Friday, February 21, 2020

Poonam Yadav's star turn and India struggles at Basin Reserve


The puny woman standing at harbour bridge is not any simple tourist !

Watched with interest the inaugural match of the Women T20 World Cup between defending Champion Australia and India.  Shafali Varma impressed with that glitzy innings.  Smriti Mandhana failed; Jemima Rodrigues played a cameo.  Capt Harmanpreet Kaur too failed. DB Sharma took India out of woods making a well compiled 49* - the total appeared not challenging.  After Smriti was out lbw, Rodrigues was given out lbw to Perry as she tried to whip the ball square and was hit on the front pad on the shin.  She immediately reviewed and got it right. 

Perry to Rodrigues, no run, Given lbw! Rodrigues reviews. This was a fuller length, sliding in through the air, she tried to whip square and was hit on the front pad on the shin, no bat involved. Ball tracking had it missing leg! Not out. The decision is overturned. They ran a leg bye but because the decision was made before it it doesn't count – the Umpire had to reverse her decision .. yes, it was  Jacqueline Monique Williams, from Ashton, Jamaica.  In the recent Ireland’s tour to West Indies – on Jan 15, 2020, in the 1st T20I she was the 3rd Umpire and today she was field Umpire. 

On paper, India 4 for 132 (Sharma 49*, Jonassen 2-24) beat Australia 115 (Healy 51, Yadav 4-19, Pandey 3-14) by 17 runs – but it did appear as if Aussies would run away with victory before that bewitching spell of wrist-spin bowling from Poonam Yadav sank Australia. In front of a crowd of 13,432 - the best for a standalone women's cricket match in Australia - the Indians began with familiar bombast at the top of the order before the loss of three wickets for six runs lowered their expectations. Deepti Sharma was not daunted, reverting to plan B of running as many singles as possible and guiding India to a competitive 132.

While Alyssa Healy made a much-needed return to runs and confidence at the top of the Australian order, the rest struggled for timing on a slow, dry surface that proved to be ideally suited to Yadav's art. A legbreak and three wrong'uns delivered her the wondrous figures of 4 for 19, and with the strong support of Shikha Pandey, Australia were confounded. Having entered 2020 as the world's undisputed T20 dominators, the hosts would have to struggle to reach the semi-finals, though not impossible.

At Wellington, the story was scripted by a 6 feet 8 inches tall who could well be playing basketball -  Kyle Jamieson could have gotten pretty far playing that sport - though he says his "jump height is not the greatest".  Jamieson was more of a batsman growing up - his father Michael says batting outweighed bowling 60-40 in those days – as he frustrated India in that unbroken 76 with Ross Taylor for the ninth wicket, on his ODI debut.  Now at close of play on day 1 – India is 122/5 with Ajinkya Rahana 38* and Rishab Pant at the crease.  Mayank Agarwal survived the first session, did play well for his 34. 

Kyle Jamieson would likely have not played this match if Neil Wagner - away on paternity leave - had been available. On his first - rain-curtailed - day of Test cricket, though, the 6'8" fast bowler might have left an indelible mark on the Test and the series with the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Hanuma Vihari. No play was possible post the tea break thanks to rain.

People can well remember that 1st Test at Wellington way back in Feb 1981.  NZ won by 62 runs.  .. .. and if one can recall good memory, there were 4 debutants – Yograj Singh touted to be faster than Kapil Dev, played that solitary test in his career; Kirti Azad who was part of Kapil Devils 1983 WC triumph, played 7; Martin Snedden played 25 and .. the lanky Ravi Shastri, who had flown all the way as replacement of Dilip Doshi went on to play 80 tests.

Wellington (for that matter New Zealand itself) is no happy hunting ground for Indians.  India has played a total of 23 matches in New Zealand and have managed to emerge as the winning team only on five occasions. They have lost eight matches while a total of 10 Test matches ended in a draw. If these numbers were not enough to show India’s poor record in New Zealand, in  7 Test matches played at Wellington, India has won just a solitary Test match which was in 1968.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Feb 2020.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

ICC Women T20 WC - and India NZ test at Basin Reserve


A 95-year-old, $8 million stand with no name officially reopens at the Basin Reserve tomorrow  morning as a cricket legend's contribution is recognised on the nearby pavilion. What used to be known as the Museum Stand, which hasn't seated a spectator in eight years after being declared an earthquake risk, is back in business for day one of the Black Caps test against India. At last count, 994 shiny new seats will be available to spectators for the same price - around $50 - as a ticket to lounge on the grass hill, giving the Basin's capacity a welcome boost to near 8000 as Ross Taylor is feted for his 100th test. The new players' pavilion which was opened in December 2018 will now be known as the Ewen Chatfield Pavilion. The signage was already up on Thursday and Chatfield - whose record 403 first-class wickets for Wellington still stands - will be guest of honour at a lunch on Friday to officially unveil it. Before you read further do you observe anything in this roadside kirana shop in Mumbai.

Indians did so well in T20 Series but lost the plot to Kiwis in ODI Series – so the 2 Test Series should be very interesting.  India played here at Basin Reserve way back in Feb 1968 in Test no. 632. The bowling attack was : medium pace of RF Surti; off-spin of ML Jaisimha; left arm spinner Bishan singh Bedi & RG Nadkarni; offie Erapalli Anandha Sundara Prasanna and leg spinner V Subramanya.  Much water has flown under the bridge as India will play offie Ravi Ashwin and 3 pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav.

Before we read more on Test match, there is another interesting game tomorrow a T20 at that.  It is the T20 WC at Australia.  There are a lot of big-picture themes about this T20 World Cup: participation, inclusion, expansion to name a few.  The best team in the world against the potential future giants of the sport play tomorrow. There would a star off-spinner Radha Yadav, who is India's joint highest wicket-taker in T20Is since the start of 2019.

The 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup is the seventh ICC Women's T20 World Cup tournament, now held in Australia between 21 Feb – 8 Mar 2020.    Australia are the defending champions, and will play their opening match of the tournament against India.  For the first time at the Women's T20 World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the use of technology to monitor front-foot no-balls for all matches during the tournament. The third umpire will call the front-foot no-balls, communicating this with the on-field umpires.  The tourney features 10 teams – 8 ranked teams from finishing positions of 2018 ICC Women World T20 and qualifiers Bangladesh and Thailand.  The teams are : Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, Thailand.

Just as we read impressive life-stories of some cricketers braving difficulties to raise in U19 WC, Radha Yadav too is inspirational.  She hails from a poor family. Upon getting a BCCI contract, allrounder Radha Yadav bought her family a small grocery shop in Kandivali, Mumbai, a stone's throw away from the makeshift stall where her father has been selling milk/veggies for decades. Really great – kudos Radha Yadav. The photo at the start is the shop of Radha.

Nestled beneath Mount Victoria and Mount Cook, the Basin Reserve is an island of cricket in inner city Wellington. Spectators are accommodated on a grass bank on the eastern side of the ground, a natural sun trap which also provides shelter from the notorious southerly winds. The ground is protected by Act of Parliament and is New Zealand's only sport ground on the National Heritage list. Cricket in Wellington received a surprise boost in 1855, courtesy of an unexpected earthquake which flattened out enough ground to create the Basin Reserve.

In that  3rd Test in 1968, India triumphed.  NZ playing first made 186 in 89.2 overs with Mark Burgess topscoring with 66.  Prasanna took 5/32 & Surti took 3/44.  India made 327 with Farokh Engineer making 44 and Ajit Wadekar making 143.  In the Second, NZ were again bowled out for 199 with Prasanna taking 3 and Bapu Nadkarni spinning a web with 6/43.  The required 59 runs were knocked with loss of 2 wickets with Abid Ali making 36.

Tomorrow at Basin Reserve, Kyle Jamieson will become New Zealand's 279th Test player as he replaces Wagner. Jamieson brings those hard lengths and extra bounce with his height. Depending on what they read of the pitch of the morning of the match, New Zealand will choose between Daryl Mitchell and Ajaz Patel, the lone spinner in the squad.  India seem to have settled with the opening combination of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. With fewer vagaries in New Zealand pitches, India seem to be going with the batting prowess of Rishabh Pant ahead of the wicketkeeping purity of Wriddhiman Saha. Unlike New Zealand, India are sure to play at least one spinner – the most successful Ravichandran Ashwin who is being treated rather unfairly these days. The middle order would be Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Feb 2020.

Gambler's fallacy ! people with higher IQs are more susceptible


There was a time when there were lottery tickets sold with so many NE State names – Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur – promising crores for Rs.50 or 100 and the business thrived. Then there was the ‘single digit’ lottery – simple it would appear – cost of ticket was Rs.11/- (for 100 you will get 9 tickets and 1 Re back) – you scratch to clear and see the No.  – if the last no. tallied – you get 100; if last 2 tallied, you would get 500; for 3 – Rs.1000/- and more ..

The probability of winning was what ? – numbered to end from 0 – 9 – ie., 10 nos. – so, if one were to buy 10 tickets in Series – one would surely get Rs.100 ! …**


Horse racing, like all sport and entertainment, relies on social approval - what is often referred to as social licence - to thrive and prosper. The casual sports fan, the once-a-year punter, and the regular whose life merged with horses and their history  will turn up on the big race days.  At Guindy race course,  there would whiff in the air, crowds – so many, trying to hit a jackpot.  Remember seeing a Muthuraman film, where he would embezzle [take out Rs.10000/-] office cash on a Saturday thinking that he would play horse race, earn big  and put back money on Monday – but would end up losing the money and losing life !  ~ had heard of an employee, receiving PF loan for daughter marriage, withdrawing cash, fly to Bangalore, book a star hotel, lose the total money – much to bewilderment of his family !!  ~ there have been many sob stories of punters.   This is no post on race-goer and the plight of their family ! – to hit a jackpot may not be simply by chance, it could well be a rocket-science or great Mathematic algorithm !  .. .. ever heard of Gambler’s fallacy !

