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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Chinmoy Pradip Sharma The growing rift in the relationship between the government and the Supreme Court has split wide open, with the decision of the government to return the Supreme Court’s recommendation for appointment of Justice KM Joseph. The most significant factor for the decision is the seniority of Justice Joseph at the All-India level. In support, the government has placed reliance upon certain passages from the Second Judges’ Case and the Third Judges’ Case. The first impression derived from these passages is that the rule of seniority is sacrosanct and any deviation will give a go-by to the ‘legitimate […]

By Jolly Abraham Ultratech and Rajputana Properties were among the resolution applicants for Binani Cement. Based on evaluation criteria specified in a process document provided to all persons who had submitted an expression of interest to the resolution professional for Binani Cement (RP) and following the timelines specified in such process document, Rajputana Properties’ resolution plan was selected by the committee of creditors of Binani Cement (CoC) as H1 and Ultratech’s was not. Long after the date specified in the process documents as the last date for submission of resolution plans (Relevant Date) and after Rajputana Properties was declared H1, […]

By Aayush Mitruka One of the reasons why the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (the Code) is being regarded as the path-breaking legislation is because unlike its predecessors it prescribes tight timelines for resolution of sick companies. The relevant provision of the Code provides that the resolution process must be completed within 180 days, which is extendable, in certain cases, up to 90 days. The stressed asset managers at financial firms as well as asset reconstruction specialists suggested the Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee that 180 days would be a reasonable time to evaluate a stressed entity and propose a solution […]

The Centre has been sitting on Justice KM Joseph’s file since January 10 this year, when the Supreme Court Collegium deemed the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court as being worthy of elevation to the Supreme Court. And now, in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has disclosed the reasons for the same. Below is a rebuttal of each reason given by the government on why it thought fit to stall the elevation of Justice KM Joseph. In the All India High Court judges seniority list, Justice KM Joseph is placed […]

Yesterday, the Central government cleared the appointment of Senior advocate Indu Malhotra for Supreme Court but chose not to do the same for Justice KM Joseph whose name was recommended along with Malhotra’s name. On April 19, the Central government issued a notification extending the tenure of Justice Ramendra Jain as Additional Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court. This came despite the fact that the collegium had stood firm by its recommendation to make Justice Ramendra Jain a permanent judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Collegium had initially recommended that Justice Jain be appointed as a permanent judge of the […]

Pallav Shishodia The motion by Congress and rag-tag of political parties to impeach the Chief Justice of India has added to a tumult of our times. The views at the Bar are highly polarized. So you are part of activists’ Morcha if you support this impeachment and self-seeking Chamcha of the establishment if you oppose. If at all there is a middle ground, it has no certainty. A lot of friends at the Bar would say we are against this impeachment but something must be done to stop the rot at the top. There is a whole range of ambiguities about the […]

Court Reporter “Counsel after counsel expressed the fear that during the Emergency, the executive may whip and strip and starve the detenue and if this be our judgment, even shoot him down. Such misdeeds have not tarnished the record of Free India and I have a diamond-bright, diamond-hard hope that such things will never come to pass.” Thus wrote Justice Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud on April 28, 1976, concluding his concurrent opinion justifying the detention of thousands across the country by a majoritarian regime. Just nine days short of the 42nd anniversary of ADM Jabalpur v. Shiva Kant Shukla, a judgment […]

In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Emperor’s New Clothes, it was a child that drew the public’s attention to the fact that the King was indeed naked. Similar attempts to expose one of the most powerful men in the Indian government were shot down earlier this week by the Supreme Court, which held that the petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge Loya were politically motivated and aimed at bringing disrepute to the judiciary. In Andersen’s story, two weavers, in an attempt to swindle the vain Emperor, stitch up make-believe clothes for him to parade around in. […]

By Ravichandran Iyer The judgment rendered by the Supreme Court on April 11, 2018 in Asok Pande v. Supreme Court reiterated the salutary position that it is the Chief Justice of India (CJI) alone who is the “Master of the Roster”. First of all, let’s understand the need for “roster”. American Supreme Court receives about 7,000 requests every year to review cases and actually hears around 100 to 150 cases annually. Supreme Court of Canada receives 700 to 800 applications in a year seeking leave to appeal and grants leave in 65 to 80 cases. Both these Courts do not hear the […]

