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Following the success of the last two editions of the GNLU Moot Court on Securities and Investment Law, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, is proud to announce the third edition of the first of its kind Securities and Investment Law moot in India.
This edition will witness 44 teams competing for prizes of Winning Team, Runners-Up Team, Best Orator, Best Researcher, and Best Written Submission.
The Registrations are set to begin at 4 pm on 7th September, and the competition will span a period of 3 days, ending with the final round on the 10th of September, 2017. We shall be bringing you live and exclusive updates from the opening ceremony onwards. Do remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Stay tuned for updates!

Day 1: 7 September, 2017 - Inauguration and Researchers' Test

4:11 PM  The inauguration ceremony is about to begin. Hurry! We have pastries and more goodies lined up for all the participants.
4:15 PM  Here is a glimpse of the trophies that are up for grabs.  Definitely ready for some intense competition! 
4:20 PM The inauguration hall has begun to fill up with participants. Love the air of anticipation and teams low-key sizing each other up.  
4:27 PM The Registration process for the participants has begun. The participants each receive a folder with their match-ups for rounds, a T-shirt and a box of pastries along with the memorials of the opposite team for their first round tomorrow. The Opening Ceremony is all set to begin once registration is completed.
4:42 PM As the teams get their opponent's memorandums all thoughts of pastries are forgotten.  Dedication on point. 
5:06 PM The orientation for the participants is now underway and Shilpa Nair, Coordinator, Logistics, GNLUMSIL and Mrudul Desai, Chief Scorer, GNLUMSIL are explaining all important rules on scoring, rebuttals, scouting and time-allocation to the participants and clearing their queries. 
 5:51 PM In the run up to the  Researchers' Test, we have our participants poring over their material. Can't wait to see them in action!
 6:00 PM The Opening Ceremony has now commenced. We have Sanskriti Sanghi and Vinay Narayan, members of the OC, compering. On the dais, we have Dr. Bimal N. Patel, Director, Gujarat National Law University, Dr. Thomas Mathew, Registrar, GNLU, Dr. R. K. Singh, Dean of Academic Affairs and Mr. Girish R., Faculty Convener of GNLUMSIL.
 6:04 PM Dr. Bimal Patel extends a warm welcome to the participants. He emphasizes the importance of securities and investment law today. He congratulates GNLUMSIL for boasting participation from 44 teams. He thanks our sponsors BSE, Finsec Law Advisors, Suvan Law Advisors, SCC Online, and Lex Witness.
6:08 PM He notes that it is interesting to follow the unprecedented developments in investment law spurred on by the RBI and other critical legal institutions. He remarks that proposed legislations and fiscal reform are changing the legal scenario overnight leading to multiple challenges.  He observes that the moot problem will encourage students to not merely develop a contemporary knowledge of the law but also its complementary monetary policies. As a Member of the Law Commission, he invites all participants to provide any original ideas they may have on reform in these areas. What a golden opportunity!
6:14 PM He emphasizes the fact that the students have an excellent opportunity to participate in the major reforms taking place in the country and urges them to think beyond the moot problem. He encourages them to build on the knowledge they have gained as a part of the moot and build a career on it. He earnestly assures the students that their voice will be an important guiding force in securities and investment law reform.  He ends his address by acknowledging the Organising Committee and wishing the participants every success.
6: 20 PM The Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. R.K.Singh is now addressing the audience. He extends a warm welcome to the participants. He begins by talking about numerous academic events organised by GNLU, particularly the GNLU International Moot Court Competition and the GNLU Moot on Securities and Investment Law. Regarding GNLUMSIL, he remarks on the exponential growth in the number of participating teams from 26 to 33 in the first and second editions to 44 in the present one. He opines that Securities and Investment law is one of the most rapidly changing and important areas. 
6:26 PM He exhorts the importance of mooting as an integral activity to bolster articulation and advocacy. He states that the best advocates are those with the most practice and mooting provides such a platform. The art of persuasion, research and speaking are not necessarily natural skills but one that must be honed. He encourages the teams to cherish the value of team spirit and remember that there is no such thing as a losing team. He signs off by extending his best wishes to all teams.
6:32 PM  Dr. Thomas Mathew, Registrar, Gujarat National Law University is now addressing the gathering. He thanks Director Sir for his constant encouragement to all committees in GNLU, specially the Moot Court Committee. The university provides a platform to various kinds of events - conferences, seminars, certificate courses which he encourages participants to pursue.
6:38 PM Mr. Girish R., the faculty convener approaches the podium. He expresses pride at GNLU being the winners of the seventh edition of the Mooting Premier League. He states that GNLUMSIL's growth has been phenomenal in a mere few years. When compared to its sister moot, GIMC, the tenth edition of which is scheduled for this year, GNLUMSIL is extraordinarily promising. He thanks all our esteemed sponsors, whose involvement is a testament to how GNLUMSIL has emerged as a flagship moot court competition. 
6:45 PM He announces the prizes that are up for grabs. The winning team shall be awarded a trophy, certificates, cash prize of Rs. 50,000, select books sponsored by Suvan Law Advisors and FinSec Law Advisors  and a subscription to SCC Online for 1 year. The Runners-Up team shall be awarded a trophy, certificates, cash prize of Rs. 25,000, select books sponsored by Suvan Law Advisors and FinSec Law Advisors and a susbcription to SCC online for 6 months.  The winners of the Best Memorial will be awarded a trophy, certificates and a cash prize of Rs, 10,000.  The Best Speaker-Finals, and the Best Researcher shall be awarded a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5000.
6:48 PM The official resource partner for the 3rd Edition of GNLUMSIL, SCC Online, is now engaging in a brief session with the participants. He remarks how once one learns how to use SCC Online, they will have the decisions of the entire Indian judiciary on their fingertips!
7:01 PM The SCC Online briefing session has now come to an end and the participants seem to have enjoyed it. They might even have some new tricks up their sleeve for any last moment research before their rounds tomorrow! The Researchers' Test will commence shortly.
7:11 PM The Opening Ceremony has come to an end. The Researchers' Test is now underway. The preliminary rounds shall commence tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM. Stay tuned to our blog for the results of the preliminary rounds as well as a live feed from the semi-finals and final rounds! 

Day 2: 8 September 2017 - Preliminary Rounds - I

10:30 AM 44 teams will battle it out in the Preliminary Rounds over the next two days. The courtrooms are all set up, the judges are here. The rounds will commence shortly.
11:01 AM The Preliminary Rounds have commenced. There are 5 courtrooms, each being adjudicated by a Division Bench, with 4-5 rounds per court room. The participants are putting forth their arguments brilliantly!  
1:15 PM So we got around to talking to some participants, and they told us this. "That the problem was quite well drafted, and had a lot of scope for innovative arguments. It was comprehensive and covered all regulations under the Securities law regime. So if you did this moot, you pretty much covered your basics in Securities Law!"
2:58 PM The first half of rounds is over for the day, and the courtrooms have taken a break for a photograph session of the Faculty, Judges, Participants and OC! 
4:18 PM Check out the Participants' photograph with the Preliminary Round judges!
4:20 PM The second half of the rounds is now underway. Take a look at some of the photographs!
4:45 PM Looks like the teams are having fun! 
7:35 PM The last preliminary round for the day is underway. 
7:37 PM The rounds for tomorrow will begin at 9:30 AM. Stay tuned to the blog for tomorrow's updates, and the results of the Preliminary Rounds!

Day 3: 9 September 2017 - Preliminary Rounds - II

10:15 AM It's the second day of Preliminary Rounds, and the courtrooms are in full swing! 
1:30 PM One of the best parts about mooting is getting to know new people from different places. Catch a glimpse of the participants bonding over the moot!
2:56 PM The waiting room is filled with participants from the last couple of rounds.
4:10 PM The second half of rounds is in session, and some of the courtrooms are drawing to a close.
5:45 PM So we got around to chatting with the participants once again, and this is what they said. "Our experience so far has been really nice, and the judges for the competition are really good!"
5:52 PM The last preliminary round is now underway.
6:01 PM Check out what the participants of the last round had to say! "The quality of the judges is really great." They also had some advice for all aspiring mooters out there. "Please keep mooting!" We thank all the participants for their lovely comments! 
6:28 PM The final round in the courtrooms is over, and we will soon distribute the participation certificates to the teams, after which the results will be released. 
6:53 PM The certificate distribution ceremony is now underway. The certificates are being given away by Dr. Thomas Matthew, Registrar, GNLU. 
7:09 PM The results will be announced at 8:30 PM today. Stay tuned to find out which teams got through to the quarter-finals!
8:34 PM The results have been declared! Amidst loud cheers and celebration, the draw of lots for tomorrow's quarter final rounds is announced, followed by the memorial exchange. 
The arguments that the teams are using will not be revealed until the semi-final rounds to prevent giving those in the quarter final rounds tomorrow from gaining an unfair advantage. Keep a lookout for photographs from the quarter-final rounds as well as live feed from the semi-finals and final rounds! 

Day 4: 10 September 2017 - Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Final Rounds and Valedictory

Quarter- Finals

10: 30 PM   Hello Everyone! We are back today for the most vigorous rounds of the competition. We have ahead of us 7 gruelling rounds of Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals back-to back. Its definitely going to be two tired but ecstatic finalists that take the trophies home. 

10:52 PM The Quarter-Finals are underway as 8 teams battle it out in 4 court-rooms. The stakes are rising and so is the anticipation. 



11:02 PM Participants are on edge as we see quite a few nail-biting moments! 


11:56 PM The quarter final rounds have now ended! The teams which argued in the quarter-finals and those arguing in the semi-finals will be revealed after the semi-final rounds begin. The semi-final rounds will begin any moment, and we will keep you posted on the live updates straight from the courtroom! 
12:34 PM The Courtrooms are ready and the Semi-final rounds shall be adjudicated by a bench of 3 judges. The teams have arrived in the Courtroom and the rounds shall be beginning soon.   


12:44 PM The following teams as mentioned below argued in the Quarter-Finals today!

Team Code: 144 - Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Team Code: 146 - West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata

Team Code: 102 - Jindal Global Law School, Sonepat

Team Code: 135 - Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur

Team Code: 148 - Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi

Team Code: 111 - Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Mumbai

Team Code: 151 - Punjab University Regional Centre

Team Code: 109 - Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur


⁠⁠⁠12:45 PM And the results from the quarter finals are here! The teams which are arguing in the semi final rounds are -

Courtroom 1:

Symbiosis Law School, Pune (Team Code 144)


Jindal Global Law School (Team Code 102)

Courtroom 2

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (Team Code 146)


Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (Team Code 135)

12:46 PM The judges' briefing is over, and the judges have arrived in the courtroom! 

12:48 PM (CR2) The round in CR2 is in session. The Appellant Speaker 1 has been granted permission to approach the bench, and begins by laying down a road map of the questions presented. She quickly proceeds to her first issues. 

12:50 PM (Cr1) The courtroom is now in session. Speaker 1 of the Appellants has begun making her case by laying out 4 heads. She proceeds to the first issue and bifurcates it.

12:50 PM (CR2) The bench is listening intently. So far, no questions have been posed. Speaker 1 is speaking in a calm and composed manner. 

