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Validity of Foreign Judgments in India

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Validity of Foreign Judgments in India

A foreign court is a court situated outside India and not established by the authority of Central Government of India. Thus, a foreign judgment is an adjudication by a foreign court and by a foreign judge. In this article, we look at the validity of foreign judgements in India. To know more, you can consult a lawyer through

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in India

To enforce a foreign judgment in India, the decree-holder must institute a suit for enforcement before an appropriate court. This procedure is insisted upon that any decision by a foreign court is not enforceable in a country unless such a decision is embodied in a decree of a court of that county.

As per law, a foreign judgment that is conclusive can be enforced by instituting a suit on such foreign judgement. In such suits, the court cannot go into the merits of the original claim, and it shall be conclusive as to any matter, thereby directly adjudicated upon between the parties. A suit for the foreign judgement should be filed within 3 years from the date of the judgment.

In case of a foreign judgement not being recognised as conclusive, an enforcement suit cannot be initiated. Some of the conditions which do not recognise foreign judgment as conclusive are:

  • The judgment has not been pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  • Judgment has not been given on the merits of the case;
  • The judgment appears, on the face of the proceedings, to be founded on an incorrect view of international law or a refusal to recognise the law of India in cases in which such law is applicable;
  • Any judgment obtained by fraud;
  • Judgment sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in India.

Enforcing Foreign Judgment in Reciprocal Territory

The foreign judgment enforces execution proceedings if the judgment passed is in a reciprocal territory. Certain countries have been notified as reciprocal territories by the Government of India. Hence, a court passing judgement in the reciprocal territory is executable in India without the requirement of instituting a suit in India.

Countries that are Reciprocal Territory to India

The following list of countries was notified in the Foreign Awards (Recognition and Enforcement) Act, 1961 as having reciprocal provisions for enforcement of Indian awards:

  • Austria
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Central African Republic
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Czechslovak Socialist Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • German Democratic Republic
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malagasy Republic
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • USSR
  • United Kingdom
  • Tanzania
  • United States of America