Code of Civil Procedure 1908

 Supreme Court sets out object and purpose of Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure,1908

Introduction

Judicial time is precious and ought to be employed in the most efficient manner possible. Sham litigations are one such menace that not only waste the time of the courts, but also cause unwarranted prejudice and harm to parties arrayed as defendants in such litigations, thereby defeating justice. In order to deal with such a menace, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”), under Order VII Rule 11[1] (“O7 R 11”) provides litigants the option to pursue an independent and special remedy, empowering courts to summarily dismiss a suit at the threshold, without proceeding to record evidence, and conducting trial, on the basis of the evidence adduced, if it is satisfied that the action should be terminated on any grounds contained in this provision.

Recently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (“SC”) in the case of Dahiben v. Arvindbhai Kalyanji Bhanusali[2] (“Case”), while dealing with an appeal against an order allowing rejection of a suit at the threshold, had occasion to consider various precedents, discussing the intent and purpose of O7 R11, while setting out the principles in relation to the same.
Continue Reading Supreme Court sets out object and purpose of Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

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

Introduction:

This article analyses the legal basis and the genesis of the power of an arbitrator to recall its order of termination of proceeding on account of default of the Claimant.

India seated arbitral proceedings, whether ad-hoc or institutional, are governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), which is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, 1985 (UNCITRAL Model Law). Whilst arbitrators are not bound by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) or the Indian Evidence Act, 1872[1], they is usually guided by the broad principles enshrined in the said enactments, while conducting the arbitral proceedings. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that under Order IX Rule 13 of CPC, the Court has power to recall its order. Under the said rule, if the Court is satisfied that summons was not duly served on the defendant, or that there was sufficient cause for defendant’s failure to appear when the suit was called on for hearing, the Court is empowered inter-alia to pass an order setting aside an ex- parte decree that may have been passed against the defendant.


Continue Reading Arbitrator’s power to recall its order of termination of arbitral proceeding- A tale of Dubiety? (Part I)

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

– John Maxwell

Covid-19 has seen the legal landscape leapfrog into digital courts, electronic filings and asynchronous video hearings. The change has been fundamental and deep deliberations are currently underway for the systemic adoption of a new normal. Such a material shift often facilitates rapid adoption of other innovations that were hitherto stuck at the threshold of a conservative mindset. We believe that Third Party Funding of litigation is one such legal innovation that will now come of age in India.


Continue Reading Cash constrained and need to litigate? Third Party Funding may be the solution

Extent of applicability of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to proceedings under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

OVERVIEW

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (read with the rules and regulations framed thereunder) (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) was enacted with the objective of providing better protecting the interests of consumers. Towards this end, the Act provides for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for settlement of consumer disputes and for matters connected therewith. The Act is a composite and complete code in itself, providing for exhaustive substantive and procedural provisions in relation to the redressal of consumer disputes. For speedy redressal of consumer disputes, the Act provides for setting up of quasi-judicial machinery at the District, State and Central Level (“Dispute Redressal Authorities”). These quasi-judicial authorities are creatures of the statute and have wide powers under the Act, to inter alia grant reliefs of a specific nature and to award, wherever appropriate, compensation to consumers.
Continue Reading Extent of applicability of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to proceedings under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

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?

Good Faith Negotiations and Mediation 

It has become increasingly common for parties to adopt multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses in agreements. A typical multi-tiered dispute-resolution clause requires parties to first attempt to resolve a dispute amicably – for instance, by engaging in friendly discussions, submitting to mediation or undertaking good faith negotiations – before the commencement of arbitration proceedings. There has been much ado about the enforceability of such clauses and whether they should be considered void due to vagueness: how does one engage in “friendly discussions”, and what exactly are “good faith negotiations”, when a presumably acrimonious dispute has already arisen between parties?

Despite this ambiguity, courts have increasingly found tiered dispute-resolution clauses to be enforceable. In fact, with a view to combat rising pendency in courts, these principles have been extended to the initiation of litigation as well. The Commercial Courts Act, 2015 (CCA) was amended last year to state that any suit that does not contemplate urgent interim relief cannot be instituted without the plaintiff having exhausted the remedy of pre-institution mediation and settlement.[1] A similar model is also followed in a number of other countries, including the UK, Italy, Greece and Turkey, where it has been successful in encouraging dispute resolution through mediation.[2]
Continue Reading Good Faith Negotiations and Mediation: A Missed Opportunity So Far

National Green Tribunanal Act and Real Estate

The first part of this two-part blog discussed the facts that led to the filing of appeals before the Supreme Court challenging the NGT’s judgment dated May 4, 2016 and certain key issues discussed by the Supreme Court in its Judgment disposing of these appeals. In this piece, the second part of the two-part blog, we discuss other significant issues that have been dealt with in the Judgment and analyse the findings to deduce the reasoning employed by the Supreme Court in reaching its decision.
Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Diktat on Powers of the NGT: Can Developers Finally Rest Easy? – Part 2

Supreme Court’s Diktat on Powers of the NGT: Can Developers Finally Rest Easy?

Introduction

The Hon’ble National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi (NGT), vide the judgment dated May 4, 2016 in the Original Application No. 222 of 2014 (Original Application), passed certain orders, which had wide scale impact on the real estate developers in the city of Bengaluru. The NGT directed that the buffer zones maintained around lakes and rajakaluves (drains) were to be increased substantially more than provided under the zoning regulations in the Revised Master Plan 2015 (RMP 2015). The RMP 2015 provided for buffer zones of 30 meters from the centre of the lake, for primary rajakaluves it was 50 meters from the centre of the rajakaluve, for secondary rajakaluves, it was fixed at 25 meters and for tertiary rajakaluve it was 15 meters. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court) has recently passed a judgment in Civil Appeal No. 5016 of 2016 and other connected appeals on March 5, 2019 (Judgment). These appeals were filed challenging the NGT’s judgment dated May 4, 2016.

In this first part of a two-part blog, we discuss the facts that led to filing of the present appeals before the Supreme Court and a couple of key issues discussed in the Judgment.
Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Diktat on Powers of the NGT: Can Developers Finally Rest Easy? – Part 1