Orders and Judgments Duration September 08-22, 2020

"The good of the people is the greatest law."

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • Government of India v. Vedanta Limited & Others
    Court says Malaysian arbitral ruling will not go against public policy in India-16 September 2020
    The Supreme Court (SC) has held that enforcing the Malaysian arbitral award in favour of Vedanta on the Ravva oil and gas fields, located in the shallow offshore area of the Krishna-Godavari basin on the eastern coast of India, will not go against public policy in India. In doing this the Court has upheld the Delhi High Court’s order which had refused to interfere in the arbitral award. The SC rejected the Central Government’s Petition challenging the enforcement of the 2011 Malaysian arbitral award passed in favour of Vedanta in relation to the gas fields. The SC observed that the Malaysian court rightly examined the Ravva oil field arbitration award and it doesn’t offend public policy of India as it is a subsequent event. The court dismissed the plea filed by the Central Government through the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas regarding enforcement of the arbitral award. The question to be considered by the Court was whether the arbitral award based on Malaysian laws would be applicable as according to its contract the transactions were to be governed by Indian laws. A foreign award was passed by a Tribunal in Malaysia dispute between Cairn India (Vedanta was formerly known as Cairn India) and the Indian Government pertaining to a production sharing contract (PSC) between them for exploration of the Ravva oil fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin between 2000 and 2007.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2020-09/a5ac5152-2049-4f93-aa1a-f048f9a0aa79/GOI_vs_Vedanta___Judgment.pdf
  • Balasore Alloys Limited v. Medima LLC
    Supreme Court (SC) to decide which of two Arbitration clauses would be invoked to settle the dispute-16 September 2020
    A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court (SC) sought to harmonise which of the two arbitration clauses would apply in the given facts of the case. The company (i.e., Balasore) contended before the Supreme Court (SC) that in the disputes between itself and Medima, a US based company, the arbitration was wrongfully invoked by the latter under the Pricing Agreement, which prescribed an ICC Arbitration comprising three arbitrators, seated in London. The question was as to whether or not the application filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 would be sustainable so as to appoint an arbitrator by invoking Clause 7 of the purchase order, when the ICC Tribunal stood constituted under Clause 23 of the Umbrella Agreement. The judgment reads, "...when admittedly the parties had entered into the Agreement dated 31.03.2018 and there was consensus ad idem to the terms and conditions contained therein which is comprehensive and encompassing all terms of the transaction and such agreement also contains an arbitration clause which is different from the arbitration clause provided in the purchase order which is for the limited purpose of supply of the produce with more specific details which arises out of Agreement dated 31.03.2018; the arbitration clause contained in Clause23 in the main Agreement dated 31.03.2018 would govern the parties insofar as the present nature of dispute that has been raised by them with regard to the price and the terms of payment including recovery etc..." Thus, the application was refused on the ground that the aspects disputed by Balasore had to be determined in terms of the provisions of the pricing/Umbrella Agreement dated March 31, 2018. Further, the Court also said that the Tribunal constituted under the March 31 Agreement could also look into the individual purchase orders.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2006/34053/34053_2006_33_1501_24005_Judgement_18-Sep-2020.pdf

COMPETITION & UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE

  • Lifestyle Equities C V and Others v. Amazon Seller Services Private Limited and Others
    Competition Commission of India (CCI) concludes Amazon is not dominant in online fashion, dismisses antitrust complaints-11September 2020
    The competition regulator has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance against Amazon in the online fashion retail space, finding that the company is not dominant in the relevant market. The Netherlands-based Lifestyle Equities had alleged that Amazon had leveraged its dominance in favour of its own labels and preferred sellers by giving them higher search ranking and positive customer reviews to the disadvantage of other sellers. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), however, concluded that Amazon did not have a dominant position in the relevant market, noting that vertical online fashion retail players such as Myntra, Ajio, Koovs etc held a market share of around 50 per cent, while the combined share of horizontal online marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart was around 35 per cent, citing a Redseer report from 2019. “Looking at the present market construct, it does not appear that any one platform is occupying a dominant position in the relevant market,” the CCI said in its order.
    The Order can be accessed at:
    https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/09-of-2020.pdf
  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves proposed combination involving acquisition of 20% of the issued and paid-up equity share capital of Piramal Pharma Limited (Pharma Co.) by CA Clover Intermediate II Investments (Curie)-12 September 2020
    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves proposed combination involving acquisition of 20% of the issued and paid-up equity share capital of Piramal Pharma Limited (Pharma Co.) by CA Clover Intermediate II Investments (Curie). The proposed combination relates to (i) the transfer of global pharmaceutical business (Transferred Business) by Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL) to a wholly owned subsidiary of PEL, i.e. Pharma Co., followed by, (ii) the acquisition of 20% of the issued and paid-up equity share capital of Pharma Co. by Curie (Proposed Combination).
    The Release can be accessed at:
    https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1653537
  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of sole control over Bombardier Transportation’s by Alstom S.A.,AND acquisition of approximately 18% and 3% share capital of Alstom S.A. by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Bombardier Inc (Bombardier) respectively-19 September 2020
    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved acquisition of sole control over Bombardier Transportation’s (Bombardier Transport) by Alstom S.A. (Alstom), and acquisition of approximately 18% and 3% share capital of Alstom S.A. by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Bombardier Inc (Bombardier) respectively, under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
    The Release can be accessed at:
    https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1656565
  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc. by International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.-19 September 2020
    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc. (“Spinco”) by International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (“IFF”) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, today. The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of sole control by IFF, over the Nutrition & Biosciences business (“N&B Business”) of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (“DuPont”), by means of acquiring sole control over SpinCo, a company newly formed by DuPont and to which DuPont will transfer the N&B Business.
    The Release can be accessed at:
    https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1656564

