Rajya Sabha defers bill for commercial division in high courts

December 13th, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha Tuesday deferred a bill for setting up commercial divisions of high courts as opposition members alleged it provides for speedy justice to the rich at the cost of the poor.

Conceding to deficiencies in the bill, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said the bill could wait and asked the chair to defer it. The minister said that government will amend the bill and come back to the house in the coming week.

“We respect the sense of the house, and if the house is not ready, we will amend it and come back, maybe next week, with the bill,” Khurshid said.

The bill was passed in Lok Sabha in December 2009 without discussion.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said the bill was “completely misconceived and badly drafted”.

“You are now transferring all commercial cases to the slowest one of the costliest layers of judiciary, which takes 10 years to dispose one case and 35 percent positions are lying vacant,” Jaitley said.

D. Raja of Communist Party of India (CPI), who had earlier given a dissent note on the bill in the select committee which examined the legislation, said this is not in tune with the concept of justice and the poor were being denied justice on account of the rich.

The bill, called Commercial Division of High Courts Bill 2009, aims to constitute a commercial division bench within each high court. These benches would have original jurisdiction on cases where the value at dispute is over Rs.5 crore, and may follow a fast track procedure for such cases.

The commercial division is being carved out of the existing strength of judges in high courts. While this may speed up resolution of commercial disputes, it could lead to further delays in other categories of cases.

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