Bill on commercial benches in High Courts introduced in Lok Sabha

New Delhi(PTI): A Bill aimed at creating commercial benches in select high courts to settle high value commercial disputes was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.


In October, government had promulgated the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Ordinance, 2015, when a bill in this regard was pending with a Parliamentary Standing Committee. The Bill, moved by Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, seeks to replace the ordinance.

The proposed law comes amid keenness of the government to attract the greater foreign investment. Certain foreign companies were said to be hesitant to do business in India because of the long-drawn litigations. The Prime Minister has been stressing on steps to promote ease of doing business in India.

From October 23, the day the ordinance on the bill came into force, all pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of Rs one crore and above in the high courts and civil courts stood transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Commercial Courts as the case may be.

Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those high courts, such as those in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Himachal Pradesh, which are already exercising ordinary original civil jurisdiction. The 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.

Commercial Courts, which will be equivalent to district courts, are to be set up in states and Union Territories where the high courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction.