gst photo


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is going to replace all the existing State and Central indirect taxes with one single levy. Currently the States collect VAT, Sales Tax, Luxury Tax, Entertainment Tax and many other taxes. This is expected to unify the tax rates across all States, converting the country into one unified market where any trader can buy or sell goods and services from anywhere and still pay the same cost. This will not only boost the businesses but also prove beneficial to consumers who will see the prices of commodities coming down. It will also make Indian goods and services more competitive globally which can be leveraged by Indian businesses to their advantage.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, will again have to go to the LokSabha, since the Bill that had been passed on 6, 2015 in LokSabha underwent amendments to reach consensus.

Among the first tasks ahead is the drafting of the Central and State GST laws that will again be required to be passed in the Parliament and ratified by more than 50% of the State Legislatures.

Another issue is whether the GST legislation should be a money bill or a financial bill. If it is proposed to be a money bill thenRajyaSabha can only discuss and not vote on it.

Following a presidential consent, the amendment will take effect. These formalities apart, the parliament will have to pass relevant bills for a Central GST and an integrated GST, while the States will have to enact their own legislations for a State GST. This is because the GST regime will involve the imposition of Central and State levies at identical rates.

Adapting to a particular cap rate will play a vital role; otherwise the GST rate can easily lead to an increase in India’s income inequality. Since the proposed rate itself has become a matter of hot debate and the variation among the various recommended rates by experts and stakeholders range from around 15.5 per cent to as high as 26 per cent.

States also have to be eased with some concrete proposals on the ground that their sovereign authority to impose taxes on goods will not be diluted in any manner by the unified tax regime, and provisions will be made by the Centre when they are in dire needs during emergencies.

As also for resolution of disputes, the role of the GST Council, which will be chaired by the Union Finance Minister, has to be clearly defined. This is another issue over which consensus is still elusive.

The necessary Information Technology infrastructure, too, has to be set up. Towards this, a non-Government private limited company has been constituted “Goods and Services Tax Network” (

The major alarming area for the States will be to prevent revenue loss at any cost. In this regard, the empowered committee of finance ministers uses a concept Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR). RNR is the uniform rate which when applied will leave all the States with the same revenue as before. Therefore, no State will lose by accepting GST. In order to nullify the fear of States, RNR might be loaded with every possible existing tax (excise duty, octroi etc.). This is going to escalate RNR and hence it might increase inflation in the economy and job losses in the unorganized sector.

Mayan Singh Raghuvanshi

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer


NDA image


A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between at least two parties who want to keep confidential information that they share with one another and want to restrict access of the same by third parties. It is also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA), or secrecy agreement (SA). An NDA creates a confidential relation between the parties to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information or trade secrets.


A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be classified as unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral.

Unilateral NDA

A unilateral NDA is also known as a one-way NDA. It involves two parties where one party i.e. the disclosing party anticipates disclosing certain information to the other party i.e. the receiving party and requires that information to be kept protected from further disclosure.

Bilateral NDA

A bilateral NDA is also known as mutual NDA or a two-way NDA.  It involves two parties where both parties anticipate disclosing information to one another that each intends to protect from disclosure to third parties. This type of NDA is necessary in case of businesses which are considering some kind of joint venture or merger.

Multilateral NDA

A multilateral NDA involves three or more parties where at least one of the parties anticipates disclosing information to the other parties and requires that information to be protected from further disclosure. This type of NDA eliminates the need for separate unilateral or bilateral NDAs between two parties. For example- a single multiparty NDA entered into by three parties who each intended to disclose information to the other parties could be used in place of three separate bilateral NDAs between the first and second parties, second and third parties, and third and first parties.

A multilateral NDA can be advantageous but due to the complexities involved in negotiations parties may find it difficult to enter into such an NDA.


The non-disclosure agreement requires a party to maintain information in confidence when that information has been directly supplied by the disclosing party. However, it is sometimes easier to get a simple agreement signed by the receiving party which requires them to keep the information safe and secure. Some common issues addressed in an NDA include:

  • Outlining the parties to the agreement.
  • The definition of what is confidential, i.e. the information to be held confidential.
  • The disclosure period.
  • The law and jurisdiction governing the parties.
  • Types of permissible disclosure.



The use of non-disclosure an agreement is on the rise in India and is governed by the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Use of an NDA is crucial in many circumstances, such as to bind employees who are developing patentable technology if the employer intends to apply for a patent. Non-disclosure agreements have become very important in the light of India’s growing outsourcing industry.  In India, an NDA must be stamped to be a valid enforceable document.

