The recent judgement of the Delhi High Court in Interdigital Technology v. Xiaomi Corporationon the structure of ‘Confidentiality Clubs’ to ensure confidentiality of sensitive information/documents in litigation, has far-reaching implications. The Court rejected a prayer that suggested the preclusion of a Party’s in-house representative/employee (other than the advocate or independent expert) from access to the ‘Confidentiality Club’. This was a patent infringement case involving Standard Essential Patents (‘SEPs’) that cover technologies which are essential for devices to be standard-compliant.
While government measures against free speech have some global history, a new phenomenon that has emerged is the attack by the judiciary on free speech. In this vein, Indian courts have started to impose speech restrictions as conditions of bail. In this post, I argue that the approach of restraining speech through bail orders is legally and politically problematic.
In 2019, the Supreme Court of India (‘the Court’) delivered seminal judgments with regard to the role of women in the armed forces. In two landmark rulings, The Secretary, Ministry ofDefencev. Babita Puniya, (‘Babita Puniya’) and Union of Indiav. Lt. Cdr. Annie Nagaraja, (‘Annie Nagaraja’), the Court struck down the discriminatory policy of not allowing permanent commission for women in the Army and Navy. This article argues that the recent judgments in Babita Puniyaand Annie Nagaraja only scratch the proverbial patriarchal surface of institutional roadblocks that the Constitution still preserves.
On August 5, 2019, India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill of 2019 after little substantive debate. On the very same day, India’s president took steps to abrogate the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir’s territorial integrity and autonomy. As I explain in this brief blog post, these two developments are not just temporally but substantively linked too.
The way in which the law manages the environmental impact of major infrastructure projects is different in different jurisdictions. Despite the differences in legal culture, the following analysis of the two cases will be used to reflect on a single lesson about the limitations of the law’s role in managing the environmental impacts of major infrastructure projects.
The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly held that our Constitution is a ‘living document’ which evolves according to the changing times. How does this evolution take place? Does this evolution mean a change in the text of the Constitution? Or does it mean a change in the way we understand the text of the Constitution?
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy, thereby bringing various antitrust issues to light. One such issue pertains to whether competition authorities should consider allowing crisis cartels to function. I argue that an exemption for restructuring cartels is necessary to deal with the current economic crisis, specifically the problem of overcapacity. I substantiate my argument with examples of Indian industries that are currently plagued by overcapacity.
Across several jurisdictions, there is an ongoing discussion regarding the intersection and interaction between insolvency and arbitration laws. In the Indian context, recently, the National Company Law Tribunal (‘the NCLT’), Mumbai Bench, delivered an intriguing and pioneering judgement in Indus Biotech v.Kotak India.
The overriding goal of Indian competition law is enhancement of end-consumer welfare. It is this that must consistently determine appreciable adverse effect on competition [‘AAEC’] and dominance analysis, in CCI decisional practice. To make this argument, I examine various aspects of the Act, concerning predatory pricing, monopsony power, mergers, [...]
Reorganisation of Special Courts under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act – A Step Forward
This article evaluates the Government of Maharashtra’s initiative of state-wise decentralisation of the MCOCA Special Courts. To substantiate the argument, I analyse the judicial business of the MCOCA Special court, Pune, which caters to five districts of Western Maharashtra, namely, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Pune and Solapur [...]
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act: Looking into the Failure of Human Rights Challenges Against the Law
Farooq and Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Shah Faesal are some of the well-known names who have been detained by the state, time and again, under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (‘PSA’). Even though these people too have faced a harrowing experience, they have still been fortunate enough to get the media attention, the resources, as well as the support to legally challenge their detentions.
Treading the Line Between Arbitrability and Serious Fraud: An Analysis of Avitel Post Studioz Ltd. v. HSBC PI Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd.
The judgment in Avitel Post Studioz Ltd.v. HSBC PI Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd.is the latest in a series of judgments delivered by the Supreme Court of India in recent years engaging with the question of arbitrability of fraud. This article discusses the thematization of the arbitrability of fraud by the Supreme Court in this judgment, analyzing its contribution to the jurisprudence on the topic.
In India, the confession of a co-accused has been provided in Section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act. Section 30 provides that courts may consider the confession of a co-accused against the accused if the confession affects both of them when they are tried jointly. However, such confession may only be used as an additional support [...]
In practice, not all Service Rules are read alike. Intertwined with political considerations, these Rules raise several jurisprudential difficulties of interpretational consistency, jurisdictional competence, and realpolitik effect. While some Rules are proclaimed as absolute, others are spoken with negotiability; and on rarer occasions, there are whispers of surreptitiousness. The question that arises is whether there exists a uniform judicial approach in Service Law interpretation
what is the extent of freedom that is guaranteed under A. 25 (‘the question’)? Prima facie, it may seem as if the answer to this question is very easy. I argue that the opening words of Art. 25 ‘subject to’ can indeed be given differing interpretations, and that the SC has adopted a certain approach implicitly (in that it does not form a part of the court’s analysis explicitly) in Sabarimala. I will clarify the exact meaning (and implications) of the question posed above [...]
Today, law students cannot graduate with just an understanding of law and procedure. They need to leave university able to understand and vet how science and technology will affect their practice and clients. This is because technology systems are increasingly affecting legal systems in democracies around the globe: data informs litigation, probability ratios are admitted as evidence,
Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Leaders’ Battle for the Planet by Nina Lakhani: A Review
Nina Lakhani in this riveting book stitches together a textured narrative of Honduras, a country whose political economy thrives on extraction, its hostility towards environmental defenders, and the heavily militarised security forces that guard these development projects[..]
Compulsory Licensing is a mechanism through which the State can force a patent-holder to grant a license for exploitation to a firm subject to certain conditions set by law. Article 31 of the Agreement on the TRIPs Agreement prescribes minimum conditions that must be incorporated by the Member States in their respective compulsory licensing legislations [...]
Part I of the article introduces the changing judicial landscape of animal rights. It analyses the negative impact of zoos on the physical and mental well-being of animals. [...]
Part II of the article critiques the traditional justifications for animal captivity in zoos. It further juxtaposes these justifications with an emerging anti-captivity jurisprudence. Section 38A of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides for the establishment of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). [...]
While the law has been overhauled through the passage of the IBC, the trajectory of court interference is one that has to been seen in the coming few years. However, if the early signs are indicative of anything, it is that the judiciary has not learnt from the failure of the SICA regime – judicial interference continues unabated. [...]
Reconciling Reproductive Autonomy with the Public Interest Obligation of the State: A Look at the Prospect of a Two-Child Policy in India
On March 14th, 2020, Dr. A.M Singhvi sought to introduce the Population Control Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha. However, this is not the first time when a National Population Policy has been proposed for the Indian demographic setup[..]
Last year, in his address to the nation on Independence Day, the Prime Minister expressed concern over the prospect of a ‘population explosion’ in India, and went as far as to say that keeping small families was patriotic. There has since been a renewed[..]
Hundreds of millions of Indians continue to have poor nutritional health despite the country being self-sufficient in a number of food crops. I argue that the shortcomings of the Indian food sector stem from limited ‘accessibility’ to food[..]
A decision of the Delhi High Court in Laxmi College of Education v. National Council for Teacher Education, has once again opened a pandora’s box with respect to the litigation surrounding regulation of teacher education institutions in the country.
This article seeks to trace the emergence and operation of a stakeholder model of corporate governance in India, that is sourced in directors’ fiduciary duties, Corporate Social Responsibility [‘CSR’], and the agency of Independent Directors [‘IDs’]
The fiasco of financial service providers [“FSPs”], in particular, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services and Dewan Housing Finance Ltd., acted as a trigger for the government to bring these companies under the insolvency regime.
A Few Steps More: Supreme Court of India Further Evolves Its Jurisprudence on the Enforcement of Foreign Awards
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the ‘A&C Act’) places responsibility for enforcement of foreign awards on High Courts. If a High Court decides to enforce a foreign award, then such decision is not subject to appeal,[..]
Schedule V and VI read with Article 244 of the Indian Constitution contain provisions for control and administration of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Areas. Paragraph 5(1) of Schedule V gives power to the Governor to apply with modification[..]
In Justice K.S. Puttuswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India and Ors., the oft-stated line that the Constitution ‘lives’ for its people was stressed upon (paragraph 31). The usage of the word ‘lives’ indicates that the reconceptualization of constitutional ideals in light of the ethos of each time period is the Constitutional function – essentially, it is a living and breathing document.
Notwithstanding the many feminist struggles that have embellished Indian history, many precepts of personal law in India are defined in terms of male prestige and preserving the status quo in tradition, which is a masculine construct in several ways. Since male preferences govern institutional structures/working and constitutional interpretations, gender neutrality is a far cry.
