Photo of Ankoosh Mehta

Partner in the Dispute Resolution Team at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Ankoosh focuses on arbitrations (domestic and international),  corporate/commercial litigation, real estate disputes and private client pratice related litigation. He can be reached at ankoosh.mehta@cyrilshroff.com

Introduction

The growth and diversification of businesses have led to an increase in white collar crimes. The term ‘white collar crime’ was first defined by Edwin Hardin Sutherland as crimes committed by persons who hold high societal status and repute in their profession. As the complexity of such crimes has grown over the years and investigations have become refined, we have seen an increase in private professional services offering support to companies and their management in dealing with white collar crimes.

These support services extend from providing an in-depth analysis of the crime to the management, carrying out forensic investigations into the affairs of the company, including audit and forensic diligence reports and preparing the company for legal proceedings. The need for internal private investigations has also increased as a result of strengthening of laws on compliances and reporting of white collar crimes. The allegations may vary from offences under the Indian Penal Code (such as fraud, cheating, forgery, etc.) to offences under offences under special statutes (such as money laundering, insider trading, corruption, etc.).


Continue Reading For or Against Forensic diligence when facing a White-Collar Investigation: Evidentiary Value

DOUBLE TROUBLE IN 2020 - TACKLING COVID-19 WHILE PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY

Background

Dire times call for ingenious, and often, radical measures. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to actions being taken under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in India, is one such unprecedented and grim event. While governments and health workers all over the world are grappling to curb the spread of the virus, it has been realised that surveillance of affected persons is of paramount importance in order to assess and implement preventive and control measures.

Data tracking and analysis has emerged as an unlikely hero. This analysis has enabled governments to implement measures to stop the pandemic at its source and to prevent deaths, social disruption, unnatural burden on the healthcare system and economic loss. As government authorities are required to control the pandemic not only in their own country, but also understand how the same is evolving in other countries, governments all over the world have taken the stance that free flow of information that is updated in real time will allow for the formation of a steady global picture and help in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
Continue Reading Double Trouble in 2020 – Tackling COVID-19 while Protecting the Right to Privacy

SUPREME COURT’S CONTINUOUS BATTLE WITH COVID-19

I. Introduction

The last few months have been extremely unpredictable and extraordinary for the world as it continuously battles against the novel Corona virus (“Covid-19”) in all its spheres. In India, the economy has suffered a severe blow and the legal fraternity and judicial system seems to be no different due to a lack of digital infrastructure.

Recently, by an order dated May 6, 2020 (“May 06 Order”)[1], the Hon’ble Supreme Court extended all periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”) and under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (“NI Act”) w.e.f. March 15, 2020 until further orders. This order has a tremendous implication for strict timelines prescribed under these statutes. In this article, we will analyse whether the May 06 Order was necessary in light of the order dated March 23, 2020 (“March 23 Order”) passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the same proceedings[2] and thereafter, explore the implication of the same.
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Domestic Arbitration receives booster shot from Supreme Court

  

Recently, the Supreme Court in Quippo Construction Equipment Limited V. Janardan Nirman Private Limited[1] held that if a party to an arbitration agreement chooses not to participate in arbitral proceedings, that party is deemed to have waived the right to raise objections regarding jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal or the scope of its authority at a later stage. While dealing with objections to a domestic arbitral award, the Supreme Court also had occasion to comment on the perennial seat vs venue debate. In doing so, it inter alia observed that objections with respect to ‘place of arbitration’ may have significance in international commercial arbitrations (where the place of arbitration may determine which curial law would apply), but not so much in domestic arbitrations.
Continue Reading Domestic Arbitration receives booster shot from Supreme Court

Injunction against encashment or invocation of Bank Guarantees

 Introduction 

The restraining of the invocation of a bank guarantee has traditionally been one of the less ventured into areas of law. In India as well as in common law, Courts have laid down strict standards and thresholds for judicial intervention, and only in the rarest cases would Courts allow an injunction against invocation of a bank guarantee. This trend, however, is changing and evolving constantly.

A bank guarantee is a written tripartite contract given by a bank (say, A), on behalf of its customer (say, B) in relation to a particular commercial contract with a third-party (say, C). By issuing this guarantee, Bank A takes responsibility of paying a fixed sum of money in case of non-performance of contractual obligations by B towards C.
Continue Reading Injunction against encashment/invocation of Bank Guarantees: evolution of “Fraud” and “Special Equities”

COGNIZABILITY OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT DEBATE IS BACK

The question of whether the offence of copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957 (the “Copyright Act”) is a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable offence, has long been debated and addressed varyingly by different High Courts over the years. Recently, the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court (“Rajasthan HC”) in the case of Nathu Ram & Ors. v State of Rajasthan[1] had the occasion to consider this question once again, and in doing so, opted to refer the same to a larger bench for settling the issue, thereby bringing this debate to the fore once again. This article shall analyse relevant statutory provisions and jurisprudential developments in order to understand how courts have dealt with the issue.
Continue Reading COGNIZABILITY OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT DEBATE IS BACK!

SC refuses unilateral appointment of single arbitrator

Arbitration is a method of alternate dispute resolution wherein a third party is appointed for adjudication of disputes between the concerned parties. In such a scenario, preserving the sanctity of the judicial process becomes imperative. As arbitration requires adjudication on rights of the parties involved, principles of natural justice play a critical role in avoiding any potential risk of miscarriage of justice. The first principle of natural justice is ‘nemo judex in causa sua’, which means ‘no man can be a judge in his own cause’. This principle intends to avoid any ‘reasonable apprehension of bias’ that may arise during any judicial process.
Continue Reading SC refuses unilateral appointment of single arbitrator

DIAL-A-DOCTOR-A-look-at-the-Telemedicine-Practice-Guidelines-2020

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (“MoHFW”), on March 25, 2020, issued the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines (“Guidelines”) providing Registered Medical Practitioners (“RMPs”) with guidelines to treat patients remotely by using the telemedicine tools at their disposal.

Concepts such as telemedicine have gained prominence pursuant to the rapid development of information technology and the need to service the requirements of patients who may not be able to visit healthcare facilities, or have little to no access to the same. Such services involve the transfer of medical information and expertise through telecommunication and computer technologies and aim to facilitate diagnosis, treatment and management of patients. Currently, in India, platforms such as ‘practo’ and ‘DocOnline’ exist which facilitate online medical consultations albeit in a restricted manner given stringent regulatory controls on the practice of medicine. Though such platforms would help to deliver widespread healthcare services, there exist several concerns that exist about the medicolegal implications of telemedicine relating to registration, licensing, insurance, quality, privacy and confidentiality issues, as well as other risks associated with electronic health care communication.
Continue Reading DIAL A DOCTOR- A look at the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines, 2020

Supreme Court denounces speculative litigation seeking to resist enforcement of foreign awards

Introduction

Over the years, Indian Courts have increasingly limited their interference with arbitral awards. This approach of non-interference is more so when it comes to enforcement of foreign awards under Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) as has been reaffirmed in a recent judgment of the Supreme Court in Vijay Karia (“Appellants”) and Ors. v. Prysmain Cavi E Sistemi SRL & Ors[1] (“Respondents”).

In this case, the Supreme Court had occasion to consider an appeal against the order of a single judge of the Bombay High Court, allowing enforcement of a London seated foreign award (“Foreign Award’). In doing so, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and came down heavily on the Appellants for engaging in speculative litigation and attempting to invoke the limited powers of the Supreme Court under Article 136[2] only to resist enforcement of the Foreign Award.
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Suits Against Foreign State Corporations – Is Sovereign Immunity Commercially Viable?

Background

In India, the concept of sovereign immunity or crown immunity as available to foreign states/rulers, is governed by Section 86 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”). The legal doctrine essentially states that the sovereign or a foreign state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from a civil suit or criminal prosecution.

The doctrine is based on the legal maxim rex non potest peccare which means the king can do no wrong and is based on a common law governed by British jurisprudence. India also follows another principle which states, par in parem non habet imperium, which means one sovereign state is not subject to jurisdiction of another state.

Even while Indian law affords such protection to foreign state actors, Indian courts, in order to not let genuine claims be defeated, have been narrowing the scope of sovereign immunity, and have restricted the same. The principle of sovereign immunity covers the entire judicial process, from the institution of proceedings up to the stage of orders and decisions passed by a court as well as their execution.
Continue Reading Suits Against Foreign State Corporations – Is Sovereign Immunity Commercially Viable?