Weekly Indian Law & Legal Sector Updates 29th April 2017

Our weekly round up on Indian legal developments and the law.


Poor English results in SC setting aside Himachal HC order

Indian lawyers updates

The Tribune reported that an order of Himachal Pradesh High Court was set aside by the Indian Supreme Court as it was incomprehensible. The order of the High Court was remanded back to it for re-drafting. The message to Indian lawyers and the judiciary: keep it simple. 

Read the full article on The Tribune




The right to privacy & Aadhar Card issue needs to be settled by court: Attorney-General

Livemint reported that India’s Attorney General’s (A-G) comments on the legal issues of Aadhaar card. The A-G addressed the importance of Aadhaar in  social welfare schemes, the right to privacy, the criticism of Aadhaar and collection of biometrics and  the role of the Unique Identification Authority of India.

Read more about the interview   on Livemint  http://www.livemint.com/Politics/k8iqZg5Yxa6q1cfYKLSgmK/The-larger-question-on-privacy-needs-to-be-settled-by-court.html



Indian Goods & Service Tax reform “an act of courage”: IMF chief

India Today reports that the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde appreciated the Indian Government’s GST reform aimed at the creation of a uniform market by substituting the local levies with a federal tax regime. The political will of the present government in bringing the Indian bankruptcy law and demonetization was also acknowledged.

Full Article on India Today http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/gst-reform-an-act-of-courage-imf-chief/1/934226.html



Corporate Affairs Ministry amends Indian Companies Act and adds new rules

Indian Corporate and Company law sees a major shift with the newly notified Section 234 of The Companies Act 2013. This widens the scope and ambit of mergers between Indian and Foreign companies. The Business World reported the change in law and its implications on the Indian Companies and the Corporate sector.

Find the Notification on http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/section234Notification_14042017.pdf  and the Amendment to the rules on http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/CompaniesCompromises_14042017.pdf

Read about the impact on Business World http://businessworld.in/article/Corporate-Affairs-Ministry-Tweaks-Companies-Act-Adds-New-Rules/21-04-2017-116794/

and in  The Economic Times



WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Govt states to SC its Working on a Data Protection policy. 

Bloomberg Quint reported that the Attorney General of India (A-G) requested the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing of the Whatsapp privacy policy matter as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is of formulating a comprehensive data protection framework, which will be finalised in a few months and could potentially affect the case.

Read a brief history of the matter on Bloomberg Quint https://www.bloombergquint.com/technology/2017/04/18/whatsapp-privacy-policy-government-tells-supreme-court-its-working-on-data-protection



Trump order a future challenge for Indian immigration in the IT Sector 

The latest executive order of the US Government concerning immigration and the H-1B visa to further the ‘Hire American’ Policy and its impact on Indian IT firms’ hiring scheme in future. The Times of India report focuses on the immediate effect of the order and the profitability of the industry.

Full article on The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/trump-order-a-future-challenge-for-indian-it/articleshow/58273100.cms



Indian Arbitration: CJI advocates ” zero govt. role”  in arbitration process

The Hindu reported Justice J.S. Khehar, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who delivered a speech at the inaugural ceremony of the Engaging Asia Arbitration Summit. The CJI spoke on the increasing potential of India in International Commercial Arbitration in the continent and the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods by the government and the judiciary.

Find the full article on The Hindu on this link:  http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-becoming-hub-of-international-arbitration-cji/article18189439.ece



India and the European Union continue talks and trade 

The Hindu reported the visit of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union to India. It reported that this will boost ties between India and EU which were impacted by the on going Italian Marines issue.  It also reported a possible relaunch of ‘Joint working groups’ in the sector of Science & Technology and Defence.

To read more, : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-eu-likely-to-resume-talks/article18161848.ece



Mondelez India bribery case may see top guns face off in the US

The Economic Times reported that a team from the US Department of Justice may visit Mondelez India to investigate the 7-year-old bribery and corruption case against Mondelez Inc under the USForeign Corrupt Practices Act regime, against each other, since one of them left the department and has been hired by Mondelez to fight the case.
Read the details of the case on The Economic Times http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/probe-into-seven-year-old-mondelez-india-bribery-case-likely-to-conclude-by-month-end/articleshow/58287616.cms



Eight women’s panels seek stringent law on sham marriages by NRI’s

WebIndia123 reported that Women Commissions from 8 States of the country got together and insisted on a stricter law on the issue of sham marriages by Non Resident Indian bridegrooms at a national seminar organised jointly by the Punjab State Commission for Women and the National Commission for Women.

