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Associate in the Dispute Resolution Team at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. She can be reached at tanya.singh@cyrilshroff.com

Does an Arbitration Clause survive Novation of an Agreement 

Introduction:

Recently in Sanjiv Prakash v. Seema Kukreja & Ors.[1], the Delhi High Court has reiterated that novation of an agreement would necessarily result in destruction of the arbitration clause contained therein. In this regard, it was observed that an arbitration agreement being a creation of an agreement may be destroyed by agreement.

Facts of the case:

Respondent No. 3 had incorporated a company in 1971, under the name of Asian Films Laboratories Private Limited, which was subsequently renamed as ANI Media Private Limited in 1997 (“Company”). The shareholders of the said Company were Respondent No. 3’s son (“Petitioner”) and his daughter and wife (“Respondent No. 1” and “Respondent No. 2” respectively) (Petitioner and Respondents together hereinafter referred to as the “Family”). The Petitioner was the Managing Director of the Company. In 1996, Thomson Reuters Corporation Pte. Limited (“Reuters”) approached the Petitioner for a long-term equity investment in the Company on the condition that the Petitioner would play an active role in the management of the Company.
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The Age of the Indian Consumer

In a recent decision[1] passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, developers were directed to pay compensation in excess of the contractually stipulated amount to flat purchasers, on account of delay in handing over possession and non-fulfilment of certain representations made to them. It was also held that consumer forums established under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (CP Act, 1986), are empowered to award just and reasonable compensation (even beyond the contractually stipulated amount, wherever necessary) to alleviate the harassment and agony caused to a consumer.
Continue Reading The Age of the Indian Consumer?

In Shakti Bhog Food Industries Ltd. v. The Central Bank of India and Anr.[1], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has clarified as to when the three-year limitation period contemplated under Article 113[2] of the Limitation Act, 1963 (Act), commences. It has also reiterated the importance of considering the averments made in a plaint as a whole while determining an application for rejection of plaints under Order VII Rule 11[3] of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).


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unfettered right to exclude or limit their liability for breach of contract Part 2

In Part I of this post, we had discussed the concept of exclusion or limitation of liability clauses and the position in India. In this part, we will examine the position of such clauses in England and provide our views on such clauses. 

Position in England 

The application of clauses excluding or limiting liability in England is more consistent. When faced with standard form contracts or contracts where there is inequality of bargaining power, English courts apply the test of fairness or reasonableness of clauses in such contracts and refuse to enforce provisions of contracts that are unconscionable or exploitative.[1]
Continue Reading Do parties have an unfettered right to exclude or limit their liability for breach of contract? – Part II

Do parties have an unfettered right to exclude or limit their liability for breach of contract – Part 1

Introduction

The law of damages in India is codified in Sections 73 and 74 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (“Contract Act”). Section 73 of the Contract Act provides that a party that suffers breach of contract is entitled to receive from the party that has broken the contract, compensation for any loss or damage caused to him thereby, which naturally arose in the usual course of things from such breach or which the parties knew, when they made the contract, to be likely to result from a breach. Section 73 of the Contract Act bars the grant of compensation for remote and indirect loss or damage sustained on account of breach of contract.

This bifurcation between damages towards losses, which naturally arise in the usual course of things (first limb) and losses that the parties knew, when they made the contract, to be likely to result from a breach of the contract (second limb), appears to be borrowed from the principle laid down in the celebrated English decision of Hadley v. Baxendale.[1] The first limb is popularly referred to as general damages, whilst the second limb is referred to as special damages i.e. additional loss caused by a breach on account of special circumstances, outside the ordinary course of things, which was in the contemplation of the parties.
Continue Reading Do parties have an unfettered right to exclude or limit their liability for breach of contract? – Part I

Contract of service or contract for service - The Supreme Court Test

In Sushilaben Indravadan Gandhi v. The New India Assurance Company Limited,[1] the Supreme Court crystallised and clarified the tests to differentiate between a contract of service and a contract for service, while also interpreting an exemption of liability clause in an insurance policy.

Factual Background

Respondent No. 3 viz. the Rotary Eye Institute, Navsari (“Institute”) subscribed to a Private Car ‘B’ insurance policy offered by Respondent No. 1 viz. New India Assurance Company Limited (“Insurance Company”) on April 17, 1997 (“Insurance Policy”). The Insurance Policy, which inter alia covered death of or bodily injury to any person including occupants in the relevant motor car, expressly excluded the Insurance Company’s liability in cases of death or injury arising out of and in the course of the employment of the person so affected, by the Institute. The Insurance Policy also provided for compensation on a particular scale for bodily injury sustained by any passenger other than inter alia a person in the employ of the Institute, coming within the scope of the Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, and engaged in and upon the service of the Institute at the time when such injury is sustained.
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