Calcutta, Aug. 26: The Assembly today passed a law allowing both Calcutta High Court and the city civil court to hear financial disputes involving amounts up to Rs 1 crore, the chief minister billing it a pro-poor move.
Earlier, the civil court heard matters with financial implications of up to Rs 10 lakh.
“This amendment will help poor litigants,” Mamata Banerjee told the Assembly before the City Civil Court (Amendment) Bill, 2013, was passed 136-53, the Left having demanded a division.
“Those who can’t afford good barristers (can now) move a lower court. Let the litigants choose which court to move.’’
The state had decided to table the bill after city civil court lawyers struck work for over two months demanding the cap for their court be raised from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
Learning of the government decision, high court lawyers sprang a weeklong counter strike, realising that few would hire them now for cases involving amounts below Rs 1 crore.
The strike was withdrawn after the government promised to look into the matter.
The Left today opposed the amendment, saying concurrent jurisdiction would allow cases involving less than Rs 10 lakh too to be fought in the high court, benefiting rich litigants.
“You keep shouting; I’ll fight for the poor,” Mamata said.