left us this day in 2007.  The edifice of SYMA has been built brick by brick by the efforts of some and late KE Raghavan played a great part in maintaining the Centre those days. Raghavan endeared to everyone with his pleasant nature, dedicated work for SYMA and his culinary skills.  Mr KE Srinivasan, Prop. Alamu Stores, distributed the glasses alongwith Mr TJ Ramani, President.  Many Office bearers and members were also present.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Aug 2016.

India to play West Indies in T20 at Lauderhill, Florida, USA

A casual search led to a photo of Team India members Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar visiting  the home of Miami Heat (three time champions of National Basketball Association) in U.S.A. on Thursday.   A report suggests that the trio  were hosted by the latest recruit of Miami Heat - Tyler Johnson as he gave them a walk through their locker room, team meeting room, gymnasium and recuperation centre at the American Airlines Arena.

Recall that in Apr 2016, on a Sunday -  much hyped World T20 finals 2016 – England once pushed to corner could muster and set up a target of 155.  Ordinary mortals talked about Chris Gayle and the new found hero Lendl Simmons.   After  17 WI were 118/6 – 38 required off 18 and it was only wishful thinking of any miracle happening ..  Marlon was still there and had been joined by a player who had been recently bought by DDR.  It boiled to 19 off the last – near impossible.   Ben Stokes to bowl it, a young player gaining a reputation as a reliable “death” bowler.  He was  faced  by Carlos Brathwaite, a tall muscular Barbadian, with long levers and a keen eye. It was six over backward square leg; over long-on; over long-off and one over wide long – on. 

History was made – the man, Allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, who has played only eight T20Is, has been appointed the new West Indies T20 captain for the two matches against India.  Darren Sammy, who led them to two World T20 titles, has cruelly been sacked and also left out of the 13-man squad.  India, which just won a series against West Indies in the Caribbean in Test cricket, the purest form of the game, is ranked second behind New Zealand in T20, the shortened format. West Indies is currently No. 3 despite being the reigning T20 world champion.  However, they have 3-2 against India in T20 Internationals.

Interestingly, the match is not played in any of the Caribbean grounds ! – the venue is at
Lauderhill,  a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. Florida,  (Spanish for "land of flowers") is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States,  bordered by Gulf of Mexico,  Alabama and Georgia, Atlantic Ocean, and  Straits of Florida and Cuba. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, the 3rd most populous, and the 8th most densely populated of the United States. Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States.  Since the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León – who named it La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] "land of flowers") upon landing there in the Easter season, Pascua Florida – Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, and racial segregation after the American Civil War.

The 1st T20 between India and West Indies will be played at Lauderhill on 27th Aug and the 2nd on the next day.

The ground has seen some Cricket already.   Caribbean Premier League's maiden foray into playing on US soil was a chance for the sport to be revived at the Central Broward Regional Park (CBRP) in Lauderhill to combat the burgeoning presence of soccer at the facility. In some ways, the CPL accomplished this because, India agreed to play two Twenty20 Internationals against West Indies shortly after the league's conclusion. CPL officials have repeatedly said they are committed to coming back again.  However,  CPL has declined  to provide official attendance figures for the games in Florida. 

So how much of crowds come, might probably influence the Caribbean cricket further – it however is not going to be the first ever T20 at Lauderhill.  Way back in May 2010, New Zealand played 1st ever T20  at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill and won by 28 runs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Aug 2016.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Clock struck 3.36 am and Earthquake struck Amatrice, Italy.

Amatrice is a hilltop beauty spot famed as the home of amatriciana, one of Italy's favourite pasta sauces. Amatrice, in fact, was due to have its annual festival honouring its namesake food on August 27-28 in the historic centre now rendered to rubble. It is a popular destination for Romans seeking cool mountain air at the height of the summer. Amatrice is a town and comune in the province of Rieti, in northern Lazio (central Italy)– this city of agricultural base is in news for wrong reasons!

Seismicity in the Himalayan region  dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin.  To put it simply it is tremors ~i.e., Earthquake !!!

