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Practice Summary

Darius J. Khambata, Senior Counsel, practices before the Supreme Court of India, the Bombay High Court and a number of other High Courts and Tribunals across India. He has a large and varied practice and has appeared in a number of important constitutional, corporate and commercial matters. He has also appeared as counsel in several significant domestic and international commercial arbitrations.  He was Vice-President of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and is currently a member of the Court of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).  He has substantial expertise in commercial law and in particular corporate and securities law.  He is also experienced in administrative and environmental law.  He has done extensive pro bono work as well, particularly in the field of environmental law.

He has held two distinguished public law offices: he was the Advocate General for Maharashtra from 2012 to 2014; before that he was Additional Solicitor General of India for three years.  On his tenure as Advocate General coming to an end in November 2014 on a change in Government,  the newly formed Cabinet of the State of Maharashtra recorded "its highest appreciation of the meritorious and distinguished service" rendered by him as Advocate General, a rare honour.

As Additional Solicitor General he appeared for the Union of India in all its major litigation before the Bombay High Court.  He successfully defended constitutional challenges to the provisions of the Income Tax Act, the National Investigation Agency Act, service tax laws and the minorities merit scholarship scheme.  He argued and won several critical cases including the Adarsh case  (defending the order of the Central Ministry of Environment & Forests for demolition of a building constructed by senior civil servants and high ranking members of the armed forces, in violation of environmental law) and the NSG Commandos case (challenging the order of the Criminal Court trying the terrorist involved in the 26 November 2008 attack on Mumbai by which cross-examination was permitted of some of the commandos of the National Security Guard that had mounted the counter–terrorist operation).

As Advocate General he appeared both before the Supreme Court as well as the Bombay High Court in a range of important matters concerning the State of Maharashtra and involving complex constitutional and legal issues.  These included cases concerning the scope of judicial review of government policy and allocation of natural resources, the separation of taxation powers between the Union and the States, land ceiling laws, urban development regulation, VAT laws, octroi and local body tax, anti-terrorism laws, banning of chewing tobacco mixtures, affirmative action reservations, water management laws and several administrative law issues.  

He has served on a special Committee formed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to recommend new Insider Trading regulations.  He was also a member of the Law Commission of India's Committee that in 2014-2015 framed and recommended substantial amendments to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.  He was Vice-Chairman of a Task Force established by the Union of India, to plan the structure of the proposed Financial Services Appellate Tribunal.  He currently serves on the Takeover Panel of SEBI, which decides and recommends exemptions from open offers in respect of transactions otherwise covered by the SEBI Regulators on Take-Overs.

He has written several papers including on aspects of arbitration law. He was conferred with the Arya Chanakya Rajya Puraskar for Law for 2013.