The regulation in India in regards to the tort of interference with contractual relations has not in particular evolved. Torts not being a legislative concern matter can handiest be reinforced in its applicability and interpretation via judicial precedent, however, the cases with respect to Tortious Interference are only a few and do not offer ample clarity of the Indian courts' view on this factor.
DEVELOPMENTS OF LAW OF TORTS IN INDIA
The Calcutta High court in Lindsay International Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. vs. Laxmi Niwas Mittal and Ors(1) has adjudicated upon the matter wherein an allegation was made by the Plaintiffs that the Defendant had colluded and conspired to ensure that a third party does not; procure items from the Plaintiff, breach contracts and intervene with exchange and enterprise through illegal approach. It was one of the first instances in India to delve upon jurisprudence referring to Tortious Interference. Upon institution of the plaint, the defendants filed an application for rejection of plaint at the floor of non-disclosure of purpose of action. The defendants pleaded that the agreement which fashioned the idea of the plaint did not exist and neither was it delivered on report by the plaintiffs. J. Soumen Sen opined that the elements of Tortious Interference are; an identifiable agreement, understanding by defendant of such agreement, breach of agreement through illegal approach and lastly, damages to the plaintiff. The judgment laboriously traced the improvement of English regulation on Tortious Interference, the Lumey Case mainly as an authority at the issue. It held that interference with the overall performance of a contract is an actionable wrong except there is a justification for interfering with a party's felony right.
In this one person's free market opposition is another's Tortious Interference. it has turn out to be increasingly critical for all industrial establishments to comprehend the distinction among fair competition and tortious behavior that might concern the offending party legal responsibility for interference with a contract or prospective relation. A comparable and exciting authentic situation was adjudicated upon by the Delhi High Court in Pepsi Foods Ltd. and Ors. vs. Bharat Coca-Cola Holdings Pvt. Ltd. and Ors(2) a suit filed by the plaintiffs for assertion and everlasting injunction resulting from the reality the that defendants have been allegedly indulging in inducement of employees of the plaintiff to enroll in the defendant thereby intentionally inflicting loss and harm to the plaintiff. The plaintiff established to the court numerous times on which the defendant, intentionally and deliberately caused the business of the plaintiff to make it their own. The among many technical grounds submitted that the suit was based on wrong and deceptive information and should be rejected on the outset. J. Bhandari in his knowledge held that it was hard to maintain that the defendants resorted to business practices which can be unethical, unlawful and constituted Tortious Interference in the business of the plaintiffs. Since the Plaintiff didn't fulfill the court on the ideas of injunction, the suit failed on technical grounds and an injunction could not be granted in their favour. This highlighted other important factor on adjudicating such issues, i.e. what evidence can a party offer of a 3rd party's interference in its contracts.
With developing opposition among million greenback organizations, the tendency of enterprises to bask in anti-aggressive practices amounting to tortious interference has multiplied manifold. The Claims of Tortuous Interference among competing organisations or with third parties who have competing agency have a steep rise. One such case of contemporary importance at the anti-competitive practices of e-commerce web sites regularly amounting to Tortious interference is Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. &Ors. v. 1MG Technologies Pvt. Ltd. &Ors(3) J. Pratibha M Singh, of the Delhi High Court held that the tort is nicely recognised. The suit was filed through the plaintiffs alleging that the defendants had maliciously displayed, tampered and offered the plaintiffs good which have been particular in nature amounting to Tortious Interference. It become opined that the applicability of the tort in the Indian context need to evolve with the changing socio-monetary situation. The show of the plaintiff products at the defendants e-trade marketplace space, without consent or due authorization of the plaintiff constituted inducement of breach of contract, it become held that the acts of the defendant did not uphold the integrity of the economic contract, making in nugatory.
A more recent aspect of Tortious Interference usually visible in India is the position of exchange institutions inflicting interference in contractual duties among parties. In Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd. v. Kota Hotels Federation(4) through its President and Ors. The Delhi High Court granted an Injunction in favour of the plaintiff towards the defendant for inflicting Tortious Interference. The plaintiff referred to as Oyo ("Oyo"), is a famous aggregator in the hospitality industry, recognized for standardizing unbranded hotels through their internet site and making it available to the general public at large. The plaintiff entered into agreements with diverse resorts proprietors to promote their rooms below the Oyo brand name. The defendant then again becomes a federation alleging to symbolize interest of lodge proprietors in some Indian states. The acts of interference as alleged in the suit that the defendants have been inducing the lodge proprietors to cancel bookings made through the Oyo platform thereby inflicting harm to the plaintiff. The court held that this act amounted to interference in contractual duties among the plaintiff and the lodge proprietors through the defendant, being a stranger to the contract.
1. (2016) 11 SCC 720
2. ILR 1999 Delhi 193
3. CS (OS) 410/2018
4. CS(OS) 425/2019