Rario's Cricket NFT Case Against MPL & Striker: A Comprehensive Review

The advancement of blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and virtual digital assets has led to growing apprehension about the multitude of legal and ethical dilemmas that could arise from their development and their potential impact on the legal rights of individuals.

The Delhi High Court recently deliberated on the relationship between generative AI and personality rights in Digital Collectibles Pte. Ltd. and Ors. vs Galactus Funware Technology Private Limited and Anr. [CS (COMM) 108/2023]. In this case, the court declined to issue a temporary injunction against the gaming platforms Mobile Premier League (MPL) & Striker for using the name and likeness of certain cricketers to create Non-Fungible Token (NFT) – enabled “Digital Player Cards”.  

Non-Fungible Tokens under Copyright Law

NFTs are distinct digital assets that leverage blockchain technology to validate ownership and are frequently utilised for trading digital art and collectables. Nevertheless, an ongoing discussion revolves around the intellectual property rights tied to NFTs and the question of whether acquiring an NFT bestows copyright ownership.

On the other hand, Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) involve participants creating virtual teams of real-life athletes and competing based on their performance in real sports events. The users pay an entry fee to join and use their skills to participate in online events or leagues. Under prevailing copyright laws, purchasing an NFT does not automatically convey the legal right to claim copyright in the artwork unless a separate commercial agreement is established to that effect. In the instant matter, an OFS platform created NFT-enabled “Digital Player Cards” (DPCs) featuring the names and likenesses of certain cricketers. These digital assets could be owned and traded by users on the blockchain.

Case Overview

Digital Collectibles Pte. Ltd. (Plaintiff No. 1 here) owns and operates ‘Rario’, a digital collectables platform based on NFTs. The platform facilitates selling, purchasing, and trading officially licensed DPCs featuring cricketers. As well-known cricketers, Plaintiff Nos. 2 to 6 granted Plaintiff No. 1 an exclusive license to utilise their names and photographs on the Rario platform.

These DPCs contain names, photographs, and other personality traits of cricketers which are bought, sold, and traded for actual currency on Rario, utilising Rario’s private blockchain. The price of each DPC is determined by the demand and supply for the specific DPC, which is, in turn, influenced by the popularity and renown of the respective cricketers.

Galactus Funware Technology Private Limited (Defendant No.1) is the proprietor and operator of the online fantasy sports platform called MPL, while Defendant No. 2 is the proprietor and operator of the mobile application ‘Striker’, listed on the MPL. Like Rario, Striker users can purchase, sell, and trade DPCs and Striker also utilises NFT technology to authenticate the DPCs on its platform.

In February 2023, a suit was filed before the Delhi High Court against the defendants for using players’ names, images and other attributes (including those of Plaintiff Nos. 2 to 6) on their platforms without obtaining the players’ authorisation or license.

Right to Publicity vis-à-vis Freedom of Speech and Expression

The plaintiffs asserted that the value of the DPCs, considered digital art collectables, is primarily derived from and dependent on the names, likenesses, and other elements associated with the cricketers whose DPCs are offered on the Striker platform. Moreover, they relied on precedents set forth by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in D.M. Entertainment Pvt Ltd v Baby Gift House & Ors [MANU/DE/2043/2010] and Titan Industries v M/s Ram Kumar Jewellers [(2012) 50 PTC 486], to contend that the Striker DPCs are an unauthorised endorsement and violated the plaintiffs’ publicity rights.

In reply to the plaintiffs’ contention, the court remarked that while Indian courts have acknowledged the existence of celebrity personality rights, these rights are not absolute and must be weighed within the context of the common law principle of “passing off” and in accordance with the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Amit Bansal opined that the right to publicity was subordinate to the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution and noted that the “Right to publicity”, i.e., the right to control the commercial use of one’s identity and personality, is not absolute or unrestricted.

The celebrity’s right to publicity is only violated when using their name or image is intended to mislead the public into believing that they are endorsing and associated with the product in question. In such instances, it can be said that the celebrity’s goodwill and reputation have been misused to promote a product or service.

Use of Artwork with Creative Elements

The court highlighted that the DPCs of the defendants include artwork of the players, not photographs, and this artwork was determined to have creative elements that set them apart from the actual images of the players since the defendants have shown their expression through these creations rather than utilising celebrities’ likenesses directly. These innovative features and creative caricatures were held to be protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

Players’ Information Available in Public Domain

The defendants expressed that the content used for DPCs on the Striker platform is in the public domain, which served the purpose of identifying the cricketers on the platform; thus, it is beyond the scope of those cricketers’ personality rights. It was further stated that the platform is categorised as an OFS game, which does not offer the ability to purchase and “own” cricket moments (a key feature of the plaintiffs’ licensed DPCs). The defendants asserted that their DPCs could not be traded or used outside the Striker platform as they are inherently linked to the user experience and format of the Striker platform and highlighted the usage of players’ names and other information in a similar manner is common in other OFS games, demonstrating an established industry practice.