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake killed 9,000 people and injured more than 19,000 according to reports.  It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest.  Thousands were rendered homeless – some monuments were flattened too.   A second major earthquake occurred on 12 May 2015 at 12:35 NST – this  too caused deaths ! An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the perceptible shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can be violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities.

The clock on the 13th century tower in Amatrice, Italy, poignantly stopped just after Wednesday's earthquake struck at 3.36am.  The town was one of the hardest hit in the disaster, with at least 17 dying there, from a total of over 70 lives lost.  Reports suggest that the  death toll from the earthquake that hit Amatrice and other villages in central Italy is rising at an alarming rate. Some reports however add that  so far it looks as if the number of fatalities will be substantially lower than when an earthquake of comparable force hit the nearby city of L’Aquila in 2009, killing 309 people.  The casualty tally will nevertheless be far higher than it should be in a country of Italy’s wealth – but much lower than it might have been. The 6.2-magnitude earthquake, like the one that devastated L’Aquila, struck at night.

Had people been at work, in shops or at school, the outcome would have been much worse. Two years ago, President of Italy’s National Council of Geologists, said that according to some estimates, if the L’Aquila earthquake had struck when students were in their classrooms, “the number of victims would have been thousands, not hundreds”.  It is still not simple ~ 'Half the village has disappeared,' said Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi, surveying a town centre that looked as if had been subjected to a bombing raid.  'To hear the mayor of Amatrice say his village no longer exists and knowing that there are children among the victims, is very upsetting for me,' he said. It was packed with visitors when the quake struck.

The first quake measured 6.2, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which said it occurred at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles). It measured 6.0 according to Italian monitors, who put the depth at only four km. A 5.4-magnitude aftershock followed an hour later. Strong tremors were felt in the capital Rome, more than 100 miles from the epicenter near the city of Perugia - the epicentre was between Norcia and Accumoli.  The true horror of the Italian earthquake disaster was revealed  as witnesses described the hellish scenes as 'like Dante's inferno' and shocking pictures showed how four towns were almost wiped off the map.

There were cries of people shouting for help - rescue workers arrived after one hour... one and a half hours, states one media.  Thereafter, rescuers spoke of hearing children's screams from the rubble and locals were spotted frantically digging with their bare hands to try and save loved ones. The quake which devastated the mountainside towns and villages of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto was so powerful that it even rocked buildings in the centre of Rome more than 100 miles away and was felt as far away as Croatia. The earthquake in Norcia occurred in a shallow fault in the Apennines, a chain of mountains that form the backbone of Italy’s ‘boot’. It is well known for being a highly complex and geologically active region as it sits at a point where several tectonic plates grind against each other.

According to the US Geological Survey,  the quake was caused by the stretching of the Earth’s crust as the tectonic plates beneath moved apart. Since the late Miocene a large basin has been opening up under the western Mediterranean Sea at the point where the massive Eurasian tectonic plate meets the African plate.  The earthquake in Norcia is thought to have been caused by the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin occurring faster than the compression between the Eurasian and African plates, causing the earth’s crust to stretch.  At the location of the earthquake, the Eurasian plate moves towards the northeast with respect to the African plate at a rate of around 24mm/yr, according to the US Geological Survey.

Compared to other much larger earthquakes, such as the one off the coast of Japan in 2011 which was magnitude 9.0, it occurred at a much shallower depth which  may account for the high levels of destruction seen in Norcia. The most powerful earthquake in Italian history, magnitude 7.4 quake destroyed at last 70 towns and cities, causing death of around 60,000 people occurred at Sicily in Jan 1693.

The natural disasters bring in untold hardships – quake destroys homes, buries people under rubble, roads and structures are damaged, powerlines get disrupted thereby bringing in darkness,  food, medicine all become scarce and sadly some humans resort to plundering when others are in distress !

Sad to be reading this…

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Aug 2016 @ 22: 40 hrs.

Photo credit : Daily Mail; news Daily Mail; guardian BBC and more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Duleep Trophy turns pink !!

Pink revolution refers to the modernisation of the meat and poultry processing sector ~ am no person to write on that !

Nawanagar was an Indian princely state in the  region of Kathiawar, located on the southern shores of the Gulf of Kutch. It was ruled by the Jadeja dynasty until 1948 when it became a part of newly formed India. The district is now known as Jamnagar.  Its rules were the mighty  Hindu Rajputs.  From here came the famous cricketer and ruler - Jam Saheb Ranjitsinhji after whom the premier Cricket tournament is named.  There is another domestic tournament – the Duleep Trophy, earlier a prestigious one played  between teams representing geographical zones of India [ 5 : South; North; West; East and Central].  Named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar (also known as "Duleep") – for long was the platform for National selection.   The competition was started by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the 1961–62 season. The inaugural tournament was won by West Zone who defeated South Zone in the final by 10 wickets.

A cricket ball is not a perfect sphere. The seam of the ball is the circular stitching which joins the two halves of the cricket ball. Hence, the seam joining the pieces of leather is circumferential and the stitching is noticeably raised.

Away, there has been lot of talk of using the pink ball - Australia trialled night sessions using the pink ball during the domestic Sheffield Shield season and  mooted hosting a first day-night test against New Zealand.  After Kerry Packer-promoted Pyjama cricket – coloured uniforms, white ball, floodlit daynight one-day matches in 1977 – cricket is now headed for day-night Tests.  Though there are reports suggesting that the overwhelming majority of players believe the pink Kookaburra ball isn't yet ready for test cricket- for the reason that it goes soft very quickly, does not  swing and seam and more importantly does not ‘reverse-swing’ – it is all happening in Greater Noida in India. 

From a premier tournament catapulting players to National honours, Duleep Trophy has gradually steeped towards insignificance. The 2013-14 final was washed out with just a handful of overs bowled because of incessant rain and a wet outfield. 

Allotting Kochi the match during the peak monsoon season spoke of the tournament's irrelevance … now at Greater Noida, teams named India Red, India Green, India blue are facing real test in 2016 edition.

The matches are to be played by trialling the pink ball under lights before hosting a day-night Test. 

While the latest innovation has been ruled out for the home series against New Zealand, the success of this season's Duleep Trophy could be a significant step towards hosting India's inaugural pink ball Test in the near future.   For the players though, the focus will largely be on getting acquainted to the pink ball under lights. The ball being used isn't the traditional SG ball used for games in India. Instead, in comes the Kookaburra from Australia while SG continues to test out their variant of the pink ball.
pic credit : aajtak

Kookaburras (genus Dacelo) are terrestrial tree kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea. The name is a loanword, onomatopoeic of its call. The kookaburra's loud call sounds like echoing human laughter. The Australia men's national field hockey team have the nickname ‘kookaburras’

Have read that the finals of 1975 Duleep trophy was played between South Zone and North Zone at Chepauk, Madras.  SZ were ably led by Srinivasan Venkatraghavan.  Batting first South made 390; Brijesh Patel scored a century; V Krishnaswamy made 50; Michael Dalvi, Roger Binny, Gundappa Vishwanath all made 40s.  Mohinder Amarnath, Madanlal, Bishan Bedi, Shukla, Vinay Lamba were the bowlers ~ most successful was Rajinder Singh Goel who took 7/98.  For North Chetan Chauhan and Venkat Sundaram opened; Surinder Amarnath made an unbeaten 122;  as they were all 0ut for 291. Chandra took 5/70.   In the 2nd, other than Viswanath none scored, as SZ were bundled out for 134.   Bedi and Goel took 5 each, while Goel’ s figures were 25.1-11-36-5. North were bowled out for 196 as South won by 37 runs.  Venkat broke the middle with 5/62.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Aug 2016. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

what will famous Olympians do after Rio Olympics 2016 !!

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu brought us honours ~ whole Nation celebrated – in between – someone wrongly tweeted something to Saina, who responded gracefully.  That takes to the Q what do athletes do after Olympics (after winning or failing !)  Heard of Skeet Shooting – a sport where participants use shotguns attempt to break clay targets mechanically flung into the air.  Paul Adams represented Australia, could not make a mark – but would return to Operation theatre as he has just started his  career as a nurse at the Redcliffe Hospital.  … .. why a photo of Bolt batting ? one may wonder !

Athletics is a famously lonely sport: Mo Farah has spoken of his struggles to train away from his family, often by himself, still there is the relay race, which exhibits team talent.  In the 4 X 100 Mens, the  result was never in doubt as Jamaica’s sprint dream team of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade dominated the event, finishing in 37.27secs, around half a second slower than the world record. Perhaps only thing the three had to do was to handover the baton to Bolt without confusion as the man  with 100 metres in 9.58 seconds can outsmart others.  Yet the team where everyone is good were sort of challenged most unexpectedly by Japanese, who broke the Asian record. 

Given the way they celebrated, there aren’t many things that the Jamaican men’s 4x100-meter relay enjoyed more than winning Olympic gold. On baton exchange, USA failed once again and were disqualified, missing out the bronze medal.  There is a heated rivalry between the two teams, even with Jamaica having dominated the event at the past three Olympics and Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell had no hesitation at taunting the USA over its missed step. The Jamaican women team too won with ease.

Of the four, there is another famous man – in Aug 2011 at the   13th  World Championships in Athletics -  in Daegu, South Korea,  Yohan Blake, a fellow Jamaican outran Usain Bolt.  He became the  youngest sprinter to have broken the 10-second barrier (at 19 years, 197 days).  He is often pictured with his prized possession, a luxury watch.  It is Richard Mille,  a brand of luxury Swiss watches from the company of the same name founded in 1999 by French businessman Richard Mille. Richard Mille SA is based in Les Breuleux, in the Canton of Jura, Switzerland.

The brand's most famous models are the Tourbillon RM 008 (chronograph tourbillon) and the sapphire split seconds (chronograph tourbillon) RM 056. The RM 008 combines a tourbillon movement with manual winding, a chronograph split-seconds, a torque indicator, and a power reserve indicator. Claimed to be one of the most advanced watches in the world, it is priced from 500,000 Euro. (3.80 Crores Indian Rupees) .. in the Olympics 100M was Yohan Blake, Bolt’s training partner and the second-fastest man in the world, wearer of this famous brand of luxury.  There was this  famous fan in the stands, luxury watch maker Richard Mille, the same man whose name is on his new US$1 million dollar watch. Mille signed the Jamaican to his luxury brand, which also features tennis star Rafael Nadal, Formula 1's Felipe Massa and golfer Bubba Watson, weeks before the London 2012 Olympics and delivered the latest hand-crafted timepiece to the Jamaican star, just ahead of Blake's 100m heat today.

The custom watch features white bands with green stitching, a green and gold case with signature Richard Mille construction as well as a black bezel plus a black dial with skeleton movements and gold accents.   "The objective was to do a watch that was extremely resistant, light and very comfortable, we achieved that and for him the watch is like a second skin. It feels very well on the wrist and I like to do watches that are in one sense complex but also very resistant and comfortable," he added. The businessman said Blake's rise as the future of sprints, Jamaica's appeal and the athlete's personality were all big draws and influences behind the decision to partner with the athlete.  The deal was concluded two or three weeks before the Olympic in London in 2012 and it became like a love story at first glance.

Now to the other side of the story !! ~ Blake could not win a medal in 100M.  A disappointed Yohan Blake hinted about switching to cricket from the coming season and his good friend Chris Gayle is already on the job to help him get an Indian Premier League contract. Just after finishing fourth in the 100m dash, a visibly shattered Blake spoke about sport beyond track and field. Known as 'The Beast' amongst his rivals, Blake was back to his cheerful self while talking about his fast bowling abilities that may be a huge attraction to Indian teams.

"Hey, I really bowl fast. Be careful when you face me," he said in his typical manner but in a loud and clear voice  ! Asked if Blake was just kidding, like the way he said after the London Games final in 2012, he said: "I'm serious about playing IPL. Hopefully, you guys (Indians) will see me in action this coming season," said Blake while sipping water from his bottle after the 100m burst in which he finished at 9.93s.

