Live Blogging: 4th NLIU Justice R.K. Tankha Memorial International Moot Court Competition, 2019

Here we go again!! The National Law Institute University, Bhopal is all set to flag off the fourth edition of The R.K. Tankha Memorial International Moot Court Competition, 2019. Witnessing participation of over 40 teams from India and abroad, The National Law Institute University, Bhopal looks forward to make this edition a memorable one.

The moot is supported and held under the aegis on the the law offices of Hon’ble Justice R. K. Tankha Memorial and has evolved to become one of the most talked about moot in the Arbitration law circuit. Taking a step ahead this year, the moot is also supported by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre who have given a new flavor to this edition of the Competition by modelling this year’s problem on the SIAC Rules. We are also proud to be associated with L&L Partners Law Offices who have helped us curate an immensely experienced panel of judges along with the support of the offices of Hon’ble Justice R.K.Tankha Memorial by bringing together some of the most illustrious academicians, researchers and professionals in the field of Commercial Arbitration. Unlike the traditional litigation tactics as seen in mooting fraternity generally, this moot, being modeled on International Commercial Arbitration law  will showcase one the best teams from across the globe striving hard to resolve disputes arising under an International Commercial Contract. This being the fourth time that NLIU is hosting an event under this brand name, this edition will not only be memorable one, but would definitely serve as a great learning experience for all the participating teams.

Apart from what the Competition seeks to achieve for itself and the participants, there are some big prizes up for grabs. The winners of the Competition get (amongst other things) a cash prize worth INR 1,15,000; the Runners up get a cash prize of INR 50,000. Other cash prizes worth INR 1,00,000 are also up for grabs. 

As the Competition goes on, we (the Media Team for this event) will host you like it’s happening right in front of your eyes. Stay tuned for all the updates.

12.30 PM | Auditorium | Registration – The teams have made their way to the University Auditorium and are lining up for registering for the event. This year’s edition has shown an unprecedented increase in the number of teams participating, with 36 Indian and 4 International teams successfully registering for the event. Being one of the flagship events of the Moot Court Association here, the online registrations for the event opened almost an year ago and not to anyone’s surprise closed in a whisker of time. As the registration process ends, we can confirm that the participating Universities are: –

  1. School of Law, Christ (Deemed to be University)
  2. Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University
  3. Sri Lanka Law College Indore Institute of Law
  4. BACL, Main Branch
  5. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
  6. DES Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College
  7. Amity Law School, Noida
  8. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies
  9. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University
  10. A.P Symbiosis Law School, Noida
  11. National Law University, Odisha
  12. Jai Narain Vyas University
  13. University School of Law and Legal Studies
  14. GGSIPU
  15. School of Excellence in Law, Tamil Nadu
  16. Dr. Ambedkar Law University Department of Legal Studies and Research
  17. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University
  18. School of Law, SASTRA Deemed University School of Law
  19. UPES
  20. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law
  21. Gujarat National Law University
  22. Institute of Law Nirma University
  23. Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi
  24. Hidayatullah National Law University
  25. ILS Law College
  26. University Institute of Legal Studies Amity Law School, Delhi (affiliated to GGSIPU)
  27. National Law University and Judicial Academy
  28. National University of Study and Research in Law
  29. National Law School of India University
  30. New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth demeed to be University
  31. Jindal Global Law School, O.P Jindal Global University
  32. SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law
  33. National Law University, Jodhpur
  34. National Law University
  35. Delhi Government Law College, Mumbai
  36. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
  37. National University of Singapore
  38. NALSAR University of Law
  39. Andaman Law College
  40. Stellenbosch University

We wish all the participating teams, best of luck for the moot!

2.30 PM | Auditorium | Opening Ceremony

After some delays in the registration process and arrival of the Guest of Honor for the day, the Opening Ceremony has commenced with all participants, dignitaries and judges settling down for the event. We are honoured to have the privilege of hosting some of the leading names in the Arbitration Circuit for the Ceremony. On the dais today are – Hon’ble Mr. Justice V.Gopala Gowda (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India), Prof. (Dr.) V.Vijayakumar (Vice Chancellor, NLIU Bhopal), Smt. Giribala Singh (Registrar, NLIU Bhopal), Mr. Kevin Nash (Deputy Registrar and Centre Director, Singapore International Arbitration Centre), Mr. Gaurav Pachnanda (Senior Advocate and Door Tenant, Fountain Court Chambers, U.K.), Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma (Partner, L&L Partners Law Offices, New Delhi) and Prof. (Dr.) Ghayur Alam (Dean, Undergraduate Affairs, NLIU Bhopal).

                                       All set for the Opening Ceremony

Ms. Isha Kanaskar being the host for the day took to the dais and delivered a welcome note to set things in motion. Following this, as part of the NLIU tradition, the guests on the dais were felicitated with mementos as a gesture to thank them for their presence. The silver coin mementos mark NLIU’s twenty years of dedication in the field of legal education. Post a short floral exchange, Ms. Kanaskar shed light on the legacy, significance and the importance of the moot and also highlighted the contributions of Hon’ble Justice R.K. Tankha to the legal fraternity, in whose name and fond memory this moot conducted every year. This was followed by the lighting of the lamp by the guests on the dais.

                             Mr. Kevin Nash lighting the lamp.

As the pious lighting was concluded, the Vice Chancellor of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal addressed the gathering. Prof. Kumar, after welcoming the gusts on dais, the participants, and other judges, spoke of his aspersions with regard to the future editions of this moot and expressed his willingness and determination to increase the number of international teams by five times in the coming editions of the moot. As he is generally known to do, he further took out time to encourage all the participants emphasised that winning the moot should not be an end all be all goal, rather should be the experience that should count.

         Dr. Alam addressing the gathering

Next, Prof.(Dr.) Ghayur Alam ( Dean, Under Graduate Affairs, NLIU, Bhopal) addressed the gathering. After welcoming the participants, Dr. Alam stated that mooting had, in today’s legal education, become a norm, and there was a need to incorporate the same in the regular syllabus and make it a criteria of assessment. Quoting a recent article in the a leading newspaper daily, he spoke of giving law teachers an opportunity to take part in court as advocates and how it can help the fraternity in diversifying the areas of research.

Mr. Gaurav Pachnanda, (Senior Advocate and Door Tenant, Fountain Court Chambers, United Kingdom) delivered his welcoming address and expressed his happiness to be a part of the event. Remarking humorously, he said that his nervousness to be on the panel of for the Arbitration Symposium might have taken over such happiness. He felt blessed to be part of this event, and ended his speech on a note, desiring to interact with the participants.

Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, (Partner, L&L Partners Law Offices, Delhi) welcomed the participants. Mr, Kumar, shed light on the wonderful experiences  he has had as a judge in various moot court competitions, allowing him to interact with students well-versed in the law and thereby helping him develop a newer perspective of the law. He endorsed the participants to incorporate their learning from such moots, in their regular legal studies. He ended his speech by wishing all the participants, best of luck for the moot court competition.

            Mr. Kumar encouraging the participants

Mr. Kevin Nash (Deputy Registrar and Centre Director, Singapore International Arbitration Centre) began his speech on a commending and congratulating note, dedicated towards the Indian Parties, as he stated that their contributions played a key role in the development of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. With the advent and increased demand of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, he threw light on the need to address more procedural questions, and them playing a key role in the development of The SIAC as an institution for Arbitration. He further went on to commend the increasing number of student interns from India. Ending his speech on a very optimistic note, he laid down his vision for Arbitrators in the 21st Century.

                 Mr. Nash throwing light on Arbitration

The Registrar of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal, Ms. Giribala Singh was called forward to address the gathering. In a short and succinct manner, she welcomed the guests, participants and judges, after which she pointed out to the importance of mooting in law schools. She also stressed on the need to make mooting a routine activity for students and raised the fact that the knowledge of the students would largely increase through such participation. She ended her speech on an encouraging note, as she wished the participating teams the very best of luck, and stated that participation and improvement of knowledge matters more than winning.

           Justice Gowda motivating and encouraging the gathering

After Ms. Singh, Hon’ble Justice V. Gopala Gowda (Retd.) (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India) addressed the gathering. After welcoming the gathering, Mr. Gowda threw light on the development of the Arbitration as an effective method of dispute resolution in India and the career opportunities associated with the same. Making the mood of the auditorium lighter, he laughingly requested the student participants to join the Arbitration sector, and not not move towards litigation or the corporate field. He then raised the well-working of Section 11 of The Arbitration and Reconciliation Act, 1996 in the country, and the paradoxical issue of it contradicting with The UNCITRAL model of law. He then encouraged the participants to do well, and like the others, stated that winning was not everything, and it is the knowledge and experience that matters.

With this, we come to the end of the Opening Ceremony. The team looks charged up for the upcoming Symposium as the organizing committee sets up the place for some thrilling action!

3.30 PM | Auditorium | NLIU – SIAC – L&L Partners Law Offices – Symposium on International Commercial Arbitration

The presenters at the first edition of the NLIU-SIAC-L&L Symposium on International Commercial Arbitration were Mr. Kevin Nash (Deputy Registrar and Centre Director, SIAC) and Mr. Piyush Prasad (Associate Counsel, SIAC). The first session is curated around the role of SIAC in facilitating Arbitration in the region and procedural aspects associated with the process of Arbitration. As the session began, Mr. Prasad pointed out to the role of SIAC as an institution for international arbitration, and the manner in which SIAC developed over the years to cater to the needs for delivering justice in cases of breach of commercial contracts at the international level.

He further pointed out that over 80% of the cases they received at SIAC were International in Nature. After, elucidating on the same, he brought out statistics to support his points made. On top of the bar graph, indicating the appeals made to SIAC. Notably, Indian and China topped in the number of the same that were made, while United Kingdom was significantly number 10. The statistics also showed the existence of countries ranked close to each other, despite having difference in political system and socio-economic conditions. This was followed by a detailed analysis of the way the mechanism of Arbitration and enforcement of arbitral awards works at SIAC. Taking on from where Mr. Prasad left, Mr. Nash came up and pointed out to the increasing need and demand for arbitration, and the manner in which SIAC is paying heed, considering and trying to evolve mechanisms for the same. Assessing the costs and time of the Arbitration process, a cost cut analysis was put forward by the presenters along with the various rules of SIAC which enable that the Arbitration could be completed within 6 months, and an arbitrator could be granted within 24 hours, thus catering to speedy justice. Another interesting thing that was pointed out during the course of presentation was the Arbitration-Mediation-Arbitration Protocol and the way it could be utilized to meet the needs which require speedy justice.

