The Parliament on Friday passed a bill that seeks to bring down the specified value of commercial disputes from the existing Rs 1 crore each to Rs 3 lakh and for their speedy disposal. The bill, that has been approved by Lok Sabha, was passed by Rajya Sabha on Friday. In his reply to the brief debate, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad favoured creation of All India Judicial Service on the lines of IAS and IPS and said scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward sections should get benefit of reservation.
He also favoured more representation of weaker sections including women in judiciary. He said 727 fast-track courts were handling over five lakh cases. Referring to members concern over vacancies in judiciary, he said by the end of this year, the government would have appointed the highest number of high court judges. He said there were 5,000 vacancies in lower judiciary and states should make efforts fill them.
The bill provides for establishment of commercial courts at the district judge level for the territories over which respective high courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. It seeks to amend the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provides for reducing the specified value of commercial disputes from the existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 lakh, enabling the parties to approach the lowest level of subordinate courts for speedy resolution of disputes.
Officials said there has been a steep rise in the number of commercial disputes at domestic and international levels. Growing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and overseas commercial transactions have also contributed to a significant increase in commercial disputes. They said bringing down the specified value of commercial disputes would reduce the time taken for resolution of such disputes and improve India’s ranking in the ease of doing business.