It is back and it is better!
National Law Institute University, Bhopal revives the legacy of the NLIU National Corporate Law Moot (NNCLM) by presenting to you the 7th edition of the NNCLM, 2018. This edition of the moot is filled with a new guiding force and is backed with unprecedented enthusiasm of participants from leading law schools of India and professionals from various law firms of India. Not to forget, the moot is backed by the Competition Commission of India, the paramount public body ensuring free and fair competition since 2003.
Reporting Live from the Inaugural Ceremony
The 7th NLIU National Corporate Law Moot, hosted by National Law Institute University, Bhopal in association with the Competition Commission of India, commenced with the inaugural ceremony on 7th December 2018, which was attended by the judges and participants of the tournament and the students of NLIU, Bhopal.
4.22 PM | Cyber Law Centre The ceremony itself started with the floral welcome of the guests followed by the lighting of the lamp by Hon’ble Justice Renu Sharma (Retired District Judge, Bhopal) who is the Chief Guest for the Inaugural Ceremony followed by Prof (Dr.) V. Vijaya Kumar (Director, NLIU Bhopal), Dr. Sanjay Kumar Yadav (Faculty In-charge, Moot Court Association, NLIU Bhopal) and Mr. Shashank Chaddha (Convenor, Moot Court Association, NLIU Bhopal).
4.25 PM | Cyber Law Centre This was followed by a welcome speech by Prof. (Dr.) Vijaya Kumar, who stressed on the importance of mooting, saying it’s not a co-curricular activity but rather a very crucial part of the curriculum. He talked about the positive and increasing role of these competitions in the essential skill development for a lawyer and how the dearth of them earlier used to leave only court visits for the law students to learn about the practical aspects of the field. Gratefully acknowledging the collaboration with the CCI, Prof. (Dr.) Kumar hopes that this becomes an exclusive Corporate Law venture between the two institutions.
4.37 PM | Cyber Law Centre Dr. Sanjay Kumar Yadav (Faculty-In-Charge, NLIU MCA) thanked the director, the alumni and the MCA Convenor for their efforts. He emphasized on how learning is what is important and how the competition is an opportunity to learn. Thanking his crew for making sure everything in organising the moot was in place, he expressed hope in taking the Competition to a whole together new level in the years to come.
4. 38 PM | Cyber Law Centre The Chief Guest for the event Hon’ble Justice Renu Sharma (Retd.) addressed the gathering and stressed on the importance of mooting as curricular activity and emphasized on the fact that the purpose of law is to give justice. Mooting allows the Students to get insights of how court looks like, unlike some years ago when courts were not less than a scary house. Ending her speech, she urged the students to participate in the competition with aim to learn and know about our own weaknesses. explained how life is a competition, not everytime you win, you must learn something. Bringing us back to the old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” she reminded students about the frivolity in winning and losing, as one may win in the district Court but may end up losing in the high court. Reminiscing her experience from 1972, where she as a defence counsel, despite getting close to an acquittal for her client failed to do so, was applauded by her colleague Mr. Thakur by pointing out how she had bamboozled the judges.
4.44 PM | Cyber Law Centre The Director presented a memento to the Chief Guest Justice Sharma as a token of appreciation for her presence at NLIU, Bhopal. A brief presentation was conducted by Ms. Shreya of the NLIU Gender Justice Cell re-affirming NLIU’s zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. She also explained the mechanisms of reporting any incidents of sexual harassment and urged the participants to come forward and report any such incidents.
4.50 PM | Cyber Law Centre Taking the ceremony further, Mr. Shashank Chaddha (Convenor, NLIU MCA), the superhero who is known for working silently behind the scenes delivered a speech and declared the competition open. Welcoming the teams, he emphasized on how the MCA at NLIU seeks to uphold an erstwhile legacy of this Competition with this edition of NNCLM. He thanked the honorable guests, the alumni and the participants for making it to the city of lakes urged them to take back beautiful memories as they leave NLIU, Bhopal.
With this we come to the end of the Inaugural Ceremony of the 7th NNCLM 2018. We hope to see you tomorrow here again.
10:00 AM | Guest House Basement The second day of the event kick started with the judge’s briefing session. Prior to the start of the session, the judges interacted with each other and exchanged pleasantries. The session started with a quick addressal of facts by the Co-convenor of the Moot Court Association of the National Law Institute University, Priyam Jhudele, which was followed by a session of clarification, led by the convenor of the Moot Court Association of the National Law Institute University, Shashank Chadda. The judges were also instructed about the pattern of marking and also were provided with the scoring sheets for the rounds.
11:30 AM | Academic Block -2 | Preliminary Round 1
11:30 AM – United world school of law, Karnavati university v. National Law School of India University
The rounds are about to begin as the judges have already taken their seats. The environment is full of tension, both sides are flipping through their pages, taking last minute notes. The appellant team, in spite of lacking a researcher, looks very confident, while the respondent team is working silently to find out loopholes in the other sides’ arguments.
11:40 AM – GNLU v. School of Excellence in Law, Chennai
The Counsel is addressing the first issue now. The judge is grilling the counsel on the legal aspects as to the authority of Directorate General. The Counsel asserts that the DG has taken a wrong interpretation of the guidelines of the competition commission by taking a suo Motu action. The judge has called attention to the para 14
The 7 minute Bell has been rung. The Counsel has been stopped from moving to the third argument by a query from Mr. jeswant. The Counsel is moving to the third issue now with no time left. The judge has allowed the counsel a thirty second window to complete that.
11:50 AM – Symbiosis law school Hyderabad v. Symbiosis law school Pune
Judges ask to brief the facts in 10 points. The speaker being well versed with the facts impresses the judges and gives the clarity regarding the issue. Judge Mr. Shashwat Sharma has many questions to asking the appellant to give specific details of all the sections included. The calm composure of the Judges seem to make appellants feel comfortable. Judge shashwat sharma says “issue 1 is heart of evidence.” The speaker 1 proceeds with Issue 3. It’s all cold outside, cold inside. In this cold the judge hasn’t left any stone upturned to make appellants sweat. The Judge asks about market share of TML which was answered well by the speaker.
11:51 AM – School of Law, Christ University v ILS Law College, Pune
Appellants begin to present their arguments. They have stated the facts and the issues involved. Judges listen patiently, and ask few questions in between for clarification of a point. Counsel 1 pleads for some extra time which has been duly agreed to by the Judge.
11:52 AM GNLU v. School of Excellence in Law
The second speaker has now taken the podium, Moving with a threefold argument for the 4th issue, the counsel is facing the no-give-away face of the judges. Drawing attention to relevant product markets the counsel is moving forward with his first argument. The Counsel of the appellant argues that one cannot abuse dominance without existence of domination. Mr. Jeswant is opposing the counsel on whether the appellant company is in a secondary market. Kingfisher Airline v. CCI case has been called into focus by the judges.
12:00 PM Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad v. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
Judges try to confuse the appellant over TPL and TML . Appellant finally concludes arguments issue 1 and 2. The question and answers aren’t over yet. judges question regarding footnote mentioned in memorial. Ask what does SCC stands for. There is a lot of confusion regarding issue 3.
12:00 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. TNNLS
The arguments of the second speaker rested on the provisions of Section 19(3) and Section 6(1) of the Competition Act, 2002. The appellant argued that the joint venture that took place is in accordance of law, and that the joint venture did not promote or involve unfair competition or trade practices. The appellant however failed to hit the bulls eye as she did not use Section 6(2) of the Competition Act, 2002, which was rightly pointed out by the judges towards the end of the speech.
12:03 PM School of Law, Christ University v ILS Law College, Pune
The judge is grilling the counsel on the first argument presented, however, the counsel answers all questions asked. Moving onto the next issue, the counsel presents her argument citing, sec 6- threshold of competition, and argues that the threshold of competition has not been crossed citing clarification 11- use of machinery does not regard transfer of assets and that the lessee is required to pay rent to the lessor. With this, the counsel concludes her arguments.
12:06 PM United world school of law, Karnavati University v. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
Silence prevails in the courtroom as the bench has pointed out that the appelants have contradicted themselves in their memorial. However, NLSIU is not ready to accept defeat yet. The counsel is still striving hard to justify their case before the bench. The arguments are at an end, the counsel for NLS were questioned upon their prayer about “tribunals”.
12: 05 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. TNNLS
It was now time for the respondents to come up and present their case. The judges are quizzing the respondents. The respondent raised the concept of appreciable adverse effect, and when the meaning and the scope of the same was questioned by the judges, the respondent responded by saying that the meaning is developing on a case to case basis, which gave the judges a good laugh.
