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COVID-19 UPDATES

With the spread of Covid-19 worldwide and locally, India announced an unprecedented 21 day nationwide lockdown, leading to disruption of life and business.

The Central, State and various regulatory bodies have issued notifications, circulars and orders relating to the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have collated all these for your easy reference. We will continue to update this.

CORPORATE

ADVAYA ARTICLES

  1. Global supply chains have been severely jolted with the Coronavirus outbreak. Can businesses invoke the ‘force majeure’ clause? We take a look : https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/will-coronavirus-qualify-as-a-force-majeure-event/

  2. In the wake of the unprecedented 21 day lockdown all across India, the Government has announced relief measures for corporates for specific compliances. We take a look at some of the key measures announced under the Companies Act, 2013 here: https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/covid-19-india-relaxes-deadlines-for-corporate-compliances/

  3. India shifts goalposts on Chinese Investments: Why is this a lot worse than it sounds? In a rather dramatic turn of events triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, India has revised its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and mandated that investors based out of bordering countries will require prior Indian government approval for their investments into Indian companies. As we await the details, a few critical questions arise. Read here:https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/india-shifts-goalposts-on-chinese-investments-why-is-this-a-lot-worse-than-it-sounds/

CIRCULARS & NOTIFICATIONS

  1. Office Memorandum dated February 19, 2020 – Force Majeure Clause. https://doe.gov.in/sites/default/files/Force%20Majeure%20Clause%20-FMC.pdf

  2. Circular on special measures under Companies Act, 2013 (CA-2013) and Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 taken by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular_25032020.pdf

  3. MCA has issued “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” (“CFSS 2020”) and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” (“LLP Scheme 2020”) to promote defaulting companies/LLPs to make a fresh start on a clean slate and waive the additional fees for delayed filings by the companies/LLPs with the Registrar of Companies (“ROC”) during the currency of the Schemes i.e. from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Press_30032020.pdf http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular12_30032020.pdf http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular13_30032020.pdf

  4. Amendment to Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Amendment Rules, 2014 to be effective from March 19, 2020 till June 30, 2020. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Rules_19032020.pdf

  5. Any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund shall qualify as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act 2013. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular_29032020.pdf

  6. MCA has increased the threshold limit to one crore rupees for default under IBC. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Notification_28032020.pdf

  7. MCA has introduced CAR i.e. Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19, a compliance form for all the companies registered with RoC. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Car_22032020.pdf

  8. MCA has announced that Companies Auditor Report (CARO) 2020 will apply, for the financial years commencing on or after the April 1, 2020 instead of financial years commencing on or after the April 1, 2019. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Notification_25032020.pdf

  9. Government of Indian provides relief for third party Motor Insurance & Health policy holders in the light of COVID-19 lockdown. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1610210

  10. Circular dated April 8, 2020 Clarification on passing of ordinary and special resolutions by companies under the Companies Act,2013 and rules made thereunder on account of the threat posed by Covid -19. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular14_08042020.pdf

  11. Circular dated April 13, 2020 -Clarification on passing of ordinary and special resolutions by companies under the Companies Act,2013 and rules made thereunder on account of the threat posed by Covid -19. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular17_13042020.pdf

  12. Filings under section 124 and section 125 of the Companies Act 2013 r/w IEPFA (Accounting, Audit, Transfer and Refund) Rules 2016 in view of emerging situation due to outbreak of COVID– 19. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular16_13042020.pdf

  13. COVID-19 related FAQs on CSR. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Notification_10042020.pdf

  14. Order dated April 15, 2020 stating the consolidated revised guidelines on the measures to be taken by the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/UT Governments and State/UT authorities for containment of Covid -19. https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/MHA%20order%20dt%2015.04.2020%2C%20with%20Revised%20Consolidated%20Guidelines_compressed%20%283%29.pdf

  15. Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) circular dated April 13, 2020Relaxation in adherence to prescribed timelines issued by SEBI due to Covid 19. https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/apr-2020/relaxation-in-adherence-to-prescribed-timelines-issued-by-sebi-due-to-covid-19_46511.html

  16. SEBI circular dated April 16, 2020 – Relaxation in timelines for compliance with regulatory requirements by trading members / clearing members. https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/apr-2020/relaxation-in-timelines-for-compliance–regulatory-requirements-by-trading-members-clearing-members_46523.html

  17. SEBI circular dated April 17, 2020 – Additional relaxations / clarifications in relation to compliance with certain provisions of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘LODR’) due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/apr-2020/-additional-relaxations-clarifications-in-relation-to-compliance-with-certain-provisions-of-the-sebi-listing-obligations-and-disclosure-requirements-regulations-2015-lodr-due-to-the-covid-1-_46525.html

  18. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification dated April 17,2020 – Relief provided by RBI for Covid-19.https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=11872&Mode=0 https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=11871&Mode=0

  19. Period for holding annual general meetings (AGM’s) for companies whose financial year ended on December 31,2019 is extended by 3 more months i.e. till September 30,2020. http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Circular18_21042020.pdf

  20. Review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. https://dipp.gov.in/sites/default/files/pn3_2020.pdf

  21. Measures for relief and credit support related to businesses, especially MSMEs to support Indian Economy’s fight against COVID-19. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1623601

DISPUTES & ARBITRATION

ADVAYA ARTICLES

  1. In a move to safeguard the interests of small enterprises, the Finance Minister has raised the default threshold under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to 10 million. In this article, we discuss the impact of the change on operational creditors and the way forward. https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/ibc-out-of-bound-for-smaller-creditors/

  2. The Delhi High Court recently ruled that the lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic was in the nature of a force majeure in the particular circumstances of the case and stayed the invocation of bank guarantees until the next date of hearing. Read here:https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/delhi-high-court-stays-invocation-of-bank-guarantees-during-lockdown/

CIRCULARS & NOTIFICATIONS

  1. Extension of Limitation By Supreme Court Of India. https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2020/10787/10787_2020_1_12_21570_Order_23-Mar-2020.pdf

  2. Extension of Interim Orders by High Court of Mumbai. https://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/notifications/PDF/noticebom20200326170505.pdf

  3. Notification with regard to functioning of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/Notification_30032020.pdf

  4. Notification issued by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal(NCLAT) with regard to extension of time of ‘Resolution Process under Section 12 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 as well as extension of interim order/ stay order passed by this Appellate Tribunal until the next date of hearing. https://nclat.nic.in/Useradmin/upload/7281701495e81d18e254d0.pdf

  5. Central Government appoints July 1,2020 instead of April 1,2020 as the date on which the provisions of Part I of Chapter IV related to Amendments to Indian Stamp Act, 1899 which were notified by Finance Act, 2019 (7 of 2019). http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2020/218957.pdf

  6. The Bombay High Court has passed an Order dated April 15, 2020 directing that all interim orders passed by it and subordinate courts are extended till June 15, 2020. Further the present arrangement of hearing only extremely urgent matters will continue till May 5, 2020. https://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/notifications/PDF/noticebom20200415164949.pdf

  7. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has introduced Regulation 47A to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016 by way of a circular dated April 17, 2020 for the purpose of excluding the period of lockdown from timeline under the IBC. https://www.ibbi.gov.in/uploads/whatsnew/4697af9d01b6c12c0816f4be28ea6835.pdf

  8. Summer vacation at all the National Company Law Tribunal Benches cancelled. https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/summer-vacation-at-all-the-national-company-law-tribunal-benches-cancelled?utm_source=one-signal&utm_medium=push-notification

EMPLOYMENT

CIRCULARS & NOTIFICATIONS

  1. Ministry of Labour & Employment advises all public and private employers to support their employees and workers by not terminating them nor reduce their wages. https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/Central_Government_Update.pdf

  2. Advisory to all Workers and Employers’ Organisations on COVID-19. https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/Preventive%20measures%20against%20COVID-19%20outbreak.pdf

  3. An order issued wherein all employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages to their workers, at their workplaces, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown. https://mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/MHA%20Order%20restricting%20movement%20of%20migrants%20and%20strict%20enforement%20of%20lockdown%20measures%20-%2029.03.2020.pdf