                      Gulfstream Park is a racetrack and county-approved casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida.  It is one of the most important venues for horse racing in the USA. The 20-cent Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park was solved Monday when a bettor cashed for a $1,208,573.86 jackpot payoff with a $51.60 ticket played at Xpressbet. The winning ticket was 5/1-8/4,5/1,9/1-8/6. The Rainbow 6 had gone unsolved for 14 consecutive racing days.  Moving slightly away, how predictable is the toss ? and are there proven ways of winning a toss.  It is all about probability and when a coin gets tossed on air – it is 50:50 for head or tails.

Yet in India at JSCA stadium, in a bid to end his losing streak at the toss, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis brought Temba Bavuma as proxy captain for the third and final Test against India at the JSCA Stadium.  Still luck eluded him. Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat for the third time in 3 matches. After winning the toss, even Kohli couldn't help but laugh at the helplessness of the South Africa captain.   However, Faf is not the worst sufferer.  Du Plessis'  boss, CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith, lost the toss on no fewer than eight consecutive occasions during 2008/09 – and there was Naseer Hussain who lost the toss 10 consecutive times.

The gambler's fallacy can be illustrated by considering the repeated toss of a fair coin. The outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of getting heads on a single toss is 1/2 (one in two). The probability of getting two heads in two tosses is 1/4 (one in four) and the probability of getting three heads in three tosses is 1/8 (one in eight). The gambler's fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the erroneous belief that if a particular event occurs more frequently than normal during the past it is less likely to happen in the future (or vice versa), when it has otherwise been established that the probability of such events does not depend on what has happened in the past. Such events, having the quality of historical independence, are referred to as statistically independent. The fallacy is commonly associated with gambling, wherein it may be believed for example that the next dice roll is more than usually likely to be six because there have recently been less than the usual number of sixes. The term "Monte Carlo fallacy" originates from the best known example of the phenomenon, which occurred in the Monte Carlo Casino in 1913.

Here is something interesting read in a BBC article.  The “gambler’s fallacy” - which can affect everyone from athletes to loan officers - creates deceptive biases that lead you to anticipate patterns that don’t really exist. Fifteen years ago, the people of Italy experienced a strange kind of mass hysteria known as “53 fever”. The madness centred on the country’s lottery. Players can choose between 11 different wheels, based in cities such as Bari, Naples or Venice. Once you have picked which wheels to play, you can then bet on a selection of numbers between 1 and 90. Your winnings depend on how much you initially bet, how many numbers you picked and how many you got right. Sometime in 2003, however, the number 53 simply stopped coming up on the Venice wheel – leading punters to place increasingly big bets on the number in the certainty that it must soon make a reappearance.

By early 2005, 53 fever had apparently led thousands to their financial ruin, the pain of which resulted in a spate of suicides. The hysteria only died away when it finally came up in the 9 February draw, after 182 no-shows and four billion euros worth of bets. While it may have appeared like a kind of madness, the victims had been led astray by a reasoning flaw called the “gambler’s fallacy” – a worryingly common error that can derail many of our professional decisions, from a goalkeeper’s responses to penalty shootouts in football to stock market investments and even judicial rulings on new asylum cases.

Research has found that people with higher IQs are more susceptible to the gambler’s fallacy, perhaps because they believe they can better predict patterns. To find out if you fall for the gambler’s fallacy, imagine you are tossing a (fair) coin and you get the following sequence: Heads, Heads, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails, Tails. What’s the chance you will now get a heads? Many people believe the odds change so that the sequence must somehow even out, increasing the chance of a heads on the subsequent goes. Somehow, it just feels inevitable that a heads will come next. But basic probability theory tells us that the events are statistically independent, meaning the odds are exactly the same on each flip. The chance of a heads is still 50% even if you’ve had 500 or 5,000 tails all in a row !  For the same reason, HTHTTH is just as likely as HHHHHH. Once again, however, many disagree and think that the mixed sequence is somehow more probable than the streak.

As its name suggests, the gambler’s fallacy has been of most interest to researchers studying games of chance. Indeed, it is sometimes known as Monte Carlo Fallacy, after a notorious event at one of Monaco’s roulette tables in 1913, with 26 blacks in a row. Observational studies – using casino security footage – have confirmed that it continues to influence bets today. Surprisingly, education and intelligence do not protect us against the bias. Indeed, one study by Chinese and American researchers found that people with higher IQs are actually more susceptible to the gambler’s fallacy than people who score less well on standardised tests. It could be that the more intelligent people overthink the patterns and believe that they are smart enough to predict what comes next.

Bank loan officers were up to 8% more likely to reject an application after they had accepted two or more in a row.  Whatever the reason for these false intuitions, subsequent research has revealed that gambler’s fallacy can have serious consequences far beyond the casino. The bias appears to be present in stock market trading, for instance. Many short-term changes in stock price are essentially random fluctuations, and Matthias Pelster at Paderborn University in Germany has shown that investors will base their decisions on the belief that the prices will soon “even out”. So, like Italy’s lottery players, they trade against a streak. “Investors should, on average, trade equally ‘in line’ with the streak and against it,” he says. “Yet that is not what we can see in the data.”

