This note provides an overview of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 that was published in the official gazette pursuant to a notification dated August 11, 2023. The Act will become effective from the date(s) notified by the Central Government, and different dates may be notified for different provisions. Also, rules may be notified in future, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, to carry out the purposes of the Act. The Act seeks to overhaul the current legal framework governing personal data in India. Accordingly, the Act establishes a legal framework to protect digital personal data, including by prohibiting the unauthorized use, alteration or sharing of information in a way that compromises the confidentiality, integrity and/or accuracy of such data. In this regard, the Act distinguishes among a data principal, data fiduciary and data processor, and provides rights for data principals and imposes obligations on data fiduciaries. The Act applies to consent managers as well.
This note provides an overview of the amendments that were issued on February 14, 2023 by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to the SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 and the SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014. The amendments primarily introduce governance-related requirements for investment managers of InvITs and REITs and apply to all InvITs and REITs, including those proposing to register or list. The amendments also include certain requirements with respect to the appointment of auditors of InvITs and REITs, limited review of the accounts of assets of InvITs and REITs and the treatment of unclaimed distributions. Clarifications in relation to the calculation of leverage thresholds and the definition of change in control under the regulations are also part of the amendments. The governance norms and the clarifications to the definition of change in control are effective from April 1, 2023 and the other provisions are effective immediately.
On June 30, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) issued a circular amending the quarterly shareholding pattern disclosed by listed entities in India (the “2022 Circular”). This amended an earlier SEBI circular dated November 30, 2015. The 2022 Circular comes into force with effect from the quarter ending September 30, 2022. Listed entities are required to submit their shareholding pattern to the stock exchanges within 21 days of the end of each quarter in formats prescribed under the circulars. This note discusses certain key changes implemented by the 2022 Circular.
On September 28, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (the “SEBI”) approved certain changes to regulations governing related party transactions involving listed entities under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (the “Listing Regulations”). The changes were announced in a press release dated September 28, 2021. Subsequently, the SEBI amended the Listing Regulations on November 9, 2021 (the “Amendment Regulations”). This note sets out an overview of the amendments introduced by the Amendment Regulations, most of which will take effect from April 1, 2022, with certain provisions taking effect from April 1, 2023. While these amendments will require increased monitoring and compliance by listed entities, clarifications have also been provided to ease compliance. Overall, these amendments are expected to strengthen oversight of related party transactions involving listed entities in India.
Since April 2020, prior regulatory approval has been required for all investments from countries that share land borders with India, including where the beneficial owner of an investing entity is situated in or is a citizen of any such country. The threshold for beneficial ownership has remained unclear and can arguably be triggered even if a single share of an investing entity is beneficially held by an investor from one of the restricted bordering countries (which include China). This has created uncertainty not only regarding inflow of new investments in the start-up sector but also beneficial ownership in a private equity fund. While other Indian laws prescribe certain tests for beneficial ownership, these are not consistent. This note examines the concept of “beneficial ownership” under certain Indian laws as well as the definition in the United Kingdom and the United States, and suggests next steps in the context of Indian foreign investment regulations.
In connection with a proposed delisting of shares of AstraZeneca Pharma India Limited (AZPIL) in 2014, the SEBI recently issued an order dated June 5, 2020 under Sections 11(1), 11(4) and 11B of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, holding that:
(i) AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB Sweden (AZPAB), the promoter of AZPIL, and the Elliott Group (a group of related foreign institutional investors that collectively held a significant shareholding in AZPIL) colluded with each other to get the shares of AZPIL delisted and influence the delisting price of such shares without considering the interests of the retail shareholders of AZPIL; and
(ii) The conduct of AZPAB and the Elliott Group amounted to a manipulative and fraudulent trade practice under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Practice Relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 2003.
The SEBI questioned the conduct of AZPAB and the Elliott Group and concluded that there existed a ‘meeting of minds’ between AZPAB and the Elliott Group prior to the delisting announcement. This note analyses the SEBI’s order.
While corporations across the globe brace for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business, operations and financial results, listed companies need to be mindful of additional compliance requirements and responsibilities. This note discusses certain considerations which are relevant for listed Indian companies in the current COVID-19 scenario in relation to (i) periodic disclosures and reporting; (ii) board and shareholder meetings; (iii) impact on financial results and annual report; (iv) trading when in possession of UPSI and during trading window closure; (v) fund-raising; and (vi) duties of directors. As a practical matter, these considerations will continue to be relevant even in the future while tackling the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic or other crisis situations.
On October 10, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) issued a circular setting out an amended framework for the issuance of Depository Receipts (“DRs”) by Indian companies (the “DR Circular”).
Recent shareholder activism and regulatory action have focused attention on the issue of executive compensation in India. The Companies Act, 2013 (act), restricts the total managerial remuneration payable by a public company to its directors and managers in a financial year to no more than 11% of its net profits for that financial year.