Embarrassment to Govt; HC Bill deferred in RS

In an embarrassment to the government, the Opposition forced it to defer a bill for constitution of commercial divisions in High Courts.

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2011, 22:21 PM IST

New Delhi: In an embarrassment to the
government, the Opposition on Tuesday forced it to defer a bill for
constitution of commercial divisions in High Courts, stating
that it provides for speedy justice to the rich at the cost of
the poor.

Conceding there are deficiencies in the Commercial
Division of High Courts Bill, 2010, Law Minister Salman
Khurshid said in the Rajya Sabha, "there are certain aspects
that require further consideration...We will be able to bring
some new amendments... I seek only little more time now."
He said if the members feel that further consultations
should be done, "we have no problem".

The bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha without
discussion, seeks to set up divisions in the High Courts for
adjudicating commercial disputes and fast-tracking these
cases.

Khurshid said the purpose of the legislation is to provide
faster methods of settling commercial disputes, but not at the
cost of other litigants.
Responding to allegations that it would discriminate
against the poor, the minister said the bill would not violate
Article 14 of the Constitution which ensures equality before
law.

Participating in the debate, Leader of Opposition Arun
Jaitley, who is an eminent lawyer, said the proposed
legislation was "completely misconceived and badly drafted".
It would lead to transferring these cases from "fastest"
courts to "laziest" layer of judiciary.

D Raja (CPI), who gave a dissent note in the Select
Committee, said, "This is not in tune with the concept of
justice. This bill can be taken back and reconsidered ...take
sense of the House. Come back, we will consider".

The bill was deferred after taking a sense of the House
where UPA does not enjoy majority.

PTI