The Indian merger control regime is a suspensory one which means that, any acquisition, merger or amalgamation that is notifiable to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) may be consummated only after the CCI grants approval, or until a certain waiting period has lapsed.

Section 6(2) of the Competition Act (Act), provides that when an enterprise proposes to enter into a combination, it is required to give a notice to the CCI, disclosing the details of the proposed combination, within 30 days of executing the ‘trigger document’. Further, Section 6(2A) of the Act provides that no combination shall come into effect until 210 days have passed from the day on which the notice has been given or unless the CCI passes orders under Section 31 of the Act, whichever is earlier. In sum, the suspensory regime is an absolute one. Combinations cannot be consummated, in part or full, before either the CCI grants approval or until 210 days post the notification. Continue Reading Part Consummation of M&A Transactions: The Rhetoric of Gun Jumping

Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The real estate sector is the backbone of the Indian economy, as it largely contributes to its growth. But despite its major influence, it has always been disorganised, inefficient and lacked transparency, which has to a degree diminished stakeholder confidence in real estate. To address this, change in legislation as well as implementation of a specialised regulator was critical to bring uniformity and transparency in the relevant laws governing this sector.

The Government of India enacted the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (Act) on May 1, 2016, inter alia, to address any shortcomings and overcome the difficulties surrounding this sector. It aims to ensure transparency, accountability, standardisation and consistency by regulating the sale of real estate and timely completion of projects. Continue Reading Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act, 2016

In August of 2016, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) passed an order in the case of Builder’s Association of India (2016 Order) predominantly re-affirming its earlier order of June 2012 in the same matter (2012 Order).

By way of a brief background, the case originated from a complaint filed in 2010 by the Builders Association of India (BAI) against the Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) and 11 Indian cement manufacturing companies[1] (collectively, the Opposite Parties). In June 2012, based on an inquiry conducted by it, the CCI imposed a penalty of INR 63.17 billion (approximately USD 933.68 million[2]) on the Opposite Parties. This penalty was imposed for using the platform provided by the CMA to fix cement prices as well as limit and control production and supply of cement in the market, thereby contravening the relevant provisions the Competition Act, 2002 (Act). This 2012 Order was challenged before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), primarily on grounds of due process and violations of principles of natural justice and was set aside on these grounds. The matter was remanded to the CCI for fresh adjudication. Consequently, the CCI re-heard the Opposite Parties and passed the 2016 Order. Continue Reading The Curious Case of the Cement Cartel

The Office of the Director General (DG), being the investigative arm of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has conducted two search and seizure operations thus far. The first of these, more popularly known as dawn raids, was on the offices of JCB India Limited (JCB India) on 22 September 2014. More recently, the DG carried out a dawn raid on the premises of Eveready Industries Limited (Eveready), a leading dry cell manufacturer.

Dawn raids such as these signify the resolve of the CCI to actively conduct intrusive operations to enforce the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act). In light of such a pro-active approach, and given that the DG enjoys wide (and mostly untested) powers whilst conducting such operations, companies in India must be aware of what they should do in the course of a dawn raid to contain the consequences and fallout. Continue Reading CCI Dawn Raids – How to Act and Contain Operations

On 31 August 2016, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed an information under Section 26(2) filed against M/s ANI Technologies Private Limited (Ola Cabs) in the case of Mr. Vilakshan Kr. Yadav and Ors v. M/s ANI Technologies Private Limited[1] alleging abuse of dominance, in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act).

The information was filed with the CCI by a group of auto rickshaw and taxi drivers plying their trade in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The informants argued that the relevant product market should be defined as “paratransit services” comprising auto rickshaws, black-yellow taxis and city taxis given that all of these are used for point-to-point travel by passengers and, thus, compete within the same space. Further, according to the informants, the drivers for all these modes of transportation are drawn from the same pool. The informants asserted the relevant geographical market to be the NCR comprising Delhi and certain districts of three states namely, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This was based on an agreement that was signed by the respective governments of these four states to issue permits for auto rickshaws and taxis providing unrestricted movement within the NCR. Continue Reading “Smooth” Driving For Ola – CCI Closes Investigation Under 26(2)

Through this short post, we seek to examine the current downtrend in oil prices, and what it means from an Indian context. As in any downtrend, the intent ought to be to maximise opportunities and isolate effects of any threats and the author accordingly seeks to analyse how these threats may be turned into opportunities. This short piece further examines how, despite the usual market rhetoric, India could position itself to take advantage of the current downturn.

 Global Response

In the wake of the downtrend, the immediate response of global exploration and production (E&P) companies was to hold off large capital investments in new projects and capital-intensive exploration activities. These decisions now stand vindicated as barrel prices have hovered around the US$45-50 mark. Several of the big companies made retrenchments and streamlined costs across the supply chain. Continue Reading Opportunities for India in Current Downtrend of Oil Prices

On August 11, 2016, the Government of India (GoI) introduced the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill) in the Parliament. The Bill was introduced to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Act) – the Act, as many may be aware, is the legislation to provide certain benefits to women in the context of pregnancy. The Act is applicable to factories, mines and plantations as well as to every ‘shop and establishment’ (a statutory term that would ordinarily cover various organizations in the private sector with an office/place of business in India) in which ten or more persons, are/ were, employed, on any day over the preceding twelve months.

On September 11, 2008, the GoI introduced the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission relating to enhancement of the amount of maternity leave and introduced child care leave in respect of central government employees. Effectively this resulted in increase in maternity leave and child care leave. Separately, several companies in the private sector introduced more beneficial provisions for female employees including better maternity leave than the Act provided. However, the Act did not introduce any changes in line with the changing needs of working women /mothers which the Bill intends to address.
Continue Reading Maternity Benefit Law : Key Developments

The power of judicial review enables the judiciary to determine the constitutional validity of legislative and/or executive actions, possibly making them subject to invalidation.

The power of judicial review by Tribunals was examined and decided by the Supreme Court in S.P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India and in the subsequent case of L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India. After the decision in Sampath Kumar case divergent views were taken by various benches of the Supreme Court. The matter was therefore referred to a seven judge bench of the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar.

Continue Reading Power of Judicial Review by the National Green Tribunal

On July 11, 2016, the President of the Queen’s Bench accorded final approval to the second Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) entered into by the Serious Fraud Office of the UK (SFO). Through this short post, we seek to examine the DPA, what such approval of the DPA means and its significance for UK owned/based companies in India (Indco) that are subject to the provisions of the UK Bribery Act, 2010 (UKBA).

Continue Reading UK SFO’s Second DPA: Implications for Indian Companies

The Law Commission of India’s report of August 2014 on the Indian Arbitration Act mentions that amendments are being suggested to the Arbitration Act to provide a “stable business environment and strong commitment to the rule of law, based on predictable and efficient systems of resolution of disputes.”

Amendments to the Indian Arbitration Act, 1996 were passed by both Houses of Parliament and assented to by the President on December 31, 2015. These amendments apply to all arbitral proceedings commenced on or after October 23, 2015 but parties can agree to even apply these amendments to proceedings commenced before the Amendment Act.

Continue Reading India and International Arbitration: Prospects