Mediation under the Consumer Protection Act 2019

Chapter V of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 provides for the Mediation.

It comprises of eight provisions – Sections 74 to 81. It has come into force from 20th July 2020.

Recently, Supreme Court of India has directed all State Governments and Union Territories to take measures to establish Mediation Cells and enable e-filing of complaints by consumers at District level (District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions) and at State level (State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions) by next date of hearing i.e.July 26, 2022.[In re: Inaction of the Governments in appointing President and members/staff of Districts and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and inadequate infrastructure across India v. Union of India & Ors. In Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) Nos.2 of 2021, Order dt. April 12, 2022]

The Central Government has framed the Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2020, made operational from 20th July 2020.

Rule 3 requires that a Commission (District, State or National) shall have a Mediation Cell comprising of panel of mediators.

Rule 4 provides for matters not to be referred to mediation and it reads:

“The following matters shall not be referred to mediation, namely:-

(a) the matter relating to proceedings in respect of medical negligence resulting in grievous injury or death;

(b) matters which relate to defaults or offences for which applications for compounding of offences have been made by one or more parties;

(c) cases involving serious and specific allegations of fraud, fabrication of documents, forgery, impersonation, coersion;

(d) cases relating to prosecution for criminal and non-compoundable offences;

(e) cases which involve public interest or the interest of numerous persons who are not parties before the Commission:

Provided that, in any case other than those mentioned in this rule, the Commission before which the case is pending may choose not to refer it to mediation if it appears to the Commission that no elements of a settlement exist which may be acceptable to the parties or that mediation is otherwise not appropriate having regard to the circumstances of the case and the respective positions of the parties.”

Rule 6 also provides that the parties shall not resort to any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of a matter which is the subject matter of the mediation.

Further, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has made the Consumer Protection (Mediation) Regulations, 2020 and is made effective from 24th July 2020.

It provides fro eligibility o mediators for empanelment. It also provides (regulation 8) that mediator shall be entitled to a consolidated fee, as fixed by the President of the respective Consumer Commission considering the nature of the dispute. Fees are fixed case wise. And in an unsuccessful mediation, half of the fee will be paid to the mediator. And fee of the mediator shall be shared equally by the parties.

Regulation 9 requires that mediators shall undergo training from experts nominated by the Mediation Cell.

Regulations 10 to 15 are relevant from Mediators and parties perspective and hence is reproduced below:

Regulation 10. Code of conduct.—(1) The empanelled mediators shall not communicate, directly or indirectly with any of the parties or their associates, affiliates, promoters, holding companies, subsidiaries companies, directors, partners or employees or with any of their counsel during pendency of the mediation proceedings, except during the course of the mediation, in the presence of the parties or their counsel.

(2) The empanelled mediator shall not accept any gift or hospitality from any of the parties or their associates, affiliates, promoters, holding companies, subsidiaries companies, directors, partners or employees or any of their counsel.

(3) In addition to the disclosure required under clauses (a) and (b) of Section 77 each mediator shall disclose the following information before commencement of the mediation in a case assigned to him, namely—

(i) whether he has or in the past had any personal, business or professional relationship or connection with any of the parties to the consumer dispute or other proceedings or any person associated or connected in any manner, to any of the parties or their associates, affiliates, parent companies, subsidiaries companies, directors, partners or employees;

(ii) whether there exists any circumstance which may give rise to be reasonable doubt as to his independence and impartiality.

Regulation 11 Mediation proceedings.—(1) The mediation shall be conducted in the presence of the parties or their authorised representatives or counsel.

(2) The mediation shall stand terminated on expiry of three months from the date of first appearance before the mediator unless the time for completion of mediation is extended by the Consumer Commission, in which case it shall stand terminated on expiry of such extended time.

(3) The parties shall be entitled to appear before the mediator in person or through their respective counsel or authorised representatives.

(4) The mediator shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and fair play but shall not be bound by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) or the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872).

(5) If a party does not participate in the mediation proceedings, the Consumer Commission may direct such a party to participate in the proceedings.

(6) The parties shall provide all such information to the mediator as may be reasonably required by him for conducting the mediation proceedings.

(7) The record of the proceedings shall be prepared by the mediator on every date and shall be signed by the parties or their Counsel, authorised representatives or Attorneys.

