Dubai declared ‘reciprocating territory’ by India: What does the move mean, why it is important

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News:Recently,Ministry of Law and Justice has issued an order declaring the United Arab Emirates to be a reciprocating territory under Section 44A of the Civil Procedure Code,1908.

Facts:

About Reciprocating territory:

  • Reciprocating territory 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.
  • Apart from Dubai,the other countries that have been declared to be reciprocating territories are: United Kingdom, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, New Zealand, the Cook Islands (including Niue) and the Trust Territories of Western Samoa, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Aden.

About Section 44 of the CPC:

  • Section 44A Civil Procedure Code,1908 provides the law on the subject of execution of decrees of Courts in India by foreign Courts and vice versa.
  • It provides that an order passed by a superior Court in any reciprocating territory can be executed in India by filing a certified copy of the decree in a District Court which will treat the decree as if it has been passed by itself.
  • However,the scope of the Section is restricted to decrees for payment of money not being sums payable in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty.

Significance of the decision:

  • The decision is believed to help bring down the time required for executing decrees between the two countries.
  • Indian expatriates in the UAE would no longer be able to seek safe haven in their home country if they are convicted in a civil case in the UAE.