The Q&A Session

The panelists for this session were: –

  1. Mr. Piyush Prasad
  2. Mr. Kevin Nash
  3. Mr. Vivekananda N
  4. Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Sharma
  5. Mr. Gaurav Pachananda
Mr. Prasad bringing to light the working of SIAC as an institution of               Arbitration

Some of the key questions that were raised during this session are as follows: 

Q :What is the difference between the curial law and lex arbitri in international commercial arbitration?

A : Mr. Vivek answered to the same by stating that Curial law would be the substantive law in the arbitration contract, while lex arbitri had to do with the procedural part of the arbitration, and not with the substantive part, and further added on by stating that besides these two aspects of law in ICA, there are two other types of law as involved, arbitration law of the seat and that of the centre.

2) Though third parties cannot approach the court for interim measure, interim measures can be issued against them. Isn’t it unfair to them?

Mr. Pachnanda replied to this question by stating that when the third parties get adverse interim measures, jurisprudentially it fulfils the objective of serving the interest of the parties, and thus , it achieves  nothing but the basic interest of the arbitration agreement i.e. to serve best the interests of the parties. So, these awards stand justified if they are issued to cater to the needs and interests of the parties.

Also, the SIAC rule of joinder may be applied to make the third party a party to the arbitration agreement.

3) Can IP disputes be resolved by arbitration?

Mr. Pachnanda answered that where there are questions on Patent and copyright , which are binding in rem, it cannot be solved in arbitration, but where there are private individual disputes, relating to IP, can be resolved in Arbitration.

4) Can two Indian parties can chose a foreign seat of Arbitration- with respect to the position of the law in the GMR Industries case by the Delhi High Court?

Mr. Pachnanda answered that the position is seemingly  clear in common parlance after the GMR Industries case, and the earlier position of the Bombay High Court on the fact that Indian parties are primarily obliged to choose Indian arbitration seat, seems no longer the correct position of law.  But, the position is still not clear, after the Honourable  Supreme Court in the Salsa Power case.

         Mr. Prasad speaking about the SIAC Rules

Further-on, a question was raised about the exemption of time limit to  international commercial arbitration as proposed in the Section 6 of 2018 Bill ?

It was answered by Mr. Nash that the arbitration centres take utmost care in catering to speedy justice in arbitration agreement, and the exemption being asked for is of 12 months whereas as a time regulating upto 6 months. Thus, this exemption wont be sine qua non for their arbitral proceedings.

5) Can the Summary Procedure concept in SIAC rules be violative of the concept of natural justice?

Mr. Kevin Nash replied that the reasonableness  of  the arbitrator and the arbitration centre has to be trusted upon, and the SIAC would ensure that the proceedings are concluded without any violation of natural justice.

6) As there is no appellate review of arbitral awards, what happens when a tribunal makes a mistake?

Mr. Vivek replied that it is the conjoint responsibility of both the parties,  arbitration centre and the arbitrators themselves to be well versed with the facts and matter of the dispute, and if this is made clear, it’s highly improbable that the arbitrator would make a mistake. Further, in case of substantive error, the Indian Law beholds a very clear position.

           The judges answering the questions                       pitched to them by the participants  

7) Can Indian Courts retry foreign arbitral awards as part of their process of enforcement?

Mr. Pachananda stated that one of the fundamental issues that need to be addressed that is the need for the establishment of an effective arbitration in a particular nation, and now since international norms are generally treated to be those having just persuasive value, and since the same doesn’t exist in India, we have to consider those enforced by foreign tribunals. He pointed out to the need to establish an arbitration institution in India, and entreated for a legislative backing for the inclusion of a third party in the arbitration process.

The symposium ended with concluding remarks given by the panelists with regard to Arbitration and the need for its acknowledgement and its implementation. The participants applauded and thanked the panelists for a fruitful session.

10:01 AM | Auditorium | Judges’ Briefing 

It is a bright sunny morning in Bhopal. All the participants, volunteers and judges were looking as fresh as daisies and are pumped up with energy for today. The day kickstarted with the Judges briefing session.

The judges briefing session began at 10:00 a.m. at the University Auditorium. Shashank Chaddha, began the session by laughingly and jovially introducing himself as the so called ‘convenor’ of the Moot Court Association. He further thanked the people who helped in the drafting of the moot problem. Bhavik Shukla and Aishwarya Srivastava joined Mr. Chaddha in briefing the judges about the facts of the problem and the legal issues involved. The session was divided into three parts, namely, the factual scenario, issues and legal aspects. Putting forward his charm and glamour, he made sure that he made eye contact with every person seated in the auditorium. Mr. Chaddha as expected, hasn’t failed to keep everyone awake and attentive, and facilitated the so called notion of ‘Anti-Boredom’. He seemed to have been well-versed with the facts of the problem and the issues involved, as he countered all the doubts of the judges without fumbling even once.

                             The Briefing begins

Bhavik came forward and briefed the judges about the issues involved in the problem, and how the same may be dealt with by the mooters. Bhavik, exhibiting the gift of gab, ensured that everyone in the auditorium understood what he said, and made himself as comprehensive as possible, thus giving no leeway for any ambiguity, queries or scrutiny.

                   In the process of briefing

Supporting him, Aishwarya, who brought in essential facts and issues as and when required, making each and every statement in the briefing, as clear as possible. She further threw light on the other issues that had to be dealt with while addressing the problem, bringing in the legal aspects as and when required.

Towards the end of the session, all the judges seem satisfied with the amount of clarity that was given to them with regard to the moot problem and the issues involved in the same. Things are being made crystal clear to everyone, and nobody was left doubtful or unclear about anything involved in the problem. All in all the session was a fruitful one, putting forward, the right way to all the judges for judging the rounds that are JUST ABOUT TO HAPPEN!

11:00 AM | Various Locations | Preliminary Round 1

As the judges briefing got over, the judges moved towards the court rooms, where the participants waited in anticipation for the ROUNDS to begin. There was pin-drop silence all over the court rooms as the participating teams kept preparing for their oral rounds without wasting a single minute, continuously and tirelessly reading their memorials and written speeches. They all broke into a sweat as the judges walked in, getting more and more nervous, and paradoxically confident as the time passed by.

The moot problem for this year’s moot was based on International Commercial Arbitration, grounded on SIAC Rules of Arbitration. The problem involved two parties, namely,  Solar System Private Limited and Raconian Renewable Energy Limited, who entered into an agreement for for the supply and setting up of Micro Solar Power Plants. In accordance with the agreement, the process was divided into three phases, which included manufacture of equipment for the purposes of assembling the MSPPs, installation of MSPPs in the territory of Raconia and maintenance of the same for three years, respectively. However, due to the onset of monsoon hampered the solar radiation testing of the photovoltaic panels, the Claimant had to seek an extension for the completion of the first phase. The same was granted by the Respondent till April 10, 2018. Only 6300 out of 10000 of the MSPPs had been manufactured by the Claimant, which is why it was granted another extension for the purposes of testing. Meanwhile, the Respondent itself sought an extension from CMNRE until November 30, 2018, which was granted and the same came to the knowledge of the Claimant. On August 15, 2018, the Respondent proceeded to terminate the agreement on the grounds that the Claimant had failed to meet the deadlines and is liable for payment of liquidated damages as per the agreement. After this, CMNRE issued a notification on the August 26, 2018 and blacklisted the Claimant, leading to a loss of reputation for the Claimant. The Claimant alleges that the Respondent’s unjustified termination of the Agreement entitles the Claimant to damages amounting to USD 23.45 million.

                  The First Preliminary Round begins

The rounds witnessed immensely flawless argumentation from the participating teams in each and every court rooms. Some of the court rooms saw grilling by the judges, and at the same time saw strong and witty responses by the participants. There was deep involvement and indulgence by the participating teams during each and every minute of the session, and the same could be observed in every speech that they gave, smartly rebutting the points raised by the other while speaking as if it were a series of arguments and then making an attempt to imprint their arguments in the mind of the judges. Every participant seemed to have deep knowledge about the facts and the law involved, and argued as substantially as possible. The oral rounds served as an evidence of the amount of hard work that each team had done, and the exquisite research skills that they possessed. The first preliminary rounds left some participating teams satisfied, while left some depressed. But it’s too early to say anything as of now, as we have one more round to go!

                The first Preliminary Round in progress

1:30 PM | In Various Locations | Second Preliminary Round 

Having completed the first preliminary round, the participating teams looked forward to do much better in this round, and strived to make a place for themselves in the quarter finals. The rounds witnessed much better participation and involvement as compared to the previous round, with each and every participant trying to involve himself/herself to the fullest, paying attention to each and every point raised in the course of the session, and making sure that each and every point raised was taken into consideration.

Though there was some grilling by the judges in every courtroom, the participants did not lose to them, and answered each and every question raised, with the tremendous knowledge and legal acumen that they had.

Every participating team is now nervous despite the completion of the rounds. Guess why? THE BREAKS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY!

                   The second round as it happened

Quarterfinals | LIVE FEED:

  • RGNUL v. UILS

5:19 PM The claimant started off by quickly putting forward their stance on the issue and briskly stating the facts, in a manner in which the ball could possibly fall in their court. As the first speaker for the claimants stated her facts, she started to put forward arguments in their favour and backed the same with legislative provisions and rules. The claimant however seemed to frequently bringto light, the rules of the ICSID to back her arguments and submissions. She spoke quite eloquently and clearly that the judges seemed to be satisfied, and did not question her about anything that she said.

5:23 PM The next few minutes were spent in grilling the first speaker of the claimant with regard to what she had been saying, and in the way she had been putting forward the factual matrix to the arbitrators. The series of questions by the arbitrators made the Claimant a little nervous, and the same could be observed in the manner in which she spoke.

