On Tuesday 5th of July 2022, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court directed creation of 42 new Commercial Courts in the National Capital within six months, to expedite the speedy disposal of commercial disputes. The Court issued the directions while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which stated that the 42 new Commercial Courts which were notified and/or sanctioned by the Delhi Government on April 13, 2021 were not setup.

According to the PIL, at present, a total of 22 Commercial Courts function in Delhi and there are 26959 cases pending in the 22 Commercial Courts functioning in the Delhi District Courts. It was further contended that the efficiency of the legal system and the time taken to resolve commercial disputes was an extremely important factor in deciding the growth of investment and overall economic and social development of the nation. As per the data collected till February, 2022 it takes on an average 747 days in Delhi for disposal of a commercial dispute.

In response to this plea, the administrative wing of the Court stated that, shortage of courtrooms was coming in the way of immediately starting additional Commercial Courts which can be established once the infrastructure is completed. It was further submitted that the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi had desired during the meeting dated June 7, 2022 that the Public Works Dept. ought to adhere strictly to the timelines for construction of prefabricated courtrooms and hand over the same formally within the prescribed timelines.

Taking into consideration all the submissions, the Court directed setting up of the infrastructure for 42 commercial courts within the next six months. The Court also granted liberty to the petitioner to re-approach if the Order was not complied within the time frame.

This is a significant development for IP jurisprudence in India and will greatly assist IP stakeholders in their pursuit against infringers. The ambit of Commercial Courts includes adjudication of commercial disputes regarding distribution and licensing agreements, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indication, semiconductor integrated circuits, patents, domain names, and the like. Thus, overall creation of new courts will prove to be boon for all IP

litigants as it will lead to speedy disposal of IP cases. The Court went on to direct the petitioner to report to the Court after 6 months to ensure that the directions of the Court are complied with.

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