Saturday, July 2, 2011

Buddah Hoga Tera Baap Review !

A geriatric hello, FreEk fellows!!

It is with fond remembrance, that most of us remember handcart driven chinese-outlet next to our college or first work place. These joints more often than not called "hungry eyes" or golden dragon" , having the nepali cook, to give us that "chinese-chef" feeling, served food in the filthiest of plates and surroundings, and quite of a few of us probably had a run to the loo after one of these meals, and yet such days are now remembered with fond nostalgia.

South director Jaganath Puri's masala flick starring none other than Amitabh Bachhan (AB) is somehow reminiscent of those meals!!

What it is: Buddah Hoga Tera Baap (BHTB) tells the tale of a retired gangster (AB) who returns to Mumbai to settle some scores, and kick -ass, all the while romancing much younger women and wearing enough blinding outfits to put an entire Manish Malhotra wedding collection to shame!

What works: Needless to say, this is AB's show all the way, the movie unabashedly recaptures his angry young man image, and dialogues, song tributes from his previous films are scattered throughout. Other actors such as Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon flitter around the screen in inconsequential roles. Perhaps the only inspired casting seems to be in Sonu Sood ( a dead ringer for the young AB) as an inspector, possibly as a tribute to AB's "cop movies" such as "Zanjeer".

What Doesn't: For a movie that doesn't pretend to provide anything other than unabashed AB adulation, BHTB certainly delivers. Yet having witnessed AB's acting forte in his recent works such as Cheeni Kum, Black and of course PAA, one wishes the character would have been better nuanced!


Three Freekies!!

Chutney on the side: As a child of the 80s, one vividly remembers the rise of AB into a one man industry. The biggest sign of his superstardom was the larger than life characters that he played in self-titled films such as "Toofan", "Ajooba", "Aaj Ka Arjun". As the the cine-world grew tired of the larger than life credo, his stardom failed, with "Mrityudaata" being the nail in the coffin. To his credit, and unlike recent aged Bollywood stars such as Dharmendra who still attempts to cavort nubile starlets (remember Tinku Jiya?) AB accepted his age limitations and churned out some modern day classics such as the above Cheeni Kum etc. BHTB, then is like a visit to that old chinese food stall, it brings back many memories, but you know why it is that you had chosen to move on.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speak Asia Online - Old Scam, New Bottle?


Amidst the usual news grabbers of politics, crime and page 3 shenanigans, the controversy surrounding online survey company Speak Asia (SA) comes across as rather unusual. Let us look at the issue in detail:


SAOL is an online survey company, where people can enlist further to a registration fee of Rupees Eleven Thousand ( Rs. 11,000/-). The now registered member can "earn" back his registration fee and subsequent amounts by participating in surveys of clients that SAOL claims its has. The member can further get a percentage of fees paid by other members that he/she refers to SAOL. The controversy as "exposed" by a leading news channel, accuses Speak Asia of making fraudulent claims. The news channel claimed that SAOL had falsely made claims in regards to its list of Clientele and the fact that SAOL does not have any management present in India. Kirit Somaiya, the founder of the Investor's Grievance Forum has taken action against SAOL by filing various complaints against SAOL.


Experts are varied in their opinion whether or not SAOL is a scam in the manner of a PONZI scheme. While the allegations made by said channel hold water, it is my opinion that a critical ingredient of SAOL's operations have been overlooked. The Prize Chit Funds Money Circulation Schemes Banning Act, 1978 elaborates what can be hypothesized to be the operations of SAOL.

S. 2(a) of the said Act defines "chit fund" as: "conventional chit" means a transaction whether called chit, chit fund, kuri or by any other name by or under which a person responsible for the conduct of the chit enters into an agreement with a specified number of persons that every one of them shall subscribe a certain sum of money (or certain quantity of grain instead) by way of periodical instalments for a definite period and that each such sub- scriber shall, in his turn, as determined by lot or by auction or by tender or in such other manner as may be provided for in the chit agreement, be entitled to a prize amount"

S. 2(c) of the said Act defines "money circulation scheme": "money circulation scheme" means any scheme, by whatever name called, for the making of quick or easy money, or for the receipt of any money or valuable thing as the consideration for a promise to pay money, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the enrollment of members into the scheme, whether or not such money or thing is derived from the entrance money of the members of such scheme or periodical subscriptions.

