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TEAM CODE: OO

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT LYS


ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO.

OF 2016

(UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF


BRAAVOS)
PETITIONER

ARCHANA STARK
Versus
THE FREE REPUBLIC

RESPONDENTS

OF BRAAVOS AND ORS.


ALONG WITH
WRIT PETITION NO.

OF 2016
PETITIONER

VARYS CORPORATION
Versus
STATE OF LYS AND

RESPONDENTS

ORS.

MEMORIAL ON BEHALF OF THE RESPONDENT NO. 3 VARYS


CORPORATION

23rd M.C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE


NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SR. NO.

PARTICULARS

1.

INDEX OF AUTHORITIES

2.

STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION

3.

SYNOPSIS OF FACTS

4.

STATEMENT OF ISSUES

5.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS

6.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED

7.

PRAYERS

PAGE NO.
III-V
VI
VII-IX
X-XI
XII-XIV
1-20
XV-XVI

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

INDEX OF AUTHORITIES

TABLE OF CASES
SR. NO.

NAME OF THE CASE

CITATION

PAGE NO.

1.

Union of India and Anr. v. SB Vohra and Ors.

AIR 2004 SC 1402

AIR 1963 SC 1811

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

12.
13.
14.

State Trading Corporation of India Ltd. v.


Commercial Tax Officials and Ors.
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation

Writ Petition No.

Ltd. v. Union of India. (Calcutta High Court)

388 of 2003

Power Measurement Ltd. v. UP Power


Corporation.
Smith Detection Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. v.

AIR 2003 All 153


2004 (2) ALD 878

Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. and Ors.


Diamond Sugar Mills Ltd. and Anr. v. The
State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr.
Jaora Sugar Mills (P) Ltd. v. State of Madhya
Pradesh and Ors.
KK Poonacha v. State of Karnataka and Ors.
R v. Liverpool Justices.

Aluminium Co. Ltd.


State of Maharashtra v. Bharat Shanti Lal
Shah and Ors.
Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab.
State of AP and Anr. v. JB Educational
Society and Anr.

III

AIR 1966 SC 416

(2010) 9 SCC 671

471 (QBD)

Kerala State Electricity Board v. The Indian

AIR 1961 SC 652

(1972) 2 All ER

State of Bombay v. Narottamdas Jethabhai.

AIR 1951 SC 69

4,5

AIR 1976 SC 1031

4,6,7

(2008) 13 SCC 5

5,9

(1994) 3 SCC 569

(2005) 3 SCC 212

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

15.

16.

17.

18.

India Cement Ltd. and Ors. v. State of Tamil


Nadu and Ors.

(1990) 1 SCC 12
2010 (1) BomCR

Karan Dileep Nevatia v. UoI.

588

Maganbhai Ishwarbhai Patel etc. v. Union of


India and Anr.
Hoechst Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Ors. v.
State of Bihar and Ors.

7,16,17

(1970) 3 SCC 400

7, 8,17

AIR 1983 SC 1019

19.

State of Jammu and Kashmir v. MS Farooqi

AIR 1972 SC 1783

20.

Chandavarkar SR Rao v. Ashalata S Guram.

(1986) 4 SCC 447

10,15

(2012) 7 SCC 106

10

(2009) 5 SCC 342

10,11

AIR 2002 SC 3404

11

(2004) 10 SCC 201

16

AIR 1937 PC 82

17

AIR 1994 Bom 323

17, 18

(2001) 3 SCC 635

17

(2009) 7 SCC 561

17

(1979) 2 SCC 409

20

21.

State of Kerala and Ors. v. Mar Appraem Kuri


Company Ltd. and Anr.
Grand Kakatiya Sheraton Hotel and Towers

22.

Employees and Workers Union v. Srinivasa


Resorts Ltd. and Ors.
Kaiser-i-Hind Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. v. National

23.

Textile Corporation (Maharashtra North) Ltd.


& Ors.

24.

25.
26.
27.

28.

29.

State of West Bengal v. Kesoram Industries


Ltd. and Ors.
Attorney-General of Canada v. AttorneyGeneral of Ontario and Ors.
PB Samant and Ors v. UoI and Anr.
M/s Ugar Sugar Works Ltd v. Delhi
Administration and Ors.
Villianur Iyarkkai Padukappu Maiyam v. UoI
and Ors.
Motilal Padampat Sugar Mills Co. Ltd. v.
State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

BOOKS REFERRED

Durga Das Basu, Shorter Constitution of India, 14thEdition, 2009, Volume 1 & 2.

D. D. Basu, Commentary on the Constitution of India, 8thEdition, 2008, Vol. 2 & 3.

M.P. Jain, Indian Constitutional Law, 6thEdition, 2010, Vol. 1

M.P. Jain, Principles of Administrative Law, 6th Edition, 2011.

Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1966, Vol. II.

STATUTES

THE CONSTITUTION OF BRAAVOS

THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

BRAAVOSI MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT

PROTECTION OF MARITIME TRADE ACT

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS

THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON LAW OF TREATIES

CONVENTION ON PREVENTION OF PIRACY IN THE BRAAVOSI ARCHIPELAGO

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION

VARYS CORPORATION HAS FILED A WRIT PETITION INVOKING THE


JURISDICTION OF THE HONBLE HIGH COURT OF LYS UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF
THE CONSTITUTION OF BRAAVOS. VARYS CORPORATION STATES THAT THE
PETITION DEALS WITH SUBSTANTIAL QUESTIONS OF LAW AND THAT THERE IS
NO ALTERNATIVE EFFICACIOUS REMEDY EXCEPT TO APPROACH THIS
HONBLE HIGH COURT.

THE SAID PETITION HAS BEEN TAGGED WITH WRIT PETITION NO.

OF 2016,

ARCHANA STARK V. THE FREE REPUBLIC OF BRAAVOS AND ORS., WHEREIN


VARYS CORPORATION HAS BEEN MADE RESPONDENT NO. 3.

THE PRESENT MEMORANDUM SETS FORTH THE FACTS, CONTENTIONS AND


ARGUMENTS IN BOTH THE WRIT PETITIONS.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Varys Corporation (Varys Corporation) is a company incorporated in the Republic of


Volantis (Volantis).

The Free Republic of Braavos is an island country in the continent of Essos (Braavos).
Volantis is a neighbouring island country. Lys is a constituent state in Braavos (Lys).

