Sunday, November 27, 2022

Madhya Pradesh High Court fines petitioner Rs 50,000 for wasting precious time of court

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on a petitioner for wasting the precious time of the Court by not inform it regarding the parallel proceedings going on in the Supreme Court.

The Indore Division Bench of Justice Sujoy Paul and Justice Anil Verma observed on August 17, “We may record with pains that in all fairness, the petitioner should have informed the Court at the threshold that he has filed such proceedings before the apex court and seeks to withdraw this plea. The petitioner wasted precious time of the court by arguing the matter on merits.”

The Bench observed that the petitioner cited various judgments/orders and after wasting considerable time (around 30 minutes), it informed the Court about filing of appeal before the Supreme Court.

“We deprecate this practice. At present, the Indore Bench is working with almost 50 percent strength of Judges. Every single minute is precious. Thus, while permitting the withdrawal of this petition with the liberty prayed for, we deem it proper to impose cost on the petitioner for his conduct of wasting precious time. We quantify the cost as Rs 50,000, which shall be deposited before the High Court Legal Aid Committee within 30 days from today, failing which, the said Committee shall apprise the Court about non-compliance,”

the order read.

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Manish Nair, representing the petitioner, said that the petitioner has already filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the order of the National Green Tribunal, which became reason for passing the August 2, 2021 order by the Pollution Control Board.

During the course of arguments, Mr Nair narrated the facts in extenso. He handed over a compilation of judgments containing seven judgments/orders.

He submitted that the petitioner seeks to withdraw this plea to press his appeal filed before the Supreme Court, but till such time the said matter is taken up by apex court, the petitioner may be protected by holding that respondents shall not take any coercive action against the petitioner till the matter is taken up by the Supreme Court and the prayer for interim relief is considered.

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The prayer was opposed by Aniket Naik, Counsel for the respondents.

So far prayer for interim protection till such time apex court considers the interim prayer is concerned, the High Court cited the judgment of Supreme Court in 2010 (Kalabharati Advertising vs. Hemant Vimalnath Narichania & Ors.), to decide that the said prayer cannot be accepted.

The relevant para said: “22. It is a settled legal proposition that the forum of the writ court cannot be used for the purpose of giving interim relief as the only and the final relief to any litigant. If the Court comes to the conclusion that the matter requires adjudication by some other appropriate forum and relegates the said party to that forum, it should not grant any interim relief in favour of such a litigant for an interregnum period till the said party approaches the alternative forum and obtains interim relief. (vide: State of Orissa vs. Madan Gopal Rungta, AIR 1952 SC 12; Amarsarjit Singh vs. State of Punjab, AIR 1962 SC 1305; State of Orissa vs. Ram Chandra Dev, AIR 1964 SC 685; State of Bihar vs. Rambalak Singh “Balak” & Ors., AIR 1966 SC 1441; and Premier Automobiles Ltd. vs. Kamlakar Shantaram Wadke & Ors., AIR 1975 SC 2238).”

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