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Our attorneys and specialists remain up-to-date with the latest legal developments and offer their perspectives and critical commentary.

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Goods and Services Tax

ISD vs. Cross Charge – The saga continues

30 八月 2023

The article revolves around the recommendation of the 50th Meeting of the GST Council and the clarification brought in by the CBIC Circular No. 199/2023-GST, dated 17 July 2023 with respect to distribution of credit through Input Service Distributor (‘ISD’). Noting that the Circular has put at rest many disputes surrounding the issue, the authors highlight some open issues which need to be addressed in view of the proposed amendment in law to make the ISD registration mandatory.

Direct Tax

Navigating limitation period labyrinth – Pitfalls in timelines of passing assessment orders under Section 144C read with Section 153

25 八月 2023

The Bombay HC has held that timelines for passing an assessment order specified in Section 153 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are not to be extended in cases where the assessee takes the DRP route and the final assessment order under s.144C(13) has to be passed within the overall timeline prescribed under s.153. Considering that the general practice followed by the tax officers is to pass only the draft orders within the timelines, the article highlights the impact of this decision.

Intellectual Property

Trends in GI sector: An analysis

18 八月 2023

In recent years Geographical Indications (‘GIs’) has emerged as one of the most important instruments for protecting the “quality, reputation or other character of goods essentially attributable to their geographical origin”. It is a ‘source identifier’ and indicator of quality. It helps to promote goods of a particular region or country and is “eligible for relief from acts of infringement and/or unfair competition”.

Goods and Services Tax

Key issues impacting the pharmaceutical sector – Classification, human resources & investigations

16 八月 2023

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry plays a prominent role in the Global Pharma Ecosystem. It is the world's largest provider of generic medicines by volume and is also the largest vaccine supplier in the world. The value of this sector is expected to reach USD 65 billion by 2024. Indian pharmaceutical products are exported to various overseas markets including the US, UK, European Union, etc.

Regulatory

Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023: Implementing India’s Data Protection Revamp (Part 1)

11 八月 2023

This article is the first in a series of articles that discusses the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 and outlines key obligations and action items that may be implemented by Fiduciaries and other entities under the Bill.

Goods and Services Tax

Key issues impacting the Pharmaceutical Sector – Quandaries for the Industry

09 八月 2023

The pharmaceutical sector in India plays a seminal position in the domestic and international economy. It provides more than 50 per cent of global demand for several vaccines, 40 percent of generic demand in the US and 25 percent of all medicines in UK. The value of this sector has been estimated at $42 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach $65 billion by 2024 .

Goods and Services Tax

Export and global operation: Challenges Faced by Indian Pharma Industry

09 八月 2023

In this article, the authors discuss key challenges faced by the pharma industry in GST which may affect the industry in their global operations and exports, imports and refunds, which are aside from the issues being faced in marketing and supply chain, procurement and input tax credit, etc, covered separately here.

Regulatory

Pacing towards a data protection law: Analysing the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

04 八月 2023

The Minister of Electronics & Information Technology introduced the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 on 3 August 2023 , in the Lok Sabha. The Bill is a successor to the Draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 which was released by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology in November 2022. The article provides the comparative insights on the Bill vis-à-vis its 2022 counterpart.

Insolvency

Withdrawal of corporate insolvency proceeding even prior to formation of committee of creditors

03 八月 2023

The article discusses a recent decision of the Supreme Court establishing that a plea for the withdrawal of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process can be allowed by the adjudicating authority even prior to the establishment of the committee of creditors. The author observes that the Supreme Court has not only addressed the existing gap in Section 12A of the IBC but it has also recognized the obligatory status of Regulation 30A.

Goods and Services Tax

Leasing of capital goods between two GSTINs

28 七月 2023

The article seeks to analyse the GST implications on leasing of capital goods between ‘distinct persons’, in the light of a recent ruling of the Maharashtra Appellate Authority of Advance Ruling. After providing the crisp summary of the Ruling, the article examines the implication of the Ruling in respect of issues regarding valuation, mere movement of goods not amounting to supply, and documentation.

Intellectual Property

Patent of method of treating a plant – Interpretation of Section 3(h)

24 七月 2023

The article discusses a recent decision of the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court which has set aside an order passed by the Controller of Patents and Designs refusing the grant of patent for treatment of a plant disease, for being a method of agriculture under Section 3(h) of the Patents Act, 1970. The High Court in this regard noted that Sections 3(h) which bars the patenting of a method of agriculture or horticulture, does not contemplate treatment of plants

Direct Tax

Change of opinion: Whether permissible under the new provisions of reassessment?

19 七月 2023

The Finance Act, 2021 substituted the provisions of reassessment under the Income-tax Act, 1961. Under the new reassessment provisions, the concept of ‘reason to believe’ has been substituted with ‘information’ which suggests that the income has escaped assessment. The article discusses the question as to whether such ‘information’ is required to be tested against the concept of ‘change of opinion’, as was required under the old reassessment provisions.

International Trade & WTO

India loses the fight for electronic goods against EU at the WTO

29 六月 2023

The WTO panel recently ruled against India’s import duty measures in relation to certain Information and Communication Technology (‘ICT’) goods, holding the measures as inconsistent with Articles II:1(a) and (b) of the GATT 1994. The article analyses the critical arguments raised by India to defend its position and the panel’s ruling thereon.

Commercial litigation

Revival of insolvency proceedings: Analysis and way forward

27 六月 2023

Revival of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (‘CIRP’) proceedings refers to the restoration of the already withdrawn CIRP by a creditor which generally happens upon the breach of the settlement agreement (‘Settlement Agreement’) pursuant to which the application for CIRP also gets withdrawn. In such circumstances, rather than filing for a fresh application for initiation of CIRP, the creditor may seek reviving of the earlier application.

Goods and Services Tax

Export of services: Settled, yet unsettled

26 六月 2023

The article discusses a recent decision of the Larger Bench of the CESTAT which settles, in favour of assessee, the issue as to whether Business Auxiliary Services (BAS) provided by Indian agents to foreign entities qualify as export of services under the service tax regime. The article in this regard also analyses whether this decision of the Larger Bench will have any impact in the GST regime.

Direct Tax

Impact analysis of the Supreme Court decision in Saraf Exports v. CIT: Worth the wager?

20 六月 2023

The article discusses a recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Saraf Exports v. CIT, wherein the Apex Court has held that export incentives like Duty Drawback and DEPB will not qualify as first-degree nexus for the purposes of claim of deduction under Section 80-IB of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The decision has also reiterated the principle laid down earlier that restrictive meaning must be given to the expression ‘derived from’.

Intellectual Property

Toblerone saga – Sweet enough; but not Swiss enough

14 六月 2023

The article discusses the application of the Swissness Act, 2017 which regulates the use of Swiss symbols or labels, associating the products and services with Switzerland. Talking about the criteria for Swissness and the effect of the Act on the famous chocolate brand, the article notes that evocation is a huge factor when understanding consumer psychology. According to the author, while the Act does not refer to trademarks per se, it does find its basis in the concept of evocation.

International Trade & WTO

Becoming trade remedies-ready – A practical guide for producers and exporters

30 五月 2023

When producers or exporters export goods to other countries, they most likely would have come across a trade barrier of some form or the other. While tariff walls have as such declined and non-tariff barriers have increased, importing countries continue to use trade remedial measures as a defense against imports. In fact, India and the United States are the leading users of trade remedial measures while imports from China are the major target of these trade remedial measures

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