2013: The fishermen of Braavos turned to piracy to supplement their income. Since
Braavos is located close to major shipping routes, this problem of piracy in and around
the waters of Braavos posed a problem in shipping and trade in the region.

192 countries attended the Third Conference on the Law of the Sea to curb piracy
(UNCLOS III) and signed the Convention on Prevention of Piracy in the Braavosi
Archipelago (Dragon Treaty). The Dragon treaty inter alia provided that:
a) The preamble declared that the treaty was a measure in continuance of the
universal custom outlawing piracy and was now incorporated in the common
maritime law of all nations to counter the scourge of piracy;
b) Companies owning ships (who are incorporated in a signatory state) are entitled to
hire armed security guards and place them on their vessels (if the flag state of the vessel
is a signatory to the convention). (Article 15);
c) The said armed guards shall be private personnel, and shall not be agents, or
members of the armed forces of any country. They shall also not be considered seamen
for any purposes whatsoever. (Article 18);
d) In case of any criminal acts committed by these personnel, they would serve any
sentence in the country of the flag state of the ship. (Article 25);
e) The employers civil liability in any of the wrongful acts committed by these
personnel would be 20,000 Braavosi ducats. The liability is to be a strict liability and
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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

would be enforced by the ordinary Courts of the place of commission of the offence.
(Article 26)
Braavos ratified the Dragon Treaty.

January, 2016: The Braavosi Merchant Shipping Act (Central Act) was amended to
give effect to the Dragon Treaty and the following provisions were added:
Section 2 (aa) Convention shall mean the Convention on Prevention of Piracy in
the Braavosi Archipelago as amended from time to time.
Section 235A Notwithstanding anything contained in any law in force, an employer
shall be liable for any act committed by any Second Sons in the course of his/her
duty/employment only upto the limits provided for under the Convention. For this
provision to apply the employees must be a party to the Convention.

February, 2016: The signatory nations amended the Dragon Treaty to reduce the
liability to 10,000 Braavosi Ducats (BD).

March 1, 2016: Braavos and Volantis entered into trade negotiations, wherein it was
agreed that for either a Volantian or Braavosi flagged ship, where the owner was also a
Volantian or Braavosi company, there would be no civil liability for acts caused by
Second Sons on anti-piracy duty. For formalise the said agreement, Braavos and
Volantis entered into Treaty to amend the Dragon Treaty dated March 1, 2016
(Bilateral Treaty) incorporating complete exclusion of liability for wrongful acts of the
Second Sons.

April, 2016: Government of Lys enacted the Protection of Maritime Trade Act (PMT
Act) which once again imposed a liability of 20,000 BD for the acts of Second Sons on
all ships irrespective of their flag state in the territory of Lys. PMT Act received the
assent of the President on April 24, 2016.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

May 2, 2016: Andal, a ship owned by Varys Corporation, within 3 nautical miles of the
coast of Lys suspected a pirate attack from a boat speeding towards the ship. Despite a
warning, the said boat continued towards the ship. The Second Sons on board opened
fire on the said boat, killing the sole person on board (Deceased).

Archana Stark (Archana Stark), the wife of the Deceased, made a complaint acting
upon which the said ship of Varys Corporation was intercepted and the Second Sons
were arrested.

Varys Corporation was made a respondent in the Writ Petition No.

of 2016 filed by

Archana Stark challenging the relevant legislation (First Writ Petition).

Varys Corporation is also inter alia challenging the PMT Act in toto before this Honble
High Court. Hence, this Petition (Second Writ Petition). Both, the First Writ Petition
and the Second Writ Petition, have been tagged.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

STATEMENT OF ISSUES

VARYS CORPORATION SUBMITS THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS OF LAW


TO THIS HON'BLE COURT:

1.

Varys Corporation, though a foreign corporation, can maintain the Second Writ
Petition before this Honble Court.

2.

Whether the Protection of Maritime Trade Act has been passed without
competence and is thus unconstitutional in toto, ultra vires and void ab initio?

2.1

The State of Lys has passed the PMT Act without competence as the subject-matter of
the PMT Act falls exclusively under the Union List.

2.2

Without prejudice, assuming the subject-matter of the PMT Act also falls under the State
List or the Concurrent List, the power to legislate on the said matter still lies exclusively
with the Parliament as Braavos has entered into an international treaty on the said matter.

2.3

The assent of the President does not give competence to the PMT Act.

3.

Without prejudice, whether the provisions of Protection of Maritime Trade Act


are repugnant to the Braavosi Merchant Shipping Act?

3.1

Provisions of the PMT Act, to the extent of repugnancy with the Central Act, are void.

3.2

Without prejudice, assent of President under Article 254(2) is not a valid assent in the
absence of consideration.

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

4.

Whether Varys Corporation has any liability under the Protection of Maritime
Trade Act?

4.1

The PMT Act is ultra vires and void ab-initio.

4.2

Without prejudice, the provisions of the PMT Act are repugnant to the Central Act.

5.

Whether the Braavosi Merchant Shipping Act has to be read with the Convention
on Prevention of Piracy in the Braavosi Archipelago and the Treaty to amend the
Dragon Treaty?

5.1

In international law, Bilateral Treaty entered into by Braavos modifies the Dragon
Treaty as per Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties.

5.2

The Central Act provides for liability to be in accordance with international law.

5.3

Act of signing and/or ratifying Bilateral Treaty is an act of the executive which is binding
on the government of Braavos.

5.4

The act of entering into international treaty or agreement is a policy decision of the
government of Braavos.

6.

Whether Varys Corporation has any liability under the Braavosi Merchant
Shipping Act?

6.1

Varys Corporation has no liability when the Central Act is read with the Bilateral Treaty.

6.2

Varys Corporation has legitimate expectation that owners of Volantian ships are exempt
in civil liability from paying for the acts of Second Sons.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENTS

1.

VARYS CORPORATION, THOUGH A FOREIGN CORPORATION, CAN


MAINTAIN THE SECOND WRIT PETITION BEFORE THIS HONBLE
COURT.

This Honble High Court can, in its writ jurisdiction under Article 226, entertain a writ petition
for the enforcement of fundamental rights as well as ordinary legal rights. Further, legal rights
of an individual maybe founded upon a contract or a statute or an instrument having the force
of law. Moreover, a Corporation can, to enforce its legal rights, approach this Honble Court
under Article 226. There is no specific bar in the Constitution that prevents a corporation
incorporated outside the country to maintain a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of
Braavos. Therefore, the Second Writ Petition is maintainable.