12:10 PM GNLU v. School of Excellence in Law
The Counsel from the respondent is appearing in front of the judges now with a bold voice. Beginning unsteadily, the counsel is falling silent when asked by the judge to rebut the appellant’s arguments when his arguments took a different route. Acknowledging a little anxiety in the counsel, the judge is guiding the Counsel to proceed from the law connecting to the facts. Citing the Shamsher Kataria Case, the counsel is proceeding with his argument with a palpably steadier voice. Going with Mr. Jeswant’s earlier stated opinion, the Counsel states that the appellant company is dominant in the secondary market
The judges are enquiring into the counsel reasons for citing an American doctrine whole commenting on it’s binding power.
12: 15 PM United World School of Law, Karnavati University v. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
The counsel for the respondents have just taken the dias, however there is a confusion going on in the courtroom as the memo submitted by the respondents does not match with the memos as received by the judges. The first speaker for Karnavati University would be addressing the first, third and fourth issues. The counsel is arguing to establish that the search and seizure, though illegal, could be justified as the laws of Mocando do not prohibit the use of evidences found during integral search and seizures. The counsel, in this regard, is reffering to Section. 248 of the Companies Act.
12:17 PM Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad v. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
The second speaker takes over the dice. Judge Shashwat Sharma asks whether there is any report that shows the lubricants used are causing harm. He furhter asks why a particular lubricant “zero” shall be the only lubricant used. The Speaker proceeds with issue 4 and argues that there has been “No transfer of asset, only transfer of possession”, To which judges ask what is transfer? The issue of transfer continues further.. words like possession, ownership, handing over, transfer cause confusion. “Is there a definition of transfer in common law ” asks, Mr. Shashwat Sharma. There seems to be silence in the room right now.
12:22 PM GNLU v School Of Excellence in Law
After a small enquiry about the time duration with the court Clerk, the judges are now calling the second counsel for the respondents. With a calm in his voice, a contrast to his co-counsel,the counsel is stressing on how restrictions on online sales affects the consumers and distributors. Ms. Kumar is grilling the counsel as to whether “there is a threshold to be called dominant?”, as a 32% share is fairly decent but on what objective grounds can it be called “dominant”?
12:25 PM MNLU v TNNLS
It was now time for the co counsel to come forward to present the issues. His time started with a punching question from the judges, with regard to his name not being mentioned on one of the agreements, to which the respondent admitted it to be a mistake on their part. The respondent further mistook a clarification stating that the restriction of two companies from selling lubricants would be equivalent to restricting all the companies, thus amounting to unfair trade practices, but so was not the case according to law The Respondent emphasized on (a) Time agreement (b) Dominance of company and (c) Distinction of products for proving his point, and stated that the same can be used while section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 is considered.
12: 30 PM School of Law, Christ University v ILS Law College, Pune
Respondents take over the dice . Judge asks the speaker to state 5 facts in favour of her case. The respondent is able to put in 3 facts. Being very confident speaker presents her arguments. Each question being answered very well. Judge Mr. Sharma.
12:36 PM United World School of Law, Karnavati University v. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
The second speaker for Karnavati University has taken the dias and they have been somewhat successful so far in arguing the second issue, with a tone of confidence and sincerity. The level of research in this team seems unparalleled as every question by the judges is being well addressed by the counsel. If the team continues in this wavelength, the competition is in the bag for them.
12:40 PM School of Law, Christ University v ILS Law College, Pune
Speaker 2 begins. Seeking to address, the bench as “Lordships”, she cites Johnson and Johnson case and argues that there is there is transfer of assets. She further argues that penalty should not be imposed; as there is no disruption in competition caused which is why only TNL was penalized. They go on to read out the prayer. There are rebuttals put forth by the appellants.
12:42 PM Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad v. Symbiosis Law School Pune
And the Round ends here… However the best thing about Competitions is clearly visible here. With elaborate feedback and friendly banter, the participants get to learn a lot and network even better.
02:45 PM School of Excellence in Law v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University.
The appellant began his speech quite confidently with a brief summary of the case, cleverly stating the facts of the case in such a way that the facts would seem to be in the favour of the appellants. Quite a show of the gift of gab. The appellant moved on with his first argument but was stopped abruptly when he raised the concept of ‘Malice’ in Civil Law. The appellant was speechless when this question was thrown at him, but stated a provision in the Indian Evidence Act and got away with it.
02:50 PM ILS Law college, Pune v. MNLU, Aurangabad
All energised after the lunch. The appellants start with briefing of facts to judges. After giving a brief of facts speaker 1 proceeds with arguments. She starts with issue 1 regarding search and seizure done by DG being illegal. Being very confident she starts her arguments. Judges point out difference between domestic law and international law.
02:52 PM SLS, Pune v. United World School of Law, Karnavati University
The first speaker from the appellant’s side is beginning now. Stressing on the guidelines by the high court concerning the search and seizures, the counsel has the judges flipping through pages with third reference to certain Paras and case laws in the first 5 minutes itself. Text counsel is moving to the second issue with little questioning up til now. The judges are impressed with a structured reply by the counsel to deal with a query clause-wise. Promptly replying to a question regarding the facts by the judges, the counsel is contending that there was little restriction on Competition in comparison to the pro competitive effects as inter brand Competition was promoted.
0252 PM Indore Institute of Law v. Christ University, Bangalore
The first speaker for IIL has approached the dias and proceeded to the first issue already. The counsel is quite verbose about their case and trying to answer all the questions shot at them. On the other hand, Christ University looks even more confident, taking notes of the arguments and smirking within their selves as they have found the appropriate counter. The speech of the first speaker for IIL comes to an impressive end as the second speaker approaches the dias. Counsel as of now looks a bit tensed which is natural but we are sure we can expect some enlightening arguments from them. The temperature in the room is going hot, probably the reason why the fans had to be turned on.
0255 PM SLS, Pune v. United World School of Law, Karnavati University
Promptly replying to a question regarding the facts by the judges, the counsel is contending that there was little restriction on Competition in comparison to the pro competitive effects as inter brand Competition was promoted. Judges were amused by the counsel’s hesitant assertion that the residents of the territory in question earn a lot. Time’s up. An extension of a minute has been allowed to the counsel. Mr. Parashar is questioning the counsel on her knowledge of Haizel Blat v. Commission case having cited it.
0257 PM Tamil Nadu National Law University v. Gujarat National Law University
counsel explains the facts involved and judges ask for counsel to proceed to arguments and to state the issues. The counsel cites a case decided in the European court and is being grilled by the judges on how it is relevant in the present court. The counsel addresses the issue of online sale of cars, and states that online sale of cars should not be allowed and is questioned by the judge on whether there is any specific law present in the concerned country regarding the same.
0300 PM School of Excellence in Law v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University.
There was a large amount of misinterpretation of facts by the appellants, and the same was pointed out by the judges through a series of hard-hitting questions. There was an attempt made by the appellant to wriggle his way out of the pounding by the judges by lying with regard to a statutory provision and the binding value of a case, but was caught red handed by the judges.The second argument of the appellant rested on the fact with regard to retrospective applicability of the Competition Act, 2002. Another point raised by the appellant was adverse effective competition, but he failed to successfully draw lines of similarity between the issues at hand and the points raised, which forced the judges to indulge in yet another round of pounding. The judges however did not look forward to cut short the appellant, and gave him two successive extensions of 7 minutes and 2 minutes respectively.
0302 PM ILS Law college, Pune v. MNLU, Aurangabad
The speaker 1 focuses that the DG based his search from emails. Judge questions how was search illegal. The speaker says appelants wanted to know scope of search which DG didn’t disclose post which Speaker 2 takes over the podium. Section 19(3) of competition Act, 2002 is being focused by speaker.
0310 PM SLS, Pune v. United World School of Law, Karnavati University
Very promptly referring to the moot problem as an answer to an enquiry by Ms. Chaturvedi, the counsel is proceeding with his argument about cancellation of warranty. The judge calls out the counsel on a failing hypothesis, saying it’s only a hypothesis to begin with. Calling the consumers brand conscious for the second time, the appellants are moving forward in their arguments. The judges are asking the counsel to apply a principle evolves in a cited case law after grilling him about his knowledge of the same. With Head nodding among the judges, the counsel was allowed to move to the next issue. the counsel contends that there was no willful disobedience nor a transfer of property. Mr. Parashar seems satisfied with the counsel’s answer as to the lack of intention. As the counsel proceeds to the prayer the co-counsels stand up.
0315 PM ILS Law college, Pune v. MNLU, Aurangabad
Speaker proceeds with next issue. Talks about legislation having prospective effect and not retrospective effect. Says right to life of people is most important. Therefore zero lubricant has been recommended. Says the appellant only said zero is best and didn’t say that other lubricants must be not used. Confusion regarding the prayer. The prayer in memo does not match with what the the appellants want.