At 27, Blake still has a few years left in him in athletics. Whether it is his love for bowling fast or wanting to sample the atmosphere in IPL is not clear. Blake hinted that fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle is helping him out to be in touch with the right people in India. There are any number of franchise holders who need more star value and Blake could fit the bill. However, there are a few technicalities which will need to be worked out in case Blake does get an IPL contract. The first thing is that Board of Control for Cricket in India would need a NOC from Jamaica's board before putting him in the IPL's pool of auctions.

Is there anything to be read or learnt !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st Aug 2016.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

the cruel 'false start' disqualification rule comes to play at Rio Olympics

Sakshi and then Sindhu have made the Nation proud… feeling happy.

At Rio, Americans Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin swept the 100m hurdles in Rio on Wednesday. Rollins finished first in 12.48 seconds, followed by Ali in 12.59 seconds and Castlin in 12.61 seconds. It was the first time a nation swept the podium in the event.  For men it is 110 metres hurdles.  As part of a racing event, ten hurdles of 1.067 metres (3.5 ft or 42 inches) in height are evenly spaced along a straight course of 110 metres. They are positioned so that they will fall over if bumped into by the runner. Fallen hurdles do not carry a fixed time penalty for the runners, but they have a significant pull-over weight which slows down the run. 

Guadeloupe is located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France. It is thus part of the European Union and the Eurozone, and its currency is the euro.  … and this post is about a hurdler from France Wilehm Belocian who is distraught by a harsh rule. The promising 21-year-old French hurdler was disqualified in round one of the 110-meter hurdles Monday night because he left the blocks a split second before the starting pistol sounded.

Belocian responded to the ruling with anguish, knocking over the nearest hurdle, kneeling on the wet track and burying his head in his hands before pounding the ground in frustration. His eyes were still red and tear-stained 15 minutes later when he blew past reporters in the mixed zone without talking. Fear of false starting is more prevalent among sprinters and hurdlers these days because of a controversial rule change that went into effect six years ago. Instead of charging a first false start to the field with the second disqualifying the offending runner, athletes are now ousted the first time they flinch early.

The zero-tolerance policy is intended to speed up the sport and prevent gamesmanship. Sprinters or hurdlers notorious for slow reaction times can no longer gain an edge by guessing when the starter’s gun will fire, a habit that slowed down meets and made it tough for TV networks working within a specific time slot.  This rule is cited as one of the cruelest rules in Sports.  So after years of long and hard training, a millisecond early start denied him the opportunity to compete further.

Under the previous rule, the entire field was given a warning in the event of a false start; anyone in the same race who jumped the gun a second time would be disqualified, even if it wasn't the first offender.  In 2010,  the International Association of Athletics Federations changed the rule to its current draconian level because of two reasons: Under the old rule, slower runners would purposely jump the gun to throw off everyone else's timing and give themselves an edge, and the sheer number of false starts slowed down meets and caused television broadcasts to run over their time slots.  So came the new harsh rule ~ and immediately hit the news as the great sprinter Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth - false-started in the 100-meter final at the 2011 world championships in South Korea, earning a disqualification.  Bolt, somewhat ironically, was an initial supporter of the rule change and refused to criticize it after his own disastrous false start in 2011. Others think it's awful.

"The sport suffers when Christine Ohuruogu and Usain Bolt get thrown out of worlds," four-time Olympic medalist and NBC track and field analyst Ato Boldon said in 2011, via Yahoo Sports. "They changed the rule saying they were trying to save time on television, but that did not work. That has not been the case. The reason the rule hasn't been changed back is you have an organization that's trying to save face." Ohuruogu, who won 400-meter gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, also crashed out of the 2011 world championships, false-starting in a 400-meter preliminary heat. Still others say that today's top-flight track and field athletes have grown up with the rule and are used to it by now, and that today's races are much better without all the gamesmanship.

The IAAF seems unwilling to change the rule, though in 2012 it adjusted the definition of a false start, ruling that a sprinter's hands had to leave the ground or their feet need to leave the blocks for it to be considered a false start (previously, a mere flinch in the blocks could earn you one). Still, the chance remains that a hard trained athlete could see his Olympics end before the race even begins.

Rules are man made and sometimes hurt people pretty badly.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

18th Aug 2016