The defendants also cited the decision of U.S. Courts in CBC Distrib. & Mktg. v Major League Baseball Advanced [505 F. 3d 959] and Daniels v Fan Duel Inc [109 N.E. 3d 390], to support their argument that if the information and facts regarding certain celebrities which the defendants use are already publicly available, there can be no valid claim for infringement of publicity rights.

The court noted that OFS operators use publicly available player names and images to identify players. Thus, the court ruled that no one can own information in the public domain and such information can’t be monopolised or licensed. Since public domain facts cannot be monopolised, a third party’s use or publication for commercial gain cannot afford the plaintiffs a cause of action. With respect to the remedies available for an aggrieved celebrity, the court only cited defamation as a resort. 

Accordingly, the Hon’ble Court held that the plaintiffs failed to make out a case for the grant of an interim injunction[1] and effectively gave the go-ahead to Striker as it is not a ‘trading platform’ like Rario per se and does not mislead customers regarding any affiliation with or endorsement and does not violate any right of Digital Collectibles. Based on this, the matter has been listed for completion of pleadings on July 10, 2023.

Order of Single Judge Bench Challenged

Indian cricketers, including Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, and Rario, have challenged the above interim order of the Single Judge Bench through appeals filed before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court. The appellants lay emphasis on the players’ absolute rights over their persona and argued that there is a misunderstanding as to when fair use ends and confidentiality begins. The Bench has instructed the parties to submit written statements within a week and scheduled the next hearing on July 10, 2023.


In the abovementioned case, the Delhi High Court has recognised that the test for determining the infringement of the right to publicity aligns with the principles and standards of the tort of passing off. It is now clear that the right to publicity is violated when a third party employs a celebrity’s information, trait, or attribute in a manner that is likely to cause confusion.

The recent appeal against the order of the Single Judge Bench is a testament to the brunt faced by celebrities when Online Fantasy Sports platforms utilise their images to entice audiences. The position of the Hon’ble Court is yet to be determined; however, the mere incidental or transformative use of a celebrity’s name, image, etc. in connection with a product or service cannot be said to be an infringement of the right to publicity. This order has provided precision to Indian jurisprudence on the right to publicity while also emphasising the need to strike a balance between justly enforcing the right to publicity and upholding the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

Additionally, the court’s decision has the potential to influence the approach of Indian courts in addressing the incorporation of emerging and advanced technologies in our everyday lives. As this field of law is still developing, it remains to be seen whether the Indian judiciary will embrace this trend of engaging with novel concepts.


[1] I.A. 3960/2023

Image Credits:

Photo by Aksonov: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEJTBLx3xI-cricket-on-laptop-live-broadcast/

The court noted that OFS operators use publicly available player names and images to identify players. Thus, the court ruled that no one can own information in the public domain and such information can’t be monopolised or licensed. Since public domain facts cannot be monopolised, a third party’s use or publication for commercial gain cannot afford the plaintiffs a cause of action. With respect to the remedies available for an aggrieved celebrity, the court only cited defamation as a resort. 


Authors’ Right to Receive Royalty for Underlying Works Recognised at Last

The Bombay High Court recently issued a ruling stating that FM radio stations are required to compensate composers and lyricists for the copyrighted music they broadcast[1]. Through this judgment, the court clarified that after the Copyright Act, 1957 was amended in 2012, making a sound recording available to the public will mean using the musical and literary works that form its foundation.

The longstanding dispute between broadcasters and the authors of underlying works has reached a fair and equitable conclusion, with the latter celebrating the recognition of their rights. In this article, we look at the intricacies involved in the case and analyse the reasoning provided by the court in arriving at its decision.

Case Overview

The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), a copyright society, and Music Broadcast Private Limited, a company which owns and operates the radio station “Radio City”, entered into a licence agreement in the year 2001 to employ IPRS’s library of literary and musical works for FM radio broadcast. Akin to this, Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd., which operates the radio station “Radio Tadka”, finalised a radio broadcasting deal with the IPRS in 2006. Subsequently, the Copyright Board of India set a mandatory licence price for radio broadcasting under Section 31(1)(b) of the Act. IPAB set the royalties rate while making decisions concerning applications submitted under Section 31D in 2010. The defendant companies and the IPRS were earlier involved in a legal battle over the rights of authors of original works in case the public becomes aware of sound recordings that consist of these original works. In Music Broadcast Pvt. Ltd. v. IPRS[2], it was held that authors of the original works or the underlying literary and musical works that were included in sound recordings did not have the authority to impede the rights of the owners of those sound recordings to share them with the public through radio broadcast, etc.

