Class/collective actions in India: overview

A Q&A guide to class/collective actions in India.

The Q&A gives a high level overview of class/collective actions, including current trends; the regulatory framework; limitation periods; standing and the procedural framework for bringing an action; funding and costs; disclosure; damages and relief; settlement; appeals; alternative dispute resolution and proposals for reform.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Class Actions Country Q&A Tool.

This Q&A is part of the Class Actions Global Guide.

Contents

Overview of class/collective actions and current trends

1. What is the definition of class/collective actions in your jurisdiction? Are they popular and what are the current trends?

Definition of class/collective actions

A class/collective action is a lawsuit in which a single person or small group of individuals represent the interests of a larger group before the court (see P Ramanatha Iyer, Advanced Law Lexicon, 3rd Edition, 2005, p 820). A class action is also a procedural instrument, which enables one or more claimants to file a claim and pursue litigation on behalf of a larger group, class or entities with common rights and grievances.

Use of class/collective actions

Although various Indian statutes provide for collective actions, such provisions are rarely used and collective action is not a very popular civil remedy in India.

However, in writ jurisdiction representative actions or actions brought in the public interest via Public Interest Litigation (PIL) have gained much popularity and are widely used (to the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights under Article 32 of the Constitution, or to the High Courts for the enforcement of fundamental rights or any other legal right under Article 226 of the Constitution of India).

Current trends

The Indian legislature introduced the concept of class actions into section 245 of the Companies Act 2013. Section 245 introduces the concept of "specialised class actions" by shareholders and depositors of a company to the Indian legal regime, and is likely to have a far reaching impact on the use of class actions as an effective remedy in the Indian legal regime (see Question 2, Different mechanisms: Specialised class actions for securities litigation).

In introducing section 245, the Indian legislature was also mindful of the recent instances of corporate fraud in India, primarily the "Satyam scam". The Satyam scam involved material overstatement of Satyam Computer Services Ltd (Satyam) revenues, based on falsified invoices for hundreds of millions of dollars based on customer projects that did not actually exist. Apart from being listed in the Indian Stock Exchange, Satyam had also issued American Depository Receipts (ADRs) in the US. When the Satyam scam broke out, class actions were filed on behalf of purchasers of Satyam's ADRs before US courts.

The class actions against Satyam and its directors and auditors were ultimately settled, with US$125 million paid out to the purchasers of the ADRs. However, shareholders in India, where the concept of securities class actions was not developed, did not have recourse to such a remedy and failed to receive compensation, unlike the ADR holders in the US. It was partly to meet this anomaly (highlighted during the Satyam scam) that the Indian legislature decided to introduce section 245.

Section 245 was notified by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on 1 June 2016 and is likely to usher in a new era for collective actions in India.

In another major development in the sphere of collective actions in 2015, the government instituted an action against Nestle India Ltd, with respect to instant noodles sold in India under the brand name "Maggi", in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (National Commission). The complaint was, by its nature, a collective action and filed on behalf of all consumers, seeking damages of INR640 crores (INR6.4 billion) for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements. The complaint was filed under section 12(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, in terms of which the central or state government can, in its individual capacity, or as a representative of the interests of consumers in general, file complaints to the National Commission. This complaint has opened up doors to future collective actions on behalf of consumers and is a landmark case.

More recently, information available publicly seems to suggest that two non-government organisations and two individuals have filed a collective action before the National Commission against app-based taxi aggregators Ola and Uber under the Consumer Protection Act 1986. These recent trends are evidence that class actions are becoming increasingly necessary and are now being explored as an effective tool in India.

 

Regulatory framework

2. What are the principal sources of law and regulations relating to class/collective actions? What are the different mechanisms for bringing a class/collective action?

Principal sources of law

In India, the filing of representative actions is recognised under the (Indian) Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (CPC) (see below, Different mechanisms: Representative actions under the CPC). Similar provisions allowing parties to represent other aggrieved persons in a representative capacity are set out in the:

  • Consumer Protection Act 1986 (CPA).

  • Industrial Disputes Act 1947 (IDA).

  • Competition Act 2002 (Competition Act).

Additionally, the concept of class actions has evolved through judicial intervention in the form of Public Interest Litigations and Social Interest Litigations (see below, Different mechanisms: Representative actions under the CPC).

The Indian Legislature took a further step towards promoting class actions by introducing the concept of "class action suits" under section 245 of the newly amended Companies Act 2013 (Companies Act), in Chapter XVI pertaining to "Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement".

A separate provision for a "securities class action" is also provided under section 37 of the Companies Act. Under this provision, a lawsuit can be filed (or any other action may be taken) for a misleading statement, or for the inclusion or omission of any matter in a company prospectus. Such an action can be filed any person, group of persons or any association of persons affected by the statement/inclusion/omission (see below, Different mechanisms: Specialised class actions for securities litigation).

Principal institutions

The principle institution for bringing a class/collection varies depending on the type of claim and governing statute under which the claim is brought.

Actions under the CPC. Actions provided for under Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC can be filed by the concerned persons before a court by seeking the permission of the court or by the direction of the court. The action must be filed before the appropriate court with requisite territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction. While territorial jurisdiction is determined based on (among others) cause of action and/or locations of defendants, pecuniary jurisdiction is based on the valuation of the lawsuit, and differs across different states in India.

Actions under the Companies Act. Section 245(1) of the Companies Act provides that class action lawsuits initiated under the Companies Act must be initiated before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). On 1 June 2016 the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) constituted the NCLT and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to exercise and discharge the powers and functions as conferred on it under the Companies Act. On the same day, the MCA also notified section 245 of the Companies Act. Having constituted the NCLT and NCLAT, the MCA also notified the National Company Law Tribunal Rules 2016 and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules 2016 on 21 July 2016, which contain relevant rules relating to class actions under section 245 of the Companies Act.

Actions under the CPA. Depending on the value of the claim, a complaint under the CPA can be filed before the:

  • District Forum (for claims of up to INR2 million). This is a consumer dispute redressal forum established by the state government in each district of the state by notification.

  • State Commission (for claims of between INR2 million and INR10 million). This is a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission established by the state government in the state by notification.

  • National Commission (for claims of more than INR10 million). This is the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission established by the central government by notification.

Actions under the Competition Act. Applications made under section 53(N)(1) of the Competition Act must be filed before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT).