In 2017, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India in TRF Limited v. Energo Engineering Projects Limited (“TRF”) had the occasion to interpret the much-lauded Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, incorporating the IBA Guidelines on Conflict of Interest into Schedule V and Schedule VII of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”)
Contemporary intellectual property rights can be described as ‘glocal’ rights i.e. they have the potential to have both global and local connections. For instance, it is not unusual to find instances where a multinational company owns a patent on the same invention in several countries or a trademark on the same product in several countries.
This essay advocates for the recognition of legal rights to urban mobility and sustainable urban public transportation in India. Recognition of such mobility and transportation rights would guarantee rights-holders the ability to move through Indian cities (and access goods, services and opportunities) through transportation mechanisms and infrastructures that are affordable
This article discusses the theoretical foundations of how family-owned companies procure finances and how they apply to Indian family-owned companies. Delving briefly into the macro picture of Indian family-owned companies, this article draws attention to the promoter-induced fraud-fraught Indian banking system.
The Union Cabinet amended the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which makes child rape an offence punishable by death. The Government had intended to pass this Bill earlier but it lapsed when the Parliament was dissolved in May.
Constitutional rights have traditionally been applied vertically, acting as a citizen’s weapon against her State. However, with the increased concentration of power in private hands and privatisation of hitherto State functions, there is a growing need for these rights to be applied horizontally, such that they also govern relationships between private citizens.
The political economy of Indian criminal law is fast changing. Even as Section 377 of the IPC on sodomy and Section 497 on adultery have been read down to further the equality of LGBT persons and women, new forms of carcerality that threaten to marginalise the most vulnerable groups of society take shape.
In this second part of the series on the Anti-Trafficking Bill, 2018, I shall deal exclusively with how the Bill departs from the core principles of Criminal Law and falls short of providing safeguards. The Bill introduces numerous other offences (Sections 33 to 45) and relies heavily on criminal law. However, it does so without many of the substantive and procedural safeguards that are integral to criminal law systems around the world,
In this third, and final, part to the series on the Anti-Trafficking Bill, 2018, I address three concerns. The first, a critique of the ‘raid, rescue and rehabilitate’ model used by the Bill. The second, I discuss the ignorance of the Bill towards the rights of and impact on the victims of trafficking. Finally, I discuss the improper way in which the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.
The judgment of the Supreme Court in Joseph Shine v. Union of India striking down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 198(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is monumental for reasons more than one. Rarely has the Court, in its institutional history, struck down a definitional provision of the Penal Code.
An important argument of the Petitioner revolved around how the impugned provisions violated the fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 by interfering with the right to voluntary, consensual sexual intercourse between adults. This submission proceeded in three steps – first, the constitution guarantees a right to privacy
Of late, the transformative nature and potential of the Indian Constitution has been placed under the spotlight thanks to attention from both scholars and courts. The contours of this argument are contested, but according to most versions, the Constitution is an instrument designed to realise an India where the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity are fully expressed and protected against arbitrary deprivation.
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) regime is a watershed event in the history of indirect taxation in India. This has been facilitated by many important changes in the Constitution of India. The power to levy GST flows directly from newly introduced Article 246A of the Constitution.
The United States has much to learn from India, including lessons about the relationship between taxation and gender equity. In June, 2018, India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council agreed to eliminate the 12 percent tax imposed on menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary pads and tampons.
In this post, I will discuss how taxation of tampons may constitute gender discrimination and possibly amount to a human rights violation. I will also be discussing how disparate treatment in taxation is made visible in this situation and why choices made in taxation policy have significance outside of simple revenue collection
The Retroactive Effect of Statutory Amendments: Assessing The Impact of Recent Amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963
A statute, unlike other forms of legal regulation, can be amended if the legislature is of the opinion that the statute is not serving its purpose. A statutory provision can be added to, subtracted from, substantially rewritten or even repealed. When a statute is amended, the law has to contend with pending litigation in courts that claim under the unamended statute.
Double Citizenship under Indian laws and Voting Rights for OCIs resident in India: A Constitutional Analysis
In the late 1940s and 1950s, most of the world was just coming out of and recovering from the Second World War. Suspicions between nations ran high as the world eased into the Cold War, and nationalistic tensions, albeit dulled by the horrors and catastrophic consequences of the World War, still strongly influenced foreign policy.
The rate of under-trial detention in India, at 67% of the total prison population (NCRB Prison Statistics, 2014-16), is a serious challenge to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Despite the regular intervention of the Supreme Court, most recently through In Re Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons ((2016) 10 SCC 17)