In what could be a very significant initiative, the Central government is exploring the possibility of emphasising on pro-bono legal assistance as a criterion for appointment of lawyers as High Court judges. Towards this end, it is planning to create a database of lawyers who would be ready to provide pro-bono assistance to needy litigants. Secretary of Department of Justice, Snehlata Shrivastava has addressed a letter to Chairman of Bar Council of India (BCI) Manan Kumar Mishra on November 10, last year setting out this plan of the government “The government is exploring the possibility of laying emphasis on pro-bono […]

Senior Advocates Harish Salve and Darius Khambata will be part of the law panel at the India Conference to be organised at Harvard, USA. The conference will be held from February 11- February 12. The Harvard India Conference is a student-run conference at the Harvard Business School & Harvard Kennedy School. The conference this year is themed around “India: The Global Growth Engine”. The law panel will focus on international arbitration regime in India owing to the increasing need for faster and alternate methods of dispute resolution mechanisms. Apart from Salve and Khambata, the law panel will also include Dipen […]

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has passed an interim order ‘restraining’ Vijay Mallya, former Chairman of United Spirits Limited (USL), from holding position as a ‘Director’ or ‘Key Managerial Person’ (KMP) of any listed company or to deal in securities market, along with six others. Six others include: Ashok Capoor, Managing Director, who has also been barred from being a director or KMP in a listed company; P.A Murali, Executive Director & CFO; Swomiyanarayanan, Assistant VP – Accounts; S.N. Prasad, Senior VP- Finance and Accounts; Paramajit Singh Gill, President, All India Operations and; Ainapur S.R., Divisional VP- […]

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its most recent consultation paper, has sought stakeholder’s views on governing Net Neutrality (NN) and allied issues. This ‘consultation paper’ comes based on the responses received on the ‘pre-consultation paper’, issued in May last year, which discussed issues of NN and traffic management. Among other things, the paper proposes a legislation for NN, and/or an umbrella regulation on NN. As far as the wider issue of NN is concerned, there have been several rounds of discussions, this being the fifth one, and also a regulation to ban discriminatory pricing. While the issue […]

Varun Marwah & Anuj Agrawal In the first set of substantial legislative changes post the November 8 announcement of demonetisation, the government has passed one Act and two Ordinances directly related to demonetisation. In addition to the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, the government has also promulgated the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, and the Payment of Wages Act (Amendment) Ordinance. This is what they say. 1. The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act [Presidential Assent on December 15] Unlike the other two legislations mentioned above, this legislation was passed by Parliament, albeit in a manner that was far from ideal. Amongst […]

The central government has constituted a High Level Committee to review the institutionalisation of arbitration mechanisms in India. The Committee consists of legal luminaries, including retired judges and Senior Advocates and will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice BN Sri Krishna. The other members of the Committee are retired Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran, sitting Delhi High Court judge, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Senior Advocates KK Venugopal and Indu Malhotra, Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha and Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Arghya Sengupta. The terms of reference for the High Level Committee are given below: […]

After two rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, the Software Freedom Law Centre, India recently conducted an event for the launch of its report on ‘Online Harassment’ [pdf]. The crux of this issue can be conceptually associated with the right to freedom of speech and expression, which is, widely considered one of the most ‘sacrosanct of fundamental human rights’. This right, however, more often than not, crosses the line to the point of ‘wanton abuse’. At the very outset, it is important to distinguish between the different manifestations of harmful speech online, which are often used interchangeably. The report recognises the […]

With the phasing out of the SICA, the Government is all set to usher in the new Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (Code). Several parts of the Code are gradually being notified in a phased manner, and the insolvency resolution process is now in place. In November, the rules relating to Insolvency Professionals (IPs) and Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs) were notified. The three IPAs that have been registered so far are, the Indian Institute of Insolvency Professionals of ICAI, the ICSI Insolvency Professionals Agency and the Insolvency Professional Agency of ICAI, which are entities registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. […]

By Sonam Chandwani & Tanaya Desai  The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in its board meeting held on November 23, 2016, introduced amendments to the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012, thus ushering in a more liberalised and progressive era for fund-raising in start-ups as also enhancing the scope of investment of foreign investors in unlisted debt securities. In order to further develop the alternative investment industry and the startup ecosystem in India, SEBI, in March 2015, constituted a Committee of experts drawn from across market participants called the “Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee” (“AIPAC”) under the chairmanship […]

Bar & Bench will bring you the latest regulatory and policy updates from different ministries and regulatory authorities. In the this edition of the Bar & Bench Regulatory Updates, we analyse the latest updates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). RBI Rules relating to withdrawal, exchange and use of demonetised currency The RBI has issued several notifications since the first one issued on 8 November, following which ₹ 500 & 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender. These notifications appear to be a periodical response to the unanticipated chaos that is being caused due to demonetisation of the […]