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An estimated 20-minute read

Live: SVKM's NMIMS School of Law 1st National Moot Court Competition, 2017

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SVKM’s NMIMS School of Law brings to you its 1st edition of National Moot Court Competition from 24th to 26th March, 2017. The first edition is in itself going to be grand; 30 teams from all around the country are participating. The competition would be judged by various dignitaries including Supreme Court Judge, Senior Advocates and partners of top notch law firms.

NMIMS is amongst the few colleges who is hosting a Moot on International Taxation. As the object of NMIMS School of Law Moot Court Competition is promoting proficiency in the field of international taxation law. International taxation law has emerged as a significant field of law considering increased globalization of trade and investment.

The moot problem for NMCC 2017 is an array of contemporary international tax issues. The compromis explores issues that penetrate into basic tenets of taxation law such as International Business Restructuring, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and General Anti Avoidance Rules.

You can find the Moot Proposition here.

And for all of you there, who are missing out on the action, we bring you the ‘NMCC’ LIVE. So you get to sit through the Panel Discussion and the Oral Rounds.

NMCC, 2017 begins from 24th March and we shall bring to you all the updates of what is happening when the future Salve’s are arguing their matter! Expect the highlights and results of the preliminary rounds and the quarter finals (on 25th March) along with the live updates and coverage of the semi-finals and finals over the weekend.

So stay tuned to this post for more details on NMCC 2017 and you can also join the conversation yourself by commenting here or using the hashtag #HootForMoot on twitter in the upcoming days!

 

 

1624 hrs: The participants have arrived, and are patiently waiting for the Chief guest (so are we).

 

1630 hrs: the inauguration ceremony has started,The chair-person of NMCC Ms. Isha Kakkad gives the opening speech, pointing out the aim of this moot court competition i.e. to strive for nothing but the best in the field of Taxation law

1635 hrs: The faculty incharge Dr. Rahul Nigam Addresses the gathering and praises the efforts of the organizing committee and the voulenteers and wishes the participants good luck for the event.

 

1640 hrs: NMIMS's School of Law, Dean, Dr. Rhishikesh Dave is adressing the gathering and talking about what we in School of Law expect to do achieve from this moot court competiton.He also goes on to announce the prize money for the competition which are as follows:

  1. Winners: 36000 Rupees + internship at Nishit Desai & associates.
  2. Runner : 21000 Rupees + internship at Economics Law Practices
  3. Best Memorial : 15000 Rupees
  4. Best Advocate: 9000 Rupees

1650 hrs: The Vice chancellor of NMIMS Dr. Rajan Saxena addresses the gathering, and talks how all the participants at this moot court competition are the ambassador of NMIMS once they go back to their respective colleges and wishes them best of luck.

1656 hrs: Dr. Abhishek Rastogi, one of the partners at Khaitan addresses the gathering, drawing on this own experience motivates the participants to give it all they have got and to make this moot sucessful.

 

1700 hrs: Vice Chairperson, Mr. Ayesh Gandhi closes the inaugration ceremony and expresses his gratitude to the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Abhishek Rastogi, Dr. Rhishikesh Dave, Faculty-incharge and the OC, along with the Volunteers. Finally, the participants went to have some refreshments.

 

1718 hrs: Anddddd the Registeration BEGIN!!

 

1750 hrs: The registerations have commenced and the first round has come to an end, the lots for the first round have been completed.

 

1755 hrs: The tabbing team is doing a great job! Well done guyss!!

 

1757 hrs: the registrations for the second round has commenced.

 

1808 hrs: the participants seem to be very excited on reciving the memorial of their opponent.

 

1831 hrs: Orientation about the preliminary rounds is being given to the teams. The OC seems pretty clear about how everything is going to run.

 

1845 hrs: NMCC is going to have factorization method. Participants are being given an orientation and presentation for the same.

1900 hrs: The Participants are asked to move to the main NMIMS Building to enjoy the gala dinner

1920 hrs: The Participants and the members of the Organizing Committee cut the cake for the first moot court competition of NMIMS School of Law.

1930 hrs: Thats all for today Ciaooooo

Day 2 0800 hrs: Good Morning people, the contestants have started to arrive from their hotel, our team at the hotel has informed us that the participants have burned the midnight oil, analyzing the memorials of their opponents and preparing their arguments, as the participants enjoy the breakfast wishing them best of luck.