One team of researchers recently analysed US judges’ decisions on whether or not to grant asylum to refugees. Logically speaking, the ordering of the cases should not matter. But in line with the gambler’s fallacy, the team found that the judges were up to 5.5% less likely to grant a case if they had granted the two previous cases – a serious decline from the average acceptance rate of 29%. Consciously or not, they seemed to think that the chances of having the same judgement three times in a row was just too small, and so they were more inclined to break the streak. The researchers next analysed bank staff considering loan applications. Once again, the order of the applications made a difference: the loan officers were up to 8% more likely to reject an application after they had already accepted two or more in a row – and vice versa.

As a final test, the team analysed umpires’ decisions in Major League Baseball games. In this case, the umpires were about 1.5% less likely to call a pitch a strike if the previous pitch was also called a strike – a small but significant bias that could make all the difference in a game. Kelly Shue, one the co-authors of the study, says that she was initially surprised at the results. “Because these are professionals and they're making decisions as part of their primary occupation,” she says. But they were still vulnerable to the bias.

In the single digit lottery mentioned in para 1 – yes the ticket numbers must end from 0 – 9 and thus 10 wickets could well have to end  – 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. But as one would have experienced and going by the theory of Gambler’s fallacy – if you had bought say 5 tickets and the ending nos. had been 3,5,8,8,0 and if the winning no. were to be 4 – even if you are to buy 100 tickets more,  still you get that ticket ending 4. For every new ticket  - be it your 1st buy or 231st buy – the probability still starts afresh and would give you the option of anything between 0 – 9.   Have seen mounds of paper left over by the gamblers searching for that elusive win – losing all their money and ending up disappointment.

** In a reported instance, a man sold his truck for Rs.125000/- - with the cash on hand, saw a single digit lottery shop nearby – thought would play a small part of the money, trying his luck out ! – sadly, by dusk, he had lost all his money – gained nothing and went back without his truck nor the money gotten from the sale of truck. Strange are the ways of people.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20.02.2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Apex Court - breach of warranty entails repudiation - Marine Cargo Insurance - Instt Classification


On 7th Feb 2020 – two Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court delivered a judgment dismissing an appeal (Civil Appeal 971 of 2014), upholding earlier decision of NCDRC, decreeing in favour of Insurer, which should be of great interest of Marine Insurers and those in Sea logistics, import / export and marine cargo movement.

Collision is an accident at sea – ship having a structural impact with another ship or floating or still object. I had earlier posted something about road accidents as also sea accidents. The collision at sea can cause – loss of human life, environment impact like oil spills (when tankers are involved), loss of property (of hull as also the cargo more particularly containers carried), loss of revenue to parties concerned, damage to infrastructure and financial consequences to those living nearby.

The sea lanes are not  congested as roadways and ships do not speed mad like buses and lorries – there are no space jammers like auto rickshaws and law breaking 2 wheeler drivers. Still there are operational loads, denser sea routes, poor visibility even though guided by radar and more importantly human error – all contributing to collision. Improper maneuvering by Master, Pilot or navigational officer, faulty propulsion, rudder or any other machinery, error by shore personnel giving directions all can cause mishaps. Many a times, ships are not pilotted and different vessels operating on different radio frequencies also add to the trouble.


A few years back  - major oil spills  of BP at US and another at China captured  media headlines, occurred this collision and oil spill on  the Indian coast.   On 7th Aug 2010, the container carrier MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III – 8 kms closer to Mumbai shore.  It was  calamitous news for India -  first there was disturbing news of oil spill, then JNPT rendered non operational due to the mishap and then the news of hundreds of containers floating in the sea lanes close to Mumbai shore. The closure of JNPT & Nhava Sheva disrupted Indian economy in a big way – reportedly 17 ships were stranded and 15 more  had to wait for docking following the shutdown of the ports. MSC Chitra had 1219 containers on board of which 31 were hazardous chemicals and pesticides.

MV Khalijia 3 owned by Kuwaiti Gulf Rocks Co was able to safely dock after the collision. MSC Chitra was dangerously listing and oil was spilling out from her fuel tanks. Listing refers to ship leaning on one side caused by uneven loading or flooding. At the time of mishap MSC Chitra had 512 containers on deck and 707 below the deck. The Port Trust authorities contracted the vessel agent and Insurers & P&I club. Smit Slavage, Singapore were appointed for salvaging the vessel. The vessel dropped anchor and secured from drifting but listing increased and about 250 containers have fallen into the sea.

A couple of months earlier in June 2010 -  our  Nation’s classification society became  a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies.  The Nation’s own classification society IRS (Indian Register of Shipping), established in Mar 1975, had been an associate IACS member since 1991, but that category was abolished in October 2009 when the association introduced single-class membership. The conferring of Full member status at the meeting of IACS Council in Hamburg assumed extra significance when you know that there are only 10 members in this elite group and IRS is 11th of the prestigious association of most advanced ship classification societies of the world. The membership according to IACS, is a reflection of the quality philosophy and high quality standards imposed by the IRS.

