II JLU National Moot Court Competition 16th – 18th February 2018.

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal is pleased to extend an invitation for participation in the II JLU National Moot Court Competition. The Moot Court Competition is scheduled to take place from 16th – 18th February 2018.

 

I take this opportunity to introduce Jagran Lakecity University established under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956 and incorporated by Govt. of M.P., vide Act No. 22 of 2013, at Bhopal. The University offers graduate, postgraduate and research programmes.

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University is organizing its maiden National Moot Court Competition to provide a platform to law students across India to showcase their advocacy skills and legal acumen, and with the idea of promoting progress and solidarity among the legal fraternity. The Moot Proposition for this Competition is based on Constitutional Law and focuses on the recent debate of the Certification laws in India as well.

The competition embraces following awards:

  • Best Team: Rs. 1,50,000
  • Runners-Up: Rs. 1,00,000
  •  Best Memorial: Rs. 25,000
  •  Best Speaker: Rs. 25,000
  •  Best Researcher: Rs. 25,000

We look forward for participation from your esteemed institution.

 

ACCOMMODATION AND TRAVEL

  • Accommodation and food shall be provided to all teams by the organisers from February 16 – 18, 2018.
  • Teams willing to stay beyond or before the dates of the moot, as specified, will have to pay Rs. 1000/- per member per day.
  • The interested students are required, to inform the Organizing Committee, through their Travel & Accommodation Form, so as to enable them to make necessary arrangements. Under no circumstances the Organizer shall provide accommodation to any other person accompanying the team.
  • Teams should send their travel plans by January 25, 2018.

CLARIFICATIONS:

Any clarifications regarding the competition may be sought from REGARDING MOOT PROCEDURE AND PROPOSITION:

Convenor & Faculty in Charge for Moot Court

  • Mr. Deevanshu Shrivastava, Assistant Professor

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, +91 – 9329285959

  • Mr. Ankit Singh, Assistant Professor

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, +91 – 8966049636

REGARDING TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION

  • Ms. Apoorva Bajpai, Assistant Professor

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, +91 – 9406527623

  • Ms. Apoorva Dixit, Lecturer

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, +91 – 9893088822

  • Ms. Pooja Pastariya, Lecturer

School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, +91 – 99981667549

STUDENT CONVENOR

  • Ms. Varuni Sehgal

STUDENT CO-CONVENOR

  • Ms. Anumeha Singhai

 

NOTE:

All clarifications regarding the Moot Problem should be sent to mcc.sol@jlu.edu.in latest by January 26, 2018.

A full list of clarifications shall be sent to all the teams through email by January 28, 2018, if required.

 

STRUCTURE OF THE COMPETITION:

  1. The Competition will be structured as per the following format:
  2. Preliminary Rounds
  3. Quarter Final Rounds
  4. Semi Final Rounds
  5. Final Round
  6. LANGUAGE

The language of the Competition shall be English.

  1. ELIGIBLITY
  • Students pursuing 3 years/ 5 years undergraduate LL.B. degree course are eligible to participate in this competition.
  • Only one team can participate from each institution.
  1. TEAM COMPOSITION
  • The team composition, for the competition, shall comprise of either two members (being designated as Speakers) OR three members (two of them shall be designated as Speakers and one Researcher). A fourth or third team member can participate as Observer, subject to the payment of Registration fees for Observer. The Observer will not be permitted to argue as Speaker in any case whatsoever.
  • The Researcher may be permitted to argue as Speaker in case of illness or any unforeseen event, but the permission of the Moot Court Convener in such case shall be mandatory.
  1. DRESS CODE

The participants shall adhere to following dress code when present in any court room during the Competition.

  1. Girls: White salwar and kurta or white shirt and black trousers along with black coat and black shoes.
  2. Boys: White shirt, black trousers and black tie along with black coat and black shoes.

Note: The participating teams shall also adhere to the above mentioned dress code while attending the inaugural and valedictory ceremonies of the Competition.

