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Delhi high court to transfer over 12,000 cases to lower courts under amended law

Delhi high court to transfer over 12,000 cases to lower courts under amended law
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Over 12,000 cases, mostly related to property disputes, are set to be transferred to district courts in the national Capital as Centre on Monday brought into force a law, which enhances pecuniary jurisdiction of civil courts from the existing Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Act 2015 was signed into an Act by the President in August but not brought into force. The Law Ministry said the Act has now been notified and brought into force with “effect from today”.  The amended Act will allow transfer of civil suits, valued up to Rs 2 crore, to district courts in Delhi from the High Court.

“This will facilitate access of the general public to 11 district courts located in six district court complexes within the vicinity of their location, ensuring speedy justice to the litigants at their door steps,” an official statement said.

Pecuniary jurisdiction refers to the jurisdiction of a court over a suit based on the amount or value of its subject matter. According to an estimate put before the Law and Justice Ministry parliamentary committee, which examined the Bill, there are over 12,000 cases that will stand transferred to lower courts. The Bill was introduced by the UPA government in the Rajya Sabha in February 2014 and referred to the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel, which cleared it.

The NDA government approved the measure without any changes and it was passed by the Upper House in the budget session earlier this year.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda had said that the measure would considerably reduce the workload of the Delhi High Court. “People staying in far-flung areas will also get relief as they won't have to come to the High Court,” he had said. Lower court lawyers in Delhi had been on a strike till recently demanding expeditious passage of the Bill while those of the high court struck work for about six days from July 22 opposing the measure.

The last revision of pecuniary jurisdiction of district courts in Delhi was done in 2003 when it was raised from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
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