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The lack of a fixed time limit for adjudication of applications for proper stamp duty under the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (“Act”) often results in inordinate delays in stamping of instruments. In a judgment that will exponentially expedite the process of adjudication, the Delhi High Court (“Delhi HC”) has now opined that the Collector of Stamps shall communicate to the parties the proper stamp duty within 30 days of the date of the application.

Continue Reading Application for Payment of Stamp Duty must be Adjudicated within 30 Days: Delhi High Court
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Municipal Corporation cannot cancel Occupation Certificate for developer’s failure to obtain NOC from land-owning authority

In the matter of M/s. Satra Plaza Premises Co-operative Society Limited (“Petitioner”) vs. Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and Ors[1]., a Division Bench of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court (“BHC”) has, inter alia, held that incorporation of a condition in the Occupancy Certificate (“OC”) by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (“NMMC”) to obtain a no-objection certificate (“NOC”) from the City and Industrial Development Corporation (“CIDCO”) was illegal and without any authority of law. Further, it quashed and set aside the order of the Municipal Commissioner cancelling the OC and the revised Commencement Certificate (“CC”) due to non-obtainment of NOC from CIDCO.

Continue Reading Municipal Corporation cannot cancel Occupation Certificate for developer’s failure to obtain NOC from land-owning authority
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Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders

Context

Even after the ‘right to property’ was abolished as a fundamental right by the 44th Amendment to our Constitution[1], it has continued as a ‘constitutional right’ by virtue of Article 300-A, which provides that – “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.

Continue Reading Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders – Is it Constitutionally Valid?
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Online Reviews

The world today thrives on online purchases[1] and recommendations. Most of us have relied upon or submitted online reviews for a product we have purchased, food we have consumed or even a service we have availed at some point or the other. From a service provider or seller’s perspective, there are several monetary incentives attached to such online reviews and ratings. Service sectors that get the most online reviews are food delivery services, restaurants, hotels, home cleaning or repair works and the likes. In case of products, there aren’t many that are indifferent to online reviews.

Continue Reading Are Online Reviews Regulated – The Indian Narrative
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WOS Exemption

Context:

Ever since the stock market scam of 2001 (Ketan Parekh Scam) was brought to light, regulators have been vigilant about the use of complex corporate structures to circumvent statutory restrictions and divert company funds. After the magnitude of financial irregularities in the Ketan Parekh Scam came to light, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (“JPC”) and the erstwhile Department of Company Affairs (“DCA”) proposed steps to prevent  companies from using the ‘subsidiary route’ to siphon off funds, by providing inter-corporate loans.[1]

Continue Reading The Layering Restrictions & WOS exemption – Need for Regulatory clarity
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Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Recently, the Supreme Court, in the case of Gaurav Agarwal vs CA Devang P. Sampat, has issued notice to the parties for adjudicating the crucial question of law pertaining to the ‘Period of Limitation’ for preferring an appeal under Section 61 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“the Code”).

Continue Reading Limitation under Section 61 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: Too Strict Interpretation of the Law?
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Real Estate

Introduction:

The interplay between writ jurisdiction of high courts and private contracts involving the State or the instrumentalities of the State becomes complex when a party to the contract seeks a contractual relief from the high courts by way of a writ petition. The nuances are further enhanced based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, the nature of parties involved, the nature of rights and obligations involved, and so on.

Continue Reading Can Article 226 be Invoked to Amend Terms of a Lease Deed? SC Says No!
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Context

Instances of financial/ accounting frauds and serious corporate governance failures have become endemic in today’s corporate world, leading to huge erosion in shareholder wealth. On most occasions, such irregularities and failures are detected very late, when it becomes impossible to rewind the clock and undo damage that has already been done. Recent cases of financial/ accounting irregularities have demonstrated that several early warning signals (like disclosures made in the ‘notes’ to  the financial statements) are often not recognised by the Board of Directors (“Board”) and other gatekeepers of governance – thereby raising serious questions regarding their effectiveness.

Continue Reading Why do Boards fail to catch ‘sub-sonic sounds’ within the Organisation?
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Financial Statement

Context

The cardinal principle of company law, as enshrined under Section 129(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Companies Act”), is that the financial statements (“FS”) should give a ‘true and fair view’ of the state of affairs of the company, comply with the accounting standards notified under Section 133, and also be in the form provided for different classes of companies under Schedule III.

Continue Reading Non-compliance with Accounting Standards – Will it amount to an FUTP Offence?
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LSF – The Journey

The uniform ‘late submission fee’ (“LSF”) is a relatively new concept in the Indian exchange control regime. The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”), as originally introduced by the legislature, did not envisage the concept of LSF. Resolving a delay in reporting of equity or debt transactions under FEMA would necessarily require compounding of offences before the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). Given that compounding is not the most time efficient or simple process, it implied that even for insignificant or genuine delays, parties would have to undergo several steps, thus making the system clogged with late filings and filings becoming more cumbersome than they needed to be.

Continue Reading Uniformisation of Late Submission Fee under FEMA: A One Stop Shop?