Orders and Judgments Duration December 08-22, 2020

"The spirit of moderation should also be the spirit of the lawgiver."

CHARLES MONTESQUIEU

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Vidya Drolia and Others v. Durga Trading Corporation
    Landlord-Tenant disputes under Transfer of Property Act are arbitrable-14 December 2020
    The Supreme Court (SC) has said tenant-landlord disputes under the Transfer of Property Act can be resolved through Arbitration instead of time-consuming and expensive litigation. The apex court held that arbitral tribunals have the power to decide such disputes under the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. However, such disputes covered and governed by state rent control laws would not be arbitrable and would be decided by designated courts or forums under the legislation. The verdict, which overruled the SC’s own 2017 judgment, was pronounced by a division bench on December 14. The court also ruled that an award passed while deciding landlord-tenant disputes can be executed and enforced like a decree of the civil court. The court explained that tenancy disputes governed by state rent control laws will have to be dealt with by special courts or forum set up under such laws. The Transfer of Property Act, like other laws, has a public purpose – to regulate landlord-tenant relationships – and the arbitrator would be bound by the provisions, including those that protect tenants.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-385924.pdf
  • Future Retails Ltd v. Amazon.com Investment Holdings LLC & Ors
    Delhi High Court (HC) says FRL-Reliance deal in accordance with laws, but can't stop Amazon from writing to regulators-21 December 2020
    The Delhi High Court (HC) on December 21 said the resolution approving the proposed scheme of arrangement between Future Group and Reliance Retail is in accordance with Indian laws and cannot be intervened with, denying Amazon's claim. However, the court said Amazon is entitled to make representations to any authorities and can't be injuncted from writing to regulators. The Delhi HC on December 21 made a prima facie observation that the Emergency Award order by the SIAC is valid, and added that FRL's suit is maintainable. The court also said the resolution of FRL's board that approved the deal is valid. The court also directed statutory authorities to take decisions as per the law, noting that FRL and Amazon have already made their representations and counter representations to statutory authorities/regulators. "On two counts, FRL has been able to make out a prima facie case of tortious interference by Amazon. It is clarified that it is not the making of the representation by Amazon to the statutory authorities or the Regulators, which is an actionable wrong but making a representation based on incorrect assertions which makes the act based on 'unlawful means'", the Delhi HC said. The court also said it "is prima facie of the opinion that the conflation of the three agreements i.e. FRL SHA, FCPL SHA and FCPL SSA besides creating protective rights in favour of Amazon for its investments also transgress to 'control' over FRL requiring Government approvals and in the absence thereof are contrary to FEMA FDI Rules".
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2020-12/8b5679ec-fda6-41e6-8ec7-5820d14989e8/Future_Retail_vs_Amazon.pdf

COMPETITION & UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE

  • Samir Agrawal v. Competition Commission of India & Ors
    Ola, Uber do not facilitate cartelization-15 December 2020
    The Supreme Court (SC) refused to interfere with the orders of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) which held that cartelisation or anti-competitive practices leading to inflated riders’ charges were not facilitated by Ola and Uber. In a nutshell, because of algorithmic pricing, it was alleged that neither riders are able to negotiate fares for rides booked through the apps with individual drivers, nor are the drivers able to offer any discounts. It was submitted that in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed with their respective drivers between Ola and Uber, despite the fact that the drivers are independent entities that are not Ola or Uber employees or agents, the driver is obliged to accept the fare reflected in the app at the end of the ride, without having any discretion as far as it is concerned. Furthermore, it was argued that because Ola and Uber have greater bargaining power than riders in price determination, they are in a position to impose price discrimination, whereby riders are charged on the basis of their willingness to pay and artificially inflated fares have to be paid as a result. Thus, the pricing algorithm was submitted to take away the right of riders and drivers to choose the best price based on competition. In its order passed in November 2018, the CCI concluded that any evidence on record was misplaced and unsupported by the allegation of price discrimination. Before the NCLAT, the CCI order was challenged and by an order passed in May 2020, the NCLAT also refused to grant relief. After that before the Supreme Court, an appeal was preferred. The SC upheld the findings of the CCI and the NCLAT, ruling that cartelization or anti-competitive activities between drivers are not facilitated by Ola and Uber.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2020-12/b5330d8c-770c-4d71-8509-195ff0f75fce/Samir_Agrawal_vs_CCI.pdf

CORPORATE

CONTRACTS & TENDERS

  • M/s Galaxy Transport Agencies, Contractors, Traders, Transports and Suppliers v. New J K Roadways, Fleet Owners and Transport Contractors & Ors
    Expert evaluation of tender should not be second guessed by Writ Court unless there is Mala Fides & Arbitrariness: Supreme Court (SC)
    The Supreme Court (SC) has observed that the expert evaluation of a particular tender, particularly when it comes to technical evaluation, is not to be second-guessed by a Writ Court, unless arbitrariness or mala fide on the part of the tendering authority is alleged.
    pdf_upload-386203.pdf (livelaw.in)

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