– Sumit Agrawal & Vaneesa Agrawal The Union Budget 2017 has brought about some major changes for the capital markets. We look at the most important ones in this article. 1. Deepening of the Commodities Market In the Union Budget of 2015-16, the Government had announced the merger of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Forward Market Commission (FMC). Since the merger in September 2015, SEBI has been regulating the commodities market as well. In this budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that the commodities and securities derivative markets will be further integrated by integrating the […]

By Arunabh Choudhary, Nikita Chawla and Arjun Rastogi The taxation of indirect transfer of assets has been incessantly making headlines in the financial markets post the Supreme Court of India’s decision in the case of Vodafone International Holdings BV vs Union of India (2012) 6 SCC 613 (“Vodafone Case”). The Indian Government introduced the indirect transfer provision by way of the Finance Act 2012. Accordingly Section 9(1)(i) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (“Tax Act”) was amended and made applicable with retrospective effect from 1st April 1961 (following the Supreme Court ruling in Vodafone Case.) Post the amendments introduced by the Finance […]

Harini Subramani & Adil Ladha In September this year, VP Joy, the Central PF Commissioner spoke about ongoing attempts to link the Aadhaar with the Universal Account Numbers (UAN) of all employees covered under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952 in order to facilitate “faster transactions” for the benefit of employees. He had indicated that the linking/seeding exercise was being undertaken in order for the online services to be effective by March 31 next year, a deadline which appears to contradict the timeline stated in a recent letter dated November 21, 2016 [pdf] issued by the Employees’ Provident […]

It has been quite an active year when it comes to regulatory updates in the country. With a range of changes, right from cleaning up bank balance sheets and enhancing ease of doing business in India, to FDI in e-commerce, there have been a number of changes in the regulatory landscape. Here are the top ten  developments picked up from the Bar & Bench database: 1. Raising thresholds of reporting of combinations In an effort to improve the ‘ease of doing business’ in India, the Ministry of Corporate affairs issued a notification revising the merger control thresholds under the Competition Act, […]

Nakul Dewan Those hoping for the Supreme Court of India to play Santa Clause and give an early Christmas gift in the form of an injunction against the steps taken after the November 08 demonetisation [pdf], will only be comforted by the fact that the issue has now been referred to a constitution bench of five judges. Nine questions have been referred and these can broadly be broken down into four challenging its validity, two on its actual implementation, two related to political parties and District Cooperative Banks, and one on the scope of judicial review of fiscal and economic policy. The reference […]

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy recently released a briefing book titled Law in Numbers: Evidence-Based Approaches to Legal Reform. Through this publication, VCLP has put endeavoured to show how empirical data can be used to target specific areas of law which call for reform. To this end, they have put together statistics on five broad categories: The Judiciary, The Financial Sector, Crime and Society, The Legislature and Environment & Human Capabilities. Here we analyse five findings that merit a closer look. 1. High Courts require additional benches After finding out the population over which High Courts exercise jurisdiction, VCLP has come to the conclusion […]

Returns that can can exceed one hundred percent of net investment, a healthy funding requirement that routinely runs into millions, and indications that this could well be the next big thing. Over the last decade or so, third party funding (TPF) has evolved into a highly profitable business. Yet, it is one that exists on the fringes of the legal industry. Till now. On September 15 this year, in the case of Essar vs. Norscot, the English High Court held that costs incurred on arbitration funding are recoverable by the successful  party; in this case the third party funder made an investment of £647,000 […]

Even as the political and financial implications of Prime Minister Modi’s surprise announcement that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will no longer be legal tender are being discussed threadbare, here is a brief summary of the laws and legal questions involved. 1. How was the change affected? As is the case with most deeply significant legal developments, through a notification published in the Indian Gazette on November 8, 2016. In fact, there are three notifications that have been issued: SO 3407(E) [pdf]: Fake currency notes being used for subversive activities High denomination notes are being used for storing unaccounted wealth […]

Rishabh Garg On the way back to work, I noticed this intriguing statement, “Be kind, you are being watched” below a CCTV camera at the entrance of my apartment. While I must have passed by a number of such statements and CCTV cameras around the city, none of these bothered me before. However, this time, the words “You are being watched” stayed with me for a while. I had an innate feeling that my personal space was being violated as I was being watched by CCTVs whenever I stepped out of my home. Was I being watched inside my home […]

The right to privacy, and the debate over it, has never been more relevant. The Delhi High Court’s ruling over WhatsApp’s change in policy, the State’s deliberate push towards Aadhar-linked schemes, the imposition and subsequent overturning of prohibition in Bihar, and a host of legislative and policy changes have pushed privacy legislation into the limelight. This right, first enunciated by Warren and Bandeis in the Harvard Law Review in 1890, has been examined by the Supreme Court of India time and again. In the landmark judgment of Kharak Singh v State of UP, the Supreme Court held that the words “protection of life and personal liberty” […]