2.

WHETHER THE PROTECTION OF MARITIME TRADE ACT HAS BEEN


PASSED WITHOUT COMPETENCE AND IS THUS UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN
TOTO, ULTRA VIRES AND VOID AB-INITIO?

State Legislature of Lys has no competence to pass legislation on matters covered in the Union
List as per Article 246 read with Schedule VII of the Constitution of Braavos. The subjectmatter of the PMT Act, in pith and substance, falls under the Union List. Furthermore, it is only
the Parliament which can make laws to implement an international treaty, agreement or
convention as per Articles 73 and 253 of the Constitution of Braavos. The PMT Act is an
implementation of the Dragon Treaty by the State Legislature of Lys. Therefore, the PMT Act
has been passed without competence and the assent of the President of Braavos does not accord
any competence to the PMT Act.

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

3.

WITHOUT PREJUDICE, WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF PROTECTION


OF MARITIME TRADE ACT ARE REPUGNANT TO THE BRAAVOSI
MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT?

The PMT Act provides for employers liability of 20,000 BD for acts of Second Sons when
there already is the Central Act on the same subject-matter. The Central Act and the PMT Act
cannot reconcile, therefore, the PMT Act is to be held void to the extent of the repugnancy as
per Article 254(1).
Further, Article 254(2) provides that the State law will prevail if it has received Presidential
assent. However, such Presidential assent can be given only after consideration. In the absence
of consideration, idle Presidential assent is not valid.

4.

WHETHER VARYS CORPORATION HAS ANY LIABILITY UNDER THE


PROTECTION OF MARITIME TRADE ACT?

It is submitted that the PMT Act seeks to impose a liability of 20,000 BD for the acts of the
Second Sons. However, the Legislature of Lys being incompetent to pass the PMT Act,
therefore the PMT Act is void in toto. Accordingly, all the provisions under the PMT Act will
be deemed to never have existed. Thus, Varys Corporation has no liability under the PMT Act.
Without prejudice, if the provisions imposing liability on the owners fall in the Concurrent List,
the provisions of the PMT Act are repugnant to the provisions of the Central Act. Therefore,
Varys Corporation has no liability under the PMT Act.

5.

WHETHER THE BRAAVOSI MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT HAS TO BE


READ WITH THE CONVENTION ON PREVENTION OF PIRACY IN THE
BRAAVOSI ARCHIPELAGO AND THE TREATY TO AMEND THE DRAGON
TREATY?

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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

The Bilateral Treaty modifies the application of the Dragon Treaty inter se the contracting
States which is compatible with the object of the Dragon Treaty. Therefore, applying Articles
41 and 30 of VCLT, the Bilateral Treaty modifies the Dragon Treaty. Furthermore, the liability
under the Central Act is to be ascertained in accordance with international law. Thus, the
Dragon Treaty is to be read with the Bilateral Treaty. The act of singing and/or ratifying an
international treaty, agreement or convention is binding on the Union of Braavos. The act of
entering into the Bilateral Treaty is a policy decision of the Executive of Braavos and this
Honble Court should not interfere with policy decisions.

6.

WHETHER VARYS CORPORATION HAS ANY LIABILITY UNDER THE


BRAAVOSI MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT?

A conjoint reading of the Central Act and the Bilateral Treaty provides that Varys Corporation
has no civil liability for the acts of Second Sons. Further, Varys Corporation entered the
territorial waters of Braavos for trade and commerce only pursuant to the execution of the
Bilateral Treaty, expecting the terms of the Bilateral Treaty to be upheld. Varys Corporation
has legitimate expectation that the terms of the treaty would be upheld and Varys Corporation
will be exempt from any liability for the acts of the Second Sons.

XIV

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED

1.

VARYS CORPORATION, THOUGH A FOREIGN CORPORATION, CAN


MAINTAIN THE SECOND WRIT PETITION BEFORE THIS HONBLE
COURT.

It is submitted that this Honble High Court can, in its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the
Constitution of Braavos, entertain a writ petition for the enforcement of fundamental rights as
well as ordinary legal rights. In this sense, the scope of Article 226 is wider than that of Article
32. Further, it is submitted that the legal rights of an individual maybe founded upon a contract
or a statute or an instrument having the force of law.1 Moreover, it is submitted that a
Corporation can, to enforce its legal rights, approach this Honble Court under Article 226. 2
This position would not change in respect of a company incorporated outside this country. 3
On the point that a foreigner or a foreign company is not entitled to maintain a writ petition,
there is no specific bar in the Constitution that prevents a corporation incorporated outside
the country to maintain a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Article 226
does not lay down any eligibility criteria based on citizenship of the seeker of Constitutional
remedy. The basic requirement for invoking the jurisdiction of the Writ Court is that the legal
rights of the complainant should be breached by any person or authority, who fits the
description of State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India.4

UoI and Anr v. SB Vohra and Ors, AIR 2004 SC 1402.


State Trading Corporation of India Ltd v. Commercial Tax Officials and Ors, AIR 1963 SC 1811.
3
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd v. UoI, Calcutta High Court, Order dated May 20, 2011, Writ
Petition No. 388 of 2003; Power Measurement Ltd v. UP Power Corporation, AIR 2003 All 153; Smith Detection
Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd v. Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Ors, 2004 (2) ALD 878.
4
Ibid.
2

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

The position of laws in Braavos with respect to Article 226 is the same as that of India.
Therefore, the Second Writ Petition filed by Varys Corporation is maintainable before this
Honble High Court.

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

2.

WHETHER THE PROTECTION OF MARITIME TRADE ACT HAS BEEN


PASSED WITHOUT COMPETENCE AND IS THUS UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN
TOTO, ULTRA VIRES AND VOID AB INITIO?

