Report No. 65
Indian Law as to Recognition of Foreign Judgments
In this Chapter, we shall briefly discuss the Indian law on the subject of recognition of foreign divorces. We have already pointed out1 that there is no specific provision as to recognition of foreign divorces in Indian Statute Law. There are certain general provisions as to the effect of foreign judgments, which we now proceed to consider.
The need for such provisions is obvious. As between different provinces under one sovereignty (e.g., under the Roman Empire), the legislation of the sovereign may distribute and regulate jurisdiction; but no territorial legislation can give jurisdiction which any Foreign Court ought to recognise against foreigners who owe no allegiance or obedience to the power which so legislates.
In a personal action, to which none of these causes of jurisdiction apply a decree pronounced in absentem by a Foreign Court, to the jurisdiction of which the defendant has not in any way submitted himself, is by international law an absolute nullity. He is under no obligation of any kind to obey it, and if must be regarded as a mere nullity by the Courts "of every nation, except (when authorised by special local legislation) in the country of the forum by which it was pronounced."2
1. Chapter 1, supra.
2. Gurdayal v. Raja of Faridkot, ILR 22 Cal 222 (PC) (Lord Selborne).