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MPL 4: Sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

6.55pm - Justice Jayasimha Babu in his address to the audience commends the finalists, that they've performed better than some of the practicing lawyers who have argued in front of him.

Runners-up : NLU, Delhi

Winners : HNLU, Raipur

Congratulations! We'll bring out the video & a summary of the NLS-TIOL Taxation Law Conference and photos from the final round of the NLS-TIOL Tax Law Moot Court Competition in a while. Stay tuned!

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6.54pm - Best Speaker in the Final Round -  Rahil Pereira, HNLU

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6.49pm - Mr. Uday Holla takes to the dais and comments on the salubrious rates of taxation in India vis-a-vis unviable rates of taxation earlier. He also believes that moot courts and litigation complement transactional work.

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6.40pm - More awards on the way.

TIOL Spirit of the Moot Award - Rizvi Law College

Mr. Nishith Desai addresses the audience and speaks about how India has so much to give to the world specially with reference to taxation policy and law and how the Indian landscape can now change and promote honesty in taxation matters. He also called for people to embrace litigation over transactional work.

Best Speaker in Preliminary Rounds - Rahil Pereira, HNLU

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6.32pm - The valedictory function begins. Dheer Bhatnagar, Convenor, Moot Court Society, NLSIU at dais. Awards :-

Best Memorandum - HNLU, Raipur

Meanwhile, Mr. Vijay Kumar from TIOL takes to the dais and says that TIOL provides 'intaxication' on a daily basis and spoke of how graduates from National Law Universities must join the government and help draft policy and join the bar and reinvigorate the quality of argumentation in courts today.

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5.57pm - This liveblogger finally tracked the teams down and asked them how it was facing such a 'studly' bench. The NLUD second counsel said that he was starstruck and says the spending one's birthday researching on taxation isn't exactly fun. Anyhow; happy birthday!

The HNLU counsel were intently browsing through the Economic Times (no surprise) in the lobby and when asked for comments said that "shy was coming". However, the first counsel was bit more forthcoming and said that he enjoyed the moot thoroughly.

Results are still awaited.

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5.50pm - The audience has been asked to exit the hall as the judges deliberate. The teams are no where to be found.

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5.43pm - The sur-rebuttals ("the rebuttal to a rebuttal " - Justice Kumar) are presented by the second counsel from NLU Delhi and arguments pivot around the violation of the principles of natural justice. With once again a break-neck submission. The first edition of the NLS-TIOL Taxation Law Moot Court Competition comes to an end.

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5.39pm - The rebuttals now start with the first counsel from HNLU presenting his arguments with special reference to the Haryana Acrylic case; Justice Kumar asks counsel to clarify the issue of limitation with special reference to reading it into statutes which have no explicit mention if the same. This counsel is not spared, however well handled.

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5.34pm - The second counsel goes through his arguments at break-neck speed, this liveblogger sadly can't blog at the speed of speech.

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5.26pm - We said it too soon, Justice Kumar asks questions regarding the issue of revenue taxing non-existent income and the question of false and fraudulent tax returns. Deftly handled, distinguished, cited and the works.

However.

Justice Kumar is not pleased. He wants the counsel to answer the question specifically on how can the revenue tax income that doesn't exist. The principle of economic justice and armada of case-law is cited by counsel.

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5.20pm - The second speaker from NLU Delhi now begins his submission to the court and deals with the act of the proprietor being the act of the company; the speaker doesn't seem to be the victim of any ballistic questioning. Yet.

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5.07pm - After very calmly having handled that barrage of questioning; the speaker continues to refer to a multitude of international case-law and statutes, persuasive value of the same being reiterated.

Mr. Nishith Desai and Justice Babu launch another barrage regarding the taxability and nature of shares and ADRs. Counsel firstly can't seem to comprehend and then pleads ignorance. However, the counsel is again asked by Justice Kumar about her year of study. :)

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4.59pm - The first speaker from NLU Delhi; the assessing authority's side takes to the podium and takes a defensive stand; argues at a high volume. Points being noticed.

Justice Kumar decides to question the speaker on a specific order of the Madras High Court and the nature of the same. The speakers tries to answer in face of  piercing questioning.

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4.54pm - Mohan Parasaran reads the memorandum intently as the second speaker makes repeated references to case-law and wraps his submission and prayer up as well.

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4.48pm - The first speaker wraps his arguments in time and the second speakers takes the dais. Justice Kumar asks the speaker his year of study. So cute :)

The second speaker is once again given a very patient hearing and the speaker eloquently addresses the issues regrading the order being passed without any reasons and that an assessing officer cannot makes references to a source that he himself disputes.

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4.42pm - Justice Babu continues with his stream of questions; asks what the Board was doing when a fraud of such magnitude was unfolding, right under their noses.

Having answered that, the speaker moves on the next argument; structure being well maintained regardless.

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4.39pm - Justice Babu and Justice Kumar begin questioning the speaker; incisive questions regarding the powers and jurisdiction of the CBDT, whether there was any fraud with regard to the tax assessment and why the assessee chose the Madras High Court specifically.