2.1. THE STATE OF LYS HAS PASSED THE PMT ACT WITHOUT COMPETENCE AS
THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE PMT ACT FALLS EXCLUSIVELY UNDER THE
UNION LIST.
The competence to enact a law in Braavos is divided between the Parliament and the State
Legislatures. Article 246 of the Constitution deals with such distribution of legislative powers
between the Parliament and State Legislatures. Article 246 reads thus:
Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States.
(1) Notwithstanding anything in clauses (2) and (3), Parliament has exclusive power to
make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List I in the Seventh Schedule
(in this Constitution referred to as the Union List).
(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (3), Parliament and, subject to clause (1), the
Legislature of any State also, have power to make laws with respect to any of the matters
enumerated in List III in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the
Concurrent List).
(3) Subject to clauses (1) and (2), the Legislature of any State has exclusive power to
make laws for such State or any part thereof with respect to any of the matters enumerated
in List II in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the State List).
(4) Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the
territory of Braavos not included [in a State] notwithstanding that such matter is a matter
enumerated in the State List.

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

A plain reading of Article 246(1) confers exclusive power on the Parliament to legislate on
matters covered in the Union List. Such power is notwithstanding anything in clauses (2) and
(3). Article 246(2) confer power on both, the Parliament and the State Legislature, to legislate
on matters covered in the Concurrent List while Article 246(3) confers exclusive power on the
State Legislature to legislate on matters covered in the State List. Accordingly, the State
Legislature has no competence to pass legislation on matters covered in the Union List.
Therefore, it is submitted that any legislation passed by the State Legislature on matters covered
in any entry of the Union List will be without competence. 5 The effect of non-competence is
that such legislation is wholly ultra vires, void-ab initio.6
2.1.1. The pith and substance of the PMT Act falls under entries 10, 14 and 21 of the Union
List.
Entry 10 - Foreign affairs; all matters which bring the Union into relation with any
foreign country.
Entry 14 - Entering into treaties and agreements with foreign countries and implementing
of treaties, agreements and conventions with foreign countries.
Entry 21 - Piracies and crimes committed on the high seas or in the air; offences against
the law of nations committed on land or the high seas or in the air.
In matters of crime, the seas or the high seas or the ocean means much the same.7
It is settled as per the theory evolved by Courts that in order to adjudicate whether any particular
enactment is within the purview of one legislature or the other, it is the doctrine of pith and
substance8 that has to be looked into. The Doctrine of pith and substance recognises incidental
encroachment but it primarily deals with ascertaining the true nature and character of a

Diamond Sugar Mills Ltd. and Anr v. The State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr, AIR 1961 SC 652; Jaora Sugar Mills
(P) Ltd v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors, AIR 1966 SC 416.
6
KK Poonacha v. State of Karnataka and Ors, (2010) 9 SCC 671.
7
R v. Liverpool Justices, (1972) 2 All ER 471 (QBD).
8
State of Bombay v. Narottamdas Jethabhai, AIR 1951 SC 69; Kerala State Electricity Board v. The Indian
Aluminium Co. Ltd, AIR 1976 SC 1031.
4

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

legislation9 for the purpose of determining whether it has been passed in respect of matters of
one list or the other. The object, purpose and scope of the legislation need to be looked into
while using the Doctrine of pith and substance.10
The PMT Act amongst other things, once again imposed a liability of 20,000 Braavosi Ducats
for the acts of the Second Sons on all ship (emphasis supplied). It is submitted that the name
of the PMT Act in the first instance is suggestive that the PMT Act was passed to protect
maritime trade in and around the territorial waters of Braavos. Further, the PMT Act recognises
placing Second Sons on board of merchant ships implying that such protection is against the
problem of piracy prevalent in and around the territorial waters of Braavos. It is pertinent to
note that the concept of Second Sons was evolved as a result of consensus between 192
countries at UNCLOS III, wherein it was agreed that the Second Sons were authorised to be
appointed on merchant ships to contain the piracy problem. Further, the concept of Second
Sons was first recognised by the Dragon Treaty, passed in UNCLOS III, to counter piracy.
Braavos is a signatory to the Dragon Treaty and has ratified the same. The Parliament, under
Article 253, incorporated some provisions of the Dragon Treaty into the Central Act.
Accordingly, it is submitted that it is only the Dragon Treaty and the Central Act which
recognise the concept of Second Sons. It is thus submitted that passing of the PMT Act by the
Legislature of Lys amounts to implementation of the Dragon Treaty, and the pith and substance
of the PMT Act is to place Second Sons on merchant ships to accord protection from piracy.
Therefore, the PMT Act falls wholly under entries 10, 14 and 21 of the Union List. Thus, it is
submitted that the PMT Act was passed without competence by the Legislature of Lys.
2.1.2. The principle that the 'special' excludes the 'general' also puts the subject-matter of the
PMT Act beyond the competence of the Legislature of Lys.

State of Maharashtra v. Bharat Shanti Lal Shah and Ors, (2008) 13 SCC 5; Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab,
(1994) 3 SCC 569; Supra, note 8.
10
Ibid.
5

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

Without prejudice, it is submitted that the entries in the Union List, State List and the
Concurrent list cannot be segregated into separate water tight compartments. In order to
harmoniously interpret these lists, the principal of special excludes general is to be used.11
It is submitted that when the subject-matter of legislation is covered under a special entry, it is
automatically excluded from the general entries which could otherwise cover the subjectmatter. The subject-matter of PMT Act is protection from piracy and implementation of the
Dragon Treaty, which through special entries of 21 and 14 respectively falls under the Union
List. By virtue of the special entry, the subject-matter is automatically excluded from the
general entries of the State List and Concurrent List. Thus, it is submitted that the PMT Act
was passed without competence by the Legislation of Lys.
2.1.3. Parliament has exclusive powers to make laws with respect to matters in the Union List
notwithstanding anything contained in the State List or Concurrent List.
It is submitted that Article 246 lays down the principle of federal supremacy. The exclusive
power of the Parliament to legislate on matters in the Union List is notwithstanding anything
contained in the State List or Concurrent List; whereas the power of State Legislature to
legislate on matters covered in the Concurrent List as well as the State List is subject to the
exclusive power of the Parliament. Thus, the power of Parliament to legislate on matters
included in Union List is supreme notwithstanding anything contained in clauses (2) and (3).12
It is submitted that the matters covered under the Union List ipso facto become out of bounds
for the State Legislature.13 Further, where an entry is in general terms in State List or
Concurrent List and part of that entry is in specific terms in Union List, the entry in the Union
List takes effect as the power of the State Legislature is subject to exclusive power of the
Parliament.14 Therefore, only the Parliament has the competence to legislate on the matters of

11

Supra, note 8.
State of AP and Anr v. JB Educational Society and Anr, (2005) 3 SCC 212.
13
India Cement Ltd and Ors v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors, (1990) 1 SCC 12.
14
Supra, note 8.
12

