"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Chief Justices of India Give Contradictory Evidence as to Indian Law

Shashoua v. Sharma is an interesting decision. Its a must read for those who want to know the (ill?-)effects of Venture v. Satyam (where the Supreme Court decided that it could set aside an arbitral award passed in international commercial arbitration held outside India). Apart from this very obvious aspect of the case, there is another notable aspect to the case. The English court hearing the case had to find out what the law in India was on a particular issue. As is well known, a question regarding foreign law is a question of fact, and not of law, and courts employ expert evidence to find out what the foreign law is. In Shashoua v. Sharma, two retired Chief Justices of India had given conflicting evidence on what the Indian law was on that particular issue!!!!

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