A bill to enhance the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil suits of the Delhi High Court from the existing Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore was introduced in the Rajya Sabha today.
The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014 aims at reducing workload of the Delhi High Court by transferring thousands of civil suits, valued up to Rs 2 crore, to the nine district courts in Delhi.
Moving the bill, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said it seeks to increase the pecuniary jurisdiction of the high court from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore by amending the Delhi High Court Act, 1966 and the Punjab Courts Act, 1918, as in force in the National Capital Territory.
At present, cases involving even a small property are required to be filed before the HC as it has the jurisdiction of civil suits involving Rs 20 lakh and above.
"This has increased the workload of the Delhi High Court... The poor people living in Delhi also have to cover considerable distance to approach the Delhi High Court to seek justice in their cases," the statement of objects and reasons of the bill states.
It said the Coordination Committee of Bar Association of Delhi at various forums had requested for enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of district courts in Delhi.
"The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has considered the request of the Bar Associations of Delhi and requested the central government for enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of ordinary original jurisdiction of the High Court of Delhi from the existing Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore," the statement of objects further said.
Since there are nine district courts, it is easier for litigants to approach them and the cost of litigation is also less there.
Once implemented, the move will lead to transfer of thousands of civil suits, valued up to Rs 2 crore, from the high court to the nine district courts.
The move to amend the Delhi High Court Act comes in the wake of a recommendation made by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice D Murugesan last year.