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Can an Ex-employee of a Party be appointed as an Arbitrator?

[Rajvansh Singh and Tanay Mishra are students at National Law University Odisha] Independence and impartiality are considered to be the cornerstone of arbitration. The duty of an arbitrator to remain independent and impartial is codified under section 12 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (the “Act”). Neither section 12 of the Act nor Article 12 of the UNCITRAL Model Law provides any...

ESG Reporting in India

The NSE Centre for Excellence in Corporate Governance (CECG) has issued its most recent quarterly briefing titled “Environmental and Social Reporting by Indian Companies”, which I have authored. The executive summary is as follows: Recent years have witnessed a strong focus on long-term sustainable value in companies rather than short-term profitability. The need for greater transparency on...

Attachments of Properties Subject to a Moratorium

[Rohit Sharma is a Partner at Mamta Binani & Associates] The promulgation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Code’) has led to an enormous number of applications being filed before the adjudicating authority for initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process (‘CIRP’) against a company. The purpose of the Code, according to the Report of the Insolvency Law Committee, was...

Consumer Disputes to be Non-Arbitrable: SC Lays to Rest the Controversy

[Nidhisha Garg is a 3rd year student at NLIU Bhopal] The Supreme Court observed in Emaar MGF Land Limited v. Aftab Singh (10 December 2018) that consumer disputes are non-arbitrable, thus putting to rest the ongoing debate on the same. Aftab Singh, in the present matter was aggrieved due to the delayed delivery of possession by the Emaar MGF upon purchase of property. The buyer’s agreement had an...

Binani Judgment: A Ray of Hope for Operational Creditors

[Ashish Rana is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India] The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘I&B Code’) provides for resolution of insolvency of persons in a time bound manner along with the maximisation of value of such person’s assets, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and to balance the interests of all stakeholders. Under the I&B Code, upon...

DIPP’s Revised FDI Policy for E-commerce: Changing the Rules of the Game

[Baibhav Panda is a recent law graduate from KLE Law College, Bengaluru and is presently a legal trainee at Nucleus Software Limited] On 26 December 2018 the Department of Industry and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued Press Note 2 (2018 series) introducing changes to the conditions that would be applicable to the e-commerce entities. The press note now amends para 5.2.15...

Arbitrating ISDA Disputes: A Bright Future for Derivative Markets

[Saurav Roy is a final-year law student [V B.A.LL.B] at ILS Law College, Pune] The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) is the go-to trade organisation for participants in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives market. The ISDA Master Agreement (“Master Agreement”) is a standardised agreement which allows participants to enter into these derivative transactions. Although the...

Rights of Preference Shareholders under the Insolvency Code

[Shubham Jain and Kannan Jhunjhunwala are BA.LLB (Hons.) students at National Law University, Delhi] The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in Brij Bhushan Singhal v Bhushan Steel Ltd. (10 August 2018) allowed for preference shares to be redeemed outside the purview of section 55 of the Companies Act, 2013 when required by the resolution plan. In this case, with Tata Steel Ltd. as...

SEBI’s Considerations for Granting Exemption from a Takeover Offer (Batliboi)

[Prateek Surisetti is a V Year B.A. LL.B. student at NALSAR University of Law]  I write to analyze an Order (dated 5 July 2018) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), which exempted a proposed acquirer from complying with regulation 3 of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisitions and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (the “Takeover Regulations”). The Order sheds light on the particular...

Cross Listing of Shares: A Start

[Rahul Sinha is a consultant with EY] The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) constituted the ‘Expert Committee for listing of equity shares of companies incorporated in India on foreign stock exchanges and of companies incorporated outside India on Indian stock exchanges’ on 12 June 2018 with a view to facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity shares...

Call for Submissions: NLIU-Journal of Business Laws

[Announcement on behalf of the Centre for Business and Commercial Laws (CBCL) of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal] The Centre for Business and Commercial Laws (CBCL) of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal is proud to announce the Call for Papers for first volume of the NLIU Journal of Business Laws – our annual peer-reviewed journal! About the NLIU-JBL NLIU has always...

The Fate of an Operational Creditor: A Brief Update

[Shayonee Dasgupta is an independent legal practitoner, and also works a consultant with IDIA] Ever since the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was enacted in 2016, it has been the focal point of several cases before the Supreme Court and various High Courts across the country. One of the key provisions of the IBC that has been the subject matter of a majority of such petitions is the...

Law of Best Efforts and Reasonable Efforts Obligations in Commercial Contracts

[Prabhakar Yadav is a third year B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) student at National Law School of India University, Bangalore] Introduction Commercial contracts impose absolute obligations on the parties to perform their part of the promise, the breach of which would result in contractual liabilities. However, in practice, the ability of the parties to deliver on their performance may be impacted due to...

