Lieutenant governors (LGs) and administrators of Union territories have been empowered by the central government to designate civil courts as special courts to adjudicate contracts relating to infrastructure projects.
The Union Home Ministry passed an order to this effect on Monday.
"In pursuance of the powers conferred under the Constitution, the President hereby directs that the Administrators of Union territories (whether known as Administrator or Lieutenant Governor) shall, subject to the control of the President also exercise the powers and functions of the state government under section 20B of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (47 of 1963) in respect of their respective Union territories," the order said.
Under Section 20B of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (47 of 1963), the state government, in consultation with the chief justice of the high court, can designate one or more civil courts as special courts within the local limits of the area to exercise jurisdiction and to try a suit under this Act in respect of contracts relating to infrastructure projects.
A home ministry official said the decision comes against the background of large pendency of cases relating to infrastructure projects in some of the Union territories.
Delhi, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have either LGs or Administrators.
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