Orders and Judgments Duration March 08 – 22, 2019

No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 26TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Vidya Drolia & Ors v. Durga Trading Corporation
    Are Landlord-Tenant disputes under Transfer of Property Act arbitrable? Correctness of Himangni Enterprises to be decided by larger Bench of SC-28 February 2019 (SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENTS)
    The Supreme Court (SC) has referred to larger bench the correctness of its judgment in Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, in which it was held that where the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 applied between landlord and tenant, disputes between the said parties would not be arbitrable. The bench was considering the appeal against Calcutta High Court (HC) order appointing an Arbitrator in a dispute between landlord and tenant, after objections on arbitrability of the dispute. It observed that the Transfer of Property Act is silent on arbitrability, and it does not negate arbitrability. The court said that two judgments referred in Himangni Enterprises, merely hold that only those tenancy matters that are (i) governed by special statutes (ii) where the tenant enjoys statutory protection against eviction and (iii) where only specified courts are conferred jurisdiction to grant eviction or decide disputes, are cases where the dispute between landlord and tenant can be said to be non-arbitrable. The court also said that it is clear that every one of the grounds stated in Section 111, whether read with Section 114 and/or 114A, are grounds which can be raised before an Arbitrator to decide as to whether a lease has or has not determined.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • Isha Distribution House Pvt Ltd v. Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd & Anr
    Issue of Territorial Jurisdiction has to be raised in Written Statement-7 March 2019
    The Supreme Court (SC) has reiterated that important objections, including those concerning the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain a civil suit, must be raised in the Written Statement.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • Icomm Tele Ltd v. Punjab State Water Supply & Sewerage Board & Anr
    Pre-deposit clauses to invoke arbitration makes arbitral process ineffective and expensive-11 March 2019
    The Supreme Court (SC) has observed that pre-deposit clauses to invoke arbitration would render the arbitral process ineffective and expensive. The bench struck down such a clause in a notice inviting tender by Punjab State Water Supply & Sewerage Board.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • Himachal Sorang Power Private Limited & Anr v. NCC Infrastructure Holdings Limited
    No Anti-Arbitration injunction unless proceeding is vexatious or oppressive-13 March 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT)
    The Delhi High Court (HC) has restated that no Anti-Arbitration injunction can be granted unless it is shown that the initiation of the arbitration proceeding is vexatious or oppressive.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • M/S Surya Constructions v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors
    Writ petitions in contract matters maintainable when there is arbitrariness by the state-8 March 2019 (SUPREME COURT ORDERS)
    “In contract matters, a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India can be entertained by the High Court, when there is arbitrariness on the part of the state”, the Supreme Court has reiterated in a Judgement passed recently.
    The Order can be accessed at:ReadMore

CORPORATE

  • Satish Dhondiram Jawale v. Registrar of Companies, Pune
    No additional cost payable for restoration of company name except the penalty for noncompliance under Companies Act -5 March 2019 (NCLAT ORDERS)
    The Order can be accessed at:
    https://nclat.nic.in/Useradmin/upload/5900569135c810189e58a3.pdf 
  • A R Radha Krishna v. Dasari Deepthi & Ors
    When can a 'cheque bounce' complaint against director of company be quashed? -28 February 2019 (SUPREME COURT ORDER)
    The Supreme Court (SC) has reiterated that, a 'cheque bounce' complaint against a Company and its Director, must contain a specific averment that the Director was in charge of, and responsible for, the conduct of the company's business at the time when the offence under Section 138/141 of Negotiable Instruments Act was committed. It observed that High court could quash the complaint only if some unimpeachable evidence has been brought on record which leads to the conclusion that the Director could never have been in charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company at the relevant time.
    The Order can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) questions Sterling Biotech lenders on accepting deal from promoters-13 March 2019
    The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) asked lenders of Sterling Biotech how they had accepted the onetime settlement offer from the promoters of the bankrupt firm. The NCLT also plans to write to central Government agencies investigating Nitin and Chetan Sandesara in case they want to make any representation. The NCLT observed that if the Sandesara brothers were absconding, how did banks accept the OTS. The case will be heard again on March 26.
  • Ministry Corporate of Affairs (MCA) national guidelines on responsible business conduct RELEASED-13 March 2019 (MCA GUIDELINES)
    Please refer to our email dated 14 March 2019 where it was reported that the Ministry Corporate of Affairs (MCA) has issued national guidelines on responsible business conduct
    The Guidelines have now been released and can be accessed at:
    http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/NationalGuildeline_15032019.pdf
  • High Court (HC) disposes off PIL on probe into alleged FDI violations by Flipkart and Amazon -18 March 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT ORDER)
    The Delhi High Court (HC) has disposed a public interest litigation which sought a probe into violations of India’s foreign direct investment norms by ecommerce giants Flipkart and Amazon. A bench passed the order after the Enforcement Directorate told the court that an investigation under provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act against the two companies is already pending with it. The Petition, filed by NGO Telecom Watchdog, had also asked for initiation of legal proceedings against Flipkart and Amazon under Foreign Exchange Management (FEMA) for allegedly violating the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms prescribed in a March 2016 press note. Press Note 3 issued by the Government in 2016 regulated FDI in ecommerce marketplaces, disallowing them to exercise control over stock sold on their platforms or influencing prices of goods and services they sold. It had also said that no more than 25% of sales on any ecommerce marketplace could be routed through a group company. The plea, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, claimed that Amazon and Flipkart have created multiple entities to circumvent the FDI norms and route the hot-selling stock at cheaper rates. It also had claimed that by creating name lending companies, Amazon and Flipkart had bought branded goods in bulk at discounted rates from manufacturers which was rendering small sellers on its platforms uncompetitive. “As a consequence of this FDI norms violation, smaller sellers are unable to participate in the fast-growing ecommerce sector,” the plea has contended, adding that due to subsidised prices on such platforms, small sellers are unable to sell in the brick-n-mortar world too.
  • Bombay Stock Exchange Limited v. Asahi Infrastructure & Projects Limited
    Outstanding listing fee can’t be recovered under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), rules National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)-11 February 2019 (NCLT ORDER)
    Ruling that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is not the right forum to initiate recovery proceedings for non-payment of ‘annual listing fees,’ the tribunal’s Mumbai Bench has said that the listing agreements are subject to the control and supervision of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
    The Order can be accessed at:ReadMore

COMPETITION

  • Ronnie Screwvala approaches fair trade regulator against multiplexes -20 March 2019 (Competition Commission of India (CCI) UPDATES)
    Serial entrepreneur, filmmaker and former head of UTV Ronnie Screwvala has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against four largest multiplex chains - PVR, Inox Leisure, Cinepolis India and Carnival Cinemas- for alleged collusion and for charging Indian movie makers discriminatory virtual print fee.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • Syniverse Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd v. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Anr
    Delhi High Court (HC) quashes Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Amendment to mobile number portability regulations -8 March 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT)
    The Delhi High Court (HC) has quashed the Mobile Number Portability Per Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge [Amendment] Regulations, 2018, holding that it is ultra vires the powers of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India under the TRAI Act, and also contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution. Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India Private Limited, the only two licensed MNP service providers in India had approached the High Court challenging the amendment. Prior to the amendment, they were entitled to "Per Port Transaction Charge of ₹ 19 for each request processed by them. Vide this amendment, it got reduced to ₹ 4 and has been made payable only if the porting is "successful", i.e. if subscriber successfully transfers his connection from his original TSP.
    The Judgement be accessed at:ReadMore
  • No crime if mobile bill is not paid-8 March 2019 (KERALA HIGH COURT ORDER)
    The Kerala High court has held that failure to pay mobile bill cannot constitute “criminal cheating”. The Court observed that the transaction involved between the mobile operator and the customer is one arising out of a civil dispute.
    The Order be accessed at:ReadMore
  • Privacy: Media shouldn’t cross ‘lakshman rekha’-14 March 2019 (KARNTAKA HIGH COURT ORDER)
    Media should not invade the privacy of any individual and cross the ‘lakshman rekha’ unless outweighed by genuine or public interest, the High Court observed while recounting various Supreme Court (SC) judgments and restrictions under Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), Hindu Marriage Act, MTP Act and other laws that forbid disclosure of identity.
    The court also restrained a local Kannada TV channel from telecasting any information regarding the personal life of a woman and her husband as the matter is pending adjudication before a family court in Bengaluru.
  • Tata Chemicals Ltd v. Puro Wellness Pvt Ltd
    Delhi High Court (HC) restrains Puro Healthy Salt from publishing disparaging commercials against Tata Salt-15 March 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT)
    The Delhi High Court (HC) has on 15 March ordered that the manufacturers of Puro Healthy Salt are restrained from televising or publishing any commercials or promotional material in print or electronic form that would lead to disparagement of Tata Salt. It was contended by Tata that Puro Healthy Salt had released three television commercials, an interview of its promoter, and issuance of a flyer/pamphlet containing objectionable content against Tata Salt and other brands. It was further alleged that these advertisements made false, groundless and irresponsible statements against Tata’s product. It was also contended that these commercials portrayed that Tata Salt was harmful for health and not fit for human consumption which was malicious. The respondent contended the maintainability of the suit arguing that since at least three proceedings were pending in respect of the same subject matter, the present suit ought to be dismissed for ‘forum shopping’ and lack of territorial jurisdiction.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/PMS/judgement/16-03-2019/PMS15032019S4032018.pdf
  • 9x Media Pvt Ltd and Ors v. Prasar Bharti
    Delhi High Court (HC) dismisses petitions challenging DD Free Dish slot auction policy-4 February 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT JUDGEMENTS)
    The Delhi High Court has dismissed the Petitions filed by 9X Media, TV Vision, and B4U Broadband challenging Prasar Bharati’s new slot sale policy for free direct to home platform DD Free Dish. Disposing of the Petitions and pending applications, the bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru stated that the court does not want to enter into a controversy regarding the evaluation of the commercial potential of various TV Channels or the potential of various genres of television content.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:ReadMore
  • Delhi High Court (HC)stays ban on e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems-18 March 2019 (DELHI HIGH COURT ORDER)
    Delhi High Court (HC) on Monday stayed Centre’s move to ban sale of e-cigarettes. HC granted interim relief to e-cigarette vendors and stayed till May 17 the decision of Director General Health Services that works under the central drug regulator. Last month, Central Drugs Control Organisation had directed all drug controllers in all states and Union territories not to permit manufacture, sale, import and advertisement of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah, in their jurisdictions. Challenging the ban, an importer of vaping devices moved court, arguing that vaping is “not akin to a cigarette and has been internationally recognised as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco smoking.”
    The Order can be accessed at:
    http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=60136&yr=2019

 

Disclaimer (a) “This information has been gathered from various sources. Nothing herein is or may be construed as legal advice”.