Photo of Amita Katragadda

Partner in the Disputes, Governance and Policy Practice at the Delhi office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Amita has a varied skill set in complex corporate transactions and litigation. She specialized in public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and Securities laws, and has led several complex and path breaking commercial transactions. Amita has also advised on significant constitutional and commercial matters, and has also interacted with and made representations to several regulatory authorities including the SEBI and the RBI. She can be reached at amita.katragadda@cyrilshroff.com

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

– John Maxwell

Covid-19 has seen the legal landscape leapfrog into digital courts, electronic filings and asynchronous video hearings. The change has been fundamental and deep deliberations are currently underway for the systemic adoption of a new normal. Such a material shift often facilitates rapid adoption of other innovations that were hitherto stuck at the threshold of a conservative mindset. We believe that Third Party Funding of litigation is one such legal innovation that will now come of age in India.


Continue Reading Cash constrained and need to litigate? Third Party Funding may be the solution

COVID 19 - Online Courts in India

Work from home for a litigating lawyer in India currently looks like endless hours of reading, chores and on-demand video. In this blog, we argue that this will be a short-lived state of affairs. Remote working for litigation will be operationalised soon and will become the new normal for litigating lawyers in the not too distant future.

Courts are an essential service for civil society. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts across the country have gone into an urgent-only, online-only mode with electronic filings, email mentions and, in exceptional cases, online hearings via video conferencing/ video calling facilities. This urgent only model of restricted judicial access is not sustainable past the initial lockdown. Courts will have to resume a full-time case load in the near future, albeit in a form that will be quite different from the way as we knew it. The urgent-only format will come to pass, with courts adopting the online-only format for its regular functioning. As a first step, the Supreme Court of India issued a suo-motu order yesterday setting out guidelines for courts to function through video conferencing during the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Continue Reading From the Gavel to the Click: COVID 19 poised to be the inflection point for Online Courts in India

There is a perception that arbitration proceedings in India are plagued with delays, interventionist courts, and parties attempting to scuttle the proceedings. A mere allegation of fraud was often enough to obstruct an arbitration proceeding on the ground that the criminality underlying the fraud would render the dispute non-arbitrable. This is no longer the case.

A major factor in making arbitration proceedings efficient is minimal judicial intervention. However, parties often subvert and delay arbitral proceedings by raising the ground that the nature of the dispute is non arbitrable. For instance, when commercial relations go sour leading to disputes, parties routinely make allegations of fraud. This was then used as a ground to force the dispute out of arbitration and into the traditional court system. This relied upon the Supreme Court’s decision in N. Radhakrishnan v. Maestro Engineering[2], that disputes involving allegations of fraud are incapable of being adjudicated by an arbitral tribunal. The subsequent decision in Swiss Timing v. Organising Committee[3], took a contrary view to N. Radhakrishnan. These contradictory decisions left the issue open and continued the uncertainty around the viability of domestic arbitrations as an effective dispute resolution mechanism.

The issue now stands settled. The Supreme Court in the recent decision of A. Ayyasami v. A. Paramasivam[4] has held that a mere allegation of fraud will not render disputes non-arbitrable.
Continue Reading Mere Allegation of Fraud – No longer an Obstruction to Arbitration Proceedings