  1. PARTICIPATION AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURE
  • Teams must register by January 15, 2018 by sending an email to mcc.sol@jlu.edu.in with the subject “Registration for II JLU National Moot Court Competition”. On receiving the registrations, 40 teams will be allowed to participate in the Competition on First come-First serve basis. The same will be notified immediately to the respective teams through electronic mail. Selected teams must confirm their participation by January 20, 2018 by sending an email to mcc.sol@jlu.edu.in. Each Team shall be allotted a Team Code upon confirmation of participation.
  • The duly filled in hard copies of the Registration Form along with a demand draft of INR 4,500/- (Indian Rupees Four Thousand Five Hundred Only) must reach the Organizers by January 25, 2018. In case the team comprises of an observer also, the amount for the demand draft shall be INR 6,000/- (Indian Rupees Six Thousand Only). The demand draft will have to be made in favour of ‘Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal’ payable at Bhopal.
  • The participating teams must send their Registration Forms accompanied with demand draft and travel plan only through Speed Post. The teams shall solely be responsible for any kind of delay in receipt of Registration Form. The Registration form along with Demand Draft and Travel Plan should be sent to the following address:

Prof. Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava

S-643, Nehru Nagar,

Bhopal-462003 (M.P.) India

 

  1. MEMORIALS
  • All memorials submitted for all purposes of the Competition shall strictly adhere to the rules of the Competition. Each Team participating in the Competition must prepare one Memorial on behalf of Petitioner(s)/ Appellant(s) and one on behalf of the Respondent(s). Further each team has to submit 6 hard copies of the Memorials from each side. Non-compliance will entail a penalty of 1 point per copy not submitted. Hard copies of the memorial must reach the organizers latest by 8th February, 2018,failing which, the same shall not be considered and would lead to disqualification.
  • Petitioner memorials are required to have a Blue cover and Respondent memorials are required to have a Red cover. The memorials shall not contain any form of identification apart from the team code. If any such identification or mark, symbol, etc. which has the effect of identifying the team is found on the memorial, then it shall result in instant disqualification. A penalty of 1 mark shall be levied in case the memorial is submitted in any other format or as a multiple file by the team. The hard copy of memorial must be exact replica of the soft copy submitted with the Organizers. Any difference in the same will result in disqualification from the Competition. Each Team must send a soft copy of their memorials, in .pdf format only, for evaluation by February 01, 2018 before 11:59 P.M. to mcc.sol@jlu.edu.in with the subject “Memorials for II JLU National Moot Court Competition, 2018”. Memorials submitted beyond the deadline shall incur a liability of 3 points for the first day of delay, and 5 points each day for every subsequent day. No extensions will be granted with respect to this deadline. However, teams submitting soft copies of memorials any time after February 05, 2018 will be subject to immediate disqualification. Memorials shall be sent as an attachment with the mail in the form of single file for each side of memorial.
  • GUIDELINES FOR FORMATTING:
  1. Memorial Structure: The memorial must have following pages only:
  2. Cover Page – The cover page shall contain the case title, side of the memorial, year of competition, name of the Court and team Code on top right corner.
  3. Table of Contents

iii. List of Abbreviations

  1. Index of Authorities
  2. Statement of Jurisdiction
  3. Statement of Facts

vii. Issues Raised

viii. Summary of Arguments

  1. Pleadings /Arguments Advanced
  2. Prayer
  3. Team Code: The team code must be ascribed on the top right corner of the cover page.
  4. Content Specifications: The following content specifications must be strictly adhered to:
  5. Font and Size (General) – Times New Roman, 12 pts
  6. Line Spacing (General) – 1.5 lines

iii. Font and Size (Footnotes) – Times New Roman, 10 pts

  1. Line Spacing (Footnotes) – Single line
  2. Page Margins – 1 inch on all sides
  3. The Hard Copies of the Memorial shall be printed on only one side.

vii. The citation should be in compliance with the 20th edition of Bluebook. Speaking footnotes or Endnotes are not allowed.

  1. RULES FOR THE ORAL ROUNDS

Draw of Lots:

The match up of teams in Preliminary Rounds shall be determined on the basis of draw of lots. Draw of lots and Memorial Exchange shall take place on February 16, 2018 after the Inaugural Ceremony.

Preliminary Rounds

  • The preliminary rounds will be held on February 17, 2018. The Preliminary rounds shall comprise of Two Rounds of oral arguments subject to the allotment of team codes. In the preliminary rounds, each team shall have to argue twice, once as a petitioner and the other as a respondent.
  • Each team will get a total of 30 minutes to present their case. This time will include rebuttal and sur-rebuttal time (if permitted by the judge(s)). The division of time per speaker is left to the discretion of the team subject with a minimum of 10 minutes per speaker and not more than 15 minutes per speaker. Rebuttals can be assigned a time period of not more than 2 minutes.
  • The oral arguments should be confined to the issues presented in the memorial. The researcher may sit with the speakers during the oral rounds. Maximum scores for the oral rounds shall be 50 points per speaker per judge. The speakers can provide the copies of the compendium, only if the same is permitted by the panel of judges in their respective court rooms. No two Teams will argue against each other more than once in the Preliminary Rounds. The winners of the preliminary rounds shall, i.e. total eight teams (8 teams) shall qualify for the Quarter Final Rounds. For the purposes of qualification from the Preliminary Rounds to the Quarter Finals, the number of rounds won by the team shall be considered as first criteria. In case there is a tie, the winning difference of their respective rounds shall be taken into consideration. Further, in case of tie after taking winning scores into consideration, the decision shall be taken on the basis of the Memorial marks.

Quarter Final Rounds

  • The Quarter Final Rounds shall also take place on February 17, 2018. The Teams qualifying to the Quarter Finals shall be on the basis of Two Rounds of Oral arguments of the Preliminary Rounds.
  • Each team will get a total of 30 minutes to present their case which will include rebuttal and sur-rebuttal time (if permitted by the judge(s)).
  • The match up of teams in Quarter Final Rounds shall be determined on the basis of draw of lots. Semi Final Rounds: The Semi Final rounds shall comprise of Four Teams. The Semi Final rounds shall take place on February 18, 2018. The winner of the Quarter Final rounds shall be declared qualified for the Semi Final Rounds. The match up of teams in Semi Final Rounds shall be determined on the basis of draw of lots. Each team will get a total of 45 minutes to present their case which will include rebuttal and sur-rebuttal time (if permitted by the judge(s)).

Final Rounds:

The Final Rounds shall also take place on February 18, 2018. The two teams who stand declared as winners of the Semi Final Rounds shall qualify for the Final Rounds. Each team will get a total of 60 minutes to present their case which will include rebuttal and sur-rebuttal time (if permitted by the judge(s)). The Winner of the Final Round shall be declared Winner of the Competition.

General Rules:

  • In case of evaluation of all the Rounds, the Memorial Marks shall not be included to decide the merit.
  • But in case a tie takes place in the Quarter Final, Semi Final or Final Rounds, the marks of the Preliminary Rounds shall be the basis for deciding the winner.
  • The decision of the judges with regard to the outcome of the rounds shall be final.

Scouting

Teams shall not be allowed to observe the orals of another team, unless they have been officially knocked-out of the competition. Scouting is strictly prohibited. Scouting by any team shall entail instant disqualification.

  1. RESEARCHER’S TEST:

The “Researcher Test” shall take place on February 17, 2018. Only the Researcher, as indicated in the team registration form, shall take the researcher test. The speaker can only take the researcher test if the team comprises of two speakers only, which shall be communicated well in advance. The test shall be limited to general understanding of law and to the moot proposition.