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) is a gathering of ten classification societies, headquartered in London. It was founded on September 11, 1968 in the city of Hamburg . Dedicated to safe ships and clean seas, IACS makes a unique contribution to maritime safety and regulation through technical support, compliance verification and research and development. More than 90% of the world's cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance Rules and standards set by the ten Member Societies and one Associate of IACS.

Classification rules are developed to contribute to the structural strength and integrity of essential parts of the ship’s hull and its appendages, and the reliability and the function of the propulsion and steering systems, power generation and those other features and auxiliary systems which have been built into the ship in order to maintain essential services on board for the purpose of safe operation of the ship. Classification societies are not guarantors of safety of life or property at sea or the seaworthiness of a vessel because the classification society has no control over how a vessel is operated and maintained in between the periodic surveys which it conducts.

Cargo Policies have their terms and conditions going by the clauses attached. When the transit is by sea, the coverage is governed by Institute Cargo clauses A / B / C – these do not make any comments / restrictions on class of the vessel but there would be a specific mention which would state that ‘this contract is subject to the Institute Classification Clause’.  This is an express condition though classification of vessel is almost a fundamental requirement of commercial shipping and virtually all vessels would be classed.  There are two clauses that were being used by the cargo insurers in India  :  1)  The Institute   Classification Clause 1/8/97 & 2) Institute Classification clause 1/1/2001.

With this very lengthy intro, do read this judgement described in the 1st para :  The impugned appeal arose out of  judgement of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (‘NCDRC’) in 2013.  The Appellant is a Company engaged in Import/Export of various commodities and the Respondent was The Oriental Insurance Co Ltd who had insured consignment for a value of US$  12,63,712.

The Insurance had been proposed providing details of carrying vessel to be :  ‘Khalijia III’, built in Mar 1985  and its “class” was specified as ‘I.R.S.’  The facts of the case was -  Hangzhou Cogeneration (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd.(overseas seller) through its agent  shipped 80 prime hot rolled steel coils weighing 2000 Metric Tonnes on board the subject vessel from Caofeidian Port, China tobe discharged at Mumbai.  The vessel carried on board consignments of prime hot rolled steel coils of seven other importers who had also imported them from the same Overseas Seller. Subsequently, the Respondent’s brokers issued a single voyage policy covering all risks as per the Institute Cargo Clauses (A), Institute War Clause, and Institute Strike Clause.

The carrying vessel reached Mumbai Port on 6.7.2010 and was allotted a berth – however due to a failure of vessel’s crane, discharge could not be completed and had to be removed from allotted berth.  The vessel subsequent ran aground ! ~ and an intimation to lodge a claim was made.  The shipowners engaged the services of M/S. Smit Singapore Private Ltd. (‘Salvors’) for the purpose of recovering the cargo. The shipowners also appointed M/s Richard Hogg Lindley as the General Average Adjustor (‘GAA’).   The claimants approached their Insurers for GA Contribution by issuing GA Guarantee.  The Insurer too obliged by issuing GA Guarantee on 3.8.2010 thereby   agreeing to pay the GA as also other special charges.   Subsequently there was another request for Salvage Security of 25% of CIF value of the cargo.  Insurer did not issue the security which resulted in consignment not getting released and payment of heavy demurrage.  Later in Aug 2010, the Insurers informed that they were withdrawing the General Average Guarantee, ‘Form B’issued by them earlier in respect of the Appellant’s consignment on  account of non-compliance with the ‘Institute Classification Clause’ (‘ICC’) in the Marine Insurance Policy.

A few days earlier on 7.8.2010 occurred the collision between the subject vessel and a navy vessel in the waters near Mumbai Port. On 13.8.2010, the Salvors claimed a maritime lien on the cargo. Further, the Salvors initiated arbitration proceedings against the Appellant and the shipowners. During the course of the aforesaid arbitration proceedings, the Salvors obtained interim orders from the Hon’ble High Court of Mumbai, restraining the Appellant from removing their consignment from Mumbai Port. Ultimately, vide order dated 24.8.2010, the High Court directed that the Appellant would be allowed to take its consignment on furnishing security in the form of a bank guarantee in the sum of Rs. 14 crores. The Appellant furnished the security as directed and took delivery of the consignment from the Mumbai Port Trust on 3.9.2010. On 2.12.2011, the Arbitrator passed an award against the Appellant and other cargo owners, finding them liable for reimbursing the costs incurred by the Salvors.

On behalf of the Cargo owner (policy holder / insured / appellant here) it was submitted that the IRS classification was granted to the subject vessel by the ‘International Register of Shipping’, which is an independent classification society. Further, that after the issuance of the Cover Note, the Appellant had provided all particulars regarding the subject vessel, and expressly asked the Respondent whether the subject vessel was acceptable. It was argued that had the Respondent indicated at the time of the issuance of the Marine Insurance Policy that the classification was not acceptable; the Appellant could have paid an extra premium to purchase the policy.  Learned counsel also referred to the Institute Marine Cargo Clause  - Institute Cargo Clause   provides for waiver of any breach of implied warranties of seaworthiness of the subject vessel.  It was further contended that the Insurer estopped their rights of claiming breach of ICC once they provided the GA Guarantee.

The impugned judgment is a lucid elaboration of various facets of cargo carriage, insurance, Marine Insurance Act, warranties, principle of estoppel and more and is a must read for every Insurer.  The Hon’ble Court concluded that  the liability of the insurer was discharged on account of the breach of warranty caused by non-compliance of  the classification requirement within the ICC.  The Apex Court averred that - the Respondent rightly repudiated the claim of the Appellant; the judgment of NCDRC stands confirmed, and the appeal is dismissed.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Feb 2020.
PS: By intent, this post outlines the circumstances of the case, the decision of the Insurer to repudiate and the Court’s pronouncement on the repudiation.  Some detailed elaboration on the aspects constitute in the impugned judgment are intended to be provided in another post. Do look forward to your feedback.

sprinters - 100M progression - Kambala


Venur is a small village on the banks of the Phalguni river in Belthangady Taluk, Dakshina Kannada,  The main attraction of Venur is the monolith of Bhagawan Bahubali also known as Lord Gomateshwara.  The single rock statue of Bhagawan Bahubali is about 38 feets in height and was erected by the Jain ruler Timmanna Ajila in the year 1604. The statue of Bhagawan Bahubali stands facing westward on a high platform on the banks of the river Phalguni. ..  this place is in news !

Athletics is  very interesting  ~  Sprint race or 100m dash is one which is most charming. It will be all over in less than 10 secs and more replays would only reveal the actual way it finished. The video slow mo and guns would exactly pin point who actually won and the timing with which they finished – perhaps not in all races. For almost a decade now, the world of sprinting has been dominated by one man: Usain Bolt. In the  Diamond League in Doha, perhaps  the post-Bolt era began in earnest with a host of men hoping to step into his shoes and claim the title of the 'fastest man in the world'.  In Christian Coleman, who blitzed to a stunning 100m gold medal in Doha in 9.76sec, making him the sixth-fastest man in history, it has probably found the answer. Some, like the legendary Michael Johnson, suggested that the missed drugs tests that nearly derailed the 23-year-old American’s career might prevent him from becoming the face of his sport.

Life is not all about – Usain Bolt, Ben Johnson and other sprinters – there was Ray Hines, who for  years Hines worked with inner-city youth in Houston, as well as on oil rigs outside the city.  He held a World record  until Calvin Smith ran 9.93, also at altitude, in July 1983. James Ray  Hines held the 100 m world record for 15 years. In 1968, he became the first man to officially break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters, and won individual and relay gold at the Mexico Olympics.

Now to our local Usain Bolt – after news of Shrinivas Gowda running faster than Bolt in Kambala event – more news is coming.  The slushy arena of kambala in coastal Karnataka is turning into a hunting ground for 100m champs. Two weeks after Shrinivas Gowda did 100m in 9.55 seconds, drawing comparisons to sprinting legend Usain Bolt, 28-year-old Nishanth Shetty logged 9.52 seconds, creating a new kambala record by 0.03 seconds.

The Udupi farmer raced a pair of buffaloes across a 143-metre track in 13.61seconds in a semifinal round of the Surya-Chandra Jodukare Kambala at Venur in Belthangady taluk on Sunday. Gowda, who had broken a 30-year-old record with his performance at Aikala village on February 1, covered the 145m track in 13.62 seconds. Nishanth learned the basics from his father, who rears buffaloes for kambala in their home in Bajagoli in Karkala. He quit studies after Class 12 and has been a jockey for over six years now. As news of his feat emerged on Tuesday, Nishanth was quick to preempt any comparison with Bolt or talk of Olympic-level training for athletics.

“I have finished 100 metres in 9.52 seconds as a jockey in the semifinal of ‘Hagga Hiriya’ category. This is my best timing and I am happy. But it is not right to compare my performance in kambala with Usain Bolt’s. We cannot compare sprinting and kambala, there is a lot of difference between the two,” he said. The Hagga Hiriya category of kambala involves roping a pair of buffaloes and racing alongside on a slushy field that serves as the track; others involve the runner standing on a wooden plank dragged by the buffaloes. Shetty is the jockey for Hosabettu Gopalakrishna Bhat, who owns the buffaloes.

Both Nishanth and Gowda are alumni of the Kambala Academy in Karkala, founded by K Gunapala Kadamba, founder secretary of Dakshina Kannada Kambala Samiti. “It is a proud moment for me that two of our students have brought fame for the sport and our academy,” said Kadamba. Nishanth has been racing in kambala events for the past six years and has won 40 medals so far, including one gold and three silver. Gowda is on a winning spree this season, having notched up 32 medals so far. Kambala races will be held up to the first week of March. While Kambala jockeys have logged similar records in the past, the flurry of attention over the past few days is forcing organisers to rethink the potential reach and appeal of the sport, long seen as rural, having little to do with the mainstream.

“With Shrinivas Gowda’s performance at Aikala, we decided to create a website where runners’ performances will be updated on a realtime basis,” said Dakshina Kannada Kambala Samiti president PR Shetty.

Interesting ! –does make one think that what ever recorded and hailed need not be best in the globe, there could always be hidden talents unseen and waiting to be unearthed and recognized.  The photo at the start is that of  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce,   the first Caribbean woman to win 100 m gold at the Olympics.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Feb 2029.
·         Kambala news source – Times of India

Monday, February 17, 2020

do you like chocolates ? - and are you a diabetic ?!?


How fond are you of sweets & chocolates ?  -  It certainly is not a cherished  feeling, when not able to !  ~ one feels the whole World is merrily eating; there are eateries everywhere around .. .. but, but, one could not eat – because of health conditions – restricted intake, and total abstinence of sweets .. .. most weak-hearted would succumb easily and would steal some sweets and eat them clandestinely ! – that feeling ! .. .. even for those who were not very fond of sweets in their childhood and for some good branded chocolates were simply not within reach !

Chocolates are sweet and the very word  enamours children and elders.  It  is of Spanish origin and  comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Its beans after fermentation are dried, cleaned, roasted, shell removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then groun to cocoa mass – pure chocolate in rough form.  Chocolate candy, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, anything with chocolate is delicious. Chocolates  are made of cocoa bean.... the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough and leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called 'baba de cacao' in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to a pale lavender color. While seeds are usually white, they become violet or reddish brown during the drying process.  Republic of Ghana,  in West Africa is famous for cocoa beans.  Toblerone  is a Swiss chocolate bar brand owned by Mondel─ôz International, Inc.,  It is well known for its distinctive prism shape (triangular prism or pentahedron).  Here we have Cadburys and more !

A diabetic eating chocolate may raise eyebrows amongst some people but within reason, chocolate needn’t be completely cut out of his  diet, some studies say.  In most cases, chocolate will cause blood sugar levels to rise and in light of this it’s best to limit chocolate consumption to small amounts, if one could not abstain eating when blood sugars are already higher than the recommended blood glucose levels. Chocolate contains a number of beneficial nutrients, some of which called flavonoids are thought to guard against heart disease. However, it should be noted that larger quantities of chocolate can be disadvantageous to health in other ways too.  When larger amount of chocolate is consumed, it will raise blood sugars which increases the risk of complications, of which cardiovascular problems is one.  The  calorific content of chocolate is relatively high and therefore overconsumption of chocolate could lead to weight gain which also raises the risk of heart problems.

Some say that ‘dark chocolates’ can be had by Diabetics.  A new CMFE Insights report, presents a holistic overview of the global Sugar Free Dark Chocolate market by analyzing the past and the current performance of this market. The report, titled Global Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Report also evaluates the key trends and other significant factors, which are influencing the market's growth, to gain a clear understanding of this market.  Sugar free chocolates are not only healthy for diabetics' patients but also helps consumers achieve the without giving up the food they love, Hence, these factors will support the growth of this market during the forecast market (Volume) for sugar-free chocolate is estimated to grow at the rate of about +6 % from 2020 to 2026.  Those manufacturers claim that Dark chocolate boasts many added health benefits when compared to the standard milk chocolate bar: It's packed with antioxidants, additional nutrients, and is rich in fiber. But, the best sugar-free dark chocolate takes those health benefits one step further by eliminating artificial sugars, making it a great choice for health-conscious chocolate lovers as well as anyone with diabetes.  The promo says that one should check for the percentage of cacao in your chocolate. True dark chocolate products contain anywhere from 70 to 100 percent cacao, and the higher that number is, the richer and more bitter the chocolate will taste. Luckily, most sugar-free dark chocolates are sweetened with stevia and other sugar alternatives that help offset the bitterness of a high percentage of cacao.

Sugar-free, No sugar added, Sugar substitutes used, lesser sugar, little sugar contained – are not synonyms .. .. here is some news on sugar chocolate.  The Swiss food giant said demand for its Milkybar Wowsomes had been "underwhelming". The bars used what Nestle described as "hollow" sugar crystals to cut the amount of sugar by almost a third. Confectionery makers have come under pressure from health authorities to cut the amount of sugar in their products. Nestle's Milkybar Wowsomes was the first product to use technology developed by the company that creates sugar with a more porous structure, which it likened to hollowing out the sugar crystals.

Some industry experts had seen the discovery as a breakthrough that would help Nestle take a leading position in a growing market for low-sugar products. At the time of the launch Stefano Agostini, Nestle's chief executive for UK and Ireland, said: "A new product like Milkybar Wowsomes introduces greater choice and allows parents to treat their children with chocolate that tastes great but has less sugar. "We are demonstrating how we can, and will, contribute to a healthier future and that we take our public health responsibilities very seriously," he added. Last year, reduced sugar versions of Mars and Snickers were launched by Mars Wrigley UK, while Mondelez ¬followed suit with low-sugar Cadbury Dairy Milk. Nestle said it is now working on new sugar reduction technology that it aims to introduce next year.

The announcement highlights a major issue facing the world's big processed food producers. While governments and many consumers have called for lower-sugar products, most people have yet to warm to less sweet alternatives. Attempts to cut obesity rates have seen processed food giant Unilever this week promise to stop marketing its products to children. The maker of Twister ice cream and Popsicle ice lollies, said it would limit the use of cartoon characters in its advertising. Not a great news for the chocolate lovers especially diabetics among them.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Feb 2020.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

MACT appeal ... and something on Goa


Any comments or observations on this photo ?

Two months. 38 teams. Three Groups- Plate, Elite Group C & Group A & B. 169 four-day games, and it took the final day of the league-stage to decide the quarterfinalists of the 2019-20 edition of what has been a fascinating season of Ranji Trophy cricket.   To enthuse more interest into it -  most of the high-profile teams like Mumbai, Delhi, defending champions Vidarbha, Tamil Nadu have all failed to make it to the final eight, a testimony to the level of competitiveness of India’s premier domestic tournament.

In the 1st Quarter finals at Valsad on Feb 20, Gujarat would play Goa ! -  Goan Wicket keeper would be Smit Kamleshbhai Patel, who led India U19 in 2012 – he has played for Gujarat, West zone, Tripura and now Goa.  The other QF matches would be : J&K V Karnataka; Bengal V Odisha and Saurashtra V Andhra.  A couple of years back, when Goa played Hyderabad at Porvorim, the selection of Asaduddin raised eye-brows as many in Goa resented that he was pushed to the arena by his father Mohammad Azharuddin.

Calangute is a town in North Goa, famous for its beach. The beach is the largest in North Goa and visited by thousands of domestic and international tourists alike. The baga beach offers water sport activities like parasailing and water skiing, among others.  Goa State lies  within the region known as the Konkan, and geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It is surrounded by  Maharashtra, Karnataka & Arabian Sea. Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter.  In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yusuf Adil Shah and   set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa.  After India gained independence from the British in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 Dec 1961, the Indian Army ensured annexation of Goa by  Operation Vijay.   

Recently, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant played Good Samaritan by attending to an accident victim who was lying on the road at Khandepar near Ponda town. Mr Sawant instructed his driver to stop the carcade when he saw that a man had fallen on the roadside after having met with an accident.  It was stated that the man, who had been riding a two-wheeler, was lying in a pool of blood.  On the Chief Minister's orders, one of the escort vehicles rushed the injured man to a state-run hospital in Ponda town. 
In case you had not observed that in the photo – some of them are commercial vehicles – ‘scooters on rent’ – given on hire.  At Goa, tourists can hire two-wheelers and cars and roam around the city.  Last month, there was a road accident – hours after a woman tourist from Maharashtra died in a road accident on a major bridge near Panaji as her scooter collided with a four-wheeler, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant  wondered why tourists who cannot even drive hire self-driven vehicles.  Self-driven vehicles offered on hire are popular with tourists in Goa, who prefer to hire and drive two wheelers and cars by the day, in order to avoid expensive taxi drivers.    Media reports stated that increasing number of accidents on Goan roads has emerged as a cause for concern in Goa, forcing the state traffic police to crack down severely on errant driving practices.

Insurers are always worried about road accidents and the ensuing liabilities .. . Here is something on an Appeal preferred by United India. The insurer took exception to the judgment by MACT in Nov 2018 questioning the quantum of compensation awarded.   It was a petition filed on a fatal accident and the MACT awarded compensation of Rs.14,40,800/- with interest thereon at 9% per annum jointly and severally on all Respondents including the Insurers.

Filing an appeal, the Insurers contended that there was no material placed on record on behalf of the respondents to establish the employment of the deceased nor was any muster roll placed on record despite the examination of the so called employer. The said respondents had also not placed any bank passbook on record and therefore, there was no basis for the learned MACT to fix the income of the deceased at `9,000/- per month and award the compensation as it did. They  placed reliance in Rani Vs. National Insurance company Ltd. and others,{Civil Appeal Nos. 9078 - 9079 of 2017}, to buttress his contention that in the absence of any proof of income, the learned Tribunal was in error to fix the income of the deceased at `9000/- per month.

However, the Court decreed that MACT had considered   the fact that the deceased was employed as a pump attendant proved from the examination of the Petrol Pump owner and on that basis took the proved income of the deceased at `9000/- per month. It considered the other judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors. {2017 SCC OnLine SC 1270} and on that basis applying the multiplier of 18 computed the compensation at `14,40,800/-.   The Honble High Court opined that there was nothing amiss in the judgment of  MACT in awarding the compensation as it did either while accepting the income of the deceased and applying the rate of interest to the case at hand. Therefore, the Court considered that  no interference is called for with the judgment under challenge. The Appellate Court passed award confirming the earlier award of MACT  and went on record stating : ‘ It goes without saying that the appeal does not survive and is hereby dismissed with no orders as to costs’. 

In case you are further interested in knowing the above is a recent judgement of Bombay High Court Bench at Goa.  The Bombay High Court  is one of the oldest High Courts of India. It’s jurisdiction covers the states of Maharashtra and Goa, and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The High Court has regional branches at Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra and Panaji, the capital of Goa.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th Feb 2020.