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

piracy and implementation of the Dragon Treaty and the PMT Act was thus passed without
competence by the Legislature of Lys.
2.2. WITHOUT PREJUDICE, ASSUMING SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE PMT ACT
ALSO FALLS UNDER THE STATE LIST OR THE CONCURRENT LIST, THE
POWER TO LEGISLATE ON THE SAID MATTER STILL LIES EXCLUSIVELY
WITH THE PARLIAMENT AS BRAAVOS HAS ENTERED INTO AN
INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON THE SAID MATTER.
It is submitted that the effect of Article 253, as observed by Bombay High Court in Karan
Nevatia15 relying on the decision of the Constitutional Bench of Supreme Court of India in
Maganbhai Patel16, is that if a treaty, agreement or convention with a foreign State deals with
a subject within the competence of the State Legislature, Parliament alone has,
notwithstanding Article 246(3) of the Constitution, the power to make laws to implement the
treaty, agreement or convention or any decision made at any international conference,
association or other body.
Article 253 reads thus:
Legislation for giving effect to international agreements.Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, Parliament has
power to make any law for the whole or any part of the territory of Braavos for
implementing any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country or countries
or any decision made at any international conference, association or other body.
It was further observed in the Karan Nevatia17 that Though the Executive (Central
Government) has power to enter into international treaties/agreements/conventions under
Article 73 (read with Entries 10 & 14 of List I of the VII Schedule to the Constitution of

15

Karan Dileep Nevatia v. UoI, 2010 (1) BomCR 588.


Maganbhai Ishwarbhai Patel etc. v. UoI and Anr. (1970 ) 3 SCC 400.
17
Supra, note 15.
16

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

Braavos) the power to legislate in respect of such treaties / agreements / conventions, lies with
Parliament. It is open to Parliament to refuse to perform such treaties / agreements /
conventions. (emphasis supplied)
It is submitted that pursuant to Braavos signing and ratifying the Dragon Treaty, it is the
prerogative of the Parliament alone to make laws implementing the Dragon Treaty. This
exclusive power lies with the Parliament for matters enumerated in any entry of any list of
Schedule VII. Therefore, even assuming that the subject-matter of the PMT Act was also
covered by the State List or Concurrent List; a conjoint reading of Article 73, Article 253 and
entries 10, 14 and 21 of the Union List excludes the competence of the Legislature of Lys to
pass the PMT Act. Thus, it is submitted that the PMT Act was passed without competence and
is unconstitutional in toto, ultra vires and void ab-initio.

2.3. THE ASSENT OF THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT GIVE COMPETENCE TO THE
PMT ACT.
As more particularly stated in issue no. 3, the assent of President under Article 254(2) can only
be given when the subject-matter of the legislation falls in the Concurrent List. However, as
submitted in issue nos. 2.1 and 2.2, the PMT Act deals with subject-matters covered under
entries 10, 14 and 21 of the Union List. The Parliament alone is competent to legislate on such
matters. Accordingly, the President ought not to have given his assent to the PMT Act. The
assent of the President, without the necessary competence to legislate, does not give
competence to the PMT Act passed by Legislature of Lys. Thus, the Presidential assent fails to
accord competence to the PMT Act.

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

3.

WITHOUT PREJUDICE, WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF PROTECTION


OF MARITIME TRADE ACT ARE REPUGNANT TO THE BRAAVOSI
MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT?

3.1. PROVISIONS OF THE PMT ACT, TO THE EXTENT OF REPUGNANCY WITH


THE CENTRAL ACT, ARE VOID.
Assuming that the provisions for liability of the owner for acts of Second Sons fall under one
or more entries of the Concurrent List and the PMT Act is not an implementation of the Dragon
Treaty, it is submitted that in case of a repugnancy between State laws and Central law, the
Central law prevails. The question of repugnancy arises only in connection with matters
enumerated in the Concurrent List18, when a law made by the Parliament and a law made by
State Legislature in the same field are in direct conflict. Further, when such conflict persists
even after an attempt is made to reconcile the two, the law made by the State Legislature is
void to the extent of repugnancy.19 Article 254(1) reads thus:
Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the legislatures of
States.(1) If any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any
provision of a law made by Parliament, which Parliament is competent to enact, or to
any provision of an existing law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the
Concurrent List, then, subject to the provisions of clause (2), the law made by Parliament,
whether passed before or after the law made by the Legislature of such State, or, as the
case may be, the existing law, shall prevail and the law made by the Legislature of the
State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.

18

Hoechst Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Ors v. State of Bihar and Ors, AIR 1983 SC 1019, State of Jammu and
Kashmir v. MS Farooqi, AIR 1992 SC 1783.
19
Supra, note 9.
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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

It is submitted that the PMT Act provides for the liability of the employer to be 20,000 BD
whereas the Central Act provides that the liability of the employer will be in accordance with
the Dragon Treaty as amended from time to time. Section 235A of the Central Act is a nonobstante clause which begins with Notwithstanding anything contained in any law in force.
Therefore, the enacting part of Section 235A of the Central Act overrides all other provisions
of law in force.20 However, the PMT Act is an Act passed later in time. Both, the PMT Act and
the Central Act legislate in the same field and cannot be reconciled. In such a case of direct
conflict, it is the Central Act which prevails over the PMT Act to the extent of conflict21 and
therefore, the PMT Act is void pro tanto.

3.2. WITHOUT PREJUDICE, ASSENT OF PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 254(2) IS


NOT A VALID ASSENT IN THE ABSENCE OF CONSIDERATION.
It is submitted that clause (1) of Article 254 lays down the general rule, whereas clause (2) is
the exception to the rule. Article 254(2) reads thus:
(2) Where a law made by the Legislature of a State with respect to one of the matters
enumerated in the Concurrent List contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of
an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter, then,
the law so made by the Legislature of such State shall, if it has been reserved for the
consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevail in that State:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament from enacting at any time
any law with respect to the same matter including a law adding to, amending, varying or
repealing the law so made by the Legislature of the State.

20
21

Chandavarkar SR Rao v. Ashalata S Guram, (1986) 4 SCC 447.


