February 18, 2019:
The relationship between Talwar Thakore & Associates (TT&A) and Ex-Chairperson of Competition Commission of India, Mr. Vinod Dhall – is over.
Advocate Ram Kumar, will be taking over the competition practice at the TT&A firm. He had been with Dhall for around 10 yrs.
TT&A, has commented, “TT&A and Vinod Dhall have, following discussions, mutually agreed to terminate their relationship and will be pursuing their opportunities in the field of Competition Law independently.”
It is also stated that, Mr Dhall will continue to remain active and practice Competition Law as before.
In Dec 2018, Dhall had won a permanent injunction from the Delhi High Court against Major Pankaj Rai, who had filed a petition against Dhall.
While not making any rulings on the merits of their dispute, the High Court restrained Rai from ‘maligning or defaming the Plaintiff in the public domain or tarnishing his professional image in any manner whatsoever’.
This shall however not bar the Defendant from raising the issue in respect of Rule 7 of Chapter III of the Bar Council of India Rules and Section 37 of the Advocates Act, 1961 in the appropriate fora.
In June 2018, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Dhall in the Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Court had been dismissed on technical grounds, as not being a valid PIL.
Petitioner Major Pankaj Rai had argued that Dhall should be prevented from representing petitioners before the Competition Commission of India (CCI), because he had been the Chairman of the body until 2008, before he had joined TT&A.
Mr. Dhall is a qualified lawyer, and according to Bar Council of India (BCI) Rule 7, which was cited by Rai in his complaint:
An officer after his retirement or other-wise ceasing to be in service for any reasons, if enrolled as an Advocate shall not practice in any of the Judicial, Administrative Courts/Tribunals/Authorities, which are presided over by an officer equivalent to or lower to the post which such officer last held.
Major Rai had then alleged that “instead of conducting proceedings in an inquisitorial mode which is mandated, the proceedings are conducted in an adversarial mode where Dhall uses his extensive insider knowledge and connections to see that the cases of informants are dismissed at the very beginning.”