The Full Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 9th August 2019 in Pioneer Urban Land Infrastructure & Ors vs Union of India & Ors, has upheld the constitutional validity of the Second Amendment of IBC Act, 2016, wherein “Real-estate Allottees” as defined under Section 2(d) of the Real Estate (Regulation & Development)  ‘RERA’ Act, 2016 were brought within the scope of financial creditors under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016. This will enable the home buyers and other allottees to invoke Section 7 of IBC (which allows the financial creditor(s) (either individually or jointly) to file an application in National Company Law Tribunal ‘NCLT’ for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process against a defaulting company) against defaulting promoters.
The judgment can be analyzed briefly as follows: 

A. Home-Buyers are within the Scope of Financial Creditors
Under Section 5(7) of The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the “IBC”), financial creditor means any person to whom a 'financial debt' is owed and includes a person to whom such debt has been legally assigned or transferred to. The Full Bench of the Supreme Court of India relied heavily on the report made by Insolvency Law Committee and observed that home buyers finance real estate projects by paying amounts in advance to the developers for the construction of the project. Therefore, like banks and financial institutions, home buyers are rightly identified as financial creditors.

B. The supremacy of the IBC & Several Remedies
The Judgment expressly clarifies that Home Buyers as per their choice can initiate proceedings against the Developers/Promoters under RERA and Consumer Protection laws and seek appropriate remedies. Remedies under the RERA and the Code are entirely distinct & independent from each other, however, in case of any conflict, the Code will prevail. Thus, this Judgment places heavy weightage to the Code and modern Jurisprudence.

C. Defense Available with the Promoters/Developers Opposing the Admission of the Insolvency Petition       
The Court also recognized that the delay in delivery of possession by the developers may occur, in certain cases, due to factors not attributable to the developers. Some instances of defenses which the developer may plead before the NCLT are: 
  1. The home buyer is itself a defaulter; 
  2. The insolvency resolution process has been invoked fraudulently, or for purposes other than of resolution of insolvency; 
  3. The home buyer is a speculative investor and not a person who is genuinely interested in purchasing a flat; 
  4. In a deteriorating real estate market, the home buyer, does not, in fact, want to go ahead with its obligation to take possession under RERA but wants to use coercive measures to get back the money already paid by it.
D. Right to Vote on Resolution Plans
The Court upheld the right of home buyers to vote on resolution plans as members of the Committee of Creditors ‘CoC’ And under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the home buyers can through their common authorized representative, cast votes only in two ways – either to approve or disapprove a resolution plan. Any decision taken by a vote of more than 50% of the voting share is binding on the group.

E. Operative Part
  1. States/Union Territories shall appoint permanent adjudicating officers, a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal within a period of three months from the date of the judgment if they have not yet appointed. 
  2. The NCLT and the NCLAT shall be manned with sufficient members to deal with litigation that may arise under the Code generally, and from the real estate sector in particular, by the second week of January 2020.
  3. Stay orders granted shall continue until the NCLT takes up each application filed by an allottee/ home buyer to decide the same in light of this judgment.
More Problems For Real-Estate Developers & Promoters
Multiplicity of Proceedings: In cases where a single large project of the corporate debtor i.e. Developer has various association of persons for separate buildings or phases registered separately with RERA, there might be chances of multiple proceedings initiated simultaneously by the home buyers against the same developer under RERA, Consumer Protection Act and IBC which can put the developers into extreme position of difficulty.
Ever since home buyers were given the status of financial creditors under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a lot of them have moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the developers of stalled and delayed projects. “Since June 2018 (after getting the financial creditor status), a total 1,821 cases have been filed by homebuyers against builders under the code," said minister of state for corporate affairs Anurag Singh Thakur last week, in Parliament.
The issue is not going down well with the developers who are alleging that the law is being misused by some homebuyers and the frequency of such cases, they claim, is causing a delay in the construction and delivery of projects. They are now demanding an amendment to IBC.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court through this judgment has given heavy weightage to IBC and Modern Jurisprudence and has also opened the third and fastest route for homebuyers to achieve quality justice in commercial disputes.
This judgment comes as a complete relief favoring the Home Buyers in every aspect. The issue highlighted above which the Developers might face in the coming times will be Prima- Facie Settled by the NCLT  while admitting Section 7 Petition.   
Lastly, In the cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai/Delhi where the RERA courts are overloaded with Dockets of litigation the IBC Practice at NCLT will flourish in the disputes between Real Estate Developers and Home Buyers, as more home buyers wanting to drag the developers under the IBC and face the music at the NCLT.
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An Overview Of SEBI
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plays an instrumental role in regulating the securities market in India. SEBI was established in 1988 but was given statutory recognition on 30 January 1992 through SEBI Act 1992. SEBI has its headquarters at different part of the Country. Before 1992 there was no such legal statute which was binding upon the securities market. There were different regional stock exchanges like Calcutta Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange In order to facilitate better regulation of the securities market SEBI Act was passed. The act provides us with different purposes like:
To protect the interest of the investors investing in such markets. Generally, the people investing in such market lacked technical knowledge, which was required so it also wanted to educate such investors so that their knowledge about the market gets enhanced. 
To stop malpractices like Insider Trading, Price Ragging etc. Though such practices are often done by some people but it has its impact upon large group of investors. SEBI imposes heavy penalty on such people. So that such practices could not be practice in future.
To promote the development of, and also regulating the securities market and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This is one of the most important purpose for which the Act provides for. The capital economy is one of the vital tools of the Indian Economy, so it should be regulated in an efficient and smooth manner. 
An Act without Management or without proper implementation is useless. Therefore, for better implementation of the Act a board has been established. Section 4 of the SEBI Act provides for the management of securities and exchange board of India. It states that SEBI shall consist of the following members - namely a Chairman, 2 members amongst the officials of the Ministry of Central Government dealing with Finance and Administration of the Companies Act, 2013, 1 member from amongst the officials of the Reserve Bank, 5 other members of whom at least 3 shall be whole time members, to be apportioned by Central Government.
The Chairman and the other members of the board shall be persons of ability, integrity, and standing who have also shown some capacity on dealing with the problems relating to the securities market or have special knowledge or experience of Law, finance, economics, accountancy or in any other discipline which, in the opinion of the CG, shall be useful to the SEBI. Section 7 provides for the meetings of the board, that how the meeting shall be conducted.

Powers of SEBI
SEBI is vested with the powers of civil court in respect of discovery and production of books, documents, records, accounts, summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons company and examine them on oath. SEBI may take the following measures in the interest of investors or securities market: 
  1. Suspends the trading of any security in stock exchange.
  2. Retain or prohibit any person from accessing the market.
  3. Suspend any officer of stock exchange.
  4. SEBI can levy fines for violation relating to failure to submit information to SEBI. 
Securities Appellate Tribunal
Establishment of SAT the Central Government may by notification establish one or more appellate tribunal which is known as SAT. Tribunal shall consists of one presiding officer, and two other members both theses members shall be appointed by central government. For the purpose of discharging the function SEBI Act, the SAT shall also have the same powers as vested upon civil courts. The main function of SAT is to adjudicate matters related to SEBI and pass orders related to it. Any person aggrieved by decision of the SAT may file an appeal to the Supreme Court of India, it should be noted that an appeal can only be made on point of Law, not on point of fact. appeal shall be filled within 60 days from receiving the order of SAT.
In Sterlite Industries v. Union of India:  It was held in this case that SEBI has wide and discretionary powers to regulate the securities market and protect the interest of the investor.
In Dalmia Securities v. G.S. Reddy: It was held in this case SEBI can put some restrictions and conditions registration or renewal. However, such conditions must be fair, reasonable and abide the principle of natural justice as SEBI is a Public Authority.

