April 2019 – Dawn of a New Era in Indian Corporate Governance?

2018 was an eventful year for the corporate governance regulatory framework in India. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) not only approved a host of recommendations made by the Kotak Committee on Corporate Governance (Kotak Committee), but also gave these recommendations the required regulatory impetus by notifying the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018.

Come April 1, 2019, a slew of these amendments (Amendments) will come into effect and all listed entities will be required to ensure their readiness in terms of implementation and compliance. Broadly, the Amendments have four intended targets: the board of directors, the listed company, the investors and the promoters.

Continue Reading April 2019 – Dawn of a New Era in Indian Corporate Governance?

City Gas Distribution Bidding - Oil and Gas Laws

In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at the challenges and new approaches that are being devised to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy market, including some of the challenges faced in effectively implementing the “Authorising Entities to Lay, Build, Operate or Expand City or Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks – Amendment Regulations, 2018” (2018 Amendment Regulations).

In this piece, the second part of this two-part blog, we look into how the 2018 Amendment regulations will work in practice, to provide a balance between expansion of the natural gas industry and consumer interest – while also supporting the development of the right infrastructure to ensure the smooth supply of gas. Continue Reading City Gas Distribution: Creating Demand for India’s Energy Future – The Balancing Act

City Gas Distribution bidding - CNG

Just as the bidding closed on the 10th Round of the City Gas Distribution (CGD)[1], fundamental changes have been made to the bidding criterion to create a regime that strikes a balance between the for-profit enterprises, and public interest and accountability.

In this first part of a two-part blog series, we assess these changes and the challenges faced in meeting targets to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy market. Continue Reading City Gas Distribution: Creating Demand for India’s Energy Future – Changes to Support the Shift to a Gas Economy

Banning of Unregulated Schemes Ordinance, 2019

In the aftermath of the Saradha scam, the Standing Committee of Finance (Committee) in its 21st report dated September 21, 2015 suggested the introduction of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing all entities engaged in activities involving acceptance of deposits from the public. While making this recommendation, the Committee observed that certain entities were engaged in financial as well as non-financial activities and therefore, it was difficult to identify the appropriate regulator for such entities. Such entities fall under the jurisdiction of various regulatory bodies and in spite of overlapping regulations, several such entities were not regulated by any regulator.

In view of the suggestions of the Committee, a high level Inter-Ministerial Group (Group) was formulated for identifying gaps in the existing regulatory framework. The Group suggested the enactment of a comprehensive central act to criminalise the solicitation, promotion, acceptance and/or operation of ‘unregulated deposit schemes’. In line with the recommendations of the Committee and the Group, the Banning of Unregulated Schemes Ordinance, 2019 (Ordinance) was promulgated on February 21, 2019. Continue Reading The Banning of Unregulated Schemes Ordinance, 2019

Sashidhar v. Indian Overseas Bank and Ors. – Commercial Wisdom Reigns Supreme

The Supreme Court’s decision in K. Sashidhar v. Indian Overseas Bank and Ors.[1]addressed a critical issue in the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) – i.e. the scope of judicial scrutiny over a commercial decision taken by the committee of creditors (“CoC”) to approve or reject a resolution plan. Continue Reading Sashidhar v. Indian Overseas Bank and Ors. – Commercial Wisdom Reigns Supreme

IRDAI clarification Written Mandate under the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018

 

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) notified the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018 (Brokers Regulations) on January 12, 2018, repealing the erstwhile brokers regulations of 2013. This continues what is now considered an eventful financial year for the insurance regulatory space in India.

The Brokers Regulations improved upon the existing framework for the governance and regulation of insurance brokers- who act as significant intermediaries in the insurance sector. IRDAI, under these new Regulations, prescribed that all insurance brokers are required to comply with the code of conduct (Code of Conduct) set out in Schedule I – Form H of the Regulations. Continue Reading IRDAI Issues Clarification on Form of Written Mandate under the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018

Rights of Suspended Board - Vijay Kumar Jain v. Standard Chartered Bank

 

Upon commencement of the resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code), powers of the Board of Directors of the company stand suspended and are vested in and exercised by the resolution professional. While the directors are entitled to attend the meetings of the committee of creditors (COC) formed for the company, such directors have no voting rights.

A question arose over whether the directors should be given copies of the resolution plans and other confidential documents that the COC considers during the meetings. Sharing of such documents could be seen as in direct conflict with the obligations of the resolution professional to maintain confidentiality under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 (CIRP Regulations) and other related regulations. More importantly, it could create positions of conflict between the suspended Board, who often submit resolution plans or are applicants under Section 12A, and the other participants. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its recent judgment in Vijay Kumar Jain v. Standard Chartered Bank and Others[1] has, with great respect, left some questions unanswered. Continue Reading Supreme Court on the Rights of Suspended Board in Vijay Kumar Jain v. Standard Chartered Bank: Some Implications

 

what are Press Notes and legal status of press notes

Vital economic policy issues, such as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy have been announced through various Press Notes issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. These Press Notes are not a product of legislative process, nor are they debated before Parliament, and yet they have far reaching consequences on economic policy. Continue Reading Legal Status of Press Notes

Swiss Ribbons vs. Union of India – The Foundation for Modern Bankruptcy Law

The authors instructed Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, on behalf of the respondent Banks and Financial Institutions in the proceeding before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Swiss Ribbons v. Union of India upholding the constitutionality of the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC or the Code) is a landmark in the development of the Code. Continue Reading Swiss Ribbons v. Union of India – The Foundation for Modern Bankruptcy Law

Ban on advertising of Ayurvedic drugs

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) vide notification G.S.R. 1230(E) on December 21, 2018 has notified the Drugs and Cosmetics (Eleventh Amendment) Rules, 2018 (Amendment) ,which was subsequently published on December 24, 2018[1]. This Amendment seeks to regulate advertisements of Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha drugs (ASU Drugs) in an attempt to curb misleading advertisements.

This step has been taken in light of the government’s reaction to the recent increase in the number of misleading advertisements relating to ASU Drugs. In 2017, the Ministry of AYUSH stated that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory organisation for the advertising industry, to monitor misleading advertisements being published in print and TV media.[2] Continue Reading You shall not pass! A look at the Recent Ban on Advertising of Ayurvedic drugs