Interpreting Insurance Contracts: Special Considerations – Part II

In part I of this blog, we have discussed some of the principles of interpretation set and relied upon by Courts whilst construing and interpreting insurance contracts, including that of strict construction, essentials of an insurance contract and the requirement of Uberrimei fidei i.e., good faith. In this part, we will delve into other principles which form the basis for interpretation of insurance contracts, including presumption as to materiality of information sought, effect of misrepresentation and the applicability of the rule of contra proferentem to insurance contracts


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Interpreting Insurance Contracts Special Considerations – Part I

Insurance is the act of providing against a possible loss, by entering into a contract with one who is willing to give assurance — that is, to bind himself to make good such loss should it occur. In this contract, the chances of benefit are equal to the insurer and the insured. The first actually pays a certain sum and the latter undertakes to pay a larger, if an accident should happen. The one renders his property secure; the other receives money with the probability that it is clear gain. The instrument by which the contract is made is called a policy; the stipulated consideration a premium.[i]


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Explaining the rudimentary principles of proving contradictions in a criminal trial

The craft of cross examination is often tested by the ingenuity of a trial lawyer in impeaching the credibility of a witness by extracting contradictions such that his previous testimony becomes unworthy of belief. The art of cross examination has always been deemed the surest test of truth and a better security than oath[1]. The method lies in introducing and proving an otherwise inadmissible evidence, with a masterful knowledge of the underlying laws of evidence. At a macro level, the broad contours of impeaching the credit of a witness is contemplated under Section 155 of the Evidence Act, 1872 (the “Act”), where under inter alia proving contradictions play a formidable part. Superior courts in India have time and again emphasised on the imperativeness of proving contradictions in consonance with the procedure prescribed under Section 145 the Act. Whilst, in a large measure, Section 145 of the Act is worded to take within its fold the procedure for proving contradictions in both criminal and civil trials by an adverse party, outlined below is an attempt at non-exhaustively analysing the procedure for extracting and proving contradictions in a criminal trial.


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SC expands the scope of judicial inquiry under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Introduction

A two judge bench of the Supreme Court has recently passed a landmark judgment, expanding the scope of judicial inquiry under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, (“Act”), in DLF Home Developers Limited v. Rajapura Homes Private Limited & Anr[1] and DLF Home Developers Limited v. Begur OMR Homes Private Limited & Anr[2].


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Interim Application Already Considered by Court

Introduction

Recently, the Supreme Court in Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India Ltd. v. Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd.,[1] (“Arcelor-Essar Judgment”) held that the bar on the Court from entertaining interim applications under Section 9(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) was applicable only if the application  had not been taken up for consideration at the time of the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal. However, if the Court had heard the application even in part, and had applied its mind to it, it could decide to proceed with the adjudication of the same.


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From-Harbour-to-Hardships-Understanding-the-Information-Technology-Intermediary-Guidelines-and-Digital-Media-Ethics-Code-Rules-2021-Part-III

This is in continuation to the series analysing the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“2021 Rules”). In the first part, we traced the evolution of intermediary liability and the key changes brought about by the 2021 Rules. In the second part, we discussed the consequences of non-compliance by intermediaries which, inter alia, disentitle them from claiming the safe harbour protection under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“Act”).


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Prakash Gupta Judgment – Has the Supreme Court given more Powers to SEBI in the Matter of Compounding

Introduction

The Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (“SEBI Act”) was essentially introduced to protect the interests of investors and to regulate and promote the development of the securities market in India. As a direct consequence of this legislative intention, the SEBI Act lays down that contravention, attempt to contravene and abetment of contravention of the provisions of the SEBI Act would be punishable with imprisonment and fines of varying quantum.


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Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India

INTRODUCTION:

Cryptocurrencies, worryingly unregulated, decentralised virtual currencies, are steadily gaining traction in the Indian transaction landscape. With digitalisation and smart contracts becoming the new norm (especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic), global trade in cryptocurrencies has increased by leaps and bounds. However, one cannot ignore the unprecedented rise in cybercrimes across the globe, relatable to virtual currencies. The expansion of the cryptocurrency landscape poses various challenges in the form of regulatory, legal, and operational risks. Whilst appropriate measures to regulate cryptocurrencies are the need of the hour, the Indian judiciary has been rather proactive in its dealing with such cryptic virtual currencies.


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Supreme court draws lakshman rekha on powers of a court under section 34: no power to modify an award

  1. The Supreme Court handed down a significant judgment[1] on the scope of power of a Court hearing a challenge to an arbitral award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Arbitration Act”). The Supreme Court reiterated that there is no power under Section 34 to modify or vary an arbitral award.


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