5:27 PM The claimant tried to wriggle her way out of the pounding by the arbitrators, and tried to answer every question boldly. However, the judges did not seem to be satisfied with the manner in which the claimant answered, and kept questioning her. All that was actually happening was mere questioning and grilling the first speaker of the claimant. However, the claimant seemed to have kept her calm at this juncture, and faced the questions boldly. She seemed to have been well-versed with the facts and the law involved in the case, and it could be made out in  the way she spoke.

5:31 PM  The claimant now tried to prove to the arbitrators that the action that was taken was justified, as she kept throwing out justificationary arguments from the SIAC Rules and from various volumes of Gary B Born. She further brought out Articles from the New York Convention to prove that non-members to a contract cannot be parties to an arbitration. At this juncture, she finally seemed to have clarified her stance effectively to the judges, and the same can be said as there was no grilling by the judges anymore.

5:35 PM  Not everything can be said for sure! But the previous statement can be said for sure, as the claimant was once again pounded with a series of questions with regard to the statements that she made regarding incorporation of rules with regard to the issue at hand. Her quotation of cases and legislative provisions were to no avail, as the judges seemed to have been dissatisfied with all she said.

5:39 PM As and when the counsel brought the notice of the arbitrators to the things incorporated in the memo, probably considering the fact that they may help her justify her stance, things actually got worse, as she still was constantly questioned by the arbitrators. Quite surprisingly, there was a rule exactly opposite to what the counsel was actually arguing. To her dismay, her time ended and it was now time for her co-counsel to come forward and speak.

5:45 PM Her co-counsel now came forward to argue the remaining issues, which were issues 5 and 6. He started off well by introducing the issues that were being dealt with and quickly putting forward logical arguments to support his case. He then brought out Articles 47 and 51 of The UN CISG to back his arguments. They were not effectively put forward by the counsel, and this paved way for scrutiny.

5:50 PM The counsel did not seem to be clear with his facts as whatever he said, which includes every single statement he made was constantly being questioned by the Arbitrators. At times, he seemed to be lost while he fumbled on other occasions. He probably got to know that he no longer could possibly convince the judges, which is why he moved on to the next sub issue at hand, which was having to do with proving fundamental breach.

5:54 PM While arguing using the provisions of The UN CISG, Articles 49(1) and 51 were notably brought up by the counsel to prove the fact that there was indeed a fundamental breach. However, the claimants failed to deal with the ‘test of reasonability’ while dealing with the case. This lead to a series of question-answers between the arbitrators and the counsel. He also failed to satisfy various other tests to prove fundamental breach while speaking. The judges eventually seemed to have given up and did not further question the counsel.

5:59 P.M The next 5 to 6 minutes went in questioning the counsel with regard to the arguments that he was raising in light of the issues that were being raised. After failing to prove the satisfaction of the ‘test of of reasonability’, and realizing that he had no more than two minutes at hand, he chose to quickly move to the next sub-issue.

6:02 PM A request for an extension was granted by the arbitrators, but proved to be no good for the claimants. All that happened in the extension in time that was granted was just one statement made with regard to damages that could be claimed, and then a series of questions putting his arguments nowhere. His oral speech thus ended on a very confused note. Eventually his time was over and it was time for the Respondents to argue.

6:07 PM The Respondent, not taking cognizance of her surroundings began her oral round in a hurry, as she spoke quite swiftly as if she had to run away somewhere just after presenting her arguments. This could be noticed by a smile on the face of the judges and a quick cackle. She however chose to slow down later as she addressed the issues that she would be dealing with.

6:11 PM As she introduced the issues to the arbitrators, she kept justifying as to why the position of the respondent is satisfied with regard to the same. She kept stating rules of the SIAC and Articles of the UNCITRAL to support her arguments. She was quite flawless while speaking and made things clear to each and every arbitrator, and ensured that there was no scope for ambiguity.

6:16 PM The judges probably thought that the counsel can surely not be questioned on her knowledge of the laws or on the facts of the case, as the manner in which she spoke showed them that she knew whatever she was possibly dealing with. So they decided to move away a little and test the practical knowledge of the counsel, as they put forward practical situations before the counsel. She however kept calm and answered every question that came her way.

6:20 PM A very crucial moment arose in the midst of this session, as the judges as the counsel on behalf of the respondents if she were willing to bring in the ministry as a stakeholder in the issue that was being dealt with. The counsel however seemed to have no idea as to what was happening, and what the arbitrators were actually saying. She chose to take the safe side and said ‘no’, but to her dismay things didn’t go as she expected, as the judges said that they were endorsing the same, but she did not comply with it.

6:25 PM  OOPS! The counsel failed to incorporate Rules 7 and 8 of the SIAC rules properly into what she was saying, and at one juncture stated the rules wrongly. The arbitrators did not let go of this opportunity to scrutinize the respondent, and continuously questioned her, one after the other, and left the respondent in a very uneasy situation.

6:30 PM After taking that pounding by the judges, the respondent quite surprisingly continued speaking.Takes a lot of courage! It indeed does! Only 2 more sentences did she speak, when her time to speak was no more, i.e. her time was up.

6:33 PM The second respondent came forward to deal with the remaining issues, and explain the mere assertions that were made by her co-counsel.. She started off by stating the facts that correspond to the issues that she was dealing with, after which she justified as to why their stance was better and more justified in nature than that of the claimants. However, she notably did not have many substantial arguments, and all she put forward were logically consistent arguments.

6:37 PM The logically consistent arguments that were put forward seemed to have quite satisfied the judges, and the same could be observed through the absence of any sort of questions raised by the judges. The round was quite monotonous, with only the Respondent speaking, and no sort of interference from the judges. The flawless and monotonous manner of speech continued significantly.

6:41 PM Once again, nothing can be said for sure! The Respondent failed to bring to light Rule 17 of the SIAC rules, and the same seemed to be quite necessary, as there was a brisk reaction by the arbitrators, and constantly questioned her to check her knowledge with regard to the same. It was a shame for the counsel as she was given time to go through Rule 17 and then answer questions, as the arbitrators realized the lack of awareness of Rule 17 to the counsel.

6:45 PM The next few minutes were spent by the Respondent in arguing the absence of fundamental breach of contract, and that the Claimants had no right to avoid the contract.. While doing so, various Articles  of both The UN CISG and The UNCITRAL were brought in and used to back their arguments. As she did so, there were various questions that were raised and the counsel succeeded in answering each and every question put forward effectively. Realizing the paucity of time, the respondent smartly moved towards her last issue.

6:50 PM The counsel argued with regard to damages that had to be provided. Bringing in various rules of the SIAC and CAM-CCBC to back their arguments. The arbitrators were probably tired, and seemed to pay no attention to what was being argued, and bluntly approved of everything that was put before them.

6:55 PM As the counsel for the respondent completed her oral submission, the time had come for rebuttals. The claimant started off by quickly highlighting the flaws in the oral submissions of the Respondent, and stated as to why whatever they missed out on was relevant to the case at hand. The Respondent, then, in just a minute brushed up on their stance and proved as to why their stance was justified, but however, failed to effectively highlight as to where the Claimants went wrong.

  • Christ University v. NLU Odisha 

5:08 PM – With confident yet nervous faces, both the teams get prepared for the rounds as the judges glance through the memorials.

5:11 PM – The Claimant’s counsel briefly traversed through the facts, and with clearing their stance on banking on unforeseeable circumstances, proceeded with the first issue.

5:13 PM– The Counsel was intercepted by the tribunal’s question on the justification of calling the proceedings as a summary one, to which the contingency and grave nature of the matter was cited as a reason by the counsel.

5:15 PM– The Counsel reaffirmed her stance that the question of breach of the  contract needs to be superseded by the legal intricacies of the action , with its’ justification.

5:17 PM– On being asked about the delay to inform the notice of termination, the counsel replied that the act was not negligent as it was in the reasonable due course of business.

5:19 PM– Moving further on with the second issue, the Counsel  submitted that conjoinder of the agreement stands prima facie invalid, as there’s neither any express authorization nor any implied consent for the same.

5:21 PM– Being constantly thwarted by the inclusion of the third party in the arbitral proceedings, the counsel pleads that there were two separate contracts: and the arbitral agreement should be separated from the principle one. Further, there was no financial urgency to include the third party in the arbitral proceedings.

5:23 PM– Coming to the third issue, the counsel pleaded that inclusion of the Government i.e. the third party, would violate the confidentiality clause as the Govt. would be obligated to disclose the  said information.

5:26 PM– Cornered by the tribunal’s assertion on the beneficial results that inclusion of a third party in the arbitration, the counsel argues that inclusion would make price sensitive information openly available to the public, including the competitors, thus adversely affecting their business.

5:29 PM– Arguing about interim measures, the counsel pleads that it’s a prima facie case with a balance in interest in favour of the claimants, as failing to get the interim measure, the claimant would not be in a position to repay their loans, thus losing out in balance of interests.

5:31 PM– With time being up, the counsel summarizes the arguments, pleading for an emergency  interim relief and a non inclusion of the third party.

5:33 PM- The second counsel takes the floor, urging that there’s no breach of contract for the claimants as there were natural events beyond their control.

5:35 PM– The counsel pleads that there was an arbitrary termination of the contract by the respondent, to which the judge rebutted that the claimant failed to serve the respondent despite an extension.

5: 36 PM– The tribunal pressed on how extreme weather conditions could adversely affect the production, to which the counsel cited the reason of lack of testing of the goods, due to incessant rain. Further, the counsel pleads that the extension granted was not reasonable.

5:40 PM– On being questioned by the judge why the respondent was bound to give an extension to the claimant, to which the counsel replied that it is evident by the preamble of the agreement , which speaks for a reasonable compromise.

5:41 PM– The counsel further points to the legal intricacies to establish  that the following case as not one of a fundamental breach, by pointing out to consent by respondents to accept the part performance and third party inspection.

5:45 PM– The counsel pleads that silence of respondents at initial stage may appear neither as consent nor as refusal, but by agreeing with the third party inspection, they gave consent.

5:49 PM– “Dispute Resolution Clause has a wide scope”- thus the counsel urges that even tortious claims must be held arbitrable. On being questioned about the justification of “exemplary damages”, the counsel replies that the tortious claim coupled with repetition of blacklisting by the respondents, tarnishing the image of the claimants, it definitely gives rise to exemplary damages.