A collation of the above sections, clearly categorize the operations of SAOL under this Act, and therefore make them liable under the same.

Do let me have your thoughts:

until next time

Vikram K

Friday, April 29, 2011

Contract Killers: Indemnification


One of the keenly debated issues in contractual negotiation is that of "indemnity" or more specifically what are the indemnification obligations to be incurred by either party to a contract.

Let us proceed to take a detailed view of the same:

a) Definition:

S.124 of the Indian Contract Act states "A contract by which one party promises to save the other from loss caused to him by the contract of the promisor himself, or by the conduct of any other person, is called a "contract of indemnity".

Some other generic definitions read as follows: I. An agreement whereby one party agrees to secure another against an anticipated loss or damage. For example, someone may agree to turn a business over to another person for a reduced price if they pay the debts and other obligations of the business. In a broad sense, insurance policies are indemnity contracts. A provision in a lease that requires a tenant to pay (indemnify) a landlord for damages. (

II. act of holding harmless, amends, assurance against loss, compensation, full satisfaction, lex oblivionis, payment, protection against loss, recompense, recoupment, redemption, refund, remuneration, repayment, requitement, restitution, restoration, return, security, security against damage, security against loss, setoff, vindication An indemnity contract arises when one individual takes on the obligation to pay for any loss or damage that has been or might be incurred by another individual. The right to indemnity and the duty to indemnify ordinarily stem from a contractual agreement, which generally protects against liability, loss, or damage. (legal-dictionary.the free-dictionary)

b) Debate:

Given that indemnification requires the defaulting party to compensate the aggrieved party for their losses, a keenly disputed issue is always whether indemnification obligations should be limited to third party claims only, supporters of this rationale elaborate that "direct indemnification" would place the indemnified at an unfair advantage, as all such party would be required to do is claim from the indemnifiying party for alleged losses. While it therefore seems pertinent to limit indemnification obligations to third party claims (and therefore logically to intellectual property related matters), one can consider that off-beat request where the indemnified party may request protection in terms of consequential/indirect losses, while the textbook approach is to exclude such losses, acceptance of the same would lead one to concur that such losses are "direct" in nature (i.e. entirely dependant on the indemnifying party) and therefore any indemnification in respect of indirect/consequential losses would be a "direct" indemnification as opposed to a third party indemnification.

c) Summary:

Any debate surrounding indemnity related obligations, has necessarily to consider the following:

i) The subject matter on which indemnification is offered (intellectual property, indirect claims etc.)

ii) The grounds on which indemnification is offered:

a) Whether the indemnifying party is entitled to a sufficient prior notice in respect of any claim
against the indemnified property,

b) Whether the indemnifying party can settle the claim on behalf of the indemnified

iii) The time period for which such indemnification obligations last ( in perpetuity, for a certain
period after the termination of the agreement).

In closing, it is enlightening to note, that S.125 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 requires that any compensation amounts arising from indemnification obligations are subject to adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction. In so prescribing, statute has in no small manner mitigated the risk of accepting an onerous indemnification obligation.

Let the debate begin:

Till next time!

Vikram Koppikar

Contract Killers: The Importance of a Contract Lawyer

While litigation related news manages to grab people's eyeballs on a day to day basis, the workings of those lawyers that are involved in contract negotiations are no less intriguing or complex. Given that an executed contract, is the foundation stone of a business relationship, it is imperative that the counsels involved in the negotiation, drafting and execution of a contract ensure that the said contract is ironclad to safegfuard either party's interests; at the same time; is flexible enough to allow variations in relations to changing market scenarios.

Such seemingly diverse requirements, are especially critical in outsourcing contracts, given that such contracts are: a) multi-jurisdictional, b) long-term c) required to account for change in resources utilised.

With this in view, future episodes of the "Contract Killers" series will focus on some of the key terminolgies that find place in such contracts.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome on

Vikram Koppikar

The Blindfold comes off..


This blog is an earnest attempt to ponder into the day-to-day legal issues that surround us. It is an effort to show that law (and violations thereof) are not just restricted to the judiciary but can be found all around us in day to day circumstances.
As a lawyer having previous experience in the IT/Retail/Financial Services Sectors, the blog is my attempt to interpret some of the contemporary issues thrown up in these sectors.

It is said that justice is blind; so wish me luck as I attemp to remove the blindfold!!

Vikram Koppikar