Orders and Judgments Duration April 23, 2021 – May 07, 2021

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

KURT VONNEGUT

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  • PASL Wind Solutions Pvt. Limited v. GE Power Conversion India Pvt. Limited
    Nothing Stands in the way of party autonomy in designating a Seat of Arbitration outside India-20 April 2021
    The Supreme Court has held that two companies incorporated in India can choose a forum for arbitration outside India. The question before the Court was: Whether or not two companies incorporated in India can choose a forum for arbitration outside India – and whether or not an award made at such forum outside India, to which the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958 [“New York Convention”] applies, can be said to be a “foreign award” under Part II of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”) and be enforceable as such. A three-judge bench has held: “Nothing stands in the way of party autonomy in designating a seat of arbitration outside India even when both parties happen to be Indian nationals. ” The Supreme Court did not agree with the submission of the petitioners that two Indian parties cannot designate a seat of arbitration outside India as doing so would be contrary to section 23 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. The bench also did not agree with the submission that by designating a seat outside India, it is open to two Indian parties to opt out of the substantive law of India, which itself would be contrary to the public policy of India. “Even in the absence of any designation of which rules will apply to the substance of the dispute, which dispute pertains to transactions concluded in India and breach thereof, the substantive law of India will be applied by the arbitrator in accordance with the conflict of law rules of the country in which the arbitration takes place,” the bench said. The Court also clarified that where the law of India prohibits a certain act, the conflict of law rules as set down in Dicey’s authoritative treatise will take care of this situation in most cases as the arbitrators would then apply these rules on the ground of international comity between nations in cases which arise between two Indian nationals in an award made outside India, which would fall within the definition of “foreign award” under Section 44 of the 1996 Act.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pasl-wind-solutions-private-limited-vs-ge-power-conversion-india-private-limited-392179.pdf

COMPETITION & UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE

  • Whatsapp Llc v. Competition Commission of India & Anr.
    Delhi High Court dismisses Facebook, WhatsApp pleas against CCI order to investigate privacy policy-22 April 2021
    The Delhi High Court has dismissed plea of instant messaging app WhatsApp challenging a decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) calling for an investigation into its controversial new privacy policy. WhatsApp had contended that since the issue of its privacy policy was before the Supreme Court, the CCI did not need to order the probe.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/94382510/

CORPORATE

  • National Plywood Industries Ltd. v. JSVM Plywood Industries Ltd. & Anr.
    High Court not to use Inherent power to undermine statutory dictate under Sections 14 and 17 IBC-22 April 2021
    The Supreme Court has ruled that the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should not be used to undermine statutory dictate under Sections 14 and 17 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2021/4492/4492_2021_34_1501_27756_Judgement_22-Apr-2021.pdf
  • Axis Ispat Pvt. Limited v. Union of India' An opportunity of being heard shall be provided to a Company during Investigation by Registrar under Companies Act-7 April 2021The Delhi High Court held that the Registrar may call for information, inspect books, conduct inquiries, but only after informing the company of the allegations and giving an opportunity of being heard. The Petitioner, Axis Ispat Private Limited, filed a petition seeking quashing of the 37 show cause notices, dated 28th January 2021, issued against the Petitioner, by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Union of India, under various sections of the Companies Act, 2013. A further prayer of the Petitioner is for the quashing of the letter dated 18th March 2019, vide which, an inspection of the books of accounts and other statutory records of the Petitioner company under section 206(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 was sought for by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. “There is no doubt that under Section 207 of the Companies Act, 2013, statements of the Directors of the company have been recorded. However, under these circumstances, the Petitioner ought to be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard. In the present case, preliminary findings were issued in September 2020, and owing to the belated reply, the authorities have proceeded further, to issue the said show cause notices and it is not clear if the reply submitted was considered or not,” the court said.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/77978499/

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • Xv. Union of India & Ors.
    Delhi High Court Sets Guidelines for Online Content Removal-20 April 2021
    The Delhi High Court has laid down guidelines to be followed by courts while dealing with cases related to removal of objectionable content from the internet to ensure that access to such offensive material is restricted at the earliest and it is not re-posted anywhere else by others.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/ajb20042021crlw10822020142528-392161.pdf
  • Kishor TaroneuState of Maharasthra & Ors.
    WhatsApp group admin not liable for objectionable post by other member-22 April 2021
    An administrator of a WhatsApp group cannot be held criminally liable for an objectionable post by another member of the group, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has held and quashed a case of sexual harassment lodged against a 33-year-old man. Noting the functioning of the messaging service app, the court said, "Group administrators, as they are generally called, are the ones who create the group by adding or deleting members. Every chat group has one or more administrators." A group administrator has only limited power of removing a member from the group or adding other members to the group, it said. "Once the group is created, the functioning of the administrator and that of the members is at par with each other, except the power of adding or deleting members to the group," the court said. "The administrator of a WhatsApp group does not have the power to regulate, moderate or censor the content before it is posted on the group," the HC said. But, if a member of the group posts any content, which is actionable under law, such a person can be held liable, the court said. "In the absence of a special penal provision creating vicarious liability, an administrator of a WhatsApp group cannot be held liable for objectionable content posted by a member of a group unless it is shown that there was common intention or pre-arranged plan," the court said in its order.
    The Judgement can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/whatsapp-392422.pdf

LAW OF LIMITATION

  • Supreme Court Order dt. 27 April 2021
    Supreme Court Restores Order Extending Limitation; Period From 14.03.2021 Excluded From Computing Limitation Period Until Further Orders
    The Supreme Court this week extended limitation period for the filing of cases in courts and tribunals with effect from 14.03.2021 until further orders in view of the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic. The Court said the COVID19 second wave has created an "alarming situation" and has put the litigants in a "difficult situation". The bench extended all periods of limitation ending on 14.03.2021 until further orders, by restoring the order passed on March 23, 2020, which had extended the limitation period. The period from 14.03.2021 will stand excluded from computing the limitation period under all special and general laws.
    This order can be accessed at:
    https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/sclimitationcovid2nd-wave27042021order-392573.pdf

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