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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Seth Dua & Associates

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LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION

July 2014 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

 

Arbitration

Perin Hoshang Davierwalla & Anr. ("Appellants") v. Mr. Kobad Dorabji Davierwalla & Ors ("Respondents")

 

The main issue which arose for consideration in the present appeal before the Bombay High Court ("BHC") was whether an ad-interim order passed by a court under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 ("Act") would be appealable under Section 37 of the Act.

PROJECTS, ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES

July 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below.

 

Model Tripartite Agreement ("MTA") for Port Sector

 

The Empowered Inter-Ministerial Group constituted by the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure  vide office memorandum dated April 30, 2014 has approved the MTA, for take-out financing of Public Private Partnership ("PPP") projects in the Ports Sector.

Real Estate/ Property

July 2014 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

 

Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association vs. State of U.P. and Others

 

The petitioner has filed a writ petition before the Allahabad High Court against the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority ("NOIDA Authority") and the developers in order to quash the revised plan approved by the respondent for the construction of 2 new towers in NOIDA Authority and to issue for further directions for the demolition of the abovementioned towers, as the approval and the construction of these towers was in violation of the provisions of U.P. Apartments Act, 2010.

TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & BROADCASTING TELECOMMUNICATIONS

July 2014 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below.

 

Information Technology (National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre and Manner of Performing Functions and Duties) Rules, 2013

 

The Central Government issued a notification under the Information Technology Act, 2000 ("IT Act") on January 16, 2014 with regard to the Critical Information Infrastructure under Section 70A of the IT Act.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

July 2014 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The recent developments pertaining to anti-dumping duties are as follows:

Additional 5 years of Anti -Dumping Duty ("ADD") on Homopolymer of vinyl chloride monomer (suspension grade)

ADD has been imposed on Homopolymer of vinyl chloride monomer (suspension grade) originating in, or exported from the European Union, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, United States of America & People's Republic of China and imported into India. The ADD imposed will be levied for a period for 5 years.

BANKING & FINANCE

July 2014 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent enactments and legal developments in this area are set out below.

Prudential Norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning Pertaining to Advances

With respect to asset classification for project loans before commencement of commercial operations under the "Prudential Guidelines on Restructuring of Advances by Banks and Financial Institutions", the RBI has decided that the revision of the date of commencement of commercial operations ("DCCO") and consequential shift in repayment schedule for equal or shorter duration will be treated as a single event of restructuring provided that the revised DCCO is fixed within the respective time limits and all other terms and conditions of the loan remain unchanged. The banks may extend DCCO beyond the respective time limits, in which case, the banks will not be able to retain the "standard" asset classification status of such loan amounts.

COMPETITION LAW

July 2014 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments and legal developments in this area are set out below.

Competition Commission of India ("CCI") Order's for Investigation against Google

Mr. Vishal Gupta (‘the informant') filed a complaint against M/s Google Inc., M/s Google Ireland Limited and M/s Google India Private Limited (‘Google') for abuse of dominant position under the Competition Act, 2002 (‘Competition Act'). In this case the informant stated that the advertisement policy adopted by Google is extremely ‘vague' and ‘unclear' in as much as it does not make clear as to what is the nature of the content to be placed in the advertisement and what is the standard enforced by Google. Furthermore, the informant has stated that the entire bidding process of Google AdWords is extremely ‘opaque' and ‘not transparent'.

Banking and Finance

April 2014 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Returns to be submitted by the NBFCs- Introduction of ‘Branch info' return

The Reserve Bank of India ("Reserve Bank")  vide its notification dated September 3, 2013, directed all deposit taking non-banking finance companies ("NBFCs") to submit a quarterly return on branch information within ten days of the expiry of the relative quarter as on March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 every year, in the specified format to the regional office of the Department of Non‐Banking Supervision of the Reserve Bank of India. The return shall be submitted online in the format available on https://cosmos.rbi.org.in.

Competition Law

April 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Combination between Etihad Airways PJSC, Jet Privilege Private Limited and Jet Airways (India) Limited

The CCI vide its order dated February 5, 2014 has given its approval to the proposed combination between Etihad Airways PJSC ("Etihad"), Jet Privilege Private Limited ("JPPL") and Jet Airways (India) Limited ("Jet"). The proposed combination relates to Etihad's acquisition of 50.1% equity stake in JPPL which would operate the frequent flyer programme of Jet. The CCI considered the fact that Jet and Etihad are already frequent flyer partners and the CCI had approved their previous combination and Etihad's acquisition of 50.1% stake in JPPL is not likely to have any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

January 2013 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

Consumer Laws

Citimake Builders Pvt. Ltd. vs. Samata Sahakari Bank Ltd.

Citimake Builders Pvt. Ltd. (the ‘Complainant') opened a current account with Samata Sahakari Bank Ltd. (the ‘Opposite Party') in the year 2004 and the said account was operated by Naresh Jain and Abdul Wahid Abdul Gafoor Khatri, authorized persons/partners. On scrutiny of Complainant's record on November 8, 2008, it was found that the Complainant's account was debited for various amounts on the basis of cheques that had forged and fabricated signatures of the authorized persons/partners. Without any consent, knowledge and information to the Complainant by the Opposite Party, the Opposite Party's concerned officers intentionally and wilfully encashed and honoured about 53 cheques of the Complaint without verifying signatures which were prima facie forged and had neither been issued nor signed by them. The concerned officers of the Opposite Party having been in collusion and conspiracy with the erring persons wilfully encashed forged cheques. The Complainant thus filed the present consumer complaint alleging that the Opposite Party is service provider and on account of deficiency in service, the Complainant claimed the aforesaid amount from the Opposite Party. The Complainant also filed criminal complaint against the Opposite Party on July 8, 2009 and the same was under investigation by Oshiwara Police Station.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

January 2013 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Income Tax, 1961 ("Act")

Accounting Standards Notified by the Central Board of Direct Tax

Section 145(2) of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 ("ITA") provides that the Central Government may notify Accounting Standards ("AS") for any class of assessees or for any class of income. The Central Board of Direct Tax ("CBDT") constituted a Committee comprising of departmental officers and professionals in December, 2010 to, inter alia, suggest AS for the said purpose.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

January 2013 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below.

New Model Concession Agreement for Highway Projects

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure ("CCI") on August 17, 2012 has approved two important Model Concession Agreements ("Model Agreements"): Model Agreements for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") contracts and the Model Agreements for Operate-Maintain-Transfer ("OMT") contracts. The Model Agreements are aimed at smooth implementation of the road projects by setting standards with a fair degree of certainty relating to costs and time and should ultimately lead to a higher level of road user satisfaction.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

January 2013 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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INDIA UNVEILS BIG BANG REFORMS TO REVIVE GROWTH

Intellectual Property Rights

January 2013 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Kapil Wadhwa & Ors vs. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd & Anr

In an earlier matter before the Delhi HC, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and its Indian subsidiary ("Respondents") had sued Kapil Wadhwa ("Appellant"), who was previously an authorized dealer of the Respondent, for sale without the permission of the Appellant of Samsung printers imported from foreign markets into India.

Real Estate Property

January 2013 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Prime Minister Relaxes Transfer of Land Requirements

The Prime Minister has relaxed the land transfer policy of the GoI which earlier necessitated approval of the Cabinet of India (‘Cabinet') for transfer of government land so that infrastructure projects are not held up due to procedural delays.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

January 2013 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below. 

FDI in Broadcasting

The GoI has raised the limit for FDI in Direct-to-Home ("DTH") broadcasting and cable service infrastructure from 49 percent to 74 per cent. To bring out uniformity in broadcasting carriage service, the 74 percent FDI limit will now apply to DTH, Head-End In the Sky, Multi-Service Operators and cable television. However, FDI through automatic route would continue only up to 49 percent. Approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board ("FIPB") would be required for investment beyond 49 percent up to 74 percent. 

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

January 2013 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

1.     Anti Dumping Duty ("ADD") on Soda Ash 

ADD has been imposed on soda ash originating or exported from China, EU, Kenya, Iran, Pak, Ukraine and USA for a period of five years vide Notification dated July 3, 2012.

