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Delhi high court

11 December 2015

Justice at a keystroke“Alongside the justices, you will draft decisions that change lives. Your input will constantly be sought, and your ideas will certainly be implemented. In many instances, the justices will rely entirely on your analysis. They'll base their opinions on your research. That means you affect what they see and what they know. There are nine justices on this Court. But your influence, the power that you hold, makes you the tenth justice.”

09 December 2015

The Delhi high court has held a cyber-squatter guilty of misusing the name of Tata group chief Cyrus Pallonji Mistry by holding on to websites www.cyrusmistry.co.uk and www.cyrusmistry.co and has directed him to transfer both the websites to Mistry reported The Hindustan Times.

Justice Manmohan Singh observed in his judgment that the defendant, Aniket Singh has blatantly and illegally tried to capitalize on the goodwill of Mistry as he is a well known personality. Singh was also directed to deposit Rs 5 Lakh as punitive costs to the Delhi High Court library fund.

Apart from the obvious use of Mistry’s name, the conduct of the defendant in registering the domain name a month after he was announced to be the next CEO of Tata group and using “threatening tone” with the plaintiffs which made the intention of extortion clear, led the court to impose costs to Singh.

07 December 2015

In a setback to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi high court on Monday dismissed their plea to quash summons issued to them by a trial court on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint in the National Herald case.

Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed their pleas which means the Gandhis will have to appear before the trial court in the case.

“This court is of the considered view that the gravity of the allegations levelled against petitioners has a fraudulent flavour involving a national political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality levelled against petitioners need to be properly looked into,” said the court.

“Without casting any reflection on the merits of this case and while leaving the larger questions raised in these petitions open, to be considered at the charge stage, these petitions and the pending applications are dismissed with afore-noted clarification.”

Apart from the Gandhis, the court also dismissed the pleas of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey and party leader Oscar Fernandes who had moved the high court for quashing of summons to them by the trial court. 

On 26 June, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s complaint about “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) - “a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi eac h own a 38 percent stake”.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for Sonia Gandhi, sought quashing of the proceedings initiated by the lower court against her and the others, saying that the complaint made by Swamy against them were only “allegations without any supporting proof”. 

He had said there was no illegality in Young India Ltd. (YIL) taking over Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), the publisher of the now-defunct National Herald newspaper, as per the Companies Act.

Swamy had claimed that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL He alleged that AJL had received an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Congress and that the party transferred the debt to YIL for Rs 50 lakh.

At the time, AJL, which had Vora as its chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL

Saying there are sufficient grounds to summon them, the high court said: “After having considered the entire case in its proper perspective, this court finds no hesitation to put it on record that the modus operandi adopted by petitioners in taking control of AJL via Special Purpose Vehicle i.e. YIL, particularly, when the main persons in Congress Party, AJL and YIL are the same, evidences a criminal intent.”

“Whether it is cheating, criminal misappropriation or criminal breach of trust is not required to be spelt out at this nascent stage. In any case, by no stretch of imagination, it can be said that no case for summoning petitioners as accused in the complaint in question is made out.

“Questionable conduct of petitioners needs to be properly examined at the charge stage to find out the truth and so, these criminal proceedings cannot be thwarted at this initial stage.”

Filing the plea in the high court, the Congress leaders had said Swamy was a political opponent and the present criminal proceedings were initiated only with an intent to secure an oblique political objective.

On 7 December 2015 20:21:32 GMT+05:30, “KIAN GANZ (Legally India)” <> wrote:>>>>-------- Original Message -------->From: Stories <>>Sent: 7 December 2015 19:50:04 GMT+05:30>To: >Cc: >Subject: National Herald case: HC dismisses Gandhis’ plea against>summons (Second Lead)>>>New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) In a setback to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and>vice president Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi high court on Monday dismissed>their plea to quash summons issued to them by a trial court on BJP>leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint in the National Herald>case.Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed their pleas which means the Gandhis>will have to appear before the trial court in the case.”This court is>of the considered view that the gravity of the allegations levelled>against petitioners has a fraudulent flavour involving a national>political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality>levelled against petitioners need to be properly looked into,” said the>court.”Without casting any reflection on the merits of this case and>while leaving the larger questions raised in these petitions open, to>be considered at the charge stage, these petitions and the pending>applications are dismissed with afore-noted clarification.”Apart from>the Gandhis, the court also dismissed>the pleas of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey>and party leader Oscar Fernandes who had moved the high court for>quashing of summons to them by the trial court. On 26 June, the trial>court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s complaint about>"cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by>Young India Ltd. (YIL) - “a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi eac h>own a 38 percent stake”.Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who had appeared>for Sonia Gandhi, sought quashing of the proceedings initiated by the>lower court against her and the others, saying that the complaint made>by Swamy against them were only “allegations without any supporting>proof”. He had said there was no illegality in Young India Ltd. (YIL)>taking over Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), the publisher of the>now-defunct National Herald newspaper, as per the Companies Act.Swamy>had claimed that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as majority shareholders of>YIL, benefited from the>acquisition of AJL He alleged that AJL had received an interest-free>loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Congress and that the party transferred>the debt to YIL for Rs 50 lakh.At the time, AJL, which had Vora as its>chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to>transfer the company and its assets to YIL Saying there are sufficient>grounds to summon them, the high court said: “After having considered>the entire case in its proper perspective, this court finds no>hesitation to put it on record that the modus operandi adopted by>petitioners in taking control of AJL via Special Purpose Vehicle i.e.>YIL, particularly, when the main persons in Congress Party, AJL and YIL>are the same, evidences a criminal intent.”"Whether it is cheating,>criminal misappropriation or criminal breach of trust is not required>to be spelt out at this nascent stage. In any case, by no stretch of>imagination, it can be said that no case for summoning petitioners as>accused in the complaint in>question is made out.”Questionable conduct of petitioners needs to be>properly examined at the charge stage to find out the truth and so,>these criminal proceedings cannot be thwarted at this initial>stage.”Filing the plea in the high court, the Congress leaders had said>Swamy was a political opponent and the present criminal proceedings>were initiated only with an intent to secure an oblique political>objective.Regards,IANS Support Team>>>>-- >Kian Ganz >Publishing Editor >Legally India - News for Lawyers >http://www.LegallyIndia.com > >Tel (India): +91 900 405 6651 >Twitter: http://twitter.com/legallyindia

