India | 01 July 2012

Social media has enthused the psyche of Indians and encouraged them to become a part of the virtual community. It has revolutionised the way we communicate and is now an indispensable part of our lives, empowering us to interact in real time across borders and time zones and connect on a scale previously unimaginable. Social media is also playing a crucial role in the cross-cultural unification of the country and maintaining unique and dynamic harmony, as it has the tendency of rapidly popularising an issue and mass mobilising people towards a common cause. However, at the same time, it is also capable of creating havoc in terms of incitement of religious violence or proliferation of pornographic material etc. Therefore, in a large democracy such as India, where freedom of speech and voicing of opinions are zealously protected, social media requires special handling. This article provides an insight into the landscape of social media use in India and the emerging anti-social behavioural issues that are making news.

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India | 01 June 2012

The advent of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy in April 2000 and the subsequent enactment of the SEZ Act 2005 and the SEZ Rules 2006 paved the way for SEZs in India. SEZs were regarded as the engines of growth, supported by quality infrastructure and complemented by an attractive fiscal package with the minimum possible regulations and were aimed at attracting foreign investment. The SEZ Act 2005, self-contained legislation encompassing the framework of the SEZ, was enacted to provide for the establishment, development and management of the SEZs for the promotion of exports. Further, the foreign direct investment (FDI) Policy was liberalised to allow 100% foreign direct investment under the automatic route for the development of SEZs.

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India | 01 May 2012

The legality of put and call options in India is a subject of intense speculation. It became the subject of controversy when the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) recently treated ‘in-built options of any type’ as debt; not permissible as foreign direct investment, only to delete the investor-offending phrase without much ado, a few days later.

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India | 01 April 2012

For a professional who has been advising primarily on insurance law for more than a decade, some things never change. For example, the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy on insurance, which continues to prescribe a cap of 26%, despite almost every other sector having higher FDI limits. In the wake of this seemingly nonchalant and laid-back attitude affecting the insurance sector, the sudden and somewhat unexpected change in reinsurance reporting requirements comes as a surprise to an industry fighting many battles at the 
same time.

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India | 01 March 2012

India’s success story is discernible as new millionaires are being added to 
the number every day, some within a few years of creating their initial fortunes. According to the World Wealth Report compiled by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, India’s high-net-worth individuals (HNI)1population entered the top 12 in the world for the first time in 2010. In 2011, India had the most number of billionaires after the United States and China. Kotak Wealth Management and rating agency CRISIL project India as having 219,000 ultra-high-net-worth Individuals (UHNI)2 by 2016.

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India | 01 February 2012

The American Journal of International Law was founded by a group of publicists who believed that international law could abolish (or at least substantially diminish) the role of power in world affairs. But numerous articles in the journal focused on this relationship – how power constrains international law, how the powerful can harness international law to their ends, and how international law may autonomously reconfigure power in its own right1. While some believed that power and coercion could become far less prominent in world affairs through the development of international law, others viewed international law as a reflection of the interests of powerful states. This relationship and its analysis shows that ‘power’ is omnipresent in international affairs and has its privileges, one of these being the ability to control international negotiations. 
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India | 01 December 2011

The Indian economy, though not as well developed as many of its western counterparts, has always been typified by its entrepreneurial nature. For a foreign investor familiar with the Indian commercial landscape, the Indian promoter is a very recognisable figure. While some of the world’s richest promoters are Indian, India also has a very robust micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) sector that contributes to about 40% of the gross industrial value in the Indian economy.
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India | 01 November 2011

The Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters (the Hague Convention) establishes methods of co-operation for the taking of evidence abroad in civil or commercial matters. The Hague Convention was concluded on 18 March 1970, and came into force on 7 October 1972. India ratified the Hague Convention on 7 February 2007. [Continue Reading]

Corporate & Commercial | 01 October 2011

In SMS Tea Estates Pvt Ltd v M/s Chandmari Tea Co Pvt Ltd [2011], the Supreme Court addressed the following questions posed for its consideration:

  1. Whether an arbitration agreement contained in an unregistered (but compulsorily registrable under the Indian Registration Act 1908) instrument was valid and enforceable?
  2. Whether an arbitration agreement in an unregistered instrument that was not duly stamped, was valid and enforceable?
  3. Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, there was an arbitration agreement in existence between the appellant and the respondent, and whether an arbitrator could be appointed?

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Public Sector | 01 September 2011

Public outcry against corruption is a worldwide phenomenon today. Voices of citizens in India demanding a corruption-free state have also soared to extremely high decibel levels. Recent high-value scams have further contributed to the increased public awareness.

Newspapers and television channels have been full of reports pertaining to scams of alleged misappropriation and misapplication worth billions by officials during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi; an estimated $40bn in revenues lost from the sale of 2G telecom licenses; and billions misappropriated from food and fuel subsidy schemes for the poor in Uttar Pradesh. Statistically speaking, India was ranked 87th out of 178 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index in 2010. [Continue Reading]