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GNLU wins Nani Palkhivala tax moot, ‘shatters’ style-over-substance mooting myth

MPL 4: The home of Indian mootingMPL 4: The home of Indian mooting

GNLU Gandhinagar trumped NUJS Kolkata to win the ninth edition of India’s oldest tax moot - the Nani Palkhivala Memorial - on Saturday.

The Tier 4 win, on GLC Mumbai turf, earned GNLU 15 points picking it up eight places in the standings in the MPL 4, sponsored by Herbert Smith. The college now sits at number six, three places below the now third-ranking NUJS.

Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) Sonipat won the award for best memorial, while HNLU Raipur’s Shobhit Koshta picked up the best researcher prize. Jamia Milia Islamia Delhi’s Shafaq was declared the best speaker. Jamia is now in second place of the MPL, ahead of NUJS Kolkata and JGLS.

Prateek Kumar, Aditi Tambi and Ishita Farsaiya from the winning GNLU team also bagged an internship with Nishith Desai Associates.

Researcher Farsaiya was all praises for GLC’s “superb” hosting of the event in terms of accommodation, mooting venue and the food served. “Whether we win or lose, the way these people have treated us, we’ve had one hell of a time,” she said.

She also noted: “There’s this general belief that people from national law schools do better than most because of their argument style; the concept was shattered. The bench actually wanted good arguments. If you’re just a sharp speaker it won’t matter, [it’ll just reflect in your marks]. They wanted a sound legal argument.”

Second-placed NUJS was represented by Dhvani Shah, Puneeth Ganapathy and Nihal Joseph.

The other awards distributed include the prize for the second best speaker for which ULC Bangalore’s A Mahesh Chowdhary and Bangalore Institute of Legal studies’ speaker Pranjit Bhattacharya were tied, and the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Research Paper Competition from last year’s edition of the moot which was taken away by RGNUL Patiala’s Arnab Naskar and Shubhangi Gupta.

26 teams including previous MPL seasons’ goliaths and recent Manfred Lachs world rounds winners NLSIU Bangalore participated in the competition. NLSIU had clinched victory at the moot last year.

We are still evaluating suitability of the Amity Noida moot, as well as confirming results for the Surana Trial North-East rounds.

 International law firm Herbert Smith is sponsoring the Mooting Premier League (MPL) and will contribute a prize pool of Rs 60,000 for the top three winning colleges.

Mooting Premier League 4 season standings

Pos Law school T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 Org W R/u S/F B S B M/R HM Pts Details
1 NLSIU Bangalore 100       10   2     1 1   110 [Surana Trial Adv - South] (gold); [Manfred Lachs Space Moot World Rounds] (gold, best memo, best orator)
2 Jindal Global Law School 15 8 10 1 1 1 33

[Nani Palkhivala] (Best Memorial)][Henry Dunant] (best researcher, semis); [Surana Trial Adv - North] (gold);

3 Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia University     10 8 10     1   1 1   28 [Nani Palkhivala (Best speaker)][Henry Dunant (Best memo), [Surana Trial adv-North (Silver, best speaker)]
4 NUJS Kolkata       8 20   1     2     28 [Nani Palkhivala (runners up)][BR Sawhney (Best peaker)][SLCU Moot (Gold, Best speaker)]
5 NLU Delhi     20     1 1           21 [Henry Dunant] (gold); [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (organiser);
6 GNLU Gandhinagar       15 5         1     20 [Nani Palkhivala] (best team); [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (Best speaker)
7 RMLNLU Lucknow         20   1       2   20 [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (gold, best researcher); [Surana Trial Adv - North] (best memo);
8 GLC Mumbai     10 8           1     18 Henry Dunant (Best speaker)
9 NLU Jodhpur     10   6     1 2       16 [Henry Dunant] (silver); [Surana Trial Adv - North] (semis); [B.R Sawhney Moot] (semis) ;
10 RGNUL Patiala       4 8     1 1       12 [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (semis); B. R Sawhney Moot (runners up), Nani Palkhivala (semis)
11 Department of Law, North-Eastern Hill University     10             1     10 [Henry Dunant] (best speaker);
12 KIIT School of Law         10   1           10 [B.R Sawhney Moot] (Winners) ;
13 HNLU Raipur       8                 8 Nani Palkhivala (Best Researcher)
14 School of Legal Studies, CUSAT Kochi         8       1   1   8 [Surana Trial Adv - South] (best memo, semis);
15 SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law         8       1   1   8 [SLCU Moot] (best memo, semis);
16 Nirma University     5           1       5 [Henry Dunant] (semis);
17 ILS Pune         5     1         5 [SLCU Moot] (silver);
18 NUALS Kochi         5     1         5 [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (silver);
19 ULC Bangalore         5           1   5 [NLU Delhi Corp Moot] (best memo);
20 New Law College, Bharti Vidayapeeth University, Pune         5         1     5 [Surana Trial Adv - South] (best speaker);
21 NLU Orissa         5           1   5 [B.R Sawhney Moot] (Best Memorial) ;
22 NLIU Bhopal       4                 4 Nani Palkhivala (semis)
23 Army Institute of Law, Mohali         3       1       3 [Surana Trial Adv - North] (semis);
24 Faculty of Law, IFHE Hyderabad         3       1       3 [SLCU Moot] (semis);
25 Campus Law Centre. Delhi         3       1       3 [B.R Sawhnhey Moot] (semis);
26 School of Law, Sastra University, Thanjavur         3       1       3 [Surana Trial Adv - South] (semis);
27 School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore           1             1 [SLCU Moot] (organiser);
28 Nalsar Hyderabad           1             1 [B.R Sawhney Moot] (organisers)

For more information please refer to the MPL 3 rulebook.

Click to show 31 comments
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Like +0 Object -0 mooting 16 Oct 12, 17:15
Amity International moot should be included in MPL4!!! Being new is not a criteria but competitive is. Even Surana North East moot is new and AICLM by NLU Delhi was there since inception.
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Like +1 Object -0 Rohan 16 Oct 12, 17:30
Legally India, why are you people still evaluating the suitability of Amity International Moot when you are considering the results of Surrana Trial North-East. Isn't the participation of most NLUs and more than 25 law schools with phenomenal judging a criteria enough to include the moot in MPL 4. Just because Amity is not a National Law School, these double standards exist. If at all there is any fairness, you would include Amity International Moot in this season's MPL. Surrana Trial Advocacy remains by far one of the least participated moots.
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Like +2 Object -0 kianganz 16 Oct 12, 17:40
Dear Amity Noida moot supporters, please stop spamming the same messages over and over in any MPL comments, it won't make inclusion any more likely.

We'll have to evaluate Amity Noida's suitability since it is new, NLS, NLIU and NLU-J don't seem to have participated, for example. We'll also have to try and confirm the standards. It is definitely a strong candidate for inclusion next year, although possibly also for this time.

Surana Trial North-East, I agree with you, and we are considering ditching the Surana trial regional selection rounds completely, since they've been divided into 3 this year, meaning each win should count for less. Unfortunately, we have already allotted points for Surana North, so we're in a bit of a pickle.

In the interest of fairness, we may have to give points to Surana North East this time, begrudgingly. We're still looking into and will try to come up with a good solution.

Do let us know feedback on those choices below (but please don't keep repeating the same Amity Noida soundbites).