0846 hrs: The judges have started to arrive, and the participants are moving towards their moot court room the first preliminary round starts soon. The participants have their stomach in knots as they wait for the preliminary round to commence

0925 hrs: The members of the Organizing Committee intreviewed the judges in a segment we like to call Chai-pe-Charcha, we asked them their views on International Taxation and the Importance of mooting.

0929 hrs: The first judge a chartered accountant and a lawyer presented her views on international taxation, the judge talked about double taxation, loopholes in taxation policies and that taxation polices can only progress by amending these loopholes.

0934 hrs: The second judge a national law university graduate and an expert on international taxation talked about international taxation by giving the examples of vodafone judgement, Supreeme Court's view on taxation and the interpretation of new laws. The judge also talked about cross border merges, treaties being ammnded and various clauses.The Judge also told that taxation law has become predictable and also said that other things also improve your economy and its not just taxation.

0944 hrs: Pausing the segment of Chai-pe-Charcha for some time lets go to our court rooms where the first round has commenced.

0948 hrs: Reporting live from court room number 3, the judges are seated and the participants excited looking at each other like they are in a mexican stand off, the first speaker from team 1 takes the podium.

1007 hrs : Double Taxation seems to be the name of the game for the next two days .

1014 hrs : Reporting live from Room Number 6. There seems to be an interesting duel on where both, the judges and the speakers are having a healthy debate

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1020 hrs: Live from room no 8. The counsel for the respondents have almost finished with their arguments. The judges are intensely questioning the counsel, who is answering each question with great thought and reasoning. Only time will tell how each team fares in this competition.

1030 hrs: Live from court room 8. The judges are asking for a clarification on the meaning of the word proceedings. Unable to answer the judges have asked the co counsel of the respondent to begin her arguments. The judges are giving constructive feedback saying they need to structure their arguments better so that they do not confuse the judges. This goes to show the importance to detail and minute technicalities.

1111 hrs: live from court room number 3 the respondents have completed their arguments they tried their best to convince the judge with their arguments only the results will reveal how sucessful they are, but for now the rebuttals are going on.

1120 Hrs: The first round comes to a conclusion, the participants for the second round of the day approach the court rooms with anxious minds, by the looks of it the teams seem confident, whishing them the best of luck.

1150 Hrs: And Round 1.2 is officially underway!

1154 Hrs: Reporting live from Courtroom 2, Section 143 of the Income Tax Act is being thorughly analysed. Make a note people. Intimation with regards to your taxes is a must.

1200 Hrs: The grilling skills and technique shown by esteemed judges in courtroom 2 will put most Chefs to shame :P. Ramsey would be proud.

1204 hrs: Live from court room number 1. Round 1.2 has started in the court room and the counsel for the respondent is giving her arguments. The counsel is well prepared and judges seem impressed. They are not asking questions frequently and are alllowing the counsel to make her arguments.

1208 hrs: Live from court room no 1. The all girls team of the respondents seems to be impressing the bench. The judges look like they completely agree with the second counsel for the respondent and are not asking a single question. The arguments are clear and systematically structured with authorities and case laws to back them. Kudos to this team

1252 hrs: Live from court room number 2. The counsel of the respondent has finished his arguments. Unable to explain the issues the judges have asked co counsel of the respondent to start with the issues.

1303 hrs: Live from court room number 2. Respondents have completed their argments. Rebuttals are going with one minute of time given to each team.

1315 hrs:Most of the court rooms have finished with both rounds 1.1 and 1.2. All participants and judges have dispersed for lunch.

1337 hrs: Our canteen food seems to be doing its magic as all participants seem to have a smile across their face!

1429 hrs: Hmm.143(2) of the Income Tax Act seems to be causing quite a stir.

1436 hrs: Reporting live from moot court room no 5...Get ready for round 3!! on the left corner we have the appellants and from the right corner we have our respondents, let the round begin!!

1444 hrs: Live from Court Room Number 4 the appellant aproaches the podium for round 3, and the judges sharper than ever after a hearty lunch get to the task of grilling these half cooked advocates.

1448 hrs : the judge drops a bomb on the appellant right away, "what is impermissible avoidance agreement", the co counsel tries to help, help denied by judge. The mantle of the appellant being tested here to the limit.

1501 hrs: the Counsel for the appellant somehow managed to survive the shower of questions from the judges, only time will tell how well he presented his case but for now its the respondents turn to present his case.

1510 hrs: The Vodafone Holding case certainly appears to be a touchy matter. " Any other precedent counsel?".

1528 hrs: From Moot Court room number 4, like a swimmer swiming upstream the co-counsel makes his way against a plethora of questions.

1552 Hrs: Live from room 4 the 3rd round has just concluded after the rebuttals the judges seem satisfied with the effort put in by the participants and wish them good luck.

1553 hrs: Round 4, the last round in the preliminary stage will start momentarily.

1612 hrs: Live from court room 2 the appellants have completed their arguments, the judges seem impressed by arguments, or are they? Only time will tell but for now let's se what respondent has to present.

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1634 hrs: Compendiums and post-its can be real scary. Trust us :P.

1647 hrs: Round 4 or 2.2 draws to a close as the arguments of both the teams come to an end, the judges are tallying the marks

1650 hrs: Now the participants and the judges proceed to have High tea. Post that the results of the preliminary round would be announced.

1800 hrs: The participants are seated in the seminar area...waiting anxiously for the results as to who will proceed to the quarter final.. 30 colleges participated in the moot each team worthy enough to qualify but unfortunately only 8 teams can proceed...

1845 hrs: The results for the Preliminary are out! Congratulations to the teams that qualified. Hard luck to those who didn't. There's always a next time because Haar Kar Jeetne Wale Ko Hi Baazigar Kehte Hai!

1913 hrs: The first counsel for the Applicant in Courtroom 2 seems to have her researching as well as oratory skills on point. She seems to be giving a tough task with regards to what to ask as she has almost everything covered.

1935 hrs: Treaty Shopping isnt illegal? Hmmm. That's a debatable motion. Anyone up for a parlimentary debate on this motion?

1950 hrs:The applicants side in Courtroom 2 have put up a valiant effort and have given our esteemed judges much to ponder over. Good job Fellas!

1958 hrs: Based on what we hear, participants in Courtroom 1,3,4 are doing a superb job as well. Guess which Moot in it's first ever edition has the best future lawyers? Hell Yes it's ours!

0929 hrs: Welcome to Day 3 of the first edition of SVKM's NMIMS School of Law Moot Court Competition. The rounds are about to begin in half an hour. It's going to be an exciting day! Stay tuned!

0949 hrs: The Semi-Finals are about to begin... the tension in the room is palpitating...you can see the teams prepare as much as they can in the last 10 minutes. We cannot wait to see how the day turns out!

1020 hrs: The teams are on their places, the judges are here, i am reporting live from Juhu Jagruti Hall and the mooting begins!

1030 hrs: The Petitioners have started strong and seems well versed with the law relating to Income Tax. The judges are not asking a lot of questions...yet!

1042 hrs: The questions started as soon as I posted the last post, and Speaker 1 of the Petitioners was excellent at dodging them. Now its almost time for Speaker 2 to take over...lets hope she is able to handle just as well as Speaker 1 did.

1050 hrs: Speaker 1 continues to be grilled by the judges and by the judges discretion, fortunately, she has been given an extra 5 minutes to sum up her arguments...can it be presumed that the judges are impressed with her arguments?

1057 hrs: It keeps getting better...Speaker 2 is just as eloquent, if not more. A lot of Apex Court cases are being cited to make the Petitioners' case stronger.

1110 hrs: Speaker 2 makes strong points in her favour using interpretation of statutes before ending the Petioners' arguments with the prayer. Its now time for the Respondents to argue!

1112 hrs: Just a minute into the Respondents' arguments, the grilling has began. Its looks like a tough round for the Respondents!

1118 hrs: Speaker 1 seems to be taking the questions very calmly and stands at the podium with Income Tax Commentaries, making arguments, citing cases and overall approaching the case at hand very systematically.

1124 hrs: Speaker 1, with just a few minutes left, is now proceeding with his 2nd issue and it seems as if the judges have a lot of questions in store!

