The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its most recent consultation paper, has sought stakeholder’s views on governing Net Neutrality (NN) and allied issues. This ‘consultation paper’ comes based on the responses received on the ‘pre-consultation paper’, issued in May last year, which discussed issues of NN and traffic management. Among other things, the paper proposes a legislation for NN, and/or an umbrella regulation on NN. As far as the wider issue of NN is concerned, there have been several rounds of discussions, this being the fifth one, and also a regulation to ban discriminatory pricing. While the issue […]

Varun Marwah & Anuj Agrawal In the first set of substantial legislative changes post the November 8 announcement of demonetisation, the government has passed one Act and two Ordinances directly related to demonetisation. In addition to the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, the government has also promulgated the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, and the Payment of Wages Act (Amendment) Ordinance. This is what they say. 1. The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act [Presidential Assent on December 15] Unlike the other two legislations mentioned above, this legislation was passed by Parliament, albeit in a manner that was far from ideal. Amongst […]

The central government has constituted a High Level Committee to review the institutionalisation of arbitration mechanisms in India. The Committee consists of legal luminaries, including retired judges and Senior Advocates and will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice BN Sri Krishna. The other members of the Committee are retired Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran, sitting Delhi High Court judge, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Senior Advocates KK Venugopal and Indu Malhotra, Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha and Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Arghya Sengupta. The terms of reference for the High Level Committee are given below: […]

After two rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, the Software Freedom Law Centre, India recently conducted an event for the launch of its report on ‘Online Harassment’ [pdf]. The crux of this issue can be conceptually associated with the right to freedom of speech and expression, which is, widely considered one of the most ‘sacrosanct of fundamental human rights’. This right, however, more often than not, crosses the line to the point of ‘wanton abuse’. At the very outset, it is important to distinguish between the different manifestations of harmful speech online, which are often used interchangeably. The report recognises the […]

With the phasing out of the SICA, the Government is all set to usher in the new Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (Code). Several parts of the Code are gradually being notified in a phased manner, and the insolvency resolution process is now in place. In November, the rules relating to Insolvency Professionals (IPs) and Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs) were notified. The three IPAs that have been registered so far are, the Indian Institute of Insolvency Professionals of ICAI, the ICSI Insolvency Professionals Agency and the Insolvency Professional Agency of ICAI, which are entities registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. […]

By Sonam Chandwani & Tanaya Desai  The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in its board meeting held on November 23, 2016, introduced amendments to the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012, thus ushering in a more liberalised and progressive era for fund-raising in start-ups as also enhancing the scope of investment of foreign investors in unlisted debt securities. In order to further develop the alternative investment industry and the startup ecosystem in India, SEBI, in March 2015, constituted a Committee of experts drawn from across market participants called the “Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee” (“AIPAC”) under the chairmanship […]

Bar & Bench will bring you the latest regulatory and policy updates from different ministries and regulatory authorities. In the this edition of the Bar & Bench Regulatory Updates, we analyse the latest updates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). RBI Rules relating to withdrawal, exchange and use of demonetised currency The RBI has issued several notifications since the first one issued on 8 November, following which ₹ 500 & 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender. These notifications appear to be a periodical response to the unanticipated chaos that is being caused due to demonetisation of the […]

In an event that took more than a decade to fructify, the Ministry of Finance vide a notification [pdf] dated 25th November 2016, has repealed the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (SICA) with effect from 1 December this year. In 2003, the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Repeal Act was enacted which gave the Central Government the power to repeal SICA, and dissolve the BIFR. However, the Act was never notified. Why did it take so long? Alok Dhir, founding partner at Dhir & Dhir Associates, explains, “When the [Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Repeal] Act was passed in […]

Bar & Bench will bring you the latest regulatory and policy updates from different ministries and regulatory authorities. In the this edition of the Bar & Bench Regulatory Updates, we analyse the latest circulars by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI Tightens norms for credit rating agencies In a bid to boost transparency, SEBI has tightened the disclosure norms [pdf] for credit rating agencies (CRA) by inter alia standardising the rating criteria, method of public disclosures, the internal functioning of rating committees and disallowing the suspension of ratings. In order to avoid ‘rating shopping’ […]

The Indian arbitration sector is seeing an upswing. And how. The past year has not only seen several amendments to arbitrations laws (and consequent litigation), but also the establishment of the MCIA. Just two weeks back, the country saw a 3-day conference on ‘Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India’ organised by Niti Ayog. Recently, the government has also revealed a list of firms shortlisted for representing the country at an international stage as per a PTI report published on LiveMint. In a first of a kind move by the Ministry of Finance, based on a Request for Proposal (RPF) issued earlier in January […]