Knowledge Repository

Corporate

The past quarter witnessed developments in the company law regime to align rules under the Companies Act, 2013 with restrictions previously imposed under exchange control laws on FDI from neighbouring countries. Validity of the de minimis exemption for merger control clearances was also extended for a further period of five years.

Dispute Resolution

In the previous quarter, the Supreme Court decided on the constitutional validity of the amendment to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. It pronounced important judgements clarifying crucial aspects of arbitration and insolvency laws such as the arbitral tribunal’s discretion to award interest and the treatment of dues of workers of a corporate debtor undergoing insolvency resolution process. It referred the question of applicability of the ‘group of companies’ doctrine in arbitrations to a larger bench for finality. The Supreme Court also ordered the setting up of special courts to hear cheque dishonour cases.

Technology, Media and Telecommunications

In the last quarter, several key developments took place in the technology, fintech and telecommunications sector, such as the issuance of the cyber security directions, a revised open data framework for sharing public data and guidelines for outsourcing arrangements in the financial sector.

Labour and Employment

The second quarter of 2022 witnessed the Supreme Court ruling on vaccination mandates and several states reinstating mask mandates and other measures due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. Judicial rulings on critical aspects of the Industrial Disputes Act and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act were also passed. Significant changes were introduced on the legislative front in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

White Collar Crimes Investigations

After a relative lull in enforcement actions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the last quarter saw a significant uptick with several multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency enforcement actions in the US, UK, Switzerland, and Brazil. In India, the Supreme Court rendered an important judgement on pleas for quashing allegations of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

Financial Regulatory Regime

The last quarter saw key changes in the financial regulatory landscape. SEBI eased strictures on investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors by permitting them to invest in exchange-traded commodity derivatives. Additionally, the RBI limited the ‘buy now pay later’ enthusiasm by precluding the loading of Prepaid Payment Instruments through credit lines while also joining the ‘Digital India’ initiative by issuing guidelines to establish digital banking units.

Funds and Asset Management

The past quarter witnessed key regulatory and legislative developments in the funds and asset management space. SEBI provided clarity on provisions relating to compliances by 'large value funds for accredited investors' and mandated the appointment of a compliance officer by all AIFs. The International Financial Services Centres Authority notified regulations for the setting up of AIFs in GIFT City, Gujarat.

Energy and Infrastructure

The past quarter witnessed several regulatory developments, such as the Green Energy Open Access Rules, the General Network Access Regulations and the Late Payment Surcharge Rules, in addition to various measures introduced to promote ease of doing business and combat climate change.

Direct Tax

The Indian income tax framework saw some interesting developments in the previous quarter, such as the ruling of the Supreme Court on the validity of reassessment notices issued under the old regime and guidelines aimed at clarifying the applicability of certain newly issued withholding tax provisions.

Indirect Tax

The previous quarter saw significant decisions of the Supreme Court on the secondment of employees by overseas entities to their Indian counterparts and levy of IGST on ocean freight. Other important developments in the indirect tax space include the recommendations made by the GST Council in its 47th meeting, some of which have been implemented through suitable amendments and notifications.

Intellectual Property

The law on intellectual property witnessed some interesting developments in the previous quarter ranging from judicial and quasi-judicial decisions on critical aspects of the law to the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s recommendation on establishing Intellectual Property Divisions.

More in this issue