  4. The Chief Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India has issued a letter to all regional heads stating that if the regional heads receive complaints from any employee about hardship faced by such employee due to either loss of employment or non-payment of wages by any private/public establishments, the regional heads should rigorously take up the issue with such public/private establishments. https://clc.gov.in/clc/sites/default/files/mygov_15855558681.pdf

  5. Extension of timeline for unified annual return extended upto April 30, 2020. https://labour.gov.in/extension-time-filing-returns-account-covid-19

  6. Frequently asked questions on Central Government Relief for employees’ and employers’ contribution for three months to low wage earning epf members employed in establishments with employment strength upto one hundred.https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Circulars/Y2020-2021/FAQonSchemefor3months.pdf

  7. Relief to establishments and factories covered under EPF and MP Act 1952 for levy of penal damages for delay in deposit of dues during Lockdown to prevent COVID-19. https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Circulars/Y2020-2021/Relief_in_pd_due_2_covid.pdf

  8. Gazette Notification regarding the reduction in the rate of EPF Contribution. https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Circulars/Y2020-2021/GN_for_reduction_in_EPF_contribution_rate.pdf

  9. Frequently asked questions on the reduction in statutory rate of EPF contributions from 12% to 10%. https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Circulars/Y2020-2021/FAQ_Reduced_rate_of_contribution_20052020.pdf

REAL ESTATE

CIRCULARS & NOTIFICATIONS

  1. The Maha RERA has extended the timeline of Project Registration Validity by three months for projects where the completion date, revised completion date or extended completion date expires on or after March 15, 2020. The time limit for all statutory compliances in accordance to RERA, which were due in March/April/May have also been extended. https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/Upload/PDF/Final%20Order%20for%20Revision%20of%20Duration%20v4.pdf

  2. The Government of Maharashtra, Department of Housing has issued a circular dated April 17, 2020, directing the landlords of residential properties to delay the collection of rent from tenants by at least three months and not evict them from properties during such time. https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4E1FAQFcpbKLCY0nIA/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0?e=1587445200&v=beta&t=o5gG1fpi8Ik4AXp_hu8HjBNkQEqPh1CPHiBqbVZCxZY

  3. Advisory for extension of registration of real estate projects due to ‘Force Majeure’ under the provisions of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). https://static.investindia.gov.in/s3fs-public/2020-05/5ebcfd70abb23Rera%20Act%202016.pdf

IPR

CIRCULARS & NOTIFICATIONS

  1. Adjournment of Trademark Hearings. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/Images/pdf/Public-Notice_adjounrment.pdf

  2. Cancellation of hearings in Patent Office. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/newsdetail.htm?670/

  3. Extension of last date to register for Patent Agent Exam 2020. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/672_1_PUBLIC_NOTICE_for_Extension_of_last_date_for_PAE_2020_registration.pdf

  4. The due dates falling during the lockdown period with respect to completion of various acts/proceedings, filing of any reply/document, payment of fees, etc. regarding any IP applications. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/673_1_Corrigendum_Public_Notice_25032020.pdf

  5. Further Extension of last date to register for Patent Agent Exam 2020 . http://www.ipindia.nic.in/newsdetail.htm?675

  6. Extension of deadline to May 4, 2020. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/674_1_Public_Notice_for_extended_lockdown.pdf

  7. Extension of deadline to May 18, 2020. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/681_1_Public_Notice_dated_4-5-2020.pdf

  8. Extension of deadline to June 1, 2020 for all matters having due date during the lock down i.e. March 15, 2020 to May 17, 2020. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/writereaddata/Portal/Images/pdf/Public_Notice_dated_18-5-2020.pdf

  9. Postponement of the Patent Agent Examination 2020 till further notice. http://www.ipindia.nic.in/newsdetail.htm?686/

AVIATION

ADVAYA ARTICLE

  1. The coronavirus pandemic has compelled governments to announce travel restrictions and airlines to ground flights. We examine the impact of the pandemic on the world’s fastest growing aviation market – India.https://www.advayalegal.com/blog/covid-19-has-crippled-the-worlds-fastest-growing-aviation-market-india/

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