VOL III                                                      ISSUE NO. 01                                January 02, 2018          

In This Issue

India: The Customs (Furnishing of Information) Rules, 2017 released

Ministry-of-Finance.jpgThe Ministry of Finance on December 14, 2017, has released the Customs (Furnishing of Information) Rules, 2017. These rules shall come into force from January 1, 2018.


India: Parliament passes Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017

Parliament.jpgThe Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which was recently passed by the Rajya Sabha aims to provide for more than 92 amendments in the Companies Act, 2013.


India: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017



The present article discusses the salient features of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017


Smalls stakes does not amount to gambling in India

Delhi-High-Court.jpgDelhi High Court says that Playing Rummy with Small Stakes In A Club Would Not Amount To Gambling


India: NGT issues direction to DMRC for compliance of noise pollution norms

NGT.jpgThe NGT has issued directions to the DMRC for compliance of noise pollution norms after receiving a complaint filed by a 5 year old resident of Rohini, New Delhi.


India: Supreme Court calls for regulating hefty fees of lawyers

Supreme-Court.jpgRecently, in a judgment pronounced by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of B Sunitha v. State of Telangana, the Court advised the Government to check on the unethical practices followed by lawyers. The case brought into light the financial abuse that the victims of injustice have to go through by some members of the legal community.


India: The Customs (Furnishing of Information) Rules, 2017 released




Source: www.finmin.nic.in


The Ministry of Finance, via notification no. 114/2017 – Customs (N.T.)[1] , dated December 14, 2017, has released the Customs (Furnishing of Information) Rules, 2017. These rules shall come into force from January 1, 2018.


Earlier this year, the Cabinet approved amendment in the Customs and Excise Act for insertion of Sections 108A and 108B in the Customs Act, 1962, which sought to provide for furnishing of information relating to import/export of goods by specified persons to enable analysis and detection of cases of under/over-valuation in imports and exports.[2]


As per the new Customs (Furnishing of Information) Rules, the information required to be furnished under sub-section (1) of section 108A of the Customs Act, 1962, shall be furnished electronically by a Banking Company[3] in respect of details of foreign exchange transactions made or received by any person on outward remittance recorded or received by him to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. Further, such information has to be verified and signed by a person authorized by a Banking Company.

The Information Administrator may receive the information and may issue necessary instructions relating to the day to day administration of furnishing of the said information and the said Information Administrator may specify mandatory or non-mandatory fields in the format, periodicity and manner of furnishing information apart from the procedures, data structure and standards for ensuring secure capture and transmission of data, evolving and implementing appropriate security, archival and retrieval policies.


An Information-Administrator, in this regard, means an officer specified by the Central Board of Excise and Customs for the purposes of receipt of the information under section 108A of the Customs Act, 1962 from a person authorized by a Banking Company.


Lastly, until the Information-Administrator specifies the modalities for secure capture and transmission of data, the said information may be furnished through a secure, electronic medium to the Information-Administrator.









[1] Available at: http://www.egazette.nic.in/writereaddata/2017/180932.pdf

[2] Refer press release by Government of India, dated March 22, 2017, available at: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=159759

[3] A Banking Company within the meaning of clause (a) of Section 45A of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.



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India: Parliament passes Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017



Source: www.parliamentofindia.nic.in





The Rajya Sabha on December 19, 2017[1], passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 , (hereinafter referred to as the “Bill”) which seeks to bring about major changes in the Companies Act, 2013. The Bill is aimed at strengthening corporate governance standards, providing for strict action against defaulting companies and improving ease of doing business in the country.


The Bill was earlier adopted by the Lok Sabha on July 27, 2017, and now will have to receive the assent of the President to become law. If the bill becomes law, then it will be the second instance of the Companies Act getting amended under the current Government.


