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Penalty on Non-Filing of Annual Returns & Financial Statements
MCA Update

Recently, the Registrar of Companies (ROC), Gujarat, Dadar & Nagar Havelis passed an ex-parte order against M/S Astha International Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Company”) for a penalty under Section 454 of the Companies Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as “Act”) due to non-compliance with Section 12(1), 92(4) & 137(1) of the Act.

Sec 12 Registered office of company related provisions

  • A company shall, within thirty days of its incorporation and at all times thereafter, have a registered office capable of receiving and acknowledging all communications and notices as may be addressed to it.

(8) If any default is made in complying with the requirements of this section, the company and every officer who is in default shall be liable to a penalty of one thousand rupees for every day during which the default continues but not exceeding one lakh rupees.

Sec 92  Annual Return related provisions

(4) Every company shall file with the Registrar a copy of the annual return, within sixty days from the date on which the annual general meeting is held or where no annual general meeting is held in any year within sixty days from the date on which the annual general meeting should have been held together with the statement specifying the reasons for not holding the annual general meeting, with such fees or additional fees as may be prescribed.

(5) If any company fails to file its annual return under sub-section (4), before the expiry of the period specified therein, such company and its every officer who is in default shall be liable to a penalty of [ten thousand rupees] and in case of continuing failure, with a further penalty of one hundred rupees for each day after the first during which such failure continues, subject to a maximum of [two lakh rupees in case of a company and fifty thousand rupees in case of an officer who is a default]

Sec 137 Copy of financial statement to be filed with Registrar

  • A copy of the financial statements, including consolidated financial statement, if any, along with all the documents which are required to be or attached to such financial statements under this Act, duly adopted at the annual general meeting of the company, shall be filed with the Registrar within thirty days of the date of annual general meeting in such manner, with such fees or additional fees as may be prescribed.

(3) If a company fails to file the copy of the financial statements under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), as the case may be, before the expiry of the period specified 4 [therein] the company shall be  [liable to a penalty] of  [ten thousand rupees and in case of continuing failure, with a further penalty of one hundred rupees for each day during which such failure continues, subject to a maximum of two lakh rupees,] and the managing director and the Chief Financial Officer of the company, if any, and, in the absence of the managing director and the Chief Financial Officer, any other director who is charged by the Board with the responsibility of complying with the provisions of this section, and, in the absence of any such director, all the directors of the company, shall be  [shall be liable to a penalty of  [ten thousand rupees] and in case of continuing failure, with a further penalty of one hundred rupees for each day after the first during which such failure continues, subject to a maximum of  [fifty thousand rupees.]

Whereas, the ROC issued a letter to the company on 22.09.2022 but the letter returned back to its office with the postal remark “In Complete” even though the letter was sent on the address as per the master data of the company.

Furthermore, the annual return along with required documents were not filed by the company on the MCA portal for the financial year 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 within the compliance period as given under Section 92(4).

Moreover, such documents that were required to be attached to such financial statements by the company for the year ended 31.03.2019, 31.03.2020 & 31.03.2021 were also not filed on the MCA portal within such time limit as prescribed under Section 137(1).

While the Adjudicating Officer had a reasonable cause to believe that the Company and its officers are in default and have violated the provisions of Section 12(1), 92(4) & 137(1), which attracts Section 454(3) of the Act, that gives power to the Adjudicating Officer to pass an order against the company or its officers for the non-compliance of the relevant provisions of the Act.

The notice of adjudication was served by the office of the Adjudicating Officer to the company with a request to rectify the default within 15 days of the notice and an opportunity to be heard was also given but no one made an appearance in the office of Adjudicating Officer.

The Adjudicating Officer stated certain factors to be regarded in determining the quantum of penalty under Section 12(1), 92(4) & 137(1):

  1. The amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, whenever quantifiable, made as a result of default.
  2. The amount of loss caused to an investor or group of investors as a result of the default .
  3. The repetitive nature of default.

Since none of the aforesaid information was available on record it was difficult to quantify the unfair advantage caused by the notice or loss incurred to the investors in a default of this nature.

