My journey in Life started on 23rd August, 1957, at New Delhi. My earlier years will not interest anyone. The relevant years which may be of interest are as below : –
1981 – 1985 – After completing my degree in B. A. (Honours), from a very prestigious college of the Delhi University and acquiring the Degree of Law from the equally prestigious Faculty of Law, Delhi University, I was allowed to join the Chambers of Shri N. R. KHAITAN, in the year 1981, who at that point of time was the Senior most In House Counsel for Khaitan & Company / Khaitan & Partners / Solicitors and Advocates. Shri N. R. Khaitan was and still considered to be one of the finest Drafting / Instructing Counsels in India, and I was fortunate enough to be personally taught by him over a period of time. During those days Khaitan & Company / Khaitan & Partners were considered to be at par with the Mumbai Law Company – J. B. DADACHANJI & COMPANY, and in Delhi both these Solicitor Firms at one time or the other contested for the privilege of being the best law firm in Delhi as well as India. Since Shri N. R. Khaitan was the In House Counsel for the Birla Group of Companies, I had the privilege of assisting him in some of the major litigations involving the Birla Group, covering all facets of the law – ranging from Writ Petitions under Articles 226 and 227, of the Constitution of India, Statutory Appeals under the Central Excise & Salt Act, 1944, complex issues of Companies under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trades Act, now known as the Competition Act, and ofcourse Civil Suits under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. I had the privilege of briefing and appearing alongwith many eminent Senior Counsels of those days like Shri Ashok Sen, former Union Law Minister of the Union Government, Shri Siddhartha Shankar Ray – former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Shankar Ghosh – former Minister of State for Finance, Shri H. L. Sibal – former Advocate General of the High Court of Judicature of Punjab and Haryana. This involved extensive travelling, as all the above Legal luminaries used to be briefed by the Birla Group to appear before the various High Courts of India. Also, I was especially entrusted by my Senior to learn how to maintain Books of Accounts, and prepare the Balance Sheet of Companies by specific Project Assignments with some of the leading Chartered Accountant Firms of India.
1985 – 2016 – Gradually from the year 1985, I was fortunate enough to practice law independently in a combination of various roles representing an odd mixture of an Advocate, Counselor, Legal Therapist trying to undo the mysticism of law and putting it into simple terms for assisting various High Powered Clients to grapple with very complicated contractual predicaments. During this entire period I have been representing very high profile Companies in Arbitration matters / Court matters. The scope of my assignment has always included initial advisory work so that Companies can understand the Contracts they are entering into, framing the Terms of the Contract for them while negotiating with the other Contracting Parties, preparing Claims arising out of execution of Contract if ‘disputes and differences’ became inevitable and conducting the Arbitration proceedings to its logical culmination. This has involved travelling a very long path from level of the Civil Judge, Additional District Judge, District Judge of various States of India, the High Courts of those States and ultimately addressing the Supreme Court of India. The scope of the above assignments gave me the privilege of appearing before some of the most famous Judges of the various High Courts of India, as well as the Supreme Court of India who were acting as Learned Arbitrators after their retirement. This work still continues. A random examples of the contracts which were dealt with by me are as set forth here below:
Disputes and Differences arising out of the Construction of Transmission Lines, Transmission Towers from Dhalkola to Siliguri, in the State of West Bengal.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the Maneri Bhali Hydro Electric Project, Stage II, in Uttar Pradesh, for the construction of Head Race Tunnel and other appurtenant works.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the Tanakpur Hydro Electric Project regarding the Construction of Head Regulator Power Chanels etcetera.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the Salal Hydro Electric Project – regarding the Construction of Head Race Tunnel, Radial Gates etcetera.
Disputes and Differences relating to the Kopali Hydro Electric Project, the Khandhong Electric Project, the Tuirial Hydro Electric Project with the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited.