0317 PM National Law School Of India University v. SLS Hyderabad
The respondents have taken to the floor. The counsel was asked to shed light on the terms used by the counsel in the submissions. The counsel looks fairly composed even after the questions asked by the judges.The grill session continues as the judges continue to question every statement presented by the counsel. By using words like “far fetched” to describe the points given, the judges are going hard on the counsel.
0320 PM School of Excellence in Law v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University
The appellant quite eloquently brought out the ambiguity in the terms of agreement As something that should be taken cognaizance of, and backed his argument with Section 5 of the Competition Act, 2002. However, the judges felt by a there was a mistake on the part of the appellant in the interpretation of the law and asked for the material that the appellant had referred to As the appellant moved on, he was successful in bringing out subsequent conventions, but once again failed in bringing out a successful methodology of calculation of assets. But later, referred to the clarifications provided to eradicate the prevailing ambiguity, and succeeded in doing the same. The main loophole in the argument of the appellant here but later the appellant pointed out by the judges was with regard to the double threshold that the appellant mentioned, and the lack of justification provided for the same.
0322 PM NUJS v. SLS Hyderabad
The judge is discussing the principle of corporate veil. Now the counsel is asked to conclude. The counsel was asked to shed light on the fact about abuse of dominant position by the party. The counsel made points around the lubricant circular and also around the fact of 32% market share.
0326 PM Tamil Nadu National Law University v. Gujarat National Law University
The judges begin grilling the counsel within the first minute of the counsel presenting his argument. The judges ask for a record of the complaint cited by the counsel in his argument. The counsel is questioned that isn’t it too harsh on a customer to be put under the restriction of using only a specific kind of lubricant, otherwise his warranty would be cancelled. The judge further asks if it is right to impose such harsh conditions just to keep up one’s image in the market. The counsel further argues that the condition is imposed because the use of the any other lubricant than the prescribed lubricant would lead to damage to the engine of the car. The counsel is grilled further on this argument. Judges give an extension of 5 mins to the counsel. Counsel is questioned on a specific citation mentioned in the memorial submitted by the counsel and is in a fix. The counsel is granted extra time of 2 minutes and addresses the last issue.
0328 PM Indore Institute of Law v. Christ University, Bangalore
The counsel for IIL runs out of time and the podium is now taken by the affluent speaker for Christ University, who claims to take the first two issues. The presentation begins as the counsels introduce themselves and straight away progresses towards the issue without temporizing further. The counsel was questioned by the bench on a hypothetical situation relating to “per incurium”. “Per incurium judgment might be a bad law for you, but you always have the option to appeal to a higher court” – according to the honourable judge. The counsel for SLCU has addressed the second issue articulately and it’s time for the second speaker to add on. The counsel seems equally loquacious and is producing pellucid arguments before the bench. Descanting to address the third issue, the counsel is breaking the issue into several contentions. The counsel in one of the arguments attacked ‘the limited interchangeability for car parts’ to support their case. “If I am using a BMW car, I can’t go for the spare parts of Goodi brand”, submits the counsel.
0320 PM SLS, Pune v. United World School of Law, Karnavati University
The counsel on being grilled about any alternative course of action if the prayer is not accepted is falling silent. The appellant’s counsel is approaching for the rebuttals now. It’s the respondent’s turn for the rebuttals now. With a furrowed brow, the judges are patiently listening to the rebuttals. The judges are briskly filling the scoresheets as the teams are waiting outside, interacting before the feedback.
0328 PM Tamil Nadu National Law University v. Gujarat National Law University
Speaker 1 of the Respondent side begins to present his arguments. The judge asks the counsel to state 5 facts that are in favor of his arguments. 1st argument- the counsel submitted that the investigation carried by the office of DG was within the scope of his Office. The judges question the counsel on what is referred to by “all materials” in the order passed by the High Court, and is grilled further on the same point. Issue 2 regarding the online sale of vehicles. The counsel argued that the online sale of cars was in contravention of sec. 3, clause 4 of the Act. Counsel concluded with the last argument which was that Section 3, clause (4) should be imposed on TML.
0330 PM School of Excellence in Law v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University
The respondent tried time and again to back her arguments with cases, but the judges were just not convinced, thus ending the speech of the respondent on a negative note. Her co counsel now stepped up and brought out the argument of the dominance of the company and the position of the distributor. His position seemed shaky initially, but he could do justice to his argument by citing relevant statutes and cases. The style of presentation of the respondent seemed to be quite charisthmatic and seemed to attract the attention of judges. He substantially pointed out the issue with the market share of 32% and brought out the position of TML in the market in a manner so as to indicate the dominating position they are in. The respondent further moved on with his argument with regard to Section 3 and 4 if The Competition Act, 2002, and once again backed his argument with the dominant position of TML in the market.
0340-0400 PM National Law School Of India University v SLS Hyderabad
The counsel is being grilled around the facts of the case. This has evidently baffled the counsel. With just 1 minute left on the clock, the counsel is not even close to a conclusion. Extra time of 4 min has been awarded by the judges. With the prayer by the counsel, the grill session comes to an end.
0351 PM Tamil Nadu National Law University v. Gujarat National Law University
Speaker 2 has taken the podium. Intention of the framers of the Act were to be imposed retrospectively, and the Act can be applied retrospectively, clubbed with the judgement of the Supreme Court. It is further argued that TML has abused its dominance over the market. Counsel cited the Shamsher Kataria Case to support his argument and cites a European Union case as a response to a question put forward by the judges. The counsel cited a notification released in 2011, and is questioned on the relevance of the same and whether the same can be relied upon.
0355 PM School of Excellence in Law v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University
The respondent finally brought out the concept of unified systems market, and drew a line of similarity between the position TML and the former, convincing the judges as to why he brought out the concept of unified system of markets in a scenario where a company is in a dominant position.
0400 PM Tamil Nadu National Law University v. Gujarat National Law University
The appellants said that the arguments presented by the Respondents regarding the market shares were incorrect and that the relevant market was a down-stream market and that their understanding about the same was flawed. They further said that the case cited regarding TML was still pending and hence, they could not be labelled as a habitual offender. The respondent then responded with the point that market share was not the only factor that was taken into consideration by them, and that it was never said that TML was a habitual offender in their submissions.
0407 PM ILS Law college, Pune v. MNLU, Aurangabad
Judge focuses on how industry works.. The way TML acted is a common market practice. Speaker focuses on how TML has dominant position in market. Mentions competition act. Arguing territorial restraints imposed by TML. Also talks about retail price maintenance imposed by TML. Judges ask for case law that supports arguments made by speaker. Proceeds with next issue regarding vertical agreements. Judges Questions about SCC, SCR and citation of MANUPATRA is not used rather AIR and SCC are authorized sources. Judge Ruchi Sharma asks “what is law?” Judge Shashwat Sharma further asks that if any circular that passes by MCA will be law? And it doesn’t end here the questions continue.
The judge says how the arguments ignited fire in the appellants and though it’s good but shouldn’t be practiced later. Because may lead to loss of court room marks for etiquette.
With this, we come to the end of Preliminary Round 2. Stay tuned to this link for the announcement of breaks!
0500 PM ANNOUNCEMENT OF BREAKS
The teams qualifying for the Quarters are (in order of qualification)
- Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
- Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
- National Law School of India University, Bangalore
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
- School of Law Chirst University, Bangalore
- ILS College of Law, Pune
- Tamil Nadu National Law School, Trichy
- Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad
Congratulations to the qualifying teams!
0530 PM Quarter Final Rounds
0535 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
The pre round preps are on as the teams wait for the judges to arrive. With thick books and colour coded pages, The mood seems to be tense over all.
0537 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
The judge Aditya Khandekar questions what’s the difference between appellants first issue and second issue . Speaker is a little confused and asks judges to not go with memorial but to focus on arguments. Brings attention of judges to fact 14 regarding conduct of TML . Judge asks when was the search and seizure done ? The question makes the speaker confused regarding retrospective effect of the law.
0540 PM School of Law, Christ University v. SLS Pune
Speaker 1- Counsel seeks permission to move on to the issues, and proceeds to stating the issues involved. Counsel submits that the search was conducted illegally and was out of the scope of the DG’s Office. The counsel cites Regulation 20 clause (2) of Indian Competition Act. The counsel cites a case, and is questioned about the facts by the judges, but is unaware of the facts. The relevance of the case is further questioned by the judges since the facts of the cited case are not known. The judges are grilling the counsel on the argument that the prescribed time limit to submit the report by the DG was exceeded.
0541 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The Appellants kick started by introducing themselves and the side they would be representing. The Appellant then started to state the facts of the case very briefly, very cleverly stating them in such a way so as to make it seem like the case was completely in favour. The appellant stated the facts quite flawlessly, giving no scope for ambiguity, or any chance of questioning.
0543 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
With an unyielding look on their faces, the judges are patiently listening to the counsel’s argument after asking him to substantiate on his assertion about territorial restraints. Mr. Mishra is calling out the counsel on how his elaboration of facts do not substantiate his points. Another error of sorts pointed by the judge was that a simile with India cannot be used as the territory in the problem in question is different.
0545 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
Arguing the first issue, the appellant brought out the very famous BCCI case, in which there was abuse of dominance, and further, threw light on the facts of the case, as the same was asked by the judges. Section 32(4) of The Indian Penal Code was brought out as an underlying statutory provision by the appellants. Trying to draw lines of similarity between the BCCI case and the issue at hand, the appellant stated that the former bore relevance as even in the present case, there was an abuse of the dominant position, considering the fact that it staked a claim of 32% in the market, and had to render services during the period of warranty.
The appellant further stated that mere manufacturing of a lubricant of a superior quality, may amount to restriction of trade, which brought a look of shock on the faces of the judges, as the same seemed quite ambiguous, and further paved way for a series of questions and pounding by the judges, which the appellant failed to successfully overcome, after which the she was asked to proceed with the other issues.
0547 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
With a perceptibly shaky voice the counsel is answering a string of questions by the judges as to certain presumptions made by him about the facts. Moving on to online sale of cars now the counsel is bringing the judges’ attention to some online scams further asserting that online sale of cars should not be allowed. The judges let the counsel move unquestioned as to this issue on to the issue of Resale Price Maintenance.
0550 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
The speaker says she will be dealing with only 1 issue and her co-counsel will be dealing with second issue and all together they will be only dealing with 2 issues out of 4 mainly focusing on how search and seizure was illegal. Speaker 2 takes over the dice. She will be dealing issue regarding search and seizure and anti-competitiveness.
0552 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
The Counsel proceeds to the next submission. The counsel submits that the evidence found by an illegal search is not admissible and cites various cases to support the same. The counsel and the judges engage in a heated debate regarding the counsel’s argument that the search conducted was illegal and out of the scope of the DG’s Office.
0552 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
Questions are not less than a ball of fire fired back to back on speaker 2 .Speaker is grilled badly by judges when speaker goes against the facts mentioned . Judges question how one can question the finding by an honourable authority like CAT without any basis?
0552 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The delegate seemed to lose confidence after the series of questions but however, moved onto the next issue, arguing that the circular issued was a mere circular, therefore the MCA’s contention to file a suit on the basis of the lubricant circular would not succeed as the same would be violative of Section 3 (4) of The Competition Act, 2002. On this note, she ended her speech, and called upon her co-counsel to continue
0554 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
Time’s up now. The counsel has been allowed extra 60 seconds to sum up his arguments. Even as the counsel exceeds his 60 seconds, he is faced with questions by the judges.
0555 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The co-counsel started her speech on a very confident note, indicating that the very agreement on which an issue was based on was flawed in itself, pointing out the terms of the agreement that are violative of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. The same seemed to have satisfied the judges, and the lucid and comprehensive argument, backed by relevant statutory provisions, put forward by the appellant gave no way for questioning.
0557 PM Tamil Nadu NLS v. RMLNLU, Lucknow
the co-counsel for the appellant is on the dias now. The counsel is advancing his argument on very narrow technical grounds. Mr. Mishra is grilling the counsel about the dominance of the appellant company. Meanwhile, there are some chits being passed among the respondents.
0557 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
Judges are disappointed as all the documents required are not ready with appellants and this is consuming a lot of time. The speakers and researchers seem all perplexed . The deadly silence captures the room for some seconds . Judges are a bit disappointed as the speaker didn’t mention name of case, the authority etc. Last few minutes left with appellant . With every argument presented by speaker, the judges ask for authorities which the appellant doesn’t seem to know. The judge (Mr. Bishen Jeswant ) comments immediately -” Law is not what you think , law has a authority “.
0559 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
The counsel is asked to summarise his remaining arguments within 2 minutes due to paucity of time. The counsel submits that the MCA cannot exercise superintendence over the order passed by the High Court. The judges ask the counsel to explain all his remaining arguments in merely 5 points. The judge asks the counsel if he is aware of the concept of “disruptive markets”, and the counsel is unaware of the same. He is then asked to wrap with his submissions.
0559 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The appellant however seemed to have misunderstood the distributor’s agreement, which was pointed out by the judges. The appellant however, brought out Section 125 of the compendium that was mentioned, proving that her understanding and interpretation was correct, leaving none of the questions that were raised by the judges, following the pointing out of the error in interpretation, unanswered.
0601 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The judges, now started throwing hypothetical questions at the appellants, on the same lines as that of the issue at hand, probably looking forward to confuse the appellant a little, but the appellant kept her calm, and answered every question put forward, backing her statements with relevant statutory provisions.
0605 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
Still grilling the counsel about the dominance of the appellant company, Ms. Kumar is asking the counsel as to which criteria does the company not fulfill, to be considered a dominant company. In wake of the 2 minute bell, Mr. Mishra is questioning the counsel about the lubricant circular now. The unreadable faces of the judges keep us in the dark about their satisfaction with the counsel’s answers.
0607 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The appellant then started to argue with regard to the lack of justification of the joint venture. The appellant however, began to stumble, as a series of ambiguous arguments with no substantial backing were made, giving an opportunity for scrutiny. The judges kept questioning the appellant, who answered the questions fairly well, as she answered some quite confidently, while she ignored the others. She ended her speech by pointing out the Section of the Competition Act, 2002, which dealt with joint ventures.
0610 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
Time is up now. With two extensions of 30 seconds, the counsel instead of summing up is hurriedly advancing his arguments while being grilled by Ms. Kumar about the relevance of a 2016 notification.
0611 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
Dias taken over the respondents . Judges ask what is to be done if Memorial is wrong how to make amendments? To this speaker didn’t answer . Questions her how did she passes exam and became AOR if this basic question is not answered. “Per Incuriam “ the word causes confusion . And a long discussion goes on the word. The speaker continues to next argument . Judges say this means you concede to first argument as the speaker moved on to second argument without proving the first one. The grilling continues . Seems the level of competition has gone up.
0611 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
the judges and the counsel engage in an intense debate regarding the counsel’s submission that consumers do not undertake the whole life cost of a product at the time of purchase. The counsel is questioned specifically on a case cited in the memorial of the counsel, however, the counsel pleads ignorance regarding the same. The counsel answers a string of questions posed by the judges on the 3rd issue regarding the restriction on the use of other lubricants.
0615 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
The counsel for the respondents has approached the dias now. The counsel is beginning with a brief structure of her arguments. Drawing attention to the similarity with the Savlon case, the counsel is proceeding with her first issue. A little fidgety with her hands but a calm in what she is saying, the counsel is answering questions of the bench about the calculation of assets of the company. The counsel is asserting that none of the notifications shall be applicable in this on account that it will require a retrospective application.
0616 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
It was now time for the Respondents to come ahead and put forward their case. The Respondent started his speech quite eloquently, hitting the issues directly, stating as to why the issue at hand should be turned in their favour, and at the same time countering the arguments of the appellants, thus justifying his stance, and at the same time convincing the judges as to why their position is more justified as compared to the appellants’. The Respondent further raised an argument that the act of not allowing distributors to sell their products online was an unfair trade practice, and supported the same with relevant provisions from statutes governing restrictive trade practices and policies. The respondent also indicated facts backing the same in paragraph 8 of the problem.
0619 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
The speaker seems dumbstruck for seconds by questions asked by judges as the cases cited are not there in compendium and the speaker is not able to give proper reference
0621 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
The counsel drawing attention to the fact that TML is a wholly owned subsidiary, the counsel says that according to EU rules and some case laws, there exists a control by the parent company over the subsidiary. Having made through most of her speech, the counsel is now facing judges’ queries about jurisdiction, nature of proceedings among other things with just two minutes left to spare. Time is up again, with another 60 second extension for the counsel to finish. By the end of her time extension, the counsel is putting forward the prayer from the respondent’s side.
0625 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
Speaker 2 takes over the dice . He is asked by judge to come to issue 4 directly . He focuses on Sec6(2) of the Act. He focuses on “KNOW HOW “ being an intellectual property. Relies on Commissioner of Income Tax Ahmedabad v. Gold coin Health Food pvt. Ltd. Judges ask facts of the case , no answer from speaker.
