In an important ruling regarding execution of foreign decrees from reciprocating countries, the Delhi High Court held that it is not vested with the jurisdiction to entertain such execution petitions as the Court is not a ‘District Court’ under Section 44A Code of Civil Procedure(“CPC”).
Section 44A CPC talks about execution of foreign decrees from reciprocating countires by filing in the District Court.
Transferring the execution petition to the ‘Court of District Judge’, the Court said “under the prevailing scheme of law the High Court of Delhi cannot be construed as the ‘District Court’ as envisaged under Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and rather the ‘Court of the District Judge’ would be the ‘District Court’ for the said purpose.”
The Court said the legislature has employed the expression ‘ordinary original civil jurisdiction’ in relation to the jurisdiction vested by it in the High Court of Delhi and has in its wisdom not termed the High Court of Delhi as the ‘principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction’ (a connotation which we find is used interchangeably with ‘District Court ’ or the ‘Court of the District Judge’), for suits valued more than rupees twenty lakhs.
“There is no tenable jurisprudential foundation to construe the High Court of Delhi as the ‘District Court’ in terms of Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and neither any legal justification to telescope the requirements contemplated under Section 39 of CPC into Section 44A thereof”, the Court said.