(8) The agreement executed between the parties shall be submitted by the mediator, to the Consumer Commission, in a sealed cover, with a forwarding letter.

(9) If no agreement is executed between the parties, within the time prescribed in these regulations, the mediator shall intimate so, to the Consumer Commission, without in any manner disclosing as to what transpired during the mediation proceedings, what was the stand taken by the parties or why the agreement could not be reached.

Regulation 12. Role of mediator.—(1) The mediator shall attempt to facilitate a voluntary resolution of the disputes between the parties, assist them in removing the misunderstandings, if any, and generating options to resolve their disputes, but shall not impose any term or any settlement upon the parties.

(2) The mediator shall explain the terms of the agreement, to the parties, before obtaining their respective signatures on it.

Regulation 13. Confidentiality.—(1) The parties and the mediator shall maintain confidentiality in respect of the events that transpire during the mediation proceedings and shall not use or rely upon any information, document etc. produced, the proposals and admissions made or the views expressed during the mediation proceedings.

(2) There shall be no audio or video recording of the mediation proceedings.

Regulation 14. Communications.—The mediator shall not communicate with the Consumer Commission except by way of his report, with copies to all the parties.

Regulation 15. Immunity.—(1) No mediator shall be liable for any civil or criminal proceedings, for any act done or omitted to be done bonafidely by him, in his capacity as a mediator.

(2) The mediator shall not be summoned by a party to appear in a Court or other forum, to testify in regard to any information received or the action taken by him during the mediation proceedings.”

Finance Bill 2015 – Union Budget 2015 – some of the proposals relating to Service Tax

Taxable service received by an exporter of goods from commission agent located outside India and engaged under a contract or agreement or any other document by the exporter in India, to act on behalf of the exporter, to cause sale of goods exported by him and used for export of goods was exempted, subject to certain conditions. The said exemption is withdrawn w.e.f. 01 March 2015.

Taxable service received by an exporter of goods from by goods transport agency in a goods carriage from any container freight station or inland container depot to the port or airport and such services is used for export of goods was exempt, subject to certain conditions. Now, w.e.f. 01 April 2015 said xemption is also extended for transport of goods to land customs station.

Services received by mutual fund from its distributor or agent will not be liable to service tax, from 01 April 2015.
However, exemption given to mutual fund agent and distributor, is being withdrawn.

Following exemption is withdrawn w.e.f. 01 April 2015 (which was granteds by notification 25/2012-Service Tax dated 20th June 2012).
1. Services provided to the Government, a local authority or a governmental authority by way of construction, erection, commissioning, installation, completion, fitting out, repair, maintenance, renovation, or alteration of –
(i) a civil structure or any other original works meant predominantly for use other than for commerce, industry, or any other business or profession;
(ii) a structure meant predominantly for use as (i) an educational, (ii) a clinical, or (iii) an art or cultural establishment;
(iii) a residential complex predominantly meant for self-use or the use of their employees or other persons specified in the Explanation 1 to clause 44 of section 65 B of the Finance Act 1994;
2. Services by way of construction, erection, commissioning, or installation of original works pertaining to airport or port.
3. Services by brand ambessador as performing artist by way of a performance in folk or classical art forms of (i) music, or (ii) dance, or (iii) theatre.
Also services by a performiong artist by way of a performance in folk or classical art forms of (i) music, or (ii) dance, or (iii) theatre. if value of services exceeds Rs.100,000/- the same (whole amount) would be liable to service tax.
4. Services by way of transportation by rail or a vessel from one place in India to another of foodstuff including flours, tea, coffee, jaggery, sugar, milk products, salt and edible oil, excluding alcoholic beverages.
However, service tax exemption is extended to Services by way of transportation by rail or a vessel from one place in India to another of milk, salt and food grain including flours, pulses and rice.
Thus, on transportation of tea, coffee, jaggery, sugar, milk products, salt and edible oil, service tax becomes applicable.
5. Services by the following persons in respective capacities –
(i) mutual fund agent to a mutual fund or asset management company;
(ii) distributor to a mutual fund or asset management company;
(ii) selling or marketing agent of lottery tickets to a distributer or a selling agent;
6. Carrying out an intermediate production process as job work in relation to alcoholic liquors for human consumption.
7. Services by way of making telephone calls from –
(a) departmentally run public telephone;
(b) guaranteed public telephone operating only for local calls; or
(c) free telephone at airport and hospital where no bills are being issued.

