Top Judges to Look Into Set­ting Up Com­mer­cial Courts Next Week

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: In­dia’s top judges will look to draw up a roadmap for es­tab­lish­ing com­mer­cial courts to en­sure speedyset­tle­mentof high-val­ue­busi­ness dis­putes next week.

The move, which is likely to give a boost the govern­ment’s ini­tia­tives to im­prove‘easeof do­ing­busi­ness’,will be de­lib­er­ated upon and de­cided at a three-day con­fer­ence of chief jus­tices start­ing April 22 in Delhi. T h e C o mme r c i a l C o u r t s , C o mmerc i a l D i v i s i o n and Com­mer­cial Ap­pel­late Divi­sion of HCs Act, 2015, for which Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee gave his nod in Jan­uary, has set the stage for es­tab­lish­ment of com­mer­cial courts.

Equiv­a­lent to district courts, com­mer­cial courts are to be set up in states and union ter­ri­to­ries where high courts do not have or­di­nary orig­i­nal civil ju­ris­dic­tion.

The bill for com­mer­cial courts was moved in the Ra­jya Sabha in April last year. Then, law min­is­ter DV Sadananda Gowda had said that the bill re­flected the com­mit­ment of the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment to im­prove “in­vest­ment cli­mate and spur eco­nomic growth” in the country.

At the chief jus­tices’ con­fer­ence, to be headed by CJI Tirath Singh Thakur, “the su­pe­rior ju­di­ciary wants to de­lib­er­ate upon how and where to es­tab­lish com­mer­cial courts to en­sure that busi­ness dis­putes are de­cided at the ear­li­est”, a highly placed sources privy to the agenda told ET.

“Speedy dis­posal of com­mer­cial dis­putes will give a clear mes­sage that com­mer­cial lit­i­ga­tion is be­ing taken up at pri­or­ity and that any in­vest­ment in the country will not be de­layed on ac­count of lit­i­ga­tion,” the per­son said.

An­other key is­sue that the top judges would take up dur­ing the con­fer­ence is aug­ment­ing al­ter­na­tive dis­putes re­dres­sal (ADR) mech­a­nism.

“The en­deav­our is to pro­vide an easy, cheap al­ter­na­tive to fruit­less lit­i­ga­tion,” said a se­nior HC judge, re­quest­ing anonymity.

Other agenda points in the con­fer­ence in­clude re­form in the jus­tice de­liv­ery sys­tem and pro­vid­ing le­gal aid to the poor.

ET in Fe­bru­ary had re­ported that the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia had writ­ten to chief jus­tices of all high courts invit­ing sug­ges­tions on is­sues to be taken up dur­ing the con­fer­ence.

The CJI had made it clear that he wants to make ‘five plus zero’ —an ini­tia­tive of the su­pe­rior ju­di­ciary to en­sure that cases pend­ing for more than five years in courts are taken up on a pri­or­ity ba­sis and the num­ber of such cases brought down tozero — a re­al­ity.

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