An essential principle of criminal law is that the trial of an offence should take place in the presence of the accused. This principle has been embodied in Section 273 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“CrPC”), which provides, as a general rule, that all evidence taken in the course of trial shall be taken in presence of the accused. While it cannot be denied that such a rule is mainly for the protection of the interest of the accused, CrPC has provisions allowing courts the discretion, in certain circumstances, to exempt an accused from personal appearance. However, exemption from personal appearance is not available to an accused as a matter of right; and is subject to the discretion of the Court.Continue Reading Can an accused be granted exemption from personal appearance? -Understanding Section 205 and 317 of the code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
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The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Code’) recognises two types of debts — financial and operational– to enable the creditors to make an application for initiating insolvency proceedings against a corporate debtor. A financial creditor and an operational creditor can initiate a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (‘CIRP’) under Section 7 and Section 9 of the Code, respectively. If there is a debt, other than a financial debt or an operational debt, the creditor will not qualify to apply under Sections 7 or 9 of the Code, as the case may be. Therefore, it becomes important to determine the nature of debt/claim while considering the application of an admission under the Code.
Continue Reading Lease and Rentals: Are these Operational Debt under the IBC?
The High Court of Delhi (“Delhi HC”) in its recent judgment in the case of Arjun Ahluwalia and Ors v Air India Limited (“Arjun v Air India”) gave a ruling in favour of Air India’s pilots, who were seeking withdrawal of resignations and reinstatement of terminated employees. The Delhi HC passed a common judgment (“Judgment”) in the distinct writ petitions filed by pilots who are permanent employees (“PE”) and pilots working as full-time equivalent (“FTEs”) under fixed term contracts (collectively, “Employees” or “Petitioners”) as their petitions dealt with several common issues. The Judgment distils the principles applicable to resignations under service law and opines on the validity of financial constraint as a ground for termination of employees in State operated companies.
Continue Reading Withdrawal of resignation valid, until effected – Delhi High Court rules
Since the introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code/IBC”), the courts and tribunals in India have had to constantly assess the application of the Code vis-à-vis other central and state legislations in light of the non-obstante clause under Section 238 of the Code. The courts have time and again reiterated that the Code would have an overriding effect over other legislations to the extent of being repugnant to the matters exhaustively dealt with under the Code. The courts have re-affirmed the primacy of the Code based on the premise that the IBC is a ‘complete and consolidated code in itself.’ For example, in Innoventive Industries Ltd. vs. ICICI Bank and Ors. (“Innoventive”), the Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the primacy of the Code over the Maharashtra Relief Undertakings (Special Provisions) Act, 1958 and in Directorate of Enforcement vs. Manoj Kumar Agarwal & Ors (“Manoj Kumar Agarwal case”), the Hon’ble National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (“NCLAT”) noted that the provisions of the Code shall override the attachment of the properties of the Corporate Debtor under Sections 5 and 8 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Continue Reading Karnataka High Court’s Judgment in Dreamz Infra India Limited v. Competent Authority: Yet another manifestation of primacy of the IBC
The Delhi High Court in the Interdigital Technology Corporation & Ors. v. Xiaomi Corporation & Ors. case granted an anti-enforcement injunction against an anti-suit injunction obtained in a foreign jurisdiction. Xiaomi on June 9, 2020, filed an SEP royalty rate-setting suit in the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court (“Wuhan Court”) to determine global FRAND rates to obtain SEP licences across the world. Thereafter, on September 23, 2020, Xiaomi obtained an anti-suit injunction (“ASI”) from the Wuhan Court, restraining Interdigital from proceeding with their July 2020 suit before the Delhi High Court that sought the following reliefs: a) To injunct Xiaomi from infringing its 3G and 4G Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and b) Declaration of FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) pricing terms for the six Indian patents in question, provided that Xiaomi should elect to execute a licence in lieu of the aforesaid injunction. Interdigital in this suit sought relief from the Court to not only indemnify it from the costs handed down by the Wuhan Court’s order, but also that it not be enforced.