No service tax w.e.f. 01 April 2015 on the following:
(i) Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana;
(ii) Services by operator of Common Effluent Treatment Plant by way of treatment of effluent;
(iii) Services by way of pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labelling of fruits and vegetables which do not change or alter the essential characteristics of the said fruits or vegetables;
(iv) Services by way of admission to a museum, national park, wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve or zoo;
(v) Service provided by way of exhibition of movie by an exhibitor to the distributor or an association of persons consisting of the exhibitor as one of its members.

No service tax on the following, from a date to be notified by Cent. Govt.:
Services by way of right to admission to,-
(i) exhibition of cinematographic film, circus, dance, or theatrical performance including drama or ballet;
(ii) recognised sporting event;
(iii) award function, concert, pageant, musical performance or any sporting event other than a recognised sporting event, where the consideration for admission is not more than Rs 500 per person.

Service tax in respect of services provided or agreed to be provided by way of supply of manpower for any purpose would be payable by service receiver. Thus, bodies corporate appointing contract labour, are liable to pay service tax on full amount. Earlier it was 75% of the amount.

SOME OF THE KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE UNION BUDGET 2015

Income Tax:

  • Individual and firm’s tax rate structure remains same.
  • Wealth tax replaced with surcharge of 2% on tax with annual income above Rs. 1 crore (10 million)
  • Transport allowance increased from Rs.800 to 1600 per month
  • Limit of deduction on health insurance premium: increased from Rs.15,000 to 25,000 and for Senior Citizens from Rs.25,000 to Rs.30,000/-
  • For very senior citizen, deduction for specified disease of serious nature – limit increased from Rs.60,000 to Rs.80,000/-
  • Senior citizen above 80 years, with no health insurance, allowed deduction of Rs.30,000/- towards medical expenditure
  • Increase in limit of deduction for contribution to pension fund and new pension scheme – from Rs.100,000 to Rs.150,000/- (u/s.80CCD)
  • For differently able, additional deduction of Rs.25,000 (u/s.80DD and 80U)
  • Corporate tax rate structure remains same. It is intended to be reduced to 25% in a phased manner in next 4 years. Along with reduction in tax slab, exemptions and incentives would be withdrawn. This is aimed to bring competitive corporate tax rate amongst ASEAN countries – so hopefully entrepreneurs need not go to neighbouring countries for manufacturing, sending goods to India at nil or concessional customs duty under Free Trade Agreement and pay less corporate tax abroad.
  • Rate of Income Tax on royalty and fees from technical services reduced from 25% to 10% to facilitate technology inflow to even small businesses.
  • Domestic Transfer Pricing threshold limit increased from Rs.5 crore (50 million) to Rs.20 crore (200 million) worth related party transactions.
  • Permanent Establishment form to be modified to encourage fund managers to relocate to India.
  • General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) to be deferred by two years. It will apply prospectively for investments made on or after 01 April 2017.
  • Tax pass through to be allowed to both category I and Category II alternate investment funds.
  • Rental income of REITs from their own assets to have pass through facility.
  • Pecuniary jurisdiction of a single member of ITAT increased from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh.

Customs, Excise and Service tax

  • Basic Custom Duty on 22 input/raw materials reduced.
  • Central Excise and service tax assessee can maintain records electronically and issue digitally signed invoice.
  • Online registration with Central Excise and service tax authorities in 2 working days.
  • Service tax will be increased from 12% to 14% from date to be notified by Central Government. More about service tax proposal can be read from here.


