Frivolous, Groundless Filings Serious Menace To Administration Of Justice: SC Imposes Rs 5L Cost On Petitioners
By Team Legistify / 2017-03-08

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Sending across a strong message to litigants who file frivolous and groundless petitions in courts, the Supreme Court on Monday imposed Rs. 5-lakh cost on petitioners for ‘abusing the process of law’.A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was hearing a special leave petition filed against three orders of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in a first appeal: (i) an order dated November 22, 2013, by which a year’s time was granted to the petitioners to vacate the premises which formed the subject matter of a decree for eviction, until November 30, 2014; (ii) an order dated December 2, 2013, by which the high court disposed of the first appeal in terms of the undertaking filed by the petitioners and (iii) an order dated June 16, 2015, by which the petition for review has been dismissed.

The petitioners moved the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. There was a delay of 503 and 522 days, respectively, in the special leave petitions filed against the orders. Since the petitioners moved the high court in a petition for review, the Supreme Court condoned the delay.

On August 28, 2015, notice was issued in the application for condonation of delay as well as on the special leave petitions and a stay of dispossession was granted conditional on the petitioners depositing an amount of Rs 15,000 towards compensation for using the premises with effect from December 1, 2013.

After hearing the parties, the bench held: “Having furnished an unconditional undertaking to vacate the premises, it would be manifestly an abuse of the process for the petitioners to seek recourse to their remedies on the merits of the issues which arose in the First Appeal”.

Observing that the case indicated a blatant abuse of the process of the court, the Supreme Court said it must view with disfavour any attempt by a litigant to abuse the process.

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