The Bill aims to provide for more than 92 amendments in the Companies Act, 2013, which includes amendment of existing Sections, insertion of new section, substitution of the existing sections with new sections and omission of sections.[2]


 Amendments in Companies Act, 2013


Amendment of Existing Sections

2, 4, 7, 12, 21, 26, 35, 47, 53, 54, 62, 73, 74, 76A, 77, 78, 82, 89, 92, 94, 96, 100, 101, 110, 121, 123, 129, 130, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 141, 143, 147, 148, 149, 152, 153, 157, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 173, 177, 178, 180, 184, 186, 188, 196, 197, 198, 200, 201, 216, 223, 236, 247, 366, 374, 379, 384, 391, 403, 409, 410, 411, 412, 438, 439, 440, 441, 447, 458


Insertion of New Sections

3A (Members severally liable in certain cases); 446 A (Factors for determining level of punishment), 446 B(Lesser penalties for One Person Companies or small companies)

Substitution of Existing Section with New Sections

42 (Issue of shares on private placement basis.); 90 (Register of significant beneficial owners in a company); 185 (Loans to directors, etc.); 406 (Provision relating to Nidhis and its application, etc.); 435 (Establishment of Special Courts.)

Omission of Sections

93, 194 and 195 of Companies Act 2013


The major changes included in the new Amended Bill are as follows:-

  • Simplification of the private placement process;

  • Rationalization of provisions related to loans to directors;

  • Replacing the requirement of approval of the central government for managerial remuneration above prescribed limits by approval through special resolution of shareholders;

  • Aligning disclosure requirements in the prospectus with the regulations made by Securities and Exchange Board of India;

  • Providing for maintenance of register of significant beneficial owners;

  • Making offence for contravention of provisions relating to deposits as non-compoundable.

A copy of the bill can be found over here.




[1] http://www.livemint.com/Politics/wbBL8yclbHa88DV07pKhGN/Parliament-





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India: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017



Source: www.ibbi.gov.in




Considering the rapid increase of insolvency cases, the increased and more defined role of the service providers and stakeholders at different levels in companies, partnerships, banks etc., the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016 has become the ‘go-to’ for majority of grievances for the modern-day corporate-consumer. With the rapid revamping of the insolvency laws in a span of 2 years and the hustle-bustle that it created in the construction, banking and investment industry, the Corporate Consumer seems to have been resorting to the Insolvency Code’s redressal machinery, just as the Country saw a decade ago when the consumer laws in India were being codified.


The salient features of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”) are:-


  1. What are the Regulations?
    The Regulations shall apply to the redressal of grievances/ complaint against service providers, insolvency professional agency, an insolvency professional, an insolvency professional entity or an information utility, etc.

  2. What shall be classified as a complaint under the Regulations?
    The Regulations provide for a very wide and inclusive definition of the term Compliant so as to mean a written expression by a stakeholder alleging contravention of any provision of the Code or rules, regulations, or guidelines made thereunder or circulars or directions issued by the Board by a service provider or any of its associated persons and includes a complaint-cum-grievance.

  3. Who can file a complaint?
    The regulations also endeavor to make the ambit of the term “stakeholder” a wide one. It means a debtor, a creditor, a claimant, a service provider, a resolution applicant and any other person having an interest in the insolvency, liquidation, voluntary liquidation, or bankruptcy transaction under the Code. By use of the terms ‘any other person having an interest in the insolvency, liquidation, voluntary liquidation, or bankruptcy transaction’ the definition seems impregnated with a wide ambit and becomes all inclusive.

  4. What should the Complaint state?

    The Complaint should be made in the form of Form A available in the Regulations. It should include:

    1. details pertaining to the identity of the aggrieved and the service provider (along with such conduct of the service provider that has caused the suffering to the aggrieved);


  1. details of suffering, whether pecuniary or otherwise, the aggrieved has undergone due to the conduct of the service provider

  2. details of his efforts to get the grievance redressed from the service provider, and the reasons of his unsatisfactory response;

  3. how the grievance may be redressed.

  1. How much would it Cost?
    INR 2500 or nothing! The complainant, though is required to deposit INR 2500 with the Board while making the complaint, if at the end of the compliant redressal process it is observed that the compliant is not frivolous, the Board shall refund the amount.

  2. Deadline?
    Any compliant should be filed within 45 days of the occurrence of the grievance and the unsatisfactory response of the service provider to redress it.

  3. Where to file the Complaint?
    Online. However, until the virtual infrastructure to start the online filing commences, complaints may be filed by emailing them at complaintsandgrievances@ibbi.gov.in or by post or hand delivery. Additionally, the Rules provide that even though the stakeholder is required to disclose his identity, the same can be kept confidential.

