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Balancing Act

Karuna Nundy, champion of human rights is also an expert on commercial litigation
twitter-logoDipak Mondal | Print Edition: October 4, 2020
Balancing Act
Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Karuna Nundy is known more for her work in the field of constitutional law and human rights, having played a key role in drafting the anti-rape bill after the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, getting the Section 66A of IT Act struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015, and winning a compensation case in favour of the differently-abled Jeeja Ghosh, who was offloaded from a SpiceJet flight.

She had also represented the Bhopal Gas survivors in the Supreme Court, and got them better healthcare systems. She also won the case where the SC ordered closure of the water outlets of the toxic waste dump of Union Carbide.

However, Nundy is also an accomplished commercial litigation and arbitration lawyer. "From the beginning of my career, there were two streams I wanted to explore - one was constitutional and human rights and the other was commercial law," she says.

An Economics graduate from St Stephens, she went to the law school in Cambridge and did her LLM from Columbia University.

"Even though I was a human rights fellow in Columbia, I also did transnational litigation and arbitration with George Berman (An American lawyer and professor of law at Columbia University) and worked with a number of other experts. Since then I have done commercial litigation and arbitration, and now it's been 20 years," she adds.

She fondly talks of "a big case about shrimp feed," where she learnt everything that was there to know about shrimp feeds for the company. "Others were saying that shrimps are not fattening and we were saying caveat emptor and all. We won that case."

Nundy recently represented Paytm against telecom companies in a case that seeks to protect its customers from phishing.

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