Stamp duty not necessary on foreign arbitration awards in India: SC

The Supreme Court of India ruled that the payment of stamp duty is not necessary for the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards in India.

The Court said that the expression ‘award’ under Item 12 of Schedule I of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 has never included a foreign award from the very inception till date.

“…….the expression “award” has never included a foreign award from the very inception till date. Consequently, a foreign award not being includible in Schedule I of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, [Act] is not liable for stamp duty”, the Court opined.

The Court further added that under the Act, “……..‘award’ would refer only to a decision in writing by an arbitrator or umpire in a reference not made by an order of the Court in the course of a suit. This would apply only to such award made at the time in British India, and today, after the amendment of Section 1(2) of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 by Act 43 of 1955, to awards made in the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Posted in Administrative Law, Arbitration Conciliation Law, General Law, International Law, Registration & Stamp Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian courts have jurisdiction when arbitration ‘seat’ not agreed: SC

Clarifying the distinction between ‘venue’ and ‘seat’ during arbitration proceedings, the Supreme Court of India reiterated that courts in India have jurisdiction over arbitration proceedings when the arbitration ‘seat’ has not agreed between the parties.

Reviewing a plethora of case, a Large Bench of the Supreme Court said that, in the instant case, the sittings by arbitral tribunal at various places are relatable to venue and can’t be equated with the seat of arbitration or place of arbitration which has a different connotation.

“When a ‘place’ is agreed upon, it gets the status of seat which means the juridical seat. We have already noted that the terms ‘place’ and ‘seat’ are used interchangeably. When only the term ‘place’ is stated or mentioned and no other condition is postulated, it is equivalent to ‘seat’ and that finalizes the facet of jurisdiction. But if a condition precedent is attached to the term ‘place’, the said condition has to be satisfied so that the place can become equivalent to seat”, the Court said.

“To elaborate, a venue can become a seat if something else is added to it as a concomitant. But a place unlike seat, at least as is seen in the contract, can become a seat if one of the conditions precedent is satisfied. It does not ipso facto assume the status of seat. Thus understood, Kuala Lumpur is not the seat or place of arbitration and the interchangeable use will not apply in stricto sensu.

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Salient features for proposed National Policy for Domestic Workers: Govt.

Indian government has started discussions regarding a Policy for Domestic Workers, the salient features of which are as follows:

  1. Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations
  2. Registration of Domestic workers.
  3. Right to form their own associations, trade unions
  4. Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence
  5. Right to enhance their professional skills
  6. Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation
  7. Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals, etc.
  8. Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of placement agencies.

Indian government has invited the comments of the general public. Many of the State Government like Rajasthan, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Tripura have included domestic workers in the schedule of the Minimum Wages Act and workers are, therefore, entitled to file cases before the concerned authorities in case of any grievance in this regard.

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Lost profits recoverable for foreign use: USSC

The Supreme Court of the United States of America recently clarified that patent owners can recover for lost profits resulting from infringer’s export of the components of a patented invention to its customers outside of USA.

The Supreme Court found that the presumption that federal statutes apply only within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States did not prohibit the award of lost profits to patent owners.

“In sum, the focus of §284 [the Patent Act’s general damages provision] in a case involv­ing infringement under §271(f)(2) is on the act of exporting compo­nents from the United States. So the conduct in this case that is rel­evant to the statutory focus clearly occurred in the United States”, the Court said.

The Court said “The award of damages is not the statutory focus here. The damages themselves are merely the means by which the statute achieves its end of reme­dying infringements, and the overseas events giving rise to the lost-profit damages here were merely incidental to the infringement.”

Petitioner owns patents for a system used to survey the ocean floor. Respondent began selling a competing system that was built from components manufactured in the United States, shipped to companies abroad, and assembled therein to a system indistinguishable from Petitioner’s system. The Federal Circuit held that Respondent was liable for infringement but §271(f) does not allow patent owners to recover for lost foreign profits.

Posted in General Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, patent, patent law, WTO/GATT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LLP Incorporation made online: Govt.

Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs has launched incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) through a complete online system through a web service titled “RUN-LLP (Reserve Unique Name – Limited Liability Partnership)”. Name can also be allotted to LLP through an e-form titled “FiLiP (Form for incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership).

The Limited Liability Partnership Rules have been amended on 18th September 2018 which would come into effect from 02nd October 2018. The said amendment rules contain changes as detailed below:

(i)      Introduction of a Web Service titled ‘RUN-LLP (Reserve Unique Name – Limited Liability Partnership)’ replacing the erstwhile Form 1 (Application for reservation or change of name).

(ii)     Introduction of a new integrated Form christened FiLLiP (Form for incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership) replacing the erstwhile Form 2 (Incorporation document and subscriber’s statement) combining therein 3 services i.e.,

a)       Name reservation.

b)      Allotment of Designated Partner Identification Number (DPIN/DIN).

c)       Incorporation of the LLP.

Posted in Administrative Law, Banking Law, Company Law, Contract Law, General Law, International Law, Notifications/Publications/Circulars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Digital Communications Policy-2018: Govt.

The Indian Cabinet has  approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.

The key objectives of the policy are:

  1. Broadband for all;
  2. Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;
  3. Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017;
  4. Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;
  5. Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and
  6. Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.

These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.

The policy aims to:

  • Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;
  • Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022;
  • Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas;
  • Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector;
  • Train one million manpower for building New Age Skill;
  • Expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices;
  • Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals
  • Facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy;
  • Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and
  • Secure digital communications infrastructure and services.

The policy advocates:-

  1. Establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority;
  2. Establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects;
  3. Creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardization of costs and timelines;
  4. Removal of barriers to approvals; and
  5. Facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks.

The new National Digital Communications Policy – 2018 has been formulated, in place of the existing National Telecom Policy-2012, to cater to the modern needs of the digital communications sector of India.

Posted in Administrative Law, Consumer Law, FDI, General Law, information technology law, International Law, Notifications/Publications/Circulars, Telecommunications Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 notified: TRAI

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 that is proposed to curb the problem of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC).

The regulations provide for:

  1. Registration of senders (businesses and telemarketers)

Through an easy registration processes, the business will be able assert their identity and build trust of the clients. This diminishes the ability of unknown entities reaching their customers with calls and messages that are fraudulent or otherwise of dubious nature.

2. Registration of Headers

Using headers intelligently to segregate different types of messages, businesses shall be able to help their clients manage, delete or store communications related to OTP’s, balance enquires, flight alerts, special offers, etc.

3. Registration of subscribers’ consent

Unscrupulous telemarketers today override the stated preference of the subscriber by claiming consent that may have been surreptitiously obtained. New regulations provide the subscriber with complete control over their consent and the ability to revoke the consent already granted, at their option. A major abuse of the current regulations would thus be stopped.

4. Message template

The concept of registered templates for both SMS and voice communication has been introduced to prevent deliberate mixing of promotional messages into the transactional stream. This will give relief to subscribers who feel targeted by unwanted communication today.

5. Fine-grained control over preferences

New regulations provide for fine grained control over preferences, including such options as the time window in which to allow specific types of unsolicited communication.

The salient features of the regulation are:

a) Adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (or blockchain) as the RegTech to ensure regulatory compliance while allowing innovation in the market.

b) Co-regulation where Telecom Service Providers/ Access Providers establish and arrange the framework, which is legally backed by regulation.

c) Enabling compliance through innovation in technology solutions that are demonstrated in a regulatory sandbox.

d) Enhanced controls and new options for all entities to perform their functions and to carry on their businesses efficiently.

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