The recent push by the central government in making Aadhaar mandatory for several government schemes has met with widespread criticism from various sections of the society, including activists, lawyers, policy professionals and journalists. Just yesterday, amendments were introduced in the Finance Bill, 2017 to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing of income-tax returns as well for obtaining and retaining the permanent account number (PAN). And now, with the Bill being passed in its entirety in the Lok Sabha, the Centre’s intentions to make Aadhaar compulsory across the board – despite a Supreme Court order to the contrary – are fairly clear. The […]

By Ankit Sinha and Harshit Dusad The world has witnessed recurrent instances of cyber attacks in the recent past. These cyber attacks have raised eyebrows on the reliability of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) messaging network, as most of the cyber attacks occasioned from the infiltration of SWIFT by hackers. Although steps for improving cyber resilience have been taken by jurisdictions across the world, in wake of continuous technological advancement, the cases of cyber attacks are on the rise. Given this, there is an urgent need to evolve a mechanism which can be practically implemented in case of […]

by Shashank Prabhakar SEBI has issued yet another circular on March 10, 2017, for regulating schemes of arrangement by listed entities. This is the fourth circular on this subject that has been issued by SEBI in as many years. First, there was the circular dated February 4, 2013, which was substantially revised by another circular that was issued in quick succession on May 21, 2013. Then there was the circular dated November 30, 2015 (“Erstwhile Circular”) which was issued after the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 came into effect on November 15, 2015. To be fair, the […]

by Sumit Agrawal The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) was established on October 1, 2016 in accordance with the provisions of The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Within a short span of five months of its establishment, Dr. M S Sahoo, Chairman of IBBI has issued first regulatory order last week. The order has been issued in an application under regulation 6 of IBBI (Insolvency Professionals) Regulations, 2016 (“the Regulations”) for registration as an Insolvency Professional (IP), filed by an Assistant Vice President of Ernst and Young, a chartered accountant firm. In terms of the Regulations, an individual […]

 – 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 […]