  4. Can Complainant go Incognito?
    No. Complainants are mandatorily required to disclose their identity as a part of the Complaint, failing which the complaint will not be entertained. We assume, this is to protect the accountability and reliability of the aggrieved party and avoid unnecessary complications to the ongoing or anticipated proceedings as the same.

  5. Will the complaint get a Unique Compliant Number?
    Yes. A unique registration number shall be assigned by the Board to every grievance and every complaint and communicate the said registration number to the aggrieved or the complainant within a week of its receipt.

  6. How much time will each case take for disposal?
    The Board shall close the grievance within 45 days of its receipt if it does not require any redress and if it does require redress the Board shall direct the service provider to redress the grievance within 45 days.

  7. Can complaints be reviewed by the Board?
    If the complainant is unsatisfied with the Board’s decision, and if there exist a prima facie case for review the same shall be conducted within 30 days. If required, the Board may also direct an investigation, issue a show cause notice as per the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Inspection and Investigation) Regulations, 2017.



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India: Delhi High Court says that Playing Rummy with Small Stakes In A Club Would Not Amount To Gambling



Source: www.delhihighcourt.nic.in



In a recent judgment by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on November 30, 2017, in the matter of Suresh Kumar vs. Central Secretariat Club[1] , agreed with a lower Court’s observations that merely playing rummy with small stakes in a club would not amount to gambling.


Brief Background

  • Central Secretariat Club (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Respondent’) filed a subject suit pleading that it is a society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860, running a club for sports activities and recreation facilities for retired and working Central Government employees.

  • The President of the society was Sh. Harbhajan Singh who has been holding different positions in the management of the society for the last 48 years and who was also the Director of Kendriya Bhandar having impeccable reputation and respect for his honest and sincere work culture.

  • Mr. Suresh Kumar, (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Appellant’) was a helper in the society but in 2013 he was terminated after charges of misconduct was proven against him. He was given a charge sheet, enquiry was held and it was found that his behavior was unbecoming and that there were false and fabricated complaints by him against the Respondent and its office bearers.

  • The Appellant on September 8, 2015, filed a police complaint alleging that the President of the club, one Ramanand Sharma and some office staff are mafia members. They used to gamble in the club between 8:30 to 10:30 along with some other allegations.

  • Pursuant to the complaint a police enquiry was done and no evidence to support the claim of the Appellant was found. Finding the act of the Appellant to be defamatory, the Respondent sent a legal notice dated January 5, 2016, demanding an unconditional apology from the Appellant failing which it was informed that he will be proceeded against with both by way of a civil suit as also a criminal complaint.

  • There was no response to from the Appellant and therefore a subject suit was filed.



  • Defending himself the, Appellant in the subject suit said that:

    • He agrees to the claim that a police complaint was filed by him.

    • Sh. Ramanand Sharma is his maternal uncle, who was responsible for gambling in the club in the form of cards along with cricket betting, etc.

    • His services were terminated illegally as Sh. Ramanand Sharma was annoyed with him because of bringing the facts of the case to the present position.

  • Several witnesses were examined by the trial court in the subject suit, every testimony established that the allegations made in the police complaint were false.

  • Trial Court therefore after observing the facts and evidences in detail passed an order directing the appellant to pay INR 3 lakh to the Respondent as damages for filing a false police complaint.

  • Thus, aggrieved by the order, the Appellant filed this appeal.

Court’s Decision

  • The Court took notice of the fact that the Appellant had earlier complained that a mafia operated in the Respondent club and the Respondent Club even allows gambling within its premises. But the Appellant failed to discharge the burden of proof on him.

  • Agreeing with the trial court order Justice Valmiki J. Mehta in line with the judgement given by the Supreme Court in State of Andhra Pradesh vs. K. Satyanarayana & Ors[2] . stated that the ‘trial court in my opinion also has rightly held that merely because a card game of rummy was played in the club premises with small stakes from a few annas to some rupees would not make it gambling’.

  • Further, the Court held that the allegations in the police complaint are defamatory. They took notice of the fact that in the complaint Sh. Harbhajan Singh, President of the Respondent club, was stated to be a mafia member but in reply to the subject suit Mr. Suresh Kumar, Appellant, conceded that ‘Sh. Harbhajan Singh is a man of impeccable integrity and has served the club honestly for last 48 years.’