Sanchayeeta Das


The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services




Strategic Forced Command (SFC) which is also sometimes known as Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA which is responsible for command and control decisions regarding India’s nuclear weapons programme). It was created on 4th of January, 2003 by Vajpayee Government. Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana became its first commander-in-chief.  It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.

Responsibility of SFC

It is the responsibility of the Strategic Forces Command to operationalize the orders of the NCA under the leadership of a Commander-in-Chief who is a Senior Officer. It has the sole responsibility of initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads, after acquiring clear approval from the NCA.

The SFC manages and administers all strategic forces by exercising complete command and control over nuclear assets, and producing all contingency plans as needed to fulfill the required tasks. Since its inception, the SFC’s command, control and communication systems have been firmly established, and the command has attained a high state of operational readiness.

Right to Information Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 mandates timely response to citizen’s requests for government information. It is an initiative taken by the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to provide a – RTI Portal Gateway to the citizens for quick search of information.

Nuclear Weapons Command Not to Come Under RTI Act

Information on the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile and any details on their testing have been put out of the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act except for information pertaining to corruption or human rights allegations.

Adding nearly 300 more public authorities by the end of the year to the existing 500 authorities to which RTI’s can be filed online, this is an exception to the approach of the Union Government which has been actively trying to broaden the access to RTI by adding public authorities.

This is the first addition by the Narendra Modi Government since the previous UPA regime added three more in 2011 to the list of public authorities that are exempted from the purview of the RTI. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) were added to the list of exempted public authorities.

Incidentally last year, a man who felt entitled after paying the modest statutory fee of Rs. 10 filed an RTI application seeking access to the nuclear launch codes. This was revealed after Vivek Kumar, deputy secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and an Indian Foreign Services (IFS) Officer, tweeted about the incident.

Though it was never officially confirmed, the request was presumably denied. Now that the Strategic Forces Command has been removed from the purview of the RTI, the official secrets regarding nuclear weapons cannot be invoked in the future.


Sanchayeeta Das


The Indian Lawyer and Allied Services




The Medical Sector is very important for a huge Country like India. Medical Council of India (MCI) is a statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.  The MCI grants recognition of medical qualifications, gives accreditation to medical schools, grants registration to medical practitioners, and monitors medical practice in India.

A high-level panel set up by Government think-tank “Niti Aayog” has recommended replacing the MCI with a National Medical Commission (NMC).

“The idea of setting up a new body is to simplify the norms of recruitment and make the process performance based so that the medical institutes either perform or perish,”A major initiative under this is to introduce the system of exit exams for private and government medical colleges”  the official said.

Features of NMC will include the following:

  • NMC will become the main regulatory body and will take over all roles and responsibilities of the MCI.
  • The new body will have eminent doctorsand experts from related fields.
  • To suggest the direction that should be given to medical education in the country.
  • To ensure that the quality of education is at par with global standards.
  • NMC will have around 20 members and their tenure will be for 5 years.
  • It will also have members from other fields such as economics, law, to inculcate more professionalism.


According to Niti Aayog, the biggest change under the new system would be that its members would be selected on merit by a high powered search-cum-selection panel and would not be elected, as in the past, by MCI.
“There will be NMC chairman as well as there will be four boards- Under Graduate Medical Board, Post Graduate Medical Board, Accreditation and Assessment Board and a board for registration of medical colleges and monitoring ethics in the profession.

To set up a new institution would require that the Government frame a new law. This has been attempted several times in the past but no Government has succeeded till date. This is a much required step that will help to improve the status of medical education and standards and prevent unlawful practices in the medical profession thereby bringing in substantial improvement in quality of the medical education system.


Mayank Singh Raghuvanshi

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer and Allied Services



recovery-lawyers (1)


The Government has introduced “the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill”, 2016 in May. The Lok Sabha has passed the Bill on 1st August, 2016 that amends four different Acts – Sarfaesi Act, 2002, the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 and the Depositories Act, 1996. The Bill is passed by voice vote. The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha for its approval.

The Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act gives 180 days for disposal of recovery applications, but cases are pending for many years due to various adjournments and prolonged hearings. As per recent reports there are more than 70,000 cases that are pending before DRTs (Debt Recovery Tribunal) which shows a weak recovery process which has in turn increased the number of NPA’s (Non Performing Assets) in the market which if not controlled will reduce the cash flow to a minimum.