  1. AWARDS

The competition embraces following awards:

  • Best Team: Rs. 1,50,000
  • Runners-Up: Rs. 1,00,000
  • Best Memorial: Rs. 25,000
  • Best Speaker: Rs. 25,000
  • Best Researcher: Rs. 25,000

 

 

Moot Problem-

The Republic of Eutopia, got its independence in the year 1947 and its constitution was formally enacted in the year 1950 by the name of Constitution of Eutopia, 1950 (“Constitution”), on a very similar lines to the Constitution of India, 1950. The Constitution granted several fundamental rights to the citizens of Eutopia. Further, to strengthen the nation’s economic development, the government of Eutopia had in place its system of taxation which was a three tier federal structure consisting of the central government, the state government and the local bodies. With the changes in the tax structure across the globe, the state of Eutopia in order to remove the cascading effect of the indirect taxes, sought to reform its existing indirect tax structure. After several deliberations and discussions over the years, the Republic of Eutopia, on July 01, 2017 launched a new tax regime, having ended a variety of central and state imposed indirect taxes. The legal framework of Eutopia is similar to that of union of India.

  1. The Central Government of Eutopia, introduced this new tax regime with much grandiloquence, and claims to be a milestone in economic revolution. The newly developed tax structure was a four set of enactments i.e. Central GST Act, 2017; Integrated GST Act, 2017; Union Territory GST Act, 2017 and GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017 (hereinafter collectively referred to as “GST Act”). A single window tax was therefore imposed under the name of Goods and Services Tax (“GST”). The introduction and injection of GST could be done only through amending a number of provisions of the Constitution, as it purported to affect the existing distribution of revenue between the Centre and the states and thereby impacting the federal set up. The tax regime of GST being known to none, has been apprehended skeptically, for the real impact on economy, common masses, business fraternity and state could not be precisely professed by any economist.
  2. Ever since the imposition of GST, a number of petitions including those in the form of Public Interest Litigations (“PILs”) have been filed in various High Courts and the Supreme Court of Eutopia. These PILs/ Writ Petitions, seek to challenge the validity of the GST Act and the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2017, on a variety of grounds. Confused, perplexed, baffled assessees have nowhere to go, to seek redressal of their grievance. The tax practitioners, chartered accountants, company secretaries and government authorities are also clueless about a lot of issues. Their last resort being judicial remedy, they have moved to the higher courts for the redressal of their grievance. The Supreme Court, therefore, considering the gravity of unrest and frustration empathized with people of Eutopia and has on its own motion, transferred the cases pending in the high court’s on similar questions of law, to itself, using its power under Article 139A of the Constitution. Interestingly, even some of the states have filed petitions under the original jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution, complaining of ambiguity and violation of the federal setup. Various associations of traders in respective items have challenged the constitutionality of the GST Act on the ground of being abridgement of the Article 14 of the Constitution. They base their contention on the fact that various items like petroleum, liquor etc. have been left out of the purview of GST on arbitrary grounds. These traders also grieve that they still being under earlier VAT and excise regime, have to pay different rates of taxes under different states. The exemption to such commodities has been alleged to be arbitrary. Secondly, it is also alleged that such a differential treatment is further agonized when the states charge VAT on such commodities as per their own discretion having no uniformity at all and thereby being against the very object of GST i.e. having a uniform price and uniform tax base for all the goods in all the states.
  3. Some consumer associations have also filed PILs against the GST, claiming it to be against consumer benefit and public interest. It is alleged that the selection of commodities and imposing a particular rate of taxation on them has been done irrationally, unreasonably and arbitrarily. Some have even gone to the extent of saying that such classification of tax base and goods under such differential tax slabs has been done to favor certain industrialists close to the incumbent government. Many items of basic necessities which are essential for bare survival have been slapped with higher rate of taxation, whereas many useless/ luxurious goods have been offered a lower tax rate. Therefore, some have alleged that GST to violative of not only Article 14 of the Constitution but also Article 21 of the Constitution as being abridgment of life and liberty.
