Photo of Ria Lulla

Associate in the Dispute Resolution Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Ria advises on civil litigation, including arbitrations and disputes advisory. She can be reached at ria.lulla@cyrilshroff.com

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.
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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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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.
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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.
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