Last year saw some significant legislative amendments and landmark judicial decisions heralding a more positive outlook for the resolution of corporate and commercial disputes in India. This update summarises some of the key developments in the past year and gives a brief overview of what can be expected in 2019.

THE YEAR THAT WAS

In 2018, besides introducing significant amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), the Parliament has attempted to modernise extant Indian legislation, with the passage of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha, which aims to promote India as a seat of arbitration; and the notification of the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018, which marks a paradigm shift towards prioritising specific performance of contractual obligations instead of awarding damages in lieu of performance. Further, sweeping amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 have updated the Indian law on bribery by expanding the coverage of offences to specifically cover bribery by commercial organisations and their officers. In addition, the Supreme Court for the first time delineated the nature and scope of the jurisdiction of the Competition Commission of India vis-à-vis sector-specific regulators.

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