LEGAL FRONT:

  • NBFCs registered with RBI and having asset size of Rs.500 crore (5 billion) and above may be considered for notifications as ‘Financial Institution’ in terms of the SARFAESI Act, 2002.
  • Comprehensive Bankruptcy Code of global standards to be brought in fiscal 2015-16 towards ease of doing business.
  • Forward Markets commission to be merged with SEBI.
  • Section-6 of FEMA to be amended through Finance Bill to provide control on capital flows as equity will be exercised by Government in consultation with RBI.
  • Proposal to create a Task Force to establish sector-neutral financial redressal agency that will address grievance against all financial service providers.
  • India Financial Code to be introduced soon in Parliament for consideration.
  • Government to bring enabling legislation to allow employee to opt for EPF or New Pension Scheme.
  • For employee’s below a certain threshold of monthly income, contribution to EPF to be option, without affecting employees’ contribution.
  • A need for procurement law to contain malfeasance in public procurement.
  • Proposal to introduce a public Contracts (resolution of disputes) Bill to streamline the institutional arrangements for resolution of such disputes.
  • Proposal to introduce a regulatory reform Bill that will bring about a cogency of approach across various sectors of infrastructure.

MSME:

  • A Trade Receivables discounting System (TReDS) which will be an electronic platform for facilitating financing of trade receivables of MSMEs to be established.
  • Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank, with a corpus of Rs.20,000 crores (200 billion), and credit guarantee corpus of Rs.3,000 crores (30 billion) to be created. MUDRA Bank will be responsible for refinancing all Micro-finance Institutions which are in the business of lending to such small entities of business through a Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
  • Priority lending will be given to SC/ST enterprises.
  • A separate 7.5% sub limit is being created under priority sector lending for MSMEs.

SOCIAL:

  • At least one member has access to means for livelihood.
  • Housing for all – 2 crore houses in Urban areas and 4 crore houses in Rural areas.
  • Providing medical services in each village and city.
  • Basic facility of 24×7 power, clean drinking water, a toilet and road connectivity.
  • Electrification of the remaining 20,000 villages including off-grid Solar Power- by 2020.
  • Connecting each of the 1,78,000 un-connected habitation with all weather roads.
  • Ensure a Senior Secondary School within 5 km reach of every child, while improving quality of education and learning outcomes.
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna to cover accidental death risk of Rs.2 Lakh (200,000) for a premium of just Rs.12 per year.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana to cover both natural and accidental death risk of Rs.2 lakh (200,000) at premium of Rs.330 per year for the age group of 18-50.
  • Atal Pension Yojana to provide a defined pension, depending on the contribution and the period of contribution. Government to contribute 50% of the beneficiaries’ premium limited to Rs.1,000 each year, for five years, in the new accounts opened before 31st December 2015.

Senior Citizen:

  • A new scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices for senior citizens, living below the poverty line.
  • Unclaimed deposits of about Rs.3,000 crores (30 billion) in the PPF, and approximately Rs.6,000 crores (60 billion) in the EPF corpus. The amounts to be appropriated to a corpus, which will be used to subsidize the premiums on these social security schemes through creation of a Senior Citizen Welfare Fund in the Finance Bill.

Young Citizen:

  • To make India, the manufacturing hub of the World through Skill India and the Make in India Programmes.
  • National skills mission to be launched soon; will consolidate skill initiatives spread across several ministries and allow standardization of procedures and outcomes. Rs. 1,500 crore (15 billion) set apart for Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana (Gramin = Village; Kaushal = Skill; Yojna = Plan).
  • Encourage and grow the spirit of entrepreneurship – to turn youth into job creators.
  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to be established in NITI to provide Innovation Promotion Platform involving academicians, and drawing upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation , research and development. A sum of Rs.150 crore (1.5 billion) will be earmarked.
  • Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) to be established as Techno-financial, incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up business. Rs.1000 crore (10 billion) to be set aside as initial amount in NITI.
  • Student Financial Aid Authority to be set up to administer and monitor scholarship as well as Educational Loan Schemes through Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (Pradhan Mantri = Prime Minister; Vidya=Education; Karyakram=Program).

Gold:

  • Gold monetisation scheme to allow the depositors of gold to earn interest in their metal accounts and the jewellers to obtain loans in their metal account to be introduced.
  • Sovereign Gold Bond, as an alternative to purchasing metal gold scheme to be developed.
  • Commence work on developing an Indian gold coin, which will carry the Ashok Chakra on its face.

Foreign Investments:

  • Foreign investments in Alternate Investment Funds to be allowed. Hence, private equity, hedge fund or real estate funds may now attract foreign investment.
  • between different types of foreign investments, especially between foreign portfolio investments (FPI) and foreign direct investments (FDI) to be done away with. Replacement with composite caps.
    [FPI is investment through stock market whereas FDI is issue of securities by Indian company.]
  • For overseas direct investment (investment by Indians outside India) – some boost to “Look East” policy – India to setup a project development company to facilitate setting up manufacturing hubs in CMLV countries, namely, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

Government to raise funds:

  • Tax free infrastructure bonds for projects in rail, road and irrigation sector.
  • Disinvestment in some of the PSUs.

Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015

The 253rd Report of Law Commission of India titled “Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015”.
The Report,  inter-alia, recommends  the establishment of Commercial Courts, and Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Divisions in the High Courts in order to ensure speedy disposal of high value commercial suits.
To this effect a new Bill, titled  “The Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and  Commercial Courts Bill, 2015” has been drafted by the Commission.
While formulating  this  draft Bill, the Commission has suggested  substantive  procedural changes in the form of amendments to the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.  These suggestions are aimed  at ensuring disposal of cases expeditiously, fairly, and  at reasonable cost to the litigants.
After in-depth study of the commercial courts abroad, the Law Commission found necessity of such courts in India.
It suggests a new approach to civil litigation  – by substantially changing the procedures for the resolution of commercial disputes. These changes are a product of a seminal report (in UK) authored by the then Master of Rolls, Lord Woolf, known as the Access to Justice Report 1996 (called “Woolf Report”). Focus shifts from party driven case to judge driven case.

Some of the observations and recommendations are:

