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Court directed the Registry of the High Court to file its response within four weeks citing the reasons for not establishing commercial courts as per the previous order.
The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to its registry, the Centre, and the Delhi government in 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.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Amit Sahni, 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 in Delhi.
A division bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subromonium Prasad directed the Registry of the High Court to file its response within four weeks, citing the reasons for not establishing commercial courts as per the previous order.
Notably, on July 5, 2022, the same bench had directed the Registrar General of the High Court, the Delhi government, and others to set up 42 commercial courts within six months for the speedy redressal of commercial cases.
While passing directions, the court had taken note of the administrative side's submissions that a lack of courtrooms is impeding the establishment of additional commercial courts, which will be established once the infrastructure is completed.
The bench had also taken note of the Delhi Government's submission, which stated that the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi, had requested during the June 7th meeting that the PWD strictly adhere to the timelines for construction of prefabricated courtrooms and hand over the same formally within the prescribed timelines. Court had granted petitioner Amit Sahni to re-approach the High Court if the order did not get complied with within the stipulated time frame.
According to Sahni, the efficiency of the legal system and the time it takes to resolve commercial disputes are extremely important factors in determining the growth of investment and the overall economic and social development of the nation.
He further added that the delay in the administration of justice has been noted by the High Courts and the Supreme Court from time to time and that directions have been issued to fill the pending vacancies in various courts across the country.
According to the plea, there are currently 22 commercial courts operating in Delhi, but the additional 42 courts, which were approved by the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) Delhi on March 22, 2021, and subsequently notified on April 13, 2021, are yet to be appointed.
The plea also stated that despite the Government of NCT Delhi's notification of 42 additional commercial courts, the said posts have not been created by the High Court of Delhi through its Registrar General.
As per the data on the official website of the District Courts of Delhi, the courts in Delhi are overburdened. "There are 26959 cases pending in 22 commercial courts operating in Delhi District Courts until February 2022, so it is critical to appoint 42 dedicated Commercial Courts", the plea stated.
To speed up the justice delivery system, the Government passed the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division, and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015, which provides for a separate set of commercial courts to be set up by the State Governments in the District level to try suits and claims pertaining to commercial disputes, the plea further stated.
Case Title: Amit Sahni v. High Court of Delhi & Ors.
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