Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of A. Muhamed Mustaque, J. decided a writ petition, wherein the Revenue Authorities were directed to issue ‘Single Status Certificate’ to the petitioner subject to necessary inquiries.

The petitioner was an Indian national working in Bahrain. He wanted to marry a Filipina in accordance with the marriage law applicable in Philippines which required that a certificate of Capacity to Contract Marriage was to be obtained by the petitioner. The petitioner approached the Revenue Authorities for obtaining Single Status Certificate, which was declined on the grounds that he was not residing within the area of jurisdiction of the Authorities for the past 12 years. Aggrieved by the same, the instant petition was filed.

It was not disputed that petitioner’s permanent address was within the jurisdiction of Revenue Authorities. The High Court categorically observed that the law applicable to marriage is distinct from the law applicable to capacity to marry. In Private International Law, the capacity to contract marriage is to be determined in accordance with the law applicable to the country in which such marriage is to be solemnized. If that country’s Private International Law insists that the national law will have to be followed to determine the capacity of marriage, there may not be a difficulty. In India, there is no codified Private International Law. Comity of Nations insists that each country should respect the laws of the other country. In light of the above, the Court held that Private International Law of Philippines insists that the legal capacity to contract marriage has to be determined in accordance with the national law of the parties. That being the legal position, the Revenue Authorities were directed to issue Single Status Certificate to the petitioner subject to necessary inquiry. [Anand Ramakri v. Revenue Divisional Officer, WP (C) No. 9779 of 2018, dated 13-04-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

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]