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UAE declared Reciprocating Territory of India

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is made up of seven states:

  1. Dubai
  2. Sharjah,
  3. Al Fujayrah
  4. Quwayn
  5. Abu Dhabi
  6. Ajman
  7. Ras al-Khaimah


Large number of Expatriates

In 2013, the UAE’s population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million were expatriates.

2.5 million migrants in UAE are of Indian origin. LARGEST SOURCE of remittances for India (~14 billion USD)

The News

Ministry of Law and Justice issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification, on January 17, 2020, and declared UAE to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).

The said provision indicates an independent right conferred on a foreign decree holder for enforcement of a decree/order in India subject to certain limited grounds under Section 13 of the CPC.

What is a ‘reciprocating territory’?

A country in which orders passed by certain designated courts can be implemented in India, by filing a copy of the decree concerned in a District Court here.

The courts so designated are called ‘superior Courts’.

Civil ,commercial as well as divorce cases, can be executed.

Section 44 of the CPC

Section 44A of CPC , titled “Execution of decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory”, provides the law on the subject of execution of decrees of Courts in India by foreign Courts and vice versa.

44A(1) provides that a decree 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.

Which UAE courts are now “superior Courts”?

According to the Gazette notification, the following UAE courts have been identified–

(1) Federal Court Supreme Court

(2) Federal Courts in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah

(3) Local Courts Abu Dhabi and Dubai Courts

Countries declared to be “reciprocating territories”

• United Kingdom
• Singapore
• Bangladesh
• Malaysia
• Trinidad & Tobago
• New Zealand
• Cook Islands
• Trust Territories of Western Samoa
• Hong Kong
• Papua New Guinea
• Fiji

What about judgments passed by non-reciprocating territories?

Such judgments can be enforced only by first preferring a lawsuit in an Indian court for a judgment based on the foreign judgment and second, filing for execution proceedings after obtaining the Indian decree.

Why is the move significant?

  • India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have witnessed dynamic bilateral relations in the recent past.
  • The leadership of both countries have endeavoured to bolster ties of the two economies.
  • In the financial year 2018-19, India-UAE bilateral trade grew by over 20% to reach US$59.9 billion (3rd highest for India)
  • Remittances , cultural links
  • The decision is believed to help bring down the time required for executing decrees between the two countries.
  • The notification was the only remaining part of a 1999 agreement between the UAE and India related to cooperation in civil and commercial matters
  • 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.

Owners or shareholders of companies abandon their firms with large amounts of debt.

Banks are not left with any or sufficient security to cover the debt

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