  • The Court agreed with the lower Court’s observations and noted that the Appellant was “frustrated” as he had been fired by the club over misconduct. It was stated in this regard that ‘I completely agree with the discussion, reasoning and conclusion of the trial court because the complaint filed by the Appellant was on account of his frustration of having been removed from the services of the Respondent club and the allegations made by him were not bonafidely made and were made either as a revenge or to pressurize the Respondent to take him back in services with the fact that complaint was made after around two years of the Appellant being removed from his services with the Respondent club.’

  • Thus, finding no merit in the appeal, it was duly dismissed.


[1] RFA NO.990/2017

[2] AIR 1968 SC 825

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India: NGT issues direction to DMRC for compliance of noise pollution norms



Source: www.greentribunal.gov.in



Introduction –


The National Green Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as “NGT”) in light of a plea filed by a five year old girl, resident of Rohini, New Delhi, directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (herein after referred to as “DMRC”) on December 12, 2017 to strictly adhere to environmental norms.[1]


Brief facts of the case –


The complaint was filed by Rakesh Goswami, a resident of Rohini, New Delhi, on behalf of his daughter Samriddhi Goswami. The Applicant seeks for the shifting of the metro stations, viz. Sector 18 to 19 to a suitable alternate site. The Applicant also stated that the noise levels were found to be above 85 decibels, which prompted to seek shifting of the said metro stations.



The applicant has also sought erection of sound barriers around Rohini Sector 18 metro station along with compensation, stating that the actions of the DMRC has been causing trauma due to noise pollution arising from the construction and trial of the metro rail and the station. It was also submitted that the Applicant has made several complaints through her father, to various authorities. However, their grievance was not redressed and the complaint was disposed by the DMRC, stating that the ‘grievance cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.[2] ’ Referring to the Environment Impact Assessment Report of metro stations prepared in August 2011, it was also stated that noise pollution may not pose a health risk but can lead to sleep disorders, stress, high blood pressure and anxiety.


Outcome –


The NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, on December 12, 2017, directed the DMRC to comply with the prescribed decibel limits and directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to ensure that no noise pollution is caused by its activities, including construction and operation.




[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/5-year-old-moves-ngt-


[2] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/5-yr-old-moves-ngt-alleging-noise-



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India: Supreme Court calls for regulating hefty fees of lawyers




Source: www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in



Recently, in a judgment pronounced by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of B Sunitha v. State of Telangana, the Court advised the Government to check on the unethical practices followed by lawyers. The case brought into light the financial abuse that the victims of injustice have to go through by some members of the legal community.


Brief History

  • In July, 1998, B. Sunitha’s (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Appellant’) husband died in a motor accident. A claim before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the ‘MACT’) was filed wherein one of the Respondents in the present case was the advocate for the Appellant. Compensation was also given in the said case.

  • The Respondent charged a fee of INR 10 Lakhs (USD 15590 approx.). Later on, the Appellant was forced to sign another cheque worth INR 3 Lakhs (USD 4677 approx.) on October 25, 2014, despite her informing that she has no funds in the account.

  • On November 2, 2014, the Appellant received an e-mail from the Respondent wherein it was claimed that the fees of the Respondent was 16% of the amount received by the Appellant.

  • On December 11, 2014, a complaint was filed before the Hyderabad High Court under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, stating inter alia that the cheque which was issued in discharge of liability having been returned unpaid for want of funds, the appellant committed the offence for which she was liable to be punished.

  • The High Court summoned the Appellant to which she stated that there was no legally enforceable debt and the fee was an unreasonable amount and against the law. It was contended that the claim violated the Advocates Fee Rules and Ethics as fee could not be demanded on percentage of amount awarded as compensation to the Appellant.

  • The Respondent opposed this contention by stating that the professional fee was agreed upon by the Appellant and now having availed his professional services, she could not contest the claim for fee. It was further contended that Senior Advocates were engaged in the case by the Respondent and paid huge amount for their services.

  • It was further argued by the Appellant that the fee claimed was against Andhra Pradesh Advocates’ Fee Rules, 2010 of Subordinate Courts, ethics and public policy and hit by Section 23 of the Contract Act.