Total Penalty Imposed on company & directors / officers under section 12(1), 92(4) & 137(1) is as follows:

Penalty Imposed on 12(1) 92(4) 137(1) Total Amount of Penalty
Astha International Limited ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 2,38,700/- ₹ 2,47,400/- ₹ 5,86,100/-
Chauhan Chandrasinh Shivaji ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Santosh Kisa Sapkale ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Ashish Dineshkumar Nagwanshi ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Shivajibhai Mangabhai Pardee ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Pradip Chintaman Panpatil ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Hiralal Shanker Bhalerao ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-
Alpesh Babubhai Savalia ₹ 1,00,000/- ₹ 1,42,500/- ₹ 1,44,900/- ₹ 3,87,400/-


It was further stated that the noticee shall pay the amount individually within 90 days of this order and the challan of the payment of penalty shall be forwarded to the office of the Adjudicating authority.


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Remedies available for Trademark Infringement

In the era of Digitization, businesses are growing rapidly through the internet and have crossed all boundaries, as have their identities and competitions. For a successful business, it’s very important to secure all the assets of the business, whether they are tangible or intangible. Trademarks or brand names are intangible assets of the business, but they play a very big role in business development and customer retention.

A brand’s name is the key to identity for any industry, be it goods or services. Most people don’t know the service provider or manufacturer of their favourite product or recommended service, but they do know the brand name of the product or service and use it to identify the goods or services associated with the brand name.

Business competition has reached new heights; these days, competitors are willingly adopting similar brand names of their competition and doing business to gain upon the goodwill of the actual brand owner. They use a similar logo, similar product packaging, and sometimes even a similar name for the business as well. Such an act lets the end customer believe that the products are from the original brand owners and start consuming them.

These scenarios lead to mainly two things; first, the capture of the brand goodwill of others to trade upon it, and second, the demolition of the brand goodwill of competitors by unreasonable price hikes, quality compromises, poor service, etc. All such acts are considered misuse of a trademark and a punishable offence under the law of land.

There are certain remedies available to the aggrieved person to protect his rights. There are two types of remedies available against the infringement of trademarks, namely:

Civil Remedies:

It is illegal to infringe or copy a registered trademark, and a suit can be filed against them under Section 134 of the Act. The party infringing may need to bear any of the following consequences mentioned below:

  • Damages
  • Order on account of profits
  • Delivery of infringing materials
  • Destruction of goods
  • A permanent or temporary injunction to use such a mark
  • Refraining from using a trademark that will deceive or mislead the public.


Except for these civil actions and remedies, there are certain penal provisions in the Act. Section 101 clarifies the meaning of applying trademarks and trade descriptions and Section 102 states about who shall be deemed to falsify a trade mark. The penalties of these offences are mentioned in the table below:


Section Title Imprisonment And/Or Fine
103 Penalty for applying false trademarks, trade descriptions, etc. Not less than 6 months but may extend to 3 years. And Not less than Rs. 50, 000 but may extend to Rs. 2 lakhs.
104 Penalty for selling goods or providing services to which false trade mark or false trade description is applied. Not less than 6 months but may extend to 3 years. And Not less than Rs. 50,000 but may extend to Rs. 2 lakhs.
105 Enhanced penalty on second or subsequent conviction. Not less than 1 year but may extend to 3 years. And Not less than Rs. 1 lakh but may extend to Rs. 2 lakhs.
107 Penalty for falsely representing a trade mark as registered. May extend to 3 years. Or Fine or both.


Penalty for improperly describing a place of business as connected with Trade Marks Office. May extend to 2 years. Or Fine or both.
109 Penalty for falsification of entries in the register. May extend to 2 years. Or Fine or both.


The plaintiff has been engaged in the business of milk and dairy products, ice creams, faluda, milk shakes, etc. under the registered trademark GIANI’s since the 1960s. In the beginning of May 2009, the plaintiff came across the defendant’s product, sold in the market under the trademark GIAN’s. The plaintiff filed the suit under Sections 27(2), 28 and 29(1) of the Act. Eventually, the court restrained the defendant from manufacturing, selling, distributing, and promoting in any manner the above-mentioned items using the trademark GIAN’s or any other similar trademark because it gave the impression that both the products were coming from the same source or that GIAN’s had some link with GIANI’s, and therefore, it awarded Rs. 20,000 to the plaintiff[1].

One such other case is that of Hero Honda. The defendant not only infringed on the logo and the mark but was also manufacturing products of poor quality and substandard packaging. The defendant replicated the product of the plaintiff and then sold it under the name and goodwill of the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed the suit, and a decree of permanent injunction was passed in favour of the plaintiff, restraining the defendant from selling the parts of the motorcycle deceptively under the registered trademark of the plaintiff and to destroy the present stock. Moreover, a decree of damages for a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs was also passed against the defendants[2].


Principles of Passing-Off: 

When the matter of infringement arises related to an unregistered trademark either not applied for trademark registration or under the process of registration can be protected through the principle of Passing-Off. The only remedy available for an unregistered trademark under common law, is the tort of passing off. But it is not easy to succeed in such actions; three essentials are necessarily to be proved by the plaintiff to protect the unregistered trademark in passing off, namely:

  • The brand name or product is misrepresented in the market.
  • The evidence of the brand’s goodwill in the market, whether through increased sales or public recognition.
  • The damages he has suffered that have interrupted his sales or ruined his goodwill.

In one of the cases, the Privy Council held that passing off is an action that essentially protects goodwill and not an unregistered trademark, which means that it is to preserve the goodwill of a person and not aimed at protecting an unregistered trademark[3]. A passing-off action is a remedy for the invasion of a right of property not in the mark, name, or get-up improperly used, but in the business or goodwill likely to be injured by the misrepresentation made by passing off one person’s goods as the goods of another[4].

Therefore, it is quite evident that unregistered trademarks do get protection under the common law, but the desired relief is not granted easily, and moreover, it is very difficult to prove that the brand exists unless you have spent a good amount of money on marketing and advertising.



It appears that trademark infringement is seen in relation to the violation of exclusive rights accorded to the registered owner, which can be used by that owner in relation to goods and services, but the same benefits are not enjoyed by the owner of an unregistered trademark. Therefore, though it is not mandatory to register a trademark, seeing the contemporary circumstances and rising competition, it becomes important that every business owner get trademark registration for their brands.

About the Author:

This article is authored by Adv. Dhriti Laddha. She is an enrolled advocate with the Bar Council of Rajasthan. At present, she is practicing at the High Court of Rajasthan and is associated with Alonika and SDSA Lawyers. She pursued her B. A. LL.B. from Vidyasthali Law College, Jaipur, affiliated to Rajasthan University. She is keen to build her litigation practice in the civil arena, and currently she is involved in matters related to succession law, property law, matrimonial matters, consumer protection act, tenancy disputes, IP, cheque bounce, etc. Intellectual Property Law is also one of her core areas of interest.


[1] M/S Giani Gurcharan Singh & Sons vs Madhusudhan Singh And Another, CS(OS) No. 1233/2009, (Delhi High Court, 14/02/2011).

[2] Hero Honda Motors Ltd. vs Shree Assuramji Scooters, 125 (2005) DLT 504.

[3] Star Industrial Co. Ltd. v. Yap Kwee Kor [1976] Fleet Street Patent Law Reports 256.

[4] A.G. Spalding & Bros. v. A.W. Gamage Ltd. (1915) 32 R.P.C. 273.

How GST Registration Helps to Maximize Your Tax Savings in Business
GST registration

Before we delve into GST registration in Jaipur, Bangalore, and Chennai, let’s define it and explain why it is crucial for your business. Goods and Services Tax is a tax on the supply of products and services. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax paid on all value additions.

Any firms that supply more than Rs. 20 lakhs in products and services annually must register for GST. The threshold limit for special category states, including Jaipur, is Rs. 10 lakhs. All businesses are required to register for GST, and failing to do so can result in severe penalties and fines.


GST Registration in Jaipur


Are you planning to start or expand your existing business in Jaipur? All businesses in India, including those in Jaipur, must register for GST. But signing up for GST can be hard, especially for new business owners who need to learn how it works.


Step-by-Step Guide for GST Registration in Jaipur


Step 1: Obtain a PAN card


The first step in the GST registration process is to obtain a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. If you already have a PAN card, skip Step 2. If not, you can apply for a PAN card online through the NSDL or UTIITSL websites.