5:53 PM– On a concluding note in his last minute, the counsel pleads for exemplary damages, as foreseeable losses were taken care of, but yet there was a breach of contractual obligations resulting from unforeseeable reasons.

5:55 PM– The respondent counsel takes over the floor.

5:57 PM– The respondent counsel shoots right away at the claimant that the burden of proof in present case lies with them, and not with the respondent.

5:59 PM– The Respondent relies on principles of natural justice, and urges that both the parties must be given an equal footing, thus urges for an inclusion. Further on, the counsel urged for the “time essence” in the contract, thus they were obligated to opt for a summary trial.

6:03 PM– Placing reliance on a case , alongwith the exhibits, the respondents urged that when their had been multiple agreements being made in furtherance of a common agreement, all the parties, whether signatories or non signatories must be added by virtue of a conjoinder. The judge agreed with the aforesaid submission.

6:06 PM–  The counsel got grilled by the judge on how such a huge sum of 15 million dollars was used up in the process of tendering and re tendering. The counsel, tried to provide with a few reasons, but none seemed plausible or apt to the tribunal.

6:09 PM– “Why the misadventures of your client would be borne by the Government?”- on being enquired upon by the judge, the counsel urges two reasons. First of all, it speaks about its’ own vulnerable financial position, and secondly pleads that the Government is the ultimate beneficiary of the  transaction.

6:12 PM– With 4 minutes to plead further,the counsel was cornered by the judge on what grounds the shifting of the liability of the respondent can be shifted to the Government. To which, came a befitting reply from the counsel that the Government is the parent body and must support the cause of the respondent.

6:15 PM– With the last minute to go, the counsel argues that disclosure in the conjoinder would be neutral and objective in nature and would not violate the confidentiality clause. The disclosure would not garner any party’s interest.

6:17 PM– The second counsel takes on the floor. The counsel contends that the interim relief does not stand sound as it is neither urgent and necessary for the claimants, and further there is no apprehension of further damage to the claimant. Even further, the counsel submitted that interim measure would lead to unjust enrichment, which is a violative principle in both general international law and lex arbitri.

6:21 PM– “It may be enrichment , but how is it unjust?”- intercepted by the judges’ question, the counsel puts up the claim that there is clear non performance on part of the claimant, which would be unjustly compensated upon , if an interim measure is  issued.

6:24 PM– “ The keyword here is production”- this is what the counsel submitts when asked about unnecessary delay on parts of the claimant. When the deadline was about completion of both production and installation, but the claimant could not even complete production, and thus installation seemed a far cry. The judge gagged upon the counsel with the question about the difference that lies between the words “imminent” and “contingent” harm. To which the counsel confidently replied that the claimants are trying to misled the tribunal  by banking on the silence in the factsheet , and thus are trying to make an contingent danger as an imminent one as they have “ some “ property as collateral and not “‘all”.

6:30 PM– Moving further on with the argument on fundamental breach, the counsel pleads that there had been clear intention on the part of the respondent, to terminate the contract  if there was improper delivery, through exhibits. Thus, despite such knowledge, the claimant didnot resort to proper delivery, thus resulting in fundamental breach.

6:34 PM– “Does the provisions of the CISG override the contractual clauses?”- as thwarted by the arbitrator, the counsel sharply replied   that the contractual provisions just highlight the spirit of the contracting parties, but is not obligatory in nature. But, the provisons of CISG, which gives rise to the foreseeability test,is binding and on being fulfilled of foreseeability, fundamental breach seems to be established.

6:37 PM– Speaking about the last issue based on exemplary damages, the counsel pleads that there is no express authority for the tribunal to do it. This was argued on three grounds, which are absence of express contractual obligations, expressed principles of international commercial contract law and lastly the necessity of punitive measures. “ A public organisation is a special entity” -In the last minute, the counsel pleads that the counsel  pleads that they are a public company, based on public funds and must focus on their reputation in front of the public at large. Thus, the tribunal, being a result of the contract, must heed to this, and must neither  grant interim measures non exemplary damages.

6:41 PM- Time for the rebuttals! The claim is not violative of natural justice, as the respondents got a chance to present their case, if not being a co-joinder. Secondly, the claim of a multi contract scheme, needs to be thwarted as the contract has a predominant object to be taken care of by the respondents themselves alone, and not by the Government. Thirdly, there was no  express provisions for the exceptions claimed by the respondent in the sphere of the confidential information to be out in the public. Further on, if a co-joinder is allowed, it would be a case of supercession of the statutory obligation over the contractual terms. Moreover, the punitive damages are a part of the original contract, and thus may be granted as exemplary damages. Lastly, tortious liability was a part of breach of contract , thus its arbitrable.

6:46 PM– The sur-rebuttal is here! Firstly, the respondent stressed on the presence of a single contractual agreement, where the supply installation agreement was intertwined by the act of the co joinder. Secondly, the claimant failed to clear the burden of proof that the events were not foreseeable with regards to natural calamities. Thirdly, the exhibits could not maintain any  additional grant of time as obligation on the respondents. Furthermore, there had been no express grant of power either as to the nature of damages to be granted or about the tortious claims to be granted relief upon. Lastly, the respondent claimed upon the nature of the “ confidential “ information as claimed by the claimants, as the fact sheet is silent about the same, and also the information is already out for the public at large, and the arbitration proceedings would not further any cause to the same.

  • GNLU v. SLS

5:12 PM– The quarter round preps are on as the teams wait for the judges to arrive. With thick books and colour coded pages, The mood seems to be tense over all. With a smile Judges greet the participants and wish them all the best for the rounds. The Court Clerk is being kept on her heels as she makes sure the preparations of the court room are up to date and the rules are known to the competing teams

5:16 PM– Claimant is being asked to skip the facts and directly come to first issue. Judges are throwing a string of questions, which the claimant is successfully answering with a great deal of confidence

5:21 PM– Judges seek clarifications as to the statement put forward by the claimant. The claimants are asked to read the contract more thoroughly and point out the difference between the actual law and the one stated in the contract

5:26 PM– Esteemed judges explain as well as put forward the question regarding the seat and venue of the arbitration which they are referring to, which is further answered by the claimant. “ Legally enforceable claim” , the phrase is now a question for the claimants as judges seek the claimants interpretation for the phrase

5:30 PM– “Evident defectiveness in claim” Can the claimants point this out to the judges if there is any,   on the behalf of the defendants. The claimant goes on to put forward their arguments for the same. 10 minutes remain, claimant succinctly answers the strings of question put by the bench

5:35 PM– The judges doesnt seem to be going anywhere near easy and are making sure if the claimants are on top of their game

5:38 PM– “Going behind the company and filing for RTI , how does the claimant justify it “ One minute left but the judge’s grilling doesn’t seem to be down even a notch.

5:40 PM– Time’s up now. The counsel has been allowed extra time to answer the questions. Even as the counsel exceeds his alotted time, he is still on to the task of convincing the judges.

5:45 PM– Extra time’s up too. Are the judges satisfied ? Only the results will tell !  The unreadable faces of the judges keep us in the dark about their satisfaction with the counsel’s answers.

5:52 PM– “The claimant’s  compendium can suffice to be in two volumes” . With a little laugh the judges resume their role of continuous grilling and keeping the claimants a little nervous and a little confident, a perfect recipe of courtroom. The clouds of tension and uncertainty loom over the claimants.

5:56 PM– A little fidgety with her hands and stuttering claims, the counsel is trying to answer the questions of the judges. A nervous silence looms as the claimant tries to find the answer to the question as they are being continuously called out by the judges. Mood seems tense as the counsel struggles with her answers.

6:02 PM– With just a minute left to the closure of arguments, the series of convincing arguments are being put forward. Counsels are given extra time to specify their stand which is continuously being questioned by the judges. Article 26 seems to be the bone of contention that has roped up everyone in a series of arguments. The counsel is provided with 30 sec to answer the questions keeping the time limit in mind. The counsel comes up with the answers but the judges seem less than satisfied.

6:09 PM- Before beginning with the respondents judges confirm the consensus within the parties. With first respondent seeking permission the respondents part begins. With only half a way in the  first sentence the respondent is stopped for a question to be answered.” legal merit” , whats the interpretation of the respondents.

6:13 PM– Para 18 is being referred and read to the judges from the compendium of the respondents. What is the undisputed issue ? The judges start their string of questions as respondent is ready with her stack of answers.

6:18 PM– Mutually exclusive or dependent? The respondent goes on to point the different conjunctions which satisfies the judges therefore allowing the respondents to move forward with her issue. Reasonable foreseeability in today’s technological world has advanced to how much extent is to be still a point that needs to be satisfied.

6:21 PM– 10 min bell goes unnoticed as the questions and their satisfactory answers have already occupied everyone in the room. Respondent confidently goes on to bring the attention of the judges to the breach which is apparently not fundamental in nature

6:24 PM– Judges bring attention to the factsheet and the earlier statements of the respondents. But the respondent points out that the statements must be read in the letter and spirit of the law to avoid any confusion that might arise in the way.

6:27 PM– Judges deny the respondents claim that there is any doubt in the minds of the judges. Additional time is also over. But the arguments didn’t stop so as to clear the ambiguity regarding some of the doubts that the judges had. They are referring the compendium for the same.

6:34 PM– Judges are trying to bring the attention of the respondents to the fundamentals of the contract whereby they are questioning the respondents on bringing a sovereign power into the arbitration process when the ministry is not even a party to the contract between the claimant and the respondent.

6:37 PM– The respondents are referring to case to correlate the facts of the mentioned case to the facts of the present case. In the referred case the sovereign power was a party to the contract. The judges have asked the respondents to sum up their arguments. Additionally the judges have asked the respondents to prove the applicability of certain Articles, which the respondents have mentioned in their memorial, in the present case in brief. The counsel did this in a very efficient way.

6:40 PM– The second speaker begins his arguments whereby he is dealing with the issue of interim order. His contentions primarily focuses on the urgency and extension being granted. He contests that there is no possibility of foreclosure. The judges have asked the counsel to explain the risk of foreclosure.

