Orders and Judgments Duration October 23 – November 07, 2019

oct23-nov06

“The execution of laws is more important than the making of them”

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai v. M/s I­Ven Interactive Limited, Mumbai
    Assessment notice sent to wrong address of the assessee due to non-updating of new Address in PAN is not bad in law-18 October 2019 [Supreme Court judgment]
    The Supreme Court of India in the case of Principal Commr of Income Tax v M/s I-Ven Interactive Ltd holding in favour of the department, ruled that notice sent to wrong address of the assessee due to non-updating of new address in PAN by the assessee is not bad in law. A number of notices were served to the assessee on his filing of the return to the address available as per his PAN. In response to one of the notices, a representative of the company appeared and challenged the notices on the ground of non-receipt of the notices within the period of limitation under proviso to Section 143 of the Income Tax Act 1961.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-365725.pdf
  • Manju Sipayya v. Directorate of Education & Ors.
    Maximum autonomy should be given to private unaided schools for their own administration-4 November 2019 [Delhi High Court Judgment]
    The Delhi High Court has reiterated the position of law that maximum autonomy should be given in the administration of private unaided institutions as presence of Government interference in the Administration of such Institutions will undermine their independence.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/GSS/judgement/04-11-2019/GSS04112019LPA8082017.pdf

CORPORATE

  • Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Central) ­ 1 v. NRA Iron & Steel Pvt. Ltd.
    No recall of ex-parte order if in-person notice was served to company’s CA-25 October 2019 [Supreme Court Judgment]
    The Supreme Court of India has rejected a plea seeking to recall an ex-parte order citing the reason that in-person notice was served to company’s Chartered Accountant.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2019/9503/9503_2019_15_1502_17747_Judgement_25-Oct-2019.pdf
  • Mukut Pathak & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr.
    Disqualification of directors under section 164(2) of the Companies Act-4 November 2019 [Delhi High Court Judgment]
    Delhi High Court has clarified the position of law in disqualification of directors under section 164(2) of the Companies Act. Under the said section, directors of companies that have defaulted on filing financial returns for 3 consecutive years are disqualified from being appointed as directors for 5 years. While ruling upon the retrospective applicability of section 164(2), the Court held that the said section can apply to failure in filing returns for financial years prior to 2014, the year in which the said section came into force. While acknowledging the judgements passed by the High Courts of Gujarat, Madras and Karnataka, which had held section 164(2) as having prospective applicability, the court went on to note that the operation of the said section in the present case, does not amount to retrospective application of a penal provision. The court said: 'Merely because an enactment draws on events that are antecedent to its coming in force does not render the said enactment retrospective'.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/VIB/judgement/04-11-2019/VIB04112019CW90882018.pdf

COMPETITION LAW

  • Saurabh Tripathy v. Competition Commission of India & Anr.
    Director General Report not binding on CCI-10 October 2019 [Delhi High Court Judgment]
    The Delhi High Court has held that the report of the Director-General is not binding on Competition Commission of India and the Commission can differ with the findings of the Report, including taking a decision to close a case. ".. There is no provision in the Act (Competition Act, 2002) which mandates that CCI must accept the DG’s report recommending that there are contraventions of the provisions of the Act. The DG’s report is not binding on CCI and it can differ with the DG’s findings and reject the same. If on examination of the DG’s investigation report indicating contraventions of the Act and CCI finds that there are no such contraventions; it is required to close the case.", the Court has held.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/VIB/judgement/16-10-2019/VIB10102019CW20792018.pdf
  • Air Works India (Engineering) Private Limited v. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited & Anr.
    Competition Commission probes Hyderabad airport operator GHIAL for unfair ways-3 October 2019 [Competition Commission of India Order]
    The Competition Commission has ordered a detailed probe against Hyderabad International Airport Operator, GHIAL for alleged abuse of dominant position and denial of market access to a leading MRO services provider. The order against GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd has come on a complaint filed with the CCI by Air Works India (Engineering) Pvt Ltd. "... the facts of the present case prima facie suggest denial of market access to the informant coupled with exclusionary motive by GMR to favour its own group entity (i.e. GAT). Owing to its dominance in the upstream market and its presence in the downstream market, GMR seems to have distorted the level playing field," the regulator said.
    The Order can be accessed at:
    https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/30-of-2019.pdf
  • In Re: Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and Ors.
    CCI Order: Competition Commission orders probe against GoIbibo-MakeMyTrip, OYO-28 October 2019 [Competition Commission of India Order]
    The Competition Commission of India in a latest anti-trust order, said that prima facie, there exists a case for investigation against online travel agencies Go-MMT (GoIbibo-MakeMyTrip) and hospitality firm Oyo. The CCI has directed the Directorate General to carry out a detailed investigation in the matter and submit a report to it within 150 days. “The commission is of the view that there exists a prima facie case for investigation against Go-MMT and OYO for alleged violation of the provisions of Section 3(4) of the Competition Act 2002. Further, a prima facie case for investigation under Section 4 of the Act is made out against Go-MMT, as elucidated in the earlier parts of this order,” it said. The CCI order was based on a complaint filed by industry body Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India against Oyo and Go-MMT for alleged predatory pricing, anti-competitive agreements, deep discounting and excessive commissions. FHRAI alleged that MMT and Oyo have entered into confidential commercial agreements wherein MMT has agreed to give preferential treatment to Oyo on its platform, leading to a denial of market access to rival firms Treebo and Fab Hotels, in contravention of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act 2002. The FHRAI has also alleged that the commission charged by MMT at times turns out to be around 22-40 per cent (from standalone hotels), which is grossly disproportionate and is in violation of norms. CCI in its observation said since MMT-Go has been prima facie found to be in a dominant position. “Though at this stage information on the cost structure of Go-MMT, hotels and the prices charged by hotels and discounts offered by Go-MMT is not available with the commission, this issue may need to be investigated,” CCI said.
    The Order can be accessed at:
    https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/14of2019_0.pdf