1130 hrs: I wonder how the rounds are going on in the other moot court room... in Juhu Jagruti Hall, both the teams are equally strong and its now time for Speaker 2 of the Respondents' team to take on the case.

1135 hrs: Speaker 2 continues the arguments for the Respondents' team. I think it's going to be a close round for the Petitioners. Again, the judges have not started questioning...yet!

1142 hrs: I must be a fortune teller, because the questioning started as soon as I posted the previous update. Speaker 2, however is dealing with the questions with a lot of fervour. Every team is fighting for the position in the Finals as well as those beautiful trophies that they might have a chance of winning!

1150 hrs: Just a few minutes left before the end of the Semi-Finals, the judges will definitely have a difficult decision to make considering how strongly both the teams have argued.

1156 hrs: The rounds have come to an end, the finals will begin at 1300 hrs and I am pretty sure nobody can hold in the excitement to know the results and regardless the chance to witness the amazing panel of Judges for the Finals we have in store for you! Stay tuned!

1205 hrs: The rounds in the other moot court room were just as exciting, the judges have grilled the teams and its going to be just as difficult for the judges to make a decision about which team will qualify for the finals!

1300 hrs: The stage is set, the crowd is slowly filling up the hall, the results will be out soon and the finals will begin. As usual, stay tuned for more!

1330 hrs: The results are out and the teams that have qualified for the finals have arrived! We wish them good luck and now all thats left to do is to wait for the judges to arrive.

1335 hrs: While we wait for the finals to commence, let me introduce you to our esteemed panel of judges. First and foremost, we have Hon'ble Justice R.K. Agrawal who is a sitting judge at the Supreme Court of India and is profecient in, amongst other things, taxation law.

We then have Ms. Daksha Baxi, executive director in Khaitan & Co. in the Direct Tax department.

We also have with us Mr. OP Ostwal, who is a renowned Chartered Accoutant in India.

We are also accompanied by Mr. Pravin Parekh who is a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and predominantly practices taxation law.

Last, but not the least, we have Mr. Beni Chaterjee who is also a Senior Advocate in the High Court of Bombay.

If this does not sound exciting enough, we shall wait for the finals to begin. Stay tuned!

1400 hrs: The judges are here! The excitement is building up! The rounds are going to begin in 3...2...1! You can also catch us live on Facebook. Follow the official Facebook Page of NMIMS Moot Court Competition.

1405 hrs: The rounds have started, the Petitioners have begun their arguments. Its going to be a very interesting round of arguments. To witness it live follow the official Facebook Page of NMIMS Moot Court Competition.

1410 hrs: And the questions have begun, Ms. Daksha Baxi has posed a question to Speaker 1 of the Petitioners' team regarding the interpretation of the provision in question relating to return of income.

1415 hrs: The Speaker 1 continues to argue her case citing cases and making compelling points about why the Applicant should not be taxed in India.

1420 hrs: The questions have not stopped, the judges however seem impressed with the arguments of Speaker 1 of the Petitioners' team.

1425 hrs: With just a few minutes left for the Speaker 1 to finish her arguments, the judges engage in deliberation over the case and the arguments of the Petitioner.

1430 hrs: Speaker 2 of the Petitioners' team has begun her arguments and seems to be dealing with her arguments very systematically.

1435 hrs: The judges are providing more of a listening ear for Speaker 2 of the Petitioners' team, however Mr. Pravin Parekh poses a question about impermissible avoidance arrangement. There are certain moments of fun as well to lighten the tension that is clearly brewing in the air.

1440 hrs: Ms. Daksha Baxi poses a question about preparatory and auxillary activities with regards to the company under assessment. Speaker 2 of the Petitioners' team has been very eloquent with her issues and arguments.

1445 hrs: Speaker 2 has successfully concluded her arguments before time and now its time for the Respondents' team to begin their arguments. It would be interesting to see how they will compete against the team of the Petitioners becasue they have clearly set the bar too high.

1450 hrs: The judges have begun the grilling. Ms. Daksha Baxi and Mr. Ostwal pose questions on what can be presumed and what are the actual facts of the case in hand. Phew...The speaker was able to answer the questions to their satisfaction.

1455 hrs: Mr. Pravin Parekh puts forth a hypothetical situation emphasising on the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance. Speaker 1 of the Respondents' team however still not giving up continues to argue her case with fervour and conviction.

1500 hrs: Speaker 2 of the Respondents' team now begins his arguments and Mr Pravin Parekh keeps the merriment going by throwing light on that how Speaker 2 is the only male counsel in the proceedings which Ms. Daksha Baxi retorts to by saying that it makes up because the panel of judges have just a single female member.

1501 hrs: Coming back to the point, however the judges have started posing questions to the Speaker about tax accrual and tax chargeability and the difference between the two.

1505 hrs: Finally, Justice RK Agrawal poses a question relating to the Vodafone Judgment which the Speaker could dodge successfully.

1510 hrs: The grilling has not stopped, the judges keep asking questions on tax liability and the right of the country to tax or not to tax. The speaker might just be fumbling a little but he has managed to satisfy the judges with his answers and arguments.

1515 hrs: An interesting discussion has assumed about the difference between "subject to tax" and "liable to tax". I believe that the judges are sufficiently engaged with the moot court problem and are indeed going to get to the bottom of it. There's no chance to make a mistake for any of the teams. Each and every word is important.

1520 hrs: With just a couple of minutes remaining, the judges continue grilling the team about the treaty between India and Netherlands. The Speaker for the Respondent continues his arguments discussing the various tests laid down regarding tax benefits.

1525 hrs: These rounds have not been short of excitment and the arguments of both the teams have displayed not only the skills they have but also the standards they are setting for all of us lawyers-to-be. Respondents are close to summarising their arguments and thereafter moving to the prayer.

1530 hrs: The Respondents have concluded their arguments and it is going to be a tough decision to take by the judges. Till the results are out, I will be taking you through the Closing ceremony of the successful 1st edition of National Moot Court Competition of NMIMS School of Law. Stay tuned!

1605 hrs: The stage is set for the closing ceremony. Here's hoping its the perfect end to this perfect and successful Competition that we have had. Everbody eagerly awaits the results and the ceremony begins is 3...2...1!

1610 hrs: The ceremony begins with a presentation of a token of appreciation to all the esteemed judges of the Moot Court Competition and a speech by the Vice Chancellor of the NMIMS University, Mr. Rajan Saxena. Catch it live on the official Facebook page of the NMIMS Moot Court Competition

1625 hrs: Ms. Daksha Baxi gives a very heartfelt and emotional speech about the India she sees through the fervour of all the participants of the moot court competition.

1630 hrs: Mr. Beni Chatterji gives a speech about the spirit of all the participants and valuable lessons for lawyers-to-be. Following him, Mr. T.P. Ostwal gave his insights on his experience judging a moot court competition for the very first time. 

1640 hrs: Mr. Pravin Parekh is just as funny as he was while judging the competition and pursues all the students to pursue litigation rather than take up corporate law or becoming a judge as soon as you pass out.

1650 hrs: We are finally honored by the words of Hon'ble Justice R.K. Agarwal. He reflects on the concept of mooting and presents the history of how mooting began. He provides everybody with the importance of mooting for all lawyers-to-be.

1655 hrs: THE RESULTS ARE GOING TO BE DECLARED! 

1700 hrs: Best Memorial award goes to - Symbiosis Law College, Hyderabad. Congratulations! 

1702 hrs: Best Speaker award goes to - Ms. Akansha, ILS Pune. Congratulations! 

1704 hrs: The winner of the 1st Edition of National Moot Court Competition is - HNLU, Raipur. Congratulation! 

1706 hrs: The runner up team of the 1st Edition of National Moot Court Competition is - ILS, Pune. Congratualtions! 

1710 hrs: The ceremony is concluded with giving a memento to all the esteemed judges and a vote of thanks by the Mr. Rishikesh Dave, Dean School of Law.

Well I will also not take more of your time, its been an amazing event and the success of it is owed to firstly, the institution of NMIMS itself, and the faculty in-charge for the Moot Court Competition, Mr. Rahul Nikam and all the members of the Moot Court Committee and all the volunteers and all the people who have helped this event in any little way possible. Congratulations to the winners and all the people who participated in the event. The event would not have been successful without their participation. 

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