Find the full article on Webindia123 http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20170420/3096774.html



Outsourcing Woes: Indian IT firms facing more US lawsuits with changing business environment

There is a worrying trend in  lawsuits against Indian IT firms over alleged breaches of contract and delayed service delivery in the outsourcing and IT sectors.  This report by the Business Standard analyses the effect of changing dynamics on business leading to the increase in lawsuits against Indian Companies and Corporates in this sector.

Read the full article on Business Standard http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/indian-it-firms-face-more-lawsuits-with-changing-business-environment-117042100453_1.html

Navy man held in psychiatry ward for exposing corruption

A Navy sailor’s wife has alleged that that her husband was wrongly diagnosed with psychiatric problems and forcefully admitted in the psychiatric ward at the naval hospital Sanjivini in Kochi as he had levelled corruption charges against his seniors at INS Kattabomman naval base in Tirunelveli.

“My husband, Sunil Kumar Sahu, who is a SWA-3 rank officer at naval base INS Kattabomman, had complained about corruption and dishonesty of officers here. He had informed the same to the commanding officer at INS Kattabomman, who is also the chief vigilance officer. Continue reading

Modi govt continues UPA’s ‘disingenuity’ on offshore black money

Over three years ago, the Supreme Court had described as “disingenuous” the then UPA government’s argument, now being parroted by the Narendra Modi government, that the “confidentiality” clause in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Germany came in the way of disclosing names of those who had parked their black money in Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank. Continue reading

Black money: Jethmalani slams govt stand in Supreme Court

Continuing with his tirade against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, particularly Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, for saying that the names of alleged holders of foreign accounts having black money couldn’t be shared, Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani Friday said the government’s recent submission in Supreme Court in the matter was “ill-advised”. Continue reading

Govt appoints judge for corruption cases

The state government has appointed district sessions judge B P Deshpande as special judge to deal with corruption cases investigated and chargesheeted by the crime branch (CB) and anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in Goa.

A notification in this regard was issued by the government on October 7. Court sources said the notification had reached the CBI court at Mapusa on Wednesday morning. Judge P V Savaikar had been presiding over corruption cases at the special CBI court. Continue reading

Coal and corruption

Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, one of the founders of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), once compared the world’s fossil fuel use to “drowning in the devil’s excrement”. There is certainly plenty of evidence supporting his prediction that the fossil fuel industry, with its powerful corrupting influence, will “bring us ruin”. Indeed, coal-related corruption stories are breaking worldwide, shining a light on the murky space between “illegal” and “improper” where the extractive industries work. Continue reading

Coal Scam: CBI Registers Case Against Jindal Steel And Power

A case of alleged cheating and corruption has been registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jindal Steel and Power company relating to the probe into coal blocks allocated during 1993-2005 period.

CBI spokesperson said here on Sunday (19 October) that it is the 36th FIR in connection with its probe in the coal allocation scam. Continue reading

Corruption and the courts

If there is a larger message in the Karnataka High Court’s refusal to grant bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, it is that the judiciary will treat corruption among public servants with greater seriousness than ever before. In normal circumstances, an appeal against a four-year prison term by a person who is not expected to flee from justice may have been admitted as a matter of course and the sentence suspended without much ado. However, in the light of Supreme Court decisions describing corruption as a violation of human rights that leads to “systematic economic crimes”, and a “serious malady undermining the very health of the polity”, the High Court has chosen to place corruption cases on a different footing altogether. Continue reading

Coal scam: court summons ex-coal secy on corruption charges

A special court on Monday summoned former coal secretary, two other government officials and the directors of the Madhya Pradesh-based firm Kamal Sponge Steel and Power Limited (KSPL) to answer charges of corruption, cheating and conspiracy in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam.

While rejecting the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) closure report in the FIR against KPSL, special judge Bharat Parashar summoned HC Gupta, KSPL’s managing director Pavan Ahluwalia and senior official Amit Goyal to appear before his court on October 31. Continue reading