Competition Law

January 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below 

Builders Association of India vs. Cement Manufactures Association and others and Re: Alleged cartelization by Cement Manufacturers.

Capital Markets/ Securities

September 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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 Certain important and recent legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Qualified Foreign Investors (‘QFI’) Investment in Debt Mutual Fund Schemes which Invest in Infrastructure

In the past, the SEBI has allowed qualified foreign investors (‘QFI’)to invest in mutual fund debt schemes which invest in infrastructure debt upto a total ceiling of USD 3 billion out of the total long term corporate infrastructure limits of USD 25 billion. As a measure of relaxation, RBI has also relaxed investment restriction for QFI investment in debt mutual fund schemes which invest in infrastructure. Accordingly, QFIs can now invest in those debt mutual fund schemes that hold atleast 25 percent of their assets in the infrastructure sector under the investment limit of USD 3 billion. Further, QFI can invest without obtaining approval until the overall QFI investments reach 90 per cent (ninety percent) of USD 3 billion i.e. USD 2.7 billion.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

September 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

In-principle approval required for registration of Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships to carry on the profession of Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, Architect, Company Secretary etc.

Intellectual Property Rights

September 2012 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below. 

Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 Passed

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 (‘Copyright Bill') has been passed by both houses of parliament and now awaits presidential assent to become effective as law. Some of the highlights of the Copyright Bill are:

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

September 2012 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

Dispute Resolution 

A.K. Balaji v.Government of India

In the present writ petition, the question before the division bench of Madras High Court ("Madras HC") was "whether a foreign law firm without establishing any liaison office in India is prohibited under the Advocates Act, 1961 ("Advocates Act") to visit India for the purpose of offering legal advice to their clients in India on foreign law?"

Projects, Energy and Natural Resources

September 2012 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below. 

INFRASTRUCTURE

SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE

Guidelines for Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution in Special Economic Zones

Trade Laws and WTO

September 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Anti-Dumping Duties

GOI has imposed the anti-dumping duties against the dumping of certain products in the Indian market as per the details provided below:

Taxation - Direct Taxes

August 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Taxation - Indirect Taxes

August 2012 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent legal developments and case laws in this practice area are set out below. 

Service Tax 

Rate of Service Tax Hiked

Service tax rate has been increased from 10% to 12% thereby increasing the effective rate to 12.36% w.e.f. April 1, 2012 vide Notification No. 2/2012 - Service Tax dated the March 17, 2012.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

August 2012 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Telecom Laws 

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's Recommendations on Auction Spectrum 

Following the directive given to the  Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's ("TRAI") by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India ("SC") in the case of Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Ors . vs . Union of India ("UOI") and Ors, in which all allotted 2G licences were cancelled, TRAI has made its recommendations on auction of spectrum. The key highlights of the recommendations are as follows:

Capital Markets/ Securities

December 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

December 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Competition Law

December 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Ankur Exports (P) Ltd. v. Monopolies Restrictive Trade Practies Commission (Delhi)

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

December 2010 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

 

Recommendations on Foreign Investment in Broadcasting Sector

 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) had issued recommendations on foreign investment in broadcasting sector, wherein it proposes to increase the Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”)  limit for teleport (hub), Direct to Home (“DTH”), Headend in the Sky (“HITS”), Multiple System Operators (“MSOs”) operating at National or state level, FM radio and Mobile TV. However, in case of Local Cable Operators (“LCOs”) TRAI had proposed to reduce the subsisting FDI limit from 49 % to 26%. No changes have been recommended in down linking of TV channels and uplinking of TV news and non-news and current affairs channels.

 

Real Estate/ Property

December 2010 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

 

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

December 2010 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below.

Intellectual Property Rights

December 2010 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important case laws in this area are set out below.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

December 2010 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

Indirect Taxes

December 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Indirect Taxes

Certain recent legal developments and case laws in this practice area are set out below.

SERVICE TAX

New Taxable Services Introduced

Central Board of Excise and Customs (“CBEC”) has notified the following 8 new taxable services with effect from July 1, 2010:

Taxation – Direct Taxes

December 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

December 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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US PRESIDENT ENDORSES BRAND INDIA

Real Estate/ Property/ Infrastructure

May 2010 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Infrastructure

GOI provides INR 1.73 Trillion for Infrastructure Sector for the Financial Year 2010-2011

The GOI in the budget for the Financial Year (“FY”) 2010-2011 has allocated INR 1.73 Trillion for the development of infrastructure in the country which accounts for over 46 per cent of the total plan allocation for the FY 2010-2011.

 

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

May 2010 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Railways

Railway Projects through PPP

The Ministry of Railways, GOI, has identified certain areas of possible execution through PPP route. These include development of world class stations, establishment of super specialty hospitals/medical colleges, setting up of manufacturing units for rolling stock, dedicated freight corridor, rail axle factory, refrigerated container factory, high speed rail corridors, high speed port connectivity, diesel multiple unit factory, optic fire cables infrastructure and multi-model logistic parks. 

 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

May 2010 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Cases

Dolphin Drilling Ltd. v. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

In the present case the issue before the SC was whether an arbitration clause in a contract is a one-time recourse available to the parties to the contract or whether the parties can invoke the arbitration clause repeatedly for different disputes. The respondent raised an objection with regard to the repeated invocation of the arbitration clause on the ground that the financial burden cast by the arbitration proceedings was quite onerous. The SC while considering the said question in the facts of the case answered the question in negative

Indirect Taxes

May 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Cases

Excise and Customs

Steag Encotec India Pvt. Ltd. v. Commr. Of Cus. (Airport)

The appellants imported Performance Analysis and Diagnostic Optimization System (“PADO”) software package and Boiler Performance Optimization System software package (“BPOS”) and claimed exemption from Additional Customs Duty and Education Cess in lieu of Central Excise Duty classifying the same as customized software.

 

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

May 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Exchange Control

External Commercial Borrowing Liberalised – Flexibility to Telecommunication Companies for Raising Funds

RBI has brought in changes to the existing policy governing External Commercial Borrowings (“ECB”). RBI has amended the existing ECB policy vide its circular, dated January 25, 2010. With this circular, RBI has given flexibility to telecommunication companies on the issue of tapping ECB for payment of Spectrum Allocation Fee (“Fee”) by allowing them to meet the Fee out of rupee resources and then refinance it with a long-term ECB, under the approval route. However, under this amendment certain conditions are to be met for availing the flexibility of replacing rupee debt with foreign debt. The conditions are that ECBs should be raised within 12 months from the date of payment of the final installment to the GOI; the Authorised Dealer (“AD”) should monitor the end-use of funds and domestic banks will not be permitted to provide any guarantee. All other conditions of ECBs – such as eligible borrower, recognised lender, all-in cost, average maturity – should be complied with.

 

SEBI made Mandatory Requirement of ‘In Person’ Verification of Clients of Depository Participant

May 2010 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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SEBI notified that for opening beneficial owner’s account by a Depository Participant (“DP”) ‘in person’ verification of clients has to be done mandatorily by DP.  It is further clarified that such ‘in person’ verification done for opening beneficial account by a DP, will hold good for opening trading account by a stock broker and vice versa if the stock brokers and DP is the same entity or if any of them is the holding or subsidiary company of the other.

 

Intellectual Property Rights

May 2010 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Intellectual Property Rights

The Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2009

In order to enable Indian nationals as well as foreign nationals to secure simultaneous protection of trademarks in other countries, Ministry of Commerce and Industry had introduced the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill 2009 (“Amendment Bill”) in the Parliament.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

May 2010 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Antidumping Duties

1.     Anti-dumping duty has been levied on plastic processing or injection moulding machine, also known as injection presses having clamping force not less than 40 tonnes originating in or exported from People’s Republic of China.

 

Taxation - Direct Taxes

May 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Direct Tax

Signing of revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Finland

A revised agreement and protocol between India and Finland for ‘Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion’ with respect to taxes on income has been entered into between GOI and Government of Finland. The revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (“DTAA”) is yet to be notified.

