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22 hours ago
Scoop: BCI quietly extends dodgy bar exam contract with ITES Horizon again as AIBE postponed 3 months
The Bar Council of India (BCI) renewed its dubiously awarded bar exam contract to underperforming exam agency ITES Horizon, without a public tender of the contract and without holding a council meeting for members’ consensus on the renewal.
PRS Legislative Research’ Trina Roy reports the beginning of the Winter Session of Parliament last week.
Harish Salve said he has materials to show that “dance bar is an animal in itself”, while acting for Maharashtra which defended its defiance of the Supreme Court’s order that had directed it to begin accepting bar licence applications, reported Indian Express.
Salve asked a bench of justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant, for additional time to produce materials highlighting the harmful sociological effects of dance bars, and submitted that the Maharashtra government will, in the interim, comply with the court’s 12 October order that had stayed its prohibitive law on dance bars.
The bench said: “We must remind the authority that the court order has to be respected. We have stayed your new law that prohibited dance performances. Now our order has to be complied with without any deviation.” “Are they (organisations) puritans? Dance performances do not take place only at these bars. Dance has been a respectable concept in India for centuries. You are calling it a social evil but this may only be a problem relating to law and order which can be regulated. We have already said no to obscenity so can you now prohibit them citing some social norms?”
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Wadia Ghandy advised car trading website CarTrade owned by MXC Solutions on its $120m (Rs 790 crore) merger with CarWale, another car trading website owned by Automotive Exchange. CarWale was advised by Nishith Desai Associates.
Wadia Ghandy partners Radhika Bhatt and Gautam Ganjawala acted for CarTrade.
Nishith Desai acted for CarWale and its founder Mohit Dubey.
This is reported to be the second biggest consolidation in the automobile market in India by The Economic Times.Axel Springer, one of the majority stakeholders will exit CarWale after the completion of the deal and the merged entity shall have about 2,000 employees with some 9,000 car dealers and 2.25 lakh used cars listed on the platform said their press release.
Bharucha & Partners advised Idea Cellular on its Rs 3310 crore ($500m) buy of Videocon’s Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat circle telecom spectrums, reported the Economic Times. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) advised Videocon.
Bharucha partner Alka Bharucha, senior associate Siddharth Manchanda, and associate Ayesha Bharucha acted for Idea.
SAM executive chairman Shardul Shroff, partners Vidyut Gulati and Asim Abbas and senior associate Kushal Sinha acted for Videocon.
This is India’s first telecom spectrum trading transaction since the notification of Guidelines for Trading of Access Spectrum by Access Service Providers by the Department of Telecommunications on 12 October 2015, according to the press release.
The Essar group told a bench headed by justice TS Thakur of Supreme Court that there is “nothing illegal or improper” in politicians and bureaucrats making job requests to them and that certain favours to government servants are “common courtesies extended by corporate houses” in a counter affidavit filed last week in a Public Interest Litigation by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) reported The Indian Express.
A whistleblower in the company had leaked the company’s internal communications leading to the PIL
The company defended itself by claiming that meeting of MPs and civil servants with its official was allowed in a democracy and the job seekers given on requests by politicians and bureaucrats had prescribed qualifications and were otherwise also eligible for appointments.
The petition demands CBI enquiry and framing of guidelines to regulate relationships of big corporate groups with individuals in positions of power and influence.
A sedition case was filed against Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao on Wednesday in a Bihar court based on his statement on increasing intolerance in the country.
Lawyer Sudhir Kumar Ojha filed the sedition case in the chief judicial magistrate court in Muzaffarpur district.
“I have filed a sedition case against Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao over their statement that intolerance has increased in the country, as it created bad environment and has defamed the country,” Ojha said.
At an awards event in New Delhi on Monday, Aamir spoke of “growing despondency” in India for the last six to eight months.
He said: “When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, for the first time she said, ‘Should we move out of India?’ Now that’s a very disastrous and a big comment to make to me.”
His statement drew widespread criticism even as many defended him.
Ojha said the court has accepted his complaint for hearing later this week.
Meanwhile, Aamir on Wednesday clarified his stance on “intolerance”, saying he and his wife Kiran Rao love India and won’t leave the country.
He added: “Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said.”
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas advised US private equity bulgebracket firm Kohlberg Kravis Robert (KKR) on its $115m (Rs 762 crore) acquisition of 72 per cent stake in investment bank Avendus Capital which was advised by Khaitan & Co.
Khaitan Mumbai executive director Daksha Baxi, core transaction partners Haigreve Khaitan and Niren Patel, regulatory team partners Siddharth Shah, Arindam Ghosh, direct tax partner Sanjay Sanghvi, principal associate Ritu Shaktawat, senior associate Deepak Jodhani, Kaushalya Shetty,Ashish Mehta, associates Vinita Choudhury and Yashashree Mahajan acted for Avendus.
