US envoy expected to meet Gowda, discuss commercial courts bill

 US Ambassador to India Richard Verma is expected to meet Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda to discuss timely resolution of commercial disputes and the commercial courts bill pending before a Parliamentary panel.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 01, 2015, 16:06 PM IST

New Delhi: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma is expected to meet Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda to discuss timely resolution of commercial disputes and the commercial courts bill pending before a Parliamentary panel.

Verma has sought an appointment with Gowda for this week to discuss the commercial courts bill pending before a Parliamentary committee and "issues related to creating a better investment climate such as timely resolution of disputes", sources in the Law Ministry said.

Only last week, the Union Cabinet had cleared amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to ensure faster settlement of commercial disputes between corporates. The amendment sets a fixed timeline for arbitrators to resolve cases.

The amendments to the law comes amidst its keenness to attract the maximum foreign investment. But foreign companies were said to be hesitant to do business in India because of the long-drawn litigations.

The Bill on commercial courts seeks to set up commercial benches in select high courts to deal with high value business disputes.

Once the proposed bill gets parliamentary nod, all pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of Rs one crore and above in the high courts and civil courts will be transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Commercial Courts as the case may be.

Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those high courts which are already exercising ordinary original civil jurisdiction such as Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and Himachal Pradesh high courts.