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Corporate cases eye fast track

A select committee of the Rajya Sabha is examining a bill to set up special fast track courts in the country, that could speed up the processing of commercial cases, reports Mahua Venkatesh.

business Updated: Mar 15, 2010 01:22 IST
Mahua Venkatesh

A select committee of the Rajya Sabha is examining a bill to set up special fast track courts in the country, that could speed up the processing of commercial cases.

Recommendations sent in by various stakeholders, including the legal fraternity and industry bodies, are being studied.

The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill, but a section of the Upper House feels such courts should address cases involving disputes of Rs 1 crore or mpre. In its present form, the Bill addresses only disputes of Rs 5 crore or more in value.

Over 25 million cases are pending in various courts of the country. Once Rajya Sabha passes it, these cases could be closed in a year’s time.

Sources familiar with the development said that the bill could be passed by the Rajya Sabha by the end of the year. “Once that happens, all these cases would have to be taken up on a fast track basis and closed with one year,” a source who did not wish to be identified said.

According to the proposed legislation, a commercial bench will be attached to the high courts to ensure that all high-value disputes are put on fast track. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) delegation which met the committee was headed by Sunil Munjal, MD & CEO, Hero Corporate Services and Manoj Kumar, managing partner, Hammurabi and Solomon.

A World Bank report had earlier said that legal hurdles in India make it difficult for carrying out businesses. A senior official at the ministry of corporate affairs told Hindustan Times that this perception needs to be changed. “We need to set up these fast track commercial courts to ensure that these pending cases are closed early and this would change the existing perception,” the official said.

The World Bank Report ranked India at 122 out of 188. Even Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have been ranked higher than India.