Civil Recovery Litigation – Strategically Navigating a Maze

Divya Kumat, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary, Datamatics Global Services Limited, India

Any organization that has done business in India knows the unique challenges that are faced when it comes to approaching the Judiciary for the legal recovery of dues. The statistics that are now publicly available portray a dismal picture as to the state and capacity of our judiciary, overburdened as it is, to handle the large number of civil disputes that are continuously being filed. As per the most recent statistics, there are currently 7,892,109 civil cases pending in the lower judiciary, out of which 617,280 (i.e. 7.82%) have been pending for more than 10 years. The national average period of time for which a civil case remains pending in the lower judiciary is nearly six years (2184 days) – a figure that becomes far scarier when we take into count that this includes summary proceedings such as applications for the appointment of arbitrators, probate proceedings, etc. Things do not get any better in the High Courts, where the national average for pendency of proceedings stands at three years and one month (1128 days). Standing at 18 judges per million persons, India’s low per capita judge ratio results in a situation where it is not uncommon for 30 – 50 matters to be listed for hearing before a judge each day. In fact as of today, 304187 civil matters are listed for hearing in the courts of 16718 judges of the lower judiciary, and this is apart from criminal cases that the same judges may also be handling.

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India Litigation IT October 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017

Divya Kumat

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Divya Kumat has over 22 years of professional experience and has progressively held senior positions in legal and secretarial functions of leading companies in the country. As an Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary of Datamatics Global Services Limited, Divya manages the secretarial and legal compliance functions for more than 25 group companies in India and overseas. She has been actively involved in various in-organic initiatives like joint venture collaborations, mergers, acquisitions, and amalgamation in India and overseas. At Datamatics group companies, she successfully implemented the Contract Management Policy globally, Insider Trading Policy, Whistle Blower Policy, Investor Grievance Policy and enhanced the IPR wealth of the Group by seeking various copyrights, trade mark, service mark registrations in India, the UK, the US, European Union countries, China, Norway, Austria and Switzerland. Divya is a proud recipient of several awards from the Company as well as the Industry, viz. Outstanding Achievement Award; General Counsel of the Year 2014 – Female; Leading Woman Owned Innovative Project Award; Best Use of Technology & Innovation in Legal; Leading Woman Company Secretary; Excellence Award; Leadership in Execution Award; Merger Execution Award; Leadership in Business Excellence; Quality Award etc. She was also recently listed as top 100 General Counsels of India in 2017 by Legal500. In 2017, she was also awarded as Best IT Legal Business Leader 2017 - India & Global IT & BPO Service Provider of the Year 2017 by AI 2017 and Star Echelon – In-house Category during The Leadership Summit & Excellence Awards, 2017. She has addressed various professional forums in India and overseas on legal and company secretary related matters. Divya is commerce and law graduate and is also a qualified company secretary from India and UK securing merit position. She completed her Masters in Law by securing 1st position in the Merit List and was awarded two gold medals. Prior to working with Datamatics, Divya worked as Legal Head of Computer Sciences Corporation, a U.S. Multinational in India.

Datamatics Global Services Limited

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Datamatics is a global provider of Consulting, Information Technology (IT), Data Management and Business Process Management services to several Fortune 500 companies. Datamatics has a fully integrated offering to support digital transformation of organizations through Smart Processes, Smart Systems, Smart Devices and Smart Data. These solutions are powered by Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms which offer improved business efficiency in the interconnected world. The core operation of Datamatics is built around “Data to Intelligence”, wherein Datamatics leverages data to extract intelligence and patterns thereby facilitating smarter and quicker decision making. Datamatics has adopted the highest standards of service quality and operational excellence, enabling its clients across a wide range of industries to transform into a truly digital, data driven enterprise. Its customised solutions help enterprises maximize productivity, improve speed and accuracy. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company has a presence across America, Australia, Asia and Europe.

India Litigation IT October 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017