State of Kerala and Ors v. Mar Appraem Kuri Company Ltd and Anr, (2012) 7 SCC 106.
10

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

It is submitted that the assent of the President under Article 254(2) can only be given when the
conflict between the existing central act and the proposed state legislation is specifically
referred to the President for his consideration. Further, Article 254(2) does not consider
mechanical assent22 given by the President, and an assent without consideration will not be
considered as good consent23. In Grand Kakatiya Hotel24 it was held that Under such
circumstances, unless it was shown that while obtaining the Presidential assent for the State
Act, the conflict between the two Acts was specifically brought to the notice of the President,
before obtaining the same, the State could not have used the escape route provided by Article
254(2) of the Constitution. It is further submitted there is nothing to show that the President
has given his assent after consideration and it is not an idle formality25. It is also submitted that
the assent of the President given on April 24, 2016 is without consideration to the provisions
which impose a liability of 20,000 BD on all ships irrespective of flag stage inter alia for the
following reasons: (i) it is in contravention of the Bilateral Treaty specifically entered into by
the Government of Braavos on March 1, 2016; (ii) it amounts to a default of international
obligation as Braavos has a duty in international law not to act in contravention to the Bilateral
Treaty; (iii) it is against Article 51, a Directive Principle of State Policy, which provides for
the State to endeavour to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations; (iv) it risks
discord with a neighbouring nation which is a trade hub; (v) it risks hampering trade and
commerce; (vii) it imposes a liability which is more than the current liability under the Dragon
Treaty. Thus, the Presidential assent fails to operate as a valid assent and the PMT Act is void
to the extent of repugnancy to the Central Act.

22

Grand Kakatiya Sheraton Hotel and Towers Employees and Workers Union v. Srinivasa Resorts Ltd and Ors,
(2009) 5 SCC 342.
23
Kaiser-i-Hind Private Limited and Ors v. National Textile Corporation (Maharashtra North) Ltd and Ors,
AIR 2002 SC 3404.
24
Supra, note 22.
25
Supra, note 23.
11

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

4.

WHETHER VARYS CORPORATION HAS ANY LIABILITY UNDER THE


PROTECTION OF MARITIME TRADE ACT?

4.1. THE PMT ACT IS ULTRA VIRES AND VOID AB-INITIO.


The PMT Act seeks to impose a liability of 20,000 BD on all ships for the acts of the Second
Sons. For the reasons more particularly submitted in issue no. 2 above, by virtue of the
Legislature of Lys being incompetent to pass the PMT Act, the PMT Act is in toto void abinitio. Accordingly, all the provisions under the PMT Act will be deemed to never have existed.
Thus, Varys Corporation has no liability under the PMT Act.

4.2. WITHOUT PREJUDICE, THE PROVISIONS OF THE PMT ACT ARE REPUGNANT
TO THE CENTRAL ACT.
Without prejudice, if the subject-matter of the PMT Act falls under Concurrent List and does
not amount to the implementation of the Dragon Treaty, for the reasons more particularly
submitted in issue no. 3 above, the provisions of the PMT Act imposing liability of 20,000 BD
are repugnant to Section 235A of the Central Act. As submitted, the provisions of the Central
Act prevail over the provisions of the PMT Act. Therefore Varys Corporation has no liability
under the PMT Act.

12

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

5.

WHETHER THE BRAAVOSI MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT HAS TO BE


READ WITH THE CONVENTION ON PREVENTION OF PIRACY IN THE
BRAAVOSI ARCHIPELAGO AND THE TREATY TO AMEND THE DRAGON
TREATY?

It is submitted that Section 235A of the Central Act reads thus:


Notwithstanding anything contained in any law in force, an employer shall be liable for
any act committed by any Second Sons in the course of his/her duty/employment only upto
the limits provided for under the Convention. For this provision to apply the employees
must be a party to the convention.
The liability of Varys Corporation, if any, is to be ascertained in accordance with the Dragon
Treaty as amended from time to time.
5.1. IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, BILATERAL TREATY ENTERED INTO BY
BRAAVOS MODIFIES THE DRAGON TREATY AS PER ARTICLE 41 OF THE
VIENNA CONVENTION ON LAW OF TREATIES.
Braavos, in exercise of its executive powers under Article 73, entered into the Dragon Treaty.
According to the preamble of the Dragon Treaty, the object of incorporation of the Dragon
Treaty was to counter the scourge of piracy. Thereafter, on March 1, 2016, Braavos in
pursuance of its executive powers entered into the Bilateral Treaty with Volantis incorporating
complete exclusion of civil liability of the owner for the acts of the Second Sons. Both, the
Dragon Treaty and the Bilateral Treaty, are executive acts. The Bilateral Treaty, inasmuch as
it deals with civil liability, modifies the Dragon Treaty pro tanto for the following reasons:
5.1.1.Article 41 of VCLT provides for modification of a multilateral treaty.
It is submitted that Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties (VCLT) deals with
modification of a multilateral treaty by an agreement or a treaty between two or more parties.

13

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

Such a modification is permitted so long as the modifying agreement or treaty is not in


derogation of the object and purpose of the multilateral treaty. Article 41 of VCLT reads thus:
Agreements to Modify Multilateral Treaties between Certain of the Parties Only:
1. Two or more of the parties to a multilateral treaty may conclude an agreement to
modify the treaty as between themselves alone if:
(a) The possibility of such a modification is provided for by the treaty; or
(b) The modification in question is not prohibited by the treaty and:
(i) Does not affect the enjoyment by the other parties of their rights under the treaty or
the performance of their obligations;
(ii) Does not relate to a provision, derogation from which is incompatible with the
effective execution of the object and purpose of the treaty as a whole.
The Bilateral Treaty entered into between Volantis and Braavos inasmuch as it excludes civil
liability of owners of ship when the ship bears the flag of Volantis or Braavos modifies the
Dragon Treaty. It is submitted that the Bilateral Treaty is not derogatory to the object of the
Dragon Treaty, which is to curb piracy. Further, the provisions of the Bilateral Treaty are not
incompatible with the effective execution of the object and purpose of the Dragon Treaty as a
whole. The Bilateral Treaty merely modifies the application of the Dragon Treaty inter se the
contracting States which is compatible with the object of the Dragon Treaty. Therefore,
applying Article 41 of VCLT, the Bilateral Treaty modifies the Dragon Treaty.
5.1.2.The act of entering into the Bilateral Treaty was later in time.
It is submitted that the act of Braavos entering into the Bilateral Treaty pursuant to having
entered into the Dragon Treaty shows the definite intention of the executive of Braavos to
modify the Dragon Treaty to the extent of incompatibility. It is further submitted that both
being executive acts of the Government, unless a contrary intention appears, the act later in
time prevail. Article 30 of the VCLT is based on the same principle insofar as paragraph 3 read

14

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

with 4 (a) deals with application of an earlier treaty only to the extent that its provisions are
compatible with those of the later treaty. The principle behind the treaty later in time prevailing
is that the parties to the earlier treaty are always competent to abrogate it, whether in whole
or in part, by concluding another treaty with that object. That being so, when they conclude a
second treaty incompatible with the first, they are to be presumed to have intended to terminate
the first treaty or to modify it to the extent of the incompatibility, unless there is evidence of a
contrary intention26. Therefore, it is the Bilateral Treaty that prevails in international law.