CAM partners Reeba Chacko, Ipsita Dutta and Nisha Kaur Uberoi, senior advisor financial services Anand Sinha and of counsel Usha Narayanan acted for KKR
The acquisiiton was made through a combination of new shares and a secondary sale of stock by its promoters, in two tranches - first part being 62.2 per cent, according to Khaitan’s press release.
The equity value of Avendus Capital will increase to $180m or Rs 1,120 crore after this transaction reported the Economic Times.
Avendus will use the sale proceeds to become a lender and strengthen its advisory and alternate asset-management businesses. The company is looking forward to scale up its existing businesses and build a non-banking finance company (NBFC) business focusing on mid-market companies and their owners. Some part of the proceeds will also be used to build new products in the alternative asset management business, added ET.
The suspension of 20 more errant lawyers by the_Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry_, as reported by the Times of India takes the toll of Madras lawyers suspended recently from practicing in any court or tribunal, to 35.
Among the latest 20 suspended advocates are 10 who laid siege to the court of Madras high court chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on 14 September.
10 more lawyers of the court, not among the suspended 20, maybe awaiting action over their misbehaviour with the Central Industrial Security Force officers deployed at the court who, the lawyers claim, had filmed the frisking of a woman advocate.
The _Bar Council of India (BCI) _has reportedly said that following its September 2015 precedent of direct action against the lawyers if the state bar council fails to act stringently, it may again take direct action in the present case as well.
Lawyer _strike_s are illegal, said the Madras high court while refusing to set aside a proceeding against a man who had challenged the proceeding on the ground that it took place in the absence of his striking lawyer, reported PTI.
The high court’s Madurai bench of justices R Sudhakar and VM Velumani said: “The protest, if any, can be by giving press statement, TV interviews etc that could be given outside court. Even carrying placards, wearing black bands, banners, going on dharna, procession should be done outside and away from the court.”
The man had appealed to the high court to quash the 28 September disciplinary proceedings against him by a lower court on the ground that his lawyer was participating in a collective court boycott observed that day, and was not present to represent him in court.
Samvad and Head Partnership advised IDG Ventures India Fund, Pandara Trust Scheme and Kalaari Capital Partners on their $2m investment, alongside investor 500 Startups, in digital media platform POPxo which was advised by PDS Legal and Gordon Dadds. 500 was advised by Penningtons Manches.
Samvad partner Neela Badami, senior associate Varsha Aithala and associate Anisha Shroff, and Head partner Stuart Mullins acted for IDGVI, Pandara and Kalaari.
PDS principal associate Anirudh Mukherjee and senior associate Samyuktha Damojipurapu and Gordon partner Deborah Evans acted for POPxo.
Penningtons partner James Klein acted for 500 Startups.
POPxo, which was launched in 2014 to blog about fashion, beauty, work, relationships and other personal issues of interest to women readership in the age group of 18-34, currently claims to be attracting nine million monthly pageviews and three million unique visitors, reported Your Story.
Having launched in March 2014 and relying on native advertising and sponsored content for its revenues, it raised Rs 3 crore from Chennai Angels in November that year, added Your Story.
Taped telephonic conversation was admitted in defence evidence, in an unprecedented move by the Supreme Court, in a child sexual abuse case’ trial on Monday, reported the Times of India.
A Supreme Court bench of justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant admitted the CD produced by the alleged sexual offender who claimed that the phone conversation recorded in it depicted that he was wrongfully framed for the offence, owing to revenge in a lingering family property dispute.
The trial court and the Punjab and Haryana high court had rejected his application for producing the phone-recorded evidence. He had also pleaded with the trial court to get the CD tested for authenticity, by a forensic laboratory, and match it with voice samples taken from the persons featuring in the conversation.
Reversing the stand of the lower courts, the Supreme Court said the CD produced by the accused can be treated as a document under the Evidence Act and observed: “On a document filed by the defence, endorsement of admission or denial by the public prosecutor is sufficient and defence will have to prove the document if not admitted by the prosecution. In our opinion, the courts below have erred in law in rejecting the application to play the compact disc in question to enable the public prosecutor to admit or deny, and to get it sent to the forensic science laboratory by the defence.”
Obseving that as the accused is in jail he would not have any intention to delay the trial, the court ordered the police to place the compact disc on record and get it examined by a forensic laboratory. However, the bail application of the accused was rejected due to delay.
4 days ago
The apex consumer court on Tuesday said “unending testing of Maggi samples cannot go on”, following the Rs 640-crore class action suit filed by the government against Nestle India.