 

Corporate and Commercial Matters

May 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Companies (Central Government’s) General Rules and Forms (Second Amendment), 2010

The GOI vide notification no. G.S.R. 177(E) dated March 05, 2010, has amended the rules by insertion of Rule 20(G) which provides that an application for rectification of mistakes made while filing Form No.1, Form No. 1A and Form No. 44 electronically, on the Ministry of Corporate Affair’s website, shall be made to the Registrar of Companies (“ROC”) in Form No. 68 and such application shall be accompanied by fee of INR 1000 for rectification of mistakes in Form No. 1 and Form No.1A and INR 10,000 for rectification of mistakes in Form No. 44 respectively. The application in Form No. 68 to be made within a period of 365 days from the date of approval of Form No. 1, Form No. 1A and Form No. 44 respectively by the ROC.

 

Real Estate/ Property/ Infrastructure

March 2010 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Norms for highway projects pact changed

The threshold limit in the conflict of interest clause in the model concession agreement for highway projects has been increased from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, thereby allowing any two Special Purpose Vehicles (“SPV”) with a common partner having up to 25 per cent stake to bid for same project.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

March 2010 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Power

New Regulations for Load Dispatch Centers

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (“CERC”) has notified the final regulations for the fee and charges to be levied by the National and Regional Load Dispatch Centers under the provisions of the Indian Electricity Act, 2003. Ensuring financial autonomy is the main objective of these regulations so that they can discharge their statutory functions in an independent and non-discriminatory manner.

 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

March 2010 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Uzi Justman v. Telephone Cables Ltd. and Anr.

The issue for consideration before the Delhi HC in this case was whether application under Section 22 of Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act (“SICA”), 1985 for suspension/stay of proceedings acts as a bar for execution of an arbitral award and for recovery of dues.

 

Intellectual Property Rights

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Amendments in Information Technology Act, 2000 The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 has come into force from October 27, 2009. Some key amendments in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”) are highlighted below:

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Exchange Control

 

Liberalization of Foreign Technology Agreement policy

 

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI, has on December 16, 2009 issued Press Note No.8 (2009 Series) for the liberalization of outbound remittances made for technology collaborations and use of trademarks and brand name, by removing the earlier limits. The remittance for royalties and lump sum fees paid towards transfer of technology, use of trademark and brand name would henceforth be permitted under the automatic route, i.e. without any approval of GOI. Indian companies will now have to directly approach their designated Authorised Dealers (“AD”) with necessary documentation, for payment to foreign technical collaborators. Accordingly, the previous Press Note (Press Note 2 (2003) which provided for the limit on the payment of royalty (5 per cent on domestic sales / 8 per cent on exports) and payment of technical fee (US$ 2 million) has been superseded. The GOI would separately notify suitable post-reporting system for technology transfer / collaborations and use of trade mark / brand name.

 

Capital Markets/ Securities

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Amendments in (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997

Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has amended the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997 (“Takeover Code”). Under the erstwhile Regulation 3(2) of the Takeover Code, acquisition of American Depository Receipts (“ADR”) / Global Depository Receipts (“GDR”) were exempted from open offer requirement until the time of their conversion into the underlying equity shares carrying voting rights. SEBI has now clarified that an exemption from open offer would be available only as long as the ADR / GDR holders remain passive investors without any kind of voting arrangement on the underlying equity shares whatsoever.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Anti Dumping Duties

Taxation – Direct Taxes

March 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income-tax (Dispute Resolution Panel) Rules, 2009

In cases involving transfer pricing adjustments or cases involving income adjustments to be made on the foreign companies, which are prejudicial to the taxpayer, the tax officer is required to forward a draft order to the taxpayer, who can file objections against the draft order to the Dispute Resolution Panel (“DRP”).

 

Indirect Taxes

March 2010 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Goods and Service Tax

The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers has released the first discussion paper on Goods and Service Tax (“GST”). The mechanics of the provisions and even the macro level parameters are still under discussion. GST is set to replace the various State and Union indirect taxes. The discussion paper provides for dual GST, State level and Union level. Though instead of compliances under plethora of taxes at present, the compliances would be restricted to GST, but the issues of interplay of State and Union taxation, rivalry amongst States to garner more revenue, would continue to haunt the taxpayers. The earlier deadline of April 01, 2010 for implementation of GST is likely to be missed.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Aviation

Up gradation & Modernisation of 35 Non- Metro Airports

GOI has decided to upgrade and modernize thirty five (35) non-metro airports across the country. In the first phase ten (10) airports namely Kolkata, Hyderabad (Bagumpet), Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Guwahati and Jaipur are being taken up for development through PPP mode.

Real Estate/ Property/ Infrastructure

December 2009 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Revised Model Request for Qualification for Public Private Partnership Projects

The Ministry of Finance ("MoF"), GOI, has issued a revised model Request For Qualification ("RFQ") for pre-qualification of bidders for Public Private Partnership ("PPP") projects keeping in view the experience gained in implementation of a large number of PPP projects using the RFQ document and feedback from Ministries as well as representations from various industry associations.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

December 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Power

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Notifies Tariff Regulations for Green Power


The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission ("CERC") has notified the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Tariff determination from Renewable Energy Sources) Regulations, 2009 ("Tariff Regulations") for electricity generated from renewable energy sources. These Tariff Regulations have been finalized keeping in view the statutory mandate to electricity regulatory commissions for promoting co-generation and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

December 2009 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws 

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Sayeed Ahmed & Co. v. State of U.P. & Ors.


The issue for discussion before the SC in this case was whether an Arbitrator could award interest from the date of the cause of action till the date of the arbitral award contrary to the terms of the Arbitration Agreement.  

Intellectual Property Rights

December 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws

Nakoda Dairy (P) Ltd. v. Kewal Chand Vinod Kumar & Ors.


The plaintiff filed an application in the High Court of Madras ("Madras HC") for an injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from infringing the plaintiffs trademark "Nakoda", by using it as their trade mark. The plaintiff's claim was that the defendants were unauthorizedly and illegally using their trademark "Nakoda". However, the defendants' contented that the plaintiff's suit was not maintainable as appropriate proceedings in respect of cancellation of the trademark was pending before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. Therefore, this court is liable to stay the present case under Section 124(1)(b)(i) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 ("Trade Marks Act"). 

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

December 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Reserve Bank of India's Thrust to Indian Depository Receipts The Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") vide its circular dated July 22, 2009 ("Circular") has provided much needed clarity for/to foreign companies ("Issuing Company") desirous of issuing Indian Depositary Receipts ("IDRs") . As per the said Circular, consequential amendments will be made to the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident Outside India) Regulations, 2000 ("FEMA 20 Regulations") and the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) Regulations, 2004 ("FEMA 19 Regulations").

 

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

December 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Foreign Trade

New Foreign Trade Policy, 2009-2014

The GOI vide notification dated August 27, 2009 has notified the new Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14.  Following are some of the significant features of the new policy:

Capital Markets/ Securities

December 2009 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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SEBI Informal Guidance on the Applicability of SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover) Regulations, 1997

The facts before the SEBI for informal guidance were as follows:

A company had set up an Employees Welfare Trust ("Trust") which has the power to invest its surplus funds into the market in buying various securities, including securities of the company. The invested money will be invested in the name of the trustees and will be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the Trust. However, no person who is a member of the promoter group of the company or a director or key management personnel of the company or is a relative of any of these persons can become a trustee. Further if a trustee takes up any of these positions or is a relative of a person in any of these positions, then he would need to resign from the trusteeship of the said Trust. 

Capital Markets/ Securities

December 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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SEBI Informal Guidance on the Applicability of SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover) Regulations, 1997

The facts before the SEBI for informal guidance were as follows:

A company had set up an Employees Welfare Trust ("Trust") which has the power to invest its surplus funds into the market in buying various securities, including securities of the company. The invested money will be invested in the name of the trustees and will be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the Trust. However, no person who is a member of the promoter group of the company or a director or key management personnel of the company or is a relative of any of these persons can become a trustee. Further if a trustee takes up any of these positions or is a relative of a person in any of these positions, then he would need to resign from the trusteeship of the said Trust. 

