20th Law Commission of India headed by Justice (retd) A P Shah on 29 January 2015 submitted its 253rd report entitled Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015 to Union Government.
In its report, the Law Commission sought to set up commercial courts in India to settle any dispute in a time-bound manner so that no dispute shall be dragged over years without conclusion of arguments.
These commercial courts will ensure speedy disposal of high-value cases in which delays can discourage foreign investors. It will help to boost Narendra Modi's Make in India campaign and will encourage foreign investments as well.
The draft bill on Commercial Courts will be introduced in the Parliament in the Budget Session that is scheduled to start from February 2015 and will end in May 2015.
Provisions of the Commercial Courts Bill, 2015
• It defines a commercial dispute as dispute arising from agreements ranging from those of shareholders, franchising, joint venture agreements and subscription and investment agreements in the service industry to technology, intellectual property and insurance.
• It also clarifies that disputes from such agreements with the Union and State governments and bodies performing public functions will still constitute a commercial dispute.
• It also noted that pending commercial cases in five high courts of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Himachal Pradesh stood at 16884, which was 51.7 percent of all civil cases pending in these courts.
• It suggested for creating specialized commercial courts across the country based on the London and Singapore commercial courts to reduce time spent in court for litigating companies.
• The Bill proposes to set a time limit of 90 days for delivery of judgment after conclusion of arguments besides powers to the courts to impose exemplary costs against defaulting parties for wilful failure to disclose all documents.
• It proposes to set up at least 60 commercial courts across the country or about two to three courts in each state.
• It suggested revamping the commercial dispute resolution mechanism system by separating it from other civil disputes. This will ensure speedy disposal of high-value commercial cases.
• It seeks to give courts the discretion to make a company involved in litigation pay court fees and other expenses based on court hours used by it.
• It suggested that appeals from the commercial courts will go to the commercial appellate division of two judges and appeals against interim orders shall be barred.
• Commercial courts will have judges with expertise and experience in commercial disputes and may get a fixed tenure of two years so that continuity is maintained.
• It also provides for training and continuous education of judges by the national and state judicial academies.
When: 29 January 2015