Law Commission

Cabinet gave approval to constitute the 21st Law Commission of India for a period of 3 years (2015-2018)

About
The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted very three years. The tenure of the 20th Law Commission was upto 31st August, 2015. Various Law Commissions have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of laws of the country. Law Commissions have so far submitted 262 reports.
Composition
  • a full-time Chairperson;
  • four full-time Members (including a Member-Secretary);
  • Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex officio Member;
  • Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and
  • not more than five part-time Members.
Functions
  • Undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.
  • Undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation etc.
  • Identify laws which are no longer relevant and recommend for the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments.
  • Suggest enactment of new legislations as may be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.
  • Prepare and submit to the Central Government, from time to time, reports on all issues, matters, studies and research undertaken by it and recommend in such reports for effective measures to be taken by the Union or any State.
Recently recommendation by Law Commission to set up exclusive commercial courts will boost ease of doing business in the country. Discuss. (200 Words)
India has been ranked 142nd in ease of doing business and has slipped from the previous 140th rank, which is a matter of concern. Trade has been the lynch-pin of development since ancient times. Looking at the sluggishness of the world economy and to have a positive BoP, we need to boost the manufacturing sector in the country towards the ―make in India campaign
In this regard, the formulation of theCommercial courts bill,2015 has been a progressive step. The salient features of this bill include:
  1. Setting a time limit of 90 days for delivery of judgment after conclusion of arguments
  2. Setting up appellate division benches in high courts which will hear the appeals from commercial courts.
  3. Provides for ‘training and continuous education of judges’ by the national and state judicial academies.
  4. These courts will have judges with expertise and experience in commercial disputes and fixed tenure of two years so that continuity is maintained
  5. The commercial court will be empowered to conduct a case management hearing by amending the CPC.
  6. Will have powers to fix dates for hearing, decide which issues are to be tried and witnesses to be summoned.
  7. The court will be empowered to impose costs and other penalties on parties for failure to follow the directions set out in a case management hearing,
Although speed and efficiency are all but guaranteed in the Commercial Court some pitfalls are-
  1. Efficiency is derived primarily from strictly enforced deadlines has consequent demands and pressures on both solicitors and their clients.
  2. The cost of bringing claims is significant
  3. Litigating before the Commercial Court can often attract far greater publicity, which is not always welcomed.
However many countries like the USA, Germany, England, France, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland etc. have had commercial courts from 1990s itself. Hence this could be seen as a welcome step in the right direction
The Law Commission of India (LCI) in its recent 253rd Report has recommended reforms that can support India’s economic growth from a legal perspective. Comment on its recommendations. (200 Words)
According to a report released by World Bank and international finance corporation India is the 3rd worst in settling commercial disputes. The recent recommendations by  the law commission of India throws a legal dimension to economic reforms that is the need of the hour.
Recommendations:
  1. Setting up commercial benches in high courts to fast track commercial disputes so that the hitherto pending cases are disposed of easily and the judiciary is relieved of its burden to some extent.
  2. “Commercial Disputes” that will include even, ordinary transactions, provided they are above the value of Rs.1 crore ensures financial responsibility and accountability to the investor’s money.
  3. Appointment of persons of economic expertise by the chief justice is a step towards delivering fair, quality judgements. This avoids unnecessary costs incurred for appeal.
  4. Commercial appellate authority to hear appeals is indeed a move to redress and revert any mishap in the lower court’s judgement.
Thus providing internal reforms with a legal dimension is the right step at the right time to improve investor friendly climate in India especially when India ranks among the lowest in ease of doing business(142) and the government is taking all steps (Make in India) to incline towards the market in line with the other developing economies and developed nations
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LCI recommended reforms are much-needed reforms in a growing economy where commercial disputes are often complex and of high value. The LCI has recommended the establishment of a commercial division in the High Courts to ensure speedy disposal of high-value commercial suits. It has proposed a bill, titled The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015, and substantive procedural changes in the form of amendments to the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The bill will define ‘commercial disputes’ so as to include ordinary transactions of merchants, bankers, financiers, joint ventures, partnerships, insurance companies and so on. These courts will have jurisdiction to hear only those disputes valued at Rs.1 crore or more. A commercial appellate division will hear appeals on the orders and decrees of the commercial courts. The Chief Justice will nominate judges with expertise and experience in commercial matters to the commercial and appellate courts. All pending commercial disputes beyond the specified value will be transferred to the commercial division. These recommendations are aimed to ensure disposal of cases expeditiously, fairly, and at reasonable cost.