Ordinary civil jurisdiction vs. ordinary original civil jurisdiction under the commercial courts act, 2015

As an IP lawyer, I have gone through 'The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015 (herein after referred as Commercial Courts Act in short) and I find an interesting fact regarding the ordinary civil jurisdiction  and ordinary original civil jurisdiction of Hon'ble Commercial Courts in respect of their constitution or establishment. 

The Law Commission of India, in its 253rd report has recommended for the establishment of Commercial Courts, the Commercial Division and the Commercial Appellate Division in the High Courts for disposal of commercial disputes of specified value of Rupees One crore and above. 

Based on the recommendation of the Law Commission, 'The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill was introduced incorporating the provisions  about

(1) the constitution of the Commercial Courts at District level EXCEPT for the territory over which any High Court is having ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION.

(2) the constitution of the Commercial Divisions in those High Courts which are already exercising ORDINARY CIVIL JURISDICTION and they shall have territorial jurisdiction over such areas on which it has original jurisdiction. 

(3) the constitution of the Commercial Appellate Division in all the High Courts to hear the appeals against the Orders of the Commercial Courts and the Orders of the Commercial Division of the High Court.

That Bill becomes Commercial Courts Act wherein the proviso  of Section 3 says that no Commercial Court shall be constituted for the territory over which the High Court has ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION. Meaning thereby the High Courts of Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, having Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction have no commercial courts at District level of these four territories. They have only Commercial Division in their respective High Courts. 

Now provisions of section 7 of the Commercial Courts Act say about the Jurisdiction of Commercial Divisions of High Courts stating that all suits and applications relating to commercial disputes of a Specified Value filed in a High Court having ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION shall be heard and disposed by the Commercial Division of that High Court.  Meaning thereby, the Commercial Division can only be established in a High Court which has ordinary original civil jurisdiction and NOT in any other High Courts which has only ORDINARY CIVIL JURISDICTION.

Thus,  it is clarified that the where there are Commercial Courts at District level, there is no Commercial Division in a High Court of that State. It is further clarified that that where the High Courts have their own ordinary original civil jurisdiction (Four High Courts ), they have no Commercial Courts at District level in their State, they have only Commercial Division in High Court in place of Commercial Court at District level.

Appeal arising against the Order or Judgement passed by the Commercial Court or Commercial Division of a High Court  may be filed to Commercial Appellate Division of the respective High Court within Sixty days. 

 

Chirag Bhatt 
on 08 August 2017
Published in Intellectual Property Rights
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