Different mechanisms

The various mechanisms for class/collective actions are set out as follows.

Representative actions under the CPC. The provisions regarding the filing of representative actions are set out under Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC. Under this rule, an individual or group of individuals can file an action for the benefit of all persons interested in the subject matter of the litigation. However, to bring an action the following conditions must be met:

  • Numerous parties must be present in the representative action.

  • All parties must share the same interest (commonality of interest).

  • The action is maintainable only upon seeking prior permission of the court.

  • On permission being given by court, the court must issue a notice to all the interested parties.

  • No part of the action can be withdrawn or a compromise recorded unless notice is given to all interested persons.

  • If the person suing or defending in a representative capacity is not acting with due diligence, the court can substitute in his place any other person with the same interest in the representative action.

Consequently, a decree passed by the court in a representative action will be binding on all persons on whose behalf, or for whose benefit, the suit was instituted, or defended (as the case may be) (Order 1 Rule 8(6), CPC).

In addition to Order 1 Rule 8, the CPC has another provision relating to collective action. Section 91 empowers two or more persons to file a suit with the permission of the court to seek a declaration and injunction or any such other relief against public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting, or likely to affect the public. Such an action can be brought even if no special damage has been caused to such persons by reason of such public nuisance or other wrongful act.

Public Interest Litigations (PILs). Akin to the provision relating to representative actions (see above, Representative actions), the Indian Courts have (in writ jurisdiction) evolved a branch of jurisprudence known as "Public Interest Litigation" or "Social Interest Litigation" (PILs). PILs are generally initiated either by the court suo moto (that is, on its own motion) or by public spirited individuals who represent a class/category of individuals and are filed against the state or public authorities in the High Court and Supreme Court in invocation of these courts a writ jurisdiction under Article 226 and Article 32 of the Constitution of India 1950, respectively.

The practice of filing PILs has evolved through a relaxation of the common law rule of locus standi by the Indian courts (that is, the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court) so as to enable them to examine and adjudicate upon grievances of the public at large or issues involving public interest.

Initially, PILs were regarded as a tool for the courts to look into grievances and complaints on behalf of the poor, depraved, illiterate and the disabled who cannot vindicate the legal wrong or legal injury caused to them for any violation of any constitutional or legal right. However, over the years the scope of PILs has been greatly expanded to examine issues of public interest.

Certain landmark decisions in the history of PILs in India include:

  • MC Mehta and Anr v Union of India and Ors AIR 1987 SC 1086. In this case the Supreme Court of India observed that Article 32 of the Indian Constitution does not merely confer power on the Supreme Court to issue direction, order or a writ for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Instead, it also creates a constitutional obligation on the court to protect the fundamental rights of the people.

  • Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India & Ors AIR 1984 SC 802. In this case, the Supreme Court of India, while adjudicating upon a petition filed by an organisation dedicated to the cause of release of bonded labourers in the country, were of the opinion that, where a person or class of persons to whom legal injury is caused by reason of violation of a fundamental right is unable to approach the court for judicial redress on account of poverty, disability or a socially or economically disadvantaged position, any member of the public acting bona fide can apply to the court for relief, and seek redress for violations of its fundamental rights.

  • State of Uttaranchal v Balwant Singh Chaufal and Ors 2010 3 SCC 402. In this case, the Supreme Court of India held as follows:

"According to our opinion, the public interest litigation is an extremely important jurisdiction exercised by the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The courts in a number of cases have given important directions and passed orders which have brought positive changes in the country. The courts' directions have immensely benefited marginalised sections of the society in a number of cases. It has also helped in protection and preservation of ecology, environment, forests, marine life, wildlife and so on. The courts' directions to some extent have helped in maintaining probity and transparency in the public life. This court while exercising its jurisdiction of judicial review realised that a very large section of the society because of extreme poverty, ignorance, discrimination and illiteracy had been denied justice for time immemorial and in fact they have no access to justice. Predominantly, to provide access to justice to the poor, deprived, vulnerable, discriminated and marginalised sections of the society, this court has initiated, encouraged and propelled the public interest litigation. The litigation is upshot and product of this court's deep and intense urge to fulfil its bounden duty and constitutional obligation."

Over the years, the scope of "public interest" has been widened to include both:

  • Petitions relating to the rights of the poor and marginalised.

  • Issues which affect society at large (for example, matters relating to environmental issues, corruption scams, among others).

Specialised class actions for securities litigation under the Companies Act. A provision relating to class action securities litigation has been introduced into the Companies Act by section 245 (Chapter XVI of the Companies Act, which deals with "Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement").

Section 245 introduces the concept of specialised class actions by shareholders and depositors of a company to the Indian legal regime. Introduction of this specialised remedy is in part based on recommendations from the JJ Irani Committee (see www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Company/Companies_Bill_%20SC%20Report%202012.pdf), which recommended the development of a concept of representative action that can be initiated by one shareholder on behalf of one or more of the shareholders, on the premise that they would all have the same locus standi to initiate an action against an erring company. Section 245 widens the scope of the concept of "prevention of oppression and mismanagement" by providing a right to file class action litigation to both:

  • Shareholders of a company.

  • Depositors.

Section 245 of the Companies Act also enables the members or depositors of a company to (among other things) sue a professional/expert/advisor for rendering any incorrect or misleading statements made to the company or for any fraudulent, unlawful or wrongful acts or conduct or any likely acts or conduct on his part. The inclusion of auditors and consultants of the company within the ambit of the class action suit, along with the company and its management, provides additional empowerment to stakeholders to seek action against such persons for specified wrong deeds. This provision is geared towards ensuring that experts, advisors and auditors of a company act carefully and diligently before advising the company and its management. The provision is also (to a certain extent) a consequence of the Satyam scam (see Question 1).

In addition, section 37 of the Companies Act also provides for a "securities class action". This provision provides that a lawsuit can be filed, or any other action may be taken by any person, group of persons or any association of persons affected by any misleading statement or the inclusion or omission of any matter in the prospectus under:

  • Section 34 (criminal liability for misstatements in a prospectus).

  • Section 35 (civil liability for misstatements in a prospectus).

  • Section 36 (punishment for fraudulently inducing persons to invest money).

A minimum number of members required to file such a suit/alternative action has not yet been prescribed.

Section 37 has been notified and is currently in force.