12:51 PM (CR2) The bench has started throwing questions at Speaker 1, and she does not seem to get frazzled and is answering in a calm manner and putting forth her argument.

12:53PM (CR1) The Bench asks her a question and she passionately answers it. However they remain unconvinced.

12:53 PM (CR2) The bench does not seem to be in agreement with the Speaker's arguments, and it looks like another round of questions is in order!

12:54 PM (CR2) The Speaker guides the bench to various paragraphs in the fact sheet when questioned further, and brings up the lack of evidence with reference to the particular issue.

12: 57 PM (CR1) The Bench asks the Counsel to categorize when the circumstances she claims has arisen may be deemed to arise.  The Speaker answers with equanimity and states that the Respondents have failed to meet the standards required of them.

12:57 PM (CR2) The Speaker sticks to her argument, and cites a judgment in favour of the Appellants, guiding the bench to the relevant page in the compendium.

12: 58 PM (Cr1) This leads to a follow- up question where the Bench asks for precedents that have laid down the standards that the Appellants claim exist. The Speaker appears to be evading the question. The Judge repeats its question. The Speaker then promptly provides a case name with a citation and its facts. Very smooth we must say!

12:59 PM (CR2) For a moment, the Speaker seems unable to locate the argument the compendium. But she quickly recovers and quotes the correct page number.

1:00 PM (CR2) The bench asks the Speaker for a Supreme Court precedent, and the Speaker is unable to recall a case, however she quotes an example and also distinguishes the example from the case at hand. 

1:01 PM (CR2) The Speaker misquotes the name of the client, and the bench immediately catches on! The bench further asks for provisions in which certain terms like punitive, preventive etc. are given, and the Speaker proceeds to answer with a precedent. She is instructed to strictly refer to the provision only.

1:03 PM (CR2) The Speaker faces a barrage of questions, to which she cites lack of evidence again. The bench is not satisfied with the argument and is asking the Speaker for an alternate prayer.

1:05 PM (CR2) The volley of questions has not stopped! The bench is now grilling the Speaker on her answers to the questions, and she states that her co-counsel will deal with those arguments. The bench accepts and allows her to proceed to the next argument.

1:05 PM (Cr1) The Bench begins to crack down on Speaker 1 as they tell her firmly that they will not accept the judicial decision she has cited. Unflustered, she provides them with an alternate decision. All three judges join in to point out that what this is still an unreasonable proposition. Speaker 1 barrels on with her point, as her pace increases and she interrupts the judges to finish her point. A very intense and earnest display today.

1:07 PM (CR2) The Speaker now uses the law fact law method to present her argument. She quotes an excerpt from the compendium, to which the bench remarks that she needs to understand her argument before quoting sources, to which the Speaker tries to respond in a convicing manner.

1:09 PM (CR2) The bench is still not convinced, and is asking the Speaker to go back and make a representation at SEBI, after which they are prepared to to grant the relief. They are asking for clarifications as to why the prayer should be granted.

1:11 PM (CR2) The Speaker's time is up, and she is denied an extension of time. Speaker 2 is about to begin now. 

1:13 PM (CR2) Speaker 2 begins with pleasantries and the structure of her arguments, and is asked to directly proceed to the arguments. The bench asks her to respond to the questions posed at the first Speaker.

1:14 PM (CR2) The bench starts throwing questions even before she begins speaking. Speaker 2 requests the bench to allow her to distinguish the issues she will be dealing with.

1:15 PM (CR2) The Speaker responds to the questions from the bench by pointing to a paragraph in the fact sheet, only to elicit further questions based on that paragraph! 


CR2, Speaker 2, Appellant

1:20 PM (Cr1) There is a barrage of questions from the Bench as Speaker 1 approaches her arguments regarding whether there is a prima facie case. Her arguments leave the Bench appearing to be in complete disagreement with them.  They pose multiple questions to her and ask her to back them up with facts.

1:22 PM (Cr1) As the Counsel guides them to the factsheet the Bench points out that her inferences appear unfounded.

1:23 PM (Cr1) The Bench asks her to proceed to her next argument. She quips that if she were allowed to get into the facts she could prove the previous argument. This elicits a smile from the Bench.

1:24 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 addresses Issues 3 and 4. He states that under Issue 3 he will be adressing both procedural and substantive aspects.

1:24 PM (CR2) The bench corners the Speaker by asking her if they don't want to be investigated in the first place. Speaker 2 denies the allegation and smoothly moves forward. The bench posts another question asking for provisions of law from any area of financial law. 

1:26 PM (CR2) The Speaker cites a case, to which the judge smiles and states that it's a bad law. This leads to the Speaker citing another case. The bench asks the Speaker whether all the cases she is citing pertains to insider trading, and commands her to point out the specific paragraphs of those cases. The Speaker does so and tries to cite another decision, which is followed by the bench's comment that this is argument is not helping the Appellants in any way. 


CR1, Speaker 2, Appellant

1:28 PM (Cr1) The judges begin to quiz Speaker 2 on the management of a company. They refer him to facts to indicate that his point does not stand. However , Speaker 2 lucidly restates his point and the Judges are convinced.

1:31 PM (CR2) The bench asks the Speaker to answer the sinular question being posed by them, on the condition that if she answers satisfactorily, they will grant the relief. The Speaker tries to answer, and is again asked of provisions of law by the judge. Only 2 minutes are left with the Speaker, and the other judge asks her to summarise her argument and prayer. The bench is not convinced by their prayer, and again asks if they wish to seek an alternate prayer.

1:31 PM (Cr1) The Judge points out to Speaker 1 that as per Statutes and previously held case-laws, the promoter must be held liable.  he questions whether there are any distinguishing facts in this case. Speaker 2 points out a supporting fact.

1:33 PM (CR2) The bench allows the Speaker 2 an extension of 1 minute and tells her to discuss with her co-counsel any alternate prayer they would like to seek. She converses and begins speaking, but her time is up, so the bench asks her to rest her case. 

1:34 PM (Cr1) The Bench points out that in India his those in the same position as  client has often be held liable. Speaker 2 however states that this is an irresponsible approach.

1:35 PM (CR2) The next Speaker has approached the bench, and even before she speaks the bench addresses her on the sort of arguments they will be listening to.

1:36 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 further states that the Respondents do not have any evidence to back up their defenses on the issue. This leads to another aggressive round of questioning!

1:36 PM (CR2) Respondent Speaker 1 cited a decision by the Whole-time member, which the bench dismisses immediately. She still exhorts the persuasive value of the decision. The Speaker now directs the attention of the bench to the facts as a response to their questions.  

1:39 PM (Cr1) The Bench again comes back to their original line of question. They emphatically request Speaker 2 to show them a specific provision or precedent right away that supports his claim. Speaker 2 restates the position of law though he does not provide the specifics asked of him.

1:40 PM (CR2) The judges ask the Speaker multiple questions at the same time, despite that, she appears confident and responds, however, the bench is not in agreement. They throw another question, to which Speaker is giving a detailed response. The bench again throws a volley of questions, but the Speaker is not fazed. She respectfully disagrees with the bench, and states that the Respondents acted in a very responsible manner. The bench grills her again before she can complete her argument.

1:41 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 wraps up the procedural arguments. he now proceeds to the merits. He explains a relevant doctrine of law and applies it to the facts.

1:43 PM (CR2) The bench refers to the imbalance in the acts of the Respondents, to which the Speaker again begins to respond. Another bunch of questions follows, and the bench is now smiling in disagreement at the responses of the Speaker. The Speaker regains her composure and begins to lucidly answer each of the questions in a bullet points, using the facts to support her arguments.

1:45 PM (Cr1) The bench accepts the explanation of law but are dissatisfied of its application to the facts. They state that in light of the statistics provided in the fact-sheet, his position is untenable. An intense technical decision replete with numbers then begins.

1:48 PM (CR2) Speaker 2 is now guiding the bench through the Respondents' memo, pointing to various footnotes for sources. She cites a couple of cases and is immediately asked who the decisions were passed by. She states that they are decisions of SAT and Whole-time members, but immediately moves on to the stand of the Respondents.

1:48 PM ( Cr1) Speaker 2 deftly guides the discourse back to the law but the bench cleverly sidesteps his attempt. They ask him to discard all law and merely argue logically as to why his clients acted the way he did.

1:49 PM (CR2) The bench asks the Speaker if their stand is that non-disclosure is a fraud, to which the Respondent responds in affirmative. 

1:50 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 picks up on the cue and begins to argue based on commercial considerations and practice.

1:51 PM (CR2) The bench is clearly not at all satisfied with the arguments of the Speaker, and the judges is now questioning the Speaker on the manner in which the procedure was conducted. He is supported by his brother judge, who presents an idiomatic example to explain the question to the Speaker, which eleicits a smile from everyone. 

1:52 PM (CR2) The bench states that they have given more than enough time to Speaker 2, and asks the Speaker questions based on Principles of Natural Justice. The Speaker points to her memo, and her arguments is immediately dismissed by the bench. Another set of explanations and questions follow, and the bench still emphasizes on the lack of opportunity to be heard to the Appellants.

1:52 PM (Cr1) The Bench points out that there appears to be a strong causal link based on the events that have occurred that amount to prima facie evidence. The Bench asks Speaker 2 to refute the same. Speaker 2 falters and then rallies back by restating the factual position. His teammates provide some support by nodding earnestly at the Bench in agreement. Very loyal we must say

1:55 PM (Cr1) The Bench continues to push Speaker 2 on the point. They ask him to explain a few basic financial terms and point out that they do not match with his interpretation of facts.

1:56 PM (CR2) The Speaker is thrown off guard and agrees to concede as an arguendo, and cites another case in arguendo. She seems well versed with the facts of the case and is able to answer questions regarding the same. She is now explaining what was held in the case, and the bench asks her to discuss with her co-counsel on the interests of the investors, and ask for a moulded relief. The Respondents after a brief discussion stick to theit original argument with minor modifications. 

1:57 PM ( Cr1) The Bench asks him to provide the thresholds and limits that the court must look into before passing the relief he seeks. Speaker 2 smiles and admits that he does not possess any specific backing. but continues to argue on facts.

1:59 PM (Cr1) The Bench tells him to answer the last question. They state that the violations he contends are too isolated. They remark that he could have raised more important points  that were more relevant to the forum rather than pursue a line of argument that does not substantially affect his client. 

2:00 PM (CR2) Even before Speaker 2 starts speaking, the bench attempts to throw him off by expressing that since his co-counsel was given extra time, they will slash 3 minutes from his total time! The Speaker does not seem fazed and cheerfully states that after he lays down his arguments, but gets interrupted by the bench. Realising his time is running out, he immediately begins with his arguments.

2:01 PM ( Cr1) The Bench asks the Counsel to proceed to his final argument and wind it up in one minute. Unfazed, Speaker 2  complies and  lays down a test and a case law. He then brings up economic principles and applies it to the facts.

2:03 PM (CR2) The bench seems annoyed by the Speaker, and the judge is now asking him that without bringing out the nexus in the dispute, the regulators are passing such orders! The brother judge remarks on the law being heavily in the favour of the regulators, and the Speaker attempts to respond.