0626 PM MNLU, Aurangabad v. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The respondent however could not bring out the second issue, as well as he brought out the first one, as every statement made was questioned by the judges, for want of statutory backing and reasoning for the same. The respondent did answer some of the questions raised quite effectively, by indicating the Provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of The Competition Act, 2002 for the same, but failed to clarify the others. His final answer marked the end of the time he was provided. The co-counsel was now called upon the dais to carry forward the arguments raised by his colleague and deal with the remaining issues at hand. Quite controversial remarks were made aggressively by the new individual on the dais, as the remarks raised in the light of the issue were quite critical in nature and were quite straight forward in nature, dealing with abuse of power in the market by TML. However, the aggression of the respondent seemed to be justified as everything raised was supported by provisions in the Competition Act, 2002 and Companies Act, 2013, and previous cases.
0628 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
The co-counsel from the respondent side is beginning with his argument. The counsel is asserting that the clause of Resale Price Maintenance entails more anti-competitive effects than pro-competitive effects. Addressing the online sales restraint the counsel is being questioned by Ms. Kumar whether the appellant company is harming or benefitting itself with the said restraint. the counsel is moving on to the issue of lubricant circular. The counsel submits that the TML is in fact in a dominant position highlighting certain facts about the functioning of the business. The counsel after substantiating some more arguments, moved onto to the prayer.
0628 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
Counsel is told to summarise all remaining arguments in the next 2 minutes and is grilled by Mr. Kondaiah on her submission regarding the 4th issue. The judges confuse the counsel on the question that is a joint venture and arrangement? The counsel is further questioned by Mr. Kondaiah on transfer of assets. The counsel is visibly nervous, but attempts to answer all questions being put forward by the judges. The judges however continue to bombard the counsel with questions until the she pleads ignorance. The counsel proceeds to put forth her final argument and concludes her submissions.
0628 PM MNLU Aurangabad v. GNLU Gandhinagar
It looked like the judges got bored of the conventional proceedings of the Moot Court, as they started throwing hypothetical questions at the respondents, expecting an answer backed by legal provisions. In response, the respondent, who seemed quite aware of the law and previous cases, answered each and every question quite confidently, with no sign of a fumble. Quite a show of the gift of gab it was indeed.
The next few arguments raised by the respondent rested on Section 129 of The Companies Act, 2013. The arguments seemed to have satisfied the judges, and there were hardly any questions raised. The respondent ended his speech with a positive note, and a smile on his face, believing that the ball was now in their court.
0631 PM ILS Law College, Pune v. NLSIU Bangalore
Talks about which is relevant market in this case . Judges ask what is difference between relevant market and lubricant market? Judge questions why speaker is focusing explicitly on SUV’s.
0635 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
The first speaker from the respondent’s side approaches the dias, and seeks permission to address the bench collectively as “lordship”. The counsel proceeds to state all the issues. The judges listen patiently to the counsel’s arguments, and ask for clarifications on small points. The counsel is questioned by Ms. Krithika Chandrasekhan on her first submission, and is grilled further by the other judges. The council argues that the evidence gathered by the search is relevant, the search conducted was not illegal and was within the scope of the DG’s Office.
0640 PM MNLU Aurangabad v. GNLU Gandhinagar
The appellants came up with a strong rebuttal, stating that there was a misinterpretation of Section 129 of the Companies Act, 2013 on the part of the respondents, and there was a misuse of the principles of natural justice with regard to the issue at hand. However, before she could explain the reason for the same, the time had elapsed, and her request for an extension was not granted.
The respondents, within the time frame, could successfully rebut the rebuttal made by the appellants, and justify their stance, and at the same time indicate as to why the case of the appellants contravened Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. Once again there were smiles on the faces of the respondents, and now it can be said that they truly believe that the ball was in their court.
0643 PM Tamil Nadu NLU v. RMNLU, Lucknow
it’s time for rebuttals now! The teams have been cautioned by the judges that the time for rebuttals is not for repetitions of the given arguments but only for arguments presented by the other side. The appellants are doing their rebuttals now with a references to a lot paras and sections. With the allotted time ending, the request for additional minute was denied by the judges. It is turn for the respondents to rebut now. That’s the end of the rounds. Over whispered discussions, the judges are deliberating over the scores while the teams are waiting outside for feedback.
0649 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
The counsel is being grilled by the judges and attempts to answer all their questions with a slightly shaky voice. The counsel argues that the “rule of reason” must be applied. The counsel presents her final contention and cites section 8 of the Competition Act. Mr. Kondaiah further questions her on online markets and the counsel proceeds with her argument. The counsel then concludes her argument and the dias is taken over by the co-counsel. Speaker 2 approaches the dias and begins with his submissions regarding the lubricant circular. The counsel argues that TML abused its position of dominance in the market. The counsel argues on the dominance of TML in the market of spare parts and its effect on another market. The council cites the European Union case. The judges listen to the counsel’s arguments patiently, but with skeptical looks. The counsel proceeds with his argument but is swamped with questions from the judges.
0713 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
The counsel talks about ‘driving the competitors out of the market’ and is questioned on who is being referred to as “competitors” here. The Counsel summarises his arguments regarding issue no. 4 and talks about transfer of assets. The counsel hastily presents his argument due to paucity of time and is questioned by the judges.
0715 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
Mr. Kondaiah continues to grill the counsel further, and the counsel refers to the bare act with shaky hands. The counsel is asked to conclude his arguments in the next 2 minutes, and the counsel hastily proceeds to do so, but is again faced with questions by the judges.
0722 PM School of Law Christ University v. SLS Pune
With a short period of rebuttals, the round has come to an end. With this, we come to end of the quarters finals!
Teams are advised to reach Room – 2 of Academic Block -1 for the declaration of Semi Final Rounds.
0735 PM – BREAKS FOR SEMI FINAL
Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
National Law School Of India University, Bangalore
Symbiosis Law School, Pune
The third day of NNCLM, like the first day kick started with the judge’s briefing session. The new judges for the semi final and final rounds seemed to be very enthusiastic to witness and assess the rounds, and the same could be observed through the interactions they had prior to the start of the session and the questions they raised during the Briefing session. The session began with a quick briefing of facts by the Co-convenor of the Moot Court Association of the National Law Institute University, Priyam Judhele. The common trend observed in the Briefing sessions in many competitions is the passive behaviour of judges, and the lack of excitement and enthusiasm. However, the same did not hold good in this competition. The judges involved themselves as much has they could, trying to clear any sort of confusion or ambiguity that may arise prima facie while reading the problem. The convenor of the Moot Court Association of the National Law Institute University, Shashank Chadda made sure that each and everything was made clear and comprehensive to the judges and that no confusion remained, as he made everythunh crystal clear to the judges. After the Briefing of the facts of the case, the co convenor, Priyam Jhudele, and the Convenor, Shashank Chaddha, addressed the clarifications that were to be made, thus, leaving no stone unturned in an attempt to make the problem clear to the judges.
In the end, the way in which the memos were drafted were explained to the judges by Mr. Chaddha, giving an insight into the way the proceedings will be taking place. All in all, the session was a fruitful one, making the problems and the proceedings of the rounds, crystal clear to the judges, and leaving no scope for scrutiny and ambiguity.
Reporting Live from Semi Finals
10:15 AM NLSIU v. RMLNLU
The round kick started with the a quick and brief introduction and listing of issues to be addressed by the appellant. The appellant seemed to be straight forward and aggressive as she very swiftly put across an argument stating that the seizure of laptops by TML was not justified by law. However, she failed to put forward statutory provisions to back her argument, which paved way for questioning by the judges. The appellant however, managed to answer the questions by quoting certain cases with regard to the issue at hand.
10:15 AM SLS, Pune v GNLU
The teams are waiting patiently looking quite confident while the judges discuss something among them. the counsel for the appellant has take the dias now. Being well-versed with facts the counsel is stating 5 pertinent facts on the request of Mr. Kochar. Mr. Kochar is pointing out the counsel’s error in stating the issues instead of the key facts as asked for. Not even on to the issues now, the counsel is already being grilled by the judges as to which parties are they representing and which issues the counsel will address.
10:17 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
For the next few minutes, there were a series of questions thrown at the appellant, with regard to want of strong and substantial arguments and not mere assumptions and assertions with regard to the issue at hand. The appellant however, cleared all the ambiguities that arose by referring to the clarifications provided with the problem.
10:17 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel for the appellant has take the dias now. Being well-versed with facts the counsel is stating 5 pertinent facts on the request of Mr. Kochar. Mr. Kochar is pointing out the counsel’s error in stating the issues instead of the key facts as asked for. Not even on to the issues now, the counsel is already being grilled by the judges as to which parties are they representing and which issues the counsel will address.
10:19 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The next few arguments of the appellant rested on Section 19(3) of the Competition Act, 2002. The arguments raised by the seemed to have satisfied the judges, as hardly any questions were raised by the judges with regard to the arguments that were made. The appellant seemed to be very confident and aware of whatever she spoke. Indeed, a sign of sincerity and good preparation.
