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Future of Virtual Currencies in India: A Critical Analysis of Internet and Mobile Association of Ind

[Mahima Nair and Threcy Lawrence are third year students at National Law University, Delhi.] The monumental leap in technology has taken over the commercial sector with the advent of cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology. Still a nascent innovation in its formative years, the promise that it holds and its global outreach is worth mentioning. The question that most countries are grappling with at this juncture is whether or not such technology should be incorporated into our commercial lives. As far as India is concerned, traditional monetary instruments as well as institutions have governed its fiscal policies for centuries. With the introduction of virtual currency (VC), how can a re

The Halliburton Case: Delhi High Court Reopens the Debate over Encashment of Bank Guarantee

[Ajay Sharma and Nikhil Gupta are students at National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.] In M/s Halliburton Offshore Services Inc. v. Vedanta Limited (Halliburton), a single judge of the Delhi High Court passed an ad-interim injunction order, restraining Vedanta Ltd. (Respondent) from the invocation and encashment of bank guarantees which were furnished by Halliburton Offshore Service Inc (Petitioner). While passing the order, the court observed that the country-wide lockdown, which came into effect from 24 March 2020 was prima facie in the nature of force majeure event. In addition to that, it also observed that the unprecedented lockdown due to COVID-19 creates special equities

Indian FDI Policy Changes: Can the Indo-China BIT Protect?

[Divyansh Sharma is a student at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.] Following the recent shift towards protectionism adopted by multiple countries in light of COVID-19, India has also jumped the bandwagon by seeking to regulate foreign inflows. In a press note, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade stated that an entity from a country sharing its land border with India or where the beneficial owner of investment into India may be situated in these countries ‘can invest only under the Government route’, i.e., with prior state consent. The stated objective behind this is to curb potential opportunistic takeovers of Indian companies at throwaw

Competition (Amendment) Bill 2020 and a Failure to Address Effects-Based Approach towards Abuse of D

[Prerna Raturi is a student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.] On 12 February 2020, the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) introduced the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Bill). The Bill is a result of the recommendations made by Mr. Injeti Srinivas-headed Competition Law Review Committee (CLRC) in its report. The Bill indeed encompasses various debated issues pertinent to the Indian competition regime and has accordingly proposed changes in the Competition Act 2002 (Act). Despite this attempt, there are certain issues that require reform but remain unaddressed in the Bill. Thus, in view of these unresolved concerns, the Bill seems to have left a scope for improvement. One of such conc

Case against Suspension of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code amidst COVID-19 Lockdown

[Arnav Sinha is a fifth-year student at ILS Law College, Pune.] The Government of India has recently cleared a proposal to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC) in order to add a new section-Section 10A. This proposal is currently awaiting the President’s approval. This move aims to act as a one-time measure specifically designed for the current COVID-19 pandemic to provide relief to companies facing an insolvency crisis due to factors attributable to the pandemic. Section 10A shall remain in force for 6 months or a year depending on the requirement but the term shall not exceed a year. In effect, section 10A would suspend the operation of Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC, essen

Tel-Hounds on Your Trail: Analysing Potential Objections to Resolution Plans in the Telecom Sector

[Pooja Shankar is an Associate at Trilegal.] The telecom sector in India has been wrought with financial difficulty. This has been attributable to several issues ranging from sustaining the capital-intensive requirements of a telecom company, including periodical payments of various fees and charges to the government, to competing with fresh market entrants employing predatory strategies. Aircel Limited (Aircel) and its associate companies were admitted into corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) on 12 March 2018, and the resolution plans submitted by UV Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (UVARC) were approved by the committee of creditors on 13 May 2019. The resolution plans were

The COVID-19 Impact on the Securities Market: Mergers and Acquisitions in Pandemic Times

[Tanishka Goswami is a student at National Law University, Delhi.] The COVID-19 pandemic has locked down mergers and acquisitions (M&A) across the globe. For the first time since September 2004, no M&A transaction worth more than $1 billion has been announced anywhere in the world. Globally, airlines have lost about 19% in worldwide passenger revenue ($113 billion), prompting a sharp reduction in fare prices. The much-awaited privatization of India’s second-largest oil refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp., has also been delayed due to revenue estimates declining by $2 billion. In these times, market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) relaxed compliance norms pertaining to shareho

Changes to FDI Policy: A Knee Jerk Reaction or a Well-Planned Strategy?

[Anirudh Agrawal is a student at NALSAR University of Law.] The government has revised the Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy through Press Note 3 (Press Note 3) with the primary intention of curbing hostile or opportunistic takeovers of distressed Indian companies. The Press Note 3 has introduced restrictions on FDI from the countries sharing land borders with India by mandating prior approval of the government. The prior approval will also be required for transactions where the beneficial owner of the investment, is directly or indirectly from the country sharing land border with India. The route adopted by the government has been inspired from developed countries includin

Revision in Para 3.1.1. - Do the Recent Foreign Direct Investment Norms Test ‘Positive’?