A bench of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), comprising Justice VK Jain and Justice BC Gupta, reserved its order on the decision on the tests.
The bench said it would decide later on the fresh tests on 31 samples of Maggi noodles, as requested by the government counsel on Monday.
Although the bench agreed in principle to have tested the 31 samples, identified by the government counsel, it reserved the order and said the decision would be made later.
The court would also decide in future regarding where the 31 samples would be tested, if at all fresh tests are called for.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hold an urgent hearing of a PIL seeking CBI probe into the allegation that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had declared himself a British national in the documents filed before the registrar of companies in Britain.
“There is no urgency in the matter,” the bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said as PIL petitioner advocate Manohar Lal Sharma mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing.
Sharma urged the court to direct the CBI to investigate the matter and submit the report of its investigation only to the apex court.
Accusing Rahul Gandhi of becoming the Lok Sabha member by holding back the information that he was once a citizen of Britain, Sharma said it amounted to cheating with the electoral process.
Sharma said no one with foreign nationality could become the member of any legislature in India.
Sharma also sought to know when Rahul Gandhi gave up his British citizenship and had acquired the Indian nationality.
The petitioner has also sought direction to the Election Commission that it should ask every candidate aspiring to contest election to file an affidavit stating that he or she is a citizen of India and same should be backed with documentary proof.
5 days ago
Ola’s $500m, 15-investor funding round draws in Indus, NDA, CAM [+Trilegal] with 5 foreign law firms [UPDATE-1]
IndusLaw advised Olacabs on raising $500m (Rs 3,320 crore) from 15 investors, some of which were advised by Nishith Desai Associates (NDA), Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) and foreign law firms Goodwin Proctor, Gunderson Dettemer, Morrison & Foerster, Ropes & Gray and Fangda Partners.
5 days ago
If commercial dispute resolution is all you wish to do for a living, we’re looking for you! And, whilst age and experience are a consideration, a clear, quick and free thinking head alone is what will make the cut!
Pre-nuptial agreements, entitling women to maintenance through contractual clauses, will be legal in India soon as per plans of the Women and Child Development ministry, reported The Indian Express.
Woman and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said that the ministry is currently drafting a bill to address concerns in Indian marriages such as maintenance to wife.
Gandhi reportedly said: “Pre-nup happens mostly among rich people abroad because some multi-millionaire wants to protect his or her assets in case the marriage ends. Here, it will be to ensure maintenance for the woman in case she is abandoned by her husband, battered or chooses to leave her husband for some reason. Presently, since there are no hard and fast rules on maintenance, women have to fight it out in courts for years on end.”
As per the ministry’s recommendations, legal pre-nuptial agreements in India will provide that a percentage of a spouse’ earnings will be available to the other spouse as maintenance over a specific period of time, instead of the current statutory provisions for fixed, depreciating, maintenance amounts.
The ministry also plans to deal with the wife’s share in husband’s property in the case of divorce with or death of the husband, in the pre-nuptial agreement law which it plans to make applicable to all Indian citizens irrespective of religion and personal law.
22 November 2015
Vodafone has become a shorthand for Indian tax troubles, but in the last year or so, it has won several important high court decisions (though not for lack of resistance from government lawyers).
22 November 2015
Counting the Rs 40.4 lakh of fees paid to 10 lawyers for 151 cases, Ignoring the higher fees paid to the two highest paid lawyers, that works out to a mathematical average of only Rs 2,675 per case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a show-cause notice to private broadcaster NDTV about alleged violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The company, in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, said it had on Thursday (November 19) received a show-cause notice in the name of Executive Co-Chairpersons Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy as well as Executive Vice-Chairperson KVL Narayan Rao and NDTV Studios Ltd from the Directorate of Enforcement as to why adjudication proceedings should not be held for alleged contraventions of provisions of FEMA
NDTV said it had been advised that the allegations of the contraventions of provisions of FEMA in the show cause notice were not legally tenable and it will reply to the same in due course of time.
NDTV had filed the notice during market hours, resulting in a sharp fall in its stock price by 7 percent. The stock which opened at Rs 87.35 on Friday morning fell sharply to Rs 82.40 before recovering to Rs 85.75, a decline of 2.56 percent.
20 November 2015
SCOI Report: Constitution bench concludes hearing on neo-collegium, sends mixed signals about reform
The final day of the hearing on neo-Collegium at Court No.4 in Supreme Court began at 10.40 am yesterday (19 November), with the presiding Judge, Justice JS Khehar claiming that the 10-minute delay in assembling was due to some discussions which the five judges had among themselves about the hearing.