The issues raised in the matter include: –

  • Whether the defendant companies are required to provide royalties to IPRS for transmitting musical works to the general public through their FM radio broadcast channels.
  • Whether the modifications adopted in the Copyright Act, which took effect on June 21, 2012, have any bearing on the rights of the creators of original works when those original works are included in sound recordings that are shared with the public.

In Entertainment Network India Ltd. v. Phonographic Performance Limited India and Anr[3], and related matters, the Delhi High Court clarified that the IPAB order remains in effect even while an appeal is pending. The court held that no compensation for the underlying works had been provided since the IPAB order was issued and stated that the respondent is entitled to use any available remedies if the IPAB order is not followed. Afterwards, on October 6, 2021, the court released a notice in the public domain seeking feedback from parties interested in fixing royalty rates concerning the underlying works. In a request for an interim injunction, IPRS alleged that the defendants were broadcasting songs from its catalogue without permission. According to IPRS, the Copyright Act underwent significant revisions addressing the rights of the authors of underlying works after 2012.

Contentions of Parties

The IPRS made thorough arguments to convince the court that the 2012 amendment to the Copyright Act, which took effect on June 21, 2012, had fundamentally altered the Act’s structure and supported the claims made in the lawsuits and the requests for temporary relief. According to the argument, the IPRS, which is seeking interim relief in the current applications, cannot be hindered by the legal position established by the Supreme Court in its 1977 decision in the case of IPRS vs. Eastern Indian Motion Pictures Association and others[4], which the Supreme Court and several High Courts later upheld.

The IPRS drew the Court’s attention to the amendments to Sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Copyright Act. Furthermore, the revisions carried a by-product of overturning the legal precedent established by the unaltered Copyright Act, as determined by the Supreme Court in the case of IPRS vs. Eastern Indian Motion Pictures Association and others and subsequent decisions and that the provisions of the unamended Copyright Act had been incorrectly perused by the Supreme Court and erred against the rights of the authors of such underlying works.

On the other hand, the defendant companies asserted that while the Copyright Act has clearly undergone changes since 2012, most of the changes are merely clarifications. It was argued that even if it were true that the revisions were implemented to extend the rights of authors of original works, the objective that the IPRS professes to support had not been achieved. Moreover, the defendants contended that since the 2012 amendment was only clarifying in nature and that since Sections 13 and 14 had not been changed, the adjustment to the other provisions could not have conferred any new substantive rights.

The Verdict

Accepting the contentions of the IPRS, the court stated that the 2012 amendment does “have the effect of creating a substantive right in favour of authors of underlying literary and musical works”. It was pointed out that though Sections 13 and 14 weren’t amended when they were read in conjunction with the amended Sections 17, 18 and 19, it can be seen that there is a “change in position of law brought about in favour of such authors of works”.

In its joint order, the court also concurred with IPRS’s claims that, despite payments made by the broadcasters to the owners of the sound recordings, the broadcast of music by FM radio broadcasters necessitated the payment of royalties in respect of the utilisation of literary and musical works underpinning the sound recordings. In response to the defendants’ claim that sharing the sound recording with the public violates their exclusive right under Section 14(e)(iii) and cannot be interpreted as using the underlying works; the court ruled that sharing the sound recording with the public uses the underlying works because they are integral to the sound recording.

The court held that even though Section 14(e)(iii) does confer an exclusive right upon the defendants to communicate to the public, such exclusive rights are subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act, and on a joint reading of Sections 13(1)(a), Section 13(4), the proviso to Sections 17, third and fourth proviso to Sections 18, and Sections 19(9) and (10) it was interpreted that the exclusive right to communicate sound recordings to the public is dependent on the author’s right to collect royalties.

The court declined to agree that the right to earn royalties would be eliminated because the underlying works are included in the sound recordings because such an interpretation would eliminate the entitlement provided to the authors of the underlying work.

The Bombay High Court concluded that the amendments made to the Copyright Act, 1957 in 2012, which created a substantive right in favour of authors of the underlying literary and musical work, fundamentally altered the legal framework concerning ownership of authors and composers who create lyrics and musical compositions. The court ruled that IPRS is entitled to royalties for the use of literary and musical works included in sound recordings or motion pictures. The court has categorically determined that each time a sound recording is shared with the public through radio stations, it constitutes the utilisation of the underlying literary and musical works for which the authors are entitled to royalties. As a result, the authors of these literary and musical works are qualified to request royalties on each occasion that these sound recordings are shared with the public through radio stations.

Therefore, when a synchronised product (cinematographic film or sound recording) is made publicly available, the creators of those works are entitled to royalties, except for situations when a cinematograph film is shown in a theatre. The defendants have been granted six weeks to comply with the court’s directive and pay the royalties to IPRS in accordance with the order dated December 31, 2020, passed by the former Intellectual Property Appellate Board or else temporary injunctions prohibiting the broadcast of music would take effect.