5.2. THE CENTRAL ACT PROVIDES FOR LIABILITY TO BE IN ACCORDANCE


WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW.
It is submitted that Section 235A of the Central Act is a non-obstante clause. A clause beginning
with the expression "notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in some particular
provision in the Act or in some particular Act or in any law for the time being in force, or in
any contract" is more often than not appended to a section in the beginning with a view to give
the enacting part of the section in case of conflict an overriding effect over the provision of the
Act or the contract mentioned in the non-obstante clause. It is equivalent to saying that in spite
of the provision of the Act or any other Act mentioned in the non-obstante clause or any
contract or document mentioned the enactment following it will have its full operation or that
the provisions embraced in the non-obstante clause would not be an impediment for an
operation of the enactment.27 The provisions of this Section will thus have an overriding effect
over any other laws in force. Varys Corporation thus has no liability under any other law for
the time being in force by reason of the non-obstante clause. Therefore, the liability of Varys

26

Reports of the Commissions to the General Assembly, Yearbook of International Law Commission, 1966, vol.
II , Page 215.
27
Supra, note 20.
15

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

Corporation is to be ascertained in accordance with the Dragon Treaty, amended from time to
time. It is submitted that the Dragon Treaty has been amended by the Bilateral Treaty.
Further, it is submitted that in international law, the Bilateral Treaty prevails. In the Kesoram28
case, the Supreme court of India held that a Court is required to interpret domestic/municipal
laws in conformity with the provisions of international treaties/agreements/conventions unless
the provisions of the domestic/municipal laws are intractable or in conflict with the
international treaties/agreements/conventions and international conventions and norms may
also be applied in Indian law where there is a void in the domestic law. It is submitted that
when the abovementioned principle is read with Article 51 (b) and (c) of the Constitution, the
treaty obligations of Braavos are to be considered binding. Article 51 is a Directive Principle
of State Policy which reads thus:
Promotion of international peace and security. - The State shall endeavour to:
(a) promote international peace and security;
(b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised
peoples with one another; and
(d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
Therefore, the amount of liability under the Central Act is to be ascertained in accordance with
international law, that is, the Dragon Treaty read with the Bilateral Treaty.

5.3. ACT OF SIGNING AND/OR RATIFYING BILATERAL TREATY IS AN ACT OF


THE EXECUTIVE WHICH IS BINDING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF BRAAVOS.
Article 73 of the Constitution confers power on the Union of Braavos to enter into international
treaties, agreements or conventions. It is submitted that such power is within the exclusive

28

State of West Bengal v. Kesoram Industries Ltd and Ors, (2004) 10 SCC 201; Supra, note 15.
16

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

domain of executive powers exercisable by the Union of Braavos.29 Further, this power can be
exercised with respect to matters falling in any list of Schedule Seven.30
The executive is qua the State competent to represent the State in all matters international and
may incur obligations which in International Law are binding upon the State.31 It is submitted
that when the Braavos signs and/or ratifies an international treaty, agreement or convention,
the same is binding on the Union of Braavos.32 It is further submitted that this Honble Court
must uphold the treaty obligations of Braavos which are binding. Therefore, Union of Braavos
is bound by the Bilateral Treaty.

5.4. THE ACT OF ENTERING INTO INTERNATIONAL TREATY OR AGREEMENT IS


A POLICY DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BRAAVOS.
Entering into international treaties, agreements or conventions are matters of policy decision
of the Union of Braavos.33 It is submitted that it is well settled that courts, in the exercise of
judicial review, do not ordinarily interfere with policy decisions of the executive unless the
policy can be faulted on grounds of mala fide, unreasonableness, arbitrariness, unfairness etc.34
The Supreme Court in Villianur Padukappu35 case, held, In the matter of policy decision and
economic tests the scope of judicial review is very limited. Unless the decision is shown to be
contrary to any statutory provision or the Constitution, the Court would not interfere with an
economic decision taken by the State. The court cannot examine the relative merits of different
economic policies and cannot strike down the same merely on ground that another policy
would have been fairer and better. In a democracy, it is the prerogative of each elected

29

Attorney-General of Canada v. Attorney-General of Ontario and Ors, AIR 1937 PC 82; Supra, note 15.
Supra, note 16; PB Samant and Ors v. UoI and Anr, AIR 1994 Bom 323.
31
Supra, note 16.
32
Supra, note 15, 16.
33
Supra, note 30; PB Samant.
34
M/s Ugar Sugar Works Ltd v. Delhi Administration and Ors, (2001) 3 SCC 635.
35
Villianur Iyarkkai Padukappu Maiyam v. UoI and Ors, (2009) 7 SCC 561.
30

17

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

Government to follow its own policy. Often a change in Government may result in the shift in
focus or change in economic policies. Any such change may result in adversely affecting some
vested interests. Unless any illegality is committed in the execution of the policy or the same is
contrary to law or malafide, a decision bringing about change cannot per se be interfered with
by the court Wisdom and advisability of economic policy are ordinarily not amenable to
judicial review. It was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Executive of Braavos to make
a policy decision and sign the Bilateral Treaty with Volantis. There was an unprecedented
collapse in the banking system of Braavos and the economy was on a downfall which provided
an incentive to the Executive of Braavos to boost trade and commerce. In these circumstances,
the Executive, by signing the Bilateral Treaty, modified the Dragon Treaty with regard to the
provision relating to the quantum of civil liability payable for the acts of the Second Sons. It is
submitted that this Honble Court should not exercise its writ jurisdiction to interfere with the
policy decisions of the Executive. The Bombay High Court has held in PB Samant36 case that
the issue as to whether the Government should enter into treaty or agreement is a policy
decision and it is not appropriate for the Courts in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226
of the Constitution of India to disturb such decisions. It is submitted that the nullification of
civil liability for wrongful acts of the Second Sons on board a Braavosi or Volantian ship,
primarily for the furtherance of trade and commerce, is not an arbitrary or unreasonable policy
decision. The Bilateral Treaty was not signed with mala fide intentions and is not against any
provision of the Constitution. Consequently, the courts of Braavos cannot interfere in this
purely administrative and policy decision made by the Executive.

