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Starts 42 Additional Commercial Courts Immediately: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court was informed on Tuesday by its administrative side that all efforts will be made to ensure that the infrastructure for starting 42 additional commercial courts here is ready in six months.

The counsel for the administrative side of the high court submitted that the building was under construction and once the courtrooms are handed over to them, the vacant posts of district judges (commercial) will be filled.

The submission was made in a pending petition seeking to direct the authorities to set up more commercial courts as notified by the Delhi government on April 13, 2021, to ensure speedy redressal of commercial cases instituted in the national capital.

While taking on record the statement made by the high court’s counsel, a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad disposed of the petition filed by advocate and social activist Amit Sahni and said that it will pass a detailed order later.

During the hearing, the bench said it has serious problems with the Delhi government’s Department of Law as most of the files relating to the high court’s infrastructure were stuck there for the last few years and requested the council to look into the issue.

The Joint Registrar of the Delhi High Court, in an affidavit filed in pursuance of the court’s earlier directions, said all Principal District and Sessions Judges of district court complexes in the city were requested to provide the latest information in respect of vacant/availability of courtrooms in their respective court complexes.

The court had earlier issued notice and sought a response of the Delhi High Court, through the Registrar General, the Delhi government, and the Centre on the petition by Sahni seeking directions to set up posts of 42 more district judges (commercial) in view of a notification issued by the city government on April 13, 2021.

The notification was issued in furtherance of the Delhi Government’s cabinet approval regarding the setting up of 42 additional posts of district judges (commercial). The court had also directed the administrative side of the high court to file an affidavit disclosing the position regarding the availability of courtrooms and judicial officers who could man these commercial courts.

As per the data received in the affidavit, out of a total of 554 courtrooms, presently there are nine vacant courtrooms in court complexes here.

The affidavit said that 44 pre-fabricated courtrooms at Karkardooma Court have been completed and their possession has been handed over to the office of Principal District and Sessions Judge (East), Karkardooma, and construction of 50 pre-fabricated courtrooms at Tis Hazari Court and 46 at Saket court are in advanced stage and it is expected that they would be completed in the near future.

“It is submitted that at present 64 posts of District Judge (Commercial Court) are sanctioned in Delhi Higher Judicial Service (DHJS) and against these 64 posts, 22 courts of District Judge (Commercial Courts) are functional. It may also be pointed out that out of 64 posts, 42 posts were sanctioned on April 13, 2021, and these posts have been included in the schedule of DHJS Rule, 1970 with effect from August 19, 2021,” it said.

It further said, “At present, there is a shortage of courtrooms in the court complexes in Delhi to start 42 additional commercial courts, immediately. Once, the remaining 96 under-construction courtrooms are handed over, the process of establishing 42 new commercial courts may be initiated.” The Delhi government’s Law Department, in its affidavit, said it has conveyed the approval of the Lieutenant Governor to the high court for the creation of 42 additional posts in DHJS in super time scale along with ancillary staff for establishing 42 commercial courts.

“Chief Secretary, Delhi government had desired during the meeting on June 7, 2022, that the PWD may strictly adhere to the timelines for construction of pre-fabricated courtrooms and hand over the same formally within the prescribed timelines,” it said.

The high court on April 4, had asked the Delhi government to apprise it about the infrastructure required for setting up 42 commercial courts in the national capital.

It had also directed the administrative side of the high court to file an affidavit disclosing the position regarding the availability of courtrooms and judicial officers who could man these commercial courts.

The Delhi government additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal had submitted that the city government has already notified more commercial courts in April 2021 by increasing the number from existing 22 to 64 and now it is up to the high court administration to designate or appoint more judges against those increased posts.

The petitioner has said out of 64 commercial courts, presently only 22 of them have been set up in operation by the Delhi government, and the authorities be directed to set up 42 more such courts as notified by the government.


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