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News & Knowledge

India: Force Majeure in the current Covid-19 lockdown

18th May 2020
Ravi Nath - RNC Legal

The impact of Covid-19 is being felt all over the world. This summary by MSI's New Delhi member firm RNC Legal briefly addresses the questions of „Force Majeure‟ in Commercial and other contracts, leading to interruptions, delays and avoidance in performance of obligations and/ or cancellation.

Force majeure clauses usually find place in contracts to and provide protection from liability arising in circumstances beyond control of force majeure events usually include acts of God, natural disasters, war-like situations, labour unrest,strikes, epidemics, pandemics and so on.

On February 19, 2020 the Government of India issued an office memorandum which provides that Covid-19 should be considered a natural calamity and force majeure may be invoked,wherever appropriate, by following due procedure. It further stated that a force majeure clause does not excuse non-performance entirely, but only suspends it for a duration.

Notice of force majeure has to be given as soon as it occurs.It cannot be claimed ex-post facto. If performance, in whole or in part, or of any obligation under the contract is prevented, or delayed, by reason a force majeure for a period exceeding ninety days, either party, may at its option, terminate the contract without financial repercussions.

Read the full briefing note



About RNC Legal - New Delhi

RNC Legal was the first legal firm to be established in New Delhi soon after Independence of India in 1947 and the promulgation of the Constitution of India.

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