The Change in the Method after SEBI
The law pertaining to trading and regulating of Securities and exchange market in India was passed in the year 1992 but the concept of trading in securities was much before that earlier there were different regional stock exchanges in India like Bombay stock exchange Calcutta stock exchange Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange etc. Following the recommendations of A.D. Gorwala Committee the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 was passed to provide for direct and indirect control of virtuality in all aspects of Securities trading and running of stock exchanges and to prevent fraudulent transactions. Different companies were listed in such regional stock exchanges and people used to trade in such different commodities and securities listed in such talks stock exchanges.
The main change which has occurred in the trading of the stock exchanges was in the method prior to 1992. The physical share concept was there the investors used to gather in such regional stock exchanges and followed the Public Outcry method which was a primitive method. Actually, the e shares concept was introduced by Depositories Act Of 1996 the primitive method was replaced by the method of Online Trading of shares and securities which resulted into nonfunctional of many regional stock exchanges. This is a classic example of technical obsolescence but the Bombay Stock Exchange moved with the time and followed the method of online trading of shares and securities and has evolved as one the recognized stock exchange.
National Stock Exchange is also a recognized stock exchange of India. Both these stock exchanges have their own software NSE uses the software named National Exchange Automated Trading and BSE uses BOLT BSE Online Trading. Earlier trading in securities didn’t have much options but concept of online trading has provided for various options to the investors. This method was also appreciated by Companies because it was more convenient to them and also helped in expanding the horizons of their business. 

Role of Securities and Exchange Board Of India 
The Securities and Exchange Board of India plays a very dynamic role it has to perform different roles at different time. With the advent of time Securities Market of India is growing as the market is growing misconducts are also growing like insider trading, delivery of share lately, price ragging and violation of statutes. However, in order to promote the efficient working of the market and to protect the interest of the shareholders SEBI plays an active role.

Protective Role
SEBI constantly keeps a check upon the insiders who buy securities of the company. Insider Trading is also prohibited by the Companies Act, 2013. Insider trading States that no person shall do Act of counselling about procuring or communicating directly or indirect any non-public price sensitive information to any person as defined under Section 195 of the Companies Act. Now, if a person contravenes such provision, he shall be punishable. In order to be stricter and to stop such unfair practice SEBI has its own regulation named SEBI (Insider Trading) Regulation, 1992. Strict punishment is provided by SEBI in such cases, further chapter 4A of the SEBI act provides for that Section 15(G)(1) if an insider either on its own or on behalf of any person has dealt on the behalf on the company has published any information he may be fined or charged with Rs.25 crores or three times the profit made whichever is higher. Section 15(G)(11) if an insider has given any price sensitive information then he may be fined with 25 crores or 3 times the profit made. Now, according to Section 15(G)(iii) if an insider has procured any other person to deal in Securities of anybody corporate on the basis of published information then he may be fined with 25 crores or three times the profit made whichever is higher. Also, Section 11 of the SEBI act empowers the board to investigate upon the matters which looks doubtful or suspicious. Every Director at time of his appointment has to furnish the details about his shareholding in the company. Moreover, it is the duty of the director to lay down in the meetings in which they have own interest.

In the case of Dilip Pendse v. SEBI:
Nishkalpa was a wholly owned subsidiary of TATA Finance Ltd (TFL) which was a listed company. The Managing Director of TFL ltd. was Dilip Pendse. On March 31 2001, a huge loss of Rs 79.37 crores was incurred by Nishkalpa and this was going to affect the profits of the company. This was however an unpublished price sensitive information of which Pendse was aware of. The information regarding this was published to the public on April 30, 2001. Thus, any further transaction by an insider between March 31, to April 30, 2001 would impliedly fall within the scope of Insider Trading. This information was passed by Dilip Pendse to his wife who had sold shares of TFL ltd amounting 2,90,000 in her own name as well as in the name of the Companies controlled by her father in law. 
SEBI made an investigation against Dilip Pendse and after completion of the investigation, SEBI founded and was of the opinion that Pendse has used unpublished price sensitive information and thereby avoided loss. Thereafter, he was found guilty and punished with a penalty of Rs500000 imposed on each Dilip Pendse, his wife and also Nalini Properties Limited. 
SEBI also makes attempt to prohibit unfair trade practices for example is doesn’t not allow the company to make misstatements in prospectus and raise any kind of money from the public. A prospectus needs the approval of the SEBI before hitting the market than only the concerned company can issue its prospectus. The Companies Act 2013 provides for misstatements in prospectus i.e. Section 34 which provides for criminal liability, section 35 provides for civil liability and there is also a general provision for punishment in case of fraud prescribed in section 447.
SEBI Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Rules 2014, Rule 3 states about contains of a prospectus.
Rule 4 of the PAS Rules contains details regarding the reports to be set out in the prospectus      which contains the report by auditors with respect to profit and losses statement, and also assets and liabilities. If the company has any subsidiary company then statements in regard to those companies should also be stated. 
SEBI also takes steps to educate the investors in order to decrease the changes of fraudulent transactions. It also wants the investors before investing to carefully go through the documents of the concerned company in which they are interested.

Functioning of SEBI
It is very clear that a dynamic and efficient capital market is vital and indispensable part of nations financial infrastructure. Capital Market play an important role in providing direct finance to the corporate sectors which leads to infrastructure development. In India the capital market comprises of debt, equity shares and other derivatives, capital markets in India is growing tremendously and role played by SEBI is indispensable however there are certain problems which are there in the functioning of SEBI they are:
1. Excessive Regulations and Circulars: SEBI provides for various regulation for the effective control of capital market. Frequent amendments and alterations in such rules and regulations adversely affects the transaction which are in process. SEBI is known to issue Circulars under regulations, it is extremely difficult to keep the track of every circulars issued by the apex authority. Moreover, the interpretation of regulations and effects of the circular are also sometimes contrary. For instance, in SEBI (Mutual Fund Regulations) 1996, Regulations no 7 states that any person who holds 40% stake in the mutual fund will be deemed to be a sponsor and then he has to comply with criteria of sponsor.  However later on the circular declared 10% stake holders in any mutual funds shall also comply with the criteria of sponsor.
2. Investigation by SEBI: SEBI is empowered under Section 11 of the SEBI Act to conduct Investigation and is vested with the same power as of Civil Court.  But the process of investigation initiated by SEBI has no time limitation. There is no such provision which provides for limitation hence the investigation can be pending for any number of years. 
3. Securities Appellate Tribunal: Securities Appellate Tribunal is the adjudicating Authority and it is situated in Mumbai. Any person aggrieved by the decision of SEBI can appeal at Sat, Litigant all over the world have to travel to Mumbai to settle their disputes. In India more investor friendly measure should be adopted and proceedings are not Mumbai centric. Moreover, SEBI doesn’t have the authority to settle monetary disputes but can only impose disciplinary action.
4. Composition: SEBI is the apex authority in matters related to securities market. SEBI is a statutory regulator that has the autonomy to enact a regulatory framework to the whole country, as well as to discharge quasi-judicial functions which affects the fundamental rights of a citizen. It would be prudent that the regulator has at least one full time member who has had practical experience in the field of law. Generally, a person expert in the field of law will provide better legal framework. Generally, in every developed country like in USA the committee knows SEC also have a whole-time legal expert. 
5. Prospectus Approval: A public company in order to raise funds from the public issues prospectus a prospectus before hitting the market needs a prior approval of the SEBI and after SEBI approves it  then it reaches the office of ROC for getting subsequent approval and then only the Prospectus hits the general market and is available to public at large. Still after getting double approval from the Authorities still Company Law provides for punishment for Misstatements. There are various instances where after approval also misstatements are found in the prospectus which poses a question upon the authority of SEBI.
6. Maintaining a digest of Case Laws:  SEBI is party to all litigations where not only SEBI has passed order but also where the constitutional validity of SEBI has also been challenged. SEBI requires a comprehensive interpretation of its statues and definitions. Maintaining a digest of case law will promote uniformity and will establish some procedures which would help the smooth functioning of the authority.