6:46 PM– The counsel argues that the claimant had two options either to wait for the relief or to consider urgency but they went for extension for the completion of contract. The judges are asking the counsel to differentiate between the normal interim relief and the emergency interim relief which the counsel did very well. Now he moves forward by arguing about irreparable damages which they suffered hence asking for not to grant interim relief to the claimant.

6:50 PM– The judges rebuked because the counsel skipped some lines of the contract while reading it and suggested him not to do repeat this in future. With these submissions, the second speaker is left with 10 minutes more.

6:53 PM– The judges are giving a perusal reading to the terms of the contract for which they are questioning the counsel about the validity of the terms. They are referring Articles and clauses to prove themselves.

7:00 PM– The respondents are exhibiting the documents. They argue that this is not a notice of immediate termination. The time is over yet the counsel is not done with his contentions therefore he is seeking permission of the extension which the judges granted for 1 min. The counsel sums up by telling that there has been a fundamental breach of the contract by referring to a case whereby the judge has asked about the product being used in that case which the counsel answered. The counsel has recited his prayer. The judges have asked the parties for a short and clear rebuttal of 1 min. The claimants are done with their rebuttals and now the respondents have started their surrebuttals. The proceeding is over with a thanksgiving. The judges have dismissed the parties for their own discussions.

  • Pravin Gandhi v. BVP

5:12 PM– The quarter final has begun with the teams in courtroom- 3. The teams have started with their arguments. The judges seem interested and inquisitive but they are letting the counsel complete the argument.

5:16 PM– Now the judge sitting in the middle- Ankur Khandelwal, shoots the question and asks the claimant’s counsel whether they are aware about the SIAC rules or not.

5:21 PM– The claimant moves to his second issue which is about the presence of ‘Doctrine of Contractual Privity” and argues against making the CRMNE as joinder. The judges are finding the argument valid and cannot figure out any point to question. The counsel goes on with his argument.

5:30 PM– The question from the arbitrators comes about what the counsel means by  extra-legal support. The counsel is not able to substantiate his argument with Articles, clauses and case laws and follow up questions comes from the judge. The counsel, this time with the second submission comes with a stronger point of making the joinder with the assent of all the parties according to the International Arbitration Laws.

5:32 PM– Times up for the first speaker but the counsel has been provided with few extra minutes to make his point.

5:35 PM– The judges grills the counsel for seeking relief from the Ministry, even when the Ministry is not a  party. Referring to Page 4 of the memorial and Rule 39 of the SIAC rules, the counsel makes the point related to confidentiality. He also refers to the clauses of the same to validate his point. He concludes his contention in a confident voice and with a sense of satisfaction of answering the questions asked.

5:40 PM– The second counsel proceeds with her arguments for want of relief. Before her completion of the sentence, Mr. Ankur Khandelwal asks about the nature of relief she is seeking that whether it is Injunction or any other interim relief. To which she answers that she is seeking any other interim relief and not injunction and Mr. Vaibhav has a question to ask but he keeps it safe to ask later and lets the counsel complete her argument.

5:45 PM– After waiting for long, Mr. Vaibhav asks about the quantification of the relief and Mr. Ankur adds whether the quantification is in the moot memorial? The counsel submits that it is her specific submission and substantiates it with the facts of the moot problem.

5:50 PM– Quoting Articles 30, 31 and 33 of the SIAC, she talks about all the obligations that have been discharged by them.

5:55 PM– Mr. Vaibhav asks about the hault in manufacturing the remaining 3700 solar panels. The  counsel in the shaky voice tries to answer it but she is not able to make her point and Mr. Ankur clarifies the question that what stopped the claimant from manufacturing the solar panels when they had already manufactured around 60% of the total quantity. She states the fact that they were waiting for the respondent’s reply whether the manufactured product was apt enough so that they could produce further.

6:00 PM– After contemplating and listening for so long, Mr. Shiv Chopra comes up with his first question for the counsel and asks about the internal testing of the finished goods i.e., 6300 solar panels. He even asks the  counsel to refer to Pg 11 of the Moot Problem. The counsel is not able to prove her point of going through the internal testing with the facts of the case and states that for the reason of it not being explicitly mentioned in the moot proposition, she did not mention it before and now want to state it for the clarity of the present tribunal.

6:05 PM– She pleads for two extra minutes to present her last issue. Basing her points on various authorities and two tests of arbitration rules, she asserts for punitive and exemplary damages.

6:10 PM– She on the point of being reasonable contends that even she if they are being reasonable by not claiming damage for the extra 3700 solar panels which they have already manufactured, this does not discharge the respondents off from the liability of breaching contractual obligations and various other liabilities. The claimants stand up and concludes with their ‘Prayer’.

6:15 PM– The first counsel from the respondent has taken the charge now. She introduces herself and her co-counsel. Beginning with the allegation that the claimant has misconstrued the facts she proceeds with her argument. Mr. Vaibhav inquires the respondents about the reason for taking a month to provide a reply to the claimants. With no answer, the present counsel looks astound and the chit of information comes from the co-counsel to the rescue of the present counsel and they plead that the delay is because of the ongoing elections and various other processes through which the authoritative reply has to pass which she is not able to justify with the facts and Mr. Ankur shakes his head in dismissal of the argument.

6:20 PM– Continuously facing the questions and drillings from the bench, the counsel looks unsure of the argument. But Mr. Vaibhav nods his head  in assertion and the counsel moves on with her second issue.

6:25 PM– The court-clerk moves to the bench with the compendium of the respondent and the counsel gathering all her confidence, claims that in the light of public policy, justice and legitimate expectation, the claimant shouldn’t be given the relief which they are seeking.

6:30 PM– The co-counsel from the side of the respondent seeks the permission to present her issues. She looks very confident and the judges are patiently listening her argument. She proves her point that the claimant are at fault asking for the interim relief and placing a burden on the respondent. Mr. Vaibhav asks her to read out the Rule 30.1 of the SIAC rules to clarify the point with regard to the interim relief which she is denying to the claimant.

6:35 PM– Second counsel’s second issue is all based on the Article 25 and she argues the issue of inability on the part of the claimant to complete the testing of the 3700 solar panels when the rains had already ceased.

6:40 PM– Art 49, clause A of the CISG rules is what, the second counsel is relying her arguments on and is concluding her point on the exemplary and punitive damages. Reminding that it is the role of the arbitrators to look whether it is justified on the part of  claimant to ask for exemplary damages.

6:45 PM– By third time iterating the conclusion of the issues, she argues that it is not the claimant who are entitled to the exemplary damages since it is against the public policy, but it is her client who is entitled for the same and also for 10.5 million USD compensatory damages based on third party agreement.

6:50 PM– She firmly makes her point to the question of Mr. Vaibhav that it is unreasonable on the part of the claimant to take the plea of not being able to do the testing of the solar panels and on top of that pleading for exemplary damages. They conclude with their ‘Prayer’.

6:55 PM– The judges are discussing amongst themselves after both the parties are done with their argument with Mr. Shiv Chopra participating in the same.

7:00 PM– It is time for the rebuttals. The judges gave one minute to the claimant for their rebuttals. The counsel argued about the respondents being the separate legal entity working under the government body and defending the ministry from being the joinder. He questions the respondents the reason, why are they not accepting the 6300 solar panels that have already been tested. The co-counsels make certain rebuttals based on the factual inconsistencies.

The respondents answers that they are not under the obligation as per the contract to accept the solar panels until the whole consignment i.e., 10,000 solar panels are ready and that the ministry is the governing authority and they manage their terms or condition of contract.

7:05 PM– Mr. Vaibhav has a basic question and indulges into the discussion with the respondents regarding the reason for not accepting 6300 solar panels and what’s the harm in doing the same. The respondents make their point by stating that it is the direction of the CMNRE and though they handle the contract, they can’t work as an independent authority and neglect the rules and terms of the ministry and it is certain that the claimants holds the liability towards the CMNRE as well since the MSPP floats down through them and the tender was public in nature.

7:10 PM– With this, the quarter final round in CR- 3 comes to an end!

9:30 AM | Guest House | Judges Briefing 

The day kick started with the judges’ briefing session, at the Guest House of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal. It began with a quick brief of facts by Shashank Chadda, the Convenor of the Moot Court Association. As he kept throwing light on the facts of the case, he kept throwing light on the timeline of events, i.e. when each and every event happened, making it comprehensive and understandable to the judges. Unlike yesterday, he did not appear apprehensive, and seemed to be quite calm and confident. As he spoke, he kept entertaining questions by the judges, and answered each and every question in a manner which left them satisfied. The judges found some difficulty in comprehending a few of the facts of the problem, but Shashank, along with Aishwarya pointed out to different paragraphs in the problem and cleared all the issues that they had.

                         The briefing as it happens

This was followed by a series of interactions among the judges for the purpose of clearing the ambiguity that existed in their minds. There seemed to be a chaos at this juncture, but Shashank intervened and made sure that things got clear as soon as possible. We actually witnessed some MEDIATION DURING A BRIEFING FOR A MOOT!

As Shashank finished briefing the facts, Aishwarya took over and pointed out to the issues involved in the case. She made sure that the issues were clear to the judges, and the same could be safely said as she pointed out to the relevant facts in the problem with every issue she dealt with. Her style of presentation was so flawless, that hardly any questions were asked as she spoke.

               Shashank trying to eradicate the ambiguity

Finally, Bhavik, who had remained silent all this while, came forward to present the legal issues involved. Despite having an hour of serious discussion, the judges did not seem to be tired or bored, as they continued to listen attentively, and ask questions and indulge in discussions as and when required.

All in all, the session was a fruitful one, and everyone was left satisfied with the explanation that was provided with regard to every aspect. Shashank, Aishwarya and Bhavik made sure that no more ambiguity remained in the minds of the judges, and also ensured that they were ready to judge the SEMI FINALS!

SEMIFINALS | LIVE FEED:

  • Pravin Gandhi v GNLU

11:04 AM The Claimant started off by introducing his side, and putting forward the issues that they would be presenting in the session and continued by quoting a rule from the SIAC rules. As he spoke, he kept bringing the facts into light, and stated as to why their position in the present case is justified. To justify his stance, he used lines from Gary B.Born, and he further used case laws to support his arguments and make them more persuasive.