10:21 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Unfazed by the questions faced so early into the speech, the counsel is answering the judges’ query about the distinction between article 226 and 227. Mr. Kochar continues to grill the counsel with questions regarding the exclusion of the matter from High Court’s jurisdiction and whether that renders the order per incuriam. The counsel was stopped in citing similarity with another case of the Delhi HC by Mr. Kochar when he illustrated the distinction between the two. The judges are unrelentingly firing question after question on to the counsel, enquiring into the admissibility of an illegally obtained evidence and whether there are any case laws or statutes backing the same.
10:22 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant now began to argue with regard to the issue of circular, and the absence of abuse of dominant position, by referring to Sections 3 and 4 of The Competition Act, 2002. However, an opportunity for scrutiny arose when she spoke initially about the abuse of dominant position, but later stated that there was no existence of dominant position. The judges however failed to pay heed to the same, and let go of the same.
10:25 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
It is the end of the allotted time, but the bench continues to question the counsel on various issues including territorial restraints among other things, with an unspecified time extension. Now elaborating upon the territory allocation, the counsel for appellant is answering queries from the bench about how such restrictions coupled with restriction on the online sale does not “gag” all the involved parties.
10:29 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant ended her speech on a positive note, proving that a dominant position did not exist despite the claim of 32% that TML had over the assets in the market. She seemed to have convinced the judges, and the same could be observed through a smile on her face.
10:34 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
After another error in citing a case that actually favours the appellants, the counsel is given two minutes to wrap up. The co-counsel for the appellant is on the dias now. Before proceeding to the issues further, Mr. Kochar has asked the counsel to add to what his co-counsel said to the bench, admitting his dissatisfaction with the same.
10:34 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
It was now time for her co counsel to step up and present the issues at hand. He started by briefing the facts with regard to his side of the issue, very smartly stating them in such a way that the case would seem to be in his favour. He then moved on, and rested his next few arguments on Section 16 and 19 of The Competition Act, 2002. The arguments seemed to be quite strong and the judges gave an expression of satisfaction.
10:36 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel is now moving on to the issue of the lubricant circular. The bench is enquiring into the application of the competition Act on to a circular released before its passing, the same enquiries extending to the MRTP Act and the “continuing effect”. The counsel seems unprepared as to these questions repeatedly stating that they do not question the Act’s jurisdiction.
10:37 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant now raised quite a controversial argument which attracted attention from every person in the house. He stated that there was selective restriction that was imposed by TML, and it was no common restriction that was imposed. However, he stumbled a little as he could not completely justify his stance. The judges, thus, grilled the appellant, with regard to the same.
10:41 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Mr. Kochar seems satisfied with the counsel’s stuttered answers about the Act’s applicability. The counsel now moving on to the next issue is asserting that TML ( appellant company) cannot hold dominance in the market as the lubricant market is not of relevance to the company.
10:42 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
Having partially satisfied the judges with his answers, the appellant moved on with his arguments. He rested the next few arguments on Section 19 (7) of the Competition Act, 2002. Once again, there was no sign of ambiguity, as the appellant, quite eloquently, put forward the issue at hand very comprehensively. Quite a show of the gift of gab.
10:45 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant now looked forward to complete a task that was left unfinished by his co counsel, which was proving that the position of TML in the market was not a dominant one. He backed this by resting it on Section 19 (4)(c) of the Competition Act, 2002. Relevant cases with regard to the same were put forward, and the attention of the judges were drawn to relevant pages of the memorial, submitted by the appellants.
10:47 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel is now picking up a confident pace with arguments about the legitimacy of the cancellation of warranty, however he was again interrupted by a bunch of questions about the anti-competitive effects of the lubricant circular. Without many hints about their satisfaction with counsel’s arguments, the judges have asked the counsel to move on to the next issue.
10:47 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Time is up, request of the counsel to sum up quickly has been granted by the judges. However, the “quickly” does not seem possible because of the never ending string of questions from the bench. An exchange about clarity in a notification in question is keeping the counsel engaged. Meanwhile, with a face as unyielding as the judges, the respondent team seems to be in the middle of some communication through chits.
10:49 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant finally put forward his prayer, notably stating that there was no violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. The speech of the appellant ended on this note.
10:52 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
It was now time for the respondents to come forward, present their side of the case, and justify as to why their stance on the case was justified, and was comparatively more justified than that of the appellants. The respondent started by quickly presenting the issues briefly to the judges, once again, in a manner so as to indicate that the ball was in their court.
10:55 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The respondent started her arguments, by making an attempt to prove that TML geld a dominating position in the market. Relevant cases, notably the case of ICC, and other statutory provisions were quoted by the respondent. The judges seemed to be satisfied, when a very strong argument with regard to the liquidity of the assets held was raised. There was probably an attempt made by the judges to confuse the respondent a little, as they put forward a hypothetical question, but the respondent, showing no sign of fear, kept her calm, and faced the question quite confidently and convinced the judges, thus leaving no stone unturned.
10:56 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel on behalf of the respondents is approaching the dias now. The opening acknowledgment to the judges was interrupted by some confusion regarding the memos. An error on part of the counsel saying he shall be “adjudicating” the issues rather than presenting it helped in easing the air in the room a little by amusing the judges.
10:59 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
Having successfully convinced the judges till now, the respondent now came up with arguments stating that the TML was not justified in any of the acts that it had committed. From not allowing MCA to investigate to the involvement of TML in the distribution agreement, the respondent pointed out that the acts committed contravened various provisions of The Competition Act, 2002. She, thus finally put forward that the investigation conducted by the MCA, was justified, and the unfair practices that were carried on my TML, made such investigations by the MCA imperative.
11:00 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel for the respondents, like the appellants is facing a string of questions very early in his arguments too. The queries have taken the juicy topic of Right to Privacy and the legality of the search and seizure in question. The counsel is being baffled by the judges’ questions regarding State interests, individual rights and whether there are any state interests arising out of the competition Act in the first place.
11:04 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The judges, who probably were now bored of listening to continuous arguments, looked forward to haggle the respondent a little. The same could be observed through a series of questions that were put forward by the judges. The respondent however referred to the clarifications that were provided alongside the moot problem, and cleared all sorts of prevailing ambiguity in the minds of the judges. Thus, the speech of the respondent ended on quite a positive note.
11:05 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel is arguing for his second issue now. The very first sentence was interrupted by the judges by a question into the counsel’s knowledge of the legal term “per incuriam”. The counsel seems well prepared with case laws and definitions about the given answer however is still falling silent on Mr. Kochar’s specific queries.
11:08 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
It was now time for her co counsel to come up and carry the session forward. Without wasting much time, the respondent put forward his very first argument with regard to retail sale prices, and explained the same very much in detail, backing every assertion he raised with an effective reason in law. As he spoke, he also kept countering the arguments raised by the appellants. He looked forward to make his point quite clear and comprehensive to the judges, and give no leeway to any sort of ambiguity with regard to the points he raised.
11:08 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Some documents are being passed to the bench by the counsel for reference to a case law. The counsel seems to be pursuing a different line of argument confirming with the judges first in case they are not satisfied with his initial arguments. Time is up, two extra minutes have been allowed to the counsel. It seems the granted time extension will be exceeded again, as the bench seems to have many more questions for the counsel.
11:12 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The respondent, having convinced the judges, now moved forward with the next issue. His next few arguments were based on the online sale of products and services, and the issue of exclusivity. He brought the attention of the judges to Section 3(4) of The Competition Act, 2002, in order to prove his point. His style of speaking and presentation was quite flawless, as he related all the points he raised and the statutory provisions he put forward to the factual issues that he raised. Through this argument, he not only presented the issue of exclusivity, but also countered the issue of distribution that was put forward by the appellants.
11:13 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The counsel is quickly addressing the last issue is asserting that the counsel is not arguing on the basis of dominance but on the basis of market power. Judges are asking the counsel for a case law where such practices have been held anti-competitive. Joining the Questioning now, Mr. Pethia is also posing pertinent questions regarding the facts to the counsel.
11:17 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The respondent based his last argument, with regard to the issue under consideration, on the provisions of Section 19(3) of the Competition Act, 2002. However, it appeared that the respondent was not sure of what he was speaking, as he contradicted himself in two successive statements, and fumbled a little when there was a question posed by one of the judges with regard to the same. He however corrected himself and carried forward the issue at hand.
11:19 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The co-counsel for the respondents is forwarding his arguments now. The counsel is being reminded of the ‘golden rule’ of statutory interpretation for the questions regarding the retrospective application of the statute. Drawing attention to certain provisions of the general clauses Act, the judges point out that any legislation unless stated otherwise is assumed to have a prospective effect.
