The Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947

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The Foreign Jurisdiction Act was enacted on a fine day of 24.12.1947. The Act came into force immediately before Independence and established to regulate the nascent Indian Government with guidelines on the conduct of foreign affairs. Initially India hasn’t entered into any treaties with other Countries. This made no precedent to follow making a thorny problem of International relations.

This Act confers powers to the Central Government to acquire Jurisdiction in and around any Country outside India by way of treaty, agreements, sufferance and such other lawful means. It is made lawful to the Central Government to excise foreign Jurisdiction in such a manner as it deems fit. This Act addressed the issues by taking steps on any accused of Indian Citizen committing crime abroad and any other foreign national committing crime under Indian Soil. However now everything has been changed with the extradition treaties entered with foreign nations and immeasurable protocols with various Countries made this Act totally superfluous.

The Central Government shall pass such orders to make an efficient use of foreign Jurisdictions as it seems fit and maneuver through a notification in the Official Gazette. According to the agreement signed between India and France, the Central Government of India has a Jurisdiction in and in relation to French establishments in India. It is not an easy one, initially the area to what extent has to be mentioned. The Central Government shall appoint a chief Commissioner to administrate. This authority shall intern appoint certain other authorities to perform their duties in pursuance to this Act. They also maintain their statement of accounts and audited reports every year.

 Inorder to administrate such establishment, the Central Government should make provisions that are expedient. Any Order made shall provide for determination of Law and procedure to be looked into. These Orders shall be made for determination of person who excises foreign Jurisdiction. They can excise their powers generally or by particular cases or clauses of cases. Orders of the Central Governments is made for determination of Courts, Judicial Magistrates, Judges and such other authority for regulating the any auxiliary Jurisdiction or consequential to excise Foreign Jurisdiction under this Act within any States. These authorities shall perform their duties and functions in a manner and extent as prescribed in the Order. Any Orders made under notifications in the Official Gazette is for regulating the collection of amounts and application of fees.

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Every Acts or activities shall be done in pursuance of Jurisdiction. In case of foreign Jurisdiction around any Country shall be based on any Act prior or after this Act has been enacted shall be done as per the local laws in force during that period. In case of any issues in related to the existence and extent of foreign Jurisdiction in any Courts either Civil or criminal or any authority, the Court shall send an application to the Central Government and the same shall provide such solutions to the Court proceedings to make it final.

The Court sends its framed question to the Secretary with the Court Seal, duly signed by the Judge of the Court. The Court framed certain questions that arose before them to Secretary shall be answered properly by the Secretary with conclusive evidence of the matters therein contained. This Judicial department shall dispense of Civil Justice through Civil Courts. They also administer Criminal Justice System and adjudicate Labour disputes

  This Act contains Repeal and saving clause. The Extra-Provisional Jurisdiction Ordinance, 1947 shall be repealed. Any regulation made, no matter what has done or any action taken in exercise of any power conferred by or under the said Ordinance shall be deemed under this Act as if this Act had commenced on the 27th day of August, 1947.

This Act though made several regulations and initiative to acquire foreign Jurisdiction has been scrabbled. This Act has no relevance anymore. These out dated laws failed to serve the process of governance, leading to unavoidable confusions. So, the Government has drafted The Repealing and Amendment Bill, 2014 inorder to scrap certain ousted laws including this Act.

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by C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu