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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

LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING A SECTION 34 PETITION BEGINS FROM THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF THE SIGNED COPY OF THE ARBITRAL AWARD

Introduction:

Recently, a division bench of the Supreme Court in Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. V. M/s Navigant Technologies Pvt. Ltd.[1] has inter alia (i) clarified when the limitation period for challenging an arbitral award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”) commences; (ii) discussed the legal requirement and significance of an award being signed; and (iii) highlighted the relevance of dissenting opinions in arbitration proceedings. The Court has also made observations on what happens to the underlying disputes between the parties after an award is set aside.
Continue Reading Limitation period for filing a Section 34 Petition begins from the Date of Receipt of the Signed Copy of the Arbitral Award

Supreme Court Clarifies that Acceptance of a Conditional Offer with a Further Condition does not Result in a Concluded Contract.

Introduction

In M/s. Padia Timber Company (P) Ltd. v. The Board of Trustees of Vishakhapatnam Port Trust[1], the Supreme Court has reiterated that the acceptance of a conditional offer with a further condition does not result in a concluded contract. The Court has observed that when the acceptor attaches a new condition while accepting the contract already signed by the proposer, the contract is not complete until the proposer accepts the new condition. 
Continue Reading Supreme Court Clarifies that Acceptance of a Conditional Offer with a Further Condition does not Result in a Concluded Contract

WRITS AGAINST ORDERS PASSED BY ARBITRAL TRIBUNALS – THE SUPREME COURT REITERATES THE LAW SMM

 Introduction

Recently, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Bhaven Construction v. Executive Engineer Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. and Anr[1] has observed that the High Courts’ power of interference under Articles 226[2] and 227[3] of the Constitution of India (“Constitution”), in the context of arbitral proceedings, may be exercised in ‘exceptional rarity’. Clarifying the term ‘exceptional rarity’, the Court pointed out that such interference would be warranted only in cases wherein a party is left remediless under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”) or clear bad faith is shown by one of the parties.
Continue Reading Writs Against Orders Passed by Arbitral Tribunals – The Supreme Court Reiterates the Law

DECODING THE LAW ON ANTICIPATORY BAIL 

Introduction

“Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty and is given him by the author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance.” – Thomas Jefferson

Personal liberty is a natural, vital and essential right of an individual, recognised as a fundamental right under Article 21[1] of the Constitution of India. This entitlement is a part of the inalienable basic structure of the Constitution of India. When an individual is suspected to have committed an offence (punishable under the law for the time being in force), the machinery of law is mandated to arrest them, bring them to trial and punish them if found guilty. Arrest deprives an individual of his personal liberty, and the act of securing bail usually sets him free. The concept of bail is inextricably linked to the right to personal liberty. The entitlement to secure bail flows from the provisions of Sections 436, 437 and 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“Code”), along with the facet of anticipatory bail, introduced thereto by the Law Commission’s 41st report.
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The Supreme Court Revisits the Consequences of Non-Payment of Stamp Duty on the Arbitration Agreement – Part I

In Part I of this post, we discussed the findings of the Court on the issue of separability of arbitration agreements from the underlying contract and the corresponding validity of arbitration agreements in unstamped agreements. In this part, we will analyse the findings of the Court with respect to arbitrability of disputes involving fraud; and

The Supreme Court Revisits the Consequences of Non-Payment of Stamp Duty on the Arbitration Agreement – Part I

Introduction

Recently, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in M/s N.N. Global Mercantile Pvt. Ltd. v. M/s Indo Unique Flame Ltd. & Others[1] has reiterated and clarified the law on the (i) doctrine of separability of arbitration agreements from the underlying contract; (ii) arbitrability of disputes involving fraud; and (iii) maintainability of a writ petition against orders passed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”).
Continue Reading The Supreme Court Revisits the Consequences of Non-Payment of Stamp Duty on the Arbitration Agreement – Part I

MULTIPLICITY OF PROCEEDINGS DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION - DELHI HIGH COURT SMM

Introduction

Recently, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (“Court”) in Gammon India Ltd. and Anr. v. National Highways Authority of India[1], had the occasion to opine on the scourge of multiplicity of arbitral proceedings while dealing with a petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) wherein the objections raised were primarily based on the findings of a subsequent award. In dealing with the issues before it, the Court revisited various judicial precedents while setting out the principles to be considered when referring multiple disputes arising out of the same agreement to arbitration.
Continue Reading Multiplicity of proceedings defeats the purpose of alternate dispute resolution: Delhi high court

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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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”