[Ayush Mehta and Navya Bhandari are students at National Law University, Jodhpur.] Recently, Donald Trump was heard accusing China of “spreading” the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of late, there are sources which show that China initially hid information about the virus, which arguably strengthen the claim that it is a Chinese virus. COVID-19 has changed all dimensions of business, making it all the more uncertain. With crashing markets, stagnant growth and job layoffs, the global economy is hard hit. Among such business uncertainties, it seems that China has emerged as the winner. The strength of this statement lies in the fact that while nations all over the world are at an all-time low, t

Unraveling the Dilemma of Application of Amended Section 29A of Arbitration and Conciliation Act 199

[Anshika Sharma and Khyati Mehrotra are students at ILS Law College, Pune.] Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (Act) was introduced by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015 (2015 Amendment) to achieve the object of establishing a speedy remedial mechanism in alternative dispute resolution. This provision imposed a time limit for rendering an arbitral award. However, to combat the issue of excessive litigations for extending time period under this provision, Section 29A was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019 (2019 Amendment), and the time limit for rendering the award was extended. Whether Section 29A could be applied retrosp

Force Majeure Clauses in a Post COVID–19 World

[Shivek Endlaw is a student at Amity Law School, Delhi.] The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdown has had a major impact on domestic businesses. Due to these unforeseeable circumstances, both - businesses which need to perform contractual obligations and businesses expecting performance under time-bound contracts - are facing difficulty. To prevent such a situation in the future, parties to a contract should incorporate a force majeure clause in their contract. In this post, I will discuss a few factors to be kept in mind to draft a comprehensive and well-structured force majeure clause A force majeure clause is normally used to describe a contractual term by which on

Delhi High Court's Perspective on Retrospective Application of Sections 23(4) and 29(4) of the A

[Piyush Agrawal and Sunil Singh are students at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.] On 23 January 2020, the single bench of Delhi High Court in Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited v. Jindal India Thermal Power Limited,[1] ruled that Section 29A(1) and Section 23(4) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (Arbitration Act) has retrospective application. In another case,[2] the single bench of Delhi High Court on 10 February 2020 ruled that Section 29A will not apply to arbitration proceedings commenced before and pending as on the date of the amendment and hence will apply prospectively. The court through its present ruling has resurrected the debate on whether Section

Most Favored Nation Clauses: What is the Way Ahead?

[Kritika Dobhal is a student at National Law University, Jodhpur.] Recently, on an information filed by Treebo Hotels, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) formed a prima facie opinion of abuse of dominance against Make My Trip (MMT) and contravention of Section 3(4) of Competition Act 2002 (Act) against Oravel Stays Private Limited (OYO) and MMT. Treebo submitted that MMT has denied market access by delisting Treebo’s partner hotels from its platform and this delisting was a result of vertical arrangement between OYO and MMT. This case follows the information filed by Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), and the CCI has clubbed both the investigations. One

Indian Supreme Court Settles the Seat-Venue-Place Conundrum

[Muskan Arora is a student at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.] The choice of a seat of arbitration and venue of hearings are quite important considerations amongst the various choices parties to arbitration agreements have to make. In fact, many major jurisdictions, including India, are competing to be chosen as the seat as for them is a step ahead in placing them on the map of being an arbitration friendly jurisdiction. The juridical seat of arbitration, as a concept, did not find a place in the much-criticized Arbitration Act of 1940. Significant importance was afforded to the juridical seat of arbitration under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (199

Government Route for Investor Neighbours in Revised FDI Policy

[Shivani Shenoy and Yashwardhan Rajawat are students at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.] On 17 April 2020, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry published Press Note No. 3 (Press Note), by virtue of which, the DPIIT revised the Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI Policy) on investment via the automatic route by entities residing in countries sharing land borders with India. Former position Prior to the release of the Press Note, all non-resident entities could invest in India under the automatic route, by simply informing the Reserve Bank of India after having made the investment under the Consolidated FDI Policy 2017. H

Corporate Social Responsibility in view of COVID-19: Confusions and Challenges

[Nikunj Baheti is a third-year student at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow.] With the outbreak of COVID-19 and considering lack of substantial funds with the government to deal with the same, there is a need for private individuals and corporate houses to utilize their resources in order to tackle such a situation. In lieu of the same, the government has come up with various incentives related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) so as to allocate the CSR funds towards healthcare and other related facilities required during the crisis. In this article, the author analyses the various aspects of CSR in the light of COVID-19 outbreak which has been declared as a pand

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