The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sought further clarity on the key provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2011.
While stating that the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2011 is a landmark legislation for India, CII said a “greater clarity is required in some clauses of the Act to make it more effective.”
“However, clarification is required to ensure that this provision does not alter the exclusive channelling of any claims for nuclear damage on a strict liability basis only to the Operator, who owns the plant,” said CII.
Further, in section 17 of the Act, there are issues related to the application of ‘Operator’s right of recourse’.
Currently, the limit to liability is applicable only to 17 (a), which states that Operators have a right to recourse where the right is expressly provided for in a contract.
CII also said there is no clarity on whether the limits can also be extended to claims by an Operator under clauses 17 (b), according to which operators will have a right to recourse if the nuclear incident has resulted due to an act of supplier or his employee; or 17 (c) which applies in case the nuclear incident has resulted from the act of an individual done with the intent to cause nuclear damage.
As a result, CII said there could still be a degree of overlap on claims arising out of supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defects or substandard services especially since it is open to interpretation that the causes of action under all the three clauses of section 17 are mutually exclusive.
“Therefore, it is critical that the Rules or an amendment to the Act expressly set out the legislative intent that the total limit of supplier’s liability under laws and contractual conditions will be as defined under clause 17(a).”