The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to its registry, the Centre and the government of the national capital territory of Delhi on a plea seeking directions for setting up 42 more commercial courts, as notified by the Delhi Government on April 13, 2021, to ensure speedy redressal of commercial cases instituted in Delhi in the larger public interest.
The public interest litigation (PIL) has been moved by a social activist and practising advocate Amit Sahni.
The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on Friday granted four weeks time to the Registry of High Court to file a response as to why commercial courts have not been set up in terms of the last order.
Delhi High Court on July 5, 2022, had directed its Registrar General, Government of NCT Delhi and others to set up 42 commercial courts within a period of six months for the speedy redressal of commercial cases. However, the same is not done to date, stated the plea.
Earlier Delhi High Court's bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted down the submission of its administrative side stating that a shortage of courtrooms is coming in the way of immediately starting additional commercial courts which will be established once the infrastructure is completed.
The court also noted the submission of the Delhi Government stating Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi had desired during the meeting dated June 7, 2022, that the PWD may strictly adhere to the timelines for the construction of prefabricated courtrooms and hand over the same formally within the prescribed timelines.
Taking note of the submission the bench directed all the respondents to setup the infrastructure for 42 commercial courts within six months. The court granted liberty to petitioner Amit Sahni to re-approach the court if the order is not complied with within the time frame.
"The efficiency of the legal system and the time taken to resolve the commercial disputes is an extremely important factor in deciding the growth of investment and overall economic and social development of the nation," said the petitioner Advocate Amit Sahni.
"The delay caused in the dispensation of justice has taken note of High Courts and the Supreme Court from time to time and the directions have been issued to recruit the pending vacancies in different courts of the country," the petitioner added.
According to the petition, at present, a total of 22 commercial courts have been functioning in Delhi but the additional 42 Courts as approved by the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) Delhi on March 22, 2021, and subsequently notified on April 13, 2021, have yet to be appointed.
"As against the world's best practice towards the timeline for disposal of commercial disputes of 164 days, Delhi takes 747 days in deciding a commercial dispute. Mumbai, on average, takes only 182 days," said the petition.
The plea further stated that despite notification of 42 additional commercial courts by the Government of NCT Delhi, the said posts have not been created by the High Court of Delhi through its Registrar General.
The petitioner stated, "Delhi courts have been over-burdened, as per the data available on the official website of District Courts, Delhi".
"In order to expedite the justice delivery system at least concerning commercial disputes, the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015 has been passed by the Government, which provides for a separate set of Commercial Courts to be set up by the State Governments at the District Level to try suits and claims pertaining to Commercial Disputes," the plea read. (ANI)