04 December 2015

Intellectual property cases are exempt from the recently initiatiated process of transfer of small cases from the Delhi high court to Delhi’s district courts, reported Mint.

Delhi high court justices GS Sistani and SD Sehgal gave a temporary order in favour of the Asian Patent Association, which had filed a [petition in the high court on 27 November, arguing thatintellectual property was an intangible asset whose value is not recorded in suits and should go to commercial courts even when they are valued at Rs 20 lakhs.

Therefore now despite the 24 November Delhi high court order to transfer all its cases which are valued at less than Rs 1 crore, to Delhi’s district courts, the IP cases will for the time being remain with the high court. The next date of hearing in APA’s case is 19 December.

The order is likely to be replaced by a law in the winter session of Parliament, added the Mint report.

Delhi’s district courts won the pecuniary jurisdiction tug of war with the Delhi high court this year.

02 December 2015

Special courts to hear corruption cases are on the Delhi government’s agenda, reported *Business Standard.

The government will consult Delhi high court’s chief justice to constitute courts to hear cases under the Janlokpal Bill 2015 and Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 to dispose of these cases at the earliest.

According to the provisions of the Janlokpal Bill, which was tabled before the Delhi assembly on 30 November 2015, the special courts will ensure completion of trial in the corruption cases within six months from date of filing and in rare cases, the time will be extended to one year more.

“To achieve the objective of a speedy trial, the Janlokpal will make an annual assessment of the number of special courts required for this purpose and will then make a recommendation to the government for creating such courts,” the bill reportedly states.

However public functionaries, including the Janlokpal, are exempted under the bill from giving evidence relating to ‘secret information’ or produce the evidence so reported or collected, it was reported.

30 November 2015

Vodafone has, through senior advocate K Vishwanathan, challenged the telecom authority’s new rules which deprive it of charges paid to it by other operators on outgoing calls from their network to the Vodafone network, reported The Indian Express.

In its challenge to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges Regulations 2015, at the Delhi high court, Vodafone has argued that the TRAI has arbitrarily decreased Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC), and that this is illegal and beyond the TRAI’s functions.

Interconnection Usage Charge (IUC) is the amount payable by one telecom service provider whose user makes the call to the other whose user receives it. While smaller and newer telecom operators welcomed the move, bigger operators like Vodafone are unhappy with this because they earn through these charges.

The TRAI had notified the regulations in February this year.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw refused to give interim relief to Vodafone without hearing TRAI’s reply. The case will be heard next on 19 January 2016.

Vishwanathan reportedly submitted to the court that even when TRAI agrees that costs are incurred for terminating a call, it has grossly erred and acted in an illegal manner while fixing the termination charges for wireline to wireless as zero and wireless to wireless from Rs 0.20 per minute to Rs 0.14 per minute.

20 November 2015

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.

03 November 2015

AZB & Partners advised former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin and his family on their acquisition of a minority stake in ANI Technologies which runs taxi app Ola. Ola was advised by IndusLaw.

AZB Delhi partner Anil Kasturin and senior associate Jaishree Tolani acted for Sarin who, as Mint reported, is joining Ola as an independent director.

Indus declined to comment but it is understood that Noida partner Gaurav Dani led the deal for Ola.

Founded in January 2011 by two IIT Bombay alumni, Ola currently plies over 20,000 vehicles in over 100 Indian cities, is backed by investors such as DST Global, GIC, Falcon Edge Capital, SoftBank Group Corp., Tiger Global Management LLC, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners, acquired rival TaxiForSure this year in a deal worth $200m, and is being investigated for predatory pricing allegations in the Competition Commission of India, even as the Delhi high court imposed a ban on it.

02 November 2015

Khaitan & Co acted for Reliance Telecommunications in its acquisition of the wireless business of J Sagar Associates (JSA)-advised Sistema Shyam Teleservices for Rs 2,100 crore of equity, while also taking on Rs 2,400 crore of Sistema’s debt to the government.

30 October 2015

In a setback to the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi high court on Friday quashed the executive decision to get the books of accounts of the three private power distribution companies (discoms) in the city-capital scrutinised by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

20 October 2015

Taxi aggregators Uber and Ola cabs plan to get licenses to comply with latest government guidelines reported the Economic Times.

Since the two start-ups are not governed by the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 or any of the state acts on vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways last week released governing regulations for app-based taxi aggregators, reported Livemint.

The guidelines clarify that “IT-based aggregators” are different from traditional offline taxi operators and that state governments should formulate specific policies to regulate their licencing, compliance and liability. The guidelines, which are not binding but directive, also state that these aggregators should have a mandatory 24X7 call centre and a helpline number connecting to a grievance redressal officer.

The necessity of bringing these companies under law was first felt when a case of a Uber cab driver raping his client came up in 2014, after which uber was banned in Delhi. There have been a series of litigations at the Delhi high court regarding the legal status of the start ups like Uber and Ola.

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