In the Indian copyright system, the problem of royalties faced by creators of the underlying work has been extensively discussed and is the subject of several litigations. There have, however, been undercurrents of a modern interpretation within these orders that held otherwise, disregarding the unanimous nature of these opinions of the law prior to the 2012 revision. The order, as originally intended by the amendment, expressly recognises the rights of the authors of the underlying works. The order underlines a huge incentive to the authors and has received a warm reception from the community. However, the order’s practical ramifications are yet to be determined. The order may be overturned if the appellate authority believes that the IPAB exceeded its power by setting the royalty rates for the underlying work while it is currently pending review.


[1] Indian Performing Right Society Ltd. v. Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd. (IA No. 9452 of 2022) and Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd. v. Music Broadcast Ltd. (IA No. 1213 of 2022)

[2]Suit No.2401 of 2006

[3]C.O.(COMM.IPD-CR) 3/2021

[4]1977 AIR 1443

Image Credits:

Photo by dotshock: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAAXiQsGTn8-radio-station-microphone/

The Bombay High Court concluded that the amendments made to the Copyright Act, 1957 in 2012, which created a substantive right in favour of authors of the underlying literary and musical work, fundamentally altered the legal framework concerning ownership of authors and composers who create lyrics and musical compositions. The court ruled that IPRS is entitled to royalties for the use of literary and musical works included in sound recordings or motion pictures. The court has categorically determined that each time a sound recording is shared with the public through radio stations, it constitutes the utilisation of the underlying literary and musical works for which the authors are entitled to royalties. As a result, the authors of these literary and musical works are qualified to request royalties on each occasion that these sound recordings are shared with the public through radio stations.


Card Tokenisation: Plugging Personal Information Leaks

Plastic money still captures a large portion of the market share despite the growing use of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).  Recent data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) indicates that there has been an increase of 16.3% year after year in the usage of debit and credit cards by Indian consumers in the last decade.

Nevertheless, this decade marked a shift to digital technology, augmented by governmental decisions and policies such as demonetisation, the introduction of UPI, and Digital India program, etc. that enabled Indian consumers to make a smooth shift to online payment solutions. The pandemic has also played a big role in this revolution. With face-to-face interaction minimized, the focus on digital products and payments skyrocketed.

Digital transactions are now considered the most sought-after payment mechanism in comparison to hard cash or currency for availing services and goods. As the number of transactions made through a mobile application or platform increases, customers usually prefer to save their card information on the merchant’s site or platform. Information saved on these sites and platforms is critical financial data of consumers and is considered sensitive personal data. The risk of misuse of such sensitive financial data by hackers or fraudsters looms over every individual, and cases of such misuse have garnered the attention of the authorities.

The RBI, through its notification dated 17th March 2020 had made it mandatory for payment aggregators to disable the storage of customer card credentials within the database or server of the company. Though a fixed date for implementation of this rule was not decided, RBI later issued notifications directing merchants to comply with this recommendation of not storing card data by 31st December 2021. Since then, the RBI has been extending the timeline for implementing tokenisation and as of today, the RBI has instructed all parties to delete the card information before 1st October 2022.

Card tokenisation is a process by which sensitive data of the cardholder is removed from the sites/platforms and replaced with randomly generated numbers and letters from the company’s internal network called tokens.


The groundwork for regulating this space of online payment and ensuring the safety of cardholders has been in line for a couple of years. As India is yet to formulate a dedicated data protection bill, the safety of a cardholder’s sensitive personal data stored on the merchant’s website was one of the major concerns of cardholders as well as the regulators. Moreover, the increase in data theft and leakage of debit and credit card details of cardholders did not really help in containing the concerns of the stakeholders.

In January 2019, the RBI released a notification whereby it permitted card networks to tokenise. This choice of tokenisation was made optional for the customers, and the permission was extended to all use cases like QR code-based payments, NFC, etc. However, such services could only be offered through mobile phones and tablets, and no other devices were permitted to offer such a facility at that time.

RBI later released the guidelines on the Regulation of Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways, which made it mandatory for a payment gateway to not store customer card credentials within the database or on the server accessed by the merchant, with effect from 30th June 2021. This move reiterated the importance of safeguarding customer card details and the focus once again shifted to the introduction of a tokenisation scheme. Though the guidelines did not mention specifically tokenisation, they did find mention in the subsequent notification released by the RBI on Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways on March 31, 2021. The guidelines called upon payment system providers to put in place workable solutions such as tokenisation to safeguard the interests of the cardholder.  In order to eliminate any ambiguity in the definition of ‘payment aggregators’ as defined in the Payment Aggregators Guidelines, the RBI explicitly stated that the Payment Aggregators Guidelines applied to e-commerce marketplaces that engaged in direct payment aggregation, and to that extent, e-commerce online markets that used the services of a payment aggregator were to be regarded as merchants.

