India: New Legislation - January 2015- July 2015

The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015

On September 24, 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled the allocation of 204 coal blocks allocated by the Ministry of Coal under the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 on grounds of arbitrariness in the allocation process. The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 ("Coal Mines Act") which was notified on March 30, 2015 lays down the process for allocation of the coal blocks which were cancelled by the Supreme Court order.

The coal blocks are categorised into three categories, Schedule I, Schedule II and Schedule III. Schedule I consists of the 204 mines cancelled by the Supreme Court, Schedule II consists of 42 mines of the 204, which are under production. Schedule III comprises of mines with specified end uses e.g. power, iron and steel, cement and coal washing.

Key provisions of the Coal Mines Act are as follows:

  • Allocation process: Schedule I mines may be allocated by way of either public auction or allocation. Government, private and joint venture companies are eligible to bid for the coal blocks under Schedule I. Schedule II and Schedule II mines are to be allocated by way of public auction. Any government company, private company or a joint venture with a specified end-use is eligible to bid for these mines.
  • End use: Coal mined from Schedule I blocks can be used for captive consumption, sale or for any other purpose as specified in the mining lease.
  • Prior allottees: Prior allottees are not eligible to participate in the auction process if: (i) they have not paid the additional levy imposed by the Supreme Court; or (ii) if they are convicted of an offence related to coal block allocation and sentenced to imprisonment of more than three years. Prior allottees are to be compensated for land as per the registered sales deed value together with 12% simple interest from the date of purchase or acquisition and for mine infrastructure as per the value indicated in the audited balance sheet of the previous financial year.
  • Authority: An authority is to be set up by the Central Government to conduct the process of auction and allotment, executing the vesting and allotment orders and for collecting and apportioning the auction proceeds to the relevant State Governments.

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendments Act, 2015

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendments Act, 2015 ("Public Premises Act") was notified on March 13, 2015. It amends the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. The primary objective of the Public Premises Act is to bring the properties of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation ("DMRC") and other Metro Railway property which may come up in future and also the properties of New Delhi Municipal Council ("NDMC") within the ambit of the Public Premises Act. The Public Premises Act extends the definition of public premises to include premises of companies in which at least 51% shares are owned by the central government and partly by one or more state government (including subsidiaries of these companies), and which carry on the business of public transport, including metro railways and premises belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi or any Municipal Committee or notified area Committee.

Time bound processes for determining whether premises are in unauthorised occupation are laid down. If the Estate Officer is satisfied that premises are in unauthorised occupation, he may order the eviction of the premises, which should be done within 15 days from the order. If an Estate Officer receives information that a person is in unauthorised occupation of the premises, he must make an order within 7 days of receiving this information, directing persons who have occupied the premises to show cause as to why they should not be evicted. When a person is in arrears of rent payable, the Estate Officer may order that he pay rent or damages, after issuing a notice asking the person to explain why such as order should not be made. The explanation must be provided within 7 days of the notice. The Public Premises Act states that every appeal to the Estate Officer's orders must be disposed of as quickly as possible.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 ("Insurance Act") was notified on March 20, 2015. Its key features are as follows:

  • Increase in foreign investment limit: The maximum foreign investment (including direct and indirect foreign direct investment as well as foreign portfolio investment) permitted in the equity shares of an Indian Insurance Company have been increased from 26 % to 49%. Foreign investment is under the automatic route up to 26% and under the approval route above 26% till 49%. Foreign portfolio investment has been defined to include investments by foreign institutional investors, qualified financial investors, foreign portfolio investors and non-resident investors. The increase in foreign investment in the insurance sector is applicable to insurance brokers, third party administrators, surveyors, loss assessors and other insurance intermediaries appointed under applicable IRDA regulations.
  • Control and ownership: The ownership and control of an Indian Insurance Company must remain with Indian residents. Indian ownership is defined to mean more than 50% of the equity share capital being held by Indian residents. Control is defined to include the right to appoint majority directors on the board of the company or to control the management or policy decisions, including by virtue of shareholders or management rights or shareholder agreements or voting agreements.
  • Control and ownership: The ownership and control of an Indian Insurance Company must remain with Indian residents. Indian ownership is defined to mean more than 50% of the equity share capital being held by Indian residents. Control is defined to include the right to appoint majority directors on the board of the company or to control the management or policy decisions, including by virtue of shareholders or management rights or shareholder agreements or voting agreements.
  • Access to capital market: Public sector undertakings in the insurance sector are permitted to raise funds from the public, provided that government stake in such entities shall not be diluted below 51 per cent.
  • Regulation of health insurance business: The health insurance sector has been recognised as a distinct sector, subject to separate regulation.
  • Enhancement of regulator's powers: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has been given the power to make rules on matters such as management fees, commissions and composition of the insurance company's investment portfolio.
  • Re-insurance business: Foreign re-insurers are now permitted to set up branches in India. Re insurance' is defined to mean "the insurance of part of one insurer's risk by another insurer who accepts the risk for a mutually acceptable premium".
  • Appeals process: The securities appellate tribunal has been designated the appellate authority for quasi-judicial and administrative rulings of the IRDA (as opposed to the central government earlier).

