Law Pertaining to Anti-Suit Injunctions in India
Lawsuits are anyway difficult – but what if the other party files a parallel case in another country, in another court of law? Imagine that you have filed a case against a party in Mumbai, but suddenly the other party also files a case against you in the same matter in a London court. Imagine the logistical nightmare it can be, if you are required to defend or fight the same case in multiple jurisdictions.
In international transactions, there is an obvious incentive for the defaulting party to deliberately initiate parallel legal proceedings in multiple courts (across different countries) in an attempt to delay or frustrate resolution of disputes. How do you prevent this situation from arising in your dispute?
An anti-suit injunction (together with effective drafting techniques) can be a very useful tool here. An anti-suit injunction prevents the parties to a case from filing proceedings in others courts or tribunals, usually in other countries. It helps to get such an injunction if you want to restrain another party (or potential party) from continuing or commencing a suit in another court.
- Example of how an anti-suit injunction works
Assume that a tech company based in the US (USCo) enters into a distribution contract with an Indian startup (IndCo) to distribute its products in all of South Asia. The contract should specify which courts will have jurisdiction over disputes that arise between the parties. Not specifying which courts have jurisdiction could be extremely risky – since litigation over a dispute in relation to this contract could potentially be initiated in the US, India or even in the South Asian country (if the dispute arises from an action taken there). Therefore, in the event of a dispute, USCo may be able to initiate legal proceedings in, say Singapore (if an action resulting in the dispute was taken there), US or in India. While USCo would prefer courts which are most likely to grant relief (ideally in the US), IndCo may prefer Indian courts to have jurisdiction. Both entities could file litigations against each other in all three jurisdictions, leading to a mess.
Let’s say the contract contained a jurisdiction clause requiring all disputes to be settled in Singapore courts. Depending on the circumstances, IndCo could still prefer filing a case in Indian courts, or even in US courts (if it believes US courts are more likely to grant relief) despite the contract stating to the contrary. In such cases, USCo could file an anti-suit injunction in an Indian court, requesting the court to prohibit IndCo from pursuing legal proceedings with respect to the dispute in India or in the US (as the Indian court has personal jurisdiction over IndCo).
This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.