The RBI further released a notification in August 2021 amending the 2019 notification by extending the scope of permitted devices that could use tokenisation. The present framework for tokenisation was extended to include consumer devices such as laptops, IOT devices, wearable devices, etc. A subsequent notification issued in September 2021 further allowed card-on files tokenisation. This notification permitted card issuers to offer the services of tokenisation as Token Service Providers (TSPs). The TSPs were permitted to tokenise only those cards that were affiliated with or issued by them. The notification also emphasised that no entity in the card transaction/payment chain, other than the card issuers and/or card networks, shall store the actual card data from 1st January 2022. Entities were only allowed to store limited data, like the last four digits of the actual card number and the card issuer’s name, for compliance and tracking purposes.

The earlier notification of removing all card details of customers with effect from 30th June 2021 was again extended to 31st December 2021 in view of the huge compliance hassle. This was again extended until 30th June 2022 and finally, the government set the latest deadline on 1st October 2022.

Functioning of Tokens

An e-commerce website, mobile application, or any merchant site for that matter, offers different payment methods to its consumers, which may range from cash to debit/credit card payment to UPI. When it comes to the authentication of the debit or credit card used by the consumer, the entire responsibility for authenticating the same vests is with the Payment Gateway service provider. The e-commerce platform or websites merely act as an intermediary to facilitate the trade and it is the responsibility of the Payment Gateway service provider to provide the technology to these platforms and websites that authenticates the card details. This process of authentication done by the Payment Gateway service provider is known as 2FA i.e., two-factor authentication. The process of authentication involves the registered bank of the customer sending a Time Password (OTP) to the registered phone number of the consumer to close the transaction. The OTP is the key that helps authenticate that the customer is the rightful owner of the card. Upon entering the correct OTP, the Payment Gateway service provider authenticates it and completes the transaction.

In general, a merchant website or an online portal is only allowed to store details like the cardholder’s name, the 16-digit number on the front of the card, the expiration date of the card and the service code, which is located within the magnetic stripe of the card. On the other hand, these portals and sites are strictly prohibited from storing information such as full magnetic stripe information, PIN, PIN Block and CVV/CVC number of the card.

After the guidelines kicked in on October 1, all the card details of individuals stored on the merchant’s website were automatically erased. All information concerning the cardholder, like the expiry date, PAN, etc., is replaced by the token. This token is a one-time alphanumeric number that has no connection with the cardholder’s account. Unlike the previous system, these tokens so generated do not contain any sensitive personal data of the cardholder.

An individual can tokenise his/her card in the following ways:

  1. The individual will have to visit the preferred merchant’s website for the purchase of any goods or services.
  2. The website will then direct the individual to the preferred payment option, and the individual will be able to enter his/her card details and initiate the transaction.
  3. The website will also contain another option called “secure your card as per RBI guidelines,” which basically generates tokens for the card.
  4. As soon as the individual opts for that option, a One-time Password (OTP) will be generated and sent via SMS or email to the individual.
  5. With the OTP being entered, card details are sent to the bank for tokenisation, which is then sent back to the merchant for storing the same for the purpose of customer identification.

The token so generated from one merchant website will not be applicable to every other merchant website. The cardholder will have to create separate tokens for each merchant website, and the use of the same token will not help in initiating the transaction.

Benefits of Tokenisation

Many customers today prefer digital payment over the traditional mode, mainly due to the convenience of not carrying hard cash.  Since the frequency of transactions across such an online medium among customers rose significantly, they preferred to save the card details on the online portal for convenience’s sake. As the sensitive personal data of customers is stored in such portals, there is always a risk of leakage, theft, or merchant access to such information. Hence, tokenisation provides much-needed safety and assurance, which helps in not exposing the customer’s card details.

Tokenisation helps reduce data theft and leaks, as the tokens are in no way connected to an individual’s personal information. Moreover, the process of replacing sensitive personal information with tokens helps build trust and confidence among consumers.

Effects of these Regulations on the Industry

The RBI is striving to organize payment aggregators by bringing non-banking payment aggregators under its regulation. The RBI’s main goal in introducing these guidelines is to reduce fraud and protect customers’ interests. Placing the burden on payment aggregators to ensure that merchants are genuine and have no malicious intent will go a long way towards removing dishonest merchants from the market and safeguarding customers’ interests.

Payment Aggregators are instructed to credit reimbursements to the primary payment source rather than the e-wallet account. Previously, refunds were credited to an e-wallet, posing a challenge for consumers to utilize the monies somewhere else.

