Claim No: CFI-026-2014
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
IN THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
BEFORE THE DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE SIR DAVID STEEL
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
INVESTMENT GROUP PRIVATE LIMITED
ORDER OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE SIR DAVID STEEL
UPON reviewing the Claimant’s Application No. CFI-026-2014/3 dated 19 May 2016, seeking an immediate judgment under RDC 24.1 (the “Claimant’s Application)
AND UPON reviewing the Order of the Chief Justice of the Dubai Court of Cassation dated 13 October 2016
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1.The Claimant’s Application shall be suspended until a decision is made by the Judicial Committee.
2. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant’s costs on an indemnity basis, in the amount of USD 10,000, payable within 30 days.
Amna Al Owais
Date of issue: 27 October 2016
SCHEDULE OF REASONS
1. This hearing is for an immediate judgement in a very substantial case. It was fixed on 29 August 2016. The significance of that date is brought into focus by the fact that Decree 19 which on which the application for a stay is based came in force on 9 June 2016. The application to the Tribunal created by Decree 19 was made on 11 October (three working days ago). It was sent to the Tribunal chairman and then sent to the Claimant on 12 October. The proceedings in respect of which the Defendant asserts that a conflict of jurisdiction has arisen are proceeding instituted by them in the Dubai Courts in May 2016.
2. Those dates reveal that this application is made at the last possible moment. No explanation is forthcoming as to why no application was made much earlier, so as to avoid the waste of costs and time involved in waiting until the eve of the immediate judgement hearing. This Court confirmed its jurisdiction in the judgments of the Court of Appeal dated 19 November 2015. In the meantime, it had already been the subject of proceedings in Sharjah but all three levels of the Sharjah Courts have refused to exercise jurisdiction.
3. It is only over a year after the judgment of the Court of Appeal and three months after the Committee was set up in June that this application is made. Notably, the Defendant have also thought it appropriate to make at least two applications for a stay for the purpose of proceedings in the Union Supreme Court. This machine gun form of litigation by the Defendant perhaps does potentially attract the notation of abuse of process. The claim is a very substantial one and it is not immediately clear what if any arguable defence there is on the merits of the claim. So these proceedings appear to have no greater ambition than to cause as much inconvenience to the Claimant and to the court as possible.
4. Nonetheless, it is not appropriate for me to disregard that the Order that has been made by the Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation on 13 October, and accordingly I suspend the hearing on the merits of this case. I have no idea what in due course the tribunal will decide in relation to the application, but I do know that, prima facie, they need to decide it within 30 days as expressed in the terms of the decree. It follows that the Order being dated 13 October, it is appropriate to pencil in a date for a refixture of a hearing on the merits for 13 November 2016, being just over 30 days from today.
5. It is clearly right that the hearing on the merits is determined as promptly as possible. The original proceedings were issued in this court in August 2014 in relation to loans that had been outstanding since 2009. In effect, the present manoeuvres afford no credit to the activities of the Defendant. Neither do they redound to the credit of this Court and the Courts of Dubai. In those circumstances, it seems to be clearly appropriate to make some order in relation to the significant costs that have been thrown away by this late application and the emergence of this order.
6. It seems to me that the Defendant must pay the costs thrown away in any event and it should do so on an indemnity basis. I order that a payment on account of costs should be made of USD 10,000 payable within 30 days.
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