Prabhash Ranjan
Articles by Prabhash Ranjan

Arbitration law needs to tackle a key concern

The arbitration law has undergone repeated amendments with only one aim — making India the hub of international arbitration.

The A&C Act can offer a broad definition of the term commercial to include investment (Getty Images/iStockphoto) )
Published on Jul 31, 2023 10:29 PM IST

Bimstec can anchor a new regional economic order

Bimstec has emerged as a critical instrument of regional cooperation linking five South Asian countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

On June 6, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec)(PTI)
Published on Jun 19, 2023 09:47 PM IST

Bridge the gap with EU, UK on taxation issues

Can India convince the EU and the UK for a complete carve-out for all kinds of taxation measures from the purview of the investment treaty or FTA?

India’s stand on the issue of taxation assumes importance considering India’s ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) and investment treaty negotiations with several countries, including the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) (AFP)
Updated on May 15, 2023 07:43 PM IST

India must claim damages for attacks on embassies

The failure to provide protection to Indian missions does not automatically mean that New Delhi ought to be compensated for the damages to the property or for the injuries to its employees. It is, however, open to India to make claims with respective countries for existing and future incidents

Khalistan supporters protest outside Indian Embassy in Washington, US. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 27, 2023 08:59 PM IST

ICC’s warrant against Putin for Ukraine war is a significant move

Only time will show how effective this move is, but for now, the people of Ukraine, who are the victims of Russia’s illegal war, have received an important boost

According to ICC, Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia (AP)
Updated on Mar 20, 2023 06:47 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan and Aman Kumar

Why only appoint judges as arbitrators?

The government needs to pay heed to the advice of CJI Chandrachud by creating a diverse pool of Indian arbitrators for ITA comprising judges, lawyers, and academicians

Resolving an ITA dispute requires expertise in international law. The SC and HC judges spend almost all their judicial careers deciding cases based on domestic law, not international law. Most of their judicial time is spent addressing complex domestic law, not international law, questions. This raises questions about their suitability to sit on an ITA tribunal that would involve challenging international law questions (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Mar 13, 2023 07:01 PM IST

Challenges await India in decarbonising its economy

Given global developments, this objective of decarbonising the economy may face certain challenges under international investment law, which Indian policymakers need to be alert about.

India — as agreed at COP27 — plans to phase down around 81 coal-fired power plants over the next four years. (AP/Representative Image)
Updated on Jan 30, 2023 08:36 AM IST

How the West weakens rules-based global order

Powerful countries continue to sacrifice international law at the altar of political expediency. They actively quote international law to judge the actions of their adversaries but disregard it to support their unlawful actions and those of allies

In 2022, the world — especially the United States (US) and Canada — didn’t leave any stone unturned to remind Russia about its illegal occupation. The United Nations (UN) was repeatedly used to adopt resolutions indicting Moscow. (AFP)
Updated on Dec 21, 2022 07:11 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan and Aman Kumar

Investment protection is a must in India-UK FTA

The India-UK investment relationship is no more a one-way street. In 2020, the stock of foreign direct investment from India in the UK was £10.6 billion as against £14.9 billion from the UK in India

Given the new global consensus on investment treaties, the UK will not insist on an investment chapter that prioritises foreign investment protection over the State’s right to regulate. (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 31, 2022 06:35 PM IST

Use international law to bolster national security

India should use international law as a weapon for national security, also known as lawfare, to put pressure on Pakistan to comply with its international trade treaty obligations.

India believes that the onus is on Pakistan to resume normal trade relations. (Reuters File Photo)
Published on Sep 06, 2022 10:11 PM IST

Rohingya row shows why we need a national refugee law

India needs legislation, consistent with the international refugee law principles such as non-refoulement that governs refugees

The view that the principle of non-refoulement does not bind India because it is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention is patently wrong. (PTI)
Published on Aug 22, 2022 09:37 PM IST

Amend the Patents Act to execute TRIPS waiver

These amendments to the Patents Act will have the following advantages. First, it will demonstrate India’s resolve to help the developing world fight the pandemic. Second, it will cement India’s position as a leader of the developing world

Notwithstanding the shallowness of the TRIPS waiver, the ball is now in the court of the developing countries, especially the original propagators of the waiver, to use the decision by incorporating it within their respective legal regimes. (HT)
Updated on Jun 26, 2022 08:34 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan and Praharsh Gour

Will WTO rise from an ‘institutional zombie’?

Several contentious issues are on the table and the jury is still out on whether just and equitable tangible outcomes will be achieved.

If WTO negotiators fail in Geneva, it will not only be a blow to the institution itself but also to trade multilateralism. (AFP)
Published on Jun 16, 2022 03:25 AM IST

India-EU investment treaty: Remove hurdles

An India-EU investment treaty will not only bring benefits to both sides but also demonstrate the combined will towards strengthening a rules-based international order

Overall, India’s new investment treaty practice gives primacy to the State’s rights over the rights of the foreign investors, whereas the EU treaty practice is more balanced. This difference in perspective will be a bone of contention between the two sides. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 09, 2022 07:54 PM IST

To reach full potential of trade pacts, accept investment protection

Stung by several international claims under BITs, India is like a cat who, after sitting on a hot stove, refuses to sit even on a cold stove

India should come out of its shell and accept investment protection as part of its broader economic commitments under international law. This will enable India to realise the full potential of these CECAs. (AFP)
Updated on Apr 04, 2022 08:09 PM IST

In war-torn Ukraine, has international law failed us once again?

