English Notaries and Indian Legalisation. Small World. And a Good Decision.
There are only 800 or so Notaries in England and Wales and by and large, we talk to each other. [This is something that the 118,000 or so solicitors cannot do. There are simply too many of them.]
So whilst I do try to find news for my Blogs from my own researches it is also the case that a lot of new information simply pops into my computer in the form of emails from Notary colleagues.
Today, good news for those of my clients who need their documents prepared here in England for use in India, and I am grateful to Tony Martin who is a Notary in Lancashire and also an Attorney in New York USA, for letting me know it.
As readers of this Blog will know, for years India has been a signatory to the 1961 Hague Convention dealing with recognition of Foreign Documents. Ever since, there have been problems. See links to earlier blogs here and here .
In a nutshell, there is a hard core of lawyers and bureaucrats in India who will not accept that the law has changed and who continue to demand that documents, once notarised in England, shall be submitted to the Indian High Commission offices in London or Birmingham for a further stamp.
This is both pointless and unnecessary.
The Hague Convention rules demand that no such stamp should be obtained but instead, a stamp issued by the English Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be obtained.
Which is then duly ignored and rejected by those misinformed lawyers and bureaucrats.
As long ago as 2011 I posted this – link here – frustrated sounding message from the tax authorities in the Punjab, making this exact point.
At last, as Tony has informed me, the issue has now appeared before the Indian Court.
The link here is to a website which summarises the Indian Supreme Court decisions, and includes a nice picture of the Kerala High Court Building.
And this link here is to the actual text of the Court Decision of the Judge, The Honourable Mr. Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque. He says, clear as clear can be “the Indian Court and the Public Authorities are bound to recognise such certification of the notaries of the foreign country.”
He says, clear as clear can be, “The Apostille Convention replaced cumbersome formalities of requirement of diplomatic or consular legalisation for foreign public documents and legalisation process of authentication by issuance of Apostille Certificate. THEREFORE, FOREIGN PUBLIC DOCUMENTS DO NOT REQUIRE LEGALISATION IF IT BEARS APOSTILLE CERTIFICATION.”
Whilst this decision is not made in the most senior Court of India and is therefore not strictly binding upon all the other Courts, it is clearly the right decision and it would now be a brave bureaucrat or lawyer in India who will reject the authority of the Apostille in further cases. If such a rejection is appealed against, they will expect to lose and to incur the personal risk of paying the Court costs.
And the small world reference? This is a Notary colleague who writes from London “The Indian Judge was my senior at Law School and is a dear friend of mine”. [Kevin Bacon would be proud].
All together now join in the song – link here.
Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Indian Documents [or for anywhere] – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)