Thousands of high-value business disputes are set to be transferred to commercial benches in select high courts in the coming weeks after promulgation of an ordinance, which seeks to improve the ease of doing business in India.
The government had last week approved an ordinance to set up commercial benches in select high courts to deal with high value business disputes. It was signed by President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.
With the ordinance coming into force “at once”, all pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving claims of Rs one crore or more in the high courts and civil courts will be transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Commercial Court as the case may be.
The exact number of cases which will stand transferred was not yet clear but Law Ministry officials said the number could be in thousands across India.
A commercial dispute has been defined broadly to mean a dispute arising out of ordinary transactions of merchants, bankers, financiers and traders such as those relating to mercantile documents; joint venture and partnership agreements; intellectual property rights; insurance and other areas.
Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those high courts which are already exercising ordinary original civil jurisdiction such as Calcutta, Madras and Himachal Pradesh high courts.
Delhi and Bombay High Courts have already set up Commercial Divisions.
These Commercial Divisions will exercise jurisdiction over all cases and applications relating to commercial disputes. The Commercial Division shall have territorial jurisdiction over such area on which it has original jurisdiction, the ordinance states.
According to the Law Ministry-piloted ordinance, Commercial Courts, which will be equivalent to district courts, are to be set up in states and UTs where the high courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction, and in states where the high court has original jurisdiction, in respect of those regions to which the original jurisdiction of a high court does not extend.
( Source – PTI )