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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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Corporate Advisory

Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020

06 April 2020

Upon representations by various stakeholders and in the interest of all companies, the Ministry of Corporate Aairs (“MCA”) recently came out with the Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020. The purpose of the said scheme is to condone the delay in filing of documents and provide a one-time waiver to companies from prosecution and imposition of additional fee, in order to enable such companies to file all their documents.

Corporate Advisory

LLP Settlement Scheme

06 April 2020

Upon representations by various stakeholders and in the interest of all limited liability partnerships (“LLPs”), the Ministry of Corporate Aairs (“MCA”) recently came out with the LLP Settlement Scheme 2020. The purpose of the scheme is to condone the delay in filing of documents and provide a one-time waiver to LLPs from prosecution and imposition of additional fee, in order to enable LLPs to file all their documents.

Customs

Impact of Coronavirus Lockdown

03 April 2020

Due to Novel COVID-19, partial / complete lockdown has been imposed in various countries across the world. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on March 23, 2020 announced a complete lockdown throughout the country for 21 days, as a preventive measure to slow down the spreading of the virus.

Commercial litigation

Revisiting Contractual Theory and Obligations in the Times of COVID-19

30 March 2020

Amongst other objectives, contracts are about the allocation of risksbetween contracting parties. Risks that may hinder or absolutely obviate the possibility performance are therefore addressed, either by parties themselves in the contract, or by the legal rule of frustration of contracts.

Intellectual Property Rights

COVID-19: IPR Statutory Updates

30 March 2020

In view of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, various Constitutional Courts as well as statutory bodies related to Intellectual Property Laws in India have announced several relief measures for the stakeholders. The said measures have been detailed hereinbelow, along with their implications.

International Trade & WTO

Circumvention provisions relating to anti-dumping duty – Analysis of recent amendments

27 March 2020

Trade Remedy measures act as a shield for the domestic industries of importing countries, since they curb excessive and unfair imports into the country and allow healthy competition to exist. Since anti-dumping and countervailing duties target unfair imports, they are imposed on imports of specific goods ‘originating in or exported from’ specific countries.

COVID-19: Statutory and Regulatory Updates for Companies

26 March 2020

On March 24, 2020, the Finance Minister announced several relief measures across sectors, relating to Statutory and Regulatory compliance matters, in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The main relief measures have been detailed below, along with their implications for businesses.

Customs

Aircraft lease transaction – Not a lease of life

24 March 2020

Considering that nowadays airlines industry is almost always in the news for one reason or another, this may be the best time to highlight one of the issues being faced by this industry.

Direct Tax

Dissecting Section 80M of the Income Tax Act - The known and the unknown

17 March 2020

The Finance Bill 2020 (referred to as the ‘Bill’) proposed plethora of amendments in the Income Tax Act, 1961 (referred to as the ‘Act’) on different aspects. One such amendment was to relieve corporates from paying distribution tax on dividends (‘DDT’) and going back to the old school ways of taxing such dividends in the hands of the shareholders.

Intellectual Property Rights

Right to paternity of contribution in cinematographic film – Analysis of the CHHAPAK case

16 March 2020

In the case of Fox Star Studios (Division of Star India Private Limited) v. Aparna Bhat & Ors.[ CM (M) 15/2020], a Single Judge of Delhi High Court vide its order dated 11th January 2020, held that once a person has contributed to any cinematographic film in any manner, then as per the moral rights, he/ she has right to paternity.

Banking & Finance

Digital payments - Revised framework on monetary penalties is a step towards transparency

11 March 2020

India has seen rapid advancement in the FinTech industry in the last couple of years leading to increased number of transactions, entry of number of non-banking players, availability of multiple online payment modes, etc. This evolving sector is majorly regulated by the Reserve Bank of India by way of issuance of guidelines, directions, policies, instructions from time to time.

Goods and Services Tax

GST on ocean freight – Smooth sailing ahead for assessees?

25 February 2020

Taxation of a cross-border transaction is one of the most complex and disputed areas of litigation. Further, the recent trade wars between the major economies of the world are adding fuel to the fire. One specific industry which had been largely immune from GST or VAT is the shipping industry undertaking international transportation. Most major economies have chosen not to levy GST or VAT on transactions involving movement of goods internationally.

Direct Tax

Benami law and retrospectivity - Analysis of Rajasthan High Court decision in Niharika Jain v. Union of India

20 February 2020

New-age laws that seek to remedy economic wrongs are interesting. Economic wrongs could be civil or criminal in character. Clearly, any person who cheats and deprives people of their property is an offender and is a threat to the society at large. He needs to be dealt with through a criminal law. However, another person who breaches a contractual obligation would need to cough up damages and a civil law would be apt and sufficient to deal with this private matter.

Intellectual Property Rights

To Grant or Not to Grant Interim Injunction - Conflicting decisions by co-ordinate Benches of same High Court in pharmaceutical patent infringement suits

18 February 2020

Two co-ordinate Single Judge Benches of the Delhi High Court have arrived at opposing conclusions as to whether to grant interim injunction or not in favour of the Plaintiffs/Patentee in a batch of patent infringement suits instituted by Astrazeneca AB and others against various Defendants[ Micro Labs Limited, Natco Pharma Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited and MSN Laboratories Limited.] in relation to a pharmaceutical composition

Corporate Advisory

Convertible Notes – A case of square pegs in a round hole!!

11 February 2020

Given the dynamic and volatile nature of India’s start-up ecosystem, start-up(s) are always in the look-out for innovative and cost-effective fund-raising opportunities. To promote start-up(s), the government also upgrades regulatory norms and practices, in alignment with prevalent economic conditions and market dynamics.

Goods and Services Tax

Intermediary services - Taxability of cross-border services after withdrawal of circular

29 January 2020

Cross-border supplies (import and export) of goods and services generally entail the presence of an intermediary. Such an intermediary is usually a subsidiary of the foreign principal which undertakes facilitation as well as provision of various services on behalf of the principal. Each such case involves provision of two independent supplies, i.e., one from the principal to the ultimate customer and another from the agent to the principal.

International Trade & WTO

Use of ‘Particular Market Situation’ provision in Anti-dumping Investigations

22 January 2020

Article 2 of the WTO Anti-dumping Agreement provides for provision regarding determination of dumping. As per Article 2.1, a product is considered as being dumped if the export price of the product is less than the normal value. Article 2.1 of the Anti-dumping Agreement provides that domestic selling price of like article in the exporting country shall be considered as normal value.

Intellectual Property Rights

Patentability of computer related inventions

22 January 2020

In the case of Ferid Allani v. Union of India and Ors., a single judge of the Delhi High Court vide its order dated 12 December 2019, directed the Indian Patent Office (IPO) to re-examine the petitioner’s Indian patent application in the light of observations of the court on patent eligibility of computer-related inventions (CRIs).

Direct Tax

Tax laws seeking to regulate NBFCs whether resulting in unintended hardships?

20 January 2020

Being regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (‘RBI’), Banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies (‘NBFC’) are required to follow the norms for asset classification, income recognition and provisioning laid down by the Central Bank. The regulations require every NBFC to categorize assets into different buckets and create provisions for bad and doubtful debts at specified percentages.

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