CR2, Speaker 2, Respondent

2:03 PM (Cr1) The Bench points out that Speaker 2 is making very simplistic statements without factoring in the several issues. The Bench expresses disbelief that the Appellants are refuting all allegations despite the highly incriminating facts. Speaker 2 smiles and attempts to answer the questions though the Bench refuses to relent.

2:07 PM (CR2) The annoyance of the bench has not subsided, and they throw a bunch of questions at the Speaker, which he attempts to answer but unfortunately, the bench completely disagrees. The bench bombards the Speaker with questions, and the Respondent is answering.

2:07 PM (Cr1) The Bench expresses frustration that both Speakers rather than addressing the arguments on merit are advancing arguments that hint towards bias and vague conspiracies.

2:09 PM (CR2) The judge uses an example of a murderer disclosing his intent to murder, to explain their viewpoint to the Speaker. The Speaker cites a SEBI discussion paper, which the bench sets aside at once. 

It seems like the bench is quite exasperated with the arguments in both courtrooms!

2:09 PM (Cr1) The Bench continues to increase pressure on Speaker 2 by referring to more incriminating facts. Agitated, Speaker 2 refutes their inferences at the top of his voice. Amused, the Bench guides him to more facts but Speaker 2 holds his ground and proves that he has not contradicted himself.

2:12 PM (CR2) The bench now puts a simple proposition before the Respondents. The once more ask for an alternate prayer, emphaszizing that the present prayer cannot be granted in any case.

2:14 PM (CR2) The Speaker now cites the RBI master circular, which irks the bench because, as they remark, is SEBI going to be governed by RBI now? The bench puts the questions in a different manner, in response to which the Speaker cites a case. He is asked on a distinguishing point, and the Speaker is thwarted for a moment, but regains his cool and begins arguing again.

2:13 PM (Cr1) The Bench tries to help Speaker 2 to structure his arguments on insider trading. He answers their pointed questions and ultimately manages to convey his point.

2:15 PM (Cr1) The Judges have a light moment as they joke about the intricacies of the case. They point out the flaws in the Appellants case and grants Speaker 2 leave to present the Prayer.

2:17 PM (CR2) The Speaker now relies on the mischief rule to explain the interpretation of a term, and quickly moves on to the next argument. The bench seems to have calmed down for now, and it seems like the Speaker is finally addressing the argument they wanted to hear. This is the longest instance so far that Speaker has been allowed to argue without interruptions. The Speaker concludes his argument by asking if the bench needs clarifications, and it turns out the bench still fails to understand their stance. The bench asks the Speaker to exhort the balance of convenience in the present matter.

2:18 PM (Cr1) The Respondents, Speaker 1 has now begun his submissions. The Appellants have started to furiously scribble down their points of rebuttals.

2:20 PM (CR2) The bench cracks a joke and everyone in the courtroom including the Speaker and Appellants is smiling. The Speaker ends his argument, and the Appellants seek permission to make a short rebuttal. It is indeed, quite a concise and to the point rebuttal, and the Respondent Speaker immediately gets up to respond. He corrects his earlier argument in response to the rebuttal and rests his case. Tension has eased around the courtroom, and the participants get up to drink water and relax for amoment.

2:22 PM (CR1) Meanwhile, the round in CR1 is progressing rather slowly. The Bench poses their first question regarding facts. Speaker 1 answers it clearly. The Bench poses two questions. Speaker 2 relies on a legislation and the fact-sheet to answer the question.


CR1, Speaker 1, Respondent

2:23 PM (Cr1) The Bench asks the Respondents how they could have held the Appellant responsible while excluding other involved persons or entities. They also ask Speaker 1 to address two possible scenarios.

2:27 PM (Cr1) Speaker 1 expounds his views on both scenarios. The Bench questions the basis of the prima facie case that the Respondent believes it has established. They refuse to accept his contentions on the basis he claims. He states that his co-counsel shall handle the same. The Bench points out that without establishing this first, it is futile to go further into the case.

2:35 PM (Cr1) Speaker 1 now proceeds to his next argument regarding insider trading. He uses a case law and legislations to define certain terms. He elaborates on when a particular presumtion of law operates. The Bench quickly  gives him several scenarios where such a presumption would be unjust and unreasonable. 

 2:39 PM (Cr1) Speaker 1 addresses all scenarios satisfactorily. The Bench then changes tack to point out that the Respondents do not have the right to act as they did. The Speaker cites a case law to seal the position of his client.  He then concludes his submissions smoothly. 

2:43 Pm (Cr1)  Speaker 2 has no begun his submissions. The Bench directs him to dispense with all preliminaries and address their pointed questions. He cites a provision of a legislation and contends the powers contained therein  correspond with the acts of the Respondents. After some mild questioning the Bench allows him to proceed to the next arguments. 


CR1, Speaker 2, Respondent

2:47 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 now addresses the issues pertaining to application of Principles of Natural Justice and the connected question posed to his co-speaker. He answers it satisfactorily and now proceeds to the allegations of fraud.

2:49PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 appears to have mastered the art of conveying a lot in a few words! He lays forth relevant definitions, regulations and draws inferences on the intention of the drafters. He polishes off his arguments with a case law. The Bench calmly accepts his arguments and he speedily proceeds to the next argument.  Quick and efficient we must say!

2:51 PM (Cr1) Speaker 2 now addresses the question of  how one of the Appellants can be held liable through piercing the corporate veil. The Bench expresses incredulity on the selective targeting of the Appellant. Speaker 2 answers the question and makes his final contention on what the burden of proof would be. The Bench requests him to wind up for paucity of time but he pushes on as he still has 5 minutes remaining.

2:57 PM (Cr1)  The Bench questions Speaker 2's  version regarding the events leading upto the allegations of fraud. They ask him for a definition through a case law but he is unable to provide the same. The Bench expresses its dissatisfaction that the Respondents have merely provided a list of violated regulations without going into them. With this the time allotted to Speaker 2 ends. 

