CPC Case Brief – Modi Entertainment v. WSG Cricket

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  • A party to the contract containing jurisdiction clause cannot normally be prevented from approaching the court of choice of the parties as it would amount to aiding breach of the contract, yet when one of the parties to the jurisdiction clause approaches the court of choice in which exclusive or non- exclusive jurisdiction is created, the proceedings in that court cannot per se be treated as vexatious or oppressive nor can the court be said to be forum non-conveniens.
  • The burden of establishing that the forum of choice is a forum non- conveniens or the proceedings therein are oppressive or vexatious would be on the party so contending to aver and prove the same.
  • Here, two contentions have been urged; the first is that the English Court is forum non-conveniens in view of the alleged breach of the agreement by the respondent in the manner not foreseen. This, in our view, is far from being a good and sufficient reason to ignore the jurisdiction clause. Even otherwise the fact that the parties had agreed to resolve their disputes arising under the agreement, shows that they had foreseen possible breach of the agreement by any of the parties and provided for the resolution of the disputes which might arise therefrom.
  • And the second is that English Court has no connection with either of the parties or the subject-matter and it is not a court of natural jurisdiction. This reason can be taken note of when strong reasons are shown to disregard the contractual obligation. It cannot be a good and sufficient reason in itself to justify the court of natural jurisdiction to interdict action in a foreign court of choice of the parties.
  • The rule that parties cannot confer jurisdiction on a court which does not possess it originally is not applicable to foreign courts and parties could confer jurisdiction on a court of neutral law.

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