UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC Vs. MIRZA ALI AKBAR KASHANI
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC
MIRZA ALI AKBAR KASHANI
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S.C.Lahiri, CJ. -
(1.) This appeal raises two important questions about the immunity of a foreign Sovereign State from the civil process of the Courts of our country. The plaintiff respondent instituted a suit for recovery of a sum of Rs. 6,07,346/- as damages for breach of a contract for the supply of tea by the plaintiff. There are two defendants in the suit; the first defendant is the United Arab Republic and the second defendant is the Ministry of Economy, Supplies and Importation Department which is a department ot the first defendant and which according to the plaintiff, entered into the contract on behalf of both. Both the defendants entered appearance in the suit through the Vice Consul in charge of the Consulate General of the United Arab Republic in Calcutta and took out a Master's Summons for an order, inter alia, that the plaint be rejected and/or taken off the file. In the petition in support of the Summons it is stated that the first defendant came into existence as a result of the amalgamation of the two Sovereign Republics of Egypt and Syria with the President as its Ruler and that the United Arab Republic has been duly recognised by the Central Government of our country. Though these statements in the petition were not admitted in the affi-davit in opposition affirmed by the plaintiff at the time of hearing it was admitted that the first defendant was a Sovereign State recognised by the Central Government of India. Similarly it is admitted that no consent has been obtained from the Central Government under Section 86 Civil Procedure Code to sue the Ruler of the first defendant who according to the definition in Section 87A is the Head of the United Arab Republic.
(2.) The defendants claim immunity from the civil process of this Court on two grounds. First under Sections 88 and 87 of the Civil Procedure Code and alternative under the general principles of private international law as laid down by certain English decisions which, according to the appellants, should be treated as a part of the municipal law of our country. The learned trial judge has negatived both the claims and dismissed the summons. He has further held that the appellants have waived their right of immunity by entering unconditional appearance ia the suit and by filing the present application. Against that judgment the defendants have brought this appeal.
(3.) Upon the arguments advanced in this ap-peal the points that arise for. decision are three. (1) Are the appellants entitled to. the protection of Section 86 read with Section 87 Civil Procedure Code? (2) If the answer to the first question be in the negative are fey entitled to juris-dictional immunity under the general principles of private international law? (3) In either case have the appellants waived their rights by entering unconditional appearance in the suit?;
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