3:03 PM (Cr1) Rebuttals are now underway. The Appellants rattles off 4 points of rebuttal with case laws. The Respondents provide their rebuttals to the same and the rounds finally end. Phew! That was one rigorous round. 

Stay tuned for the resulst of the Final Rounds. They should be out anytime soon! We have a highly esteemed Panel of Judges and some exciting prizes waiting for the two teams that qualify. 


3:42 PM the much-awaited results of the Semi-Final rounds are out! The teams that will be facing ff against each other in the Finals are: 

Symbiosis Law School, Pune ( Team Code: 144) 


West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (Team Code: 146) 

The names of the esteemed Judges in the Final Panel are: 

1. Ms. Srishti Ojha

2. Mr. Shishir Mehta

3. Mr. Sandeep Parekh

4. Ms. Akila Agrawal

5. Ms. Veena Sivaramakrishnan

 The problem this year is centered around insider trading, manipulation of books of accounts and unfair trade practices and violation of principles of natural justice.

3:49 PM Speaker 1 is now dealing with the issue of whether the ex-parte, ad interim order is in violation of the SEBI Act and the Principles of Natural Justice. She prefaces her remarks by stating that the issuing authority has violated principles of natural justice, as it is a civil order and these principles apply even though not provided for in the statute. That is why, a proper and efficient hearing is required.

3:50 PM The Speaker cites the case of Alka Synthetics v SEBI to say that pre-decisional hearing is the rule and post-decisional hearing is an exception. A pre-decisional hearing is norm and a post-decisional hearing is an exception.

3:52 PM Speaker 1 now addresses the order of disgorgement. She cites the case Ramalinga Raju v SEBI to state that a loan amount is not a profit, and hence, the Appellant is not enjoying any profits. Further she states that a simple interest of 12% has been imposed on the Appellant without providing any hearing.

3:54 PM Ms. Akila Agarwal clarifies whether the position of the Appellant is that a post-decisional hearing is within the powers of SEBI. Speaker 1 accepts the same. However she states that a post-decisional hearing in this case does not exist as there must be a pre-requisite of an Emergency. Ms. Srishti Ojha asks her if the statue provides this pre-requisite. She states that the same may be found in the case of Zenith Infotech ltd. v SEBI.

3:59 PM Ms Veena Subramaniam asks that the fact that there is no link is immaterial if there was a link in the past. Ms Akila Agarwal now adds that it doesn't matter if the Appellant is now not in Company A, if he can cause the same harm in Company B. The Speaker agrees with the statement and proceeds to contend that their authorities could have proceeded with the same order to award a pre-decisional hearing.

4:04 PM Mr. Shishir Mehta questions Speaker 1 as to why the Appellant had refused to appear before the investigating authority. He points out that 3 years have elapsed since the summons have been served. Speaker 2 relies on the clarifications provided to state that the Appellant has approached the SAT in a timely manner, by filing an appeal within 45 days of the impugned order. Thus the delay of 3 years may not be attributed to the Appellant. The Bench urges her to proceed to the next issue.

4:10 PM Speaker 1  is requested to justify the absence of any investigation by means of the facts. The Speaker momentarily stumbles, but begins quoting the paragraph and does not accept her point that there was no investigation conducted whatsoever. The Bench instructs her to leave aside the arguments regarding FAL and proceed to address the allegations of fraud against the other appellants. Speaker 1 has now run out of time, and seeks an extension which is denied. She quickly moves forward to conclude her arguments.

4:13 PM She further proceeds to put forth her contention that the mere non-repayment of loans does not constitute a fraud, as given in Section 2(1)(c) of the PFUTP Regulations. With this her time comes to an end and she concludes her arguments on Issues 1 and 2.

4:14 PM Speaker 2 now begins his arguments. He proceeds to the third issue and states it shall be divided into 3 prongs - 1) The term 'dealing in securities' includes buying and selling and a pledge transaction cannot be called a sale transaction. 2) The insider information is not price sensitive. 3) The transaction understood is a bona fide transaction and aligned to the best interests of the company.


4:18 PM Ms Veena Subramaniam questions the Speaker on the concept of a pledge, which he responds to quite lucidly. She points out that the interpretation of pledge which he provides would mean that any default will automatically result in sale of pledged shared. Ms Akila Agarwal arises which states that if the Speaker's definition is to be considered, there is no point in having a regulation which doesn't allow dealing in securities if it allows pledging. The Bench reminds the Appellant that the situation of law here is already decided in the Satyam Scam case. The Appellant clarified that many questions of law such as the US Jurisprudence in this matter was never brought before the court in the Satyam Case. He is then questioned as to whether this order will be binding on the Tribunal to which the Speaker 2 answers in the negative. 

4:22 PM The Speaker states that the jurisprudence on insider trading rests on two fundamental principles. The first being of the principle of fiduciary duty. He stated that there is no fiduciary duty owed by a lender. This line of argument is immediately shut down by the Tribunal for it being irrelevant.

4:23 PM The Speaker then proceeds to state that only a material price sensitive information must be disclosed and not any price sensitive information. He then proceeds to establish the definition of materiality.

4:24 PM The Appellant moves on to use a Singapore case to explain the concept of trade sensitive information. He uses this to differentiate between a price sensitive information and material price sensitive information.

4:26 PM The Bench asks the Appellant to apply the Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd. case which he claimed to have to explain his argument. However, the speaker seems flustered and simply recites the facts of a case based on industrial finance. He further states that although the obligation of disclosure of price sensitive information rested on the Appellant as it was not material, they were not strictly obliged to do so.

