Recognition of foreign judgements is a step towards major development in the sphere of International Law. Since, there is no codified law for the applicability of judgements of different countries in International community, it’s recognition by growing countries will bring clarity and will help in reducing stress between countries.
Under Civil Procedure Code, foreign judgements hold no evidentiary value in Indian Courts unless they are recognised as ‘reciprocating territories’ u/s 44A. This benefit extends only to civil decrees.
To thoroughly understand the meaning of the notification issued on recognition of civil decrees of UAE by Indian Courts, it is necessary to understand the meaning of ‘foreign judgement’ and ‘foreign decree’.
A foreign judgment is defined under S. 2 (6) of the CPC as a judgment of a foreign court. A foreign court, under S. 2(5) of CPC, means a court situated outside India and not established or continued by the authority of the Central Government.
A foreign decree is defined in Explanation II to S. 44A of the CPC as, “Decree” with reference to a superior court means any decree or judgment of such court under which a sum of money is payable, not being a sum payable in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty, but shall in no case include an arbitral award, even if such an award is enforceable as a decree or judgment.
By the notification of 17th January 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice in exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation 1 to S. 44A of the CPC, the Central Government declared, UAE to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of the said section and the following Courts in UAE to be superior Courts of that territory, namely:-
- Federal Court-
- Federal Supreme Court;
- Federal, First Instance and Appeals Courts in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah;
- Local Courts-
- Abu Dhabi Judicial Department;
- Dubai Courts;
- Ras Al Khaimah Judicial Department;
- Courts of Abu Dhabi Global Markets;
- Courts of Dubai International Financial Center.
This means that the Decrees passed by the superior Courts of UAE can now be enforced in India as if they had been passed by the local courts in India.
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Link to Notification – Gazette – Notification