Flipkart and Snapdeal, not Amazon but its subsidiary Junglee, and 18 other e-commerce websites will face investigation for possibly violating Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) laws, as per yesterday’s Delhi high court order, reported Mint.
Advocate Rishi Agarwala, acting for the All India Footwear Manufacturers and Retailers Association, won an order passed by Delhi HC justice RS Endlaw directing the government to investigate the activities of the 21 websites and file its report in court within four weeks.
The government has been tasked with establishing whether these websites are just marketplaces, as they claim, or they act as sellers themselves also. India allows FDI in marketplaces but not in multi-brand retail online or offline.
Retailers in India have been fighting for a single and uniformly applicable FDI policy for online and offline retailers.
Even before yesterday’s order, Flipkart was already one of six companies facing investigation for Forex rules violation and RBI rules violations. The government had asked the Enforcement Directorate for an extension to file its findings.
19 November 2015
Advaita Legal advised Berlin based educational television channel Da Vinci on forming a joint venture with Indian digital magazine The Quint which was advised by BMR Legal. The television programme Da Vinci Learning was launched in India on 18 November after the deal was completed.
Advaita principal Satyajit Gupta and associates Saurabh Sharma and Avichal Mathur acted for the Da Vinci Media and Da Vinci Media India.
BMR partner Amit Khansaheb and managing associate Nikhil Sachdeva represented The Quint.
Da Vinci GmbH was cleared for up to Rs 5 crore of FDI, by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in November 2013, to set up a wholly owned subsidiary which would carry out the downlinking and distribution of a non-news and non-current affairs edutainment channel, reported Medianama.
19 November 2015
Bar Council of India (BCI) associate managing trustee Rajinder Singh Rana and former vice chairman Raju Dhanapal Raj were tried before a special CBI court in Delhi yesterday, for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 6 lakh to approve Global Law College in Ghaziabad.
18 November 2015
Professor Upendra Baxi, in a comment to Legally India, had expressed his surprise how his name appears in the list of those who made proposals for reforming the Collegium, compiled by Supreme Court appointed committee comprising senior advocate, Arvind Datar and ASG, Pinky Anand, as he had not submitted any such proposal. Prof Baxi was also surprised that his so-called proposal was also shown not contributing to any of the five categories, identified by the Court and the Committee, namely, Collegium Secretariat, Eligibility Criteria, Transparency, Mechanism to deal with complaints and Miscellaneous.
The Madras high court used online messenger and video conferencing service Skype to conduct the legal proceedings in a case asking for police protection at a church wedding, reported The Firstpost.
Justice S Vaidyanathan of the Madras HC’s Madurai bench heard the Ramanathapuram district case at his residence, on the suggestion of the administrative Judge of the high court Justice V Ramasubramanian, due to the unavailability of judges at the station and because the petition for urgent hearing was filed at the last moment.
The judge directed the police to provide protection for the marriage ceremony after going through the case documents that were scanned and mailed to him for his perusal. The certified copy of the order directing the police to provide protection was mailed to the police at 8PM yesterday.
The court officials reportedly claimed that this was the first time in its history that the high court used Skype for hearing a case.
The police had objected to the marriage ceremony being performed at the church due to an existing dispute between the petitioner and the church authorities. The police had allegedly coercively obtained from the petitioner, an undertaking to perform the marriage in some other church.
Nestle Maggi’s comeback was challenged in the Supreme Court yesterday by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), reported The Economic Times.
The FSSAI has filed an appreal against the Bombay high court order that had lifted the ban that was imposed over five months ago on the popular noodle brand in India. The ban was imposed due to the alleged presence of lead in the noodles, making them unfit for human consumption.
FSSAI chairman and CEO Ashish Bahuguna was quoted by Economic Times as saying, “We have appealed in the Supreme Court on two accounts, one is the allegation that our officials acted against the system of natural justice and second the validity of operations of our labs. Our labs follow provisions as stated in the FSS Act and a question on them will bring all our enforcement to a standstill putting the safety of consumers under risk.”
The FSSAI, in the Supreme Court, has challenged the “sanctity” of the samples provided to the government-approved labs for the re-test. Nestle suffered losses of Rs 450 crores due to the destruction of already produced and distributed Maggi, and due to the ban on it since June.
The government had also filed a first-of-its-kind suit for damages of Rs 640 crores against Maggi before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), as reported by Legally India
Nestle resumed manufacturing the product after tests done on all fresh Maggi samples by government approved labs, as authorised by the Bombay high court, declared it safe. It is still awaiting clearances to make Maggi at its Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh plants, it was reported.
17 November 2015
Legasis Partners associate partner Nishad Nadkarni has joined Khaitan & Co in Mumbai as a partner in its intellectual property (IP) practice.
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