Best wishes,
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Like +0 Object -0 Rizvite 16 Oct 12, 19:37
What is usually the criteria for including moots in the MPL. I know that there seems to be a lot of public support for the inclusion of Amity International Moot.
Since one of the criteria for the inclusion of new moots is the participation from top teams (along with the quality etc...), if I may please point your attention to the 4th Saquib Rizvi National Moot which took place a few weeks all the top teams had participated and I strongly believe that it deserves a place in the MPL4. please consider it and all the participants agree that it was organised and conducted well
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Like +2 Object -0 GNLUite 16 Oct 12, 17:34
Congratulations Guys!!!!!! You have made us proud!!
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Like +1 Object -0 Substance vs style 16 Oct 12, 17:37
Palkhivala moot is a technical one (obviously, its tax law!) and is judged by sitting members of the ITAT. Substance was always more important than style at this moot. When judging a moot, senior lawyers and judges sometimes tend to ignore the fact that there are marks for style as well and allow impressive technical arguments to affect their marking of the style section. The reverse is generally seen more frequently (at least in the preliminary rounds) i.e. stylish speakers are able to positively affect the marking of the substance section with their style.

The best speakers are able to display both - its not like some lawschools rely on style alone. The fact is that style is crucial in mooting (technical knowledge is assumed for finalist teams).
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Like +4 Object -0 Silly 16 Oct 12, 17:43
Congrats to the team. But what a silly headline!!! In every moot, it is always the quality of arguments that matters the most. Of course, one has to speak English correctly, but thats about it.

At the Jessup, there are teams from non English speaking countries that do fairly well. There English may be heavily accented and not have the same "flair" as Indian National Law School students, but they still win. So there is no such "myth" to be shattered - perhaps the myth is for people who have never mooted and for giving eye catching headlines.
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Like +0 Object -0 mooting 16 Oct 12, 17:48
Amity International Moot should be there in MPL 4. If Surana North East can be there which is not even a year old, then Amity moot must be there. AICLM by NLUD is there in MPL right from its 1st edition. Comeptition must be the criteria and not how old the moot is. Amity International must be there in MPL4!
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Like +0 Object -0 Amity 16 Oct 12, 18:00
Kian its entirely your discretion but seeing the level of competition and judging standards, we feel you should include it in Tier 4.

Being new should not be the criteria, it has been 2 years for us to conduct the moot. Also, Corp Law moot was there in MPL from season 1, so that should not be the criteria to judge the moot.

Just one or two big names were missing and the colleges doing well this year in MPL, all were there in the moot. We had Sr. Advs. like Pinky Anand judging the prelims.

For Surana North East, we won't comment. Its upto you.
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Like +0 Object -0 Semifinal points to RGNUL 16 Oct 12, 18:13
Kian, RGNUL,Patiala was semi-finalist in the Tax Moot, but the points have not been awarded in the table. Please update the table ASAP....
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 16 Oct 12, 18:15
Thanks for pointing out - the 4 points were there, just not the text in the description.
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Like +0 Object -0 points not added 16 Oct 12, 18:25
Kian RGNUL was semifinalist in tax as well NLU Delhi Corp. Moot but only 4 points are added.
so now total is 16 4(nani tax moot) + 4(NLU D Corp) + 8 ( BR Sawhny runners up) not 12
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 16 Oct 12, 18:30
Sawhney and NLU D are tier 5, where runner-up and semi-finals respectively are 5 points and 3 points, so the existing scores are accurate in the table, I think.

See the full rules here:
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Like +0 Object -0 thanks and sorry 16 Oct 12, 18:32
thanks a lot.. It was my mistake..
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Like +3 Object -0 Good man. 16 Oct 12, 21:28
He'll fight off the internet's worst;
He'll be quenching the legal fraternity's thirst;
I wish him the best;
It looks like he really needs a rest;
To Legally India, Indian law's first.

A limerick in honour of Kian & co. Just a fan impressed by his manner of catering to all readers, law students or Kishen, whoever he is, despite what seems like unrelenting criticism. I might not currently be at my soberest best but hats off and may you have a thousand sons.
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 16 Oct 12, 21:36
Aw, thank you from me and Prachi. Though having 1,000 sons sounds like more work than Kishen and all lawyers in the world combined... :)

And cheers, have a great evening!
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Like +3 Object -0 Akshay 17 Oct 12, 00:16
Quoting kianganz:
Sawhney and NLU D are tier 5, where runner-up and semi-finals respectively are 5 points and 3 points, so the existing scores are accurate in the table, I think.