Consumer complaint actions under the CPA. The CPA seeks to provide simple and speedy redressal to consumer disputes by establishing quasi-judicial machinery at district, state and national levels called the:

  • District Forums.

  • State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (State Commissions).

  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (National Commission).

Under section 12(1)(c) of the CPA, one or more consumers with the same interest (as well as consumers acting on behalf of, or for the benefit of all consumers) can file a complaint with the District Forum in relation to:

  • Any goods sold or delivered, or agreed to be sold or delivered.

  • Any service provided, or agreed to be provided.

Such a complaint can only be filed with the permission of a District Forum. Apart from exercising appellate and supervisory jurisdictions over the lower consumer forums, complaints can also be directly made to the:

  • The State Commission, if the value of the goods or services and compensation (if any) claimed is between INR2 million and INR10 million.

  • The National Commission, if the value of the goods or services and compensation (if any) claimed is more than INR10 million.

An example of this was the complaint instituted by the government against Nestle in the National Commission under the CPA (see Question 1). The quantum of damages that the government was seeking on behalf of consumers in general was above INR10 million and therefore the complaint was made directly to the National Commission.

Industrial disputes/collective bargaining under the IDA. Representative actions through collective bargaining can be said to be permitted under the IDA, as industrial jurisprudence is based on class-action or representative litigation.

The IDA permits collective bargaining by employees/workers as represented by their unions (which to some extent is an embodiment of the common law principles of representative litigation). The concept was evolved to enable poor workmen to unite together and press their demand collectively in order to confront a powerful employer.

Anti-trust actions under the Competition Act. The Competition Act recognises the need to compensate parties for loss or damage caused as a result of anti-competitive conduct. The Competition Act also recognises that the conduct of parties may affect numerous parties for whom an individual claim may not be viable, accordingly, it provides for class actions as a form of redressal for numerous parties affected by anti-competitive conduct.

Where numerous persons with the same interest have suffered loss or damage caused by the anti-competitive conduct of an enterprise (upheld by a decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) or the COMPAT), one or more such persons (as well as persons acting for and on behalf of all persons) can make an application to the COMPAT for the recovery of compensation for any loss or damage suffered (section 53N(4), Competition Act ).

However, an application for compensation can only be made to the COMPAT either:

  • When the CCI or the COMPAT has determined in the prior proceedings that there has been a violation of the provisions of the Competition Act.

  • Where section 42A or section 53Q(2) of the Competition Act apply. These provisions provide a right to make an application for compensation when parties have suffered damage as a result of an enterprise contravening directions from the CCI or COMPAT.

In such cases, the provisions of Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC apply subject to the following modifications:

  • Every reference therein to a lawsuit must be construed as a reference to the aforementioned application to the COMPAT.

  • Every reference to a decree must be construed as a reference to the order of the COMPAT.

However, to date, these provisions remain untested.

 
3. Are class/collective actions permitted/used in all areas of law, or only in specific areas?

The Code of Civil Procedure permits representative actions in all manner of civil litigation. In addition, specialised statutes dealing with consumer law, industrial disputes, competition law, environment law and companies law also provide for certain forms of collective actions. The concept of Public Interest Litigation also allows for representative actions in any matter that affects the rights of society or a section of society.

 

Limitation

4. What are the key limitation periods for class/collective actions?

Unless otherwise provided for by specific statutes, the limitation periods in India are governed by the Limitation Act 1963. While different causes of actions under the Code of Civil Procedure have different limitation periods, in most cases the limitation period is three years.

The provisions of the Limitation Act apply to proceedings or appeals under the Companies Act made to the National Company Law Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal (as applicable) (section 422, Companies Act). The Companies Act and the Limitation Act do not provide for a specific period within which a specialised class action for securities litigation under section 245 must be made. However, Article 137 of the schedule to the Limitation Act prescribes a maximum period of three years for a cause of action for which no specific period is prescribed. Accordingly, the limitation period for such actions will be deemed to be three years (however, this remains untested).

In relation to class actions made under the Consumer Protection Act, a complaint before the District Forum, State Commission or National Commission must be filed within two years from the date the cause of action arose (section 24-A (1)). However, the respective consumer forum can condone the delay in filing the complaint if the complainant can satisfy the forum that he had sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within such period. The reasons for condoning the delay must be recorded by the District Forum, State Commission or National Commission (section 24-A(2)).

 

Standing and procedural framework for bringing an action

Standing

5. What are the rules for bringing a claim in a class/collective action?

Definition of class

Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). The CPC does not provide a specific definition of class under Order 1, Rule 8, but provides for a representative lawsuit where more than one person in the suit has a common interest.

Companies Act. A class action under the Companies Act can be instituted by members or depositors or any class of both. The term "class" is not specifically defined.

Consumer Protection Act (CPA). A class is not defined by the CPA. However, it is understood to be:

  • Consumers to whom particular goods are sold or delivered (or agreed to be sold or delivered).

  • Consumers to whom particular services are provided (or agreed to be provided).

Competition Act. A class is not defined under the Competition Act. However, different entities may have the same interest in a claim for compensation following the findings of the Commission or the orders of the COMPAT. Class action claims under the Competition Act are treated similarly to those under Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC. However, it is pertinent to note that this provision remains untested at the time of writing.

Potential claimant

CPC. See Question 6, Certification/qualification: Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).

Companies Act. Class actions brought under the Companies Act can be brought by any class of (section 245(1) and 245(3)(i)):

  • Member. Section 2(55) of the Companies Act defines "member", in relation to a company, as any of the following:

    • a subscriber to the memorandum of the company who is deemed to have agreed to become a member of the company, and on its registration was entered as a member in its register of members;

    • a person who agrees in writing to become a member of the company and whose name is entered in the register of members of the company;

    • a person holding shares of the company and whose name is entered as a beneficial owner in the records of a depository.

  • Depositor. Rule 2(d) of Companies (Acceptance of Deposits) Rules 2014 defines a depositor to mean either:

    • a member of the company who has made a deposit with the company in accordance with section 73(2) of the Companies Act;

    • a person who has made a deposit with a public company in accordance with section 76 of the Companies Act.

For actions brought under section 245 by a class of shareholders in a company limited by shares, the action must be brought by either (section 245(3)(i)(a), Companies Act):

  • No less than 100 shareholders of the company, or no less than a prescribed percentage of the total number of its members (whichever is less).