11:08 AM Hardly had the Claimant finished briefing the facts, and started putting forward his arguments for the issues that he had put forward, when he was interrupted and asked multiple question by the arbitrators. However, the claimant seemed to be quite well-versed with the laws with regard to Arbitration, and he faced the questions boldly, and answered each one of them boldly.

11:12 AM The next few minutes was spent by the Claimant in arguing the issue quite flawlessly. The judges seemed to be satisfied with the arguments that were being put forward by the claimant, and hence did not ask questions to the claimant. As he spoke, he made sure that he conveyed both the issues and the facts that corresponded to the issues, thus ensuring that he left no stone unturned in convincing the arbitrators, in justifying his position in the present case.

11:16 AM Having convinced the arbitrators regarding his position in the first issue, the first counsel for the claimant moved to the second issue, and started to put forward his arguments. He notably put forward Rule 29 of the SIAC rules, on which he was repeatedly questioned by the Judges with regard to the statements that he made, and one of the judges, significantly pointed out towards it’s non-relevance towards the issue at hand. However, as he has been doing from the very beginning, the Claimant answered the arbitrators quite fearlessly, and walking out of the grilling that was initiated by the Arbitrators seemed to be a cakewalk for the Claimant.

11:20 AM The next few minutes went on quite monotonously, as it was just the counsel for the claimant who was speaking all along, and there was absolutely no interruption by the arbitrators. He significantly raised Rules 20, 29 and 31 of the SIAC Rules while arguing, and the arbitrators seemed to be quite satisfied with whatever was being put forward, and chose to keep mum.

11:24 AM Satisfying the notion that ‘nothing in nature is temporary’, the arbitrators pounced on the counsel for the claimant as soon as he started to argue the summary procedure, as he seemed to be alien to the rules and laws pertaining to the same. A couple of factual but substantive errors that were made by the counsel drew the attention of the arbitrators, paved way for ambiguity, and gave an opportunity to the arbitrators, to grill the counsel. Unlike before, this time, he wasn’t a lion in a jungle, but was a rat in front of the lion.

11:28 AM After taking that huge a pounding by the arbitrators, the counsel had hardly continued to speak, but to his dismay, his time was over, and this forced him to conclude his arguments as quickly as possible and only hope that his co-counsel could finish all the things that were left unfinished by him.

11:32 AM The co-counsel now came forward to present her side of the case. Before starting with her issues, she took two minutes to finish off the arguments that her co-counsel could not argue. She did the same briskly, and at the same time, she made sure that all the necessary things were conveyed. Her style of speaking was quite eloquent, and the judges seemed to have been satisfied with all that was being argued, and did not ask many questions.

11:36 AM As the counsel continued to argue, she significantly raised Rule 30.1 of the SIAC Rules, on which she was repeatedly questioned with regard to the relation that it bore with the issue that was being dealt with. However, the counsel in succeeded in establishing a relation between the issue being dealt with, i.e. with regard to the grant of an interim relief and the rule that she had raised, thus wriggling her way out of the grilling that she was facing.

11:40 AM The next few minutes seemed to be a one-man, rather a one-woman show by the counsel for the claimants, as she kept speaking uninterruptedly and flawlessly. Everything that she spoke was put forward in a manner that made things crystal clear, and paved no way for ambiguity. This was one of the very few instances in the last 20 minutes, during which the arbitrators chose not to ask questions and grill the counsel.

11:44 AM However, as we know, a status quo cannot be maintained in a moot, and complying to this, as soon as the issue of time being the essence of the contract was raised. The counsel seemed to have contradicted herself, when she argued successively, stating once, that time is the essence of the contract, after which she quoted a rule in support of the fact that time need not necessarily be the essence of the contract, and went on to prove as to how time need not necessarily be the essence of the contract in the present case. The same was acknowledged by the judges, and led to a wide range of scrutiny by the arbitrators.

11:50 AM Ending her issue on a very confused note, and not having satisfied the arbitrators with her answers to the questions that were raised, the counsel hastily moved towards her next issue. The arbitrators seemed to have sympathy for the counsel, and did not question her as she progressed. She was allowed to argue in whatever way she wanted to, and she did the same, arguing in a very hay-void manner.

11:54 AM Considering the paucity of time at hand, the arbitrators requested the counsel to conclude, indirectly forcing her to do so. As soon as she concluded, the arbitrators brought the notice of the claimants to the relief that was requested, and repeatedly haggled them with questions on the same. The claimants however seemed to stand by the relief they had requested for and succeeded in defending the same.

11:59 AM As the Claimants were done with presenting their issues, it was time for the respondents to come forward and present their issues and arguments. As soon as she began her speech, she was questioned with regard to her understanding of the concept of ‘counter-claim’. To everyone’s surprise, the counsel for the respondent failed to define the term correctly, and failed to bring out a legislative framework in which the same had been defined. This was noticed by the arbitrators with a smile, who told her what the term meant.

12:05 PM Things just kept getting worse for the Respondent, as she failed to put forward her issue concerning damages efficiently. She failed to differentiate between liquidated, unliquidated and exemplary damages. She notably failed to define what liquidated damages were, and also failed in ascertaining the nature of the damages that they were requesting for. She failed to bring out the essential provisions of The UN CISG to support her arguments, and thus failed in convincing the arbitrators. An expression of dismay on the face of the arbitrators translated to the same.

12:20 PM All that was happening in the next few minutes was a question-answer battle between the arbitrators and the counsel for the respondents. Things, for probably the first time in this round did not remain status quo, as the counsel was just grilled and grilled and grilled, and she could just not making factual errors, and bring in substantive arguments. The counsel could not wriggle her way out of this.

12:24 PM The counsel now failed to understand the provisions of the New York Convention, and probably had not read up on the same, as she was seemed to be clueless as to what was being asked to her with regard to the New York Convention, She was just saying something for the heck of saying, to wriggle her way out of the grilling that she was facing.

12:30 PM While questioned on the involvement of the Ministry in the Arbitration agreement, the counsel failed to justify their stance with regard to the same, and to her satisfaction and dismay at the same time, her time was up! She was forced to conclude and it was now time for her co-counsel to continue with the session. CAN HE CHANGE THINGS FOR THEM?

12:36 PM Much like his co-counsel, the second counsel for the respondents raised another controversial point which he failed to substantiate on effectively. He started off by immediately that the case at hand, is a prima facie case, but failed to substantiate as to why it was so, which is why he faced a series of questions thrown at him by the judges. He, once again like his co-counsel failed to answer properly, and the GRILLING JUST DID NOT END!

12:40 PM Things did not seem to change, as questions were continued to be thrown at the Respondent, and he did not succeed in satisfying the arbitrators. Contradicting his stance, he stated that this tribunal may not have the authority to consider the issue at hand. This made their case more ambiguous, and gave way to the judges to grill the counsel even more!

12:44 PM Having nothing more to say, the Respondent tried to beat around the bush, and justify that they could not be held liable for unjust enrichment. More and more contradictory remarks were made by the counsel, which triggered the arbitrators, and forced them to question the respondent even more and more. He however, this time, succeeded in convincing the judges with regard to the issue that was being dealt with. It looked like a miracle that actually came true. HUSH!

12:50 PM The co-counsel seemed to have turned the tables, as he spoke flawlessly, and satisfied the arbitrators with everything he actually said. The Status Quo had finally broken. Having completed the issue, he moved on towards his next issue which was proving fundamental breach.

12:55 PM As he proved that fundamental breach of the contract did happen, the counsel notably brought up Article 25 of The UN CISG, and ironical to his previous expeditions in proving things and relating them, he actually succeeded in linking the same to the issue that was being addressed and succeeded in convincing the judges that there was a BREACH, but as he went on to prove that there was A FUNDAMENTAL BREACH, he was interrupted and asked if time was of essence to the contract, to which he said “yes”, and went on to prove that why it was so. However, he contradicted his co-counsel when he did so.

12:58 PM The time for the respondents was finally over, and was now time for rebuttals. The claimant started off by bringing out the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the case presented by the Respondents. He proved non-adherence to their written submission, and the series of contradictory remarks made by the counsels for the Respondent. Their aggressive manner of speech showed that they were sure of what they were speaking, as they brought out various case laws that the respondents had contradicted in their oral submissions.

1:02 PM The Respondents had been dominated so much that all they could do was just support their stance and position, and failed to point out the inaccuracies in the oral submissions of the claimants.

With this the round came to an end!

  • RGNUL v School of Law, Christ University

11:04 AM It’s time for the semi finals! It is expected to be both a thrilling and exhaustive show for the part pf the participants and the judges alike. The participants gear up for the last minute of preparation, while the judges glance through their memorials , trying to locate the trump cards and loopholes in their quiver.

11:08 AM The judges grill the counsel of the claimant’s side based on legal procedural intricacies based on summary procedure, to which the counsel artfully delivers a few constructive arguments. Banking on the factual matrix, rather than delving into the complexities involved in the legal framework, the claimant stresses on the urgency of the summary procedure. The tribunal stresses that rather than arguing on the ad rem legal principles , the counsel stresses on in arguendo measures. From the counsel came a befitting reply that it;’s the unique nature of the factual situation itself that demands it, and the tribunal must yield to that.

11:12 AM “Intention and consent of the parties are essential as to the arbitration agreement”- pleading on this argument, the counsel submits that it is evident from the exhibits and the precedential case laws, that the confidentiality clause must be respected. But, the judge drops a bomb- “ Can the confidentiality clause be not superseded by the need of national interest?” This baffling question left the counsel dumbstruck for a moment but the sly plea was taken that the problem is oblivious about the text of the Government Act, thus the counsel would like to refrain from answering that.

11:16 AM With the last few minutes to go on, the judge, being intrigued by the intricate arguments of the Counsel, gave her an extension to continue with her arguments. The Counsel pleads repeatedly on the grave nature of the trade secrets and dynamic pricing that might be put at stake on virtue of this revelation, thus   the confidentiality clause is bound to be respected. “You are making an assumption about an omission in the fact sheet”- this is how the tribunal gagged upon the counsel on enquired upon whether the information is already in existence in the public domain or not. The counsel, who was putting up  concrete arguments so forth, got struck surprisingly, and failed to establish that the nature of the assumption is evident from the exhibits itself.