Corporate and Commercial Matters

December 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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New Legislation

Limited Liability Partnership Rules, 2009


The Ministry of Corporate Affairs ("MCA"), GOI vide Notification dated April 01, 2009, published in the official gazette of India, has notified the Limited Liability Partnership Rules, 2009 ("LLP Rules"). The LLP Rules, 2009 contains administrative provisions for formation, management, reconstruction and winding up of LLPs. The LLP Rules have also provided with the forms for the purpose of formation, management etc of the LLPs under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2009 and the manner and conditions of filing, recording or registering of documents, forms, notices, statements, returns etc.

Indirect Taxes

December 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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  Excise Law and Customs

Exemption to Goods Imported from Antarctica

GOI has exempted all the goods imported from Antarctica into India from the whole of the duty of customs leviable thereon which is specified in the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 ("CTA") and from the whole of the additional duties leviable thereon under Section 3 of the CTA.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

December 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income Tax Act, 1961 ("IT Act")

Instruction

Central Board of Direct Taxes has withdrawn Instruction no. 1829, dated September 21, 1989, which dealt with the taxability of income arising to non-residents from execution of turnkey projects.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

September 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent and important legal developments in this area are set out below. New Pre-Bidding Guidelines for Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) Projects

The GOI has issued new pre-bidding guidelines for PPP projects and has removed petroleum and natural gas companies and included metro rail and logistics park companies from the definition of core sectors which could be awarded PPP projects.

 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

September 2009 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below. Case Laws Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Citation Infowares Limited v. Equinox Corporation

Equinox Corporation (“Equinox”) was registered under the laws of United States of America and carried on business in Gurgaon, Haryana through its subsidiary. Equinox entered into an outsourcing agreement (“Agreement”) with the Citation Infowares Limited (“CIL”) in Kolkata wherein the latter was engaged as a service provider for three years. The obligations under the contract were to be completed in India. The parties chose the laws of California as the governing law for interpretation of the Agreement and the disputes related to the subject matter were to be referred to arbitration.

 

Intellectual Property Rights

September 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

Case Laws

Dart Industries Inc. and Anr. v. Techne Plast and Ors.

The appellant manufactures and sells upholstery fabrics with designs derived from the original and unique artistic works either conceptualized or drawn by its employees or by assignation of the copyright in such artistic works to the appellant by the original artists. The respondents are also the manufactures of upholstery fabrics.

 

Taxation – Direct Taxes

September 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below: Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”)Revised Procedure for Compliance with Withholding Tax Obligations

The revised procedure for furnishing information regarding remittances being made to non-residents with effective from July 1, 2009 is as follows:-

 

Indirect Taxes

September 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent case laws in this practice area are set out below.

Excise Law

Single Licence for Telecom Equipment Import

Director General of Foreign Trade (“DGFT”) via Notification No.103 (RE-2008)/2004-2009 dated April 1, 2009 clarified that the import of key communication hardware like radio equipment will require a licence from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (“Information Ministry”) without any approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (“Ministry of Commerce”).

The notification said that “Radio Communication equipment including Very high frequency, Ultra high frequency and Microwave Communication equipments (used for wireless operations like mobile telephony) are not permitted to be imported except against a licence to be issued by the Wireless Planning Coordination wing of the Information Ministry”.

Thus, the notification clears the confusion prevailing over the notification dated March 2, 2009 which led to an impression that the importers were required to get a licence both from the Information Ministry as well as from the Ministry of Commerce.

 

Real Estate/ Property

September 2009 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

External Commercial Borrowings (“ECB”) for Infrastructure

The GOI has decided to extend the permission to avail ECB under the approval route up to December 31, 2009 for the development of integrated township, as defined in Press Note 3 (2002), dated January 04, 2002 issued by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GOI.   

 

Corporate and Commercial Matters

September 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Hillary Visit Marks Conclusion of Important Agreements

A new dialogue structure raised between India and United States of America (“US”) during the visit of US secretary of states Hillary Clinton recently gave way to the conclusion of three path-breaking agreements. The End-User Monitoring Agreement basically governs sensitive technology control requirements in order to prevent the leaking of technology to other countries and `minimize' security risks to US and its allies. It will require the end-user nations like India to let the US monitor the use of defence equipment and technology that India procures from US. This is not an India-specific clause but a requirement of the US Arms Export Control Act of 1996.

 

The other two important agreements, one on creation of a Science and Technology Endowment Board and another, a Technical Safeguards Agreement have been entered into by which the US government has given clearance for launch by Indian Space Research Organisation of Algerian satellites ALSAT-2A and ALSAT-2B, which have US components, on board an Indian space launch vehicle.

 

Union Budget 2009-2010

July 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The proposals of the Budget 2009-10 and Finance Bill, 2009 have been aptly summarized by the Hon'ble Finance Minister by quoting Mahatma Gandhi -

 "Democracy is the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all."

There were several challenges before the GOI in this year. It is paramount to lead economy to high GDP growth rate of 9 % per annum at the earliest. Then in continuation of its earlier practice, the GOI desire to express its sincerity to deepen and broaden the agenda for inclusive development. With respect to its earlier policy initiatives, GOI intends to improve its delivery mechanism.

Indirect Taxes

March 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Excise and Customs Laws

 

Post Budget Tax

 

 Reduction of Excise Duty 

GOI has made the following changes in duty rates, which came into effect from February 24, 2009.

 

·         The general rate of central excise duty is reduced from 10 per cent to 8 per cent for most of the goods.

 ·         The rate of excise duty on bulk cement has also been reduced from “Higher of 10 per cent or INR 290 per metric tonne” to “Higher of 8 per cent or INR 230 per metric tonne”.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

March 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”)Private Provident Fund & Superannuation Funds Equity Returns set to be Tax-Free The returns earned by private provident funds and superannuation funds from their in shares of companies will not attract income tax as GOI plans to give such investments income tax benefits, according to Finance Ministry officials

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

February 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-Dumping Duties   

1.  Anti-dumping duties have been levied on the goods originating in or exported from the countries given below:  

·         Rubber chemicals namely MBT, CBS, TDQ, PVI, TMT and PX-13 from the People’s Republic of China and Korea.  

·         ‘Partially Oriented yarn’ corrected as ‘Partially Oriented Yarn of Polyester’.   

·         Sulphur Black, the People’s Republic of China.  

·         Cable Ties, from, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.  

·         Phenol, from, Singapore, South Africa and the European Union. 

·         Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), from China, Srilanka and Vietnam.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

February 2009 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Department of Telecommunications (“DoT”) has recently announced guidelines on reselling of IPLC and grant of Resale of IPLC License under Sec. 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. Below is the gist of guidelines on ‘Resale of IPLC’:

Intellectual Property Rights

February 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws Cadila Health Care Ltd. v. Dabur India Ltd.  Cadila Health Care Ltd. (plaintiff) claims to be the owner of the trademark "SUGAR FREE".  Cadila filed a suit in the HC Delhi seeking an interim injunction restraining Dabur India Ltd. (defendant) from using the expression "Sugar Free" on any of their products.

