ArchiveOctober 2009

United States Supreme Court considers a corporation’s ‘principal place of business’

An important question, with significant implications for contemporary corporate law theory will be heard by the United States Supreme Court on November 10. The matter in question is Hertz Corp. V. Friend (08-1107), which poses the question of which State can be considered to be a corporation’s ‘principal place of business’. The issue has arisen against the backdrop of a class action against the...

Changing Advertising Practices in India – The End of “Puffery”?

The Government’s proposed “Advertising Code” for food and health products is an interesting development , particularly in light of developments in India over the past three years or so on the subject. This blog has discussed emerging trends in India on the norms governing advertising practices. To briefly recapitulate, the law does not proscribe comparative advertising, which is a near...

Powers of SEBI and SEC Compared

In his column in the Business Standard this week, our guest contributor Somasekhar Sundaresan argues that, if one were to go by the rule book, SEBI has greater powers than the SEC. He lists out several significant powers of SEBI that can be exercised without intervention of the court. Here are some excerpts: Take the Raj Rajaratnam case itself. The SEC has had to file a complaint before a court...

‘Business connection’, ‘Attribution’ and the withdrawal of Circular 23 of 1969

Through Circular No. 7 of 2009, the CBDT has withdrawn Circular No. 23 of 1969 (“Circular 23”). Circular 23 explained the position relating to ‘business connection’ under Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Circular was relied upon in the arguments in the Morgan Stanley case before the Supreme Court; as also by the Bombay High Court in SET Satellite. These decisions had laid down the broad...

A Reiteration of Separate Legal Entity

A recent decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in CIT v. Panchratan Hotels has re-emphasised the notion of separate legal entity, albeit in the context of the law of taxation. Here, the assessee was Panchratan Hotels, and had declared losses for the said assessment year. On 31.7.1992, the shareholders of the company had changed, through a transfer of 100% shareholding from the original...

Supreme Court Reaffirms Dharmendra Textiles

Earlier posts here have considered the issue of whether the penalty under section 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is a criminal, quasi-criminal or civil liability, which in turn has implications on whether mens rea is needed for awarding penalty under the section. The Supreme Court had held in Dilip Shroff that mens rea is needed for the non-disclosure of penalty to result in penalty, but...

UN Corporate Law Tools project: Corporate Structures and Governance and Human Rights

The United Nations has been developing a project on Reports on Corporate Law Tools, which involves leading law firms from across the globe working with UN Special Representative John Ruggie to analyse how corporate structures in different legal systems foster respect for human rights. The idea behind the project is found in this note prepared by the Special Representative. Reports from several...

RBI extends time limit for Auditors’ Certificate for NBFCs – leaves fundamental issues unaddressed

Auditors of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) have to submit a certificate every year to the Reserve Bank of India on whether the NBFC is engaged in the business of a non-banking financial institution (NBFI). The certificate also gives the income/asset pattern for making it eligible for classification under various categories. The last date for submission of this certificate for the...

Corporate Bonds: Clearing and Settlement

SEBI last week issued a circular prescribing the procedure for clearing and settlement of corporate bonds. This is an important step in the development of a robust corporate bond market that has not yet fully evolved in India, and appears to have been welcomed by the markets.
The SEBI Updates blog has a post describing the history of regulation of the Indian corporate bond markets.

Much Ado About Executive Compensation

Over the last few weeks, significant attention has been drawn to the issue of executive compensation, following observations by the Minister for Corporate Affairs that there ought to be moderation in CEO salaries in India. Two factors seem to have triggered such attention. One, which carries political overtones, is the Government’s own measure of austerity. The other is the raging debate on CEO...

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