Fast-track courts help the cause of infra cases
In a move that comes as a boost to India's chances of further improvement in the World Bank ease of doing business rankings, 22 out of 25 High Courts in the country have operationalised designated fast track courts to adjudicate disputes related to infrastructure project contracts.
Justice Secretary Barun Mitra recently informed cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba that 22 of the high courts have operationalised these specially designated courts. Some of them set special days every week for exclusive handling of relief matters on infrastructure project contracts.
The special courts of Calcutta, Allahabad, MP and Karnataka within the jurisdiction of the respective HC, have dedicated special days every week to enable exclusive handling of relief matters pertaining to infrastructure contracts, said Mitra.
The law ministry has been entrusted with the task of improving India's ranking on the "enforcing contract" aspect of the ease of doing business ranking. The ministry has been in regular touch with each of the high courts to ensure that separate commercial benches of the HCs and district courts under them are set up to expedite resolution of commercial disputes.
Last month, a review meeting was held on "enforcing contracts", chaired by the justice secretary and attended by other members of the task force constituted for improving India's World Bank ranking. The task force includes members from the department of legal affairs and the high courts of Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, Karnataka and department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT). The e-Committee of the Supreme Court is also a member of the task force.
In 2020, India ranked 63rd overall in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking, a significant jump from the 130th position it held out of 190 countries in 2016. To further expedite time-bound disposal of commercial cases, the government has created 42 additional posts of higher judicial services in Delhi HC.