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Our attorneys and specialists remain up-to-date with the latest legal developments and offer their perspectives and critical commentary.

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International Trade & WTO

Implementation of Significant Distortions Methodology by EU in review of anti-dumping duty on exports from China

29 June 2020

The European Union (‘EU’) amended EU Regulation 2016/1036 of 08-06-2016 (‘the Basic Anti-dumping Regulation’) on 12-12-2017 through which it introduced Article 2(6a). Through this amendment, the EU created a possibility whereby actual domestic selling price and costs of producer/exporter can be rejected for determining normal value in anti-dumping investigations/reviews where there are ‘significant distortions of prices and costs’.

Goods and Services Tax

GST Council’s unbalancing act on a tightrope!

26 June 2020

As tax professionals we get excited every time we hear news about Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) Council holding periodical meetings. Some of the GST Council meetings, particularly the ones held during the second half of financial year 2017-18 have more or less been small scale budgets, with announcement on various trade facilitation measures

Customs

Rejection of transaction value – Overcoming die-hard practices of the department

26 June 2020

Customs Valuation has been an impediment to better trade facilitation and inhibits ease of doing business in India. There is a need for systemic improvement and procedural clarity for reducing disputes pertaining to Customs Valuation.

Competition and Antitrust

Regulatory Tussle: Competition Commission of India v. Controller of Patents & Ors.

19 June 2020

In its brief 11-year existence, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) has investigated anti-competitive conduct across several diverse sectors of the Indian economy. The CCI is the sole quasi-judicial and regulatory body established under the Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) (“Competition Act”).

Direct Tax

Tax exemption to Sovereign Wealth Funds – Whether taxable at all?

18 June 2020

The issue of taxation of foreign Sovereigns in India, does not spring up very often. The principle that a Sovereign is immune from taxation laws, has evolved over the centuries. With the Union Budget, 2020 proposing an exemption to Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) in respect of certain income earned from India, the issue as to whether such entities are subject to tax in the first place has been reignited.

Corporate, Insolvency

IBC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 – A Game-Changer?

16 June 2020

Novel Corona Virus Disease 2019, or better known as COVID-19, has created havoc across the globe. Till date, the pandemic has infected lakhs of people across the world and the said number has been increasing rapidly each day. Due to outbreak of COVID-19, various countries including India, have imposed lockdowns to combat the spread of the disease.

Commercial litigation

Lapsing of land acquisition proceedings – Supreme Court Larger Bench answers reference

16 June 2020

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”) was passed with a view to address various inadequacies in the existing Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (“1894 Act”). The 2013 Act contains provisions for enhanced compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement.

Competition and Antitrust, Intellectual Property

Anti-competitive practices in patent licenses

15 June 2020

The Delhi High Court has upheld the CCI’s jurisdiction in matters concerning alleged anti-competitive practices for protection of the Patent Rights but at the same time upheld his previous decision clearly holding that the domain of CCI and Patent Controller are distinct and not necessarily in conflict.

Goods and Services Tax

Exporting under GST – A Boon or Bane?

28 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has majorly hit the trade and industry, slowing down economies around the globe. The businesses in India have also been severely impacted by the recent lockdown which has created a fear of recession in the economy.

Aarogya Setu and Privacy Concerns

27 May 2020

Aarogya Setu is a mobile application launched by the Government of India on April 2, 2020. As per the terms of service of the Aarogya Setu Application (“ASA”), the intention is to provide a service to notify, trace, and suitably support a registered user regarding the COVID-19 infection. The press release1 issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT explains the functioning of the application in the following manner

International Trade & WTO

Introduction of Significant Distortions Methodology in the EU’s anti-dumping laws

26 May 2020

Anti-dumping duty on the import of product cannot exceed the margin of dumping. Dumping margin is the difference between normal value and export price and is specific to the exporter concerned. Normal value means selling price in the domestic market of the exporting country in the ordinary course of trade.

Personal Data Protection in India: An Overview

25 May 2020

Data is becoming increasingly important in the current business landscape. Regulators, policy makers and business houses alike are concerned with how privacy and data security impact the economy. According to a 2016 report by McKinsey, all types of data flows acting together have raised world GDP by 10.1 percent over what would have resulted in a world without any cross-border flows of data.

Direct Tax

Is Section 132(4A) a free getaway pass for the assessees

19 May 2020

Search under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”) is conducted to unearth cases of assessees with undisclosed income and is always considered as invasion of privacy by the assessees on whom it is conducted. The assessees also fear search because information found during search will not only affect that assessment year but would also empower Authorities to conduct Assessment/Reassessment proceedings for preceding six years.

Corporate

Electronic execution of contracts in the time of pandemic COVID-19

13 May 2020

As held by the Courts in catena of judgements, e-contracts are valid and enforceable under the laws of India. India has been and will be witnessing a surge in the execution of contracts electronically. Now, due to COVID-19, execution of contracts electronically has become inevitable. Considering the ease of execution coupled with the enforceability, there is an increased recognition for these forms of execution.

Intellectual Property

When can expression of opinions become defamatory

12 May 2020

In the case of Abhijeet Bhansali v. Marico Ltd.[1], the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court while dealing with the issue of disparagement of PARACHUTE COCONUT OIL by a video blogger, laid down the principles by which any such video or any statement can be considered to be defamatory.

Commercial litigation

Performance Securities - Legal Principles and early decisions on enforcement during COVID-19

08 May 2020

Bank guarantees, letters of credit, pledges and other similar instruments cement commercial dealings by securing payment against default of a contract. A key aspect of such security instruments is also that they are usually exercisable at the unilateral option of the holder, in order to ensure timely cashflow, despite a pending dispute as to whether the default has occurred.

Commercial litigation

Confusion on ‘essential commodities’ in the time of lockdown

01 May 2020

Several lessons are being learnt from the experience of lockdown amidst COVID-19.It also exposed varioussoftspotsin Indian laws and executive orders.Questioning the authority on such technicalities would have been termed insensitive and may have caused unnecessary hurdles to secure the recovery from the pandemic.

Corporate Advisory

Government Nod must for FDI from bordering countries

30 April 2020

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India (“DPIIT”) had vide press note 3 of 2020 dated April 17, 2020 (“Press Note 3”) amended the extant foreign direct investment (FDI) policy dated August 28, 2017. As per Press Note 3, the amendment was introduced with an aim to curb opportunistic takeovers of Indian companies by persons or entities (directly or indirectly) of any country which shares a land border with India (“Bordering Country”) during difficult times

Goods and Services Tax

Arbitrary relief in GST compliances for taxpayers

29 April 2020

Due to the current lockdown, the Government has introduced certain relief measures for the industries by extending the timelines for statutory and regulatory compliances under various laws. In this regard, the Finance Ministry has issued multiple notifications on 03-04-2020. A snapshot of the notifications relevant for present discussion is as under:

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