Value Destruction and Wealth Transfer under IBC, 2016

[Pratik Datta is a researcher at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)] India experienced a major structural change with the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”). Since then, India’s ranking under the Insolvency head in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business report has sharply risen from 136 to 103. India was also awarded the Global...

Consumer Protection Bill, 2018: A Paradigm Shift?

[Chirali Jain is a BBA LLB (Hons) student at National Law University, Jodhpur] On 20 December 2018, the Lok Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 (the “Bill”) which is an attempt to replace the entire Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the “1986 Act”). The question is whether there was a need to replace the entire legislation? What were the insurmountable obstacles that led to a three...

The (Ambiguous) Position of Chairman Emeritus in Corporate Governance

[Priya Garg is a 5th year student at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata] When Ratan Tata, the then Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group of companies, allegedly exercised his influence over the Group’s directors to dethrone its then Chairman, Cyrus Mistry, because of the former’s dissatisfaction with the latter’s functioning,[1] a new corporate governance issue...

Anti-arbitration Injunctions in International Investment Arbitration: An Indian Overview

[Anujay Shrivastava and Anubhav Khamroi are both 4th Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) Students at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat] Introduction The jurisprudence concerning anti-arbitration injunctions is yet to fully develop in India. Anti-arbitration injunctions must be distinguished from the more well-known anti-suit injunctions. While the latter is in the nature of injunction orders passed by a...

Insider Trading in Commodity Derivatives

[Peeyush Agarwal and Zarnaab Aswad are both 5th year law students at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow] Introduction Consider this: X is an employee of Y Corporation, which is a leading steel manufacturing company whose scrips are listed on stock exchanges. X, being an employee gets to know that Y Corporation has just discovered huge deposits of iron ore that, if extracted...

Invocation of Unmatured Corporate Guarantee during Moratorium under Bankruptcy Law

[Himanshu Handa is an Associate with UKCA and Partners, a Law Firm in New Delhi] Introduction In Axis Bank Limited v Edu Smart Services Private Limited, the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”), Delhi had rejected a plea from the financial creditor i.e. “Axis Bank” against the corporate guarantor i.e. Edu Smart in respect of its claim pertaining to a corporate guarantee in the insolvency...

RBI’s Amendment to the Hedging Policy for ECBs: Reasoning and Impact

[Saher Fatima and Siddharth Tandon are III year students at the National Law University, Jodhpur] Introduction Over the years, external commercial borrowings (“ECB”) have become a preferred source of finance for Indian entities. ECBs refer to commercial loans in the form of bank loans, securitized instruments, buyers’ credit or suppliers’ credit availed of from non-resident lenders with a minimum...

SEBI Revisits the Settlement Mechanism

[Ambika Mehrotra is a Manager in the Corporate Law Services Division of Vinod Kothari & Company] Background to the SEBI Settlement Mechanism The settlement mechanism for violation of laws related to securities had been introduced in India in 2007. Further, in order to factor in various issues and aspects relating to its enforcement mechanism, the Securities and Exchange Board of India...

Creation and Operation of Tenancy Rights over Secured Assets under SARFAESI

[Samarth Saxena is a final year student at ILS Law College, Pune] The advent of Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests Act, 2002 (“SARFAESI”) ushered in a new era of reforms for the Indian banking regime. These reforms were primarily aimed at facilitating the speedy recovery of defaulting loans and thereby controlling the rising levels of non...

The Threat of Unconstitutionality to Explanation II to Section 37 of the Income Tax Act

[Priya Garg is a 5th year student at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata] Explanation II added to Section 37 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”), which became effective from 1 April 2014, runs the risk of violating Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India. This post explains the reason behind this proposition. Explanation II states that any...

Disclosure Regarding Significant Beneficial Owners: Another Stride from SEBI

[Ambika Mehrotra is a Manager at Vinod Kothari & Company in its Corporate Law Services Division] In the interest of investors in the securities market and with a view towards better corporate governance, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has taken steps to widen the scope of compliances for listed entities. Accordingly, to bring in more transparency for investors, SEBI has...

The ‘AMP Expenses’ Dilemma in Transfer Pricing: Can the Supreme Court Clear the Dust?

[Shannon Khalkho is a IV year B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) student at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore] Introduction The issue of advertisement, marketing and promotion (AMP) expenses incurred by a domestic entity for its foreign associate entity (foreign AE) has been mired in controversy since its entry into the realm of transfer pricing, essentially because of a lack of statutory...

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