Introduction of “The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015

 Commercial CourtsOn 27th April 2015, the Union Cabinet has approved to introduce a Bill, “The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015″ in the current session of Parliament.

The salient features of the proposed Bill are as under:

  • ‘Commercial dispute’ is defined broadly to mean dispute arising out of ordinary transactions of merchants, bankers, financiers and traders.
  • Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those High Courts which are already exercising ordinary original civil jurisdiction such as Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and Himachal Pradesh High Court.
  • Commercial Divisions will exercise jurisdiction over all cases and applications relating to commercial disputes.
  • Commercial Courts which will be equivalent to District Courts are to be set up in (i) The States and UTs where the High Courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction, and (ii) In the 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. The minimum pecuniary jurisdiction of such Commercial Courts and commercial division is proposed as Rs. One Crore.
  • “Commercial Appellate Division” shall be set up in all the High Courts to hear appeal against (i) Orders of Commercial Division of High Court; and (ii) Orders of Commercial Courts.
  • All pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of Rupees One Crore in the High Courts and Civil Courts will be transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Commercial Court as the case may be.
  • It is proposed to have a streamlined procedure which is to be adopted for the conduct of cases in the Commercial Division and in the Commercial Court to improve the efficiency and reduce delays in disposal of commercial cases.

More arbitration centres for commercial disputes planned

M. Veerappa Moily

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily Monday said that the central government was looking at setting up arbitration centres for commercial disputes in every metropolitan city in the country.

Speaking during a ceremony in Panaji, marked to unveil India’s first international arbitration outside the national capital, Moily also made a pitch for a paradigm shift in India’s approach to institutional dispute solving.

‘We want to set up such centres in all metropolitan cities in the country,’ Moily said, adding that world class infrastructure had to be constructed to ensure that the country attracts top class clients for arbitration and reconciliation.

‘We have to target both international and domestic clientele. Goa is a world class tourism centre, there’s no reason why it cannot be a world class arbitration centre,’ Mioly said.

Praising Japan for its ability to dispose 40 percent of commercial disputes through an efficient system of settlement in court, Moily said that India should also try to follow suit.

Moily said that the plan to set up commercial benches throughout India, through a legislation, was a step in that direction.

‘We need to tell the world that doing business in India does not have many hurdles. The legislation for setting up of commercial benches to handle monetary disputes had been cleared by a select committee and approved by the cabinet. It will be implemented soon,’ Moily said.

Commercial benches, according to Moily, would handle monetary disputes with transactions of over Rs.2 crore and were aimed at disposing each financial case within a year.