“The Bill aims to improve ease of doing business and facilitate investment leading to higher economic growth and development,” said Finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Key Points of “the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill”:

  • RBI oversight of the asset reconstruction companies.
  • Central registry to records details of all secured assets.
  • Priority of debt due to secured creditors over all others debts and claims.
  • Time for filing appeal to the Appellate Tribunal cut from 45 days to 30 days.
  • 50% of debt to be deposited for filing an appeal. It can be cut to 25% in some cases.
  • Right to take over secured property; appointing receiver for such property and to sell the same.
  • Time can be given to the borrower if 25% of the debt is deposited with promise to pay full amount.
  • Depositories empowered to transfer asset to Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs).
  • A fit and proper person can sponsor an Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs).
  • Protection for secured creditors, RBI, central registry or any of their officers for action taken in good faith.


The amendments are aimed at faster recovery and resolution of bad debts by banks and financial institutions and make it easier for Asset Reconstruction Companies to function. Along with the new bankruptcy law which came into effect earlier this year, the amendments will put in place an enabling infrastructure to effectively deal with non-performing assets in the Indian banking system.

It also seeks to cut the time for resolution process by providing for summons, notices, communications or intimation to be served in electronic forms. It also provides for filing of recovery applications, documents and written statements in electronic forms and display of interim and final orders of the Debt Recovery Tribunals and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals on their websites.



Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer and Allied Services


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All applications are software programs based on an operating system designed to run on smart phones and accessible through the application distribution platforms that are typically operated by owners ofsmart phone operating systems.

Developers create applications, which run on smart phone platforms and exhibit newshades in resolution, style, size, technology and user interface for each smart phone.

Authors of such applications rely on source code ‘open’ to all for usage and development of smart phone applications. The open source code is governed by a license agreement, which retains protection under copyright in the name of source code provider and simultaneously allows developers to use and add own source code and distribute the final product. Such applications are not recognized as original work and thus cannot be registered. Instead the developer is required to provide public access to the open source code along with the copy of the open source license agreement with distribution of the new product. In case of any violation or infringement regarding the license for source code, the application will be removed immediately from the distribution platform and such developer shall be liable under the law.

Everysmart phone application is initially tested as a beta version before being promoted online and then downloaded by the user on his/her smart phone and used by the user through their smart phones.  During promotions, the “name” of the smart phone application is used more than the “logo”; and during the download process, the smart phone application is mentioned with both, “name” and “logo”. Once the smart phone application is downloaded on to a user’s device it appears more as an icon, which is nothing more than a “logo”. Hence, the “name” and “logo” becomes equally important to be protected by a trademark. Therefore, it is suggested that one must seek protection for the “name” and “logo” individually. However, it is advisable to talk to an expert to identify your usage and marketing pattern in order to determine a specific trademark protection strategy for you.

The Patent Act, 1970 also offers protection for a useful novel product or a process. Computer programs cannot be patented per se, unless the program forms an integral part of the innovative invention and does not fall within the ambits of the non – patentable matter as specified u/s 3 and 4 of the Patent Act. The fundamental requisition for patent is novelty without compromise on the scope of invention.

Since the advent of Smart Phone Commerce (M-Commerce) Industry, potential developers have created various lucrative applications and software suitable for consumers for a convenient lifestyle. The smart phone application developers have witnessed financial success for creation of savvy products but due to ignorance of legal enforcement, the value of such product or process is tarnished.

Smart phone applications grant an array of platforms for innovators to exhibit their intangible creation into a tangible medium. An intellectual property specialist can provide bona-fide legal guidance beneficial towards the protection of novel inventions and management of such intellectual inventions to achieve maximum exposure and optimum success.


Mayank Singh Raghuvanshi

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer and Allied Services, New Delhi


“The Indian Lawyer and Allied Services” which is based out of New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad announces its success in two international Arbitrations in which it represented a Billion Dollar Construction Company namely Open Joint Stock Far Eastern Mining Construction Company.

With foreign companies still apprehensive about entering India, the Awards in the two international Arbitrations between FEMC, a Russian construction company, and Indian company Pratibha Constructions Ltd. reassures everyone that the Indian legal system is highly effective in delivering justice without delay or bias.

A short gist of the facts: FEMC-Pratibha JV won the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Contracts CC-18 and CC-23 in 2012-13 for construction of stretches of metro in South Delhi area.  After winning the Contracts differences arose between the partners and Pratibha effectively threw out FEMC from the Projects and also stopped payment of installments of the agreed Success Fee.  FEMC initiated the Arbitration in late 2013 for recovery of the pending Success Fee as well as damages, loss of profits etc.  Pratibha filed cross claims too.