Continue Reading ‘Frandly’ Relations: Indian Courts Can Grant Anti-Enforcement Injunctions when Foreign Courts Issue Anti-Suit Injunctions to Deny its Competent Jurisdiction (Xiaomi V. Interdigital)
The Supreme Court’s pro-insolvency stance continues. With three recent rulings in a period of one month, the Supreme Court has clearly indicated that, so far as possible within the contours of the Limitation Act, a debt will continue to be alive and an action basis such debt will be maintainable under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Insolvency Code”) against a defaulting borrower.
Continue Reading Limitation Act is to be made applicable ‘as far as may be possible’ to Insolvency Code
As the Insolvency regime in India builds its new course under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘Insolvency Code’), numerous issues of application have arisen and will continue to grapple the corridors of the insolvency courts. One of the concerns is the interaction between debt enforcement/ execution procedures and the Insolvency Code. Insolvency Code allows operational creditors to initiate insolvency proceedings against a debtor, with a valid proof of undisputed claim. Form 5 of the IBBI (Application to Adjudication Authority) Rules, 2016, under which an Operational Creditor makes an application for initiation of insolvency process, considers a court decree or an arbitration award adjudicating on the default as a valid evidence of default to support insolvency commencement. The all-encompassing term ‘Arbitration Award’ includes both domestic awards and foreign awards. While the domestic awards are per se enforceable before the civil courts, unless stayed in a challenge before the court, and no distinct process for enforcement needs to be complied with under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Arbitration Act’), foreign awards must follow a procedure of recognition, prior to being considered as enforceable before Indian courts. The Rules, however, shed no light on issues such as, at what stage the arbitration awards are eligible to be presented before the insolvency courts for insolvency commencement.
Continue Reading Enforcement of Arbitration Awards via Insolvency Proceedings: A Contrary Perspective
The issue of whether simplicitor orders terminating an arbitral proceeding is an award under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”), has been a question that has been plaguing various Courts in India for a while now. The issue is crucial in nature, as it determines the remedy of a party aggrieved by such an order. While some Courts have taken the view that such an order is an award appealable under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act, others have not. This ambiguity is a cause of concern for litigants since it delays the entire time bound arbitral process intended under the Arbitration Act and leaves the litigant in a lurch. However, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (“Delhi HC”) in PCL SUNCON v National Highway Authority of India (“PCL SUNCON Case”) has addressed this issue and cleared the said ambiguity to a great extent.
Continue Reading All Orders terminating proceedings are not Awards: Delhi HC sets the record straight
It has been an active month for the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”/ “IBC”). On one hand, the legislature has inserted a new chapter into the Code providing for pre-packed insolvency resolution process for micro, small or medium enterprises (“MSMEs”) to ease and fast track the resolution for the stressed MSMEs, while on the other hand, Courts through various landmark decisions have upheld the primacy of the Code which will play a significant role in boosting the confidence of the stakeholders, particularly the creditors and the resolution applicants, in the sanctity of the corporate insolvency resolution process (“CIR Process”).
Continue Reading Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: Re-affirming its primacy over the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
The conflict between Insolvency and Arbitration is almost of near polar extremes. The difference in focus of the two was well illustrated in Re United States Lines Inc as a:
“… conflict of near polar extremes: bankruptcy policy exerts an inexorable pull towards centralization while arbitration policy advocates a decentralized approach towards dispute resolution”.
Thus, while insolvency/ bankruptcy aims to centralise all the proceedings against a debtor to one jurisdiction and give rise to a proceeding in rem (against the world at large) thereby creating third party rights for all creditors of the debtor, arbitration on the other hand advocates a decentralised approach and promotes party autonomy in dispute resolution resulting in a proceeding in personam (against a particular person).
Continue Reading Does NCLT has power to refer parties to Arbitration in an in rem insolvency proceeding?