11:20 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The judges did not seem to be quite convinced with regard to the issue raised by the respondent with regard to the discount of 10%, as he failed to draw lines of similarity between the issue raised, and the cases he cited to back the arguments he raised in light of the issue. The dissatisfaction of the judges could be observed through the series of questions that were shot at the respondent. Every attempt made by the respondent to wriggle his way out was foiled, as more questions came up, leading the issue to be addressed to no effective conclusion.
11:24 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
Leaving the judges partially convinced, the respondent stated that TML was in a dominant position in the market, and that there was a hampering of the goodwill of FDX and DHL due to the acts of TML. However, the respondent ran out of time before he could complete his explanation for the assertion he had raised. A request for grant of extension was denied and he was forced to conclude the arguments that he raised.
11:25 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Seemingly unaffected by the many queries posed to him by the judges, the counsel is proceeding with his arguments citing EU rules, definitions among other things. The Swiss Watchmakers case is in question now, with the judges questioning the counsel on the “aftermarkets”, and how the lubricant and car manufacturers are in the same market.
11:29 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Mr. Kochar is calling out the counsel on reading into the statute, including a word “aftermarket” which the statute does not use. Explaining his error, the counsel is citing the Shamsher Kataria case, saying the term he is using is in fact defined by this authority.
11:32 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
Having completed presenting the issues and arguments, the respondent finally prayed to seek justice, and for their side of the arguments to be considered under good conscience and equality.
11:33 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
The time is up again, however the arguments continue with many questions being posed to the counsel taking the counsel on a ride through facts and various technical facets of law. Again calling out the counsel for reading into the competition Act the provisions which are not there, the judges not letting the counsel beat around the bush are grilling him.
11:34 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The appellant now came forward to rebut the arguments raised by their opponents. The main argument raised was with regard to the applicability of the notices mentioned by the respondents in the country under consideration in the case at hand. The appellants finally countered the issues with regard to consumer behaviour raised by the appellants, and the way in which the same would not hold good in the issue at hand.
11:37 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Hopefully satisfied with the counsel’s arguments about the previous issue, the judges let the counsel move on to the next one. Not extending the time anymore, the counsel has been given last 2 minutes to wrap up and to help the judges “fathom what the counsel’s main issue is”. The judges are asking the counsel to clear their confusion regarding certain terms, acquisition and amalgamation, used by the counsel accompanied with more queries about acquisition of assets.
11:38 AM NLSIU V RMLNLU
The respondents came forward and countered all the rebuttals raised against them by quoting various parts of the moot problem and the clarifications provided, thus clarifying and justifying their stance with regard to the notices and the consumer behaviour. The respondents finally raised a key issue, of the absence of consent, that should’ve been taken by TML, and in furtherance of which they should’ve acted. This issue was not justified or made clear in any of the speeches delivered by the appellants, thus giving way for scrutiny. With this, the round has ended. The judges are giving the teams their feedback.
11:43 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
Looks like the last two minute extension is also going to be exceeded as Mr. Pethia delves into questions about the binding effects of FAQ.s in SEBI Law as compared to Competition Law. without a chance to wrap up, the counsel is dismissed in light of the time extensions.
11:47 AM SLS Pune V GNLU
it’s time for rebuttals now. As the counsel for the appellant presents his rebuttals, the judges are ask him to go succinctly point wise due to paucity of time. After taking hurried notes, the counsel for respondents is here to rebut now as the opposing team wraps up their table. With this, the round has come to an end.
Stay tuned for announcement of the names of the teams that will be proceeding to the finals! We hope you had fun reading the blog till now! We will now report live from the finals at 2.30 PM
02:30 PM Final Rounds
Welcome back! After several rounds of rigorous grilling by the judges and leaving behind some of the best participating teams from India, we now have two honchos take on the moot. The Appellants are represented by Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar and the Respondents are represented by the Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow. The bench comprises of some of the most known names of the Corporate world of India. We are proud to have on the bench Mr. Vinod Dhall (Talwar, Takore and Associates and Former Chairman of the Competition Commission of India), Mr. Kuldeep Kumar (Joint Director Law, Competition Commission of India), Mr. Yogesh SIngh (Senior Partner, Trilegal, Gurugram), Mr. Anshuman Sakle (Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai)
GNLU v. RMLNLU
02:33 PM We are sitting at the cyber law center. The final rounds are about to begin. While the GNLU team seems engrossed in last minute preps, the RML team is engaged in some light conversation among themselves, quite delighted to have made it to the finals. A lot of the other teams have showed up to watch the rounds.
02:50 PM– everybody stands up as the judges arrive.
02:52 PM The counsel for the appellant has taken the dias now. With some technical adjustments for the mic, the counsel begins. Mr. Dhall interrupts the counsel by asking him to introduce which teams they belong to. He is being informed by the other judges that the university of the teams are hidden from the judges to prevent bias.
02:54 PM The counsel is now giving an overview of his arguments. Proceeding with his first issue, the counsel has asked the judges to refer to para 14 of his submissions. The counsel is asserting that the Director General took an illegal suo motu action with the search and seizure both on TML and TPL. while bulking his arguments alleging breach of privacy and citing the K.S Puttaswamy case, the counsel was interrupted by Mr. Kumar with a query about what kind of information was held to be private in that case.
02:58 PM The counsel is moving on to the second issue saying that the High Court Order was not per incuriam. An American doctrine “fruits of the poisonous tree” is being used by the counsel to substantiate his arguments. The counsel is citing Navtej Singh Johar v. UOI, saying that the constitution is a dynamic document.
03:02 PM With no further query from the judges, the counsel has now moved to the next issue. Mr. Dhall and Mr. Singh seem to be taking certain notes with a stone face while the remaining judges are flipping through the submitted documents and posing enquiries into facts about the appellant company’s actions. Mr. Kumar citing certain provisions of the Competition Act is contending that the appellant company in fact held dominance with a share of 30%.
03:06 PM “all is an extreme word” says the counsel for appellants to further his arguments supporting the breach of privacy of his clients because of the search and seizure while in the email. The co-counsel for the appellant is furthering the arguments for the remaining issues now. The current issue in question is of the lubricant circular.
03:10 PM-The Second speaker of the appellant has now taken the dias. The meaning of ‘relevant product market’, ‘aftermarket’ again finds place in the arguments. The counsel relies on the Pelican.. Test to establish that the appellant company only functions in the primary market and not the aftermarket. Mr. Sakle is questioning the counsel about the verity of the assertions made by him as to certain facts.
03:13 PM “a manufacturer which is not dominant in the primary market cannot abuse his dominance in the secondary market” is the counsel’s argument backed by authorities about TML’s dominance in the given market.
03:16 PM The judges are presenting the counsel with a hypothetical situation asking him to explain the retrospective effects of a law on a cartel formed before it. Not exactly addressing the question presented to him, the counsel has steered back to the facts in question and is now citing a case law, however the judges seem to be adamant about the discussion on the validity of the retrospective effect.
03:21 PM A slight knowing smile covers Mr. Dhall’s face as the counsel refers to provisions of the competition act among others. Moving on to the next issue, the counsel is arguing that technical know-how cannot be deemed to be an asset in none of the laws be it patents Act, Copyright act or any other, as alleged by the counsel. Having established no transfer of asset, the counsel proves that the Joint Venture is not notifiable.
03:25 PM The time is up, the judges agree to a two minute extension on account of the time taken up in answering the questions of the bench. The counsel rests his case and is moving to the prayer now. His co-counsels stand up as the appellant says the prayer.
03:27 PM The counsel for the respondent is facing the bench now. Giving a brief introduction of her role in the case, the counsel is now stating the issues on the side of the respondents. Taking up the issue still fresh in our minds from the appellant’s speech, the counsel is arguing on whether the joint venture is notifiable. The counsel rests her arguments on the assertion that technical know-how is an intangible asset as it benefits the parties.
03:31 PM The counsel apart from asserting a transfer of rights with transfer of technical know-how is also contending that certain machines being leased also constitute as a transfer. The counsel is largely moving through her arguments unquestioned.
03:34 PM After calmly answering the bench’s questions regarding the previous issue, the counsel is addressing the second issue now. Mr. Singh says that with the suggestion to exempt the first time defaulters, the counsel is opening a window and many people suffering from other similar orders will drive a bus through that window.
03:37 PM The counsel is addressing the search and seizure now, asserting its legality by bringing attention to the warrant under which the same was done. The counsel is Justifying the “holistic manner” in which the search was conducted by highlighting that TML is a wholly owned subsidiary of TML. the counsel still going unquestioned is asserting that even is evidence is obtained in an illegal search, it is still deemed admissible.