4:30 PM Lastly, the Appellant states that the pledge transaction is in the best interest of the company and is a bonafide transaction. Miss Akila Agarwal asks him to differentiate between that and siphoning of funds, based on the forensic report. On his denial, she asks if he doubting the veracity of the report. The Appellant replies by smartly stating the Forensic Report is rebuttable and limited only to conduct of the Appellant in relation to one company only. He reaffirms that there must be an independent report in all cases for the Board to take into account.The Speaker clarifies that the forensic report can be the sole basis for the Respondents to pass such an order. When asked what the Respondents should have done, he expresses that they should brought out other evidences and investigations.

4:34 PM The Respondent Speaker 1 now approaches the podium. She begins with pleasantries and introduces herself and her client, SEBI. She lays down her structure, saying that she will establish that the interim order did not violate the Principles of Natural Justice and hence the charges should not be dismissed.


4:35 PM The Supreme Court of India in the Liberty Oil Mills case as well as certain High Court decisions state that ad-interim orders can always be made ex-parte and these orders may themselves provide for an opportunity to the aggrieved party to be heard at a later stage. She strongly asserts that the Appellant has never been barred from presenting himself or making a representation before the SEBI.

4:41 PM She is questioned by the  Tribunal who points out that a disgorgement order is a very extreme order to take. She states that as Mr. Molly was not in the country, it would have been very difficult to enforce any order that is subsequently made. For this purpose a disgorgement order was the only recourse available. The judge immediately asks her whether the freezing of assets would not have been possible. She states that it would have been very difficult and a disgorgement order is the best recourse.

4:45 PM She states that disgorgement orders are indeed only to protect the integrity of the securities market as per Section 11 of the sebi Rules. In this case the order was passed to prevent Mr. Molly from entering into the securities market or being in the key management of an company as the allegations of fraud against him are  very serious. The Tribunal points out that the consequences of such an order is very excessive when passed as an interim order. She conceded that it may pose hardship but if the Appellant were to approach SEBI, SEBI could address all concerns. She urges the Tribunal to not quash the order merely based on the amount of Rs. 6400 crores that is involved although it is an anomaly in SEBI's practice of passing disgorgement orders.

4:48 PM  Ms. Srishti Ojha  points out that when Mr. Molly pledged his shares he must have been aware that they could be called for default. Any gains he has made are indirect whereas he has lost very directly and consequently the argument of unjust enrichment is not convincing. 

4;49 PM  Speaker 1 responds by stating that when there is a violation of any provisions of the SEBI Act, it is important that the intentions of the parties may not be looked at but stern actions must be taken place as given in SEBI v. Sriram Mutual Funds. The Tribunal asks her if any of the cases she cites deals with interim orders. After she responds in the negative and admits that the order is an anomaly under the SEBI Act but the very purpose of such an order is protection of the investors.

4:50 PM The Speaker moves on to the next argument, that is, whether there was a violation of Clause 36 of the Listing Agreement by FAL. The Respondent cites cases speaking about the liability of the company of the disclosure to introduce her next issue. The Judge then questions the participants on the validity of these proceedings against Mr. Molly and not the company.

4:52 PM The Bench brings to the notice of the Respondent the fact that the maximum penalty ever given for such non-disclosure was about 2 lakhs. The Respondent is unaware of this fact.

4:55 PM Speaker 1 continues with her arguments to point out that the Appellants have redirected a whole 1/3rd of their money, and cites the Zenith Infotech case to draw a parallel between that case and the present case. She states that even in that case, SEBI has come down heavily upon the violators.She states that although the money has been transferred from the parent company to the wholly owned subsidiary it found its way to CFPL in the period during which Mr. Molly had to raise the money. Thus a prima facie case of violation of Clause 36 can be made out.

4:56 PM Speaker 1 has now come to the end of her arguments. Speaker 2 now takes over. She will establish a prima facie case regarding the last 2 issues.


4:59 PM Speaker 2 begins her arguments. She is questioned as to whether pledging is a sub-set of dealing as SEBI has in several cases distinguished between the two. The Respondent uses the Sodhi Committee Report which includes pledge under sale as it is a transfer of interest. It is pointed out to her by the Bennch that the liabilities and processes related to pledging are different from dealing. The interpretation suggested by her would be incongruous.

5;05 PM  The UPSI pertains to the fact the Appellant had entered into a series of agreement where he had knowledge that such loans were never going to be used in connection with the concerned enterprises' business, and would in actuality be transferred to CSPL. The Tribunal points out to that there is no basis to establish that funds have been diverted, facts only state that money has been lent. Thus without a conclusive finding that there has indeed been a diversion of funds it would be unjustified to require a disclosure.

5:08 PM She responds by stating that the Appellant has through his conduct an agreement to sell The Tribunal points out that it cannot be construed to be such an agreement to sell. It is not possible that the pledge was a circumvention, but merely a bona-fide transaction. The Judge points out that sequencing is very important but no action has been taken subsequently after the pledge which will make it insider trading. Thus it does not amount to insider trading. Speaker 2 is unfazed and states that it is immaterial as to whether or not the conditions required have occurred or not for an agreement to sale. The pledge amounts to one.

5:09 PM She now proceeds to the final issue to demonstrate that there was manipulation of the books of accounts by the Appellants. 

5:12 PM The Respondent places reliance on M. Narayan v. SEBI to state that false disclosure amounts to  manipulation of accounts. She also explains that the burden of proof required is that of preponderance of possibility.

5:15 PM The Speaker states that there is sufficient evidence to establish the charges of manipulation of books of accounts. She refers to instances from the fact sheet to corroborate her point. It is pointed out by the Tribunal that the question of whether or not there is manipulation is also one that is yet to be proved conclusively. 

