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Provisions of Commercial Court Act are not applicable Retrospectively

There has been lots of doubts in the air recently these days regarding interpretation of various provisions of the commercial court act. In the past, the Hon'ble Court have been clearing the fog over the interpretations of provisions and so has been done by the Hon'ble Division Bench, High Court of Delhi , on one of the aspect of commercial court act.

One of the doubts which have been prevailing was that what is the scope of applicability of provisions of commercial court act to all the commercial suits, which have already been filed and already been pending before various Court?

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi, in a recent Judgment, has cleared the doubt as to whether the provisions of commercial court act are applicable retrospectively.

This Judgment has come in multiple Transfer Petitions filed by the Petitioner seeking transfer of Suit from the Court of Ld. Additional District Judge to the Commercial Courts.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi was pleased to dismiss the Transfer Petitions of the Petitioners after observing that provisions of Commercial Courts Act are not applicable retrospectively.

The basic idea behind this Judgment is that the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi simply reiterated the well settled principle of law that any Act, until specifically made effective retrospectively , is effect since the day it was made applicable.

This was also applicable to the Commercial Court Act 2015 , which was subsequently amended in the year 2018. In view of amending act 2018, the provisions of this act was made applicable only since 03.05.2018.

In view of the above, the provisions of this Act can not be made applicable to the matters instituted prior to the 03.05.2018.

Since the subject matter Transfer Petitions were filed pertaining to the Civil Suits, instituted prior to the year 03.05.2018, hence the provisions of commercial court act could not be made applicable thereto.

Resultantly the provisions of Commercial Court Act 2015 were held inapplicable to the subject matter suits which were filed prior to the relevant date i.e. 03.05.2022.

Similar issues on the scope of maintainability of Commercial Suits valued less than Rs. 3 lakh,before the Commercial Court came up before the Hon'ble Single Judge in Appeal bearing FAOIPD 1/2022 titled as Vishal Pipe v/s Bhavya Pipes, which was disposed of vide Judgment dated 03.06.2022.

The Hon'ble Singh Judge, High Court of Delhi , in the said matter observed that usually, in all IPR cases, the valuation ought to be Rs.3 lakhs and above and proper Court fee would have to be paid accordingly. All IPR suits to be instituted before District Courts, would therefore, first be instituted before the District Judge (Commercial).

However the Hon'ble Single Judge, while making afore mentioned observation also indicated that in order to however maintain consistency and clarify in adjudication , even such suits which may be valued below Rs.3 lakhs may continue to be listed before Commercial Court , however provisions of Commercial Court Act shall not apply.

The cumulative effect of the present Judgment passed by Hon'ble High Court of Delhi and the afore mentioned Judgement dated 03.08.2022 passed in the FAO IPD No.1 of 2022 would be that all commercial suits filed prior to 03.05.2018 would be listed before the Commercial Judges, however the provisions Commercial Court Act would not apply in those Suits.

Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Satyanarain Khandelwal v/s Prem Arora
Date Of Judgment: 18.07.2022
Case:Tr.P.(C) No.47 Of 2021
Name Of Hon'ble Court: High Court Of Delhi
Name Of Hon'ble Judge: The Hon'ble Chief Justice And Mr. Subramonium Prasad

Written By: Ajay Amitabh Suman, IPR Advocate, Hon'ble High Court of Delhi
[email protected], 9990389539

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