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • Vinit Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors.
    Bombay High Court nixes government's phone-tap orders as they ‘violate right to privacy’-22 October 2019 [Bombay High Court Judgment]
    The Bombay high court has quashed three orders passed by the Union home ministry to intercept phone calls of a businessman being probed by the CBI in a bribery case, saying it violates the right to privacy as held by the Supreme Court. It directed the destruction of illegally intercepted conversations and, again quoting a Supreme Court order, said tapping can be allowed only in a public emergency or in the interest of public safety.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://mk0barandbenchgqge2s.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Vinit-Kumar-v-CBIillegal-tapping-of-telephone.pdf
  • Swami Ramdev & Anr. v. Facebook Inc. & Ors.
    Delhi HC asks Facebook, Google, Twitter to globally remove links to video disparaging Ramdev-23 October 2019 [Delhi High Court Judgment]
    The Delhi High Court has directed social media platforms Facebook, Google, its subsidiary YouTube, and Twitter to forthwith remove, block or disable on a global basis links to a video containing defamatory allegations against yoga guru Ramdev. The Court held that merely 'geo-blocking' or disabling access to the defamatory content to viewers from India, as agreed to by the social media platforms, would not be sufficient as users residing here can gain access to it by other means. "There is an obligation upon the intermediary (social media platforms) to disable access, which would have to be read as meaning to completely disable access and not partially disable access," the court said. Observing that "the race between technology and the law could be termed as a hare and tortoise race - as technology gallops, the law tries to keep pace", the court said the provisions of the Information Technology law have to be interpreted in a manner so as to ensure judicial orders are effective and "not toothless". It said that removal or disabling of access under section 79(3)(b) of the IT Act does not mean removal or disabling access only to users located in India. "The removal or disabling is linked with 'that resource' and not with the location of the user or viewer. Thus, geo-blocking as is being suggested by the platforms would not be in consonance with section 79 or with the purport and intent of the Supreme Court in the judgement of Shreya Singhal," it said in its 76-page judgement. The court directed the social media platforms that all the offending material which has been uploaded from within India on to the computer network of the platforms "would have to be disabled and blocked on a global basis". "Since the unlawful act in case of content uploaded from India is committed from within India, a global injunction shall operate in respect of such content. In case of uploads which take place from outside India, the unlawful act would be the dissemination of such content in India, and thus in those cases the platforms may resort to geo-blocking," it said. It further said, "The defendants (social media platforms) are directed to take down, remove block, restrict/disable access, on a global basis, to all such videos/ weblinks/URLs in the list annexed to the plaint, which have been uploaded from IP addresses within India. "Insofar as the URLs/links in the list annexed to the plaint which were uploaded from outside India are concerned, the defendants are directed to block access and disable them from being viewed in the Indian domain and ensure that users in India are unable to access the same." The court issued the direction after the social media platforms said that while they have no objection to blocking the URLs and disabling the same, insofar as access in India is concerned, they were opposed to removal/blocking/disabling the defamatory content on a global basis. The defamatory video contained excerpts of a book on Ramdev that were ordered to be deleted by the high court in September last year. In the judgement, the Judge noted that viewing the video or reading its transcript give an impression that Ramdev "has been involved in various murders, financial irregularities, misuse of animal parts, etc". "Thus, the content of the video to the extent it contains paraphrasing of content which was directed to be removed from the book is held to be defamatory. A perusal of the video transcript and the offending portion of the book show the clear similarity and prima facie, establish that the video is derived from the book and hence is defamatory. "In any event, this issue is moot inasmuch as the video begins by stating that it is based on the book. Thus, the defamatory nature of the video cannot be disputed," the court said.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://mk0barandbenchgqge2s.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Swami-Ramdev-vsFacebook-Ors.pdf
  • Suparn Pandey v. Gayatri Dahiya
    Plea for curbing media reporting of a case can only be moved in the court where the original matter is pending-30 October 2019 [Delhi High Court Order]
    The Delhi High Court has held that application for curbing or postponing media reporting of a case can only be moved in the court which is hearing the case on merits, and not any other court.
    The Order can be accessed at:
    http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/RSE/judgement/30-10-2019/RSE30102019S5542019.pdf

 

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