36

Supra, note 30; PB Samant.


18

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

6.

WHETHER VARYS CORPORATION HAS ANY LIABILITY UNDER THE


BRAAVOSI MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT?

6.1. VARYS CORPORATION HAS NO LIABILITY WHEN THE CENTRAL ACT IS


READ WITH THE BILATERAL TREATY.
For the reasons more particularly submitted above in issue no. 5, it is submitted that the liability
of Varys Corporation, if any, is to be ascertained by a conjoint reading of the Dragon Treaty,
the Bilateral Treaty and Section 235A of the Central Act. A conjoint reading of the Dragon
Treaty, the Bilateral Treaty and the Central Act provides that Varys Corporation, being
Volantian, has no civil liability for the wrongful acts of the Second Sons.

6.2. VARYS CORPORATION HAS LEGITIMATE EXPECTATION THAT OWNER OF


VOLANTIAN SHIPS ARE EXEMPT IN CIVIL LIABILITY FROM PAYING FOR
THE ACTS OF SECOND SONS.
It is submitted that the Bilateral Treaty was executed between Volantis and Braavos on March
1, 2016. Braavos is bound by the Bilateral Treaty in international law. The Bilateral Treaty
imposes an obligation on the Government of Braavos to uphold the same. It is submitted that
it was only pursuant to the Bilateral Treaty that Varys Corporation entered the territorial waters
of Braavos for trade and commerce, expecting the terms of the Bilateral Treaty to be upheld.
Varys Corporation thus had legitimate expectation that the terms of the Bilateral Treaty would
be upheld. The doctrine of legitimate expectation deals with a promise being made by the
Government and the expectation that such promise will be upheld. Retrospective withdrawal
of benefit is thus against the doctrine of legitimate expectation. The Supreme Court of India,
in Motilal37 case held that The law may, therefore, now be taken to be settled as a result of this

37

Motilal Padampat Sugar Mills Co Ltd v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors, (1979) 2 SCC 409.
19

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

decision that where the Government makes a promise knowing or intending that it would be
acted on by the promisee and, in fact, the promisee, acting in reliance on it, alters his position,
the Government would be held bound by the promise and the promise would be enforceable
against the Government at the instance of the promisee, notwithstanding that there is no
consideration for the promise and the promise is not recorded in the form of a formal contract
as required by Article 299 of the Constitution. It is elementary that in a Republic governed by
the rule of law, no one, howsoever high or low, is above the law. Every one is subject to the
law as fully and completely as any other and the Government is no exception. It is indeed the
pride of constitutional democracy and rule of law that the Government stands on the same
footing as a private individual so far as the obligation of the law is concerned: the former is
equally bound as the latter. It is indeed difficult to see on what principle can a Government,
committed to the rule of law, claim immunity from the doctrine of promissory estoppel. It was
further laid down that if the Government makes such a promise and the promisee acts in
reliance upon it and alters his position, there is no reason why the Government should not be
compelled to make good such promise like any other private individual. The Bilateral treaty
is the promise made by Braavos. Varys Corporation entered into trade pursuant to the Bilateral
Treaty, this act being act of alteration of position. Accordingly, it is submitted that the State is
bound by the Bilateral Treaty and is estopped from going against the Bilateral Treaty.
Therefore, Varys Corporation has no liability in accordance with the Bilateral Treaty.

20

PRAYERS

It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed as Respondent No. 3 in the First Writ Petition that this
Honble Court be pleased to:
a. Dismiss the First Writ Petition on ground that the Protection of Maritime Trade Act
is unconstitutional in toto, ultra vires and void ab initio;
b. Dismiss the First Writ Petition on the grounds that entering into the Treaty to amend
the Dragon Treaty is an executive act of the Union of Braavos and this Honble Court
cannot, in exercise of its writ jurisdiction, disturb the exercise of executive powers of
the Union of Braavos to enter into international treaties;
c. Costs;
d. Pass any other direction or order which the Honble Court may deem fit and proper in
the facts and circumstances of the case.

It is, therefore, respectfully prayed as a Petitioner in the Second Writ Petition that this Honble
Court be pleased to:
a. Issue a writ of mandamus, or any other appropriate writ, or direction, or order declaring
that the Protection of Maritime Trade Act has been passed without competence and is
thus unconstitutional in toto, ultra vires and void ab initio;
b. Issue a direction, or order or any appropriate writ holding that Varys Corporation has
no liability under the Protection of Maritime Trade Act;
c. Issue a writ of mandamus, or any other appropriate writ, or direction, or order holding
that the provisions of the Treaty to amend the Dragon Treaty are valid and binding on
the Union of Braavos, and the Union of Braavos does not act in contravention of the
same;
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23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

d. Issue a direction, or order or any appropriate writ holding that Varys Corporation has
no liability as per the Braavosi Merchant Shipping Act;
e. Issue a writ of mandamus, or any other appropriate writ, or direction, or order to the
release the ship of Varys Corporation;
f. Costs;
g. Pass any other direction or order which the Honble Court may deem fit and proper in
the facts and circumstances of the case.

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE RESPONDENT NO. 3 AS IN DUTY


BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY.
Sd/Advocate for the Respondent No. 3

XVI

23RD M. C. CHAGLA MEMORIAL GOVERNMENT LAW COLLEGE NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE


AT LYS
ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL
JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO. 2016
(UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE
CONSTITUTION OF BRAAVOS)
Petitioner
v.
The Free Republic of Braavos and Ors.
Respondents
Archana Stark

ALONG WITH
Writ Petition No.

of 2016
Petitioner

Varys Corporation
v.
State of Lys and Ors.

Respondents

WRIT PETITION

TEAM OO
Advocate on behalf of the Respondent No. 3
- Varys Corporation

XVII