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'Luxury litigation': Lawyer argues for over 20 min, SC slaps Rs 2 lakh fine on petitioner

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New Delhi, June 3 (Ajit Weekly News) The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on a petitioner, whose lawyer argued for over twenty minutes in a matter, which was termed as “luxury litigation” by the court.

A vacation bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and Hima Kohli told counsel, appearing for a petitioner, that the matter is nothing but a luxury litigation between two warring factions attempting to take control over an educational institution.

“We will impose exemplary costs. Party has to pay Rs 1 lakh to the SCAORA (Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association) and Rs 1 lakh to the SCBA (Supreme Court Bar Association),” it said.

As counsel submitted before the bench that the plea had merit, the bench told the counsel: “We warned you of costs”, and pointed out that despite its warning, he argued the case for 22 minutes. The bench said the cost imposed was justified, as it strongly objected to the practice of filing “luxury litigation”.

Earlier in the day, the same bench imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh while junking petitions that alleged illegal constructions and excavation at Shree Jagannath temple in Puri by the Odisha government, saying the petitioners unnecessarily made a hue and cry.

The top court said: “In the recent past, it is noticed that there is a mushroom growth of public interest litigations. However, in many of such petitions, there is no public interest involved at all. The petitions are either publicity interest litigations or personal interest litigation.”

“We highly deprecate the practice of filing such frivolous petitions. They are nothing but abuse of process of law. They encroach upon a valuable judicial time which could be otherwise utilised for considering genuine issues. It is high time that such so-called public interest litigations are nipped in the bud so that the developmental activities in the larger public interest are not stalled.”

–Ajit Weekly News


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