The Union Law Ministry is mulling an amendment to enhance the pecuniary jurisdiction of commercial courts to enable them to take up disputes of specified value of Rs 3 lakh or more.
Currently, these courts which were constituted under ‘The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appelate Division of High Courts Act, 2015’ can only take up disputes where the specified value is not less than Rs 1 crore.
The amendment will help them take up more cases and reduce pendency in the long-run.
The government is also likely to amend section 3 (1) of the Act, which prohibits constitution of commercial courts for the territory over which high courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. This prevented the formation of such courts in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Himachal Pradesh.
The proposed change will enable the state governments in these places to designate a commercial court with pecuniary jurisdiction not less than Rs 3 lakh and not more than Rs 1 crore.
Official sources said the Centre is also working on a Bill to take over the undertakings of the International Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ICADR) and replace it with Indian Arbitration Council “for creating an independent and autonomous region for institutionalized arbitration”.
This follows a report by a committee headed by Justice (retired) B N Srikrishna that stated the ICADR had failed to address the growing needs of institutional arbitration. The panel had recommended takeover of the undertakings of ICADR without adversely affecting its character as a society.
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