Although the RBI has reduced the required net worth from INR 100 crores to INR 25 crores, it will not be sufficient for small-sized entities (including start-ups) seeking to enter the industry. Many existing players will be forced to exit the market if they fail to meet the net worth requirements. Moreover, small businesses operating as payment aggregators would find it difficult to implement the required baseline technology suggestions owing to the high implementation costs. This will result in the removal of market competition, leading to an oligopoly, which would harm merchants’ interests in the long term.

It can be stated that these guidelines represent an important advancement in the Indian fintech industry and assure that customers’ overall interests are secured.


With the current atmosphere where there is intense scrutiny over an individual’s personal information, the scheme of tokenisation is a breath of relief for a lot of privacy enthusiasts and the public in general.

Image Credits: Photo by energepic.com

Many customers today prefer digital payment over the traditional mode, mainly due to the convenience of not carrying hard cash.  Since the frequency of transactions across such an online medium among customers rose significantly, they preferred to save the card details on the online portal for convenience’s sake. As the sensitive personal data of customers is stored in such portals, there is always a risk of leakage, theft, or merchant access to such information. Hence, tokenisation provides much-needed safety and assurance, which helps in not exposing the customer’s card details.


Key Pointers for Filing Income Tax Returns in India: 2022

The tax laws in India are perceived to be complicated by all. Having said that, the government of India, along with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has over the years tried to make tax compliance simpler for the taxpayers. It is important to note that paying the taxes due and filing tax returns is everyone’s duty as well as responsibility towards building the nation of our dreams.

With the due date for filing your income tax return for the Financial Year 2021-22, i.e., Assessment Year 2022-23, just round the corner, we bring to you a few pointers while filing your tax return, which can ensure that your tax filing process is smooth and hassle-free:


1. Assessees for whom the due date of 31st July is applicable:

All assesees, except the following, are required to file their returns on or before 31st July:

  1. Assessees who are subject to a tax audit and/or transfer pricing.
  2. Partners of Partnership Firms/LLP to whom tax audit and/or transfer pricing is applicable.
  3. A company.
  4. Any person whose accounts are required to be audited under any other law.


2. Income Tax Website and Account:

  • To file your income tax returns, you need to visit the Income Tax website at https://www.incometax.gov.in
  • If you are a first-time filer, you will have to register yourself by clicking on the “Register” tab at the top right corner of the ‘’Home’’
  • If you are a registered user, you can click on the “Login” tab at the top right corner of the home page.
  • Your Permanent Account Number [PAN] is the default user ID to login to the income tax portal.


3. Sources of Income:

As per the tax laws in India, there are primarily, 5 sources of income, which are explained as under:

  1. Income from Salaries: If you are a salaried employee, your income will be chargeable under this category. Furthermore, pensions earned by retired people will be taxed under this head. Also, taxable portion of the gratuity earned on retirement and leave encashments received from employers, is also taxed under this head. Please ensure you have your Form 16 received from your employer handy while you proceed to file your tax returns.
  2. Income from House Property: The rentals earned from your house property rented out is taxable under this head. Further, if you own multiple house properties which are not let out, each of such house properties, other than one[1] self-occupied house property, shall be deemed to be let out and a notional rental shall be considered as income. You would be allowed to reduce from the aforesaid rentals, the municipal taxes paid during the year towards the said let-out properties. Further, there would be a statutory deduction of a flat 30% from the net income of each house property. The interest component of your housing loan EMI paid on your housing loan will be reduced up to a maximum of Rs. 2 Lakhs from the said income.
  3. Income from Business and Profession: If you own a business or are a professional, your net profits will be taxed under this head. It is advisable to reconcile the turnover as per books of accounts and as per the Goods and Services Tax [GST] returns filed during the year.
  4. Income from Capital Gains: If you have sold any shares, mutual funds, bonds, land, commercial or residential property, or any other capital asset during the year, the net gains, i.e., sale price less cost/indexed cost of acquisition of the same, shall be taxable under this head, unless you have made an eligible reinvestment, which gives you exemption from the capital gain tax. It is to be noted that a ‘’switch out’’ from a mutual fund scheme and a ‘’switch into’’ another mutual fund scheme is also a taxable transfer on which capital gains tax is required to be paid. It is advisable to obtain a capital gain statement from your broker or download it from the application/software used to transact in shares and mutual funds, to help you calculate the long-term and short-term capital gains amounts.

Long-term capital losses can only be set off against long-term capital gains in the event of a loss; however, short-term capital losses can be set off against both long-term and short-term capital gains. Unexhausted losses can be carried forward for the next eight assessment years.

5. Income from other sources: This head of income is a residual head where incomes such as dividends, bank interest, etc. are taxed.

It is critical to scrutinise all your bank statements thoroughly and verify the income received during the year and also obtain relevant interest certificates from the bank to enable you to compute the due taxes appropriately.