See the full rules here:

About the 1000 sons thing, Kian, you should get started right away. It's not impossible. See:
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Like +0 Object -0 Akshat 16 Oct 12, 18:24
Just to add a point for Amity International Moot, so far as NLIU Bhopal is concerned, it was there AIM's 1st edition, however it was missing this time. One or two biggies playing a truant should hardly matter as it is generally seen with the present Tier 5 moots in MPL.
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Like +1 Object -0 Well Done GNLU 16 Oct 12, 19:48
An area such as Tax is indeed very technical. GNLU teams can be very meticulous with the concepts but unfortunately things go wrong many a times when it comes to intra moots where people are selected. Good mooters but bad teams spoil the cake. MCC needs to delve into the issue seriously.
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Like +0 Object -0 A slight correction 16 Oct 12, 22:13
Hello. Just a slight correction in the table. GNLU did not win the best team at the NLU-D Corp Law Moot. They took the Best Speaker trophy. :)
I think there's only a minor typo in the text. The points are all still in order.
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Like +0 Object -0 xGnlu 16 Oct 12, 23:29
Go go go, GNLU!
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Like +2 Object -0 Akshay 17 Oct 12, 00:14
Participated in Nani Palkhivala year before last, GLC Mumbai is undoubtedly, unequivocally, and undisputedly the best host college for a few years now, be it Nani Palkhivala or DM Harish. Kudos to GNLU!
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Like +2 Object -0 True that 17 Oct 12, 10:36
"GLC Mumbai is undoubtedly, unequivocally, and undisputedly the best host college for a few years now, be it Nani Palkhivala or DM Harish."
Completely agree. They have the budget, the warmth and the thoughtfulness. I went for both moots and they were fab hosts. 100 cheers to GLC!
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Like +0 Object -0 Om Mondal 17 Oct 12, 00:51
Kain, you have no set criteria.

I see ICC Mediation on MPL4, how does a Mediation even remotely become a moot ?

NLIU might have had exams, etc. coz they usually do participate at Amity Moots.
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Like +0 Object -0 ULNG 17 Oct 12, 10:22
Well done GNLU; tax laws have tremendous opportunities and this is a really great achievement. Manish Kanth must be really proud.
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Like +1 Object -0 kianganz 17 Oct 12, 11:01
Hi All

We'd like to issue a clarification.

GNLU’s researcher Ishita Farsaiya's quote has been amended to replace “NLS [Bangalore]” with “national law schools”, after a miscommunication on this point.

The point which Farsaiya was making was that non-national law schools often attribute national law university mooting wins to the students’ brilliant oration, but this competition shattered her *own* belief that a great speaking-style without good argument-content can get one very far in moots.

We regret any misunderstanding or offence caused.

Best wishes,
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Like +0 Object -0 Rahul 17 Oct 12, 13:13
Out of the current top 5 teams in MPL4, 4 were there in Amity moot barring NLS. Onw or two biggies playing a truant should not matter. A moot should be construed in whole, including judging and level of competition.

Amity should be there in MPL4.
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Like +0 Object -0 anon 17 Oct 12, 18:55
any idea what happened at the regional rounds of henry dunant? nlu, delhi went there?
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Like +0 Object -0 NLD Delhi 20 Oct 12, 10:00
They won, they move to Hong Kong.
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Like +0 Object -0 moot court 17 Oct 12, 21:09
goooooooooooo gnlu!!!! why only 26 teams this time in palkhivala whereas other editions have had many more teams?
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Like +0 Object -0 GD 20 Oct 12, 11:58
There have always been 26 teams in Nani Palkhivala, on account of there being 13 courtrooms at the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. It's an invitation only moot.
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