The Arbitral Tribunal presided by Former Chief Justice of India, Justice R.C. Lahoti, Former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice Ferdino I. Rebello and Dr. V.K. Aggarwal, Former Law Secretary heard both Parties at length and delivered the Awards on 20th July 2016, dismissing the claims of Pratibha as being devoid of merit and allowing FEMC’s claims for pending Success Fee in both the Arbitrations to the tune of Rs. 23.79 Crores as well as Rs. 10.79 Crores for damages.  These amount carry 9% interest if paid within 30 days (19th August 2016) failing which the entire dues payable will carry interest of 18% thereon.  Costs of Arbitration of Rs 88.79 Lakhs were also awarded.

The Arbitral Tribunal has also held that Pratibha shall indemnify FEMC from future liabilities that may arise due to any faulty execution or lapses by Pratibha.

Chief Legal Consultant Ms. Sushila Ram Varma and Senior Consultant Sukun K.S. Chandele (along with a team of seven lawyers) representing the Law Firm engaged by FEMC, applaud the Award in these Arbitrations as a proof of robustness and maturity of Indian legal system and state that foreign companies can be reassured that their rights and interests are fully protected in India.

The aforesaid Awards conclusively prove that India honors contractual obligations that foreign companies/parties had entered into. Mr. Modi’s Government which is welcoming foreign participation in Indian business has made several changes for ease of doing business in India. Amongst these honoring foreign contracts is a top priority.

Arbitrations have become a recognised means of resolving disputes world over. India has also recognised the importance of quick resolutions of disputes thereby amending the Arbitration Law.  The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 now mandates that all arbitration proceedings have to conclude within one year from the date of reference.


Sushila Ram Varma

Founder and Chief Consultant

Is Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act serving its purpose right in India?

Prior to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act [AFSPA], 1958, the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance 1958 was active in the ‘disturbed areas’ of Assam and Manipur owing to demand for separation of states among the north eastern states, and the AFSPA (Jammu & Kashmir) 1990 which gave the armed forces certain extraordinary special powers. Such ‘disturbed areas’ are so declared by the governor of the state, or the central government under AFSPA, if in its opinion there exists a dangerous situation in the said area which makes it necessary to deploy armed forces in the region, such as to prevent terrorist acts aimed at overthrowing the government, striking terror in the people, or affecting the harmony of different sections of the people or activities which disrupt the sovereignty of India, or cause insult to the national flag, anthem or India’s Constitution.

Thereafter, authorized officers, under AFSPA, are given powers to open fire at any individual even if it results in death in the event that individual violates laws which prohibit the assembly of five or more persons; or carrying of weapons (however, a warning before opening fire has been mandated to the officer) under section 4; and to arrest without a warrant, seize and search without any warrant any premise in order to make an arrest or recovery of hostages, arms and ammunitions. If any F.I.R. is lodged against such authorized officer, then his/her prosecution requires prior permission of the Central government. This is an instance of the unconditional liberty given to armed forces under AFSPA to work in such extreme ways and at the same time be immune from getting prosecuted. Therefore, it seems in operation, army has more powers under AFSPA than the Centre/State has during Emergency under Constitution of India. And if at all they be tried by court-martial, there will be left no civil law remedy for the victims.

The constitutionality of AFSPA was challenged by various groups and was upheld in the case of Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights v. Union of India 1998 by Supreme Court which concluded saying that (a) a suo-moto declaration can be made by the Central government, however, it is desirable that the state government should be consulted by the central government before making the declaration as AFSPA does not confer arbitrary powers to declare an area as a ‘disturbed area’; (b) such a declaration has to be for a limited duration which should be periodically reviewed; (c) while exercising the powers conferred upon him by AFSPA, the authorized officer should use minimal force necessary for effective action and follow strictly the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ issued by the army.

Thereafter, a five member committee headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy, appointed by Central government, in 2004 had reviewed the provisions of the Act and its necessity in the north eastern states and in its 2005 report recommended the repeal of AFSPA and modification of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and set up grievance cells in each district where the armed forces are deployed. Also, the 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order had recommended the repeal of AFSPA. But none of the recommendations have been implemented.

From among the public whose die-hard protests against AFSPA operation has moved the nation and the world, is Irom Chanu Sharmila from Manipur who has been fasting since the year 2000 until she had decided to break her fast in July 2016 and join politics to bring change in the political system and bring an end to AFSPA because the government did not agree to this demand.

The AFSPA has led to widespread human rights violations ever since it was enacted. The purpose with which it was enacted by going against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR- to which India is a party), the Convention Against Torture, the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the UN Body of Principles for Protection of All Persons Under any form of Detention, the UN Principles on Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra- legal and summary executions, Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution like Article 14, 21, 22, and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) procedures to make arrest/detain, etc does not seem to be justified as increasing violence and bloodshed continues till date and AFSPA could not restore normalcy and peace in the ‘disturbed areas’.