Deciding the Future of SEBI: Uday Kotak Committee Report on Corporate Governance 
In order to facilitate better Corporate Governance amongst the officials who are running their respective heads in their listed firms, SEBI has constituted a panel consisting of about 21-member committee which is headed by the leading banker Mr. Uday Kotak and has entrusted upon them to submit a report within 4 months regarding the recommendations on Corporate governance. Proper Governance structure and ethical principles helps in identifying and distributing rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation. SEBI has identified that a proper structure of Corporate Governance is needed in a country like India as it helps in reducing the conflict of interests between the different stakeholders of the company. Corporate Governance also focus upon Disclosure and Transparency. Recommendations provided by the said committee are as follows; 
  1. Composition of the Board of Directors - The Committee recommended that there shall be 6 directors minimum on board and this recommendation shall be effective from April 1, 2019 for top 1,000 listed entities and from April 1,2020 it shall be applicable to top 2000 entities. In the listed company at least one independent director shall be a woman director and this recommendation shall be valid from April 1 2019 to top 500 listed entities and from April 1 2020 will be applicable to top 1000 listed entities. The committee also provided recommendation in connection to maximum number of directorships it has reduced the number of directorships to eight from 2019 and has further reduced it to seven from the year 2020.
  2. Role of Board Of Directors - The Chairperson of the  Company shall be a non-executive director and shall be not related to MD or CEO of the company as per definition of related party transactions, company in  which more than 40% is of public shareholding this recommendation shall be binding from April 1 2020 and shall be applicable to top 500 listed entities. Furthermore, the Committee has increased the quorum of the Board meetings. Quorum refers to the minimum number of members required to be present physically to constitute a valid meeting, quorum provided is higher of one-third or three Directors including one independent director. It shall be applicable from 1 April 2019 to top 1000 listed entities. There shall also be disclosure about the expertise/ skills of the director. 
  3. Role of an Independent Director has also been enlarged by the recommendations provided by the Uday Kotak Commission Report. At least half of the board members to be Independent Director in listed companies. Criteria for a person to be qualified as an Independent Director has also been revised, further appointment of an Alternate Director for an Independent Director would not be permitted. When he resigns before the contract period a detail as regards to that should to be given. 
Some other recommendations are:
  • Enhancing the Role of Audit Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee, and Risk Committee provided to certain conditions.
  • Disclosures of Auditors credentials, audit fee, reasons for resignation of Auditors.
  • Enhanced disclosure about the Related Party Transaction and related parties to be permitted to vote against Related Party Transactions. 
  • Increasing the responsibility’s and obligations upon the listed entities with respect to their subsidiaries.
  • Top 100 listed entities to hold Annual General Meetings within 5 months after the end of the financial year 2018-2019 which is by 31 August 2019. Webcast of Annual General Meetings will be compulsory for top 100 listed entities by market capitalization. 
  • Shareholders’ approval regarding royalty, brand payments to the related party transaction exceeding 2% of consolidated turnover though the committee provided for 5%. 
  • Disclosure about the Utilization of Fund from preferential issues. 
Effects of the Committee 
If the recommendation regarding minimum Director was to be implemented: 256 companies (15 per cent) would have to increase the size of their board which must be beyond 5. At present, a board of 5 directors are there for 154 companies (9 per cent), 4 directors on their board for 82 companies (5 percent), for 19 companies (1 percent) 3 directors are there on their board and 1 company has just 2 directors on their board. As a result of which, a number of 379 new directors shall have to be appointed in these companies. If there is a recommendation regarding Independent Director will be implemented: As many as 326 companies (20 per cent) would have to change the composition of the board to ensure that at least 50 per cent of the total number of directors are independent.
There is 1 company which would need to appoint 7 independent direct out of these 326 companies further if there are 3 companies they would need to appoint 5 independent directors each, if the number of companies are 4 than would need to appoint 4 independent directors each, if 18 companies than they would need to appoint 3 independent directors each and in case of 59 companies, 2 independent directors each would need to be appointed and in case of 241 companies they would need to appoint 1 independent director each, hence a total of 451 independent directorship positions. If the recommendation regarding Chairperson being a non-executive director to be implemented: At present, in more than even half i.e. 860 companies (51per cent), the chairperson is considered as an executive director.
However, all these companies would need to change this. If the recommendation regarding the Annual General Meetings is to be implemented: The companies which got listed before 1st April 2017 and whose financial year ended on 31st March 2017, out of 1567 only 626 such companies had their AGM within 5 months viz. before 1st of September 2017. The remaining 941 companies (or a huge 60 per cent) had their AGM after 5 months from end of financial year. Further, if the recommendation related to maximum number of directorships to be implemented: The courtesy of the Companies Act and SEBI regulations already in place, there are presently not more than 2 persons who are holding more than 8 directorships.

SEBI has taken the charge since 1992 to control the securities market in India, and from that time onwards it has passed various regulations to facilitate effective control over the market in India. It has an objective for which it works efficiently. Protecting the rights of small investors is one of the main purposes of the SEBI, it also prohibits Insider Trading and also provides for various penalties in case where there is a breach of any provision. SEBI has two-fold function i.e. Protective as well Progressive. A quasi-judicial body in the name SAT was also established by it which adjudicates matters related to the securities market.
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, in Article 25(2) says that Motherhood and Childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. It is imperative for the Government to extend special benefits to women during the maternity period for general social well-being. Maternity leave laws are needed in any framework to protect the rights of women employees. The rights include pay, compassion and certain privileges for the pregnant employee from the employer. The act also includes the education of women employees on their maternity benefits and rights at the workplace. Some organizations give facilities to their women employees to work from home or arrange for a day care facility in office premises for their employees. All the companies have different rules for the women employees, but these rules should be in compliance with the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 in India. This act was last amended in 2017. 

By the virtue of Section 2 read with Section 3 of Maternity Benefit Act, it is applicable to all establishments which are factories, mines, plantations, Government establishments, shops and establishments under the relevant applicable legislation, or any other establishment as may be notified by the Central Government.
Under Section 5A and 5B, establishment covered by Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 are exempted from this Act, but it is applicable to women employees earning more than the wage ceiling in establishment covered under ESI Act, 1948. A woman employee, who is in probation period can also avail the benefits under this Act if she fulfills the criteria under Section 5.

Section 5 defines the eligibility for claiming the benefits under this Act. As per the Act, to be eligible for maternity benefit, a woman must have been working as an employee in an establishment, whether directly, or through an agency, for a period of at least 80 days in the past 12 months. Payment during the leave period is based on the average daily wage for the period of actual absence.
A woman could request her employer to assign her light work to avail maternity benefits. This request should be made at least before 10 weeks of her date of expected delivery. The woman should produce a certificate 10 weeks before her delivery to the employer confirming her pregnancy. The employee needs to give written notice to the employer before 7 weeks of her date of delivery regarding her absence period.
Under Section 7, If the woman dies during delivery or in the period immediately following the delivery and the child survives, then the employer is liable to pay the full maternity benefit of that period to the child. But if the child dies, then the benefit is calculated up to and including the date of death of child. Women engaged in casual or muster roll basis on daily wages also entitled.

