Rajan Bharti Mittal takes over as President of FICCI


Bharti Enterprises Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Rajan Bharti Mittal today took over as the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at the conclusion of its 82nd Annual General Meeting here.

Mr. Mittal, 50, has held several key positions in various industry associations in the past. He is a member of the Managing Committee and Standing Committees of PHDCCI. He is also a Member of the Council of Management of All India Management Association as welll as a Member of the Executive Committee of International Chambers of Commerce – India Chapter.

In FICCI, he was Chairman of the Retail Committee in 2007, Chairman of Infrastructure Committee in 2006, Chairman of Telecom Committee in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and Chairman of Telecom & IT Committee in 2004 & 2005.

He was also the President of Association of Basic Telecom Operators (now known as Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India - AUSPI) during the period 1999-2000.

Bharti Enterprises has interests in telecommunications, financial services, retail, manufacturing, realty and agri-business. Bharti Airtel, a group company, is Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider with operations in India and Sri Lanka.

An alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Mr Mittal is actively involved in overseeing the activities of the group at the corporate level and in many of its new business ventures.


Prabhat Singh joins GAIL (India) as Director (Marketing)


The public sector gas distribution major GAIL (India) Limited today said Mr Prabhat Singh had taken over as Director (Marketing) of the company.

Mr Singh has a degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and around 29 years of experience in the hydrocarbons industry.

Before taking up his current assignment, he headed the Upstream Business Development and the Strategy Divisions in British Gas since April 2006.

During his earlier stint in GAIL, he headed its Exploration and Production Department as General Manager. He made a major contribution in the execution of world's longest exclusive LPG pipeline project from Jamnagar to Loni.

He was also instrumental in ushering in of the "Open Access Common Carrier Principle" in India which brought in a paradigm shift and contributed manifold in transitioning the pipeline transportation industry of the country into the matured industry that it is today.

Before joining GAIL (India) Limited and serving the company for almost 20 years, Mr Singh had also served public sector consultancy firm Engineers India Limited (EIL) and power major NTPC Limited.


Sibabrata Tripathi named as High Commissioner to Kenya


Mr Sibabrata Tripathi, currently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Kenya.

A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Tripathi, who will succeed Mr P S Randhawa, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


Puravankara names Jack Nazareth as COO


Developer and infrastructure company Puravankara Projects Limited today said it had appointed Mr Jackbastian Kaitan Nazareth as its Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to joining Puravankara, Mr Nazareth was the Executive Director of Sobha Developers Limited, overseeing their international operations based out of Dubai.

"We are extremely happy to have Jack as our COO. He brings to the table 20 years of strong, decisive executive leadership. I am sure with his strong business acumen and strategy skills, Puravankara will go places," Mr Ravi Puravankara, Chairman and Managing Director of Puravankara group, said.

"We need to create a vision whereby our name becomes synonymous with excellence, innovation, honor, integrity and outstanding quality and service. As COO at Puravankara, I am looking forward to all the new challenges that come our way and will draw on tried-and-tested experience as well as introduce new thinking and approaches where feasible," Mr Nazareth said.

Puravankara Group began operations in Mumbai and has established a presence in the real estate industry in Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mysore and overseas in Dubai.


Bharat Pal Singh appointed Dy M D of IDBI Bank


Bharat Pal Singh
Bharat Pal Singh

Mr Bharat Pal Singh, Executive Director, IDBI Bank Ltd. has been appointed by the Government as a whole-time Director, designated as Deputy Managing Director, on the Board of Directors of IDBI Bank Ltd.

Mr Singh, who was spearheading the Corporate Centre of the Bank, has a Masters in Operations Research and Marketing. He has more than 28 years experience in IDBI Bank. He has handled various functions like Corporate Finance, Rehabilitation Finance, Market Research, Information Technology and Human Resources, an IDBI Bank press release added.


Prabeer Kumar Basu is new Secretary, Agriculture & Cooperation


The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Prabeer Kumar Basu as the Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation in the Ministry of Agriculture.

An officer of the 1976 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (Bihar cadre), Mr Basu is at present the Special Secretary in the same department.

He will succed Mr T Nanda Kumar, who will retire from service on February 28, an official press release added.


Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar passes away


Former Lok Sabha member and Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar died in Mumbai today after a brief illness. He was 74.

According to sources, Mr Sarpotdar was taken to hospital earlier this week after complaining of chest pain.

The Shiv Sena leader was convicted in 2008 by a court in Mumbai for inciting communal sentiments during the 1992-93 riots in the city. He later secured bail from a sessions court.

Mr Sarpotdar was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from the Mumbai North-West constituency. He has also served as a member of the Maharashtra legislative assembly and the legislative council.

Born on January 31, 1936, Mr Sarpotdar had a B.A. degree from the Bombay University. He was elected to the Maharashtra Assembly in 1990 and then to the Lok Sabha in 1996. He was the leader of the Shiv Sena in the Lok Sabha. He was re-elected to the Lower House in 1998 and served as the leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party.


Journalist Ashok Sharma passes away


Senior journalist Ashok Sharma, who was the Editor of Univarta, the Hindi news agency of United News of India (UNI), passed away here tonight after a brief illness. He was 60.

He is survived by his wife and a son. His body will be cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat here tomorrow, his former colleagues in Univarta and friends said.

Mr Sharma had suffered a massive heart attack on January 12 and had undergone a bypass surgery on January 14. But he never quite recovered and remained admitted in the hospital since then.

Mr Sharma, who had studied at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, joined Univarta, soon after its inception in the early 1980s after a stint in the Hindi news agency Samachar Bharti.

He rose through the ranks to become Chief of Bureau in Delhi and Associate Editor before being named the Editor. He retired from service in September, 2009.


Shyam Saran to quit as PM's special envoy on March 14

File photo of Special Envoy Shyam Saran.
File photo of Special Envoy Shyam Saran.

Mr Shyam Saran, the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Indo-United States nuclear issues and for Climate Change, will quit his position in the Prime Minister's Office with effect from March 14.

A one-line statement from the PMO said Mr Saran had been permitted to demit office with effect from March 14.

No reasons were given for Mr Saran's decision, but there have been media reports that he was unhappy about having been overlooked for the National Security Adviser's position, which went to Mr Shivshankar Menon, who was appointed to the key position on January 21.

Mr Menon, who had succeeded Mr Saran as Foreign Secretary in 2006, has the status of Minister of State as NSA. This made the position of Mr Saran, who was Mr Menon's senior in the Indian Foreign Service, in the PMO rather awkward and he is understood to have been thinking of resigning from his post ever since.

In between, there were reports that Mr Saran might also get the status of Minister of State.

Mr Saran, 63, belonged to the 1970 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). In a long and distinguished career, he had served as Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Indonesia and Myanmar and as High Commissioner to Mauritius. He also had postings as a Joint Secretary in the PMO and in the Indian missions in Tokyo and Beijing.

The highlight of his career was, of course, the negotiations for the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement of July, 2005. He continued to be involved in the negotiations related to the deal with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and, after retirement, was made the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for nuclear issues. The climate change assignment was added later.


JLR names Ralph Speth as CEO


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) today announced it had appointed Dr Ralph Speth as Chief Executive Officer with overall responsibility for the company's operations.

A press release from JLR said Dr Speth would report to Mr Carl-Peter Forster, who was recently appointed as Group CEO of Tata Motors, its parent company.

Dr. Speth, 54, has more than 22 years of experience in the European automobile industry, most of which was at BMW where his last appointment was Vice President, Land Rover.

Later he was Director Production, Quality and Product Planning at Premier Automotive Group of Ford Ltd. After that, Dr. Speth has been with the Linde Group where he was the Head of Global Operations reporting to the Chairman.

"The introduction of Dr. Ralf Speth into Jaguar Land Rover under the guidance of Carl-Peter Forster will considerably strengthen the management of the Company and enhance the position and reputation of the two iconic brands in line with the long term strategy of the company," Mr Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman, Tata Motors said.


M K Lokesh is new Ambassador to UAE


Mr M K Lokesh, currently the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Indian Embassy in Brussels, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

An official press release said Mr Lokesh, who will succeed Mr Talmiz Ahmed, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


Justice Kakru named Chief Justice of AP High Court

File photo of Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru LL.B.
File photo of Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru LL.B.

The President has appointed as Mr Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru, Judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office.

A separate announcement said the President had, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transferred Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav, Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, as a Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court. She has been directed to assume charge of her office on or before February 24.

Mr Justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath and Ms Justice Bangalore Venkataramiah Nagarathna, Additional Judges of the Karnataka High Court, have been appointed as Judges of that High Court, in that order of seniority.

The President has also appointed Mr T.Mathivanan, Mr Ardhanariswamy Arumughaswamy and Ms K.B.K.Vasuki to be Additional Judges of the Madras High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.

Mr Birendra Prasad Verma, and Mr Dinesh Kumar Singh have been appointed as Additional Judges of the Patna High Court, in that order of seniority for a period of two years, the release added.


Carl-Peter Forster named CEO of Tata Motors Group


Automobile major Tata Motors has appointed Mr. Carl-Peter Forster as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, with overall responsibility for its operations globally, including Jaguar Land Rover.

Mr. Forster, 55, has 24 years of international experience in the automobile industry. Most recently he was the head of General Motors, Europe, where he looked after Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and the European activities of Chevrolet.

According to a company press release, before joining General Motors in 2001, Mr. Forster had 13 years of experience in BMW where he held various positions including that of Managing Director of BMW South Africa and was also on the Managing Board of BMW responsible for manufacturing.

Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said, "Tata Motors expects that Mr. Forster’s induction will greatly facilitate its ambition towards being a truly international company."


Amarjit Chopra elected President of ICAI

CA Amarjit Chopra.
CA Amarjit Chopra.

Mr Amarjit Chopra was today elected as the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for 2010-11 while Mr G Ramaswamy was chosen as the new Vice-President.

Mr Chopra has more than three decades of standing as a chartered accountant and, during his tenure in the Central Council of the ICAI, he has been the Chairman of the Accounting Standards Board, Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and Corporate Laws Committee.

He has also been the Chairman of Expert Advisory Committee, Financial Reporting Review Board, Committee on Corporate Governance and Committee on Internal Audit of the Institute.

The ICAI, set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, is the sole regulator of the accountancy profession in India.

It is the second largest professional body of chartered accountants in the world. The number of chartered accounts in the country has grown to 1,61,000 and the student base is 6,20,000-strong.


Eminent economist K N Raj passes away at 85


Renowned economist Kakkadan Nandanath Raj, who had helped draft India's first Five Year Plan and acquired a formidable reputation as an institution builder, died in Thiruvananthapuram today.

He was 85. He is survived by two sons, including journalist Gopal Raj. He had been undergoing treatment for some time for health problems related to old age.

Known as K N Raj, the alumnus of the London School of Economics was just 27 when he was invited by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to help draft the first Five-Year Plan. In later, he was a moving force behind the establishment of the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) and the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.

In Delhi University, he served as Head of the Department of Economics and later as Vice-Chancellor.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among those who condoled his death. "It is with great sorrow and a profound sense of personal loss that I learnt of the passing away of your father Prof. K.N. Raj," he said in a condolence message.

Dr Singh said he had known Prof Raj for over four decades and described him as a very close friend and a great economist. "His contributions to the science of economics as a teacher, a researcher and an institution builder are immense," he said.

The Prime Minister said Prof Raj had, in his long and illustrious career, served the Government and many institutions with great distinction.

"The work that Prof. Raj and his colleagues did for the United Nations in the early days of the Centre for Development Studies helped shape the contours of what later came to be called the 'Kerala model' of development (the co-existence of low per capita income and very high physical quality of life indicators).  The numerous awards that he received are a testimony to his exceptional talent." he said.

Dr Singh said Prof Raj was also a very fine human being who devoted his life to serving the country and the cause of social justice. "He will be deeply missed by all those whose lives he touched," he added.

Apart from the several awards he received during his career, Prof Raj was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan in 2000.


S C Sinha named as DG of NIA


Mr S C Sinha, currently a Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has been appointed as the new Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1975 batch (Haryana cadre), Mr Sinha will succeed Mr R V Raju whose tenure as the first head of the NIA came to an end on January 31.

The Union Government set up the NIA after the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai to investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, integrity and security of India.

The agency is aimed at speeding up investigations into terrorist attacks and other major crimes with inter-state ramifications.


Amrohi concurrently accredited as envoy to Swaziland


Dr Ashok Kumar Amrohi, India's High Commissioner to Mozambique, has been concurrently accredited as the country's High Commissioner to Swaziland with residence in Maputo.

An External Affairs Ministry statement said Mr Yogendra Kumar, presently Ambassador to Phillipines, had been concurrently accredited as the country's Ambassador to Palau with residence in Manila.


Justice Prasad appointed as Supreme Court Judge

File photo of Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad.
File photo of Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad.

The President has appointed Mr Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office.

Mr Justice Prasad, 60, is a graduate in Science and Law and had practised as an advocate in civil, Constitutional, criminal and service matters at Patna High Court. He was appointed as a Judge of the Patna High Court on November 8, 1994. He was transferred to Madhya Pradesh High Court on November 21, 1994 and transferred back to Patna High Court on September 10, 2001. He took oath as Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on March 20, 2009.


Jayakar Jerome appointed Ambassador to Slovenia


Mr Jayakar Jerome, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Slovenia in succession to Mr V S Seshadri.

In a separate announcement, the Ministry of External Affairs has appointed Mr Satbir Singh, Deputy Chief of the Indian mission in Moscow, as the country's next Ambassador to Mongolia. He will succeed Mr Yogeshwar Verma.

Mr Jerome had served as the Commissioner of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and later as Secretary to then Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna, who is now the External Affairs Minister.

Mr Jerome is credited with resurrecting the BDA during his tenure as its head and for taking up several infrastructure projects in Bangalore. He retired from the IAS in 2006.


Prof Phunchok Stobdan named Ambassador to Kyrgzstan

Prof. Phunchok Stobdan
Prof. Phunchok Stobdan

Prof Phunchok Stobdan, an expert on Central Asia, among other areas, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.

A statement from the Ministry said Prof Stobdan, a senior fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) here, would succeed Mr J S Pande. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

In a separate announcement, the Ministry said Mr Devendra Nath Srivastava would be the country's next Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo. He will succeed Mr H V S Manral.

Prof Stobdan is regarded as an expert on issues concerning national and international security with specific focus on Asian affairs covering Central Asia and Inner Asia, including Xinjiang, Tibet, Myanmar and the Himalayan region. He has written extensively on security-related subjects in professional journals on strategic affairs, books and newspapers in India and abroad.

Between 1999 and 2002, he had served as Director of the Indian Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He has also worked as Joint Director in the National Security Council and between October 2006 and November 2007 as Director of the Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies at the University of Jammu.


Ranjit Rae named Ambassador to Vietnam


Mr Ranjit Rae, currently Indian Ambassador to Hungary, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Vietnam.

An official announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Rae, who will succeed Mr L T Muana, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.


Shivaji Rakshit takes over as Secretary, Railway Board


Mr Shivaji Rakshit, an officer of the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), has taken over as Secretary, Railway Board, New Delhi, an official press release said here today.

Prior to this appointment, he was the Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer (FA&CAO), South Eastern Railway from 2008 onwards.

After completing his post-graduation, Mr Rakshit joined the IRAS in 1975. Apart from holding various positions on Indian Railways, Mr Rakshit has served in the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works and Metro Railway, Kolkata. He was posted as Executive Director/F(S), Executive Director/Accounts in the Railway Board between 2004 and 2007 and FA&CAO(Con), Northern Railway in 2007-08.

Mr Rakshit succeeds Mr K B L Mittal, who was removed from his post rather suddenly yesterday evening and is still awaiting his next posting. No reasons were given for the decision.


Syntel names Prashant Ranade as CEO & President


IT services and Knowledge Processing Outsourcing (KPO) firm Syntel today announced that its Board of Directors had appointed Mr Prashant Ranade as CEO and President with immediate effect.

A press release issued by Syntel said Mr Ranade had more than 30 years of leadership experience in large global corporations coupled with deep domain knowledge in healthcare and life sciences, high-tech engineering and manufacturing, and supply chain and logistics automation.

He has been a member of Syntel's Board of Directors since June 2007 and formerly served as President and CEO of Siemens Logistics & Assembly Systems, Inc.

"Prashant is uniquely qualified for this role, based on his professional background and his knowledge of the Company," Syntel Chairman Bharat Desai said.

"I am confident that his global perspective, along with a strong focus on operational excellence and value creation will enable Syntel to make the leap to the next level," he said.

"I am honored to accept this opportunity to lead Syntel," Mr Ranade said. "Syntel has a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions over the past three decades, and I look forward to building on this foundation to continue helping our clients win in the marketplace."

Syntel's former President and CEO, Keshav Murugesh, has resigned from the company to pursue other opportunities.

"Over the last eight years, Keshav has been instrumental in driving Syntel's growth and evolution into a truly world class organization," Mr Desai said. "I would like to thank Keshav for his immense contribution to Syntel, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."


Deepak Parekh gets ICAEW's Outstanding Achievement Award

Deepak Parekh.
Deepak Parekh.

Mr Deepak S Parekh, Chairman of HDFC Limited, the housing finance major, has become the first international recipient of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ (ICAEW) Outstanding Achievement Award.

Mr. Parekh received the ICAEW’s accolade for 2010 in recognition of his outstanding contribution over many years to the finance and accountancy profession.

"During a long and distinguished career, this has included his work on the Government of India's Investment Commission, membership of various other Committees set up by the Government of India, his Chairmanship of HDFC Limited and his non executive Director roles in other significant entities," a press release from ICAEW said.

Sir Michael Lickiss, Chairman of the Selection Committee, said that Mr Parekh's achievements and the breadth and depth of his influence on the financial sector and business in general in India were phenomenal.

"Wherever business acumen, experience, insight and intelligence are required, his name is guaranteed to appear at the top of the list. It is a privilege to be able to recognise the contribution he has made to the international accountancy profession as the first international recipient of the outstanding achievement award," he said.

In accepting his award from the ICAEW, Mr. Parekh said: “It  is  an absolute honour. I am overwhelmed and delighted to be the first international  recipient  of  this  prestigious  award.  I have always been
passionate  about  finance & accountancy and nothing can be more gratifying than  receiving  my  maiden  award  in  this  field from my alma mater, the Institute  of  Chartered  Accountants  in  England  & Wales. I owe my solid foundation in this complex subject to the training and guidance provided by the  Institute.  I have perhaps been able to contribute in some measure due to  the  unrelenting  support of my peers and colleagues and recognition of this is indeed reassuring.”

Mr Parekh joined HDFC in a senior management position in 1978, was inducted as a full-time director of the Corporation in 1985 and was appointed Chairman in 1993.

The award will be presented at the ICAEW Annual Dinner at Chartered Accountants' Hall in London on 2 March 2010.

Martin Hagen, President of the ICAEW, commented: "I extend my warmest congratulations to Deepak Parekh for winning the Institute's most prestigious award. It is a reflection of the truly global reach of the ICAEW with over 15,000 of our members living and working outside the UK. I hope that the news of Mr. Parekh's recognition will encourage more young aspiring accountants based around the world to seriously consider training for the ACA, one of the few truly global chartered accountancy
qualifications available today."

After attending St Xavier's College in Mumbai for a B.Com. degree from the University of Bombay, Mr Parekh obtained his Chartered Accountancy qualification in England.

He began his career with Ernst & Young Management Consultancy Services in New York. After returning to India, he worked with Grindlays Bank and also Chase Manhattan Bank as its assistant representative for South Asia before joining HDFC Ltd in 1978.

Besides the HDFC Group Companies, Mr. Parekh is on the board of several leading corporations across diverse sectors. He is the Non-Executive Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure Development
Finance Company (IDFC), Lafarge India and Siemens India Ltd. He is also on the Indian boards of Castrol BP India, Hindustan Unilever, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Hotels Company Limited and international boards of SingTel (Singapore) and WNS (USA).

Apart from all these, he figures on several Government advisory committees and task forces, thanks to his reputation as a trouble-shooter. Recently, for instance, he named as one of the Government- appointed Independent Directors of the fraud-hit IT company Satyam Computer Services in January 2009.


Popular Malayalam actor Cochin Haneefa passes away

Malayalam film actor Cochin Haneefa.
Malayalam film actor Cochin Haneefa.

Popular Malayalam film actor and director Cochin Haneefa passed away at a private hospital in Chennai this afternoon after a prolonged illness, sources close to him said.

He was 58. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, who are twins.

The sources said Haneefa, who was being treated for liver and kidney ailments for the past few months, died around 1530 hours.

Earlier in the day, some television channels had reported Haneefa had passed away, when he was still struggling for his life, but a few hours later he breathed his last.

The sources said Haneefa's body would be kept at his residence at Saligramam in Chennai today and taken to his home town, Kochi in Kerala tomorrow for the funeral.

Haneefa was born on April 22, 1951 as Salim Ahmed Ghouse. He had a degree in Botany. He became known as Cochin Haneefa after he joined Cochin Kalabhavan, a theatre group. The name Haneefa came from a character he essayed in a play while with the group.

He made his debut in films with a role in Ashtavakran in 1979 and went on to act in about 300 Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films. Though he has acted as a villain in some movies, it was as a comedian that he made a mark and won the hearts of fans. His mere presence on the screeen was enough to send the audience into splits of laughter. As a director, he is known for the melodrama, Valtsalyam, made in 1993. He was also an accomplished script writer.

Haneefa was last seen in Siddique's Bodyguard, starring Dileep. Madrasapattinam will be his last Tamil release. Some of the biggest hits featuring him include "Meesha Madhavan" and "Kireedam".

Haneefa directed seven Malayalam films - Bheesmacharya (1994), Valtsalyam (1993), Veena Meettiya Vilangukal (1990) Aankiliyude Tharattu (1987) Oru Sindoora Pottinte Ormaykku (1987) Moonnu Masangalkku Munpu (1986) Oru Sandesam Koodi (1985) and six Tamil movies - Pasa Paravaigal (1988) Padatha Theneekkal (1988) Pasa Mazhai (1989) Pagalil Pournami (1990) Pillai Pasam (1991) Vasaliley Oru Vennila (1991).

The Malayalam film industry has lost eminent director Lohithadas and popular actors Murali and Rajan P Dev in recent months.


 Photo Courtesy: Anees Kodiyathur at ml.wikipedia

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