The so-called weakness of international law is a tale of the feebleness of global institutions and countries mandated to implement the law.

Several tools can be used to hold Russia accountable or inflict costs for its unlawful behaviour. (REUTERS)
Published on Mar 02, 2022 07:28 PM IST

A non-protectionist trade policy is what India needs

It should include pro-market reforms, not pro-business reforms that are reminiscent of India’s “stigmatised capitalism”

In the last few years, the official narrative on FTAs has been that they led to India’s de-industrialisation in some sectors. (Bloomberg file photo/Representative image)
Published on Feb 25, 2022 06:47 PM IST

India’s poor compliance with investment awards

The decision of the Canadian court sullies India’s reputation globally as an attractive investment destination and spooks foreign investors

Since 2011, approximately 20 BIT arbitrations have been initiated against India before different investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 12, 2022 07:39 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

The crisis in SAU is a symbol of the crisis of SAARC

The future of SAARC and specialised bodies such as SAU is directly proportional to India’s political interest. Notwithstanding Pakistan’s recalcitrant attitude, SAARC serves India’s interests

The roots of this economic debacle lie in the political dysfunctionality of SAARC, especially in the last five years (Getty Images)
Updated on Dec 04, 2021 10:19 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

For vaccine equity, the TRIPS waiver is crucial

The EU’s effort to protect the IP standards of pharma corporations signals the triumph of corporate profits over the health of the poor

A health worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary at a community centre, Gurugram, October 2021 (Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Nov 11, 2021 05:20 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan and Sakshi Ranjan

India should be open to the WTO investment facilitation pact

India would do well to actively take part in these negotiations and try to shape the investment facilitation agreement in a manner that reflects its concerns

India’s apprehensions stem from WTO’s checkered past on investment (AFP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2021 05:44 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

The WTO threat to Indian agriculture’s MSP regime

Procurements done for food security purposes should be exempted from inclusion in Aggregate Measurement of Support, provided such food grains are procured transparently. India, as part of G-33, should bargain hard for this at the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference later this year

India can move away from price-based support to its farmers to income-based support, which will not be trade-distorting under the Agreement on Agriculture, provided income support is decoupled or not linked to production. However, given the enormous political salience attached to the MSP-based procurement regime, underlined by the ongoing farmer agitations, it is simply not possible for India to dump or even dilute the current system. (HT archive)
Updated on Sep 21, 2021 05:51 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

On trade, India has legal instruments to hold Afghanistan accountable

Since the Taliban now claims to represent Afghanistan at national and international forums, it is under a legal duty to comply with all the international law obligations that bind Afghanistan

An Afghanistani truck enters the integrated check post in Attari near Amritsar on the first day of the resumption of trade between India and Afghanistan on May 28, 2020. (File photo)
Updated on Sep 02, 2021 04:23 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Burying the ghost of retrospective taxation

Finally, it seems, good sense has prevailed. The tax bill states that the amendment to Section 9(1)(i) will not apply to indirect transfers of Indian assets made on or before May 28, 2012. In simpler terms, the law on taxing the gains arising out of indirect transfer of Indian assets shall be prospective

Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Aug 06, 2021 06:54 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Don’t turn the clock back on investment norms

As an integral element of these structural economic reforms, India adopted measures aimed at liberalising foreign investment, both direct and institutional, to overcome the problem of over-dependence on debt three decades ago

Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao talking to his Cabinet colleague Manmohan Singh in 1994. (Sanjay Sharma / HT Archive)
Updated on Jul 08, 2021 07:49 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Voluntary licensing of Covaxin will boost vaccine production

India is known globally for the vigour of its pharmaceutical sector built over several decades. It would be extremely tragic if the government fails to channelise this prowess to save precious Indian lives.

View of a vial of India's COVAXIN vaccine against COVID-19 at the public hospital in Villa Elisa, Paraguay, on April 14, 2021. (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE / AFP) (AFP)
Published on May 04, 2021 05:52 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Due to its 2012 blunder, India’s Cairn challenge at The Hague is likely to fail

To put an end to this dispute, India should comply with the ISDS ruling and undo the horrendous error made in 2012 by making the amendment in the Income Tax Act prospective in nature.

The dispute arose when the Indian government, armed with the retroactive 2012 amendment in the Income Tax Act, demanded that Cairn pay taxes on the alleged capital gains it made due to a 2006 internal corporate restructuring (Hindustan Times)
Published on Mar 30, 2021 07:14 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

India’s retrospective taxation blunder is still extracting heavy costs

In endeavouring to extract revenue through retroactive taxation that damages investor sentiment in the long run, India is being penny-wise and pound-foolish

The tribunal reasoned that India’s decision to retroactively apply the law, without a specific justification, created a new tax burden on a transaction that was not taxable at the time it was carried out, ie. in 2006(Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 07, 2021 07:20 AM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Suspend international IP, patent obligations on Covid-19 vaccines

Coordinated State action at the global level that temporarily suspends the application of relevant international law to Covid-19 vaccines and drugs will be an important step in fighting the pandemic.

A health care worker of the free influenza vaccination programme holds a flu vaccine inside a tram, Vienna, Austria, October 1, 2020.(REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 08:59 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Restricting Chinese imports will not be easy

India could revoke the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan, but may not be able to do so with China

The quantum of trade between India and China will constrain the former from imposing sanctions on the latter(Bloomberg)
Updated on Jun 20, 2020 01:11 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan
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