  • Any member or members holding no less than a prescribed percentage of the issued share capital of the company, subject to the condition that the applicant or applicants have paid all calls and other sums due on his or her shares.

For actions brought under section 245 by a class of shareholders in a company not limited by shares, the action must be brought by no less than one fifth (1/5) of the total number of the company's shareholders (section 245(3)(i)(b), Companies Act).

For actions brought under section 245 by a class of depositors in a company limited by shares, the action must be brought by either (section 245(3)(ii), Companies Act):

  • No less than 100 depositors of the company, or no less than a prescribed percentage of the total number of depositors (whichever is less).

  • Any depositor or depositors to whom the company owes a prescribed percentage of total deposits of the company. A "deposit" is defined in section 2(31) of the Companies Act as a receipt of money by way of deposit, loan or any other form by a company, but does not include categories of amount as may be prescribed in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.

In addition to the above, section 245(10) provides that an application can be filed under section 245(1) by any person, group of persons or association of persons representing the persons affected by any act or omission which is the subject matter of complaint under section 245. However, this is subject to the requirement that the persons being represented meet the shareholder or depositor qualifications under section 245(3) of the Companies Act.

An application under section 245(1), read with section 245(3), must be filed in Form NCLT-9 as provided in Annexure A to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Rules 2016. A copy of such application must be served on the company, other respondents and all such persons as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) may direct (Rule 84, NCLT Rules 2016).

CPA. Claims under the CPA can be filed by one or more consumers with the same interest, or by someone on behalf of, or for the benefit of all consumers interested in the complaint. The complaint can relate to any goods sold or delivered (or agreed to be sold or delivered) or any service provided (or agreed to be provided) (section 12(1)).

Section 12(1)(c) of the CPA provides for a complaint to be filed to (among others) the District Forum by one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers with a common interest regarding the sale/delivery of goods and provision of services. The term "complainant" is defined under section 2(1)(b) of the CPA, and includes one or more persons, where there are numerous consumers with the same interest (section 2(1)(b)(iv)).

Competition Act. Section 53(N)(1) of the Competition Act provides that an application can be made to the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), to adjudicate on a claim for compensation for any loss or damage shown to have been suffered as a result of anti-competitive conduct by an enterprise. An application to COMPAT can be made by:

  • The Central Government of India.

  • An Indian State Government.

  • A local authority.

  • An enterprise.

  • A person.

For an application to be made, it must have been held by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) or COMPAT in an appeal that the loss or damage suffered was caused by the infringing enterprise.

Claimants outside the jurisdiction

CPC. Section 20(b) of the Civil Procedure Code provides that a lawsuit must be instituted in a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction "any of the defendants (where there are more than one), at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry or business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution".

Therefore, under the CPC, it is not the claimant's location which determines jurisdiction but, instead, the cause of action or any one of the defendants' location determines the jurisdiction.

Companies Act. The Companies Act contemplates the consolidation of similar applications pending in different jurisdictions and Section 245(5)(b) and provides that, "all similar applications prevalent in any jurisdiction should be consolidated into a single application and the class members or depositors should be allowed to choose the lead applicant".

Professional claimants

The practice of selling consumer claims by professional commercial claimants in exchange for a share of the proceeds is not formally recognised in India.

Qualification, joinder and test cases

6. What are the key procedural elements for maintaining a case as a class action?

Certification/qualification

Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). The pre-conditions for bringing a class action under Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC were discussed by the Supreme Court in State of Andhra Pradesh v Gundugola Venkata Suryanarayana Garu AIR 1965 SC 11. In this case, the following observations were made:

  • For a person to file a suit in a representative capacity for and on behalf of numerous persons with the same interest, the only condition is the permission of the court.

  • In such a case, the court will give (at the claimant's expense), a notice that the lawsuit has been initiated to all persons with the same interest.

  • The court has the power to entertain an application from any person on whose behalf or for whose benefit the suit is instituted.

  • An action filed with permission to sue for, and on behalf of, numerous persons with the same interest under Order 1, Rule 8 is still an action filed by the person permitted to sue as the claimant (therefore, persons represented by him do not by virtue of the permission become claimants in the suit). Such other persons will be bound by the decree in the suit, but this is because they are represented by the claimants (and not because they are parties to the suit), unless they are permitted to be impleaded by express order of the court.

Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC is an enabling rule of convenience, where a representative action can be maintained provided the claimants/defendants have a common interest with other similar claimants/defendants. In the matter of Chairman, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, Madras v TN Ganapathy (1990) 1 SCC 608, where the Indian Supreme Court dealing with the issue of "common interest" as a prerequisite in a representative suit held that "the necessary condition for application of the provisions is that the persons on whose behalf the suit is being brought must have the same interest". Therefore, the interest must be common, or the different parties to the action must have common grievances which they would like to be redressed.

Once an application seeking permission to sue or defend a suit on behalf of all persons interested is moved, a court under Order 1, Rule 8(2) will serve (at the claimant's expense) a notice to all the persons interested that the lawsuit has been initiated by either personal service or, where service is not reasonably practicable owing to number of persons or any other cause, by public advertisement.

Companies Act. Claims made under the Companies Act can be filed before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) by a shareholder or depositor (or group of such persons) (section 245). A claim can be filed by such persons if they are of the opinion that the management or the conduct of the affairs of the company are being conducted in a manner that is prejudicial to the interests of the company or its shareholders or depositors. Such an action can also be filed on behalf of such persons seeking relief.

On receipt of an application for a class action under 245(1), the NCLT (under section 245(4)) will consider the following factors before proceeding:

  • Whether the member or depositor has acted in good faith while making the application to seek an order.

  • Any evidence which identifies the involvement of any person other than the directors or officers of the company on any of the matters claimed as reliefs under Section 245(1) of the Companies Act.

  • Whether the cause of action could be pursued by the member or the depositor in his own right than through an order. While considering the desirability of an individual or separate action, as opposed to a class action, the NCLT may take into account, in particular, whether admitting separate actions by a member or members or depositor or depositors would create a risk of (Rule 85(2) of the NCLT Rules, 2016):

    • inconsistent or varying adjudications in such separate actions;

    • adjudications that, as a practical matter, would dispose of the interests of the other members;

    • adjudications which would substantially impair or impede the ability of others members of the class to protect their interests.

  • Any evidence relating to the views of members or depositors who have no personal interest directly or indirectly in the matter.

