Can you Enforce a Foreign Judgment Ordering Grounding of an Aircraft in India?

Simply put, no you cannot. This, for the following reasons:

Any Judgment for a definite sum (only a money decree) given by the courts of England or New York against a Lessee would be recognised and acceptable by the courts of India without a retrial of the merits of the case subject to the provisions of Section 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which reads as follows:-

“13. A foreign judgment shall be conclusive as to any matter thereby directly adjudicated upon between the same parties or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title except-

  1. a) where it has not been pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  2. b) where it has  not been given on the merits of the case;
  3. c) where it 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;
  4. d) where the proceedings in which the judgment was obtained are opposed to natural justice;
  5. e) where it has been obtained by fraud;
  6. f) where it sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in India.”

Foreign decrees passed by courts in reciprocating territories may be executed in India under S. 44-A of the Code of Civil Procedure. This is applicable in the case of a money decree only. A certified copy of a decree of any of the superior courts of any reciprocating territory (UK is a reciprocating territory) may be filed in a District Court in India and executed in India as if it has been passed by such District Court. Provided that along with the certified copy of such decree, a certificate from such superior court is annexed stating the extent, if any, to which the decree has been satisfied or adjusted which shall be conclusive proof of the extent of such satisfaction or adjustment. Such execution is subject to the satisfaction of the District Court that the decree does not fall within the exceptions listed in S. 13 (a) to S. 13 (f) reproduced above. It must be borne in mind that execution of a decree obtained in a foreign Court is possible only if the same is for payment of money alone. Therefore, a judgment obtained on an action brought in the Courts of the United Kingdom for injunction restraining the Lessee from operating the Aircraft or for a direction grounding the Aircraft; would NOT be enforceable in India.

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