  4. One of the biggest reasons behind GST not being digested by the business class in Eutopia is that it has been introduced without proper and due preparation. Along with introduction of GST, the government has also claimed to scrap the paper based filing and the registration, payment, filing and return being done only through electronic means and internet. It is alleged that a nation where basic necessities and a square meal is hardly available cannot be expected to compulsorily have computers and internet. Also, the GST regime has burdened an unending and unreasonable task of filing work (37 filings in a year), which are vexatious, baffling and tiresome. Previously under VAT regime, the trader had to do the filing only once in a year. In the current regime, a filing is required every month. The burden of the traders gets heavier and worsened when despite trying well in time, penalties is being imposed on them due to poor websites and server problems. The traders have to pay penalties for no faults of their own. The tax practitioners instead of lending them a helping hand have themselves cried foul. The filings and other formalities under GST and the compliance required under it is alleged to require a resource to be allocated for it separately, in addition to the respective business. GST has been framed in such a way that even medium sized companies are struggling to keep up the rules, diverting resources that could have been devoted to productive activity. Government has introduced unnecessarily complexity into what should have been the simplest of laws. GST also aims and claims to bring the smaller traders into tax net, but not the way it should. They are being forced in the system by the biggest customers in the supply chain; otherwise they may lose business to those who are part of the system and whose payments the customer can claim as refunds. However, such refunds are not made by the government in time and are delayed for months. This raises their working capital needs, increasing cost and reducing competitiveness. So as to avail the credit, even the smallest of traders want to buy from GST registered wholesalers. However, the unorganized sector like farmers from villages etc. is not registered under GST network and thus shall be a big looser in the system. Apparently their livelihood is fettered by the system.
  5. Moreover, in the previous regime, manufacturers were not required to comply with excise rule, if the turnover is below 5 crore. With merging into GST, they have to register in case the turnover crossed the limit of 20 lakhs under GST, again creating problem on small business holders. The above mentioned problems in the respective paragraphs have been pleaded to challenge the constitutionality of the GST Act and the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2017, as being in violation of many fundamental rights and the constitutional norms.
  6. The GST Act is also challenged on the grounds of vagueness and excessive delegation, in derogation of the Constitutional norms. For instance, Section 171 of the Central GST Act (and the corresponding provisions of the state GST Acts creates the obligation on businesses to pass on the recipient any reduction in rate of tax or the benefit of input tax credit by way of commensurate reduction in prices. The full guidance of what constitutes a commensurate reduction, what are the parameters you would go by, mitigating factors, check and balance provisions among others ruled to be in the Central GST Act itself. In the current form, the anti-profiteering rules give everything a miss. The impugned section, in effect, casts a duty on a committee of bureaucrats who shall be the anti- profiteering authority, who will in turn decide using their own discretion what commensurate reduction is. This is alleged to be delegation too excessive on the bureaucrats. A penalty also can be imposed by such discretion, which may even amount to cancellation of registration, an imposition disproportionate with the GST Act and that too without checks and balances.
  7. The GST Act and its implementation have also been challenged as being against good governance and public trust. According to Reserve Bank of Eutopia, “the implementation of the GST so far also appears to have had an adverse impact, rendering prospects for the manufacturing sector in uncertain in the short term. This may further delay the revival of investment activity, which is already hampered by stressed balance sheets of banks and corporate”.
  8. Major fallout of GST is that the tax slab imposed is non-conducive to the ‘recycle-waste’ industry and therefore unfavorable to environmental concerns. The tax imposed on plastic waste is 12%, while that on glass waste is 18%. This shall ultimately discourage people from buying recycled goods. Another repercussion of such tax rate is that the rag pickers and the unorganized labor sector shall be badly hit and lose their livelihood. A few NGOs have in this concern filed PILs before the Supreme Court of Eutopia.
  9. A few states seem discontent with the idea of GST itself and base their argument that it seeks to usurp the autonomy and independence of the states to a great extent and thereby causing a imbalance in the federal structure. Having assumed federal structure of the Constitution as a basic feature of the Constitution, they have challenged the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2017 itself.
  10. The Chief Justice of Eutopia, in the light of seriousness of the issues involved and that the issues also pertain to the interpretation of the Constitution has constituted a bench of 5 judges to hear the matter in the case of “Association of Traders and Others versus Union of Eutopia.”

ISSUES:

  1. Whether exemption of certain goods out of the purview of GST is grounded on some reasonable classification or is arbitrary in nature and therefore unconstitutional?
  2. Whether GST Act paves way for excessive delegation of powers & is therefore unconstitutional?

III. Whether Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2017 is against the federal setup of the Eutopia and is therefore unconstitutional?

 

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