Bombay Bar Association (BBA), a lawyers’ body, has written to Maharashtra Chief minister Ashok Chavan, seeking his intervention to stop transfer of original jurisdiction of Bombay High Court in financial matters.
The High Court is mainly an appellate court -- it hears appeals from lower courts -- but in financial suits, Bombay High Court enjoys original jurisdiction if suit property is worth over Rs 50,000. Such suits can be filed directly in the High Court.
BBA fears that if Bombay High Court loses its original jurisdiction -- a law to this effect has been passed already -- large corporations would take their cases to other High Courts, which enjoy similar original jurisdictions, rather than litigating before lower courts here.
“Judges in lower courts come from moffusil background. They are competent, but they may not have exposure to financial matters which Bombay High Court currently handles,” said advocate Rohit Kapadia, president of BBA.
A law was enacted by State Legislature in 1992, tranferring jurisdiction to lower courts. But it will be implemented only when Supreme Court decides that lower courts in Mumbai have adequate infrastructure.