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


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.

Independent Directors and mandate of online proficiency test: Approbation or mere disdain?

07 January 2020

With the objective of thriving good corporate governance, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) on October 22, 2019 notified the Companies (Creation and Maintenance of databank of Independent Directors) Rules, 2019 (“Databank Rules”) in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Sections 150 and 469 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“CA 2013”).


Demand without challenging assessment – Is it sustainable?

27 December 2019

The ruling of the Supreme Court in ITC v. CCE, Kolkata [2019 (368) ELT 216] has been quite unsettling for the assessees, as their refund claims are being rejected on account of non-challenge to the assessment. However, this ruling is likely to pose an issue for the department as well.

International Trade & WTO

The Appellate Body’s disintegration: Is this the WTO’s “Infinity War” or is there an “Endgame”?

26 December 2019

On 10th December 2019, the terms of two WTO Appellate Body ("AB") members – Mr. Ujal Singh Bhatia (from India) and Mr. Thomas Graham (from the United States) – came to an end, and they subsequently demitted office.

Direct Tax

Situs of application of income vis-à-vis the expenditure made abroad for charitable purpose in India

19 December 2019

The Income-tax Act, 1961 (“the Act”) provides for various benefits to a trust formed for charitable or religious purposes. Section 11 of the Act exempts the income derived from property held under trust for charitable purposes from taxation, inter alia, to the extent to which such income is applied for such purposes ‘in India’. The phrase ‘applied for charitable purposes in India’ has been a subject matter of litigation in the recent past.

Intellectual Property Rights

Exploring the requirement of sufficiency of disclosure in patent specification

16 December 2019

A patent is a monopoly granted to an applicant in return for his invention being made public so that at the end of the patent term, the invention may benefit the people at large. The disclosure in a patent specification can also be used during the term of the patent for further development of the technology.

Corporate Advisory, Regulatory Laws

The draft E-Commerce Rules - Moving towards protectionism

09 December 2019

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, recently, on November 11, 2019, under Section 101(1)(zg) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 issued a draft set of rules on e-commerce titled the Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2019 (“Draft Rules”).

Intellectual Property Rights

The right to cross-examine in a post-grant opposition

29 November 2019

In the case of Onyx Therapeutics Inc v Union of India , a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court vide its order dated September 26, 2019 held that once the Patentee has filed its reply-statement, the Patentee is not required to provide any separate reasons for cross-examination of the witnesses whose affidavits are filed by the Opponent in support of its Post-grant Opposition.

Direct Tax

Taxation of income from shipping business

29 November 2019

The shipping industry plays a vital role in the international trade. The recent UNCTAD report provides that more than four fifths of world merchandise trade by volume is carried by sea. Indian companies also generally use foreign vessels or avail the carriage services of foreign shipping companies for transportation and other business activities. The amount paid to these foreign shipping companies may be taxed in India if the income accrues or is received in India.

Goods and Services Tax

CGST Rule 36(4) - 20% of which credit are you eligible for?

27 November 2019

Change is the only constant’ - A phrase the CBIC seems to have adopted with the trade being bombarded with a barrage of amendments and day to day clarifications in the GST laws since the implementation of GST.

Customs, Goods and Services Tax

Pre-import condition and Rule 96(10) - Misplaced comforts and GST implications for Advance Authorization holders

27 November 2019

With the end of 2019 right around the corner, it is interesting to reflect back on the changes that the tax fabric has seen in the past year. One of the major reliefs that the assessees received at the beginning of 2019 (in January) was the removal of a ghost known as “Pre-import condition” specifically for manufacturers who were Advance Authorization holders.

International Trade & WTO

Panel Report in India-Export Related Measures – End of the road for export promotion programs?

26 November 2019

On 14 March 2018, the United States requested consultations with the Government of India under the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism on some of the export promotion programs maintained by India.

Goods and Services Tax

The Dividend Dilemma

30 October 2019

In order to stay one step ahead, it is imperative for every business to take stock of its financial position to devise a suitable investment strategy from time to time. While some may settle with the traditional approach of buying and holding stable dividend paying stocks to generate a steady income stream, others may adventure in frequent trading, holding the stocks just long enough to capture dividend it pays.

International Trade & WTO

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): India’s concerns

25 October 2019

The mega trade agreement amongst ASEAN and its FTA partners, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, is slated for conclusion by November 2019.

Direct Tax

Deduction for additional employment - Simple yet ambiguous

23 October 2019

In the wake of rising reports on unemployment, the Central Government has taken various steps to fulfil its commitment of job creation. As part of these efforts, the provisions of Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘IT Act’) were amended[see endnote 1] to substitute the provisions of Section 80JJAA of the IT Act[see endnote 2] with seemingly less restrictive and simpler provisions to encourage job creation.

Intellectual Property

State Biological Diversity Rules – A puzzle waiting to be solved

18 October 2019

India ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992[endnote 1] by becoming a Party to it on February 1994. Thus, bega

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