Execution of civil decrees passed by courts in the UAE can be enforced in India

The Republic of India and the United Arab Emirates established diplomatic relations in 1972, and India is considered to be one of UAE’s largest partner in many aspects.

In January 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice in India issued a gazette declaring the UAE as a “reciprocating territory” for the Code of Civil Procedure and identifying the superior courts in the UAE, thereby facilitating the execution of UAE civil court orders through Indian courts; which reads as follows:

“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 the United Arab Emirates to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of the said section and the following Courts in the United Arab Emirates to be superior Courts of that territory,”

Therefore, such development implies that the civil and commercial court orders from the UAE courts identified as “superior” can now be executed through the district courts in India.

According to the Gazette notification, the following federal and local courts in various emirates in the UAE have been identified as “superior” courts:

  • Federal Supreme Court;
  • Federal, First Instance and Appeals Courts in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah;
  • Abu Dhabi Judicial Department;
  • Dubai Courts;
  • Ras Al Khaimah Judicial Department;
  • Courts of Abu Dhabi Global Markets; and
  • Courts of Dubai International Financial Centre.

There are numerous benefits for the aggrieved parties in this regard, such as:

  • Cooperation in civil and commercial matters;
  • Easier recovery of loans;
  • Faster procedure for executing a court verdict in financial cases;
  • The new suit will not have to be filed;
  • Opportunity to get a decree of the UAE executed in India in such civil cases, including divorce cases;
  • Matters will no longer be reexamined on merits.

It is an enormous benefit to the business community in both India and the UAE that will give the effect to the principle of mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments. This notification strengthens the mutual judicial relationship between both countries.