The on-going COVID-19 public health crisis and the unprecedented nation-wide lockdown, are posing unique challenges for governments, citizens, corporates and businesses. Even as the country is resiliently coping with the unprecedented challenge, the judiciary is also facing a unique challenge of delivering justice in urgent matters while every institution, including the courts and tribunals across the country, remains shut. Access to justice is critical for the common man and a motto our judicial system is committed to.
The lockdown raises an increased focus on contentious issues like performance of commercial contracts, retention of work force, re-assessment of business objectives and targets, valuations and viability of businesses (the latter being especially relevant for start-ups and MSMEs) and business risk management. Resolution of these issues will, in many cases, require increased focus and emphasis on old fashioned values like business ethics, empathic human resource management and corporate social responsibility. It is in our collective interest that the legal system, where we are all equal stakeholders, is sufficiently geared up and sensitised to handle such issues efficiently and with sensitivity.
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