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4.34 pm - The first speaker from HNLU continues his smooth sailing and moves on the next issue regarding refund of tax and filing revised returns given financial mismanagement that wrecked the company.

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4.30pm - The speaker makes repeated references to footnotes in his memorandum, the bench listens very intently. Arguments now deal with the question of the "harshly-worded" letter.

Justice Kumar asks a question regarding the merit of the notice in question; replied to with a reference to a footnote. No surprises there!

Arguments finally reach the issue of finality of the order.

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4.27pm - Mohan Parasaran asks a question regarding the rights of the shareholders with reference to their location in US or India; deftly handled. Smooth sailing so far.

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4.22pm - The first speaker from HNLU takes to the podium. Issues being argued include the matter of whether the sum in question was a capital receipt or capital gain and thus, if it is chargeable to tax. The bench is giving the speaker a  patient hearing, no questions till now.

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4.21pm - The judges for the final round have taken their seats. The rounds shall begin in a while.

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4.04pm - We'll be putting up a summary of the highly interesting discussion that just wrapped up a few minutes ago. It was a treat being witness to the exchange of various perspectives on a complex and technical issue such as GAAR.

Now, on the the finals of the NLS-TIOL Tax Moot, both the finalists have been doing last-minute preparations and seem highly stressed (and obviously so). In a quick chat with them during their prep, both the teams highly appreciated the quality of judging in all the rounds and a speaker from NLU Delhi commented that "knowing the Income Tax Act in toto is absolutely loco".

The bench of the final round which comprises legal luminaries such as Justice Babu, Justice Kumar, Nishith Desai, Mohan Parasaran and Uday Holla are currently being briefed about the problem and stay with us as we liveblog in the finals which start in the next four minutes.

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2.04pm - The conference now begins with Mr. Mihir Naniwadekar briefing the gathering about the characteristics of the GAAR provisions with specific reference to Sec.95; Mr. PK Prasad takes the floor and explains the need for GAAR in the first place and tries to clarify the ambiguity between tax evasion, avoidance and mitigation.

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1.43pm - After heated semi-finals between HNLU, Raipur & NLIU, Bhopal and NLU, Delhi & CNLU, Patna; both of which were witness to some very incisive questioning by the bench - we now have the finalists of the NLS-TIOL Tax Law Moot - HNLU, Raipur and NLU, Delhi. The finals will begin at 4.15 pm; we wish both the teams all the very best!

Meanwhile, the NLS-TIOL Taxation Law Conference will be starting in a few minutes. The conference hall here is getting filled to capacity!

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Hello! and welcome to the NLS-TIOL Tax Law Moot and Conference 2013 - LiveBlog.

We'll be bringing to you with in a few hours; live, real-time updates of the final-round and the conference, both of which are being organised at the Vivanta by Taj, MG Road, Bangalore.

The moot which is being organised in association with TaxIndiaOnline.com seeks to promote advocacy and research skills in core areas of taxation law, and also provide a platform for students to interact with some of the leading industry experts in the field.The moot problem for the inaugural edition deals with how Mr. Mahadevan, who owns Green Machines Pvt. Ltd diversifies into infrastructure to find that change in political regime and other extraneous factors made him write a letter stating that he regularly cooked the books to show high profits.

Both the preliminary rounds and the quarter-finals have been witness to some interesting legal analysis and arguments by over 20 teams who were subject to intense grilling by judges who are eminent practitioners and academics n the fields of taxation and corporate law. We are looking forward to some stellar performances by the teams who have broken into the semi-finals for today- NLU Delhi, HNLU Raipur, NLIU Bhopal and CNLU Patna.

The NLS-TIOL Tax Law Conference shall precede the final round of the Moot. The panel comprises eminent persons from the legal and financial fields such as - PK Prasad, Director of Income Tax for Bangalore, Mohan Parasaran of the Karnataka High Court, Nishith Desai of NDA, PC Kincha of Khincha & Co., Nageswar Rao from PDS Legal, and Rupesh Jain of Vaish Associates.This illustrious panel shall be discussing developments since the proposed introduction of GAAR and how the Shome Committee has attempted to clarify the confusion that surrounds the entire issue. Mihir Naniwadekar of the Bombay High Court shall be moderating.

Our judges for the final round of the Moot shall be Justice Jayashimha Babu, former President of the CESTAT and an arbitrator with the Indian Council of Arbitration; Justice N. Kumar of the Karnataka High Court who has presided over the Tax Bench; Mohan Parasaran, senior advocate at the Madras High Court and Additional Solicitor General who has represented the state in various tax issues including the landmark Vodafone case; Uday Holla, managing partner at Holla & Holla and previously the Advocate General of Karnataka and finally, Nishith Desai, the founder of Nishith Desai Associates. Mr. Desai, an authority on taxation matters has played a pivotal role in taxation policy reform and currently heads one of the leading law-firms in the country.

The winners of the Moot shall be awarded the NLS-TIOL Tax Law Moot Trophy, cash prizes and an internship with TaxIndiaOnline.com and Nishith Desai Associates.

The LiveBlog shall go online at 1 pm. Best of luck to the teams and stay tuned!

Moot Court Society,
National Law School of India University, Bangalore
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