News Publication Date: 27 February 2014
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE ISLE OF MAN
(1) HIRCO PLC
(2) HIRCO HOLDINGS LIMITED Claimants
(1) NIRANJAN HIRANANDANI
(2) PRIYA HIRANANDANI-VANDREVALA Defendants
Judgment summary issued by the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man
This summary is provided to assist in understanding the judgment of the court. It does not form part of the judgment. The judgment itself is the only authoritative document. The full judgment is available at www.judgment.im.
On the 21 February 2014 the Honour Deemster Doyle First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls sitting in the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man Civil Division Ordinary Procedure delivered a judgment dealing with a jurisdictional challenge by Niranjan Hiranandani (the First Defendant) who lives in India.
The First Deemster concluded that the Isle of Man was clearly the appropriate forum for the trial of the dispute. The dispute in essence is about an alleged fraud on Hirco Plc (the First Claimant), a company incorporated in the Isle of Man, and breaches of duties by the First and Second Defendants as directors of that company. Both Defendants agreed to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Manx courts to determine certain issues arising from their relationship with the First Claimant. Priya Hiranandani Vandrevala (the Second Defendant), who resides in London, had commenced her own separate proceedings for relief in the Isle of Man and was content for matters to proceed in the Isle of Man.
The First Defendant favoured arbitration in Singapore pursuant to an agreement he entered into with Hirco Holdings Limited (the Second Defendant), a company incorporated in Mauritius. If that was not possible he favoured a trial in India.
The First Deemster held that it was in the interests of justice that the claims against both Defendants be heard and determined in one jurisdiction and that the most appropriate jurisdiction for that to take place was the Isle of Man. It was in the interests of justice and the efficient and effective conduct of litigation that the proceedings take place in the Isle of Man.
The First Deemster applied Altimo Holdings v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd  UKPC 7 and was not persuaded to set aside an order granting permission to serve the proceedings on the First Defendant out of the jurisdiction. The Deemster also declined to grant a case management stay pending the determination of an arbitration in Singapore between the Second Claimant and the First Defendant.