A foreign judgment does not barred the competency of Indian Court to try the suit or the matter rather it merely raises a conclusive proof of foreign judgment in suit in Indian Court on those matter on which the foreign Court had directly adjudicated.
Direct adjudication here means that matter (issue) which directly rose in suit in foreign court and decided upon by judicial proceeding therefore that matter (issue) which was constructively in issue in foreign court will not fall under the ambit of section 13.
Section 13 is restricted only to the expressly decided issue. The effect of section 13 would be that if after the foreign judgment has been passed a suit is filed in Indian court or suit pending in India between the same parties upon the same title and matter in issue raised in such in India is same as the matter in the foreign Court. Then the party who wants to use the foreign judgment will have to prove the foreign judgment in India with respect to the matter in issue and for that purpose it would be required that certified copy of foreign judgment be produced in the Indian Court. Under section 86 of Indian Evidence Act the Indian Court may presume that copy furnished is genuine and accurate record of public document. However the court is not bound to presume it may or may not be presume. It is does the presume genuineness of certified copy then opposite party may revert such genuineness by giving evidence and if it does presume then the party proposing have to prove the genuineness though evidence where up on the opposite party will get the opportunity to disprove such genuineness.
Once either the presumption or otherwise the certified copy has been proved then if none of the objection of section 13(a) to (f) has been proved by the opposite party on the matter directly adjudicated by foreign Court the foreign judgment will apply as conclusive proof.
The parties are not prohibited under section 13 to file a suit after the foreign judgment nor are the Indian Court declares to be incompetent to try such suit or matter rather Indian court is free to conduct trail upon suit matter concerned. The only difference of conclusive proof will be to affect the burden of proof i.e. the party proposing need not to prove thereafter and the opposing party cannot revert the fact as it is conclusively proved.
However the exception of section 13 provide for those situation where upon conclusive proof of section 13 will not apply. And such judgment will remain only as relevant fact which can be used along with other evidence to prove the matter in Indian Court.
A foreign court will acquire jurisdiction up on Indian subject matter or Indian parties if either both the domicile in foreign Territory or in case of one party domiciled in foreign territory the other has to acquiesced to the jurisdiction of the foreign court or it may be a case where both the parties are not domiciled in foreign territory but they have expressly consent to deal with jurisdiction of foreign Court.
In case of section 13(1)(a) if the parties is opposing proved lack of jurisdiction of foreign court than conclusive proof of foreign judgment will not apply. However in this regard section 14 is important. Section 14 talks about the presumption of Jurisdiction if the certified copy of the foreign judgment is produced. Section 14 using the word “shall presume” therefore the Indian Court is bound to presume the jurisdiction of foreign Court but the presumption is revert-able.
By merits of case it is meant that the case was not decide upon the evidence of parties i.e. either the court did not take the evidence of the parties concerned or even if took the evidence it did not considered as evidence to decide the case.
Failure of natural justice would means that the party of the parties were not given opportunity to present their evidence properly i.e. summon were not issue, no right of cross examination was provided etc. if the defendant did not receive summon it will be a case of failure of natural justice but if the defendant receive the summon but did not appear and the court without exam in the evidence of the plaintiff passed an ex Parte decree it will be a case of failure of Merit.
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