ArchiveApril 2014

Guest Post: Named arbitrators – No petition under Section 11 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

(The following post is contributed by Ms Renu Gupta, Advocate) Arbitration clauses in most contracts with government corporations specify that in case of a dispute between the parties, an employee occupying a designated post of the corporation or some other person nominated by him, shall be the arbitrator. It is settled law that arbitration agreements in government contracts providing that an...

Guest Post: State Consent vis-à-vis FDI in Multi-Brand Retail

[The following post is contributed by Sujoy Chatterjee who is an Advocate in New Delhi and an alumnus of the National Law University Jodhpur (’13)] In the aftermath of the December 2013 State Assembly elections, the newly elected Governments of Delhi and Rajasthan expressed their intention to withdraw their consent from allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trading (MBRT)...

SEBI Announces the Specifics of Revised Corporate Governance Norms

It was nearly a decade ago in October 2004 that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced substantial revisions to the corporate governance norms contained in clause 49 of the listing agreement that applies to all public companies listed on an Indian stock exchange. The revisions, however, took effect only from January 1, 2006. Since then, there have been some specific...

Further Tax Scrutiny of Mergers

In the last few years, mergers of companies (undertaken through schemes of arrangement that require the approval of the High Court) have been subject to greater scrutiny by the tax authorities. One example of a merger that was strongly objected to by the tax authorities is the case involving Vodafone Essar Gujarat Limited (discussed here), although the scheme was sanctioned on appeal to a...

A Study on Ownership Concentration in Indian Companies

The shareholding pattern of Indian companies has been the subject matter of academic studies, which have consistently shown that Indian companies are controlled substantially by controlling shareholders (or promoters) who hold a significant percentage of shares in public listed companies. The promoters range from business families to the state and to multinational corporations (MNCs). For a...

Companies Act, 2013: Directors’ Duties and Liabilities

The NSE Centre for Excellence in Corporate Governance (CECG) has issued its most recent quarterly briefing titled “Directors’ Duties and Liabilities in the New Era”. The executive summary is as follows: – Since directors and the board play a pivotal role in corporate governance, the law foists duties and liabilities on them; – The Companies Act, 2013 has brought about a paradigm shift...

Enhanced Disclosure of Mutual Fund Voting Policies

Generally, shareholders of a company may exercise their voting rights in any manner in which they deem fit. They are not even obliged to exercise their corporate franchise and may instead choose to abstain rom attending and voting at company meetings. This legal position may engender passivity and shareholder apathy, which have been prevalent in Indian companies for several decades. While law or...

Compensating Investor Losses in India

Posted on SSRN is a new working paper titled “The Protection of Minority Investors and the Compensation of Their Losses: A Case Study of India” that I have authored. The abstract is as follows: Any legal system may potentially deploy two separate but related models to ensure the accuracy of disclosure in the capital markets. First, it may possess legal institutions in the form of regulatory...

Delaware Standard for Controlled Company Mergers

Delaware courts have long been considering disputes pertaining to mergers between companies and their controlling shareholders. Not only do such mergers involve related party transactions but they are also used as a means to squeeze out the minority shareholders of the target who are cashed out as part of the merger. In one of the first decisions that permitted minority shareholders to bring...

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