4. New Regime vs. Old Regime:

It is necessary to estimate your tax liability, both as per the old regime and the new regime, at the beginning of the financial year itself, to enable you to plan your taxes accordingly. Having said that, the Income Tax Department has clarified that you may, while filing your tax returns, select an option different from the option selected while filing your declarations and providing investment details to your employer.


5. Treatment of losses:

In the event the return is not filed by the due date, you will not be allowed to carry forward losses from business, capital gains, and activity of owning and maintaining racehorses. However, losses from house property and unabsorbed depreciation can be carried forward even if the return is filed belatedly.


6. Return Form vis-a-vis Sources of Income:

Following are the ITR forms to be filed for the corresponding incomes:

  • ITR 1 – For residents with a total income of up to Rs.50 lakh from salaries, one house property, or other sources.
  • ITR 2 – For individuals and HUFs not having income from profits and gains of business or profession.
  • ITR 3 – For individuals and HUFs having income from profits and gains in business or profession.
  • ITR 4 – For Individuals, HUFs and Firms (other than LLPs) being a resident having total income up to Rs.50 lakh and income from business and profession computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE (Presumptive Income).
  • ITR 5 – For persons other than- (i) individual, (ii) HUF, (iii) company and (iv) charitable trust, NGOs and similar organisations.

You can file the online utility of the aforesaid forms by logging into your income tax portal and clicking on E-File > Income Tax Returns > File Income Tax Return > Assessment Year – 2022-23 > Mode of filing: Online. You can also download the common Java utility for ITR 1 to 4 or ITR 5 from the Download tab on the income tax website, fill it in and submit it. The Income Tax Department also gives you the option to pre-fill your return using the data filed in the previous year by clicking on E-File > Income Tax Returns > Download Prefilled Data. Before submitting your return for the year, you must reconcile the information being submitted with the pre-filled data that is available on the portal against each assessee’s name, to ensure its correctness and also make necessary changes, wherever necessary.


7. Form No. 26AS and Annual Information Statement (AIS):

Before starting with the process of filling in details of income in the return of income, you should download Form No. 26AS from E-File > Income Tax Returns > View Form 26AS > click ‘view tax credit (form 26AS) < Assessment Year 2022-23 – View as HTML < Export as PDF, so as to ensure that all the incomes on which Tax Deducted at Source [TDS] has been deducted and the corresponding TDS amounts, are taken into consideration while calculating your taxes. In case Tax Collected at Source [TCS] has been collected from you, the credit  for that will be taken into account when calculating your tax payable.

Further, you need to download the AIS on the tab Services > Annual Information Statement (AIS), which has the information of various transactions reported to the Income Tax Department during the year. The same shall be taken into consideration, to the extent applicable, while computing the taxability during the year. (The password to open the AIS is your PAN in small case followed by your date of birth; eg: aaapa1111f15121960).


8. Deductions under Chapter VI A (80C, 80G, 80D, etc):

All the eligible deductions under Chapter VIA of the Income Tax Act 1961 [Act] can be claimed while filing the return of income, even if the same were inadvertently left out while making declarations, or while submitting actual proof of the same to the employer, for consideration on Form 16. The excess TDS deducted by the employers, consequently, can be claimed back as a refund.


9. Payment of Self-Assessment tax and Credit of Taxes Paid:

The taxes paid in the form of Advance Tax and TDS/TCS shall be available as a credit against the tax, cess, surcharge and interest as computed on the total income and the balance amount payable along with interest thereon shall be paid as self-assessment tax using challan 280 on https://www.tin-nsdl.com.


10. Consequence of late filing or non-filing of Income Tax Returns:

In case a taxpayer fails to file the return within the normal due date applicable to him, a penalty of Rs. 5,000 would be levied if the return is filed past the due date but before December 31st. In other cases, the fine could be up to Rs. 10,000. However, in the case of willful defaulters, failing to file the return can lead to a fine and even imprisonment.


11. Verification of the tax returns:

The return filed online needs to be verified by the taxpayer within 120 days from the date of filing. The tax return can be e-verified using the Aadhar OTP, Electronic Verification Code (EVC), or by using your net banking account with selected banks. If none of these options work, you may send a signed copy of the acknowledgment to CPC Bangalore. A tax return filed but not verified is treated as an invalid return by the I.T. department. It would mean that you have not filed the return at all.


12. Donations made to charitable institutions are eligible for deduction u/s 80G:

If you have made donations to charitable institutions and wish to claim a deduction for the same u/s 80G of the Act, kindly ensure such institutions have reported your donations to the Income Tax Department and obtained a certificate of donation on Form No. 10BE.


