‘It’s victory of arbitrariness and defeat of rationale’


Delhi High Court Bar Association Honorary Secretary Abhijat talks to Mohammed Iqbal about why the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill is "not litigant-friendly"

Why was the High Court Bar Association opposed to the passage of the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015, in Parliament?

The HCBA believed that the fundamental premise in introducing the Bill, that it will deliver justice at the doorsteps, was flawed. The lives of lakhs of litigants will be in a state of utter chaos when the cases are transferred from the High Court. Far from reducing the costs, it will make litigation a costly and cumbersome affair, requiring the parties to run from one court to another.

Is the High Court's pecuniary jurisdiction, fixed now at Rs.2 crore, unreasonable?

The issue of pecuniary jurisdiction should have been dealt along with the enactment and notification of the Commercial Courts Bill. If the Commercial Courts Bill is passed after the transfer of about 12,500 cases from the High Court, thousands of suits will come here again, putting the litigants at great trouble.

What did the agitation of the High Court lawyers on the issue achieve? There are reports about divisions cropping up within the HCBA.

Our agitation highlighted the fact that the Bill's passage in Parliament was a retrograde step. It was the victory of arbitrariness and the defeat of rationale, as the government succumbed to rank populism, rather than listening to the voices of logic. There were no divisions in HCBA, as only a couple of dissenting voices finally saw reason.

What will be the HCBA's future course of action in the matter?

Our struggle will continue. All avenues, including a challenge to the Bill on the judicial side, are open to the HCBA.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 8:57:28 AM |

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