14 Oct 2019

Squatter’s Right i.e. Adverse Possession has often faced criticism for rewarding wrong-doers and assigning rights to usurpers. However, this age-old practice, based on the belief that “ownership” must belong to the person who made the best or highest use of the land, has stood the test of time. Since the concept has not been clearly defined in the statute, its development depends heavily on the equity and justice meted out by the courts under Article 27, 64 and 65 of the Limitations Act, 1963. In that direction, the Supreme Court has further solidified the position of the individuals nurturing the spirit of the land i.e. the possessors. The Court has now afforded them a sword i.e. the right to sue for protection of the property acquired through adverse possession.>>

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09 Oct 2019

The Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) vide its notification dated September 17, 2019, has published the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2019[i] (hereinafter the “Rules”) amending the Patents Rules, 2003 (hereinafter the “Principal Rules”). The amendment came into force from the date of notification.>>

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13 Sep 2019

With around 65% of GDP in the organized sector coming from family businesses[1], their status as the ‘engines’ of India’s ever-growing economy cannot be underscored. Globally, 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family owned businesses[2]. However, it is startling to note that 70% of the family businesses globally are sold before the second generation gets a chance to take over while only 10% of family businesses are able to survive till the third generation.[3] Further, a study by BAF consultants reveals that 97% of family-run businesses in India don't have succession plan documents.[4]>>

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09 Sep 2019

Union Budget 2019 and Labour: Over the last few years, there have been talks by the government to reform the existing labour laws, which are mostly archaic, to make them compatible with current issues and needs of the labour market. In the Union Budget 2019, the Government has pushed ahead with such reforms and proposed to streamline over 44 central laws and over 100 State laws pertaining to labour into 4 major Labour Codes, with the objective of increasing the ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives. The Government hopes that by standardizing definitions, registrations, and filings, there would be less conflict and fewer reasons for disputes.>>

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05 Sep 2019

Centuries of subversion has pushed Indian women into a degenerative backslide and their emancipation depends largely on favourable legislation and their effective implementation. Stridhana is a respite for the economic uncertainty that most woman face in India created through their confinement to non-quantified housework. It is a practical solution that harmonizes gender disparity by weeding out the financial difference in a matrimonial arrangement. However, it is distressing that most women are unaware of such a crucial piece of legislation adopted for their empowerment. Moreover, in a country obsessed with male dominance, the idea of Stridhana is either alien to the lower strata or confused with dowry in the upper sections of the society.>>

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03 Sep 2019

With a view to attract further foreign investments into India, especially considering the slow-down in the Indian economy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) brought out certain relaxations on the end-use restrictions placed on External Commercial Borrowings[1] vide Circular RBI/2019-20/20 A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 04 dated 30th July, 2019[2] (hereinafter ‘the Circular’). Transactions on account of External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) and Trade Credit (TC) are governed by Section 6(3)(d) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA). In furtherance thereto, the RBI had brought out the ‘Master Direction - External Commercial Borrowings, Trade Credits and Structured Obligations’[3] which encapsulates the detailed provisions and stipulations in relation to ECB.>>

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27 Aug 2019

After years of defiance, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seems to have finally caved in by agreeing to come under the ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to avoid isolating itself from the global sports fraternity. Going forward, (subject to official confirmation) like any other athletes of other sports federations, Indian cricket players would be subject to World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Anti-Doping Code. Though there has been no official confirmation to that effect from either side, it seems that there is no way out for BCCI anymore.>>

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23 Aug 2019

Increased IP awareness and the consequent surge in the rate of patent filings have failed to deliver on the effectiveness quotient of IP enforcement in the market. This has necessitated thorough scrutiny by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) to deter applicants from getting grant on inventions that might not be able to stand a trail in the Court of Law if its discussed. Therefore, drafting a patent application (specification) plays a crucial role in the success of an invention. From acceptance to infringement actions, the content and quality of the draft determine the fate of the invention. An inventor may know his invention well but might not be able to explain it in a manner compliant to the requirement of the patent office. In such scenario, professional assistance from an experienced patent practitioner is sought and it is expected of them to understand the technical complexity of the invention at hand and have the desired foreseeability to help the invention survive the various tests >>

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16 Aug 2019

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in a recent judgement, answered the question of whether “special allowances” would fall within the expression “basic wages” for Provident Fund (PF) contribution in the affirmative. Interpreting the provisions of Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“PF Act”) as a beneficial social welfare legislation, the Court affirmed the PF authorities’ factual conclusion that the allowances in question were essentially a part of the basic wage camouflaged as part of an allowance so as to avoid deduction and contribution to the provident fund account of the employees. In essence, the Court reiterated the principle laid down in prior rulings that where the wage is universally, necessarily and ordinarily paid to all across the board, such emoluments are basic wages and employers had to expressly prove the special treatment in the special allowance for it to be kept out of the purview of calculations for PF purposes.>>

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12 Aug 2019

The government has introduced a slew of tax measures in the union budget 2019 directed at taxing rich individuals and entities. One of these measures was the proposal to levy tax on listed companies when they buy back shares from the shareholders. The imposition of 20% tax on share buyback which was earlier applicable only to unlisted companies drew in a lot of flak and concerns from corporate giants. The stipulation was brought in as an anti-abuse provision to discourage buyback of shares and encourage dividend distribution to shareholders in case of surplus earnings by a companyThere was a feeling that listed companies took to the buy-back route to avoid paying the dividend distribution tax (DDT) pegged at an effective rate of 20.5576%. Therefore, it was deemed essential to plug this loophole that corporates were exploring to evade taxes. However, it is unfair to look at the corporate action of share buyback from such a narrow perspective. Apart from being a tax saving option, buyback also increases earnings per share of the company, avail positive debt-equity ratio and facilitates an exit route to shareholders. On that account, the government needs to issue clarification regarding the applicability of the announcement to existing buyback proposals and other legal implications of the same >>

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