  • If your total income does not exceed Rs. 2,50,000 no tax is due. Further, if your total income does not exceed Rs. 5,00,000, you are eligible to claim a rebate u/s 87A to the extent of Rs. 12,500/-, which effectively would result in nil tax payable.
  • For non-resident taxpayers, only their Indian income is chargeable to tax in India.
  • In cases where Indian tax residents own foreign assets, including shares of foreign companies, foreign bank accounts, etc., the same needs to be disclosed in their income tax returns.
  • Every individual having a total income of over Rs 50 Lakh is required to give a list of his/her assets and liabilities at cost while filing his/her tax returns.
  • Though clarity on taxing crypto currencies came vide Finance Act 2022, the sale of crypto currencies prior to Finance Act 2022 would also be chargeable to tax as per the prevailing law. You may need to seek a detailed opinion if you have traded in crypto currencies and made a profit thereon.
  • If you are a legal heir to a taxpayer who has died during the year and has earned taxable income or is required to file his/her tax returns as per the law, you are required to register yourself as a ‘legal heir’ to such a deceased taxpayer through your Income Tax portal and file his/her tax return through your income tax portal using his/her PAN.

For further advice and detailed assistance in filing your Income tax returns kindly contact our following Fox Mandal and Associates representatives:

Sandip Mukherjeesandip.mukherjee@foxmandal.in

Salusalini Jhasalusalini.jha@foxmandal.in

Nikhil Bhise – nikhil.bhise@foxmandal.in

Akshita Bhandari – akshita.bhandari@foxmandal.in


[1] Increased to two in last Finance Act, subject to conditions being met.

With the due date for filing your income tax return for the Financial Year 2021-22, i.e., Assessment Year 2022-23, just round the corner, we bring to you a few pointers while filing your tax return, which can ensure that your tax filing process is smooth and hassle-free.


Arraying of the unknown party as the main Defendant disallowed

The Delhi High Court has come down heavily on the tactics of concealment of real defendants in Intellectual Property (IP) Infringement cases utilized by plaintiffs with the aim of obtaining ex-parte injunction.  In a recent trademark infringement and passing off dispute between Bata India Limited vs Chawla Boot House & Anr, the Delhi High Court ruled that Plaintiff’s approach of impleading an unknown party as Defendant No. 1 was impermissible in law and directed stringent actions from the High Court Registry to control such misuse in all IP disputes 

The Court expressed its dismay over the non-compliance of the settled legal position and observed that this tactic has been adapted multiple times in IP infringement cases to obtain ex-parte injunctions in the initial hearing by making it very difficult for the main defendants to spot themselves in the cause list and appear in litigation concerning them 

Regarding the merits of the case, the court observed that Red Chief’s mark ‘POWER FLEX’ was infringing upon Bata’s trademark ‘POWER.’ 


Bata instituted a trademark infringement suit against Red Chief, a footwear brand owned by Leayan Global, for using ‘POWER FLEX’ and the tagline ‘THE POWER OF REAL LEATHER’. According to Bata, it had exclusive right over the mark “POWER” by virtue of long and continuous use as well as multiple trademark registrationsBefore addressing the substantial part of the dispute i.e. trademark infringement, passing off, and unfair competition, the Court decided to address the way the Defendants were arrayed by the Plaintiff Company.  


Bata named Delhi-based retail outlet – Chawla Boot House, as the main defendant, whereas, the allegations were directed against the manufacturer company, Leayan GlobalThis hints at malafide intentions of the plaintiff to obtain ex-parte order against the main defendants by preventing them from detecting their names in the cause list by listing it as ‘Chawla Boot House & others’.  

This practice was declared impermissible in law in the case of Micolube India Ltd. v. Maggon Auto Centre & Anr in which the plaintiff had arrayed Maggon Auto Centre as the main defendant whereas the principal party i.e. Motor Industries was arrayed at Defendant no. 2. It was further noted that such practices disentitle a plaintiff of any equitable relief since the plaintiff did not approach the court with clean hands. It was held in that: 

The very fact that the plaintiff has also indulged in this practice is an indicator that it did not want the counsel for the defendant No. 2 to appear on the first date on which the matter was taken up for consideration of the grant or non-grant of ad interim injunction.” 



Despite the established legal position, plaintiffs continue to array parties unrelated to the dispute as to the main defendant. The Registry was therefore ordered by the High Court to ensure strict compliance with the ratio laid down in the Micolube India judgment. In addition, a circular has been issued directing plaintiffs in all IP cases where there are multiple defendants to furnish an affidavit to the Registry confirming the arraignment of the main contesting party in the suit as Defendant No. 1.

Image Credits: Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Despite the established legal position, plaintiffs  continue to array parties unrelated to the dispute as to the main defendant. 

The Registry was therefore ordered by the High Court to ensure strict compliance with the ratio laid down in the Micolube India judgment.