Step 2: Register on the GST Portal


Register on the GST portal. Registering on the portal requires your PAN card number, mobile number, and email address. Enter the required details; you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number and email address.


Step 3: Fill out the GST registration application form


Once you have registered on the GST portal, you need to fill out the GST registration application form. The form requires your business name, PAN card number, address, and contact details. You must also upload scanned copies of your PAN card, bank account statement, and other relevant documents.


Step 4: Submit the application form

After filling out the application form and uploading the necessary documents, you need to send the form. After you send in the form, you’ll get an Application Reference Number (ARN) at the email address and phone number you used to sign up.


Step 5: Verification of documents


The last step in the GST registration process is the verification of documents. A GST officer will verify the documents submitted by you and may ask for additional documents if required. Once the officer is satisfied with the documents, your GST registration certificate will be issued.


GST Registration in Bangalore


India’s old indirect tax system has been replaced by the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a unified tax system. If you own a business in Bangalore and your annual sales are more than Rs. 20 lakhs, you must sign up for GST.GST registration in Bangalore can be a complicated process, so you need a checklist to make sure you do everything you need to do.


Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility for GST Registration

The first step to hassle-free GST registration in Bangalore is determining your eligibility. GST registration is mandatory if your annual turnover exceeds Rs. 20 lakhs. However, certain businesses must register for GST even if their turnover is below Rs. 20 lakhs. These include:

  • Businesses engaged in the supply of taxable goods and services across state borders
  • E-commerce operators
  • Businesses registered under the erstwhile VAT, excise duty, or service tax laws
  • Casual taxable persons or non-resident taxable persons

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents for GST Registration

Once you know if you are eligible, the next step is to get the documents you need to register for GST. These include:

  • PAN card of the business
  • Aadhaar card of the authorized signatory
  • Bank account details
  • Proof of business registration, such as a partnership deed, registration certificate, or memorandum of association
  • Proof of business address, such as electricity bill, rent agreement, or property tax receipt

Step 3: Choose the Appropriate GST Registration Form

There are different GST registration forms based on the type of business. The most commonly used forms are:

  • GST REG-01 for normal taxpayers
  • GST REG-06 for casual taxable persons or non-resident taxable persons
  • GST REG-07 for businesses registered under the erstwhile VAT, excise duty, or service tax laws

Step 4: Submit Your GST Registration Application Online

The next step is to submit your GST registration application online. You can do this through the GST portal by following these steps:

  • Visit the GST portal at
  • Click on the ‘Services’ tab and select ‘Registration.”
  • Click on ‘New Registration’
  • Fill in the required details and upload the required documents.
  • Apply.

Step 5: Track Your GST Registration Application Status

You can check the status of your GST registration application on the GST portal after you have sent it in. You will get an Application Reference Number (ARN) on the phone number and email address you used to sign up. You can use this ARN to track the status of your application.

Step 6: Obtain your GST Registration Certificate

Once your application for GST registration is approved, they will send your GST registration certificate to you on the GST portal. You can download and print this certificate for future reference.


GST Registration in Chennai


Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced on July 1, 2017. Every firm that makes taxable sales of goods or services in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, whose annual revenue exceeds Rs. 20 lakhs, would be required to register as a normal taxable person. This GST registration in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is fairly straightforward.


Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility for GST Registration

Before you can sign up for GST in Chennai, you need to find out if you qualify. If your business makes more than Rs. 20 lakhs a year, you must sign up for GST. If your annual turnover is less than this amount, you may still choose to register for GST voluntarily.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

To register for GST in Chennai, you will need to gather several documents, including:

  • PAN Card of the business entity
  • Proof of Business Registration or Incorporation Certificate
  • Address Proof of the Place of Business
  • Bank Account Details

It’s important to ensure all your documents are in order before you start the registration process.

Step 3: Register for GST Online

You can start the online registration process once you’ve found out if you’re eligible and gathered all the necessary documents. It involves visiting the GST Portal and creating a user ID and password. You must complete the GST registration form, upload your documents, and submit your application.

Step 4: Await Verification and Approval

A GST officer will validate your application after you submit it. It can take up to 10 working days. If there are any discrepancies in your application, the officer may ask for additional information or clarification. Once your application has been approved, you will receive your GSTIN number and certificate.

Step 5: Start Filing Your GST Returns

Once you receive your GSTIN number, you must file your GST returns. You must send information about your monthly sales and purchases and how much GST you paid. Different types of GST returns depend on your business’s nature and turnover. It’s important to ensure you file your returns on time to avoid penalties.


Why Choose Our Company for GST Registration in Chennai?

At Alonika, we have years of experience helping businesses register for GST in Chennai. We understand the process inside and out and can help you navigate any potential pitfalls. We offer a range of services, including:

  • GST registration for all types of businesses
  • Assistance with GST Returns Filing
  • GST Compliance Review
  • GST Advisory Services

We pride ourselves on providing a hassle-free experience for our clients and can help you every step of the way. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you comply with GST registration in Chennai, Bangalore, and Jaipur.

Difference Between Registered and Unregistered Trademark

This blog focuses on the difference between a registered trademark and an unregistered trademark in India. But before moving forward to this topic we need to understand the possible ways to protect a brand and its related matters in India by Trademark Registration in India and Copyright registration in India.

Brands in India are protected by Intellectual Property Rights and specifically by trademark and copyright law.

Trademark registration in India covers any word, name, symbol or design that is used to identify and distinguish the goods and services of one from those of another.

Copyright registration in India helps in protecting artistic design, logos, devices, and product manuals etc. We are not covering the aspect of copyright in this blog.

Trademark Registration is not readily available in the market which anyone can order or buy, trademark registration is not finished only by the filing of trademark application. It really takes a good amount of investment, time, hard work and money to get a trademark registration in India from which the brand reserves protection for years and helps them to protect the rights available.

Before we proceed to understand the differences, let’s take a glimpse at what registered and unregistered trademarks and their benefits.

Registered Trademark

Registered trademark means that the brand name, logo, symbol or design has been registered with the trademark registry by proceeding through the registration process specified under the Trademark Act, 1999 (hereinafter referred as Act). The application for registration can be filed via Section 18 of the Act. It is a proof of the distinctive identity of the goods or services and the end user can easily distinguish it from the other marks that are present in the market. Registration of a trademark not only gives security to the owner but many other benefits and exclusive rights for eternity with respect to timely Trademark Renewals in India under Section 25(1). Section 28 confers the exclusive right of using the trademark upon registration and relief can be obtained in case of infringement of the trademark.

Advantages of Registered Trademark:

  • To secure a legal status.
  • Trouble-free advertising and branding of the goods and services.
  • To alert the public from buying duplicate products.
  • To create a monopoly of the brand.
  • To create commercial goodwill.
  • To be able to file for international trademark registration.
  • For easy identification of trademark products. The symbol of the registered trademark is ®.

Let’s understand these benefits by the example of Burger King. Burger King, an American brand, is using this name since 1954 in all over the world and in India since 2014. One person began to use ‘King Burgerz’ which appears similar to the ‘Burger King’. Burger King Corporation then filed a case against the latter. The court held that, the addition of letter ‘z’ at the end is a tactic to confuse and deceive the public to assume it to be Burger King. Because Burger King is a registered trademark, it is entitled to protection against infringement by a person who uses similar mark which could be deceptive and misleading[1].

Moreover, if your trademark is registered in India’s IP office, it forms a basis to file for registration of an international trademark and one can file his trademark in multiple countries, all while sitting in India under the Madrid- International Trademark System. The international trademark is registered by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). This advantage can be availed only when your trademark is registered in your home country.

Unregistered Trademark

Unregistered trademarks are those trademarks which are not registered with the trademark registry. It does not let an owner of a product relish any security, rights and legal benefits. Section 27(1) of the Act also states that no action lies if there is an infringement of an unregistered trademark.


