Bombay High Court: While deciding the issue that whether conviction of an Indian by a foreign Court for the offence committed in that country can be taken notice of by the Courts or authorities in India while exercising their judicial and/or quasijudicial powers; and whether such a conviction would be binding on the Courts and authorities in India while exercising their judicial and/or quasijudicial powers, the three-Judge Bench of B.R. Gavai, K.R. Shriram, B.P. Colbawala, JJ., answered the former question in affirmative, and while addressing the latter issue, the Bench observed that the Courts and authorities, while exercising their judicial and quasijudicial powers will have to take a call on the facts and circumstances of each case and take a decision as to the effect of such a judgment and order of conviction.
Not delving deep into the facts of the present case, the Court limited itself to the perusal of the arguments that were necessary to put the aforementioned issues to rest. The counsel of the appellant, Rafique Dada, contended that the judgment and order of conviction by a foreign court for the offence committed in that country cannot be looked into or no notice be taken of by the Indian Courts as it has been consistently held that the Court of one country would not directly or indirectly execute decree of the Court of another country because it will amount to nothing else but indirect enforcement of decree of the foreign Court. Per contra, the counsel for the respondent Aabad Ponda, stated that though judgment and order of conviction passed by the foreign Court may not be binding on the Courts in India, the same, however, could be noticed and recognized as, enforcement of a judgment of foreign court is distinct from recognizing or noticing a judgment by the Courts and authorities in India.
Upon the examining the contentions, the Court giving an example, illustrated that if the contentions of the appellant are accepted then the same would be against the principle of Comity of Nations and it will be also against the public policy at large. Referring to a prior decision of this Court in Avinashkumar Bhasin v. Air India, 2001 SCC OnLine Bom 278; the Court observed that the case lays down the correct position of law vis-à-vis the issue that whether the judgment and order of conviction can be taken notice in India. However, while examining the second issue, the Court noted that though the judgment and order of conviction of a foreign Court can be noticed/looked into and recognized by Indian judicial and quasijudicial authorities, while exercising their judicial and quasijudicial powers, but, it cannot be said that the same will be ipso facto binding on such Courts and authorities. [Prabodh K. Mehta v. Charuben K. Mehta, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 302, decided on 01.03.2018]