M Rishi Kumar Dugar “The expression ‘to practice the profession of law’ in section 29 of the 1961 Act is wide enough to cover the persons practicing in litigious matters as well as persons practicing in non litigious matters and, therefore, to practice in non litigious matters in India, the respondents were bound to follow the provisions contained in the 1961 Act.” This decision of the Bombay High Court in Lawyers Collective 2010 (2) BomCR 753 was confirmed recently by Supreme Court of India in Bar Council of India v AK Balaji (2018) 5 SCC 379 (popularly known as the […]

Vikas Dutta On May 3, the Supreme Court passed a vital judgment in the Ameet Lalchand Shah Case, thereby setting aside the finding of the Delhi High Court concerning the impact of an allegation of fraud in an Arbitration arising out of a commercial contract. Both the Division Bench and the Single Judge of the Delhi High Court, while dismissing an application under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), held that since the agreement in question was not interconnected with the Principal Agreement, the parties can’t be referred to Arbitration in view of the ratio in the Sukanya Holding case. […]

Vishavjeet Chaudhary Senior Advocate, Indira Jaising had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court to allow for the proceedings in the courts to be streamed live. The petition read that ‘our constitutional fabric is such that we accept the cardinal principle that justice must not only be done but seen to be done and thus it becomes essential that persons that may be affected by the Supreme Court’s decisions be able to access the same.’ It was further added that since courts deal with matters of national importance, it is desirable to have the proceedings streamed live. Yesterday, the Supreme […]

By Vaibhav Gaggar The recent ordinance dated June 6, 2018, has brought about some crucial amendments to the existing Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Insolvency Code’). From a common man’s perspective, probably the most far-reaching and eagerly awaited amendment related to the provisions with respect to the rights of consumers in real estate projects. Being a hugely populist issue, by means of the amendment, the government has not only placed flat buyers in the bracket of ‘Financial Creditor’ as defined under the Insolvency Code, meaning thereby that they are to be treated as persons to […]

The Supreme Court today delivered its much awaited judgment in the tussle between the Lt. Governor and the Government of NCT Delhi. In a marked departure from the judgment of the Delhi High Court which was in appeal, the Supreme Court held that the Lt. Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and cannot act independently. In three separate but concurring, verbose judgments, the Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan apparently ruled in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is […]

Arvind Datar The provisions relating to the GST Appellate Tribunal are contained in sections 109 to 116 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act). Surprisingly, the qualification required for a Judicial Member has excluded advocates and the qualification for a Technical Member has excluded Chartered Accountants whereas these professionals were always entitled to be selected as either judicial member or technical member respectively in the earlier Tax Tribunals. There is no explanation for excluding advocates from being selected as Judicial Members. This is a serious infirmity and renders section 110(1)(b) liable to be struck down as […]

Over the years, the Indian justice delivery system has become increasingly burdened with pendency. As per the latest National Judicial Data Grid statistics, over 2.74 crore cases are pending across courts in India. The average litigant will tell you how slowly the wheels of justice move, at great cost to her time and resources. While discussing solutions to stem the burgeoning pendency of cases, the topic of court vacations often comes up. There have been calls to reduce, and to even do away with vacations altogether. Most recently, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court calling to reduce the […]

Vishavjeet Chaudhary The legal profession in India is a substantial profession and one that is consistently growing. The body that regulates lawyers, and also represents the interests of the lawyers is the Bar Council of India (BCI), supported by various state Bar Councils. The BCI, under the Advocates Act of 1961, is also entrusted with the task of regulating the entry and right to practice of lawyers. Some of the basic requirements include Indian citizenship (or reciprocal allowing of practice), educational qualifications, and more recently, the requirement to clear the All India Bar Examination. The BCI has also prohibited some […]

It has taken a while for the authorities who conducted this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2018) to make public the allotment lists of each National Law University. Perhaps owing to the confusion that ensued after the shambolic conduct of CLAT 2018, the authorities only made the third and final allotment lists available on the CLAT website. Now that the dust has settled, it is time to analyse what the gender ratio at each NLU will look like, should no more changes occur before the admission process closes on July 6. This article will also look at the rank […]

Bhavana Sundar, Payel Chatterjee and Vyapak Desai The District Court of Columbia in recent proceedings between Hardy Exploration & Production (India) Inc. (“HEPI”) v. Government of India (Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas),[1] have witnessed fervent debates on enforcement of arbitral award and its far-reaching impact across jurisdictions. Factual Background Contractual relationship between the parties, HEPI and Union of India (“UOI”) was governed through a production sharing contract (“PSC”) entered in November, 1996 for the extraction, development and production of hydrocarbons in a geographic block in India (“Block”). Disputes arose between the parties, which were subsequently referred to arbitration pursuant […]

Zoheb Hossain Let’s start this piece with a multiple choice question – CLAT style. What did CLAT 2018 stand for? a.Calamitous Law Admission Test b.Catastrophic Law Admission Test c. Chaotic Law Admission Test d. All of the above. Instead of giving you an answer key, I will let you decide the answer to this question after reading the following piece. Unaddressed Concerns of Cheating At the outset, it must be clarified that this was not just a case highlighting grievances on account of loss of time by students and thereby developing a formula to compensate for such lost time. On […]

Vikas Dutta On January 2 this year, the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Parliament and is currently pending before the Lok Sabha. This proposed amendment is an attempt to discourage delays caused by seeking trial and filing of appeals without merit. Many a time, such meritless challenges cause further financial constraints on a person who is seeking remedy against dishonoured cheques. To address these issues, there is a proposal to add two additional sections to the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. This article is an attempt to evaluate recent developments and the proposed amendments to the Act. Besides, […]

Vishavjeet Chaudhary Law has historically been a male-dominated profession. Things are now better balanced than they once were, but the Judiciary and the Bar are still both heavily and disproportionately dominated by men. This position is analogous throughout the world. Until recently, out of the current strength of 23 judges at the Supreme Court of India, there was only one lady justice. With the swearing in of Justice Indu Malhotra, the number has now gone up to two.  In the entire history of the Supreme Court (six decades and counting) we have only had seven female justices in all. The […]

Rajesh Begur On January 31, 2018, the Delhi High Court delivered a landmark judgment in the area of commercial contracts by upholding an award of an arbitral tribunal made in Singapore in the commercial arbitration between the previous owners of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited and the Japanese multi-national pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd. In this matter, the arbitral tribunal constituted under the International Chamber of Commerce had in the year 2016, ordered the previous owners of Ranbaxy, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh (“Singh Brothers”) to pay Rs. 3500 crore to Daiichi in damages on grounds of fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment of material […]

Shantha Chellapa & Tara Ollapally Mediation Ordinance under the Commercial Courts Act The Commercial  Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Court (Amendment) Ordinance of 2018, dated May 03, 2018, has inserted section 12A  to the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, contemplating pre-institution mediation and settlement, before the filing of any commercial disputes. Specifically, Section 12A (1) states that “a suit which does not contemplate any urgent relief under this Act,  shall not be instituted unless the plaintiff exhausts the remedy of pre-institution mediation and settlement in accordance with such manner and procedure as may be prescribed by rules made by the central government”. The […]

By Deepak Joshi The Press Information Bureau vide its press release informed that the President today gave assent to promulgate the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 (Ordinance). It notes that the Ordinance is expected to further strengthen the Insolvency Resolution Framework in the country and produce better outcomes in terms of resolution as opposed to liquidation, time, the cost incurred and recovery rate. It may be noted that this is the second time that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has been sought to be amended by means of an ordinance. The only other time an ordinance […]

Payal Chawla The one area that the judiciary and Government are remarkably aligned on – is ensuring that India becomes the next arbitral destination. The Supreme Court, in particular, seems to be working at this with a sense of urgency. From a perusal of recent judgments, the intent of the Supreme Court to promote arbitrations is evidently clear. It also distinctly appears that the Supreme Court has one eye on filling the crevices in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), taking some interpretative latitude with the Act. Perhaps even giving the subtle message to the Government to amend the […]

The global movement to protect the environment began to show signs of life in the 1980s, at a time when the Supreme Court of India was having an awakening of its own. This period coincided with the growth of the concept of Public Interest Litigation, and marked a time when the courts were increasingly taking on issues which affect the people on a larger scale. A slew of matters came to be heard by the apex court, which seemed adamant to grant relief in cases where the . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium […]

Divyanshu Kumar Srivastava Last week, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court rendered its decision in Antrix Corporation Ltd. v Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd (hereinafter, Antrix v Devas). As this piece will reveal, the judgment in Antrix v Devas marks a low point in the development of arbitration jurisprudence in India. Contesting the Arbitral award, Antrix filed a Section 34 petition before the Bangalore City Civil Court. Devas filed a post-award Section 9 petition in the Delhi High Court (Commercial Division) for a direction to Antrix to secure the amount awarded in favour of Devas either by furnishing a bank […]

Sidhant Kumar The Madras High Court recently in Kanimozhi Karunanidhi v P Vardarajan granted an interim injunction directing a newspaper not to publish any material that relates to the private life of the applicant without consent. Further, the court directed the newspaper to carry prominently the applicant’s version on publications that it considers to be in public interest. The court relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in KS Puttaswamy v Union of India by a bench of nine-judges (which declared the fundamental right to privacy) to hold that prior-restraint may be issued on the grounds of violation of privacy. The […]

Rajneesh Singh My Dear CLAT 2018 takers, This year has been a happening year for CLAT, but sadly for the wrong reasons. A majority of you have suffered with at least some technical glitches and some of you faced lots of troubles. There must have been some deviations in your performance. Unfortunately, every year when there is a problem, we have to struggle and keep getting frustrated after seeing that there is no solution to these glitches. I am sure injustice has been done this year too, and I do not see an apt solution coming out. But, there may […]

Pavan Narang “The mind was apt to take pleasure in adapting circumstances to one another, and even in straining them a little, if need be, to force them to form parts of one connected whole, and the more ingenious the mind of the individuals, the more likely was it, considering such matters, to overreach and mislead itself, to supply some little link that is wanting, to take for granted some fact consistent with its previous theories and necessary to render them complete” – A warning addressed by Baron Alderson to the jury in Reg v. Hodge (1838) 2 Lew 227, […]

A number of people staged a padayatra from the village of Pedapadu in Rayalaseema to the city of Kurnool on the morning of May 19. They were protesting against a Supreme Court judgment which had laid down that the police were duty-bound to investigate complaints made under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (PoA Act), before arresting the accused. Braving the scorching heat that radiated off the rocky outcrops dotting their path, they marched fifteen kilometers, protesting against the judgment delivered on March 20 this year by a Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit. The march […]

The upheaval caused by the firm political foothold gained by the BJP in India has thrown the Constitutional courts and Constitutional and legal framework governing our institutions into limelight like never before. The upsurge of BJP had first caught other political parties off-guard. However, with the other political parties regrouping and fighting back, elections to various State Legislative Assemblies some of which were hitherto unknown to leaders and masses in India’s power centres, is now becoming national news. Elections to these State Assemblies have also thrown up another interesting feature of our democracy – of coalition politics. And this in […]

Somasekhar Sundaresan It was a judgment waiting to be written. The conduct of the government in litigating on issues long-decided by courts and clogging the courts, even while mouthing platitudes about how the government must not indulge in frivolous litigation, has been called out by the Supreme Court in a crisp and precise judgment. The seven-page order, imposing costs of Rs 100,000 on the government (yet again), is a must-read not only for every government department at the Centre and the states, but more importantly for every regulator that doubles up as civil courts and generates litigation by writing orders, […]

By Swaroop George The recent order dated May 4, 2018, of the National Company Law Tribunal at Kolkata, dealing with various applications in C.P.(IB) No.359/KB/2017 with regard to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of Binani Cements has brought to light the plight of operational creditors and their lack of influence in the insolvency process. Once the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process is initiated, the Interim Resolution Professional collects and verifies the claims of various debtors and constitutes a Committee of Creditors. The Committee of Creditors is the linchpin of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process and all major decisions are routed via […]

Arvind P. Datar & Rahul Unnikrishnan The recent Constitutional crisis in Karnataka may not be the last.  Our founding fathers perhaps never contemplated the Centre or the States to be ruled for several years by coalition governments. Indeed, the Constituent Assembly Debates on Articles 163 and 164 were completed in just one day. It is indeed ironical that coalition politics turns the principle of majority rule upside down. In Karnataka, we now have a Chief Minister who has just 37 seats out of 222. Twelve of these MLAs became ministers despite the fact that the same party had lost its […]

Santhosh Krishnan He insisted on a syntax for presentation. Miscellaneous cases commenced with his abbreviated reading of a case note, stapled to the brief. Then proceeded: “What are the facts? What did the Courts decide? Why must we interfere?” The method was not particularly formulaic, though sometimes enforced with ferocity. Lawyers not savvy with the discipline of answering the Judge’s question forthwith were peremptorily ignored. Insensitively, there were murmurs equating this sporadic harshness with his hardness of hearing. His disdain of fools was, however, no rule of law; I had more than one occasion to address him and peaceably depart. […]

The conduct of this year’s edition of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2018), like many before it, has come under the scrutiny of the courts, after widespread instances of technical difficulties were reported in centres across the country. A number of challenges have been filed in various high courts calling into question the conduct of the exam held earlier this month. In one petition, the Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court has even issued notice to the CLAT authorities, stating that the results would be dependent on its decision. Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the courts’ ultimate decisions, as […]

Suchindran BN It was BR Ambedkar who warned us that it is perfectly possible to pervert the Constitution, without changing its form by merely changing its form of administration.  The politics and the merits of the impeachment of Chief Justice Dipak Misra aside, there are many crimes against judicial and constitutional propriety that have been done in this cause. I have written earlier about the unbearable wrongness of the impeachment order. The latest steps taken by the Supreme Court in the judicial challenge to that order have further compounded that wrong. It appears that after the matter was mentioned before […]