Interim Budget 2009-10

February 2009 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Interim Budget 2009-10

1. Highlights of the Budget 1.1 Total expenditure for fiscal year 2009-10 estimated at INR 9,532.31 billion. Plan expenditure estimated at INR 2,851.49 billion and Non-Plan expenditure at INR 668.08 billion. 1.2  Budgetary support in Plan Budget Estimate (“B.E.”) 2009-10 in comparison to B.E. 2008-09 increase for Department of Rural Development, Department of Road Transport & Highways Railways, Ministry of Power, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion an Department of Information Technology to meet the requirements of rural and infrastructure development along with higher allocation for Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Ministry of Culture to ensure adequate resources for hosting of the Commonwealth Games. Allocations to flagship programme which directly impact ‘Aam Aadmi’ fully protected.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

February 2009 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

M/s Standard Corrosion Controls Pvt Ltd v. Sarku Engineering Services SDN BHD SC analyzed whether the parties could approach a court for appointment of an arbitrator under Section 11(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, (“Arbitration Act”) inspite of having agreed earlier on a different procedure for appointing an arbitrator under Section 11(2) of the Arbitration Act.  The parties, in this case, had agreed to settle their disputes by mutual consultation and consent, failing which, by the process of arbitration. It was specifically provided that the arbitration shall be held by applying the Arbitration Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) by a single arbitrator. The petitioner/applicant, instead of submitting a request to the ICC Secretariat for appointing an arbitrator, rushed to the court for appointment of an arbitrator through an application under Section 11(5) of the Arbitration Act.  The applicant urged that since the laws of India had been made applicable under the Agreement, the provisions of the Arbitration Act in as much as the arbitrator shall be appointed through a petition under Section 11(5) of the Arbitration Act. Rejecting the arguments of the petitioner/ applicant, the apex court held that such an application/ petition, without having approached the authority nominated and agreed upon by the parties, is not maintainable. The court further observed that the scheme of the Arbitration Act is that under Section 11(2), the parties are free to agree on a procedure for appointing an arbitrator subject to the provisions of Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act. Thus, where the parties have agreed upon a specific procedure for appointment of an arbitrator, a petition under Section 11(5) of the Arbitration Act to the court for appointment of an arbitrator, would not be maintainable.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

February 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Liberalizing the Foreign Investment Norms

Under the existing Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) policy in India, foreign investment is freely allowed in Indian companies except those engaged in prohibited sectors. Prohibited sectors cover gambling and betting, lottery, atomic energy and multi-brand retail trading. Investments limits and other conditions are prescribed in some sensitive sectors e.g. those subjected to industrial licensing, reserved for the small scale sectors and sectors considered sensitive to the security of the nation e.g. Defence, Telecom, Information and Broadcasting, Airports etc.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

February 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The age old parable of the hare and the tortoise applies on all fours to the state of the Indian economy. While all the so called developed nations seem to have developed a ‘too fast too soon burnout syndrome’; India continues to inch forward slowly yet surely to retention of economic stability.

Capital Markets/ Securities

February 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Meaning of ‘Related to Any Promoter’ used in Clause 49 of Listing Agreement SEBI has previously amended Clause 49 of the listing agreement inter-alia including a provision stating that if the non-executive Chairman is a promoter or is related to promoters or persons occupying management positions at the board level or at one level below the board, at least one-half of the board of the company should consist of independent directors.  SEBI has now clarified the phrase ‘related to any promoter’ used in the above amendment by specifying that a) If the promoter is a listed entity, its directors other than the independent directors, its employee or its nominees shall be deemed to be related to it. b) If the promoter is an unlisted entity, its directors, its employee or its nominees shall be deemed to be related to it.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

January 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-Dumping Duties: Anti-Dumping duty has been imposed on import into India of following goods: · Hydrofluoric acid originating in or exported from China; · Pentaerythritol from Chinese Taipei and Japan; · Diclofenac Sodium originating in or exported from China; · Fully drawn yarn or Fully oriented yarn or Spin drawn yarn or Flat yarn of Polyester (non-textured and non-POY) and other yarns from M/s H.K. Corporation, Republic of Korea; · Vitrified and Porcelain Tiles from China with the exception of certain exporters; · Recordable Digital Versatile Disc (“DVD”) of all kinds originating in or exported from China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei. The anti-dumping duty varies depending upon the country from which the DVD has been imported;· Nylon Tyre Cord Fabrics from the China. 

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

January 2009 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Recommendations on Mobile Virtual Network Operator (“MVNO”) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) has issued recommendations on MVNO enabling the introduction of MVNOs in India.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

January 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Petroleum & Natural Gas (Safety in Offshore Operations) Rules, 2008

 The GOI, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has decided to notify Petroleum & Natural Gas (Safety in Offshore Operations) Rules, 2008 (“Safety Rules”), for regulation of safety in offshore oil & gas exploration, exploitation, production / drilling and matters connected therewith. The Safety Rules will be applicable to all Public Sector Undertakings (“PSUs”), Private / Joint Venture (“JV”) companies operating in territorial waters, contiguous zone, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of India in offshore upstream oil & gas sector.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

January 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Global Mess and India  The effect of the global meltdown is making the tremors felt across the length and breadth of the Indian economy. The housing bubble, which burst in the United States of America (“US”) resulted in the sub-prime crisis which destroyed investor wealth worth trillion of US Dollars (“USD”). A crisis of such mammoth proportions has claimed such high profile investment banks like Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers and one of the most venerable insurers in the world, the American International Group (taken over by the US Government for about USD 85 billion.).

Intellectual Property Rights

January 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case LawsKhoday Distilleries Ltd. (Now known as Khoday India Ltd.) (“KDL”) v. The Scotch Whisky Association and Ors.Petitioner is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, which manufactures whisky under the mark 'Peter Scot'. Manufacture of the said product was allegedly started by the company in May, 1968. An application was filed by it for registration of its mark before the division bench of Madras HC. Petitioner was informed that its application was accepted and allowed to proceed, subject to the condition that the mark would be treated as associated with a registered trade mark number.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

January 2009 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996  M/s Consolidated Engineering Enterprises v. Principal Secretary, Irrigation Department  The SC analyzed whether the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 (“Limitation Act”) would be applicable to an application submitted under Arbitration Act for setting aside the award made by the arbitrator.

Taxation - Indirect Taxes

January 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Commissioner of Customs (“CC”) v. Ferodo India Pvt. Ltd. The taxpayer is the manufacturer of brake liners and brake pads (“Products”)and entered into a technical assistance and trademark agreement (“TAA”) with its parent company M/s. T & N International Limited U.K. (”Licensor”). Under TAA, the taxpayer was required to import/ buy raw material and capital goods from the Licensor. 

Taxation – Direct Taxes

January 2009 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”)

 Finance Act, 2008Provisions of Finance Act, 2008 (“Finance Act”) have been notified on May 10, 2008. The Finance Act made certain other amendments to the IT Act, in addition to those proposed under the Finance Bill, 2008 pronounced by the Hon’ble Minister of Finance, GOI on February 29, 2008. Certain important amendments under the Finance Act other than those contained in Finance Bill, 2008 are as follows:

Capital Markets/ Securities

January 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Meaning of “Shareholders Having Trading Rights” The term “shareholders having trading rights” has been interpreted under Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Manner of Increasing and Maintaining Public Shareholding in Recognized Stock Exchanges) Regulations, 2006 to mean a shareholder who has a trading interest in the stock exchange, whether directly or indirectly through a person having trading rights. This would ensure that at least 51% of the equity share capital of the recognized stock exchange is held by public.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

January 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Overseas Investment by Mutual Fund – LiberalizationThe aggregate ceiling for overseas investment by mutual funds registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has been enhanced from USD 5 billion to USD 7 billion with effect from April 3, 2008.

Real Estate/ Property

December 2008 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Information Technology Investment Regions The Government of India ("GOI"), Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal to create Information Technology Investment Regions (“ITIRs”). These ITIRs would have excellent infrastructure and support through investor friendly policies. ITIRs would be a combination of Information Technology (“IT”)/ Information Technology Enabled Services (“ITES”), Electronic Hardware Manufacturing (“EHM”) units, public utilities, residential areas, social infrastructure and administrative services.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

May 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-Dumping Duties

 Anti-dumping duties have been levied on the goods originating in or exported from the countries given below:

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

May 2008 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) Determines Final Phasing out of Access Deficit Charge (“ADC”) TRAI has recently issued the ninth amendment to the Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) regulation which deals, among other things, with the ADC payable by private service providers to the incumbent Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (“BSNL”).

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

May 2008 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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New Incentive Scheme for Solar Power Projects  The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, GOI has announced a new scheme for installation of mega watt size grid interactive solar power generation projects, up to a maximum capacity of 50 MW. Under this scheme, any registered company, as project developer, is eligible to set up solar power projects on build, own and operate basis.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

May 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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UNDER PRESSURE The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed that the United States (“US”) economy will slide into a “mild recession” in 2008, as a fallout of the US housing crisis, credit squeeze, high energy costs and slow growth in disposable incomes.

