A few months after India’s big gain on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index into top 100, former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian brought Sunny Deol’s popular dialogue ‘Tarikh-par-Tarikh’ into the picture to point out how judicial delays were hurting business sentiments in India.
In the Economic Survey 2018 report, Arvind Subramanian dedicated an entire chapter on the next frontier for Ease of Doing Business — which was to address delayed justice. Since then, a big step was taken in this direction, which almost went unnoticed.
In the Monsoon Session this year, the most productive session since 2000, both the houses of the Parliament passed the Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which is going to have a huge impact in lifting the business sentiments in India.
Speaking with FE Online, Punit Dutt Tyagi, Executive Partner of Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys said that the passage of the bill in the lower house was a good beginning. “By having prescribed simplified procedures and rules of evidence to be followed by these courts, the act has effectively streamlined the process of adjudication in commercial disputes,” he said.
The act is in line with an Amendment Ordinance passed earlier this year, which reduced monetary limit for filing a commercial suit from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 lakh. Not only will the act enable small businesses to bring their business disputes to commercial court but it will also lead to quicker resolution of the disputes.
“A quick resolution for commercial disputes is essential for encouraging business, both domestically and internationally. A speedy and effective resolution of commercial disputes will build investor confidence by reducing uncertainty,” Punit Dutt Tyagi added.
The pre-institution mediation and settlement (as per the act), which is already in vogue in western jurisdictions will help reduce the filing of frivolous and/or non-serious litigation, he explained.
Another key highlight is that under this act parties making pleadings before the commercial courts will now be obliged to file all documents and make necessary disclosures before the court and must produce an affidavit to that effect. This move will help in curtailing the element of last minute filings and surprises, and subsequent delays.