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A three judge bench of the Supreme Court of India consisting of CJI and Justices Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra expressed concern over the absence of a prescriptive time limit in the Arbitration Act for filing application under section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.
The court was examining whether the Limitation Act of 1963 was applicable to applications for appointment of arbitrators under section 11(6) and concluded that in absence of a time limit prescribed in the Arbitration Act 1996,recourse is to be taken to Limitation Act of 1963 which prescribes a Limitation period of 3 years from the date when the cause of action arose.
The court urged the Parliament to amend the law to fill “the legislative vacumn ” resulting from absence of a time limit in the Arbitration Act for filing application under section 11(6) of the Act. The Court also noted that the Limitation period of 3 years was unduly long and goes against the spirit of the Arbitration Act which emphasizes expeditious disposal of commercial disputes in a time bound manner.

In State of Rajasthan v. Swarn Singh @ Baba criminal appeal no. 856 of 2024 the Supreme Court observed that the courts cannot issue processes under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) to compel the production of things or documents based on application made by the accused at the stage of framing of charges, The short question before the court was whether the accused could file an application for the production of things/documents in possession of prosecution at the stage of Framing of charge to exercise its right to defence before the initiation of the trial. The bench observed that the accused’s entitlement to seek an order for the production of things or documents under section 91 of Cr.P.C would ordinarily not come till the stage of defence.

In Kallu v. Union of India, the Delhi High court on Tuesday issued a notice to the central government on a public Interest Litigation challenging the constitutional validity of laws which allow manual scavenging and cleaning of sewer and septic tanks either manually or with the help of protective devices.
The petition also seeks a direction to the government to rehabilitate the workers and their family members who are engaged in sewage/septic cleaning as well as disposing of human excreta.

The supreme court in State of Uttar Pradesh and ors v. Gopal K Verma called on the Uttar Pradesh government to devise a cogent policy towards paying government lawyers on time so that they do not have to resort to litigation.
In an order passed on the 12th of feb a 2 judges bench said that forcing state lawyers to move courts for their dues was not desirable and will discourage talented lawyers from appearing for the state.

The Madras High court recently in G. Bhagavath Singh v. The commissioner of police Chennai (writ petition no. 34716 of 2023) observed that there was nothing illegal about the demand to make Tamil the official language for all communication and pleadings before the High Court. Justice N Anand Venkatesh permitted a lawyer to go on an “indefinite fast” from 24th of February until such demand is met on the condition that there would be no law-and-order problems or instances of violence due to such fast.

In a first the Delhi High Court has allowed recording of statements of United States based witnesses through video conference in an ongoing commercial suit Phillips 66 Company v Raaj Unocal Lubricants Limited. The court further stressed that the goal is not to replace the traditional method but to ensure that cross-examination via video conference replicates the rigor and thoroughness of in-person proceedings as closely as possible.

The supreme court on Monday observed in the case of Deepak Kumar & Anr. V. State of Chhattisgarh and Ors. (Criminal appeal No. 001007/2024) that the police should exercise “heightened caution” while registering a criminal case over a dispute involving unethical transactions between parties in which civil remedies are barred. The police should ensure that the parties are not resorting to criminal law remedies to achieve unscrupulous results in cases while civil remedies are barred.

The Supreme Court on Monday criticized the Central government for denying consideration of permanent commission (PC) to a woman short service appointment (SSA) officer engaged with the Indian coast Guard. Justice Chandrachud quoted.
“You speak of Nari shakti, Nari shakti; Now show it here”.

A five judge Bench of Supreme Court of India headed by CJI on 15th Feb delivered the much awaited verdict on a series of petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme ,a mechanism that enabled anonymous funding to political parties. The court held the scheme as unconstitutional and violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19A of the constitution. The court asked the SBI to stop the issuance of the bonds forthwith and also submit the details of political parties that received contributions since 12th April 2019 till date.

NCLT Delhi has held that a corporate debtor can not be absolved from liability to discharge its operatcional debt even if insurance co has made payment to the operational debtor of the claim. Further it can not be a ground to reject IBC section 9 Application. (Milan Aggrawal, suspended director of Prayag polytechnic pvt. ltd vs Saudi Basic industries ltd

A seven judge constitution Bench headed by CJI has upheld the validity of an unstamped or inadequately stamped arbitration agreement. The bench held that although the effect of not paying or insufficiently paying stamp duty renders an arbitration agreement inadmissible under the Stamp Act 1899, but it is not void ab initio and it is a curable defect. This judgement overtures the five judge Bench decision in NN Global Mercantile vs Indo unique Flames and SMS tea estates vs Chandmani tea estate Co pvt Ltd.

The Supreme Court in an important judgement (Saumya Chaurasia vs Directorate of enforcement Raipur) has called upon advocates to verify facts before making submissions in the court. The judgement authored by Justice Bela Trivedi states that though advocates settle pleadings and arguue on the instructions of their clients ,they have a bounden duty to diligently verify facts from the records of the case. It further went on to say that every party seeking Justice from a court of law is expected to make a full and correct disclosure of material facts and every advocate being an officer of the court though appearing for a particular party is required to assist the court in fairly administering Justice. It also observed that a very high standard of professionalism and legal acumen is expected from the advocates especially from designated senior advocates.

The Supreme Court of India ( Shakti Yazdani & Anr vs Jayanand Jayant Salgaonkar & others ) has delivered a judgement which will have major repercussions on succession laws .The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the nominee of shares has absolute rights to the shares of which he is the nominee or are his rights subject to laws of succession .The contention of the nominee was that as per section 72 of the companies Act 2013, he would be the sole owner of the shares. The opposing party(other legal heirs) argued that Companies Act can not determine and /or override the laws of succession. The learned judges held that the Companies Act can not be said to deal with the law of succession in any manner and that the shares acquired by way of nomination are held by the nominee as a trustee and are subject to the laws of inheritance.
However it is important to note that that The Supreme Court earlier in the case of Aruna Oswal vs Pankaj Oswal (2020) 8 succession 79 sc has held that the nominees under the Companies Act acquired absolute rights over the shares though the said decision was in relation to oppression and mismanagement and not on the issue at hand.

Delhi High court – Justice Sachin Datta has held that once a party has agreed to constitute an arbitral tribunal, it can not subsequently contest the appointment of an arbitrator on grounds of non fulfilment of pre arbitral steps .Also it was held that the procedure for appointment of an arbitrator is separate and distinct from the agreement to refer dispute to arbitration even if they are contained in the same arbitration clause.

The Supreme Court of India in a recent judgement has ruled that a DTAA can not be given effect to unless a notification under section 90 of the Income Tax Act has been issued .The notification is also mandatory to invoke MFN clause in Indian tax treaties that changes it’s laws or conditions ,that has the effect of altering the existing provisions of law. It was also held that the beneficial treatment agreed to with a third country can be applied by invoking the MFN clause only if the the third country was a member of OECD at the time of signing its treaty with India.
This ruling can impact assessments and litigation pending before various forums.

NCLT Kolkatta Bench has held that debt arising out of a foreign arbitral award does not constitute a ” Financial debt” in terms of IBC code. However the same can be treated as “Other debt” if the claim has reached finality in a foreign arbitral forum ,even if the execution is pending before the High Court
(Rishima SA investments LLC Mauritius vs Avishekh Gupta )

A five Judge Bench of The Hon’ble Supreme Court headed by the CJI while examining the validity of the “Group of companies doctrine” within the ambit of Indian Arbitration Act has held that an arbitration agreement entered by a company within a group of companies can bind the non signatory company if the surrounding facts and circumstances are such that demonstrate the common intention of both signatories and non signatory. while determining the intention of the non signatory to be a party to arbitration, the tribunal or Court can consider factors such as the relationship with the signatory parties , commonality of subject matter, composite nature of the transcation ,conduct and performance of the contract
Cox and Kings vs SAP India & Anr

The Supreme Court in the case of Tata Sons (P) Ltd vs Siva industries and Holdings Ltd has held that arbitral tribunals in international commercial arbitration are only expected to endeavour to conclude the proceedings within 12 months from the date of completion of proceedings and are not bound by the time limit which is strictly applicable to domestic arbitration and is only directory in nature for international commercial arbitration .This follows the amendment to section 29 A in 2019 amendment to the Act. Further Supreme Court also opined that the amendment to section 29A does not have the effect of conferring any rights or liabilities and accordingly would be applicable to all pending arbitral proceedings as on the effective date ie 30 Aug 2919.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in a recent judgement has held that if after due deliberation and repeated negotiations, the resolution plan has been approved by COC by a majority vote , its commercial wisdom can not be called into question or casually interfered with. The jurisdiction of the adjudicating authority and the appellate authority can not extend into entering upon the merits of a business decision made by a requisite majority of the COC in its commercial wisdom and there is no residual equity based jurisdiction in the adjudicating or appellate authority to interfere in the decision ,so long it is made in conformity with the provisions of IBC and the regulations made thereunder.
Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Amanullah.
(Ramakrishna Forgings Ltd vs RP of ACIL Ltd.)

“ Fees payable to an arbitrator has to be treated as CIRP costs and are to be considered as preferential payments.
Moratorium under Section 14of IBC does not apply to fees payable to an arbitrator.
EDAC Eng Ltd vs Industrial fans (India) pvt ltd
Madras High Court.

in a substantive move to reduce litigation, Ministry of Finance , Dept of Revenue has revised the monetary limits for filing departmental appeals before Cestat , High Courts and the Supreme Court. The revised monetary limits are Rs 2 crores for Supreme Court, Rs 1 crore for High Courts and Rs 50 lacs for CESTAT.
The withdrawal process in respect of pending appeals as per the revised limits will follow the current practice that is being followed.

NCLT Ahmedabad in a recent judgement has held that the Local Authority has no right to raise a claim against successful Resolution Applicant for the dues pertaining to the period prior to the approval of the Resolution Plan.