Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Commercial Division of High Courts Bill 2011

Litigation in India is not seen as the first and best option. In fact, people are cautious of approaching courts due to the slow pace at which our judicial system moves. It takes many decades for a simple dispute to be resolved. Further, corruption is also hindering effective dispensation of justice in India.

In this background, the suggestion of commercial division of high courts bill 2011 by Indian government came as a big surprise. While every Indian ordinary man spends more than thirty years to get his dispute resolved, the commercial disputes of high value have been given a preferential treatment by our Indian government.

Indian Government must focus more upon improvement of the Judicial System at large rather than picking up a portion that obviously goes against the “Constitution Philosophy”, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and a Supreme Court lawyer. By concentrating upon “Commercial Disputes Alone” and leaving aside the poor condition of our Judicial System is not a wise approach, opines Dalal. The Government must work more in the direction of ensuring access of Justice to marginalised people of India, suggests Dalal.

For instance, the judicial system of India can be reformed to a great extent if we establish good numbers of e-courts in India. However, till the month of May 2011 we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India. If we improve the overall condition of our Judicial System, Commercial Disputes would be automatically taken care of, suggests Dalal. Instead of taking a shortcut and unproductive path we must concentrate upon the overall efficiency aspect, suggests Dalal.

Meanwhile, the Bill has to wait till parliament's monsoon session. The parliamentary panel scrutinising the legislation is seeking more time to submit its report. The Select Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, to which the bill was referred in the winter session following resistance from the Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, was to finalise its report within six weeks. The panel was to submit the report during the budget session, but said it would need more time as it wanted to seek more views, including those of the Attorney General and the Bar Council of India.

The proposed commercial division of high courts bill 2011 needs opinion and suggestions of many more stakeholders and a wider category of experts. If the Indian government pushes the Bill prematurely or without consulting the desired stakeholder, the Bill would be not only counterproductive but could also fail to bring any change at all.