Benefits under Maternity Leave
Employees are entitled to get paid while they are on maternity leave under Section 5. The compensation is calculated on her average daily earning over a 3-month period as soon as the leave begins. The Act states that 10 weeks up to the date of delivery, no pregnant employee should be given difficult tasks that may affect both mother and child. Under Section 11A, the employee has the right to the creche facility when she returns to her job after the maternity leave if an establishment has more than 50 employees. Maternity leave is available for mothers adopting a new-born (less than three months old) and the duration is 12 weeks from the date of adoption. There is no provision for adoption of older children.
The Act prohibits the employer from knowingly employing any woman in any establishment during six weeks immediately following the day of delivery or miscarriage. 

Rights Before Due Date of Delivery
  1. A woman who is closer to her due date of delivery by 10 weeks shall not be given any work of arduous nature.
  2. She is entitled to paid maternity leave for 6 weeks before her due date of delivery.
  3. She shall receive maternity benefit at the rate of average daily wages for such period of actual absence before delivery. 
  4. Such amount of maternity benefit before delivery shall be paid to her in advance if she had given notice of her pregnancy and of the date from which she would be going on leave to her employer in advance.
Rights After Due Date of Delivery
  1. A woman shall not be employed in any establishment during the 6 weeks immediately following the day of her delivery / miscarriage / medical termination of pregnancy.
  2. The amount for such period of six weeks shall be paid to her or to a person nominated by her within 48 hours of production of proof of the delivery.
  3. The maternity benefit shall be at the rate of the average daily wages.
  4. If she had not utilized the 6 weeks of leave before delivery, she can avail them after delivery up to a maximum of 12 weeks including those availed before delivery.
  5. She is also entitled to receive medical bonus of Rs. 250 from her employer if no prenatal confinement and postnatal care is provided by the employer free of charge.
  6. If she is suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child, miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation, in addition to the leave availed under section 6 and section 9, she is entitled to leave with wages for a maximum period of 1 month.
  7. When a woman returns to work after delivery, in addition to the interval for rest allowed to her, she must be allowed two breaks of the prescribed duration in the course of her daily work, for nursing the child until the child attains the age of 15 months.
  8. When she absents form work in accordance with the provisions of the Act, the employer cannot discharge or dismiss her on account of such absence.
  9. Further, no deduction shall be made from the normal and daily wages for taking nursing breaks of for not doing arduous work in accordance with section 4 of the Act.
Notice for Maternity Benefit
Section 6 states that a notice for availing the benefits under this Act has to be given to employer.  This has to be given in a prescribed form in writing. Any woman employed in an establishment and entitled to maternity benefit under the provisions of this Act may give notice in writing in such form as may be prescribed, to her employer, stating that her maternity benefit and any other amount to which she may be entitled under this Act may be paid to her or to such person as she may nominate in the notice and that she will not work in any establishment during the period for which she receives maternity benefit.
In the case of a woman who is pregnant, such notice shall state the date from which she will be absent from work, not being a date earlier than six weeks from the date of her expected delivery. Any woman who has not given the notice when she was pregnant may give such notice as soon as possible after the delivery
The amount of maternity benefit for the period preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be paid in advance by the employer to the woman on production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman is pregnant, and the amount due for the subsequent period shall be paid by the employer to the woman within forty-eight hours of production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman has been delivered of a child.
The failure to give notice under this section shall not dis-entitle a woman to maternity benefit or any other amount under this Act if she is otherwise entitled to such benefit or amount and in any such case an Inspector may either of his own motion or on an application made to him by the woman, order the payment of such benefit or amount within such period as may be specified in the order.

Inspectors: Powers and Duties
Section 14 lays down the procedure for appointment of an inspector for the purpose of this Act, by the appropriate government, through the notice in the Official Gazette. The local limits of jurisdiction of the inspector also have to be notified. Under Section 16, it is strictly stated that the inspector must be a Public Servant within the meaning of Section 21 of Indian penal Code, 1860.
Section 15 lays down the powers and duties of the inspector. These are listed as follows:
  • An inspector, at all reasonable times, can enter the premises of any establishment where the women are employed or work is given to them for the purpose of examining any registers, records, and notices required to be kept and exhibited by or under this Act and require their production for inspection.
  • He can examine any person whom he finds in any premises or place and who, he has reasonable cause to believe, is employed in the establishment: he cannot compel the person, under this section, to answer any question or give any evidence tending to incriminate himself;
  • He can ask the employer to give information regarding the names and addresses of women employed, payments made to them, and applications or notices received from them under this Act; and
  • He can take copies of any registers and records or notices or any portions thereof.
Section 17 lays down the power of the inspector to direct the payments to be made to the woman employee by the employer. Normally, for any grievance under the Act, the aggrieved woman may approach the Inspector appointed under the Act. If he finds any discrepancies in the matter or payment of maternity benefits or unlawful dismissal, he may direct such payments to be made or appropriate order to be given.
However, where she is dissatisfied with the orders passed by the Inspector or where a larger question of law is involved, under Section 23, she may approach the Metropolitan Magistrate or a First-Class Judicial Magistrate of the competent jurisdiction. However, such a case must be filed within 1 year from the date of commission of offence.

Amendments of 2017
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 (the “Amendment Bill”), an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (“Act”), was passed in Lok Sabha on March 09, 2017, in Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2016 and received an assent from President of India on March 27,2017. The provisions of The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (MB Amendment Act) is effective from April 01, 2017. However, provision on crèche facility (Section 11 A) shall be effective from July 01, 2017. Through the Amendment Act of 2017, there have been some changes in the provision of the Act. They are as follows:
  1. No increased Benefit for Third Child: The increased Maternity Benefit is only available for the first two children. The Amendment provides that a woman having two or more surviving children shall only be entitled to 12 (twelve) weeks of Maternity Benefit of which not more than 6 (six) shall be taken prior to the date of the expected delivery.
  2. Adoption/Surrogacy: A woman who adopts a child below the age of 3 (three) months, or a commissioning mother (means a biological mother, who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman), will be entitled to Maternity Benefit for a period of 12 (twelve) weeks from the date the child is handed over to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother.
  3. Creche Facility: Every establishment having 50 (fifty) or more employees are required to have a mandatory creche facility (within the prescribed distance from the establishment), either separately or along with other common facilities. The woman is also to be allowed 4 (four) visits a day to the creche, which will include the interval for rest allowed to her.
  4. Work from Home: If the nature of work assigned to a woman is such that she can work from home, an employer may allow her to work from home post the period of Maternity Benefit. The conditions for working from home may be mutually agreed between the employer and the woman.
  5. Prior Intimation: Every establishment will be required to provide woman at the time of her initial appointment, information about every benefit available under the Act.
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The labour enactments in India is divided into 5 broad categories, viz. Working Conditions, Industrial Relations, Wage, Welfare and Social Securities. The enactments are all based upon the Constitution of India and the resolutions taken in ILO conventions from time to time. Indian labour law refers to laws regulating employment. There over fifty national laws and many more state-level laws. Traditionally Indian Governments at the federal and state levels have sought to ensure a high degree of protection for workers through enforcement of labour laws. While conforming to the essentials of the laws of contracts, a contract of employment must adhere also to the provisions of applicable labour laws and the rules contained under the Standing Orders of the establishment.
Indian labour laws divide the industry into two broad categories:

1. Factory
Factories are regulated by the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 (the said Act). All Industrial establishments employing 10 or more persons and carrying manufacturing activities with the aid of power come within the definition of Factory. The said Act makes provisions for the health, safety, welfare, working hours and leaves of workers in factories. The said Act is enforced by the State Government through their ‘Factory' inspectorates. The said Act empowers the State Governments to frame rules so that the local conditions prevailing in the State are appropriately reflected in the enforcement. The said Act puts special emphasis on welfare, health, and safety of workers. The said Act is instrumental in strengthening the provisions relating to safety and health at work, providing for statutory health surveys, requiring the appointment of safety officers, the establishment of a canteen, crèches, and welfare committees, etc. in large factories. The said Act also provides specific safeguards against the use and handling of a hazardous substance by occupiers of factories and laying down emergency standards and measures.

2. The Shops & Establishment Act
The Shops and Establishment Act is a state legislation act and each state has framed its own rules for the Act. The object of this Act is to provide statutory obligation and rights to employees and employers in the unauthorized sector of employment, i.e., shops and establishments. This Act is applicable to all persons employed in an establishment with or without wages, except the members of the employers’ family.

This Act lays down the following rules:
  • Working hours per day and week.
  • Guidelines for spread-over, rest interval, opening and closing hours, closed days, national and religious holidays, overtime work.
  • Employment of children, young persons, and women.
  • Rules for annual leave, maternity leave, sickness, and casual leave, etc.
  • Rules for employment and termination of service.
The main central laws dealing with labour issues are given below: -
  1. Minimum Wages Act 1948
  2. Industrial Employment (Standing orders) Act 1946
  3. Payment of Wages Act 1936
  4. Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923
  5. Industrial Disputes Act 1947
  6. Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952
  7. Payment of Bonus Act 1965
  8. Payment of Gratuity Act 1972
  9. Maternity Benefit Act 1961
Minimum Wages Act 1948
The Minimum Wages Act prescribes minimum wages for all employees in all establishments or working at home in certain employments specified in the schedule of the Act. Central and State Governments revise minimum wages specified in the schedule. The Minimum Wages Act 1948 has classified workers as unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled; and highly skilled.

Industrial Employment (Standing orders) Act 1946
The Industrial Employment Act requires employers in industrial establishments to clearly define the conditions of employment by issuing standing orders duly certified. Model standing orders issued under the Act deal with the classification of workmen, holidays, shifts, payment of wages, leaves, termination, etc. Generally, the workers are classified as:
  • Apprentice/Trainee;
  • Casual;
  • Temporary;
  • Substitute;
  • Probationer;
  • Permanent; and
  • Fixed Period Employees 
Payment of Wages Act 1936
Under the Payment of Wages Act 1936 the following are the common obligations of the employer:
  • Every employer is primarily responsible for the payment of wages to employees. The employer should fix the wage period (which may be per day, per week or per month) but in no case, it should exceed one month;
  • Every employer should make timely payment of wages. If the employment of any person is being terminated, those wages should be paid within two days of the date of termination; and
  • The employer should pay the wages in cash, i.e. in current coins or currency notes. However, wages may also be paid either by cheque or by crediting in employee’s bank account after obtaining written consent.
Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923
The employer must pay compensation for an accident suffered by an employee during the course of employment and in accordance with the Act. The employer must submit a statement to the Commissioner (within 30 days of receiving the notice) giving the circumstances attending the death of a worker as a result of an accident and indicating whether the employer is liable to deposit any compensation for the same. It should also submit an accident report to the Commissioner within seven days of the accident.

Industrial Disputes Act 1947
The Industrial Disputes act 1947 provides for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes in any industrial establishment relating to lockouts, layoffs, retrenchment, etc. It provides the machinery for the reconciliation and adjudication of disputes or differences between the employees and the employers. The industrial undertaking includes an undertaking carrying any business, trade, manufacture, etc.
The Act lays down the conditions that shall be complied before the termination/retrenchment or layoff of a workman who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer. The workman shall be given one month’s notice in writing, indicating the reasons for retrenchment and the period of the notice that has expired or the workman has been paid, in lieu of such notice, wages for the period of the notice. The workman shall also be paid compensation equivalent to 15 days’ average pay for each completed year of continuous service. Notice shall also be served on the appropriate government.

Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952 
This Act seeks to ensure the financial security of the employees in an establishment by providing for a system of compulsory savings. The Act provides for establishments of a contributory Provident Fund in which employees’ contribution shall be at least equal to the contribution payable by the employer. The minimum contribution by the employees shall be 10-12% of the wages. This amount is payable to the employee after retirement and could also be withdrawn partly for certain specified purposes.

Payment of Bonus Act 1965
The payment of Bonus Act provides for the payment of bonus to persons employed in certain establishments on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity. The Act is applicable to establishments employing 20 or more persons. The minimum bonus, which an employer is required to pay even if he suffers losses during the accounting year is 8.33% of the salary.

Payment of Gratuity Act 1972
The Payment of Gratuity Act provides for a scheme for the payment of gratuity to all employees in all establishments employing ten or more employees to all types of workers. Gratuity is payable to an employee on his retirement/resignation at the rate of 15 days salary of the employee for each completed year of service subject to a maximum of Rs. 350,000.

Maternity Benefit Act 1961
The Maternity Benefit Act regulates the employment of the women in certain establishments for a prescribed period before and after childbirth and provides certain other benefits. The Act does not apply to any factory or other establishments to which the Employees State Insurance Act 1948 is applicable. Every women employee who has actually worked in an establishment for a period of at least 80 days during the 12 months immediately proceeding the date of her expected delivery, is entitled to receive maternity benefits under the Act. The employer is thus required to pay maternity benefits and/or medical bonus and allow maternity leave and nursing breaks. 
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The Union Government on 20th September 2019 announced a massive cut in corporate tax in a bid to combat the slowing economy. The Union Minister for Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the new measure which brings down the existing tax rate on corporates from 35% to 25%. This new tax rate covers all cesses and allied surcharges. The Union Government estimates that as a result of this tax cut, it will have to forgo a whopping revenue of Rs. 1.45 lakh crore. Following this announcement, the Nifty and Sensex rose by almost 5%, signalling the approval of the corporate sector and the common man to this measure. This measure follows the already drastic measure taken by the Union Government by borrowing almost Rs. 1.76 Trillion from the Reserve Bank on 27th August 2019 to infuse it into the economy. 
It also comes in the backdrop of the various reforms already initiated by the Government such as an order by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs dated 18th September 2019, which announced the formation of a Company Law Committee. The Committee is to be chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and be constituted for a period of 1 year. The above actions are part of the Central Government’s efforts to combat the slowing economy of India, which is currently growing only at a rate of 5% in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019-2020 (FY 20), the lowest in almost over 8 years.

