CHENNAI: Among the High Courts with original jurisdiction, Madras High Court has the highest pendency of commercial disputes and to address this mounting problem a Commercial Court would soon be set up.
The commercial court under the HC’s jurisdiction would hear suits and applications relating to commercial disputes, according to Justice Anita Sumanth.
Justice Sumanth, who along with British Deputy High High Commissioner Alexander Evans, released a report, ‘Assessment of Commercial Dispute Resolution in South India’, a project of the Centre for Public Policy Research with the support of British Deputy High Commission, Chennai, said the commercial courts are on the anvil but did not give a time-frame. The move comes in the wake of the legislation to set up special courts to settle high value business disputes. Such courts have started functioning in Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
These courts handle suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of `1 crore and above in high courts and civil courts.
The Centre too has voiced its support for developing better institutional mechanisms for Commercial Dispute Resolution through the Commercial Courts Act and amendment to Arbitration and Conciliation Act considering dispute resolution as part of Ease of Doing Business Reforms.
The report says there are a total of 16,884 commercial disputes pending in High Courts with original jurisdiction. Of these Madras High court tops with 5,865. With the number of commercial disputes growing rapidly, facilitating a seamless dispute resolution system through alternate means has become crucial. “As per the study, establishment of Commercial courts has received mixed response owing to apprehensions over procedures.
Hence, there is an urgent requirement for increased adoption and strengthening of commercial mediation and arbitration,” the report added.
Vinod Surana, co-chairman of Assocham Southern Region and Madhu Sivaraman, project lead, Centre for Public Policy Research, also spoke on the occasion.