New Delhi: Lawyers of Karkardooma district courts in Delhi on Tuesday abstained from work protesting against implementation of an ordinance to set up commercial benches in high courts to deal with business disputes of over Rs one crore.
Observing a day-long strike, the protesting lawyers said the Ordinance provides that commercial disputes of over Rs one crore will be decided by the commercial benches set up in the high courts and disputes of up to Rs two crore will be heard by trial court judges and alleged that it has been done to facilitate a particular lobby.
President of Shahdara Bar Association, advocate Mahesh Sharma, said several efforts were made for implementation of Delhi High Court Amendment Act on enhancement of the pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts from Rs 20 lakh to Rs two crore and the commercial divisions bill takes away the jurisdiction of trial courts on commercial disputes above Rs one crore.
"Due to the Ordinance, litigants and lawyers will have to suffer a lot because of problems of distance. Litigants will have to travel all the way to the high court leaving the trial courts which are close to their residence."
"The Ordinance also puts a question mark on the competency of trial court judges which in our opinion is incorrect. When a district judge or additional district judge of Delhi who has been considered competent to decide a domestic dispute of up to Rs two crore, why can't he or she decide a commercial dispute of above Rs one crore," he asked.
Lawyers claimed that the Ordinance was unconstitutional as went against the right to equality as commercial disputes have been given priority over domestic disputes.
Recently, the Delhi High Court had issued a circular stating that all the pending commercial disputes of over Rs one crore be transferred to the high court for disposal of by its commercial division.
As per the ordinance, commercial disputes include disputes relating to transactions between merchants, bankers, traders, financiers, intellectual property disputes and contractual disputes relating to commerce, licensing and distribution agreements.