11:20 AM After the first counsel summarizes her arguments, it was turn for the second counsel to begin with his submissions, with seeking an interim relief and arguing upon on its’ necessity. “ The word ‘may’ makes it evident that it is in the discretion of the tribunal to grant interim measure”- with having the judges well satisfied with this submission, the counsel starts off on a confident note. The counsel argues on five grounds about the need of the interim awards, with primarily stressing on the point that if the interim award isn’t granted, it would place the respondents in a better position than the claimants, thus defeating the purpose and need of urgency.

11:24 AM “Isn’t it a business risk that you must assume while running the business”- there came a stringent question from the judge to grill the counsel. But, the counsel smartly maneuvers the question by submitting that the risk went beyond the reasonable purview that a business has to take in normal course of business. In furtherance of his course of arguments, the  counsel satisfies the tribunal by pointing out a very strong argument that though the fact sheet is silent about the financial position of the claimants, it can be very evidently inferred implicitly that they have had a dry run in their financial resources. Sounding resolute and confident, the counsel went further on to stress on the need of the interim measure, not only based on principles of natural justice, but also on the evident scenario of the  factual matrix.

11:28 AM “ The respondents themselves have made it evident from their exhibits itself that  we were not working in a lackadaisical attitude”- by pointing out a line in the exhibit, the counsel put  up a stellar show and impressed the judges by his arguments. Further on, he pleaded, though the factual matrix do not establish it clearly, but if the legal intricacies establish the act as one that of breach, it’s definitely not one of a fundamental nature. “ Although there might have been a deprivation, it wasn’t one of substantial nature”- this is how the counsel pleads to rebut the contention of fundamental breach, and definitely made a mark on the tribunal.

11:36 AM  Continuing with his impressive arguments, the  counsel stressed and pointed out the delay in the termination of the respondent. On the face of it, though it seemed to impress the tribunal, but it was strongly contested by the judge. “ Despite the delay in the termination , why did not your production increase?”- being gagged upon on this, the counsel, who was making an impressive so far, unfortunately, failed to impress the tribunal. There were a few contesting arguments by the counsel to stress upon the obligation on the respondent to continue on the contract, but most of them fell flat. The counsel relied upon legal intricacies and principles, but the tribunal continuously relied upon the factual matrix on an adverse note to defeat their arguments.

11:40 AM “ They didn’t have the right to avoid the contract in toto, but maybe in parts”- there came a befitting reply by the counsel, on being asked about the avoidance of the contract. The tribunal seemed apprehensive at the onset with the argument, the counsel later delivered an reasonable blend of the legal intricacies with the factual matrix, which eventually impressed by the tribunal. With few minutes to go, the counsel puts forth his concluding submissions based on economic viability of the rescindment  contract, but is being continuously intercepted by the tribunal. Thus, the counsel concludes with the argument about the tribunal’s power to grant  the exemplary damages , as evident from the factual matrix and legal principles. Unfortunately, the paucity of time did not allow the counsel to conclude his arguments, but his performance evidently left a mark on the tribunal!

11:44 AM It’s now time for the respondents to take on as the counsel kickstarts their case straight away with submissions based on legal principles of the SIAC, rather than delving into the facts. The two fold submissions of the counsel based on the aforesaid lex arbitri seems to impress the Madam President of the tribunal, as the counsel puts forth her arguments based on legal principles, mostly unopposed by the judges. “They themselves are admitting that they are disputed facts in the present case, demanding evidential findings”- this is how the counsel shifts the burden on the claimants, based on the exhibits. To be noted, this left a mark on the tribunal, and they hailed the submissions.

11:50 AM “ Whether they have misled the facts is for us to decide”- this is how the tribunal rebutted the counsel, who was going so well thereon with her submissions. The counsel failed to deliver an impressive answer, contrary to her performance till now. The tribunal pressed on the reason behind the need to grant an extension and on its’ reasonability. The counsel tried her best to delve the facts into their favour to justify the acts, though mostly the tribunal refused to buy them. On the contrary, continuing with her two fold submission, the counsel impressed the tribunal with her legal intricacies, unlike the debacle which she failed in her arguments based on factual matrix.

11:59 AM “In the light of your argument, no party would be agreeing to the procedure of summary dismissal”- there came a crued reply from the judge, where the counsel tried to argue about the disputed nature of their case. Disappointed, the counsel decided to focus the epicentre of the arguments to procedural issues, rather than stressing on substantive matter of the case. In this part of the argument, the counsel tried to focus on the need of the conjoinder of the Ministry, so as to decide the case in proper evidential course of action. This time, the tribunal seemed  to buy the arguments, and seemed satisfied with the submissions. Let’s see whether the counsel can continue with the momentum without further interceptions.

12:05 PM : “ The extension was granted on the interest of the people and the Government was the parent body behind this agreement”- grounding her argument on this ground, the counsel pleads further on, with carefully darting away the tribunal’s question that the Government is separate from the respondent. The counsel impressively replied the judges by putting forth the exceptional circumstance of the present case, and a landmark case, which favoured and hinted a composite transaction , as evident from the exhibits. This definitely struck a chord with the tribunal, and the counsel left a mark with them in this concluding argument.

12:20 PM On the concluding argument, the counsel , got grilled upon by the tribunal as whether the liability can be passed upon to the parent body, where the involved body is merely an agent?

The counsel , though struck for a while in the present case, rebounded strongly on commonality of objectives and financial relations, and urged for a co-joinder. The counsel, tried to support her cause by inferring her from the factual matrix, and also from the conduct of the parties. The tribunal, still not being satisfied with the commonality of objects, pressed on to clarify the exceptional circumstances threshold in the present case. Surprisingly, the counsel , who was riding high  with confidence, failed to impress the tribunal in the present case.

12:24 PM In the last minute, due to paucity of time, the counsel failed to clarify her last subissue, but stressed continously on the exception of the confidentiality clause, which is nothing but “general public interest”. The tribunal seemed satisfied with the submissions, and the counsel reaffirmed her submissions , based on the futility of the interim measures and exceptions to confidentiality clause.

12:28 PM The second counsel takes on the floor, and straightaway shoots his arguments based on the issue of fundamental breach and exemplary damages.The counsel, put forth elaborate and strong arguments, based on the legal framework in the present case. The bench seemed impressed at the onset, and the arguments kept on darting at the bench. Further on, the counsel intertwined the factual matrix with the legal framework, which, initially was bought by the bench, but soon questions started being shot at him!

12:32 PM “ Indeed there are a lot of assumptions in our arguments, but they are being based on their conduct”- came a startling and brilliant reply  from the counsel, when the tribunal tried to gag him on the loopholes of their submissions. This clever move by the counsel impressed the tribunal, and thus cleverly the negligence on the part of the claimant was established. The counsel continued in a confident manner , based entirely on factual nuances, and making use of legal principles only at seldom parts. The counsel wasn’t much intercepted by the tribunal due to his sound submissions and promptness to reply, but was soon thwarted by questions!

12:36 PM “ Is 15 days a reasonable extension period”- came a befitting question from the bench, which really caught the counsel in a fix and broke his impeccable flow so far. The counsell tried to establish the reasonability of the action by stressing upon legal complications, but, unfortunately , the bench did not seem satisfied. The grilling was surely a blow to the confident style that was being shown by the counsel for so long. It’s now to see whether the counsel can relive upto his former momentum or continues to fumble in his future course of arguments too!

12:40 PM  The counsel, stressed to continue in the same line of arguments,and went on further regarding the submissions based on the issue of fundamental breach. Sounding confident, but yet apprehensive, the counsel tries to establish the reasonability of the act, but again it seemed that he missed the mark this time too. The tribunal refuses to deal with parts of fact sheet in isolation, despite the counsel’s insistence. There came a lull from the counsel’s side, which he needs to compensate in his coming submissions!

12:44 PM “Despite extension, time can stil; be held as essence of the contract”- the counsel made an impressive comeback, with this submissions, and properly substantiated it with the help of case laws and legal principles. The tribunal, bought the argument, and evidently seemed satisfied. Thus, the counsel, successfully established their right to avoid the contract on their part, based on the claimant’s breach. This time, it seemed that he really struck the chord, and left an impressive note.

12:50 PM  The counsel moves on to his last issue, which speaks about exemplary damages. He started off with a confident note, and was barely intercepted by the tribunal. “It is the power of the state and not the tribunal to grant exemplary damages”- a very impressive submission came on from the part of the counsel, by linking tortious claims with arbitration. He seemed to be resolute to oust the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and the tribunal seemed satisfied by this concluding argument. Despite some intermittent fumbles, the counsel ended on a note as impressive as he had started with!

12:55 PM It’s time for rebuttals now! The claimants decided to keep it short, by basing on two major grounds. Firstly, they focused on the nature on exemplary damages as equitable damages, and thus urged the tribunal to exercise their power to grant the same.Further on, they submitted that the respondent is trying to misuse their position as a public office and are evading liability in arbitral process, by bringing a conjoinder.

12:58 PM It’s time to fire back now! The Respondents to begin with , justified their act as one that of authority and not of malice and thus urged the tribunal to consider the same and justify their act. Furthermore, they cited public policy and their need to oust the confidentiality clause in the interest of general public.

After a well contested semi finals, lets now wait for the results , and check which team outweighs the other , despite commendable shows from both of their sides!

2:00 PM | Guest House | Judges Briefing for the Finals

The judges briefing began with a quick a brief of facts by Aishwarya. She quickly ran through the facts of the case, and made every part of it crystal clear to the judges. Her style of briefing was so eloquent that there was hardly any scope for ambiguity, and the judges seemed to be satisfied with all that was thrown at them.

Following this, Bhavik briefed the judges about the legal issues involved in the present case. He dealt with each and every fact that could possibly have a legal issue attached to it. As and when required, he brought of legislative provisions to support his points.

              The Final: briefing session

The judges seemed to have been satisfied with all they were briefed about, as there were hardly any questions that were asked, and things were made as comprehendible as possible.