  • The High Court dismissed the quashing petition. It was stated by the High Court that Advocates’ Fee Rules are only for guidance and there was no bar to fee being claimed beyond what is fixed under the Rules.

Issue Raised

  1. Whether fee can be determined with reference to percentage of the decretal amount?

  2. Whether the determination of fee can be unilateral and if the client disputes the quantum of fee whether the burden to prove the contract of fee will be on the advocate or the client?

  3. Whether the professional ethics require regulation of exploitation in the matter of fee?

Appellant’s Arguments

  • It was contended that the charging percentage of decretal amount by an advocate is hit by Section 23 of the Contract Act, being against professional ethics and public policy. Thus, the cheque issued by the Appellant could not be treated as being in discharge of any liability by the Appellant.

  • It was also contended that it is a settled law that any fees claim made by the advocate based on the percentage of the amount received as a result of litigation is illegal.

  • The Appellant claimed that the signing of the cheque was an exploitation of the fiduciary relationship of the Advocate and the client.

  • Judgements such as In the matter of Mr. G., a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court ((1955) 1 SCR 490 at 494), R.D. Saxena versus Balram Prasad Sharma ((2000) 7 SCC 264), V.C. Rangadurai versus D. Gopalan ((1979) 1 SCC 308) were produced to support the claim.


Respondent’s Argument

  • The Respondent No. 2 supported the order of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. .

  • It was contended that there was no legal bar to claim professional fee by the Respondent. Further, it was stated that since the cheque was dishonored, the statutory presumption was in the favor of Respondent.

  • It was claimed that the Appellant made out no ground for quashing the petition.

Court’s Findings

  • While discussing about Professional Misconduct and whether the fees could be charged as a part of the decretal amount, the Court took into consideration certain judgements -

    • Re: KL Gauba [1], wherein it was held that the fees conditional on the success of a case and which gives the lawyer an interest in the subject matter tends to undermine the status of the profession. The same has always been condemned as unworthy of the legal profession. If an advocate has interest in the success of the litigation, he may tend to depart from ethics.

    • In the matter of Mr. G.: A Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court[2] , it was held that the claim of an advocate based on a share in the subject matter is a professional misconduct.

    • In VC Rangadurai versus D. Gopalan [3], it was observed that relation between a lawyer and his client is highly fiduciary in nature. The advocate is in the position of trust.

    Thus, the Court was of the view that the application of the Respondent deserves to be quashed as it was against the public policy and a grave professional misconduct.

  • Further, it was stated by the Court that Respondent no. 2 prayed to withdraw the complaint to which it was replied that ‘Having committed a serious professional misconduct, the Respondent No.2 could not be allowed to avoid the adverse consequences which he may suffer for his professional misconduct’.

  • Talking about the importance of the legal profession the Court stated that ‘Undoubtedly, the legal profession is the major component of the justice delivery system and has a significant role to play in upholding the rule of law. Significance of the profession is on account of its role in providing access to justice and assisting the citizens in securing their fundamental and other rights.’ The Court was of the view that it is the fundamental right of the poor to get justice and the exorbitant amount charged as fees by the Advocates is serious violation of this right.

  • Further, the observations made in the 131st Report of the Law Commission, 1988, were brought to light. These were:

    • Role of the legal profession in strengthening the administration of justice must be in consonance with the mandate of Article 39A to ensure equal opportunity for access to justice.

    • It was observed that like public hospitals for medical services, the public sector should have a role in providing legal services for those who cannot afford fee.

    • Referring to the lawyers’ fee as barrier to access to justice, it was observed that it was the duty of the Parliament to prescribe fee for services rendered by members of the legal profession. First step should be taken to prescribe floor and ceiling in fees.

  • Also, it was highlighted that ‘Mandate for the Bench and the Bar is to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to the victim of justice and to protect their rights. The legal system must continue to serve the victims of injustice.’

  • Focusing on the sleeping nature of the system, the Court pointed out that though the 131st Law Commission Report was submitted in the year 1988, still no step is taken in the last 29 years.

Thus, in the judgement the Court expected and directed the authorities to look into the matter by introducing requisite legislative changes and put a cap on lawyers’ fees so that access to legal services to get justice is warranted.



[1] AIR 1954 Bom 478

[2] (1955) 1 SCR 490

[3] (1979) 1 SCC 308

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