5:17 PM Speaker 2 then cites Paragraph 10 of  the Taneja Industries case. The Bench distinguishes the case by stating that it was one based on a prospectus where there was an actual invitation for subscription for shares unlike the present case. She responds to their views and concludes her arguments. 

5:19 PM The rebuttals have now commenced. The Appellants raises several points of rebuttals to state that an interim order could not have been passed as in Shailesh Jhaveri v. SEBI to show violation of Section 23(e) of the SCRA there must be a violation with respect to a collective scheme which they have not justified. Further SEBI has not taken any action under Section 24 of SCRA although violation has been levelled against Appellants as FAL has not been investigated.


5;21 PM The Respondents state that in the case of BJ investment as well during the ad interim stage an interest of12% was levied. When questioned by the Bench for another case law they are unable to provide the same. With respect to the other entities thet state that the present case is still in prima facie investigation stage and if evidence is found regarding other entities, action shall be taken against them.

5:27 PM The Rounds are finally over!! The Judges are scoring while the Participants appear both relieved and full of anticipation. We shall be publishing the results soon. Stay tuned for the live feed of the Valedictory ceremony!  

5:57 PM  The Valedictory ceremony has begun. On the dias we have the dignitaries: 

Mr. Shishir Mehta, Partner, Khaitan & Co.

Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD and CEO of BSE

Dr. Bimal N. Patel, Director, GNLU

Ms. Srishti Ojha, Founding Partner, Verist Law

Dr. Thomas Mathew, Registrar, GNLU

5:59 PM Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan is invited to address the gathering. He and MR. Bimal Patel exchange an MoU to create awareness regarding SEBI. he offers is congratulations to all the participants. he states that he is honoured to have been a part of the moot court competition. It is his second time coming for GNLUMSIL and he states his pleasure in doing so. 

6:01 PM He remarks that there has been a lot of changes in the securities market. The most drastic change has been by the Companies Act 2013. Another upcoming game-changer is the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code. He further states that the newly introduced GST will also transform the market. He reminds the gathering that it takes a lot of courage for the policy-makers to introduce such revolutionary reforms. He expresses hope that even the judiciary will follow suit with reforms of his own.

6:08 PM He reminds the gathering that 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM is the current timings of the market. He states that there are several divergent views on when the ideal timings are. He however points out that Indian investors often lose out as they are unable to respond to changing markets when the market is not open. He gives the example of demonetization whcih was announced once the markets had shut to sustain his point. He therefore concludes that it is imporant for Indian law students and brokers must work harder to compete internationally. He signs off by wishing the students all the very best. 

6:10 PM GNLU announces that BSE-IPF has entered into an MoU with GNLu where BSE-IPF has sponsores Rs. 1 lakh to conduct monthly lectures. What a great opportunity!

6:14 PM Mr. Shishir Mehta next approaches the dias. He expresses pride in seeing the growth of GNLU from its initial days and congratulates it on its newly signed MoU.  He tells the students to be open to exporing all kinds of career opportunities and to work hard. He wishes them all the very best and congratulates them. 

6:16 PM Ms. Srishti Ojha now approaches the dias. She congratulates all the participants. She thanks GNLU for its hospitality and expresses admiration at the smooth way in which it was conducted. She signs off with good wishes.

6:18 PM Mr. Girish R, the Convenor now approaches the dias to thunderous applause. he announces to the eager partipants that the winner of the 3rd GNLUMSIL is the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and that the Runners-up is Symbiosis Law School, Pune.  Congratulations NUJS and Symbiosis!

 6:20 PM  The other awards and citations are announced as follows:

1. Best Oralist, Finals: Ms. Amrit Mahal, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences 

2. Best Oralist, Preliminary Rounds: Surya Rajkumar, Jindal Global Law School

3. Best Researcher:  Devansh Agarwal, Symbiosis Law School, Pune

4. Best Memo: National Law School India University, Bengaluru

Congratulations to all the winners! 

6:22 PM  Dr. Bimal Patel, Director gave away the prizes to all the Semi-Finalists and Quarter-Finalists.


 6:29 PM Yuvraj Rathore, Student Convener, GNLUMSIL 2017 now addresses the gathering. He thanks the Director for his relentless support. He states that the preparation for the moot began 11 months back, when M. Sanddep Parekh was chosen as the apt person to draft the moot problem. He thanks the sponsors for their valuable contributions as well as the enthusiastic response from law schools across the country. Lastly, he expresses his gratitude to Mr. Girish R., the Faculty Convener, Ms. Garima Goswami, Faculty Co-Convener, and Ms. Palak Jagtiani as well as the Organising Committee. 

6:30 PM He thanks the respective Committee Coordinators for their hard-work, Ms. Shilpa Nair, Coordinator, Logistics; Mr. Sameer Bhat and Ms. Ritambhara Narang, Coordinators, Communications, Mr. Gladwin Issac, Coordinator, Hospitality, Ms. Nikhila Dewasthale, Coordinator, Sponsorship, Mr. Damodar Solanki, Coordinator, PR and lastly, but definitely not the least, Ms. Gayathree Devi K.T., Student Co-Convener. He further encourages her juniors to make the moots bigger and better.

6:31 PM  Dr. Thomas Mathew, Registrar , GNLU is now extending the vote of thanks. He thanks the dignitaries, the various judges throughout the rounds, the sponsors, the Director and faculty of GNLU, the participants and all members of the Organizing Commitee. With his address, GNLUMSIL 2017 has now come to an end. 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee we congratulate all the winners and thank all the participants for making this a truly memorable event. We look forward to seeing you again next year. That's all folks! This is the GNLUMSIL Live Blogging Team signing off.


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