All in all the session was a fruitful one, making things lucid clear with regard to the issues involved in the present case, and thus gearing up the judges to judge the PRESTIGIOUS FINALS!

3:05 PM | Campus Auditorium | The Finals!

3:08 PM The counsel for the claimant kick started her oral round by bringing to light a quote with regard to speedy justice. As she moved on, she raised the first issue, before the tribunal. The issue was that of summary procedure. Will bringing out her arguments she brought in various legislative provisions to support her arguments. She seemed to have satisfied the arbitrators initially, which is why, there were no questions that were asked to the counsel initially. However, when she raised the point of force majure, the arbitrators threw a series of questions at the counsel, which were easily answered by the counsel, in manner that satisfied the arbitrators, and the same can be said as there were no follow up questions that were asked by the arbitrators.

3:14 PM The next few minutes of the session of arbitration encompassed monotonous speaking by the counsel representing the claimant. Her style of speaking was so flawless, as she made everything being conveyed  crystal clear to the arbitrators, and made each of her arguments as forceful as possible by backing the same with both legislative provisions and relevant cases. The Arbitrators did ask a few questions, probably for the sake of it, but the counsel seemed to have been proficient with the present case, and chose not to fall before the questions raised.

                            The Grand Finale!

3:20 PM At this juncture, a couple of questions concerning the issues at hand were being dealt with were asked to the counsel, which she tackled with her knowledge of the law concerning arbitration. Various doctrines that were raised in light of the issues under consideration by the counsel, were questioned by the arbitrators with counter-doctrines in the English Law, but the counsel successfully proved the position of the claimant by pointing out to the non-relevance of the doctrines to the Law  due to the problems associated with them. This seemed to have satisfied the judges, and this could be noticed through their expression of satisfaction throughout the oral submission of the counsel.

3:27 PM Realizing the paucity of time at hand, the counsel quickly concluded the current issue and moved to the issue of confidentiality. She tried to address the issue, but was constantly interrupted by the arbitrators and questioned on her interpretation of the facts. The counsel, ironical to her nature, kept her calm, interpreted every question, and answered each one carefully and clearly. Surprisingly, hardly were there any factual or interpretative errors made by the counsel. Hence, the arbitrators were assured that there was no ambiguity that existed with regard to the facts and the issues involved.

3:29 PM Over 20 good minutes of spectacular oral submissions came to an end. Despite granting an extension for the purpose of continuing arguments, the arbitrators chose to grill the counsel with a plethora of questions with regard to the issue of confidentiality. This probably was a mechanism that was exploited to try and make the Claimants nervous, but the counsel stuck to her point, and answered all the questions raised in lieu of the issue, and not only did she argue logically, but also by bringing to light legislative provisions and case laws. The end of the questions that were raised, marked the end of the oral submissions for the counsel.

3:30 PM It was now time for her co-counsel to come forward and continue the oral submissions on behalf of the claimants. He briskly highlighted the issues that he would be dealing with, and stated in nearly a single sentence as to why their position on the issue at hand is justified with regard to the issues raised. As he dealt with each issue specifically, he brought in requisite legislative provisions and case laws with regard to the issues.

3:37 PM A flawless manner of speaking could be observed in the next few minutes of the session. The counsel, who seemed to have possessed the gift of gab, spoke quite fluently and eloquently and ensured that the arbitrators understood each and every argument raised with regard to the issue. Quick questions that were put forward by the arbitrators were easily tackled by the counsel, who used each and every answer as a stepping stone towards convincing the arbitrators that their position was justified.

3:44 PM At this juncture, the counsel seemed to have ran out of substantial arguments, which is why he resorted to logical arguments. What seemed to be extremely non-persuasive in nature, seemed to have convinced the arbitrators, and their expression indicated the same. After having convinced the arbitrators with his substantial arguments, the counsel was now convincing them with logical arguments, and succeeded in doing so.

3:52 PM After a monotonous session dominated by the counsel for nearly 20 minutes, his time had elapsed, and his oral submission ended on a good note, as there was no leeway provided for any sort of ambiguity.

3:53 PM It was now time for the respondents to come and present the case from their side. Abiding by her dominating nature, the counsel for the respondent started by not only highlighting the issues that she would be dealing with and bringing to light various arguments to support their stance, but also rebutted few of the points raised by the Claimants in light of the issue that she was dealing with, thus leaving no stone unturned in convincing the arbitrators.

4:00 PM The counsel in her oral submissions significantly raised Rules 30.1 and 49 of The Lex Arbitri and various opinions of jurists such as Gary B Born and Redfern Hunter. In addition, provisions of The UN CISG of were brought to light, and were used as instruments of argument. An observed trend in the pattern of argument of the counsel was that hardly did she raise any logical arguments in the course of her oral submissions, making herself quite different from her opponents.

4:09 PM As she moved on, she was questioned repeatedly with regard to the arguments that she raised with regard to the issue of summary procedure, but by quoting 2 to 3 relevant cases, which were on the same lines as that of the case under consideration, she saved herself, and managed to wriggle out of the grilling that she was facing.

4:15 PM Realising the paucity of time at hand, the counsel quickly pointed out to the arbitrators that there was indeed a fundamental breach of contract, and that they had the right to avoid the contract. Unfortunately, her time was over, and she could not raise arguments in light of the issue of fundamental breach. The responsibility of proving it now was transferred to her co-counsel.

4:17 PM Her co-counsel now started off by briefing the issues that he would be covering and stated as to why their stance was justified. He started off by bringing in a few rules of The SIAC in their favor, following which he brought in various terms of the contract to justify their position on the same. Questions with regard to the interpretation of the facts were thrown continuously at the counsel, who succeeded in proving the validity of their stance.

4:24 PM As he moved on he dealt with the issues of the grant of interim relief, and the right to avoid the contract due to fundamental breach of the contract. Articles 71, 73 and 47 were notably brought out by the counsel to justify the position of the respondents. His style of argument seemed to have impressed the arbitrators, and the same was acknowledged with a smile by the arbitrators.

4:31 PM Finally, realizing that he might have run out of arguments supported by legislative framework, he tried to bring out logical arguments to support the issue under consideration. What seemed to be of non-persuasive nature was actually satisfying the arbitrators. The same can safely be said as hardly were there any questions raised in light of the arguments made.

4:36 PM Realizing the paucity of time at hand, the counsel quickly summarized the arguments that he had raised with regard to the issues that he had brought to light. Having done so, he quickly threw light on the issue that his co-counsel failed to effectively elucidate on, and convinced the judges This was probably one of the very few oral submissions throughout the course of the tournament which was completed without request for an extension!

We wish the teams the very best of luck for the RESULTS!

5:20 PM | Campus Auditorium | Closing Ceremony 

All’s well that ends well.

                      The Closing Ceremony

After a breathtaking final round, the time had finally come to bring an end to this year’s successful edition of the Justice R.K. Tankha Memorial Moot Court Competition. Notably present in the closing ceremony of this event was the Honorable Chief Minister of the Madhya Pradhesh, His Excellency, Shri. Kamal Nath, Hon’ble Justice Dharmadhikari, former judge of the Supreme Court, Mr. Kevin Nash, Secretary, SIAC and the Hon’ble Director of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, Dr. V. Vijayakumar.

The respected dignitaries present on the dais were felicitated with saplings and mementos. Having done so, The Director of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal, took this opportunity to welcome all the dignitaries, participants and guests.

After the Director’s welcome address, Mr. Kevin Nash took over the podium to address the gathering. He raised his aspiration to develop the Arbitration circuit in India, and the manner in which SIAC would help in doing so. He also significantly pointed out to the pleasure he experienced while witnessing the finals. He ended his speech by thanking the University for giving him the opportunity for attending the event.

Following this, the very first edition of the Indian Arbitration Law Review, the annual publication of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal on Arbitration, was unveiled by the dignitaries on the dais. It was indeed a moment of pride for the University.

After the unveiling of the Journal, Mr. Hussain Ali, Convener of the Legal Aid Clinic of The National Law Institute University, Bhopal took over the podium, and spoke of the achievements of the Legal Aid Clinic in this academic year. In furtherance of the same, a token of appreciation was handed over to the Chief Minister, and a request for increased collaboration was also made to bring in methods of granting speedy justice, within the state.

           Hon’ble Justice Dharmadhikari

The gathering was now addressed by Hon’ble Justice Dharmadhikari, who started off by congratulating all the participants for their commendable performances. He further threw light on the need to incorporate arbitration in India as an effective method of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and eradicate the existing loopholes within the legislations governing arbitration. Having done so, he thanked the University for being given an opportunity to attend and judge the finals of this prestigious moot court competition.

      Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri. Kamal Nath

The Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri. Kamal Nath took over the podium to address the gathering. His charismatic style of speaking drew each and every person’s attention towards him. Having started with the existence of diversity, and the unique nature that it ascertains to our country, he went on to speak of his experiences as a student and narrated one specific incident in which he was told at a quiz competition that he should be afraid of two people, namely, lawyers and judges. This made the audience laugh as they were aspiring to be either of the two. He ended his speech by congratulating the University for putting up such a great show and wished them the best of luck for future endeavors.

After him, Mr. Varun Tankha took over the podium. Keeping himself short and succinct, he thanked the University for having him here, and congratulated the University and The Moot Court Association for putting up such a brilliant show. He remarked that things happened in a very smooth manner, and were very well executed and timely. He wished the University the best of luck for future events.

IT WAS NOW TIME FOR THE MOST AWAITED PART OF ANY COMPETITION! THE RESULTS!

The Awards are as follows: –

  1. Winning Team: Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  2. Runners Up: Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  3. Best Speaker: Sanchit Suri, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  4. Best Memorial (Claimant): National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
  5. Best Memorial (Respondent): Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  6. Best International Team: National University of Singapore
         Best International Team
                            Runners Up
                               Winners

This marked the end of this year’s edition, i.e the 4th edition of The Justice R.K. Tankha Memorial Moot Court Competition. We’ll be back next year with a moot, bigger and better than ever before!

Signing off,

The Blogging Team;

Saahil Khare

Tejas Hinder

Aakash Arun Rao

Koustav Bhattacharya

Payal Dubey

Mahi Sharma

Aura Pandey

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