8 August 2022


Judgments

Supreme Court

Messer Greisheim Gmbh (Now Called Air Liquide Deutschloand Gmbh) Vs. Goyal Mg Gases Private Limited

MANU/SC/0102/2022

28.01.2022

Civil

High Court having an ordinary original civil jurisdiction can also execute foreign decree under Section 44A of CPC

The Appellant/decree holder has challenged the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court relegating to file a petition for execution of a money decree dated 7th February, 2006(in excess of Rs. 20 lakhs) of a foreign Court before the District Court in view of Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908(“CPC”).

The question that emerges for consideration is whether the High Court of Delhi in exercise of its original jurisdiction is a competent Court to entertain a petition for executing a money decree (in excess of Rs.20 lakhs) of a foreign Court which is notified as a superior Court of reciprocating territory under Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC)

Section 44A of the CPC provides for execution of decrees passed by the foreign Courts in reciprocating territories. It stipulates that, where a certified copy of a decree of any of the superior Court 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 a District Court. As per Section 2(4) of the CPC, “district” means the local limits of the jurisdiction of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction (“District Court”), and includes the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of a High Court.

The ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Court is always exercised, based on pecuniary limits. Once the pecuniary jurisdiction at the given point of time exceeded Rs. 20 lakhs as notified by the High Court under Section 5(2) of the Act 1966 (later vide notification dated 10th August, 2015 (w.e.f. 26th October, 2015) pecuniary limits has been revised to Rs. 2 crores), it is the High Court of Delhi which holds its exclusive jurisdiction as ordinary original civil jurisdiction to execute a foreign decree under Section 44A of the CPC and it goes without saying that execution always is in continuation of the proceedings.

Once the pecuniary jurisdiction exceeds as being notified under the relevant statute, the jurisdiction vests exclusively with the High Court as an ordinary original civil jurisdiction for execution of a foreign decree under Section 44A subject to the just objections which are available to the parties/judgment debtor as envisaged under Section 13 of the CPC. The judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court is set aside. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Jurisdiction Execution Foreign Decrees

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