The Law and Legality of the Historic Demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in India

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Prime Minister Modi has taken a billion Indians by surprise after the recent demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes. As of midnight 8th November 2016, these notes have ceased to serve as legal tender in India. Why?  According to the Indian Premier, this stern measure is intended as a fatal blow to the parasitic parallel economy in India. Additionally, it aims to cut the supply lines to the funding of terrorist activities, which primarily involve the use of high denomination currency bills. While the Indian public is taking their time to digest this bitter medicine, let’s take a moment to analyze the legal status of this historic decision and to trace the history of demonetization in India. Continue reading

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This Just In: Start-ups to Enjoy Exemption from Rigorous Application of Labour Laws for Initial Three Years

Harish Adwant

The Government proposed a wide range of reforms for start-ups at the ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ Conference which was held on January 16, 2016.  India Today has reported it here and the Start-up India Action Plan of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is available here. Pursuant to this Plan, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has now officially exempted start-ups from the compliance with nine labour laws for an initial period of three years. This move is intended to promote and incentivise the start-up industry.

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This Just In: The King of Good Times Drowning under Spirits of Debt, may face asset freeze and arrest

Deepakar Livingston, Advocate, Bombay High Court
 and Ritvik M. Kukarni, IV BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

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Bad times have ensued for Mr. Vijay Mallya, widely known as the king of good times. A huge consortium of 17 banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), has moved the Debt recovery Tribunal at Bangalore seeking Vijay Mallya’s arrest. The Kingfisher owes to the SBI Consortium a whopping INR 7,800 crore in debt.  He was declared a ‘willful defaulter’ in law by SBI in November 2015. SBI has additionally sought for an order to obtain a full disclosure of Mallya’s assets and to further freeze all his assets.

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(Non-IP) Constitutionality of Rule 106B of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945

By Tanya Srivastava, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune
tanya.srivastava2003@gmail.com 

In 1994, Rule 106B was inserted vide a Notification to the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945; due to a tragedy which resulted in the loss of human lives because of the use of spurious alcohol based medicinal preparations. Continue reading

(Non-IP) The Leaked TPP Chapter on Investor State Dispute Settlement: There’s a Storm Coming

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(First Published in the Libertatem Magazine)

Ritvik M. Kulkarni, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

A new chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was leaked by WikiLeaks on March 25th 2015[1]. Through this chapter, the US wants to introduce an Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS). The TPP is a notoriously secretive trading between United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei Darussalam. According to WikiLeaks, the parties to this trading arrangement constitute 40% of the world’s GDP.

The new ISDS Chapter deals with the mechanism, procedure and principles of the settlement of claims of expropriation and other breach of obligations brought by investors of a Contracting Party against another Contracting Party.  Apart from the TPP, free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement[2] (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and bilateral free trade agreements require arbitration proceedings to be held in secret through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). This means that there will be no available precedents for future use.

The ISDS Chapter provides that an investor shall have a cause of action in case of “denial of justice”, i.e. if the investor is aggrieved by domestic courts’ decision(s). While clarifying on its stand on the adoption of ISDS, the Office of the US Trade Representative has stated that a “neutral” ISDS arbitration will be more just as “the potential for bias can be high in situations where a foreign investor is seeking to redress injury in a domestic court”. There are two problems with this statement.

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