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2015

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2015 ("MV Amendment Act") was notified on March 19, 2015.The purpose of this legislation is to bring e-carts/e-rickshaws within the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The term "e-cart/e-rickshaw" is defined as follows: "e-cart or e-rickshaw" means a special purpose battery powered vehicle of power not exceeding 4000 watts, having three wheels for carrying goods or passengers, as the case may be, for hire or reward, manufactured, constructed or adapted, equipped and maintained in accordance with such specifications, as may be prescribed in this behalf.

The MV Amendment Act gives the parliament the power to make rules and regulations in relation to specifications of e-carts and for driving licenses in relation to the same.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 ("MMDRA Amendment Act") was notified on March 26, 2015. It amends the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. Its key provisions are as follows:

  • New Schedule: A new, fourth schedule has been added to the MMDRA which includes bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore as notified minerals.
  • Prospecting license-cum-mining lease: A new category of mining license, i.e. the prospecting license-cum-mining lease, has been created, which is a two stage-concession for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations (exploring or proving mineral deposits), followed by mining operations.
  • Maximum area for mining: The central government is empowered to increase the area limits granted to a lessee for mining, instead of the earlier practice of providing additional leases.
  • Lease period: For all minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals, mining leases shall be granted for a period of 50 years, and all mining leases granted for such minerals before the amendment, shall be valid for 50 years. On expiry of the lease, instead of being renewed, the leases shall be put up for auction.
  • Lease extensions: Any lease granted before the commencement of the amendment will be extended: (i) up to March 31, 2030 for minerals used for captive purpose and up to March 31, 2020 for other minerals, or (ii) till the completion of renewal period, or (iii) for a period of 50 years from the date of grant of such lease, whichever is later.
  • Auction of notified and other minerals: The MMDRA Amendment Act states that state governments shall grant mining leases and prospecting license-cum-mining leases for both notified and other minerals. Prospecting license-cum-mining lease for notified minerals shall be granted with the approval of central government. All leases shall be granted through auction by competitive bidding, including e-auction.
  • Transfer of mineral concessions: The holder of a mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease may transfer the lease to any eligible person, with the approval of the state government, and as specified by the central government. The state government has to convey its permission/refusal within 90 days of receiving the notice, failing which the transfer will be considered approved. Only mineral concessions granted through auction are eligible for transfer.
  • Institutions: A District Mineral Foundation ("DMF") and a National Mineral Exploration Trust ("NMET") are to be established, by the state government for the benefit of persons in districts affected by mining related operations and by the central government for regional and detailed mine exploration, respectively. Licensees and lease holders are required to pay the DMF an amount not more than one-third of the royalty prescribed by the central government, and the NMET two percent of royalty.

Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015 ("Amendment Act") was notified on March 10. 2015. It amends certain provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Its key provisions are as follows:

  • Citizenship by registration and naturalisation: Under the Citizenship Act, a person may apply for citizenship by registration if they or their parents were earlier citizens of India, and if they resided in India for one year before applying for registration. A person may apply for a certificate of naturalisation if they have resided in India or have served a government in India for a period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application. The Amendment Act permits the central government to relax the requirement of 12 months' stay or service up to 30 days if special circumstances exist.
  • Registration of Overseas Citizens of India: The Amendment Act provides certain additional grounds for registering for an Overseas Citizen of India card viz. (i) a minor child whose parent(s) are Indian citizens; or (ii) spouse of foreign origin of an Indian citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder subject to certain conditions; or (iii) great-grandchild of a person who is a citizen of another country, but who meets the conditions stipulated (for example, the great-grandparent must be a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution or any time afterwards). Further, if special circumstances exist, the central government is empowered to register a person as an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder even if she/he does not satisfy any of the listed qualifications.
  • Persons from Pakistan/Bangladesh: The Amendment Act extends the provision declaring persons who are/have been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh/ any other country which is notified by the central government ineligible to apply for Overseas Citizenship of India to persons whose parents/grandparents/ great-grandparents were citizens of any of the above countries.
  • Merger of Overseas Citizen of India and Persons of Indian Origin schemes: The Amendment Act provides that the central government may notify that Persons of Indian Origin cardholders shall be considered to be Overseas Citizen of India cardholders from a specified date.
  • Renunciation and cancellation of overseas citizenship: The Act provides that where a person renounces their overseas citizenship, their spouses shall also cease to be an Overseas Citizen of India. Further, the Amendment Act allows the central government to cancel the Overseas Citizenship of India card which is obtained by the spouse of an Indian citizen or Overseas Citizen of India cardholder, if: (i) the marriage is dissolved by a court, or (ii) the spouse enters into another marriage even while the first marriage has not been dissolved.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions