Months after a law to create special courts to settle high-value business disputes was enacted, commercial courts have started functioning in Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. According to Law Ministry, commercial courts have started functioning under the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court, Bombay High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court and the Gujarat High Court. The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill was signed into a law by the President on January 1. After the law came into being, all pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of Rs 1 crore and above in high courts and civil courts stood transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Courts. Commercial Divisions will exercise jurisdiction over all cases and applications relating to commercial disputes.
The Commercial Division shall have territorial jurisdiction over such area on which it has original jurisdiction. Commercial Courts, which will be equivalent to district courts, are to be set up in states and Union Territories where the high courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. While lauding the new law to create commercial divisions in the high courts and the commercial courts at the lower level, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur had said in April that the new courts need separate infrastructure and new judges. He said without proper infrastructure and environment, such courts will not serve the purpose as dealing with cases that require a different handling. "Old wine in a new bottle will not serve the purpose," he had said in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has already assured that commercial courts in his state will run from a new premises with latest infrastructure.