Aman Abbas and Anant Ghuge review the major legal issues and policy developments that made headlines in India’s mainstream media

The pages, websites and studios of the mainstream media were buzzing with matters before India’s various courts and tribunals this past year. Notwithstanding issues that have a direct bearing on public interest, many matters that took centre stage would in previous years have found mileage only with the financial media.

So it’s no surprise that in exploring some of the themes that represented the most exciting legal developments in 2018, this article targets issues of policy and law that had a heavy impact on business and featured prominently in the business dailies, magazines and newswires of the nation.

NPAs and the non-partisan dialogue

The big battle among Indian business houses saw many overlook major changes occurring elsewhere. India’s overleveraged banks and the collapse of the shadow banking sector thus took second place behind the battle for family business and their struggles to retain control. The media dialogue revealed a murky corporate world where family-owned conglomerates fought as much to regain control of their assets as their reputations.

The case of Ruias and the Essar Steel insolvency took many twists and turns as the “defaulters” (Essar founders Ruias) sought as much to battle a crisis of control as a crisis of image. Their final rescue bid for Essar came after the insolvency process, where other bids to save the company had surfaced. For legal experts, this caused concern as the procedure versus value maximization debate left courts reeling.

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Aman Abbas is the founder and Anant ghuge is a manager at Commwiser Consultants.