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A  facility dedicated to addressing legal issues in Indian Core Sector 

Since the advent of liberalization and the beginning of the economic reforms process in 1991, we have been witnessing hectic activity in the legal-regulatory arena. Investors, project developers, policy makers and in fact all the interested parties in the new environment have been analyzing and assessing every legislation and every notification issued by the government for its legal implications. 

Over the last few years several far reaching legislative changes have taken place in the Core Sector. Be it insurance, power, telecom, IT or environment these changes have impacted industry structures and the legal environment in which business was being conducted or project development was taking place. With greater interest shown by private sector to participate in infrastructure development, legal issues in areas of agreements and contract management had to be addressed. 

In the changing environment, an understanding of regulatory and legal issues has been very important for all the players. At times, debates on some of the issues in Power Purchase Agreements and Fuel Supply Agreements have lasted for more than a year. 

Several large infrastructure projects have been embroiled in legal issues created due to public interest litigation, environmental issues and issues related to securitization and escrow. Often matters have reached the Supreme Court of India. In the shift from command to market driven economy there is going to be less and less direct intervention from the governments and instead markets and industries are increasingly being regulated by Law. Regulatory Authorities have been set up in various sectors including telecom, power, insurance etc. Legal issues, therefore, will remain central to the development of the Core Sector. 

In one of the Infrastructure sector- Telecom- when it opened to private players, few imagined that it would emerge as one of India's most litigious business. A report in August, 2003 suggested that over the last 32 months, 95 lawsuits- petitions and appeals, have been filed with TDSAT, the industry dispute settlement bench set up in 2000. That's an average of one lawsuit filed every 10 days.

According to one eminent lawyer, litigation happens worldwide in the initial years after new policies, but taper off as courts set legal precedents. Three reasons - the policy flip-flops, the presence of overseas investors and the poor quality of regulation have been offered as possible explanations for the rush of lawsuits in infrastructure projects.

IndiaCore Law Centre has been set up with the objective of creating a better awareness and facilitating a greater understanding of legal issues in the context of core sector development.


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