India: Speedy Resolution Of Commercial Disputes

Determined to bring about a positive change in the international perception about the Indian justice delivery system by creating an environment for swift disposal of commercial disputes1, the Indian Government has enacted the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of the High Courts Act, 2015 (the "Commercial Courts Act"). As per the Commercial Courts Act, to resolve commercial disputes wherein the specified value of the subject matter is not less than one crore rupees2, the State Governments will establish Commercial Courts3 at the district level and the Chief Justices of the High Courts will establish the Commercial Division4 and the Commercial Appellate Division5 in their respective High Courts. Pursuant to the Commercial Courts Act coming into force, various State Governments and the Chief Justices of the High Courts have established the required legal framework for the adjudication of commercial disputes. Recently, on November 29, 2017, the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court issued a notification constituting the Commercial Division and the Commercial Appellate Division comprising two Division Benches, one in Madras and the other in Madurai.

Post constitution of Commercial Court, Commercial Division, and Commercial Appellate Division

Consequently, all civil suits, where the subject matter is a commercial dispute of specified value, to be filed afresh or pending (excluding those reserved for judgment prior to the constitution of Commercial Courts and Commercial Division) before the Courts at the district level or a High Court having original jurisdiction will stand transferred to the jurisdictional Commercial Court or Commercial Division6. Similarly, applications and appeals arising out of international commercial arbitration (except matters relating to the appointment of arbitrators) and domestic arbitration, where the subject matter is of specified value and filed in the original side of a High Court under the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 ("Arbitration Act"), will be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Division of the jurisdictional High Court. Applications and appeals arising out of domestic arbitration of specified value that would lie before the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district will be heard and disposed of by the jurisdictional Commercial Court.

The Commercial Appellate Division set up in each High Court will adjudicate appeals that may arise from: (i) orders of the Commercial Courts, (ii) orders of the Commercial Division, and (iii) appeals arising from domestic and international arbitration matters that are filed before a High Court.

Timelines, a key aspect

In addition to providing for the constitution of separate Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Divisions as well as appointing judges who have experience in dealing with commercial disputes, the Commercial Courts Act specifies strict timelines for conduct of cases to ensure the speedy resolution of commercial disputes. The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 ("C.P.C.") applicable to commercial disputes stand amended in the manner as specified in the Schedule7 to the Commercial Courts Act.

On failure to comply with the specified timelines, the defaulting party will now face serious repercussions. Key timelines specified in the said Schedule are as follows:

Written statement: A written statement8 must be filed by the Defendant within thirty days from the date of receipt of the suit summons. However, the Defendant can, with the leave of the Court and on payment of cost, file a written statement within one hundred and twenty days from the date of receipt of the suit summons. Failure to do so will result in the Defendant forfeiting the right to file a written statement.

Inspection of documents: Parties to proceedings must complete the inspection9 of documents disclosed by either side within a period of thirty days from the date of filing of the written statement or written statement to the counterclaim, whichever is later. However, the Court upon application by either party may extend the aforementioned time limit for the inspection of documents by a further period of thirty days.

Admission and denial of documents: Parties to proceedings must submit their statements10 of admission/ denial of all disclosed documents within fifteen days of completion of the inspection.

Summary judgments and case management hearing: Through a key amendment to the C.P.C., the Commercial Courts Act has ushered in specific provisions for summary judgment and case management hearing11 for speedy adjudication of commercial disputes. Pursuant to the introduction of the case management hearing, the trial and arguments must be completed within six months from the date of the first case management hearing.

Judgment: The Commercial Court, Commercial Division, and Commercial Appellate Division must pronounce the judgment12 within ninety days of the conclusion of arguments by parties.

Appeals: An appeal13 against the decision of the Commercial Court or Commercial Division must be filed before the Commercial Appellate Division of the jurisdictional High Court within sixty days from the date of the impugned judgment or order. The Commercial Appellate Division will endeavor to dispose of such appeal within six months from the date of filing the appeal.


The enactment of the Commercial Courts Act is a step in the right direction in enabling the speedy disposal of commercial disputes of specified value. The fact that the State Governments and Chief Justices of the High Courts have either established or are in the process of establishing a legal framework really gives teeth to the Commercial Courts Act. With the constitution of separate Commercial Courts, Commercial Divisions, and Commercial Appellate Divisions, together with the appointment of judges experienced in commercial disputes and most importantly with strict timelines and grave repercussions on failure to comply with such timelines, the Commercial Courts Act is a much-needed shot in the arm for the resolution of commercial disputes through Courts.


1 Section 2 (1)(c) of the Commercial Courts Act.

2 Section 2 (1)(i) of the Commercial Courts Act. 3 Section 2 (1)(b) r/w section

3(1) of the Commercial Courts Act.

4 Section 2 (1)(d) r/w section 4(1) of the Commercial Courts Act.

5 Section 2 (1)(a) r/w section 5(1) of the Commercial Courts Act.

6 Section 15 of the Commercial Courts


7 Section 16 of the Commercial Courts Act.

8 Order VIII (1)(i) of C.P.C.

9 Order XI (3) of C.P.C.

10 Order XI (4) of C.P.C.

11 Order XIII-A and Order XV-A of the C.P.C.

12 Order XX of C.P.C.

13 Section 13 of the Act

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Dhir & Dhir Associates
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Dhir & Dhir Associates
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions