Rishika Taneja and Sidhant Kumar Privacy (with data protection as its subset) in today’s context is not an abstract human rights concern alone. Over time, it has acquired elevated importance owing to the increasing use of data in our social and economic interactions. Therefore, it is imperative that we have a clear legal basis for the fundamental Right to Privacy. The Supreme Court, recently sitting as a nine-judge Constitution Bench, has been hearing arguments on the question whether privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. In essence, the dispute is focused on the validity of two decisions of […]

Recent reports suggest Reliance Jio’s user data was breached, jeopardising the personal details of its 120 million subscribers, including their Aadhaar details. While Reliance has claimed that the information is (prima facie) unauthentic and investigations are still underway, this incident has once again underlined the debate over the Right To Privacy. While the issue is being debated before a 9-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India, it is relevant to take a look at the importance of having a legislation that protects data privacy, and the government’s efforts (or lack thereof) to make the same a reality. The challenge to Whatsapp […]

Payal Chawla The purpose of arbitrating a dispute is to avoid a protracted court battle. But that purpose can oft be defeated, if the parties get caught in a dispute on the interpretation of the arbitration clause itself. Therefore, it is important to keep the arbitration clause simple, only incorporating essential aspects. An example of a basic arbitration clause is: “Dispute Resolution: Any claim, dispute or difference relating to or arising out of this Agreement shall be referred to the arbitration, of a sole arbitrator.  The arbitration shall be subject to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as may be […]

Two persons with a legal background have emerged as frontrunners for this year’s presidential election. By July 20, we will know who out of Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Ramnath Kovind and law graduate Meira Kumar will become the fourteenth President of India. We will also know which of the above will likely face a round of litigation before the Supreme Court of India. If there has been something almost as certain as death and taxes over the last few decades, it is a challenge to the election of the President of India. The election of all but two Presidents – Sarvepalli […]

Sumit Agrawal After the merger of commodity derivatives regulator Forward Market Commission’s (FMC) with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) through Finance Act, 2015, the supervision and regulation of commodity derivatives market and its brokers has been vested with SEBI. Hitherto, qualifications for membership of a recognized stock exchange as prescribed under Rule 8 of Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957 and Regulation 18C of SEBI (Stock Brokers and Sub-Brokers) Regulations, 1992 carried a barrier between broking activity in securities market and in commodity derivative market. According to these provisions, a stock broker or clearing member carrying on the broking […]

Dr. Amit George It needs no gainsaying that the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act) has brought about a sea-change in the independence and impartiality requirements for arbitrators in India. The appointment of an arbitrator is now subject to scrutiny under the detailed parameters that exist under the Fifth and Seventh schedules of the Act. What the Act had seemingly left untouched, however, was the power of a party under an arbitration agreement to nominate the arbitrator in question, if the agreement otherwise bestowed such a power upon the party concerned. The only caveat was that […]

Anuroop Omkar and Kritika Krishnamurthy It is our personal opinion that to truly understand mediation, we need to first re-learn the anatomy of disputes. A dispute is like an abstract painting where each party sees different aspects, angles and facets and each party thinks what they see is absolute, unlike connoisseurs of art. While the most logical conclusion to a dispute ought to be a viable solution, with the passage of time, it has branched out into other conclusions such as proving one is right and setting a precedent. Accordingly, the means by which we resolve disputes have also become […]

The Supreme Court is currently functioning with twenty-seven judges as against a sanctioned strength of thirty-one. Just fourteen of the sitting Supreme Court judges have disclosed their assets on the website of Supreme Court of India. The assets of the remaining thirteen judges are yet to be published. Interestingly, the thirteen include all the three judges who have been elevated directly from the Bar. The thirteen judges, whose assets are yet to be published, are: RF Nariman AM Sapre UU Lalit Amitava Roy AM Khanwilkar DY Chandrachud Ashok Bhushan L Nageswara Rao Sanjay Kishan Kaul Mohan M Shantanagoudar S Abdul Nazeer Navin Sinha […]

Sumit Agrawal The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one of the biggest tax reforms in India. A “Dual GST” model has been adopted under the Constitution of India, whereby Centre and States will simultaneously levy GST on every supply of goods or services or both which takes place within a State or a Union Territory. Therefore, given the federal structure of Indian democracy under the Constitution, there are three enactments pertaining to GST: Central tax (CGST) (levied & collected under the authority of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017) State tax (SGST) (levied & collected under […]

M Rishi Kumar It’s a coincidence that in the same year Wonder Woman broke the glass ceiling when it stomped on the box-office record of another super-hero movie, Iron Man, history was created at the Madras High Court when the First Bench was an all-woman bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan. In the Madras High Court’s 135 years, it is a first. It took seventy years since independence, in the male-dominated world of higher judiciary, for the four chartered and oldest high courts in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras to be headed by women. To trace the first instances of […]

Sudipta Bhattacharjee and Abhishek Garg  Goods and Service Tax (GST) – touted to be one of the biggest tax reforms in India is finally a reality. Given the mid-night session at the Parliament to usher in GST, the comparisons with another midnight session several years ago, in 1947, is inevitable – with the wide sweep of the impact of GST, it is no less than a tryst with destiny, at least for our generation. GST was first introduced by France in 1954 and at present around 160 countries in the world have implemented the GST structure of indirect taxes with […]

Alok Prasanna Kumar This is the first article for a monthly column that looks at the numbers related to the law and courts to see what they can tell us beyond anecdotes and one-off incidents about the way our courts, legal institutions and the profession work. Adam Smith, in An Inquiry into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, had something very interesting to say about the profession of law. It bears quoting in full: “The probability that any particular person shall ever be qualified for the employment to which he is educated is very different in different […]

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was elevated to the Supreme Court on March 8, 2013. After a tenure of more than four years, or 1541 days to be precise, Justice Ghose was the latest apex court to retire, attaining superannuation on May 27 this year. Justice Ghose enrolled at the Bar in 1976. Born to Justice SC Ghose, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, he went on to practise on both the original as well as the appellate side at the High Court. He made the switch to the Bench in 1997, when he was elevated as a judge […]

This article deals with the tax treatment proposed to be accorded to Senior Advocates under the Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) regime. It also seeks to provide an overview of the manner in which service tax was levied on Senior Advocates under the previous tax regime and its comparison with the impending GST regime, along with the impact on recipient/client companies. Genesis of service tax on legal services In Roscoe Pound’s words, the ideas involved behind a respectable profession are “Organisation, learning, and a spirit of public service, the remaining idea, that of gaining a livelihood, is incidental.” The legal profession […]

Payal Chawla The much awaited decision of the three judge bench in relation to two-tier arbitrations in the matter of M/s Centrotrade Minerals & Metal Inc. v. Hindustan Copper Ltd. was delivered on 15.12.2016. The Supreme Court framed two issues, but answered only one.  On the first issue i.e. validity of two-tier arbitration, the court held the same to be valid and not against public policy of Indian law. On the second issue i.e. whether the award rendered in the appellate arbitration being a ‘foreign award’ is liable to be enforced under the provisions of Section 48…”, the court observed […]

Vismay P Shroff When I received an email stating that the US State Department had in conjunction with the Ohio Northern University (ONU), Centre for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law, decided to train Afghan Lawyers and that one of the means of doing so would be through an immersive technique known as ‘Moot Courts’, and that they were going to conduct the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court Competition’s Afghan National Rounds in Kabul, in January of 2017, I was hooked from the first line of the mail. I’d heard all these terrible things about Kabul, most of them through […]

The first allotment lists for each National Law University under the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2017) were recently uploaded on the CLAT website. A total of 2042 students were allotted seats in the eighteen NLUs, with that number to increase once the 252 special categories seats under Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Foreign Nationals and Residents of Jammu & Kashmir quotas are filled. Of course, the first lists are expected to undergo a fair bit of chop and change as subsequent merit lists are released. There is also the possibility of these students choosing to opt for non-CLAT colleges like National […]

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 […]

By Dr. Amit George The recent judgment of the National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLAT’) in Kirusa Software Private Ltd. v. Mobilox Innovations Private Ltd. [Judgment dated 24.05.2017 in Company Appeal (AT) (Insolvency) 6 of 2017] has been welcomed for having provided an authoritative pronouncement on the meaning of the terms ‘dispute’ and ‘existence of dispute’ as appearing in Sections 8 and 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Insolvency Code’). While the judgment provides some much needed definitional clarity on certain fundamental concepts that lie at the very heart of the Insolvency Code, it is relevant to take note […]

President of India Pranab Mukherjee recently gave his assent to the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2016, which puts in place stricter provisions to deter the practice in the state. The Bill, which was amended and passed by the state assembly last year, found its way to the Central Home Ministry, which had in turn sent it to the President for his . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles One year access to all archival […]

Satvik Varma & Vikrant Pachnanda The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation watchdog, recently issued a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) regarding handling of unruly/disruptive passengers. Issued under the Aircraft Rules, 1937 and framed in pursuance of the Indian Aircraft Act, 1934, the CAR acknowledges that unruly behavior of any sort, on board an aircraft or during embarkation/disembarkation, interferes with the performance of crew members’ duties. It also notes that such disruptive behavior jeopardizes the safety of the aircraft, the persons on board and most importantly, affects good order and discipline on a plane. Recognizing the potential harm, any […]

Nikita Agarwal   Earlier this week, the Chhattisgarh High Court ordered the authorities to produce Podiyam Panda in a habeas corpus petition filed by his wife. The press release sent by the Sukma Police to various WhatsApp groups following the production and testimony of Panda illustrates the impunity with which the Chhattisgarh police not only maligns and intimidates advocates seeking accountability for police excesses, but also resorts to actions amounting to contempt of court. On May 12, Podiyami Muiye, the Sarpanch of Chintagufa in Sukma, along with her family, approached us, the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group. She sought legal representation […]

CLAT Mentor Rajneesh Singh takes us through the expected cut offs for the CLAT 2017 examination. He also advises candidates on how to approach the coming few days. Why do I do this every year? I started almost 14 years ago, but for CLAT it started in 2009. In 2008, after NLSIU had closed its admissions after a third list, there were still many seats vacant. Those were filled up later individually by various NLUs taking out their own lists or the way they wanted to. I remember the majority did not know about the same. This gave an advantage […]

The Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), Kochi, recently released a report titled Assessment of Commercial Dispute Resolution (CDR) in South India. The report aims to highlight the shortcomings of the CDR environment in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The data was arrived at after consulting entrepreneurs, industrialists, practitioners, lawyers and academicians from the three states. The study was undertaken with support from the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai. CPPR’s report contains some interesting . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year […]

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court delivered its judgement in the disproportionate assets case against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her aides. The case crawled through various courts for more than two decades, causing a significant dent to the public exchequer. So just how much did the Karnataka government spend on counsel fees to fight the case in the Special Court? Before revealing that answer, it is pertinent to note how the authorities have acted on the RTI application filed way back in November of last year. The initial response to the query ‘How much did the […]

On May 8 and 9, the last two working days of the Supreme Court in the last term, 13 Judges of the Supreme Court delivered 25 judgments. Most judgments were promptly delivered within a reasonable period of having been reserved. However, one judgment took more than five months to deliver, after the Judges concluded hearing in the case. It is Eurotex Industries and Exports Limited & Anr v State of Maharashtra & Anr, reserved by Justices AK Sikri and Abhay Manohar Sapre on December 1 last  year, but delivered only on May 8. The judgment authored by Justice Sikri, disposes […]

There is something about life in the hills that takes you back to a time when things were simpler. Away from the big city hustle, surrounded by scenic vistas, your general outlook on life tends to be a little more relaxed. A combination of this fact and the sparse population means there is not much litigation, and consequently, law practice in these parts can hardly be described as intense. And so it is in the state of Uttarakhand, the land of the Gods and the relatively freer lawyers. It is a shame that photography is prohibited on the campus of […]

Much like the media frenzy which surrounds a hard fought Indian victory at a cricket match between India and Pakistan, the justified sense of exuberance in India over the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Jadhav Case (India v Pakistan) has been equally countered by criticism and disappointment in Pakistan. With most of us glued to Indian news, a quick internet search on the website of Pakistan’s oldest English newspaper The Dawn not only reveals Pakistan’s sense of disappointment at the verdict, but also criticism over the performance of its legal team. Views have […]

The Supreme Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Rohinton Fali Nariman, and Uday Umesh Lalit delivered the verdict (authored by Justice Lalit) in Vasanta Sampat Dupare v State of Maharashtra, on May 3. It was reserved on October 5, 2016. The inordinate delay of seven months in delivering the judgment in this case, however, was not noticed because of its timing: It was followed within . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles One year access to […]

During May 1 to 9, the last working week of the Supreme Court before it broke for the summer vacation, 10 judges recused from hearing 16 cases.   The surprise among the pack was the recusal of Justice J Chelameswar from hearing the criminal writ petition, ND Jayaprakash v Union of India, [25/2016], which was listed before himself and Justice Abdul Nazeer on May 4. A contempt petition . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous interviews, columns and articles One […]