Intellectual Property Rights

May 2008 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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F.Hoffmann-LA Roche Ltd. and Anr. (“Roche”) v. Cipla Ltd. (“Cipla”) Roche filed a patent application in India on March 13, 1996. The Drug Controller General of India (“DCGI”) gave approval to Roche for marketing ‘Tarceva’ in India on July 13, 2005 and the patent was granted for ‘Tarceva’ to Roche in India on July 13, 2007. The generic name of the drug ‘Erlotnib’, which Roche markets under a patent of ‘Tarceva’ was launched by Cipla by the name of ‘Erlocip’ in January 2008. The once-a-day tablet cost of Roche is about INR 4800, while Cipla’s version costs about INR 1600.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

May 2008 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Arbitration

The Empire Jute Company Ltd. and Ors. v. The Jute Corporation of India Ltd. (“Corporation”) and Anr.GOI conferred power on the Jute Commissioner (“JC”) under section 3 of the Essentials Commodities Act, 1955, to regulate the stock of raw jute, fix price and control production, in exercise of the said power JC issued Production Control Orders (“PCO”) to various jute mill owners including the appellant directing them to manufacture bags of specified quality upon compulsory purchase of raw jute from Corporation. Any non-compliance of the PCO would attract penal provisions. A dispute arose between parties and the Division Bench of the High Court directed the parties to settle dispute through arbitration clause as per the agreement. On appeal, the Supreme Court was of the opinion that the High Court took recourse to the arbitration clause stipulated in the agreement in regard to one of the question raised by the appellant but proceeded to determine the another part of the dispute raised by the appellant by itself and held that a superior court’s power of judicial review has wide amplitude but the same should not be exercised when there exists an arbitration clause. In case, the court was of the opinion that the dispute between the parties being covered by arbitration clause should be referred only to arbitration it should not have proceeded to determine a part of the dispute itself. Held, all the disputes should be resolved by taking recourse to arbitration clause stipulated in the agreement.

Indirect Taxes

May 2008 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Excise Laws  Coca Cola India Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Central Excise (“CCE”), Pune  The taxpayer was engaged in manufacture of concentrates of non-alcoholic beverages base concentrates which was cleared by them on payment of duty to various bottlers for manufacture of aerated waters/beverages. The expenses incurred by the taxpayer for the advertisement of the aerated water were claimed as input service for the manufacture of concentrates on the basis that the said advertisements enhance the sale of aerated water which in turn enhances the sale of concentrates. However, the said claim was denied by the CCE on the ground that the advertisement is on account of final product i.e. aerated waters and not in respect of their concentrates and since the taxpayer is manufacturing and removing concentrates, for which no advertisement is undertaken, they are not entitled to take credit of the service tax paid on the advertisement. The Custom Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (“CESTAT”) upheld the decision of the CCE and rejected the appeal.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

May 2008 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”)

 

Tax Treaty between India and Iceland

 Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Iceland have entered into an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The said tax treaty will be effective in the Union of India (UOI) from April 01, 2008. Tax rates specified for various streams of income are as follows:

Capital Markets/ Securities

May 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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FII Investments in Debt Securities The Securities & Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) had announced the increase in the cumulative debt investment limit available for investment by FII(s)/sub accounts in government securities/T-Bills from USD 2 billion to USD 2.6 billion, vide circular dated January 19, 2007. Now the said limit has been further enhanced to USD 3.2 billion.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

May 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Guidelines for FDI in Industrial Parks GOI, vide its Press Note 2 (2000) permitted up to 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in industrial park(s). Later, in 2005 the GOI vide its Press Note 2 (2005) permitted up to 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in construction development project(s), prescribing therein, among others, the condition for minimum capitalization norms, minimum area requirements and lock-in of original investment. 

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

February 2008 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Internet Protocol Television (“IPTV”): Draft Recommendations Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) released the draft recommendation(s) on provision of IPTV services. IPTV is a new method of delivering and viewing television programs using an internet protocol network and high speed broadband technology.

Intellectual Property Rights

February 2008 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws Microsoft Corporation v. Ms. K. Mayuri & Ors.  The present case pertains to the copyright violations done by the defendant by installing pirated softwares, originally published by the plaintiff company, on the computer systems sold by them.

Real Estate/ Property

February 2008 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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New Rehabilitation Policy

 

The Government of India (“GOI”) has approved the National Policy on Rehabilitation and Resettlement, 2007 (“NPRR”), that promises alternative land and future employment to those displaced in various land-related projects. The NPRR has replaced the National Policy on Resettlement and Rehabilitation for Project Affected Families, 2003.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

February 2008 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws

Arbitration

 Adhunik Steels Ltd.  v. Orissa Manganese &  Minerals Pvt. Ltd. The SC examined the power of the court approached under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”), for interim relief or interim protection and the applicability of substantive law relating to interim relief under section 9 of the Arbitration Act. The SC held that though the intention behind section 9 of the Arbitration Act is the issuance of an order for protection, preservation and interim custody of the subject matter of the arbitration agreement, the grant of an interim prohibitory injunction or an interim mandatory injunction are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Specific Relief Act, 1963. The SC ruled that it is not possible to keep out the concept of balance of convenience, prima facie case, irreparable injury, the concept of just and convenient and the applicability of substantive law, while passing interim measures under section 9 of the Arbitration Act. The power of the court therefore, under section 9 of the Arbitration Act is not totally independent of the well known principles governing the grant of an interim injunction that generally govern the courts in this connection.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

February 2008 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act”)

 

Refund of Withholding Tax to the Person Withholding it

 

Central Board of Direct Taxes (“CBDT”) has laid down procedure for refund of tax withheld under section 195 of the IT Act to the person withholding the tax under certain specified circumstances.

Indirect Taxes

February 2008 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Service Tax Injunction Against Service Tax on Rent of Commercial Buildings The HC of Madras has granted an interim injunction restraining the Union Finance Ministry from collecting service tax on rent of commercial buildings. The Finance Act, 2007 introduced the provisions pertaining to levy of service tax on rent from immovable property.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

February 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-Dumping Duties

 

Anti-dumping duties have been levied on the goods originating in or exported from the countries given below:

Capital Markets/ Securities

February 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Requirement of Credit Rating

 

Earlier for public / rights issue of debt instruments, credit rating was required to be obtained from not less than two credit rating agencies. Pursuant to the amendment to the SEBI (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000 (“DIP Guidelines) that credit rating from one credit rating agency would suffice.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

February 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Exchange Earner's Foreign Currency (“EEFC”) Account- Liberalisation The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) vide its circular dated October 6, 2007 has amended regulation 4 of the Foreign Exchange Management (Foreign Currency Accounts by a person resident in India) Regulations, 2000 (the “FCA Regulations”). In terms of the said regulation 4 of the FCA Regulations, a person resident in India is permitted to open and maintain with an Authorized Dealer (“AD”) in India a foreign currency account known as EEFC account, subject to the terms and conditions of the EEFC account scheme as specified in the schedule to the FCA Regulations. Currently, EEFC accounts are permitted to be maintained in the form of non-interest bearing current accounts.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

February 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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THE YEAR GONE BY…

 

By all accounts the year 2007 was a remarkable year in the history of Indian economy. Prosperous twelve months - with positive indicators such as a stable 8-9 per cent annual growth, five-fold increase in Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) inflows, a booming capital market, an ever growing and economically prosperous middle class has put India as the second fastest growing economy in the world.

Capital Markets/ Securities

November 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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SEBI vide its circular has stated that the Depository Participants (“DP”) shall ensure that they have a satisfactory internal control procedure in place. 

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

November 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Ministry of Finance (“MoF”) has notified new guidelines which have been formulated by the Department of Economic Affairs (“DEA”), for liberal dispensation of approval of PPP projects in the infrastructure structure.  The new guidelines provide that the appraisal of PPP projects of all sectors costing more than INR 1 billion but less than INR 2.5 billion would be considered by a two member committee, comprising of the Secretary(s) of DEA and MoF. Earlier, these projects were approved by a large PPP-Appraisal Committee.  

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

November 2007 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The respondent issued a tender for purchase of oil. The appellant offered to supply different categories of oil, vide the quotation; which offer was accepted by the respondent. The appellant failed to supply the oil as per the delivery schedule even after the extension of time. The contract was finally cancelled and the appellant resorted to force majeure clause. The dispute was referred to an arbitrator, who gave a non-speaking award, which was made a rule by the order of the Delhi High Court. The appellant filed a special leave petition against the impugned judgment.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

November 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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With a view to provide greater flexibility to the corporate(s) in managing their liquidity and interest costs dynamically, the RBI vide its circular dated September 26, 2007 has enhanced the existing limit for prepayment of ECB from USD 400 million to USD 500 million.