The atrocities have been in form of open firing and use of mortars (which is prohibited from use in a civilian area under Army Rules) by the Rashtriya Rifles, Assam Rifles and the CRPF mistaking a tyre burst of the convoy of the Rashtriya Rifles for a bomb blast which left several injured and dead; whereas in April 1995, a villager, who was shot dead in West Tripura by a soldier on not stopping at a border outpost when asked to do so; death of five men by a security personnel in Handwara, Kashmir during protests against alleged molestation of a girl by an army man. Residents of non-disturbed areas enjoy the protections guaranteed under the Constitution, whereas the residents of the Northeast and Kashmir live under virtual army rule.

If these forms of injustice to public are ignored openly by the courts of the country, then there will be no generation left or a few of them left to witness anymore atrocities. So I believe that either AFSPA should be totally repealed or their use of minimum force must be checked by the central government strictly to make it humanitarian and not to left with the army to deal with it.


Legal Associate




Caveat literally means “let him beware”. It is a caution registered in a public court or office to indicate to the officials that they are not to act in the matter mentioned in the Caveat without first giving notice to the Caveator. Certain examples of a Caveat are: in connection with the grant of marriage licenses, dealings with land registered in the land registry and probably one of the most important instances is Caveat in probate proceedings. The office of a Caveat in probate proceedings is to arrest the proceedings until the truth of the facts alleged or affecting the validity of the will can be determined, and it ensures to the benefit of all parties interested in the subject.


A Caveat protects the Caveator’s interest. The Caveator is ready to face the suit or a proceeding which is predictably to be instituted by his opponent. For this reason, no ex-parte order can be passed against the Caveator.


No form is prescribed for the Caveat. The Caveator must file a Caveat in the form of an application or petition before the court. He must submit the cause of action giving the name and description of the opponent along with the petition. The copy of the application will be then sent to the opponent party in advance by registered post, acknowledgement due before filing it in the Court. A Caveat remains in force for 90 days from the date of filing.

Important points

Some of the important points to be remembered while filing a Caveat:

  • A Caveat can be filed only to oppose the application and not support it.
  • It is mandatory under the law, to give notice to the Caveator about the filing and the date of hearing of the application.








corporate crime


“A crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” – Edwin Sutherland

Not every crime involves a smoking gun. Some crimes are committed right under the victim’s nose without a single shot fired.

A white-collar crime is a non-violent crime that is committed by a person, typically for financial gain. It is committed by an individual or a group of individuals, usually with the intention to benefit himself/herself. The benefits can be in the form of monetary value or goods and services. The white-collar criminal can be an office worker, business manager, etc. Fraudulent advertisements, infringement of patents, publication of falsified balance sheet of business, passing of goods, concealment of defects in the commodity for sale, etc. are some examples of white collar crime.

Types of white collar crime in India


A Fraud is deemed to be committed if any of the following elements is present:

  • A false statement of material facts occurred.
  • The defendant was aware that the statements made were false.
  • The defendant meant to make the false statements.
  • The victim relied on the statements to be true.
  • The victim lost something as a result of the false statements.

Not every false statement of fact can be considered as a fraudulent act. The statement must be of such significance that the facts or facts alone were used by the victim to make an important decision.


Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of reward to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behaviour to the benefit or interest of the giver.

Many types of payments can constitute bribes: tip, gift, discount, free food, free ad, free tip, free tickets, inflated sale of an object or property, donation, fundraiser, higher paying job, secret commission, promotion, etc.

Computer Fraud

Computer Fraud is an act using computers, the internet, internet devices, and internet services to defraud people, companies, or government agencies for money, revenue, or internet access. There are many methods to conduct these activities. Phishing, hacking, etc. are some common examples.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a common term used for theft and fraud committed using or involving a payment card, such as a credit or a debit card. The purpose is to obtain goods without paying or to obtain unauthorized from an account.

Educational Institution

Privately run educational institutions in this country are another field where white collar criminals work with freely. The governing bodies of these institutions manage to secure large sums by way of government grants by submitting fake details about their institutions.

The real solution to this problem can come from the people who are affected by it. If everyone in their business or company keeps an eye out for anything suspicious, that alone can deviate potential thieves. Most of us do not give much thought to the rising white collar crimes as these are the things that we read in newspapers. But this needs to be sorted before it gets out of control.


Sanchayeeta Das


The Indian Lawyer