Arunav Kaul Shouldn’t a state that receives the highest number of filings and has the most number of cases pending in the country have the highest number of judges? Data from the Supreme Court’s Annual Report for subordinate courts collated for the year of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 shows otherwise. Subordinate courts are courts of first instance, forming the bedrock of the judicial system in India. They are burdened with close to 2.5 crore pending cases. In 2016-2017, as many as 2 crore cases were filed across the subordinate courts in the country. It is therefore important to delve into the […]

The Court of the Chief Justice of India was privy to a curious hearing on Monday this week. A public interest litigation petition titled Asok Pande v. Supreme Court of India & Ors was listed before the Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud as item 11. The petitioner, Asok Pande, a lawyer practicing at the Allahabad High Court, was praying for framing of rules to regulate the procedure for constitution of Benches in the Supreme Court and the High Courts. It was also Pande’s prayer that Constitution Benches constituted by the Supreme Court […]

Reporter’s Diary is a series that brings you interesting snippets from court hearings across the country. It attempts to offer our readers a glimpse into casual interactions between judges and lawyers appearing in cases. The hearings in the Aadhaar case before the Supreme Court are drawing to a close, with the Constitution Bench expected to reserve its judgment next week. Amidst the heated arguments made by both sides, a few moments that lightened the atmosphere in the courtroom . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year […]

In this edition of Recusal Watch, we find that last week (March 19 to 23) saw 13 recusals by nine Supreme Court judges. Justice AM Sapre recused on March 19 from a case in which he was on the Bench presided by Justice RK Agrawal, which had only a few minutes earlier issued notice. The notice, according to a story in The Times of India, was ‘recalled’ in view of Justice Sapre’s recusal. Interestingly, while the order of recusal was uploaded, the order of recall of the notice issued is yet to be uploaded on the Supreme Court website. The […]

Dhyan Chinnappa The first era of confusion about the proper interpretation of Section 6 of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Amendment Act), which had been set to rest by the Supreme Court in Prakash v. Phulavati (Phulavati’s case), has been reignited by the Supreme Court, albeit unintentionally, in Danamma v Amar (Danamma’s case). Section 6 of the Amendment Act treated a female coparcener at par with a male coparcener. The Karnataka High Court interpreted the Amendment Act to have retrospective effect from the date of the coming into force of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, whilst the Full Bench of […]

By Santosh Paul “It is perfectly possible to pervert the Constitution, without changing its form, by merely changing the form of the administration and to make it inconsistent [with] and oppose to the spirit of the Constitution.“ Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Two remarkable Judges delivered judgments, which were path breaking and having far reaching consequences for our constitutional democracy. Both paid the price for courage under the fire of the Executive. One of the judges was transferred to the Madras High Court. The second judge is now being objected to by the government to be brought to the Supreme Court. Justice Rajeev […]

Reporter’s Diary is a series that brings you interesting snippets from court hearings across the country. It attempts to offer our readers a glimpse into casual interactions between judges and lawyers appearing in cases. With the Delhi High Court likely to pronounce its verdict in the petitions challenging the disqualifications of 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs today, an amusing anecdote that defused the otherwise tense proceedings comes to mind. Appearing for the Election Commission (EC) in the petitions,

In this edition of Recusal Watch, we look at the recusals (and the refusals to recuse) by Supreme Court judges between March 5 and 16. The plea for recusal by two of the three judges on the Bench, which completed the hearing of petitions seeking a probe into Judge Loya’s death, is something that requires more than a passing mention. The plea raised on March 9 by Prashant Bhushan, who was counsel for the intervener, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, stunned the judges and those in the court room, especially because it was raised at the fag end of the […]

The sight of Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra stepping out of her car was what greeted me yesterday at gate C of the Supreme Court. Malhotra, whose name was recommended for Supreme Court judgeship, had stopped her law practice in deference to her proposed judgeship. However, thanks to the Central Government’s defiance to take a decision one way or the other with respect to the file concerning her elevation, Malhotra’s expected judgeship seems to have hit a roadblock. While it could not be confirmed whether she has withdrawn her consent for judgeship, her presence in Supreme Court is a pointer to […]

Vikas Mahendra and Pradeep Nayak A division bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Board of Control for Cricket in India v Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd., has held that the amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 that came into effect on October 23, 2015, are prospective, but will have a significant impact even on court proceedings relating to arbitrations commenced before the coming into force of the amendments. The policy rationale underlying the decision is welcome and signifies a pro-arbitration stance that has been the pillar of most recent decisions coming from the Supreme Court. However, the reasoning […]