Difference Between Registered and Unregistered Trademark


Basis Registered Trademark Unregistered Trademark
Legal Status These marks are legally registered under the Trademark Act, 1999. These are not registered under the Act and do not possess any legal status under the statute.
Burden of Proof The registration certificate of the trademark is valid proof in itself. The burden of proof for the validity of the mark lies with the owner.
Symbol The owner having a Registered trademark can finally use the ® symbol beside the mark, it reserves the unique rights on that name. The unregistered trademark can only use ™ beside the mark to show that his rights are reserved and no one shall use it.
Remedies Available Any kind of infringement can be dealt with the legal rights created after the trademark registration. The only remedy available is that of common law in torts.
Geographical Benefits The registered trademark gets protection all over the country. The owner of an unregistered mark does not enjoy such benefits.
Protection The registered trademark reserves protection for 10 years and can be renewed. The unregistered trademark gets no such protection.
International Trademark Registration The prior condition to protect your brand internationally is that the trademark must be registered in the home country as then only an application for international trademark registration can be filed before WIPO. No such international protection of trademarks can be availed by a proprietor of an unregistered trademark.


[1] Burger King Corporation v. Mr Shameek & Anr., CS (COMM) 181/2016, (Delhi High Court, 02/05/2016).

Company Secretary as a Compliance Officer Liable for Compliance as per SEBI’s Buyback regulations

Recently, in an appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the court held that a company secretary must verify that the company complies with the rules governing share buybacks while serving as a compliance officer under the SEBI (Buyback of Shares) Rules 1998.

The respondent worked for Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. as the Company Secretary for two years, 2009–2010 and 2010–2011. The respondent was held liable by the SEBI because of his role as company secretary during the year when the company made a buyback offer for Rs. 270 crores in violation of its regulatory requirements. The SEBI discovered that the respondent signed the buyback public announcement in his capacity as company secretary.

As a “statutory official” of the company, the respondent was found to have breached the provisions of the Companies Act 1956 by failing to exercise due diligence and verify the authenticity of the buyback offer documents, whereas he should have ensured their legal compliance before authenticating and signing the public announcement.

The SEBI held the respondent liable for the company’s actions related to the buyback of its equity shares without sufficient free reserves, which were determined to have deceived the investors and shareholders. The respondent was held liable for breaking the terms of Sections 68 and 77A of the Companies Act of 1956, as well as the provisions of the PFUTP Regulations and related SEBI Act provisions.

In an appeal last year, the Tribunal overturned SEBI’s order. The Tribunal ruled that the Company Secretary’s responsibility was simply to authenticate the items specified in the balance sheet and in the offer document after the Board of Directors had authorised the offer and balance sheet. The Tribunal relied upon the terms of Regulation 19(3) of the SEBI (Buyback of Securities) Rules 1998 in coming to the conclusion that the obligation to comply was largely put on the Board of Directors rather than the respondent as Company Secretary.

Section 19(3) of the SEBI (Buyback of Securities) regulations 1998 states that the company shall nominate a compliance officer and investors service centre for compliance with the buyback regulations and to redress the grievances of the investors.

Recently, an appeal was filed before the Apex Court against the above order, in which it was carefully examined that the company is required under Regulation 19(3) to designate a compliance officer and an investor service centre. According to the court, this serves two purposes: first, to ensure adherence to the buyback Rules; and second, to redress investor complaints. The court further added that since the interpretation that has been placed by the Tribunal on the interpretation of 19(3) is contrary to the plain terms of Regulation 19(3), it set aside the impugned decision and remitted the proceedings back to the Tribunal for consideration of the facts afresh in the light of the interpretation that has been placed above on the provisions of Regulation 19(3).

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Reduction in Food License Fee

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on dated 10th February 2023 issued an order for ease of doing in licensing and it is a welcomed order issued by FSSAI. Earlier the food business operator (FBO) had to make full payment of the food license fee as per the food license category i.e. Rs 2000/- or Rs 3000/- or Rs 5000/- or Rs 7500/- per year or as the case may be has been reduced. In this view for streamlining the process of licensing and ease in obtaining a Food license. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) decided that:

  1. Earlier while scrutinizing the documents and details provided along with Fssai License Application and if there are any discrepancies/shortcomings FBO has to fulfil the same within 30 days and due to non-fulfilment of shortcomings the full license fee lapsed and result in losses to the Food Business Operator.
  2. Only the initial application fee for licensing whether the full fee for the license is Rs 2000/- to Rs 7500/- is reduced to Rs 1000/- + GST.
  3. The difference amount for the license has to be paid within 30 days after scrutiny of documents and approval of same. Non-payment of the balance food license fee will result in auto rejection of the FSSAI license application.
  4. This is applicable where the fee for the license is Rs 2000/- to Rs 7500/- (Trading License, Retail Food License, Wholesale License, State Manufacturing License, Relabelling Food License, Repacking Food License, Central Food License, Import License, Export License, etc.) and not affecting FSSAI Registration.

