Federal Supreme Court in the UAE
Federal Supreme Court in the UAE|Image source: Newsweek
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Foreign civil decrees passed by courts in UAE can now be enforced in India [Read Notification]

To this end, the Central Government has notified that it recognises UAE as a reciprocating territory for the purposes of enforcing foreign civil decrees in India, in line with Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Bar & Bench

The Indian Government has notified that foreign civil decrees passed by courts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now be executed in India.

To this end, the Central Government has notified that it recognises UAE as a reciprocating territory for the purposes of enforcing foreign civil decrees in India, in line with Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).

In exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation 1 to section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), the Central Government hereby declares, United Arab Emirates to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of the said section...
Government Notification dated January 17, 2020

This means that decrees passed by courts in the UAE can now be executed in India, as if they were passed by Indian civil courts.

The mechanism for conferring such a status to foreign civil decrees has been outlined in Section 44A of the CPC, which states,

"Execution of decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory.

(1) Where a certified copy of decree of any of the superior Courts of any reciprocating territory has been filed in a District Court, the decree may be executed in India as if it had been passed by the District Court...."

The provision further prescribes the manner in which the foreign decree ought to be filed. Such special recognition of foreign decrees is only conferred on decrees passed by courts in reciprocating territories, which had to be so declared by Government Notification. In this regard, the first explanation to Section 44A, CPC, states,

"'Reciprocating territory' means any country or territory outside India which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of this section; and “superior Courts”, with reference to any such territory, means such Courts as may be specified in the said notification."

Accordingly, the Central Government has notified that civil decrees passed by the following courts in the UAE may now be executed in India, i.e.,

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.

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