  1. The power to constitute Commercial Division of the High Court or Commercial Court, as the case may be, shall vest with the Central Government.
  2. At present only five High Courts – the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, the High Court of Judicature at Calcutta, the Delhi High Court, the Himachal Pradesh High Court and the High Court of Judicature at Madras – have original civil jurisdiction. And there is a wide variance in their pecuniary jurisdiction. Considering this, it is desirable that all the five High Courts should have a uniform pecuniary jurisdiction of Rupees One Crore.
  3. A “case management conference” has different connotations in different jurisdictions and since it is being introduced for the first time in India, it is necessary to clarify the meaning and scope of the term in the Indian context.
  4. To set up Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions within High Courts, which will function as model courts (on the basis of the guidelines and recommendations of the Model Court Report) establishing new practices and norms of practice in commercial litigation that can, over time, be scaled up and extended to all civil litigation in India.
  5. All commercial courts should be made e-courts to help reduce the need to maintain voluminous records and improve the efficacy of functioning.
  6. Commercial Divisions will be set up only in those High Courts that have ordinary original civil jurisdiction and have a pecuniary jurisdiction of not less than Rupees One Crore.
    In those States or Union Territories where a High Court does not exercise original civil jurisdiction, it is recommended that the Central Government, in consultation with the concerned State Government and Chief Justice of the concerned High Court, set up Commercial Courts, but the pecuniary jurisdiction of such Commercial Courts will be Rupees One Crore.
    For instance, Commercial Courts may be set up in cities such as Nagpur or Pune where the original civil jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court does not extend.
  7. The Central Government should simultaneously constitute a Commercial Appellate Division of the High Court composed of one or more Division Benches of the jurisdictional High Court to hear the appeals from the orders and decrees of the Commercial Division or the Commercial Court, as the case may be.
  8. All judges appointed as judges of the Commercial Court should be required to undergo training in a special program for a period of six months at the National Judicial Academy and/or at the relevant State Judicial Academy. The syllabus  for the training will be developed by the National Judicial Academy in consultation with lawyers, academics and judges.
  9. The Commercial Division of High Courts must, wherever possible, take benefit of new infrastructure but otherwise should be located in the respective High Court’s premises. Commercial courts on the other hand should, as far as possible, have separate infrastructure and registries from regular civil courts.
  10. All the proceedings of the Commercial Courts should be digitised. E-filing and all facilities for audio-visual recording should be available.
  11. Recommends amendments, as fully described in Schedule of the proposed Bill, be made to the CPC in its application to Commercial Courts and Commercial Divisions in High Courts.
  12. The provisions of the Bill should prevail over the CPC, State amendments to the CPC, and the applicable High Court rules in case of any conflict. Some of the key normative changes being suggested in the 2015 Bill are:
    1. ) Written statements, which are not filed within the thirty day period prescribed by Orders V and VIII of the CPC, can be filed afterwards (subject to a Court’s written order and the payment of costs); however, in no case can they be filed beyond one hundred twenty days from the days of summons. In such cases, the defendants shall forfeit the right to file the written statement and the Court shall not allow the written statement to be taken on record.
    2. ) Pleadings and filing of documents to follow the procedures under the CPC, but subject to stricter timelines, giving the court the power to strike out vexatious and irrelevant pleadings in order to ensure that the trial takes place on relevant issues.
    3. ) Disclosure and inspection norms that will allow parties to complete discovery of documents efficiently.
    4. ) A new and separate procedure of “summary judgment” to be introduced where parties can seek judgment of the court summarily at any point of time prior to the commencement of trial, namely at the time of framing of issue.
    5. ) The court will be empowered to conduct a case management hearing where it will have all the necessary powers required to ensure the proper conduct of a trial within a specified time frame. This will include,  inter alia, the power to fix dates for hearing, decide which issues are to be tried and witnesses to be summoned. In addition, 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.
    6. ) A new regime of costs to be introduced, providing for “costs to follow event” in all cases, except where the court gives reasons in writing explaining why costs should not follow. The model of costs proposed in the amendments to the A&C Act, 1996 by the Law Commission in its 246th Report will also be adopted in this Bill. This will entail amendments to Section 35 and Section 35-A of the CPC, which govern the award of costs.
      Court fees will need to be related to the time consumed by the litigants in the conduct of their case, much like Singapore. The State Government may, therefore, consider re-examining the court fee regime in light of its legislative domain under Entry 3, List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
    7. ) Time bound oral arguments to be supplemented with written submissions to be filed mandatorily.
    8. ) Time bound delivery of judgments within ninety days from the conclusion of arguments.
      The above normative changes will be supplemented by Practice Directions that will be issued by the High Courts.
  13. There will be no appeals from orders of the Commercial Division or the Commercial Court save under Order XLIII of the CPC and from final judgments of the Commercial Division or Commercial Court. Such appeals will only be to the jurisdictional Commercial Appellate Division.
  14. Notwithstanding any other law, no civil revision application or petition shall be entertained against an interlocutory order of the Commercial Court, including an order on a jurisdictional challenge.
  15. No appeals will be permitted from a finding of the Commercial Court or Commercial Division that the dispute in question is a commercial dispute.
  16. Suggestions with respect to arbitrations that involve commercial disputes:
    1. ) First,  it is recommended that in case of an international commercial arbitration concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore, any application or appeal arising out of such arbitration under the A&C Act, that has been filed in a High Court will be heard by  the Commercial Division of the High Court, where such Commercial Division has been constituted in the High Court. In the absence of the Commercial Division, applications or appeals concerning such international commercial arbitrations will be heard by the regular Bench of the High Court.
    2. ) Second,  in the case of domestic arbitrations concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore, applications or appeals may lie either to the High Court or a Civil Court (not being a High Court) depending upon the pecuniary jurisdiction.
      It is recommended that all applications or appeals arising out of such arbitrations under the A&C Act, that have been filed on the original side of the High Court shall be heard by the Commercial Division of the High Court where such Commercial Division is constituted in the High Court. However, in the absence of a Commercial Division being constituted, the regular Bench of the High Court will hear such applications or appeals arising out of domestic arbitration. If the application or appeal in such domestic arbitration is not within the jurisdiction of the High Court and would ordinarily lie before a Civil Court (not being a High Court) and there is a Commercial Court exercising territorial jurisdiction in respect of such arbitration, then such application or appeal shall be filed in and heard by such Commercial Court.
    3. ) Third, it is recommended that all appeals under the A&C Act in relation to arbitration cases concerning a commercial dispute of more than Rupees One Crore preferred against an order of the Commercial Division or Commercial Court, shall be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Appellate Division, where a Commercial Appellate Division has been constituted in the jurisdictional High Court.

Even commercial disputes which are appealed to the High Court from a tribunal, under a statute such as the Copyright Act, 1957 or the Trade Marks Act, 1999 be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Appellate Division. Where the order of the tribunal relates to a commercial dispute, and such order is challenged before the High Court, either by way of appeal or writ petition, it is recommended that such disputes also be heard and disposed of by the Commercial Appellate Division.