• Dr. Mohan Dewan assisted by Adv. Shubham Borkar

E-filing of cases relating to IPR infringement (Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Design infringement) will be made compulsory in all the commercial courts particularly those based at Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata. This move is being implemented to increase India’s position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. India is presently at the 63rd position amongst 190 countries

What are Commercial Courts?
Commercial Courts are special courts established for solving Commercial Disputes under the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division, and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015. These were established to fast track the disposal of high-value commercial disputes (above Rupees One Crore approximately USD 170000) however to improve ease of doing business in India, an ordinance was brought in 2018 to reduce the pecuniary jurisdiction of Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions in High Courts to Rs. Three lakhs (approximately USD 4000)

What are the Ease of Doing Business Rankings?
The World Bank analyses the regulatory environment of a country and then the countries are ranked on their ease of doing business, from Rank 1 to 190. A high “Ease of doing business ranking” means that the regulatory environment is more favourable for starting and operating a local firm. India has moved 14 places from 77th rank in 2019 to attain 63rd in 2020.

The Update
In order to strengthen India’s position in the above World Bank rankings, the Central Government has made recommendations to the Bombay High Court and the Delhi High Court to immediately execute the e-filing process in all the subordinate Commercial Courts by 30th June and the Calcutta High Court, and the Karnataka High Court by 30th September. The Union Law Ministry has written to the Registrar Generals of all the four High Courts to make sure that the process of e-filing is executed and followed within the given deadlines.

The High Court of Kolkata has also been requested to put up 2 additional Commercial Courts in Kolkata and to make them entirely functional by 30th June. The Ministry has further requested the Registrar of all these High Courts to decrease the pecuniary authority of the Commercial Courts to Rs. 3 lakh (Approx. USD 4000) before 31st July.

The Union Government has constituted a Central Task Force that will conduct weekly review meetings for examining the progress of the procedure of ‘enforcing contract’, an essential parameter based on which the World Bank ranks a country for ‘ease of doing business’.

The Union Law Ministry has recommended that no Judge in these High Courts should give more than 3 deferments or postpone a case, especially in the Commercial Roaster of the High Courts to ensure that the cases are disposed off within a fixed time frame.

Previously in May this year, the Union Minister for Law and Justice and the Attorney General of India interacted with a team of law officers in a virtual meeting.

In this interaction, the Law Minister specifically highlighted “that during these challenging times overzealous PILs needs to be avoided. Although one cannot stop anyone from filing cases there must be an effective response to these types of interventions. This was appreciated by the Attorney General and all other law officers. Secretary, Department of Justice highlighted the issues about e-Courts and other developments that are being pursued to make it more effective. “[2]

The Law Minister shared that there was significant growth in the number of Advocates who had registered for e-filing of cases during the lockdown. Over a thousand Advocates have registered for e-filing of petitions during the lockdown. Even some urgent IPR cases were heard both at the Bombay and the Delhi High Courts. The Attorney General and many other law officers emphasized the need for strengthening the e-Courts system by addressing connectivity issues and for training of lawyers in e-Court management. In this regard, the Law Minister directed the Secretary Justice (member of the e-Court Committee of the Supreme Court) to coordinate in bringing these challenges before the Committee and in coordination with NIC and other agencies and improve the system. 

The Law Minister, in particular, emphasized to take this challenge as an opportunity to make digital systems in justice delivery more robust.  

Dr Mohan Dewan had envisaged a system of E-justice and had disclosed this system in a patent application in the year 2008: International application no. PCT/IN2009/000412.                        



[2] Press Release by Press Information Bureau Government of India- Let us take lockdown as an opportunity to make digital systems in justice delivery more robust: Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad New Delhi 10th May 2020


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