Earlier the Food Safety Authorities had reduced the time limit for food licensing from 1-5 years to 1 year only through its order dated 12th January 2023.

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Faster Renewal of Food License

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on dated 12th January 2023 issued an order for ease of doing in licensing and it was a much-awaited order from FSSAI. In this view for streamlining the process of licensing/registration renewal, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had decided that:

a. All the renewal of license/registration upon submission of the application by the Food Business Operator (FBO) will be granted instantly, without scrutiny/approval of the authority, subject to the following conditions:

  • No Change in the existing details of the license/registration
  • Validity for the renewal of the License shall be only 1 year and for Registration shall be as existing 1-5 year
  • FBO whose license/registration has been cancelled/suspended shall not be allowed to renew their license/registration
  • Annual reports along with penalties (If any) shall be filed before renewals
  • FBO has to submit the declaration which has been added to the licensing system.

b. Validity of New License and Registration

  • License: Validity of the new license is now restricted to only 1 year instead of the existing period 1-5 years
  • Registration: Validity will be continued as per existing provision for 1-5 years

c. Penalties

There will be no penalty in case the renewal application is filed in the last 30 days before the expiry of the Food License or Registration. However, the penalties for renewal of an expired license will be levied.

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Testing Reports under FSSAI

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on dated 13th January 2023 issued an order to upload mandatorily food testing reports for Manufacturer and Relabeller license holders. As per the existing condition no 12 to the license number, the food business operator (FBO) to “Ensure testing of relevant chemical and/or microbiological contaminants in food products in accordance with these regulations as frequently as required on the basis of historical data and risk assessment to ensure production and delivery of safe food through own or NABL accredited /FSSA notified labs at least once in six months”.

Through its earlier order FSSAI had made it clear that such testing and reporting is mandatory to be done bi-annually (every six months), accordingly all food business operators holding FSSAI license as manufacturer or relabeller should upload the mandatory testing reports w.e.f FY 2022-2023 the last date to upload such report for the first six months of FY 22-23 (1st April 2022 to 30th September 2022) is 31st March 2023 failure in which can lead to suspension of the food license.


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1 Lakh trademark applications are to be Abandoned soon

A public notice issued by The Ministry of Commerce & Industries dated 6th February 2023, through this notice the department is likely to treat all trademark applications as “Abandoned” where a reply of objection/examination report ware still awaited.

The department has excised the power of section 132 of The Trademark Act, 1999 and Rule 33(4) of The Trademarks Rule, 2017.

Section 132 of The Trademarks Act, 1999 read as:

“Where, in the opinion of the Registrar, an applicant is in default in the prosecution of an application filed under this Act or any Act relating to trademarks in force prior to the commencement of this Act, the Registrar may, by notice require the applicant to remedy the default within a time specified and after giving him, if so, desired, an opportunity of being heard, treat the application as abandoned, unless the default is remedied within the time specified in the notice.”

Rule 33(4) of The Trademarks Rule, 2017 read as:

“If, within one month from the date of receipt of the examination report, the applicant fails to respond to the communication, the Registrar may treat the application as abandoned.”

However, before treating such applications as ‘abandoned’, If any applicant/applicant’s agent has duly replied to the examination report issued in reference to the given applications within the prescribed time and has the acknowledgment of their submission or any other document, the same is to be brought to the notice of Registrar of Trade Marks within a period of 30 days from date of this notice along with NCR and/or any other document in support of reply filed so that such applications from the given list, after due verification, be processed as per the Act and Rules, and rest of the applications, wherein no reply/grievance is received, will be treated as ‘abandoned’ as per law and their status shall be updated accordingly.

Alonika is one of the best IP Law firms in India dealing in Trademark Registration, Objection Reply, Opposition matters, and Litigation Matters related to trademarks and all other related services. Alonika has a dedicated team of IP Law expert lawyers.


Trademarks Likely To Be Removed