03:41 PM The counsel suggests that the appellant’s interpretation of Puran Lal Mehta case was incorrect. The time is up, the judges grant extra two minutes as the counsel sums up her last issue concerning the territorial restraints very succinctly, saying that any sort of active or passive restriction hampers consumer welfare apart from having anti-competitive objects. Mr. Dhall seems to be conceding with the counsel with a brief explanation of the EU law from which the counsel took the concept of “active and passive” restraints.
03:46 PM The co-counsel for the respondents is presenting his arguments to the bench now.
03:48 PM The counsel is beginning his argument with the assertion that the imposition of Resale Price Maintenance clause restricts inter-brand competition. With another assertion regarding unnecessary price increases, the counsel implies that the appellant company is exploiting their consumers.
03:51 PM Like his co-counsel, the co-counsel has moved to the issue of restriction on online sale with minimal questioning. Mr. Singh asks the counsel to relate the situation realistically by asking him if the counsel knows anyone to purchase cars online. The counsel however, not addressing the question clearly moves on to other questions from Mr. Sakle.
03:56 PM With Mr. Sakle seeming satisfied with his responses, the counsel is moving to his next submission relating to the exclusivity clause. The counsel asserts that there are many entry barriers to the businesses. The counsel again moves to another issue with neither any questions from the judges nor any hints of their satisfaction with his arguments.
04:00 PM Having gone largely unquestioned in his earlier arguments, the counsel is now being grilled about the question of dominance of the appellant company.the counsel is alleging that TML is harming the goodwill of other lubricant manufacturers by giving preference to “zero” lubricant as they have a significant market share and hence are abusing their dominance.
04:04 PM The judges seem to have an unending series of questions for the counsel regarding the issue in question. The counsel is contending that instead of forming a consortium with “zero” lubricant the company should have informed the other lubricant companies so that they could alter their technology. This assertion again has given opportunity for the bench to question the counsel as to how he seem so sure of the willingness of the lubricant companies. The time was up three minutes ago, with the series of question and answers an implied extension for the allotted time was taken. The counsel is proceeding to the prayer now.
04:09 PM The counsel for the appellant is here for the rebuttals now. First addressing the definition of Asset and then the several criteria used to establish the dominance. After a few queries from the judges, the counsel from the respondent’s side is invited for the reply. Citing numerous authorities again, the counsel is rebutting the assertion that technical know-how does not amount to capital transfer.
04:11 PM With an implied time extension, the counsel for the respondent is continuing with the rebuttals. The counsel for appellants is on the dias once again, to refer the Shamsher Kataria Case to the bench. This was immediately responded to by the counsel for the respondents with relevant case laws leaving the shamsher kataria case per incuriam.
04:15 PM The final rounds have ended, the teams have been escorted out of the hall as the judges deliberate upon the scores.
0450 VALEDICTORY CEREMONY
Reporting Live from the Valedictory Ceremony of the 7th NNCLM, 2018.
The closing ceremony kick started with the thanking of all the dignitaries and individuals who made this event possible. It was notably stated by the comparer, Isha Kanskar, that the NLIU National Corporate Law Moot 2018 belonged to not only the members involved in making the competition possible, but to the entire student community of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. It was indeed a moment of pride for The National Law Institute University, Bhopal, as it was a successful event that took place nearly after two years since it last happened.
This was followed by felicitation of Prof. (Dr.) M.K. Srivastava, Mr. Vinod Dhall, Mr. Kuldeep Kumar and Mr. Yogesh Singh, with flowers and a momento, celebrating 20 years of NLIU’s commitment to education.
The Director has now been called upon to address the gathering. The Director started off by thanking the dignitaries on the dais for taking out their valuable time and gracing the event with their presence. As the Director, moved on he expressed his willingness to convert The NLIU National Corporate Law Moot into a flagship event, in association with The Competition Commission of India every year. He expressed his willingness to rename the competition as The NLIU CCI Corporate Law Moot, in the future, with of course the continued support the current sponsors.He further stated that in the end, though there will be winners, and best speakers, any competition would always be a learning experience for every participant and the same should not affect any future participation. Lastly, he thanked all the participants for taking part in the competition and hoped to see everyone in the future editions of the competition.
The Registrar of NLIU, Bhopal took the dais to address the gathering. Being her usual self, she began her speech on a very positive note, thanking all the participants, and encouraging them to keep participating in moot court competitions and not treat them as co-curricular competition. Like, the Director, she stated that winning and losing was all part of the game, and the same should not affect anyone’s participation in a competition. She notably said that every competition was a learning experience, and should be treated as every participant in the same manner.
This was followed by an address by Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, Joint Director (Law), Competition Commission of India. He thanked the Director for having him here, and congratulated the Moot Court Association of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal on putting up such a marvelous and successful event. He also expressed his desire for continued collaboration with The National Law Institute University, Bhopal for hosting The NNCLM as a flagship event every year. He ended his speech on this note.
Now, Mr. Yogesh Singh, Senior Partner of Trilegal was called upon to address the gathering. He seemed to be quite delighted as he began his speech. He thanked the Director for having him here, and like the congratulated the Moot Court Association for hosting a successful event, like the former. He also expressed how happy he was with the excellent hospitality that he received, and his exceptional experience in Bhopal. With this, he ended his speech on an extremely positive note.
Mr. Anshuman Sakle, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai takes the dais to share his experience of the Competition and in the field of Competition law. He wished to keep his speech quite short, and started off by thanking the Director for having him here, and congratulated the Moot Court Association for such a spectacular event. He notably appreciated the hospitality that he received, and expressed his willingness to witness more such competitions in future.
Prof. (Dr.) M.K. Shrivastava, former Vice-Chancellor, Hidayatullah National Law Institute University, Raipur has now taken to the dais. He started his speech by talking about the need for innovation in India, and the need for participation in such competitions throughout the country. He expressed his concern about the need to spread awareness about legal issues and various aspects of law among budding lawyers all over the nation. He was quite happy with the massive participation in the competition and congratulated the participants for working so hard and putting up a brilliant performance. He seemed to be quite enthusiastic, encouraging and motivating throughout his speech. He ended his speech by thanking the Director, and congratulating the Moot Court Association for hosting the event in a spectacular manner.
Mr. Vinod Dhall, Former Chairman of The Competition Commission of India, was now called upon the dais to address the gathering. He started off by thanking the Director for having him here, and commended the Moot Court Association on such an outstanding event. He seemed to agree with the concerns and the remarks raised by Prof. M.K. Srivastava, and expressed the same. He further raised the need for a law called “The Competition Law” in India. He quoted and cited real life examples, and anonymously raised Supreme Court Cases, to support each and every pint he raised while expressing his concern with regard to the need for Competition Law in India. He further raised his concern with regard to the lack of awareness among individuals residing in India and even the Courts and Tribunals with regard to Unfair and Restrictive Trade Practices in India. As and when he spoke, he brought up certain statements that were made by the speakers in the final round, and the reason as to why they contravene statutory provisions, and do not bear relevance in the current scenario. He finally, once again expressed his willingness to make an attempt to bring out the The Compeititon Law in India and make the individuals and Courts aware of the same.
Prof. (Dr.) Ghayur Alam was now called upon to address the gathering. He began his speech on a very humorous note, by raising the fact that though there was an active participation in the competitions, the same was absent in classrooms. He further humorously brought out the fact that he took classes on a Sunday, and was approached by the alumni with regard to the same. he commented on how the answer depended upon what your work meant to you. He finally congratulated The Moot Court Association for hosting such a great and memorable event.
The Director now came up and handed over copies of The Indian Constitution, published by EBC and The National Law Institute University to Prof.(Dr.) M.K. Srivastava, Mr. Yogesh SIngh and Mr. Anshuman Sakle.
Now, The Convenor of the Moot Court Association, Mr. Shashank Chaddha, was called upon to present something that the participants were eagerly waiting for, THE AWARDS. The participants waited in anticipation for what was to come.
The Best memorial award was given to the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
The Best Oralist Award was Handed to Prashant Prakash Hegde of The Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
The Runner up of The 7th edition of the NNCLM was Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
The winner of the 7th edition of the NNCLM was Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow.
To mark the end of the valedictory ceremony, the Co-convenor of The Moot Court Association, Priyam Jhudele proposed the vote of thanks in which he thanked all the participating teams and all the people who made this event possible.
With this, we come to the end of 7th NNCLM. We hope you had fun reading the blog and thank all the participants, judges and viewers for being with us for this edition of the Competition.
This is the Media Team of the NLIU MCA signing off. Till next time…. Follow us for more updates at www.facebook.com/NNCLM and www.instagram.com/nliu.mca
With Assistance of the MCA 2018-19
- Saahil Khare
- Tejas Hinder
- Vanshika Chansoria
- Chaarvi Sharma
- Rohit Chakravarty
- Himanshi Mahajan
- Aura Pandey