Disputes and Differences relating to the construction of BR NO. 134, over Mahanadi 22 x 43.846M and BR NO. 115, over LUNA 13 x 43.846M in connection with the construction of new BG Line between Haridaspur and Paradeep of East Coast Railways.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the NAPTHA JHAKRI HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT in Himachal Pradesh.
Disputes and Differences between Contractors and Oil India Corporation Limited, arising out of Oil Exploratory Drilling Projects, in Assam.
Disputes and Differences arising out of Design, Supply, Erection and Commissioning of LPG Cylinders, Bottling Plants, LPG Cylinder Plants relating to Companies like Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
Disputes and Differences between Contractors, Owners relating to the Construction of Ammonia Storage Tanks, at Phulpur, Kalol, Kandla with IFFCO, Bongaigaon – Assam with Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Mahul – Mubai with HPCL Limited, Sewri, Mumbai with BPCL Limited.
Disputes and Differences with Construction of PV NARASIMHA RAO ELEVATED EXPRESS CORRIDOR in Hyderabad, which is longest elevated corridor in South Asia.
Disputes and Differences between Contractors and ARIES – Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences involving the longest High Range Telescope in Asia.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the Contract relating to the construction of the PARBATI HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT –I, situated in the State of Himachal Pradesh.
Disputes and Differences arising out of the RAMPUR HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT and the SATLUJ JAL VIDHYUT NIGAM LIMITED, situated in the State of Himachal Pradesh.
Disputes and Differences relating to the TEESTA HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT, relating to Civil Works Package, Teesta Low Dam Stage III, Project, in the State of West Bengal.
Disputes and Differences between the Maharashtra State Electricity Board regarding Stringing and Erection of Transmission Towers in the State of Maharashtra
Disputes and Differences between Group Housing Societies and Contractors’ in New Delhi, relating to the Claims of Contractors for Profits, Overheads, Hidden Charges, Escalation and Claim for Interest / Compensatory Interest as damages.
Disputes and Differences between the UP STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD and Contractors, regarding erection of Transmission Lines, Manufacture of PCC Poles.
Disputes and Differences between Private Contractors regarding Fabrication / Erection / Commissioning of Boilers / Heat Exchangers and Coal Handling Plants, all over India.
Disputes and Differences between DMRC (Delhi Metro), and various Contractors regarding Contracts for Installation, Testing, Commissioning of Ballastless Tracks and Ballasted Track.
Disputes and Differences between the Food Corporation of India (FCI), and Contractors for the Construction of Modern Silos, in various parts of India.
Disputes and differences with IRCON and Contractors regarding certain Railway Projects in Bangladesh.
The total monetary value of all the above Contracts will exceed nearly Rs.4000 Crores. The Awards that I have been able to obtain in some of the above cases exceeds Rs.2000 Crores. Some of these cases are still continuing at various levels. Many have been completely settled. A word of caution, I can keep adding to the list as there are many other assignments which I have handled from the year 1985, onwards. But, if I do so I shall need 10 more pages.
I am a Life Member of the Indian Council of Arbitration as well as on their Panel of Expert Arbitrators. I have been appointed Arbitrators in many cases and have rendered several Awards. Even today, I am conducting many cases as a Sole Arbitrators, and / or as a Co-Arbitrator with former eminent Judges of the Supreme Court.
Over the years, I have built up a vast network of relationships with various Public Sector Undertakings all over India, including but not limited to the UTTAR PRADESH STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD, UP IRRIGATION DEPARTMENT, NATIONAL HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER CORPORATION LIMITED, NTPC LIMITED, IFFCO, BHARAT PETROLEUM CORPORATION LIMITED, HINDUSTAN PETROLEUM CORPORATION LIMITED, INDIAN OIL CORPORATION LIMITED, OIL INDIA LIMITED, DELHI ELECTRIC SUPPLY UNDERTAKING LIMITED, ONGC etcetera.
I have a large network of Advocates who work with me and assist me all over India. My intention is to use my experience to expand my network to countries beyond India, within the next five years.