Sunday, June 20, 2021

Shivangi Tyagi and Anirudh Burman

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Antitrust Implications of Food Service Aggregator Owned Cloud Kitchens

As delineated in the recent case of In Re Prachi Agarwal & Ors. v Swiggy (“Swiggy case”), Food Service Aggregators (‘FSAs’) like Swiggy and Zomato operate in the “App based food delivery platform” market with India being the relevant geographic market.But lately, these FSAs have branched out to become market participants by registering self-owned ‘cloud kitchens’ on their own platforms. A cloud kitchen or ‘ghost kitchen’ is a restaurant that cuts down on all the overhead costs, eliminates the typical brick and mortar structure and only offers delivery or takeout services. This article highlights the anti-competitive ramifications that follow the neutral FSAs’ (in this case, Swiggy) decision to become a market participant.

Reviewing the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Almost as if it was foreshadowing the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules, 2019 (‘NDCTR’/ ‘Rules’) brought about significant developments by consolidating and streamlining the framework for regulating clinical trials and approvals thereof. However, the circumstances in the recent past have raised questions as to whether these new Rules, in their attempt to promote robust clinical research in India, have compromised on the safety and efficacy of trials, making them more sponsor-friendly. This piece explores such issues in the context of striking the right balance between the two.

A Critical Reappraisal of Bonus Laws in India

The article first highlights the concerns with bonus distribution in India which is constrained heavily due to the determination of bonus payments being based on profits generated by the businesses. The article then proceeds to explore the problems with the set-off and set-on rule prescribed in Section 36 of the Code which carries forward the bonus payments to the succeeding year, thereby withholding the employee’s rightful payment for that year.