Photo of Aditya Mehta

Partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Aditya has expertise and extensive experience in commercial litigation and arbitration (both domestic and international), handling disputes both of a general commercial nature as well as public and regulatory disputes across sectors, including financial regulation, administrative, white collar, sports, media and entertainment, food and beverage, local government, planning and environment and public sector projects. He regularly appears and argues matters before Courts (including High Courts and the Supreme Court), Tribunals and Regulatory Authorities. He can be reached at aditya.mehta@cyrilshroff.com.

Digital Age Warfare

A. Introduction

In this digital age, it may not be out of place to say that data has replaced oil as the most valuable resource. The advancement of technology has led to the emergence of a new species of extortion, where ransom is sought in lieu of data, which is illegally assumed control over. This phenomenon is popularly known as a ransomware attack. A ransomware attack includes a malware that is introduced onto the host’s computer or mobile, thereby encrypting its data, with a subsequent demand for a ‘ransom’ for decryption of the same, to secure its release[i].


Continue Reading Digital Age Warfare: Ransomware Attacks

Vitiating Elements of Free Consent

The concept of freedom of contract has two meanings; first is the freedom of a party to enter into a contract on whatever terms it may consider advantageous to its interests, or to choose not to, and second, that there should be no liability without consent being embodied in a valid contract.[1]


Continue Reading Vitiating Elements of Free Consent: A ‘How to Plead Guide’

TIME IS THE ESSENCE OF THIS CONTRACT - IS IT REALLY

INTRODUCTION

Negotiated, as also standard format contracts, are rife with clauses proclaiming time is of the essence. Parties are usually rest assured after spelling this out, hoping (nay assured) that such words employed would by themselves be adequate to enforce rights through a Court or an arbitral process. Sadly, mere words are usually never enough.

The Supreme Court, in the recent judgement of Welspun Specialty Solution Limited vs. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.[i], has reiterated the principles basis which Courts are required to construe whether time is of the essence of a contract. The Court held that a collective reading of the entire contract and its surrounding circumstances is imperative to come to such a conclusion. Merely having an explicit clause in the contract may not be sufficient to make time the essence of it. The Court also held that the availability of extension procedures to fulfil obligations under a contract, along with consequent imposition of liquidated damages, are good indicators to hold that time is not of the essence.
Continue Reading Time is the Essence of this Contract: Is it Really?

The “Security” Defence in Cases relating to Dishonour of Cheques – Not a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

INTRODUCTION

The Supreme Court, in the case of Sripati Singh vs. The State of Jharkhand & Anr[i], has provided much needed clarity on the often-used defence of a cheque having been issued as ‘security’ in proceedings under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (the Act). The Court held that a cheque issued by way of security, if dishonoured, would attract the provisions of the Act, if the same is issued in consequence of a legally enforceable debt, which has become recoverable at the time of its presentation.


Continue Reading The “Security” Defence in Cases Relating to Dishonour of Cheques – Not a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

Arbitral Tribunal

INTRODUCTION

Recently, in the case of Godrej Properties Ltd. v. Goldbricks Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.[i], the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has held that an arbitral tribunal cannot pass ex-parte orders on the mere filing of an Application under Section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the Act) without giving the parties an opportunity to be heard. The Court has further distinguished the powers of an arbitral tribunal to pass interim orders under the Act from those enjoyed by a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).


Continue Reading Parties to be Given an Advance Notice of Hearing – The Bombay High Court Sets Aside an Ex-Parte Order Passed by the Arbitral Tribunal

Interpreting Insurance Contracts: Special Considerations – Part II

In part I of this blog, we have discussed some of the principles of interpretation set and relied upon by Courts whilst construing and interpreting insurance contracts, including that of strict construction, essentials of an insurance contract and the requirement of Uberrimei fidei i.e., good faith. In this part, we will delve into other principles which form the basis for interpretation of insurance contracts, including presumption as to materiality of information sought, effect of misrepresentation and the applicability of the rule of contra proferentem to insurance contracts


Continue Reading Interpreting Insurance Contracts: Special Considerations – Part II

Interpreting Insurance Contracts Special Considerations – Part I

Insurance is the act of providing against a possible loss, by entering into a contract with one who is willing to give assurance — that is, to bind himself to make good such loss should it occur. In this contract, the chances of benefit are equal to the insurer and the insured. The first actually pays a certain sum and the latter undertakes to pay a larger, if an accident should happen. The one renders his property secure; the other receives money with the probability that it is clear gain. The instrument by which the contract is made is called a policy; the stipulated consideration a premium.[i]


Continue Reading Interpreting Insurance Contracts: Special Considerations – Part I

Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India

INTRODUCTION:

Cryptocurrencies, worryingly unregulated, decentralised virtual currencies, are steadily gaining traction in the Indian transaction landscape. With digitalisation and smart contracts becoming the new norm (especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic), global trade in cryptocurrencies has increased by leaps and bounds. However, one cannot ignore the unprecedented rise in cybercrimes across the globe, relatable to virtual currencies. The expansion of the cryptocurrency landscape poses various challenges in the form of regulatory, legal, and operational risks. Whilst appropriate measures to regulate cryptocurrencies are the need of the hour, the Indian judiciary has been rather proactive in its dealing with such cryptic virtual currencies.


Continue Reading Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India

Supreme court reiterates that courts DO not sit in appeal over an award passed by an arbitrator

INTRODUCTION:

Recently, in NTPC v. M/s Deconar Services Pvt. Ltd.[1], a three judge bench of the Supreme Court has, in line with the settled principle of minimum interference in arbitral awards, inter alia reiterated that in order to succeed in a challenge against an arbitral award, the party challenging the award must show that the arbitrator’s award suffered from perversity; or an error of law; or that the arbitrator had otherwise misconducted himself. The Court highlighted that merely showing that there is another reasonable interpretation or possible view on the basis of the material on record is insufficient to allow interference by the Court.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Reiterates that Courts Do Not Sit in Appeal over an Award passed by an Arbitrator

LEARNING TO SPRINT SUPREME COURT ISSUES DIRECTIONS TO REDUCE DELAY IN DISPOSING EXECUTION PROCEEDINGS

I. Introduction:

  1. In the past decade, the Indian judiciary has been globally recognized for its historic rulings. However, even such successes, more often than not, are tainted because of the time that goes by, in passing the final ruling in a case. Justice delayed is justice denied, as the adage goes. Delay is so integral to judicial proceedings in India that it not only effects litigants initiating legal proceedings, but also plagues the minds of decree holders who have painstakingly gone through the entire lifecycle of a litigation. Even armed with a decree, a litigant must once again fight an already conquered battle before the executing court.
    Continue Reading Learning to Sprint: Supreme Court Issues Directions to Reduce Delay in Disposing Execution Proceedings