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
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.