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

November 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-dumping duties have been levied on the goods originating in or imported into India from the countries given below:

Intellectual Property Rights

November 2007 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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India and Japan have signed a MoU for mutual co-operation in relation to IPR matters entailing capacity building, human resource development and public awareness programmes. The MoU is a follow-up of the joint statement made by the leaders of the 2 countries on December 15, 2006, expressing their willingness to continue to co-operate in IPR matters.

Indirect Taxes

November 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Central government withdrew various technical and procedural circulars and promulgated two Circulars to clarify the technical issues (Circular No. 96/2007) and procedural issues (Circular No. 97/2007).

Direct Taxes

November 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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One of the group companies of Morgan Stanley & Co. (“MSC”), which is a Multinational Enterprise (“MNE”) is incorporated in India as Morgan Stanley Advantages Services Private Limited (“MSAS”). MSAS provide certain support services to MSC. Consideration is paid by MSC to MSAS comprising of costs and a mark-up of 29 per cent of such costs on the basis of transfer pricing study.

Corporate and Commercial Matters

November 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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India, the second fastest-growing economy in the world continues to witness sizeable inflows of foreign institutional and direct investment into various sectors of the economy. Sectors such as manufacturing, construction, finance, banking, telecom, Information Technology (“IT”) and real estate, were the main recipients of foreign investment.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

November 2007 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The TRAI has forwarded its recommendations on the new licensing terms and conditions for various telecom licenses. The recommendations are directed towards creating a more competitive and liberalized market for unified access service licensees. Some of the recommendations are as follows:

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

September 2007 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Anti-dumping

Anti-dumping duties have been levied on the goods originating in or exported from the countries given below:

Cross Border Investments and Transactions

September 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Exchange Control Current Account Transactions-– Liberalisation

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), through its recent circulars have amended the Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000, (the “Current Account Rules”), to introduce following changes:

Indirect Taxes

September 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Central Excise Ford India Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Central Excise (“CCE”), Chennai

The taxpayer was engaged in the manufacture of motor vehicles. The cars were sold from the factory to the dealers for onward sale to the final customers.

Overseas Investment by Mutual Funds – Liberalisation

September 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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In accordance with the announcements made in the Annual Policy Statement for the year 2007-08, the Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) and Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has introduced following changes:

INDO-US Nuclear Deal

September 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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India and the United States of America (‘USA” or “US”) have finalized the much awaited nuclear energy accord under which India will have access to US civil nuclear fuel and technology to meet India’s growing energy requirements, in exchange of which India will allow international inspection of its civil nuclear reactor facilities.

Arbitration

September 2007 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. v. Tiwari Road Lines

The appellant had entered into a transport contract with the respondent. The contract provided for settling the disputes in terms of the Rules of Indian Council of Arbitration (“ICA”).

Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007

September 2007 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Government Of India (“GOI”) has recently notified the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007 (“Imported Goods Rules”).

Pre-qualification norms for public private partnership projects

September 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Government of India has issued norms for pre-qualification of bidders for public-private partnership in infrastructure sector to ensure that only the best bidder gets to develop the core sector projects.

External Commercial Borrowings (“ECB”) Norms Tightened

September 2007 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Government of India (“GOI”) has tightened the ECB norms to restrict the flow of foreign funds into the country especially in real estate sector.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

September 2007 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Revised guidelines for access to Cable Landing Stations

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) has issued revised guidelines for access to Cable Landing Stations to all eligible international telecommunication entities.

Capital Markets/ Securities

May 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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SEBI Allows NSE to Set Up Reporting Platform for Corporate Bonds Trading SEBI vide its circular dated March 1, 2007 has authorized the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (“NSE”) to set up and maintain a corporate bond reporting platform with immediate effect.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions

May 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below. Exchange Control Liberalisations in Project and Service Exports The Foreign Exchange Management (Export of Goods and Services) Regulations, 2000 and the Memorandum of Instructions on Project & Service Exports (“PEM”) of October 2003 have been modified by the RBI vide its circular dated January 8, 2007. 

Trade Laws and WTO Matters

May 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below. 

Corporate and Commercial Matters

May 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Taming Growth In an effort to curb the growing inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) fired a fresh salvo at the end of the financial year 2006-07 (“FY-07”). The triple whammy involved a 0.5% increase in the Cash Reserve Ratio (“CRR”), a 0.25% increase in the repo rate, and a 0.5% reduction in the interest rate that the RBI pays on the cash reserves maintained by banks with it.

Intellectual Property Rights

May 2007 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below. 

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources

May 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important legal developments in this area are set out below.

Real Estate/ Property

May 2007 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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RBI bars Non Banking Financial Companies (“NBFCs”) from real estate investment The RBI has placed restrictions on finance companies investing in real estate.

Indirect Taxes

May 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Central Excise Re: Anod Plasma Spray Ltd. The assessee was engaged in the job of repair of old and used parts of machinery/dies and manufacture of new parts of machinery/dies.

Taxation – Direct Taxes

May 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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I. T. Ombudsman Guidelines, 2006 The guidelines are introduced with the objective of enabling the resolution of grievances against the Income-Tax Department and to facilitate the satisfaction or settlement of such complaints. 

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

May 2007 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Directive to Curb Illegal Use of Internet Telephony In a bid to clamp down what is termed as “illegal” use of internet telephony, the government has directed Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) to stop providing bandwidth or all internet related services to call centres and BPOs which are not registered with the Department of Telecommunications (“DoT”).

Real Estate/ Property - February 2007

March 2007 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments and legal developments in this area are set out below.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources - February 2007

March 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Road

The GOI had relaxed land acquisition norms for expeditious completion of road projects. It has brought down minimum land acquisition requirement to 50% before awarding, any project to a contractor. Earlier, agencies such as National Highways Authority of India (“NHAI”), Public Works Department (“PWD”) and Border Roads Organisation (“BRO”) were required to acquire 80% of the land before awarding contracts for road projects.

Insurance - February 2007

March 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below

Shobika Attire Vs New India Assurance Co. Ltd[ JT 2006 (12) SC 98]

The appellant insured its stock with the respondent. Due to communal riots the insured stocks that were lying in the show room were destroyed. When the claim was made, the respondent settled the claim for lesser amount and rejected the claim of loss of goods lying in the basement.

Cross Border Investments & Transactions - February 2007

March 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Current Account Transactions for purchase of trademark/ franchise – Liberalisation

The Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000 (“Current Account Rules”) stands amended through a GOI notification dated July 10, 2006.

Finance & Banking - February 2007

March 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

The Actuaries Act, 2006

The insurance sector was liberalized in the year 1999, with the enactment of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999, which enabled private players to participate in insurance business.

Capital Markets/ Securities - February 2007

March 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Investment in ADRs/ GDRs/ Foreign Securities and overseas ETFs by Mutual Funds

Pursuant to the enhancement in overseas investment limits by the RBI, the SEBI vide its circular dated January 4, 2007 has now decided that mutual funds (‘MF’) can invest in America Depository Receipt (‘ADR’)/ Global Depository Receipts (‘GDR’)/ Exchange Traded Funds (‘ETFs’)/Foreign Securities within overall limit of USD 3 billion. This will be with a sub-ceiling for individual MFs which should not exceed 10% of the net assets managed by them as on March 31 of each relevant year and subject to a maximum of US $150 million per MF.

Corporate & Commercial - February 2007

March 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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India – The Global Leader

Goldman Sachs has projected that India will sustain over 8% growth until 2020 and become the second largest economy in the world ahead of the United States, by 2050. In their words- “…we project India’s potential or sustainable growth rate at about 8% until 2020...”. Standard & Poor’s, the global rating agency, has raised India’s sovereign credit rating to ‘Investment Grade’ (BBB-/A-3).Recent reports released by the Central Statistical Organisation (“CSO”) and the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) further affirm the above facts. According to CSO, real gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth accelerated to 9.2% in the second quarter from 8.9 % the preceding quarter and 8.4 % a year ago, led by manufacturing and services sectors. The manufacturing sector with double digit growth of 11.5% maintained it position as key driver of industrial activity, contributing almost 91.2% of the growth in industry. Growth in the services sector accelerated to 10.6 %.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution - February 2007

March 2007 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

Arbitration

B.S.N.L. Vs Subash Chandra Kanchan [JT 2006(12) SC 25]

The contract between the appellant and the respondent provided for the appointment of arbitrator by the Managing Director of the appellant.

Indirect Taxes - February 2007

March 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent legal developments and case laws in this practice area are set out below.

Direct Taxes - February 2007

March 2007 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Guidelines for allotment of PAN to Foreign citizens, companies etc.

Revenue authorities have issued guidelines, vide a circular dated October 11, 2006 to simplify issue of Permanent Account Number (‘PAN’) to foreign citizens and other persons like companies/trusts/firms having no office of their own in India

Intellectual Property Rights

March 2007 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Technology, Media & Broadcasting, Telecommunications

March 2007 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important and recent enactments and legal developments in this area are set out below.

India - Trade laws, policy and WTO developments

October 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent developments in this area are set out below.

India-ASEAN

The talks between India and ASEAN on the proposed free trade agreement have resumed after India pruned its sensitive list from 854 items to 560 items.

India - Corporate & Commercial developments

October 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain new enactments, and important and recent developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2006

The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2006 has been notified with effect from May 29, 2006.

Tax developments in India

October 2006 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent legal development and case laws in this practice area is set out below.

Tax Treaties

India Japan Tax Treaty

The Governments of India and Japan have agreed to a few amendments to the existing India Japan Tax Treaty. These amendments have come into force on June 28, 2006.

Case Laws - India

October 2006 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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 Sanjeev Sharma Vs Gurdeep Singh

Disputes arose over the purchase of house property between the parties. The petitioners filed application under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘the Arbitration Act') and obtained a conditional interim injunction that they should take steps to commence arbitral proceedings. Since the petitioners failed to comply with the condition the injunction order was vacated.

Finance & Banking developments - India

October 2006 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent enactments, legal developments and case laws in this area are set out below.

The Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Act, 2006

The Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Act, 2006 has been notified with effect from June 12, 2006. The legislation seeks to enable Reserve Bank of India (‘RBI') to determine the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) for scheduled banks without any floor of ceiling to cope with any unforeseen eventualities, such as excess or lack of liquidity in the banking system and for the effective conduct of monetary policy.

Indirect tax - India

October 2006 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain recent legal development and case laws in this practice area is set out below.

Karnataka Value Added Tax Act, 2003

In an earlier update we have discussed in the case of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd Vs UOI. The Supreme Court held in this case that to qualify as ‘goods' under the Value Added Tax Acts, the commodity should have (a) utility; (b) capability of being bought and sold; and (c) capability of being transmitted, delivered, stored and possessed.

IP developments - India

October 2006 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent development in this area is set out below.

India - France Sign MOU on IPR Issues

The Indian and French Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU') in Paris on July15, 2006 for cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

India - Newsletter

October 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Road Map towards Full Convertibility

Perhaps the most significant news this quarter has been the release of the much awaited report on "Fuller Capital Account Convertibility" by the Reserve Bank of India. This report lays down, recommends the road map towards fuller convertibility of the Indian Rupee and decontrolling Resident Individuals and Corporate Capital flows. India would thus have far grater freedom in remittances abroad for investments and acquisitions.

The Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006

July 2006 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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The Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006

The Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006 received the President’s assent on March 17, 2006 and was notified in the Gazette. This legislation would ensure that no court shall impose a sentence under this Act for a contempt of court unless it is satisfied that contempt is of such nature that it substantially interferes or tends substantially to interfere with the due process of justice. In addition, the court may permit, in any proceeding for contempt of court, justification by truth as a valid defence if it is satisfied that it is in the public interest and the request for invoking the defence is bona fide.

Seth Dua & Associates, Solicitors & Advocates, India

India - Companies (Amendment) Act, 2006

July 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain new enactments and important and recent case laws in this area are set out below.

India - Trade laws, policy and WTO

July 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including policy changes and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Case Laws - Dresser Rand SA Vs Bindal Agro Chem Ltd

July 2006 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Case Laws - Dresser Rand SA Vs Bindal Agro Chem Ltd

India - Road Map towards Full Convertibility

July 2006 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Perhaps the most significant news this quarter has been the release of the much awaited report on “Fuller Capital Account Convertibility” by the Reserve Bank of India. This report lays down, recommends the road map towards fuller convertibility of the Indian Rupee and decontrolling Resident Individuals and Corporate Capital flows. India would thus have far grater freedom in remittances abroad for investments and acquisitions.

India - Trade laws, policy and WTO - recent developments

September 2005 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including policy changes and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Capital Markets / Securities Laws - recent developments

September 2005 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent development in this area is set out below.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources - recent developments

September 2005 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including relating to policy and industry developments, as the case may be) are set out below.

Real estate and property - recent developments

September 2005 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Certain important and recent legal developments in this area are set out below.

Taxation - recent developments

September 2005 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including policy changes, case laws and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below.

India - Corporate and commercial - recent developments

August 2005 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment (including policy changes, and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Cross Border Investments & Transactions - recent developments

August 2005 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment (including policy changes, and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Dispute resolution - recent developments

August 2005 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case law development in this practice area is set out below.

Finance - recent developments

August 2005 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent development in this area is set out below.

Intellectual property recent developments

August 2005 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain new enactment and important and recent legal development in this area is set out below.

Real estate and property - recent developments

June 2005 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case law development in this practice area is set out below.

India - Corporate and commercial - recent developments

April 2005 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment (including policy changes, and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

India - Trade laws, policy and WTO - recent developments

April 2005 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including policy changes and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Cross Border Investments & Transactions - recent developments

April 2005 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment (including policy changes, and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below

Finance - recent developments

April 2005 - Finance. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent development in this area is set out below.

Dispute resolution - recent developments

April 2005 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case law development in this practice area is set out below.

Insurance - recent developments

April 2005 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent development in this area is set out below.

Intellectual property recent developments

April 2005 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain new enactment and important and recent legal development in this area is set out below.

Projects, Energy & Natural Resources - recent developments

April 2005 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including relating to policy and industry developments, as the case may be) are set out below.

Taxation - recent developments

April 2005 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this area (including policy changes, case laws and legislative amendments, as the case may be) are set out below.

Transport - recent developments

April 2005 - Transport. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain new enactment and important and recent legal development in this area is set out below.

Private client recent developments

November 2004 - Crime. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case law developments in this practice area are set out below.

Private client recent developments

August 2004 - Crime. Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent case law developments in this practice area are set out below.

TMT (Technology, media & telecoms) - recent developments

August 2004 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment are set out below.

Outsourcing To India - Developments And Trends

May 2004 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Background

As global organizations strive to improve the quality of their processes while managing their bottom lines, Business Process Outsourcing ("BPO" or "Outsourcing" or "Offshoring") has become the new imperative. In the recent past, India has emerged as one of the most preferred BPO destinations of the world. Currently, the BPO industry in India is at the second stage of its operations. The initial stage, in the late 1980's and 1990's was marked by the setting up of captive operations in India by giant multinational corporations ("MNC") like American Express and GE. Now in the second stage, independent third-party operations are emerging out of the shadow of the more visible, captive MNC units. The USD 2.3 Billion BPO segment is growing impressively in India and at current growth rates, it is matching up with the Information Technology ("IT") industry. The most cogent reason for Outsourcing is to reduce or control operating costs. Corporate giants in the U.S., Europe and Japan are increasingly looking towards India as a preferred destination in terms of cost-effectiveness and high quality performance in Outsourced operations.

TMT (Technology, media & telecoms) - recent developments

March 2004 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Seth Dua & Associates.

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Certain important and recent legal developments in this segment (including policy changes, case law and legislative amendments) are set out below.