  • Where the cause of action is an act or omission that is yet to occur, whether the act or omission in the circumstances is likely to be:

    • authorised by the company before it occurs; or

    • ratified by the company after it occurs.

  • Where the cause of action is an act or omission that has already occurred, whether the act or omission in the circumstances is likely to be ratified by the company.

Without prejudice to the aforementioned provisions, the NCLT may, while considering the admissibility of an application under section 245(4), take into account the following (Rule 85(1) of the NCLT Rules 2016):

  • Whether the class has so many members that joining them individually would be impractical, making a class action desirable.

  • Whether there are questions of law or fact common to the class.

  • Whether the claims or defences of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defences of the class.

  • Whether the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Consumer Protection Act. Section 12(1)(c) of the CPA provides for a complaint to be filed to (among others) the District Forum by one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers with a common interest regarding the sale/delivery of goods and provision of services. The term "complainant" is defined under section 2(1)(b) of the CPA, and includes one or more persons, where there are numerous consumers with the same interest (section 2(1)(b)(iv)).

Competition Act. Section 53(N)(1) of the Competition Act provides that an application can be made to the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), to adjudicate on a claim for compensation for any loss or damage shown to have been suffered as a result of anti-competitive conduct by an enterprise. An application to COMPAT can be made by:

  • The Central Government of India.

  • An Indian State Government.

  • A local authority.

  • An enterprise.

  • A person.

For an application to be made, it must have been held by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) or COMPAT in an appeal that the loss or damage suffered was caused by the infringing enterprise.

Minimum/maximum number of claimants

The CPC, the CPA and Competition Act do not prescribe for any minimum number of claimants for a collective action to be brought. However, the Companies Act provides for a minimum number of claimants to institute a class action:

  • For companies with share capital, an action can only be brought by a minimum of 100 or a prescribed percentage of the total number of its members (whichever is less), or any member or members singly or jointly holding not less than a prescribed percentage of the issued share capital, subject to the condition that the applicant(s) have paid up all calls and other sums due on the shares (section 245(3)(i)(a)).

  • For companies without share capital, a minimum of one-fifth of the total number of members is required to bring an action (section 245(3)(i)(b)).

  • For depositors, an application for an action can only be brought by a minimum of 100 of the company's depositors or a prescribed percentage of the total number of depositors (whichever is less), or any depositor or depositors singly or jointly holding such a percentage of the total value of outstanding deposits of the company (section 245(3)(ii)).

Before section 245 and the NCLT Rules 2016 had been formally notified, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) had shared certain draft rules which, inter alia, in terms of section 245, prescribed a minimum of 10% of the total number of shareholders/depositors as a requirement for instituting a class action suit. However, the NCLT Rules 2016 as notified by the MCA appear to be silent on this aspect which may create a lacuna in the system.

Joining other claimants

CPC. Sub-rule 2 of Rule 8, Order 1 provides for the court to give notice regarding the institution of a representative suit to all persons interested, either by personal service or public advertisement.

Companies Act. At the time of admission of an application under section 245 of the Companies Act, the NCLT is required to give notice by (Rule 87 of the NCLT Rules 2016):

  • Publishing in a vernacular newspaper in the principal vernacular language of the state in which the registered office of the company is situated and circulating in that state, and at least once in English in an English newspaper circulating in that state within seven days of admission. The date of the newspaper in which the notice appears will be taken as the date of serving the public notice to all the members of the class.

  • Placing the public notice on the website of such company (if any), in addition to publication of the public notice in a newspaper.

  • Placing the notice on the following:

    • the website of the NCLT;

    • the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs;

    • the website of concerned Registrar of Companies;

    • for listed companies, on the website of the related stock exchanges where the company has any of its securities listed, until the application is disposed of by the NCLT.

Rule of opt-out. The NCLT Rules 2016 provides that a member of a class action is entitled to opt-out of the proceedings at any time after the institution of the class action, with the permission of the NCLT, as under Form No. NCLT-1 provided under Annexure A of the NCLT Rules 2016. Any member opting out must not be precluded from pursuing a claim against the company on an individual basis under any other law where a remedy may be available, subject to the conditions imposed by the NCLT (Rule 86 of the NCLT Rules, 2016).

CPA. The CPA provides that a complaint can be served to the opposite party within 21 days of its admission (section 13(a)). Service is made by delivering or transmitting a copy of the complaint registered to the address of the opposite party against whom complaint is made or to the complainant by (section 28A):

  • Speed post or courier service as approved by the District Forum State Commission or the National Commission (as applicable).

  • Any other means of transmission of documents (including fax message).

Competition Act. The Competition Act contains no specific provisions for providing public notice in case of class action suits.

Lead applicant

CPC. Order 1, Rule 8 allows one claimant to file an action on behalf of various claimants after obtaining leave of the court. The decree in the suit will then be binding on all persons on whose behalf, or for whose benefit, the suit is instituted.

Companies Act. Section 245(5)(b) provides that a class action suit can have a lead applicant who will be in charge of the suit from the claimants' side. Section 245(5)(b) provides that:

  • All similar applications prevalent in any jurisdiction will be consolidated into a single application.

  • The class members or depositors should be allowed to choose the lead applicant. If the members or depositors of the class are unable to come to a consensus on the applicant, the Tribunal can appoint a lead applicant, who will be in charge of the proceedings from the applicant's side.

The Competition Act and the CPA do not have any specific provisions regarding lead applicants in a collective action.

Timetabling

7. What is the usual procedural timetable for a case?

In India, it is difficult to lay out a timetable for any sort of litigation because of the uncertainties involved in the judicial process. Therefore, it is not possible to provide an accurate assessment of the procedural timetables in representative actions in India.

The statute under which the representative action is filed will determine the forum and procedure, which will also have an effect on the time lines for the action.

As a general rule, actions under specific legislation (and which may use special forums) are usually disposed of more expeditiously in comparison with general civil suits.

Effect of the area of law on the procedural system

8. Does the applicable procedural system vary depending on the relevant area of law in which the class/collective action is brought?

The procedural law varies depending on the area of law involved and under which statute the remedy of representative action is invoked.

 

Funding and costs

Funding

9. What are the rules governing lawyers' fees in class/collective actions?

Rules governing lawyers' fees in a class/collective suit are the same as the rules governing lawyers' fees in any other matter.