What are the reasons for the reduction in corporate tax?
India ranked 142nd  in the 2015 Ease of Doing Business rankings published on 29th October 2014 by the World Bank. It has made a significant change of 65 places to reach the overall 77th position in the 2018 rankings published on 31st October 2018.  The Ease of Doing Business ranking is published by the World Bank and is of international repute. A country’s ranking is a reflection of its business policies and the overall conditions in the country that either foster or inhibit the growth of businesses.
The major policy changes introduced by the previous regime, like demonetization and GST, had a severe impact on foreign investors. In order to improve the Ease of Doing Business ranking of India, various measures have been undertaken like setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and tax exemption to startups and angel investors.
However, these are not enough to help save the slowing economy. There is also a need for reduction in red tape and bureaucracy that hamper the climate of doing business in India.
Many reasons can be attributed to the government resorting to the drastic measure of cutting down corporate tax. Some of the reasons have been identified below:
  • High Unemployment rate: A recent report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME) reveals the massive rate of unemployment in India with a national average of almost 8.4%, which is the highest in the last three years.
  • The slowdown of Sectors: Many sectors of the economy like FMCG, real estate etc. have been badly affected due to monsoon, fund crunches, regulatory issues and consequently have been facing stagnant growth.
  • The decrease in profits: The profits of the majority of the listed Indian companies fell by almost 37% in the quarter which ended on March 31, 2019. Such a steep decline was experienced for the first time in six quarters in the financial history of the country.
  • Global Economic Slowdown: Due to the US-China trade war, the world is facing a situation akin to the 2008 Wall Street Meltdown Crisis. To add to this are the growing problems of climate change and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Economic Slowdown of China: China, the world’s second-largest economy, is experiencing its lowest rate of economic growth since the early 1990s and is already burdened by a trade war against the US. The Chinese government, like the Indian government, has taken far-reaching reforms such as reduction of tax and a slew of measures to enhance the liquidity system of their country.
What Are The Changes Brought Forth By The Corporate Tax Cut?
This new move by the Union Government introduces different rates of taxes for corporates and non-corporates. The benefit of the different rates of tax is only available subject to conditions like the amount of turnover, non-availment of tax incentives etc. Newly set-up companies that primarily focus on manufacturing will also have a different slab of tax. The important changes are summarized as follows:
  • Domestic companies not seeking exemptions or incentives will have to pay tax at the rate of 22% only. 
  • Domestic companies not seeking relief or incentives will not have to pay Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). 
  • Listed companies who made a public announcement of buyback before 5th July 2019, shall also have no tax applicable to them. 
  • Companies seeking exemptions or incentives will have to pay MAT of 15% which is reduced from 18.5%. 
  • New companies incorporated after 15th October 2019 will attract only a 15% tax rate. 
  • The enhanced surcharge under Section 2 of the Finance Act, 2019 will not be applicable to the sale of equity shares. 
  • Manufacturing companies that will incorporate on or after 1st October 2019 and which will commence production before the end of March 2023 will have an effective tax rate of 17% applicable to them.
Are There Any Legal Issues Involved In Corporate Tax Reduction?
The power to legislate on matters relating to taxation is enshrined in the Constitution itself. Entry 82 of the Union List contained in Schedule VII of the Constitution empowers the Central  Government to impose a tax on any income. This includes the power to mandate tax cuts also.
In India, we do not yet have any major judicial pronouncements regarding the constitutionality of tax cuts. In the United States, on the other hand, there is a strong history of anti-tax movements with many judicial pronouncements upon petitions challenging the constitutional validity of tax cuts and the imposition of tax cuts in the first place. 
Examples include cases in which US citizens tested the constitutionality of the 14th, 15th, 16 and 17th Amendments to the US Constitution.

The Way Forward
While making the corporate tax rate of India at par with or even lower than its Asian competitors is a positive step, it is not sufficient. The onus is on the government to make other sectors of the Indian economy more attractive to foreign investors by cutting down the land and rent prices, railway freight rates, electricity tariffs, to name a few. Reforms are also needed in major legislations like the Companies Act 2013, the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008, the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and other allied legislation that primarily govern the realm of business in India in order to reduce the ambiguity present in the laws and to keep up with the international mandate on the same. Also, there is a need to simplify laws and end corporate nepotism, bureaucracy and red tape. The government should also ensure enforcement of law and provide a means of judicial recourse that is fast and efficient. 
The fear of long-pending litigation and enforcement of the law is widely prevalent among foreign investors. Therefore, the government should undertake measures to further strengthen the existing adjudicatory regime such as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Prevention of Money Laundering Tribunal (PMAT) and other judicial, quasi-judicial, regulatory and statutory authorities to boost investor confidence. Further, similar incentives should be given to the manufacturing sector, primarily the Medium and Small Manufacturing Industries (MSME’s) who constitute the majority of the manufacturing sector, rather than just focusing on the large conglomerations and corporates. Due to the huge tax cut, the Central Government’s tax deficit will rise up to almost 3.7%. 
This will be detrimental to the Centre and may affect the release of funds to States and the discharge of other financial duties of the Centre. The Centre, therefore, will have to undertake more reforms to combat this deficit. To conclude, the corporate tax cut is just one step in the long path ahead to reform and revive the ailing Indian economy.
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Trademark is the name, symbol, logo, sound, etc. which identifies the basis and the origin of the goods and the services basically it shows the value and goodwill of the good. Trademark is the distinguishing factor that actually differentiates one firm from another by the means of their name, symbol, etc. without a trademark, it would be very difficult for the consumer to identify products. In the economic term, the trademark gives the power of “monopoly” that can be used only by himself. No one can use either the same trademark or branding attached to his products for raising margins if someone tries to use the trademark of others that would be called trademark infringement i.e violation of exclusive rights attaching to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any license. Trademark gives a boon to the company in the sense that it works as an incentive, by the means of it helps a company to expand its business to other commodities. umbrella branding (brand extension) which means that a company uses its trademark which is famous by selling one product enters into another type of market. An example of such a market is RELIANCE which works in retail marketing, entertainment industry, telecommunication, restaurants, etc. by the means of such brand extension, it gives a legitimate competition with other companies present in the market. Indian trademark law provides protection to trademark statutorily under trademark act 1999 and also under the common law remedy of passing off. PASSING OFF is a common law tort that can be used to enforce unregistered rights. The tort of passing off protects the goodwill of a trader from a misrepresentation. Statutory protection of a trademark is administered by the controller general of patents, designs, and trademark, a government agency which reports to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), under the ministry of commerce and industry. DefinitionAccording to section 2(zb) of the trademark act 1999 “trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging, and combination of colors.” a mark can include a device, brand heading, label, ticket name, signature, word, letter, numeral, shape of goods, packaging or combination of colors or any such combination. In India, the term of registration of a trademark is 10 years from the date of Registration, which can be renewed for a further 10 years before the expiration date by paying the prescribed fees. There are various types of benefits if someone registered their brand name as a trademark, firstly it gives the uniqueness to the product, the faith of the public is also raised as compared to the other competitors present in the market, protects the name of the product from its duplicity, trademark gives a long term security to the business. Various Types Of Trademarks Can Be Identified as Follows:
  • Trademark as Property: Trademarks are generally not considered as a property as normal people understand the property to be of two types i.e. movable and immovable but as we know that there is another type of property which is IP and it is a special kind of property which can intangible or tangible as per the preference of the owner.
  • Trademark and Patent: Although the trademark and patent look very similar, there are some key differences that disguise both. Trademarks are a protection to a mark with which the company differentiates the product from other products in the market whereas the patent is a protection to the idea which has turned into reality.
  • Trademark and Copyright: Both the trademark, as well as copyright, provide a right to ownership whereas copyright gives protection to the author’s publication, in other words, copyright helps to protect original content.
  • Trademark and Geographical Indications: Trademark is actually a mark which shows that the authenticity of the product is on the top-notch and the product is made only by the concerning authority who actually has the right but on the other hand if we talk about Geographical Indication it the right which is govern to the manufacturer of some type of goods which can only be made at a particular region or state if somebody else indulge in such type of activity outside that region he is committing an offense.
  • Trademark and Brands: Trademark is a mark that legally represents something and a brand name is a name that a business uses for its product. A brand specifies and identifies a particular type of product.
  • The Shape of Goods as a Trademark: Any shape of goods or its packaging or any three-dimensional object which can be represented graphically can be used as a trademark.
  • Smell Trademark: Smell as a trademark can be registered as long as it can represent graphically and can be distinctive as a good. The link which connects smell trademark to the customer is olfactory. The smell is a very powerful & distinctive feature in which any consumer can actually judge and differentiate a good from one merchant to others. Ex: Chanel was the first company which registered its fragrance. In India, it is not been registered under intellectual property rights.
  • Touch Trademark: Under the observation of German supreme court touch trademarks are the non-conventional trademark. Signs which are suitable to distinguish .the goods or services of a specific enterprise from others are eligible for trademark protection the principal function of the mark is to ensure that the customer identifies the original product with the label or mark. A sign which is perceptible via the sense of touch can also be a trademark. In India, a touch trademark is also recognized and can be registered as a trademark. Examples of such trademarks are raw silk, raw cotton, raw or treated wool.
  • Slogan trademark: Slogans can also be registered as a trademark, slogans show the motto as well as the brand name of the product. The public reacts to slogans more quickly than normal branding does. For the registration of a slogan, it should be creative and distinctive. Mere, not every slogan can be registered as a trademark, there should not be a slogan with different meaning like as help me! For NGOs and other volunteer groups.
Trademark Classification in India
Trademark in India is classified in about 45 different classes, which includes chemical substances used in industry, paints, lubricants machine, machine tools, medical and surgical, instruments, stationery, lather, household, furniture, textiles, games, beverages preparatory material, sanitary material, and hand tools, other scientific and educational products. Goods were classified in 1-34 classes, and services were classified in 35-45. These are again further subdivided, the main objective of trademark classification is to group together the similar nature of goods and services.

Registration of a Trademark in India
STEP 1: Selecting a different and unique brand name STEP 2: Making the trademark application STEP 3: filling the brand name application STEP 4: examining the brand name registration application STEP 5: Issuance of the trademark registration certificate. Registration of a trademark confers the owner has the exclusive right by showing a symbol of ® or (™) in the goods and services.
Remedies Available To The Owner of a Trademark in Case of Infringement
There are two types of remedies available in case of infringement by the third party.
  • Action for infringement in case of a registered trademark
  • Action for passing off in case of an unregistered trademark 
In both, the usage of the case of someone trademark is an illegal act for which the owner can file a suit against a third party who does such a thing. The first remedy which is an action for infringement is a statutory remedy which is basically codified in nature and the second remedy is a common-law action. In both cases court grant relief of injunction, monetary compensation for the damages incurred to the business of the owner and government confiscate/destroy the infringing labels and tags, etc. In India, the punishment for selling and providing services by using fake tags or trademark is a minimum of six-month imprisonment which may extend to three years, with a minimum fine of rupees fifty thousand which may extend to rupees two lakhs.

Some Recent Case Judgments

Feast over Choco Feast; Unilever’s Sweet Win
Unilever PLC, a well-known FMCG, filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction against Hyderabad based Masqati Dairy Products for infringing Unilever’s registered trademark FEAST by using the deceptively similar mark CHOCO FEAST for ice-creams. The High Court of Bombay instructed Masqati to pay INR 5 lakh as damages to Unilever. However, Unilever requested the amount be donated to the ‘AWARE Foundation’, an organization that takes care of animals found in a sick and injured condition on the streets. The Court passed a permanent injunction in favor of Unilever. Interestingly, the Court also ordered the infringing goods seized by the Court Receiver, to be distributed amongst the poor children and the seized wrappers to be destroyed by the Parties.
Reliance Jio Dials Down Trademark Infringement
Reliance Industries, the Indian conglomerate, filed a suit before the Mumbai High Court seeking a permanent injunction against Dhananjay Dinkarrao Khairnar for using the trademarks JIOFIT, JOIFER, JIO-4G and JIO-4EVER. Reliance claims these marks are deceptively similar to its registered trademark JIO. The Court issued a permanent injunction and instructed Dhananjay to return all goods bearing impugned trademarks to Reliance. A court receiver has also been appointed to take charge of the disputed goods and remove contents in the packing material and hand it over to Reliance for destruction.
Swarovski’s Shining Trademark Win
Swarovski Aktiengesellschaft, a well-known crystal jewelry maker filed a suit seeking a permanent injunction against Durgesh Kumar Patwa, proprietor of M/s. Bajrang Beads for infringing their registered trademark “SWAROVSKI” and logo. Durgesh was engaged in selling, manufacturing, soliciting and trading jewelry, gemstones, artificial stones or allied products using the mark/label SWARAWSKI, SWAROVSKI, and its logo and its variants having artistic features, getup, layout and lettering style similar to that of Swarovski. On the basis of the documents filed and the evidence, the Delhi High Court noted that Swarovski is the registered owner of the trademark SWAROVSKI and its logo and the trademark have acquired distinct features due to the long and continuous use. The Court further, awarded damages of INR 25,000 to be paid to Swarovski.
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Cryptocurrencies have been in the news as of late on the grounds that tax specialists accept they can be utilized to launder money and dodge taxes. Indeed, even the Supreme Court designated a Special Investigating Team on Black Money suggested that trading in such cash be disheartened. While China was accounted for to have prohibited a portion of its biggest Bitcoin trading administrators, nations, for example, the USA and Canada have laws set up to confine stock exchange cryptocurrency.

What is Cryptocurrency? 
Cryptocurrency, as the name proposes, utilizes scrambled codes to impact an exchange. These codes are perceived by different PCs in the client network. Rather than utilizing paper money, an online record is refreshed by conventional accounting sections. The purchaser's record is charged and the vender's record is credited with such money.

How are Transactions Made on Cryptocurrency?
At the point when an exchange is started by one client, her PC conveys an open figure or open key that collaborates with the private figure of the individual getting the cash. In the event that the collector acknowledges the exchange, the starting PC connects a bit of code onto a square of a few such encoded codes that are known to each client in the system. Special clients called 'Diggers' can append the additional code to the freely shared square by unraveling a cryptographic riddle and gain more cryptocurrency all the while. When an excavator affirms an exchange, the record in the square can't be changed or erased.
BitCoin, for instance, can be utilized on cell phones too to authorize buys. All you need do is given the beneficiary a chance to check a QR code from an application on your cell phone or bring them vis-à-vis by using Near Field Communication (NFC). Note this is fundamentally the same as customary online wallets, for example, PayTM or MobiQuick.
Extremist clients swear by BitCoin for its decentralized nature, worldwide acknowledgment, secrecy, the changelessness of transactions and information security. Not at all like paper cash, no Central Bank controls inflationary weights on cryptocurrency. Exchange records are put away in a Peer-to-Peer organize. That implies each PC contributes its registering force and duplicates of databases are put away on each such hub in the system. Banks, then again, store exchange information in focal vaults which are in the hands of private people contracted by the firm.

By what method Can Cryptocurrency be utilized for Money Laundering? 
The very actuality that there is no influence over cryptocurrency transactions by Central Banks or tax specialists implies that transactions can't generally be labeled to a specific person. This implies we don't know whether the transactor has acquired the store of significant worth lawfully or not. The exchange's store is also suspect as it should be obvious what thought was given for the money got.

What does Indian Law Say about such Virtual Currencies? 
Virtual Currencies or cryptocurrencies are regularly observed as bits of programming and thus group as a decent under the Sale of Goods Act, 1930. Being a decent, circuitous taxes on their deal or buy just as GST on the administrations given by Miners would be appropriate to them.
There is still a considerable amount of perplexity about whether cryptocurrencies are legitimate as cash in India and the RBI, which has specialists over clearing and installment frameworks and paid ahead of time debatable instruments, has positively not approved purchasing and selling by means of this mechanism of trade.
Any cryptocurrencies gotten by an occupant in India would along these lines be represented by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 as an import of merchandise into this nation.
India has permitted the trading of BitCoins in Special Exchanges with inherent protections for tax avoidance or money-laundering exercises and the requirement of Know Your Customer standards. These trades incorporate Zebpay, Unocoin, and Coinsecure. Those putting resources into BitCoins, for example, are obligated to be charged on dividends got. Capital additions got because of the closeout of protections including Virtual currencies are additionally at risk to be taxed as pay and resulting web-based recording of IT returns.
Should your interests in this money be huge, you are in an ideal situation acquiring the help of customized tax administration. Online stages have facilitated the procedure of tax consistency by far.
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Do you know that the designs of the Coca-Cola bottles are protected and cannot be imitated by another rival company? Why do you ask? Because the design of the bottle has been associated with the Company. They have the designs of all their bottles, whether the glass ones or the plastic ones, the bigger bottles or the small ones, they have all of them registered under their name.
What purpose does it serve? Well, you see, like Patents and Trade Marks, Industrial Design (more or fewer Designs) is another aspect of Intellectual Property that needs to be protected as it has a commercial value and is created by someone from an idea. Businesses do it all the time to protect the design of their products from being copied by other opponents in the market and gain an unfair advantage.

But if asked what a ‘Design’ actually is and why should it be protected, what would you say?
The word ‘Design’ may be defined as the “way in which something is planned and made or arranged”, but under the ambit of Intellectual Property Rights, it has a specific definition. Generally, there are some specific criteria that have to be satisfied in order for a design to be considered as a ‘Design’ under the Intellectual Property Laws. These criteria are as follows:
  1. It must contain features if shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or composition of lines and colors;
  2. Which can be applied to any article;
  3. In two dimensional, or three dimensional, or in both forms;
  4. And have to be created by any industrial process or means whether manual or mechanical, separate or combined.
  5. And the finished article appeals to and are judged solely by the eye.
Having said that, a Design does not include something which is
  1. Any mode or principle of construction
  2. Anything which in substance is a mere mechanical device
  3. Any Trade Mark
  4. Any article of work as defined in Copyright Laws.
The definition under the US Code for Design is the simplest among all the laws in the world. Under the US Code Title 17, Chapter 13, Sec. 1301(a)(1), the definition states, “The designer or other owners of an original design of a useful article which makes the article attractive or distinctive to in appearance to the purchasing or using the public may secure the protection provided by this chapter upon complying with and subject to this chapter”
In today’s era where everything is appealing and involves creativity and aesthetics, the visual appeal of any products has become substantial. While making the product stand out from the crowd, the proprietor will also be able to restrain others imitating, or copying his original work on the article (his ‘Design’), and commercialize them in the market without his consent and giving consideration for the same. The protection of Industrial design also promotes creativity and the industrial and manufacturing sectors which can help in expanding commercial activities.

But a ‘Design’ is an Artistic work under Copyright also, right?
No, a mere design on a paper without being applied to an article will not be a Design but can fall under copyright laws. In India, it falls under Sec 2(d) of the Copyright Act, 1957 which defines an ‘Article’ as, “an article of manufacture and any substance, artificial or partly artificial and partly natural and includes any part of an article capable of being made and sold separately”.
The Copyright Act in India excludes certain items from Sec 2(d) for the purpose of making it more clear on what an Article actually will be. This definition limits the meaning of ‘Article’ to anything which is not:
  1. Any substance or principle of construction which in substance is a merely mechanical device.
  2. Any Trade Mark
  3. Any Property
  4. Any Article work as defined under Sec 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.
Who can file the Application?
Basically, under the Laws, a person who is the proprietor of the Design is eligible to file an application. The word Person in the Laws contains a set of legal entities recognized by the Law. These are:
  1. Individual
  2. Firm
  3. Partnership
  4. Corporate Body
  5. Legal Entity
Can I get a Design Registration for a Set?
The design of a ‘Set’ is registrable. In India for example, the word ‘Set’ is defined under Rule 2(e) of Design Rules 2001. It defines ‘Set’ as “a number of articles of the same general character ordinarily sold together or intended to be used together; all bearing the same design, with or without modification, not sufficient to alter the character or substantially to affect the identity thereof”. So basically, if you have to define a set, you can take a crockery set as an example.

So what cannot be protected under Industrial Design?
There are many criteria under which an article cannot be protected under the Industrial Designs, but because different countries have different criteria, there are some general ones which are listed below:
  1. Any design which is opposing the moral values of the public.
  2. Any design which describes any process of construction of an article.
  3. Designs of Books, Jackets, Calendars, Certificates, Forms, and Other Documents, Dress-Making Patterns, Greeting Cards, Postcards, Stamps, Medals.
  4. Designs including flags, emblems, or signs of any country.
  5. Designs of integrated circuits.
So how can I get my Design registered?
Well, there are two types of registration in all types of Intellectual Property Registration, the first one is National which means that the registration will be applicable only within the country in which the proprietor of the company wants to get the registration. The second one is the International registration, where the registration protection will be applicable to most or all parts of the world.
  • National Registration – Let us take India for example. In India, the Registration for a Design can be applied for before the design Registry in New Delhi, or before any of the Patent Offices, subject to the geographical Jurisdiction. The process for registration in India is as follows:
  1. The application will be filed first.
  2. The Office concerned will determine if the Design is not eligible for registration
  3. If it is, the Office will issue a statement of objections (called Examination Report), and the application is obligated to respond to the report within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the report.
  4. If the response by the Applicant is not received within the time period specified, the application will be abandoned.
  5. If the response has been received, the Controller of designs determines whether an application should be refused, accepted or to be put up for a hearing based on the response of the Applicant.
  6. If the application is accepted by Controller of Designs, it will be then processed for registration.
  7. The particulars of the application, along with the article, will be published in the Official Gazette after the registration.
  8. In India, the registration of an Industrial Design will be applicable for a period of 10 years which can be renewed for an extent for up to 5 years.
  9. If you have to appeal against the decision of the Controller of Design, you will have to move to the High Court.

Industrial Design Registration Process in India, Industrial Design Registration Process India
  • International Registration – There are two different ways of getting international design protection. The first is national design application in each individual country of interest, and the second is to file an ‘international’ design application via the Hague Systems for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The main difference between the two methods is that the Hague Systems allows you to file a single design application for design protection in any of the territories which are a party to the Hague Agreement. Otherwise, separate design applications are needed for each country for which design protection is needed. In either case, you need to file in all of your countries of interest within 6 months of first filing your design, and this can potentially be done more easily via a single ‘International’ application. Having said that, not all countries are a party to the Hague Agreement, so in some cases, you may only be able to obtain design protection via a direct national filing. The process of International registration via the Hague Systems is more or less similar to a general process of registration of the design in a country, except it covers various countries at once. For your help below is a picture of how an application is processed. In fact, I will link a WIPO presentation for you if you feel you need to have a clearer view of what’s happening around here. Good Day!

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