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Legal Updates

16th January to 31st January
{2019}
Issue 20
Hi, welcome to our legal newsletter, we publish this newsletter fortnightly.
  • Two new judges appointed to the Supreme Court
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna were elevated to the Supreme Court from the Karnataka High Court and Delhi High Court respectively. These two recommendations of the collegium invited a lot of controversy, as both of the recommendations  were not in the zone of consideration in the last few months. Moreover, Justice Khanna was 33rd in the seniority list and Justice Maheshwari has been superseded once before. Many judges of the High Court as well as the Supreme Court have vehemently criticized the decision. The collegium which recommends the names for elevation of judges is headed by the Chief Justice of India and consists of the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

Further Reading:
  1. Murali Krishnan, Breaking: Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Sanjiv Khanna appointed judges of Supreme Court, Bar & Bench (January 16, 2019).
  2. Priyanka Mittal, Supreme Court gets two new judges, Livemint.com (January19, 2019).
  3. Live Law News Network, Breaking: Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Sanjiv Khanna Sworn In As SC Judges, Khanna. J Likely To Be CJI In 2024, LiveLaw.in (January 18, 2019).
  4. Special Correspondent, Protest against collegium choice of judge for Supreme Court, The Telegraph (January 16, 2019).
  5. Ashok Bagriya, Why Supreme Court collegium elevated Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Hindustan Times (January 22, 2019).
  6. Vakasha Sachdev, How Are Judges of the Supreme Court Appointed and Removed?, The Quint (April 27, 2018).
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code constitutionally valid: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The Court was deciding the challenge against various provisions of the Code. Particularly related to the inequal treatment between the financial and operational creditors, where operational creditors do not receive voting rights during the formation of the resolution plan. However, the Court held that there was no discrimination since the financial creditors have employees trained to assess the viability and feasibility of the resolution plan. The Court further said that this was necessary since the Code was a beneficial legislation made to help the corporate debtor get back on its feet.

Further Reading:
  1. Arpan Chaturvedi and Mahima Kapoor, IBC: Supreme Court Upholds Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code In Its Entirety, Bloomberg Quint (January 25, 2019).
  2. Interpreting the Code: Corporate Insolvency in India, Ernst Young (January 2017).
  3. Ashwin Bishnoi and Rohit Ambast, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: The journey so far, LiveMint (January 26, 2018).
  4. Kapil Sibal, Reform that isn’t, The Indian Express (September 13, 2018).
  5. Analysis, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 - Key Highlights, Trilegal (June 25, 2018).
  6. Scroll Staff, Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code ‘in its entirety’, Scroll (January 25, 2019).
  • Multiple HCs dismiss the TRAI tariff order, while some are yet to decide
The Calcutta HC vacated a stay on the TRAI tariff order mandating that television channels on a-la-carte basis, while also setting the maximum retail price of channels. The challenge was against a default clause for revenue sharing. Similar challenges have been dismissed by the HCs of Kerala and Madras, while Bombay and Telangana HCs have yet to give their decisions. The Delhi High Court  has listed the case for 8 February, 2019. The tariff had been previously challenged for not being clear on discount caps. The Supreme Court said on January 3rd of this year that there would be no restrictions on allowing discounted pricing on channel bouquets (channel packs).

Further Reading:
  1. PTI, TV bill may go up for most users due to TRAI tariff order, says Crisil, Business Times (February 4, 2019).
  2. Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, TRAI tariff order: Supreme Court respite for broadcasters, Hindu Business Line (January 03, 2019).
  3. Priyanka Richi, Does TRAI’s new tariff order really benefit customers? Stakeholders weigh in, The News Minute (February 01, 2019).
  4. Kinjal Kirit Shah, Cable TV to cost less: TRAI’s tariff order allows you to choose cable channels, Financial Express (January 02, 2019).
  5. Urvi Malvania, TRAI gives a month to enforce tariff order, outlines a migration plan, Business Standard (December 29, 2018).
  6. Gaurav Laghate, TRAI tariff order: Supreme Court dismisses Star India’s plea; upholds Madras HC order, Economic Times (October 30, 2018).
  • Supreme Court decides on the validity of law restricting dance bars in Maharashtra
Deciding the issue which has been pending for over 13 years now, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, which imposes restrictions on the functioning of dance bars in Maharashtra. However, it struck down some provisions which, according to the court, made the law unconstitutional and constituted an unnecessary check on freedom of the people to choose their profession under Article 19(1)(g). The Court also considered the fundamental right of equality of the bar dancers and owners under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Further Reading:
  1. Varun Nambiar, India Supreme Court eases restrictions on Mumbai dance bars, Jurist (January 18, 2019).
  2. Express News Service, Supreme Court paves way for reopening Mumbai dance bars, The New Indian Express (January 18, 2019).
  3. Ashok Kini, Breaking: There Cannot Be A Total Prohibition Of Dance Bars In Maharashtra;SC Relaxes Stringent Conditions For Licence, LiveLaw.in (January 17, 2019).
  4. Anupama Katakam and Tanveer Kaur, Mumbai’s legendary dance bars can make a comeback, Frontline (January 19, 2019).
  5. Scroll Staff, Ban on dance bars: ‘It seems like total moral policing is going on,’ SC tells Maharashtra government, Scroll.in (August 9, 2018).
  • No-deal Brexit rejected by UK Parliament
The United Kingdom House of Commons on January 15 rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan of withdrawing from the EU. If no other alternative is found, then the UK may have to leave without a deal. A no-deal Brexit would mean relying on international instruments to regulate the relations between the EU and the UK, for example rules made by the World Trade Organisation would be used to handle business transactions between them. The failure of this proposal could extend the date of departure for Brexit. In the meantime, the European Court of Justice ruled that UK must continue to accept asylum seeks till Brexit becomes official.

Further Reading:
  1. Associated Press, Theresa May’s Brexit deal rejected 432-202 in UK Parliament, LiveMint (January 16, 2019).
  2. Peter Walker, No-deal Brexit: No 10 refuses to say MPs will see full impact analysis, The Guardian (August 28, 2018).
  3. Jennifer Rankin, No quick fix for citizen rights under no-deal Brexit, says EU official, The Guardian (February 06, 2019).
  4. Charles Gallmeyer, EU court: UK must continue to accept asylum seekers until Brexit is official, Jurist (January 23, 2019).
  5. Tom Finn, Brighter future for sterling seen if no-deal Brexit is averted, CNBC (January 15, 2019).
  6. Jess Shankleman and Tim Ross, No-Deal Brexit Could Wipe 10.7% Off U.K. Economy Over 15 Years, Bloomberg (November 28, 2018).
  7. Vidya Ram, News analysis: After May's defeat, the risk of a no-deal Brexit looms large, The Hindu (January 16, 2019).
We thank Bhavisha Sharma and Vishal Rakhecha for their assistance in collating the data, and Benjamin Vanlalvena for designing this newsletter.
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