These rules are set out in Chapter II of Part IV of the Bar Council of India Rules under the Advocates Act 1961. This includes the following rule, "An advocate shall not stipulate for a fee contingent on the results of litigation or agree to share the proceeds thereof" (Rule 20). Therefore, a lawyer cannot charge contingent fees which are dependent on the outcome of the class action/collective suit.

 
10. Is third party funding of class/collective actions permitted?

There is no specific bar on third party funding of class/collective actions under Indian law.

 
11. Is financial support available from any government or other public body for class/collective action litigation?

There is no specific support from the government in ordinary cases of class/collective litigation. However, the Legal Services Authority Act 1987 (LSAA) provides for free legal services/aid (such as the payment of court fees, process fees, providing an advocate and so on) to certain special class of people including (section 12):

  • Women and children.

  • Members of socially-backward classes.

  • Disabled persons.

  • Persons whose annual income does not exceed INR50,000.

The provisions of the LSAA are effected through the National Legal Services Authority at the National and State Legal Services Authority at the State level.

Additionally, in cases of large-scale injustices, the government has passed laws to take the matters upon itself (for example, the Bhopal Gas Leak (Processing of Claims) Act 1985, where the government of India took up the cause of the Bhopal gas leak victims).

Also, in relation Companies Act-based actions, section 125(3)(d) of the Companies Act, provides that the legal expenses incurred in class actions can be reimbursed from Investor Education Protection Fund (set up by the Central Government). Section 125(3) provides that the Investor Education Protector Fund can be utilised for (among other things) the reimbursement of legal expenses incurred in pursuing class action suits under sections 37 and 245 by members, debenture-holders or depositors, as sanctioned by the National Company Law Tribunal. See also Question 15, Companies Act.

 
12. Are other funding options available to claimants in class/collective actions?

Not applicable.

Costs

13. What are the key rules for costs/fees in class/collective action litigation?

The rules for costs/fees in collective/class actions vary depending on the type of action.

Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)

The award of costs in collective/class actions is at the discretion of the court (subject to any prescribed terms and conditions and to the provisions of any law for the time being in force) (section 35, CPC). The court therefore has full power to determine by whom, or out of what property, and to what extent such costs are to be paid, and to give all necessary directions for the same.

The CPC also empowers the court to award compensatory costs in respect of false or vexatious claims or defences or for causing delay (for example, by obtaining an adjournment or failing to take a required step under the CPC).

Order XXA Rule 1 of the CPC empowers the court to award costs related to various expenditure made during the course of a litigation (for example, typing, writing, printing, holding inspections and so on). Such awards are discretionary and must be awarded in accordance with the corresponding rules of the relevant High Court. However, in practice, Indian Courts rarely award actual costs incurred and even when costs are awarded, these are usually token amounts.

Companies Act

For a class action under the Companies Act, any costs or expenses connected with a class action suit must be covered by the company or person responsible for the oppressive act.

In this regard, it can be noted that under section 125(3)(d) of the Companies Act, the legal expenses incurred in class actions can be reimbursed from the Investor Education Protection Fund (set up by the central government).

Rule 113 of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Rules 2016 also authorises the NCLT to award costs incidental to any proceedings before it, as it deems fit.

Consumer Protection Act (CPA)

Under the CPA, there are no specific provisions allocating the costs of litigation to either party. However, under certain special circumstances, the respective forums are empowered to order payment of costs to either party, for example:

  • The District Forum, State Commission and National Commission are empowered to make orders as to the costs occasioned by an adjournment, in order to ensure an expeditious hearing (section 13(3A) and 19A, CPA).

  • Under Regulation 11(3) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2005, it is stated that the cost of adjournment, if requested by the defendant, must not be less than INR500 per adjournment (and may be more, depending on the value and nature of the complaint). The Consumer Forum is also empowered to burden the complainant with appropriate costs if an adjournment is pleaded. Regulation 11(3) also provides that in the circumstances of a particular case, the amount of cost imposed can be for less than INR500, but must be no less than INR100.

  • If, after the proceeding, the District Forum is satisfied that the goods or services complained against suffer from any of the defects specified in the complaint, it can issue an order to the opposite party with a direction to provide for adequate costs (section 14, CPA).

  • Where a complaint instituted before the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission is found to be frivolous or vexatious, the complaint can be dismissed and an order can be made to the complainant to pay to the opposite party costs not exceeding INR10,000 (section 26, CPA).

Key effects of the costs/funding regime

14. What are the key effects of the current costs/funding regime?

The only specific example of a funding regime is the Investor Education Protection Fund under the Companies Act (see Question 11 and Question 13).

In relation to the provisions for class actions under the Companies Act, since these provisions have been notified by the central government (recently, and so still have not been tested), it is difficult to gauge the effect of such a funding regime.

Private litigation funds have started looking at India as an investment destination. However, litigation funding is not a widely-utilised practice in India.

 

Disclosure and privilege

15. What is the procedure for disclosure of documents in a class/collective action?

The Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) does not provide a specific or separate procedure for the disclosure of documents in a class/collective action. However, the general rules under the CPC for the discovery and admission/denial of documents would be applicable. These provisions are set out in Orders XI, XII and XII of the CPC.

There are no specific provisions relating to the disclosure of documents with respect to representative actions instituted under the Companies Act, Competition Act, Consumer Protection Act or Industrial Disputes Act.

 
16. Are there special considerations for privilege in relation to class/collective actions?

There are no special considerations for privilege with respect to class/collective actions under Indian law.

 

Evidence

17. What is the procedure for filing factual and expert witness evidence in class/collective actions?

Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)

The CPC does not provide any specific procedures for filing of factual and expert witnesses. However, in representative actions, the general provisions relating to the filing of fact and expert witness evidence under the CPC would apply. These include, Orders XV, XVI, XVIII and XIX (among others).

Companies Act

The Companies Act does not provide any specific procedures for filing of factual and expert witnesses in class actions. However, Rule 40 of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Rules 2016 provides for the right to produce any additional evidence or documents or present witnesses.

Competition Act

There are no specific provisions for presentation of witnesses in proceedings in the Competition Appellate Tribunal or consumer forums.

 

Defence

18. Can one defendant apply to join other possible defendants in a class/collective action?

Joining other defendants

Defendants can be joined together under the following circumstances (Order 1, Rule 3, Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)):

  • Where any right to relief in respect of, or arising out of, the same act or transaction or series of acts or transactions is alleged to exist against such persons, whether jointly, severally or in the alternative.