CORPORATE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • R Bharaneeswaran v. The Government of Tamil Nadu and Others
    Madras High Court (HC) refuses to ban online classes, asks schools to adhere to Government guidelines-9 September 2020
    Madras High Court (HC) has refused to ban online classes and said that guidelines mandated by both State and Central Government should be strictly adhered to by schools. Some of the issues raised by the petitioners were privacy during online classes, safeguards to prevent students from encountering obscene or pornographic content during online classes and to ensure that Government guidelines issued on online education are strictly complied with.-"The guidelines issued by the Government of India and the State Government with respect to the conduct of online cases amid the pandemic are mandatory and are, thus, to be adopted and followed by all the stakeholders, particularly the Schools,-" the direction said adding that committees shall be set up at the district level to supervise the compliance. The court also directed schools to adhere to mandated time limits, identify problems being faced by the parents and teachers in online connectivity and availability of the devices and issue circulars to block obscene content. Schools have also been asked to explore the possibility of having end-to-end encryption. Students identified as requiring special attendance in view of the difficulties faced in online and digital education access can be allowed to attend physical classes while following social distancing, the Court has said. Complaints made to the support and helpline numbers should be looked into by the cyber crime cell or the other relevant authorities and the process of the investigation will have to be completed within a period of three months. The court reiterated that it is not that online education is viewed as a substitute for education in the physical form, rather as a supplementary form of education that is being resorted in view of the pandemic.
    The Order can be accessed at:
    http://164.100.79.153/judis/chennai/index.php/casestatus/viewpdf/543682
  • Firoz qbal Khan v. Union of India & Ors
    Supreme Court (SC) restrains Sudarshan TV from telecasting two episodes of ‘Bindas Bol' programme-15 September 2020
    The Supreme Court (SC) has restrained Sudarshan TV from telecasting two episodes of 'Bindas Bol' programme, which are scheduled for today and tomorrow, saying it prime facie appears to “vilify” the Muslim community. At this stage, prima facie it does appear that the programme does vilify the Muslim community,” the apex court said while staying the telecast of two episodes of the programme on alleged infiltration of Muslims into the bureaucracy. The Order can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-381542.pdf

CONTRACTS & SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE

  • B Santoshamma & Anr v. D Sarala & Anr
    Specific performance of Contract-18 September 2020
    In this case, the Vendor, after execution of the Agreement of Sale with the Vendee, executed a registered deed of conveyance transferring 100 sq. yards of the suit land in favour of another person Pratap Reddy. This made Vendee file a suit for specific performance of the Agreement of sale, but did not array Pratap Reddy as a party. The trial Court held that the Vendee, was not entitled to seek specific performance of the Agreement to Sell in respect of 100 sq. yards covered by the sale deed, but entitled to relief of specific performance in respect of the remaining 200 sq. yards of the suit land. The High Court dismissed the appeals. The SC said: "Where a party to the contract is unable to perform the whole of his part of the contract, the Court may, in the circumstances mentioned in Section 12 of the S.R.A., direct the specific performance of so much of the contract, as can be performed, particularly where the value of the part of the contract left unperformed would be small in proportion to the total value of the contract and admits of compensation… The Court may, under Section 12 of the S.R.A. direct the party in default to perform specifically, so much of his part of the contract, as he can perform, provided the other party pays or has paid the consideration for the whole of the contract, reduced by the consideration for the part which must be left unperformed." "After the amendment of Section 10 of the S.R.A., the words "specific performance of any contract may, in the discretion of the Court, be enforced “have been substituted with the words "specific performance of a contract shall be enforced subject to ...". The Court is, now obliged to enforce the specific performance of a contract, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 11, Section 14 and Section 16 of the S.R.A.  Relief of specific performance of a contract is no longer discretionary, after the amendment. "After having entered into an Agreement of Sale of 300 Sq. yards of land, with her eyes open, and accepted a major part of the consideration (₹ 45,000/- out of ₹ 75,000/-) it does not lie in the mouth of the Vendor to contend that the contract should not have specifically been enforced in part, in respect of the balance 200 sq. yards meters of the suit land which the Vendor still owned, the bench observed, while dismissing the appeal.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2006/34053/34053_2006_33_1501_24005_Judgement_18-Sep-2020.pdf

EDUCATION

  • Justice for All Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi & Ors
    'Bridge the digital divide, end Digital Apartheid', Delhi High Court (HC) directs Schools in Delhi to provide adequate gadgets and internet package to EWS students for attending online classes
    Delhi High Court (HC) has directed the private unaided schools and Government schools to provide adequate gadgets and internet packages to students under Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and other Disadvantaged Groups (DG) in order to enable them to have an equal access to virtual classes which are being organised by schools in light of COVID19 lockdown. While hailing the principle of bridging the digital divide between the privileged and the disadvantaged, the Division Bench has allowed schools to seek reimbursement for the costs incurred in making such facilities available to the students from the appropriate Government under section 12 of the Right to Education Act.
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-381691.pdf

STAMP DUTY

  • Trustees of H C Dhanda Trust v. State of Madhya Pradesh
    'Ten times penalty' prescribed for deficit Stamp Duty cannot be mechanically imposed: Supreme Court (SC)
    The Supreme Court (SC) has observed that the penalty of ten times prescribed under Section 40(1) (b) of the Indian Stamp Act cannot be mechanically imposed. The reason such as fraud or deceit in order to deprive the or undue enrichment are relevant factors to arrive at a decision as to what should be the extent of penalty under Section 40(1)(b), the SC observed.
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-381632.pdf

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