Overview

As envisaged in the IT Policy of 2023[1] (2023 IT Policy), Maharashtra Government, in accordance with the powers vested in it under Section 9 of the Maharashtra Stamp Act on February 1, 2024[2], issued the much awaited notification (2024 Notification) on full or partial waiver of stamp duty available to eligible new and expansion diversification units or projects, relating to Information Technology (IT), Information Technology Enable Services (ITES), Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) units, Data centres and Emerging Technology Units, (collectively IT/ITES Unit). The 2024 Notification is valid from June 27, 2023, to June 26, 2028, (both days inclusive) or for the currency of the 2013 IT Policy.Continue Reading Stamp Duty Exemption Under IT/ ITES Policy, 2023

INTRODUCTION

Maharashtra was one of the first states in India to devise an Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services Policy in 1998. Thereafter, the policy was amended in 2003, 2009 and 2015. The Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services Policy of Maharashtra State-2023 (“2023 Policy”) was introduced by the Government of Maharashtra vide its resolution dated June 27, 2023[1] and it superseded Maharashtra’s IT and ITES Policy of 2015 (“2015 Policy”). The 2023 Policy aims to make the State of Maharashtra a global Information Technology (“IT”) and Information Technology Enabled Services (“ITES”) destination and the technology capital of India. The 2023 Policy is valid for a period of five years from June 27, 2023 or until a new policy is released.Continue Reading KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF MAHARASHTRA IT-ITES POLICY, 2023: IT/ITES UNITS, IITTS AND DATA CENTERS

ECO-SENSITIVE ZONES

Introduction

‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’ (“ESZ”) or ‘Ecologically Fragile Areas’ are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (“MoEF”) under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 around the boundary of a ‘protected area’ (i.e. national park, sanctuary, conservation reserve or community reserve)[1] (“Protected Area(s)”) to create a “shock absorber/ transition zone” in the Protected Areas and to preserve the areas outside such areas, which are often considered as vital ecological corridor links, by regulating and managing the activities around such Protected Areas[2].  Continue Reading Supreme Court Relaxes Directions Concerning Eco-Sensitive Zones

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!

In a ruling likely to offer significant relief to landowners and real estate developers in Maharashtra, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court (“BHC”) in the matter of Salim Alimahomed Porbanderwalla and Anr (“Petitioners”) vs. The State of Maharashtra and Anr.[1] (“Respondent”), has vide its order dated March 30, 2023, ruled that the Government of Maharashtra (“GOM”) cannot charge a premium or make any entry in revenue records [to the effect that the land is affected by the Exemption Order passed under Section 20 of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 (since repealed) (“ULC Act“), and transfer prohibited without prior permission]  vis-a-vis land retainable under the ULC Act (i.e. the land which is not a surplus vacant land).Continue Reading ULC premium applicable solely on surplus vacant land: Bombay High Court

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code

Over the last few years, several cases of defaulting real estate companies, including major players like, Amrapali, Jaypee Infratech and Supertech, have been stuck at various stages of insolvency proceedings under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, as amended (“Code”). As per the data provided by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (“IBBI”), a total of 344 corporate debtors engaged in construction and real estate activities have been admitted into corporate insolvency resolution process (“CIRP”) as of September 2022.[i]Continue Reading Proposed Amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code- A Real Solution For Real Estate Insolvencies?

Unending woes of realty sector - High Interest Rates

The real estate sector in the past few years has witnessed massive financial crisis with several real estate companies going bankrupt and many others undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process. While the reasons are manifold, one could see steady recovery despite inflation worries and expensive capital. The recent Supreme Court judgment in recalling its past orders delivered in the matter, relating to insolvency of Amrapali Group of Companies (“Amrapali Group”), have now posed a new challenge to the realty business in NOIDA and Greater NOIDA region. The Supreme Court has held that real estate developers in these regions will have to pay interest amount on outstanding lease premium and other dues to Noida and Greater Noida Authorities (“Authorities”) at rates that have been agreed upon under the contract entered into between them and the reduced interest rates will not be applicable to them.
Continue Reading Unending woes of realty: ‘high interest rates on dues continue to apply’, says SC

A Notice in Time Saves Nine

The right to receive notice and an opportunity to be heard are considered as twin ingredients of natural justice, unless specifically excluded by legislation. There are certain laws in India that warrant strict compliance with this requirement. The courts in India have also examined this requirement and its consequences, while keeping in mind the extent to which this requirement is needed to be met with.Continue Reading A Notice in Time Saves Nine

REIT

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued a circular in April this year (Circular), reducing timelines for REIT listings from 12 working days to six working days from the date of public issue closure. While this is a welcome move from the perspective of public investors and is yet another step towards ensuring parity between REIT and listco regimes, this could prove challenging for REITs and their advisors, given the intricacies of the REIT regulatory framework.Continue Reading Reduction in REIT Listing Timelines – A Sprint to the Finish Line?

Consent Requirements for Land Conversion and Intended Usage – Regime in Karnataka
In the recent years, there is an interpretational query in scenarios wherein the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner has originally accorded conversion under Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 (“KLR Act”) for a land use now inconsistent with the zoning of the land as earmarked under the Revised Master Plan 2015 (“RMP 2015”). Given the scenario, should the landowner now obtain a change of purpose order as mandated under Section 97 of the KLR Act in relation to the usage of such lands for purposes other than for the purpose for which permission was accorded in terms of Section 95 of the KLR Act?
Continue Reading Consent Requirements for Land Conversion and Intended Usage – Regime in Karnataka