  • If separate suits were brought against such persons, any common question of law or fact would arise.

There are no specific provisions for defendants joining other defendants under the proceedings in the consumer forum, National Company Law Tribunal, Competition Appellate Tribunal and so on.

Rights of multiple defendants

As a matter of common practice, multiple defendants can:

  • Be instructed and be represented by the same lawyers.

  • Instruct joint experts in support of their case.

 

Damages and relief

19. What is the measure of damages under national law in the field of class/collective actions?

The measure of damage is calculated based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case and there is no set formula under national law for the measure of damages.

 
20. What rules apply to declaratory relief and interim awards in class/collective actions?

Declaratory relief

Code of Civil Procedure. The following two types of relief can be claimed by a party in a civil action lawsuit (including a representative lawsuit):

  • Temporary injunction. Due to the excessive burden of cases before Indian courts, final disposal of lawsuits can take years (in some instances even decades). In order to protect the subject matter of lawsuit until the final disposal of the matter, a relief by way of interim injunction can be granted.

  • Interlocutory orders. Interlocutory orders are similar to temporary injunctions. An interlocutory order only settles the intervening matter relating to the cause. Such orders are made to secure some end and a purpose necessary and essential to the progress of the case, and are generally collateral to the issues to be settled by the court in the final judgment. These orders vary depending on the nature of the case, and can include:

    • an interim sale of movable property if the property is subject to natural decay (such as a vegetable).

    • a detention, preservation or inspection of the subject matter of the lawsuit;

    • a detention, preservation or inspection of property or documents;

    • an order to authorise a person to enter into any land or building in the possession of the other party, for the purposes of detention, preservation or inspection;

    • an order to authorise a person to take samples; and

    • a deposit of money (for example, if the subject matter of suit is money, or movable property, the court can order the person holding the money in dispute to be deposited in the court).

  • Final orders. When the matter is decided finally by the court, it is disposed of by way of a judgment. However, in certain cases the court may pass a judgment with certain directions (decrees) which must be carried out by the parties to the lawsuit.

Companies Act. Section 245(1) of the Companies Act enables the following reliefs to be granted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in a class action lawsuit:

  • An order to restrain the company from committing an act which is ultra vires (that is, beyond the scope of the power granted by) the company's articles or memorandum.

  • An order to restrain the company from committing a breach of a provision of the company's memorandum or articles.

  • An order to declare a resolution altering the memorandum or articles of the company as void if the resolution was passed by suppression of material facts or obtained by a misstatement to the members or depositors (and to restrain the company and its directors on acting on such resolution).

  • An order to restrain the company from carrying out an act contrary to the provisions of the Companies Act or any other law which is in force in India.

  • An order to restrain the company from taking action contrary to any resolution passed by the shareholders.

  • An order to claim damages or compensation, or demand any other suitable action, against:

    • the company or its directors for any fraudulent, unlawful or wrongful act or omission or conduct;

    • the auditor (including the audit firm of the company) for any improper or misleading statement of particulars made in his audit report or for any fraudulent, unlawful or wrongful act or conduct;

    • any expert, adviser, consultant or any other person for any incorrect or misleading statement made to the company, or any fraudulent, unlawful or wrongful act or conduct.

    • any other remedy that the NCLT deems fit.

An order passed by the NCLT is binding on the company and its shareholders, depositors, auditors (including audit firm), consultants, advisers, or any other person associated with the company (section 245(6)).

Any conduct from a company which fails to comply with the order of the NCLT is punishable by a minimum fine of INR500,000 which can be extended to up to INR2.5 million (section 245(7)). In addition, every officer of the company who is in default will be punishable with imprisonment for up to three years, and with minimum fine INR25,000, which can be extended to up to INR100,000 (section 245(8)).

However, there is no provision dealing with default or violations of the orders passed under section 245 of the Companies Act by the officers, directors, majority shareholders or experts or professional consultants.

If an application under section 245 is found to be frivolous or vexatious, the NCLT can reject the application by recording the reasons in writing and making an order the applicant to pay compensation to the opposite party of up to INR100,000 (section 248(8)).

Competition Act. After conducting an inquiry into the allegations mentioned in the application, the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) can pass an order directing an enterprise to provide compensation for damage suffered by the applicant due to contravention of the provisions of Chapter II of the Competition Act (section 53(N)(1), Competition Act).

COMPAT's inquiry of the allegations must be for the purpose of determining the eligibility and quantum of the compensation to be provided to the applicant. The inquiry should not be a fresh examination of the findings of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) or the COMPAT (Explanation (b) to Section 53(N), Competition Act).

The COMPAT can obtain the recommendations of the CCI before passing an order for compensation.

Interim awards

See above, Declaratory relief: Code of Civil Procedure

 

Settlement

21. What rules apply to settlement of class/collective actions?

Settlement rules

Order 23, Rule 3 and Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) encourages cases to be settled out of court. However, there are no specific provisions on the settlement of class/collective actions in the consumer forum, the National Company Law Tribunal or the Competition Appellate Tribunal.

Separate settlements

For representative actions under the CPC, settlement agreements cannot be reached, and suits cannot be abandoned/withdrawn unless the court gives notice to all interested parties/persons, at the expense of the plaintiff.

 

Appeals

22. Do parties have a right to appeal decisions relating to class actions, such as a decision granting or denying certification of a class action?

The procedures for appeal vary depending on the type of class action.

Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)

A court order can only be appealed under the CPC if it is mentioned in either section 104 or Order 43. An order under Order 1, Rule 8 of the CPC is not mentioned in either of these provisions and therefore cannot be appealed. However, section 115 of the CPC enables parties to apply for a revision of an order refusing an application arbitrarily (Order 1, Rule 8). Revision applications must be made to the High Court.

Under section 115, parties can apply for such a revision if the court which made the order under Order 1, Rule 8:

  • Exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law.

  • Failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested in it by law.

  • Acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

Companies Act

An order from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) can be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) (section 421, Companies Act). Any person aggrieved by an order of the Appellate Tribunal can file an appeal before the Supreme Court of India (section 423, Companies Act).

Consumer Protection Act (CPA)

An order from the District Forum can be appealed against to the State Commission (section 15, CPA). An order from the State Commission can be appealed to the National Commission (section 19, CPA). An order from the National Commission can be appealed to the Supreme Court (section 23, CPA).

Competition Act

An appeal from any decision or order of the Competition Appellate Tribunal should be made to the Supreme Court of India (section 53T, Competition Act).

 

Alternative dispute resolution

23. Is alternative dispute resolution (ADR) available in class/collective actions?

There is no specific bar on ADR in class/collective actions and the same would mostly depend on the ADR clause in the agreement (if any) between the parties.

Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure encourages the settlement of disputes through ADR.

 

Proposals for reform

24. Are there any proposals for reform concerning class/collective actions?

At present, there are no specific recommendations to amend the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to class actions.

In relation to the Companies Act, as the provisions related to class actions have been only recently notified, the provisions remain untested and at present no specific changes/amendments are being debated or proposed.

Due to the shortcomings of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the Consumer Protection Bill 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 10 August 2015 by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, to enable swift executive intervention in class actions, both to prevent consumer detriment and to provide redress to consumers. The Bill proposes to establish an executive agency to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. The CCPA will make interventions when necessary to prevent negative effects on consumers arising from unfair trade practices and to initiate class actions including enforcing the recall, refund and return of products.

For the Competition Act, the provisions relating to class actions are currently untested. Therefore, no specific changes/amendments are currently being debated or proposed.

*The author would like to thank the following for their contribution to this article: Manika Brar, Rohan Arora, and Rishabh Sureka.

 

Online resources

Competition Act 2002, Competition Commission of India

W www.cci.gov.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18

Description. Statutory body established under the Competition Act 2002 to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition and to promote and sustain competition. Website is maintained by Competition Commission of India. This website seems to be regularly updated and the information seems up-to-date.

Consumer Protection Act 1986, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and public Distribution

W http://consumeraffairs.nic.in/forms/contentpage.aspx?lid=640

Description. Official website of Department of Consumer Affairs, which is a part of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi, Govt. of India. Website is maintained by Department of Consumer Affairs itself. The information is extracted from the official website of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India. Website was last updated on 23 June 2015. Therefore, the information it contains seems up-to-date.

Consumer Protection Rules 2005

W http://ncdrc.nic.in/Regulations2005.html

Description. Official website of Department of Consumer Affairs, which is a part of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi, Govt. of India. Website is maintained by Department of Consumer Affairs itself. The information is extracted from the official website of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India. The website was last updated on 23 June 2015. Therefore, the website seems to be regularly updated and the information it contains seems up-to-date.

Companies Act 2013, Ministry of Corporate Affairs

W www.mca.gov.in/MinistryV2/companiesact.html

Description. Official website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is primarily concerned with the administration of the Companies Act 2013, the Companies Act 1956, the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008 and other allied Acts and rules and regulations needed to regulate the functioning of the corporate sector in accordance with law. The website is maintained by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. The website is regularly updated and the content seems up-to-date.

National Company Law Tribunal Rules 2016 and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs

W www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Rules_22072016_1.pdf

W www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Rules_22072016.pdf

Description. Official website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is primarily concerned with administration of the Companies Act 2013, the Companies Act 1956, the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008 and other allied Acts and rules and regulations needed to regulate the functioning of the corporate sector in accordance with law. The website is maintained by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. The website is regularly updated and the content seems to be up-to-date.

Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Ministry of Labour and Employment

W http://labour.nic.in/content/innerpage/industrial-relations.php

Description. Official website of Ministry of Labour and Employment. The main responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and Employment is to protect and safeguard the interests of workers. The website is maintained by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India. The website was last updated on 21 July 2015. The website seems to be regularly updated and the content seems to be up-to-date.

Code of Civil Procedure 1908

W www.chdslsa.gov.in/right_menu/act/pdf/codecivil.pdf

Description. Official website of the State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh. The State Legal Services Authority is constituted to provide easy and free legal services to the people. The website is maintained by the State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh. This website may be potentially out-of-date, however, the information set out here which is cited in this chapter seems to be updated.

Recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance, Ministry of Corporate Affairs

W www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Company/Companies_Bill_%20SC%20Report%202012.pdf

Description. Website of PRS Legislative Research (PRS), which was founded in 2005 as an independent research initiative. The initiative was incubated in the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi, which is a leading Indian think tank. The website is maintained by PRS. The website, as well as the information provided here, seems to be up-to-date.

Report of the Standing Committee on the Consumer Protection Bill 2015

W www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Consumer/SCR-%20Consumer%20Protection.pdf

Description. Website of PRS Legislative Research (PRS), which was founded in 2005 as an independent research initiative. The initiative was incubated in the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi, which is a leading Indian think tank. The website is maintained by PRS. The website as well as the information provided here seems to be up-to-date.

Rule 20 of Chapter II of Part IV of the Bar Council of India Rules

W www.barcouncilofindia.org/about/professional-standards/rules-on-professional-standards/

Description. Official website of Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India is a statutory body created by Parliament to regulate and represent the Indian bar. The website is maintained by the Bar Council of India. The information is extracted from official website of Bar Council of India which seems to be regularly updated.

Legal Services Authority Act 1987

W http://nalsa.gov.in/actrules.html

Description. Website of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) which has been constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to organise Lok Adalats for the amicable settlement of disputes. The website is maintained by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). The website and its content seem to be regularly updated.

Limitation Act 1963

W http://indiacode.nic.in/

Description. This website is a text database which consists of all the Central Acts of Parliament from 1836 onwards. Website is maintained by Ministry of Law and Justice, Legislative Department. The information is reasonably up-to-date.



Contributor profile

Jasleen K Oberoi, Partner

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co


T +91 11 41590700
F +91 11 26924900
E jasleen.oberoi@amsshardul.com
W www.amsshardul.com/

Professional qualifications. LLB from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, 1999.

Areas of practice. Dispute resolution.

Recent transactions

  • Wide range of Dispute Resolution experience, including in areas of Company Law, Domestic and International Arbitration and Economic Offences and Forensic Investigation.

  • Part of the Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas team advising the Government appointed Board of Satyam Computer Services Ltd.

  • Assisting with advice on the class actions filed in the United States against Satyam, and its directors and auditors. Also acted for Satyam in Public Interest Litigations filed by the Indian shareholders.

Languages. English, Hindi, Punjabi


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