Judicial system being virtually brought to its knees by unscrupulous litigants: HP HC

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The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has observed that legal process and the functioning of courts are being subverted through deceitful and misleading petitions. The court said this was an abuse of the law.

The court’s division bench of Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua was hearing an appeal, where the petitioners had challenged notices issued by the local authorities asking them to vacate their houses. They had been allotted the houses temporarily.

Rejecting the petition, the court noted that that the houses were allotted to the petitioners temporarily and were to be vacated by them on May 30, 2019, after which their possession of the property was unauthorised. “The case in hand shows that frivolous litigation is sought to be prolonged by the petitioners and the same is a calculated venture involving a no risk situation,” the court observed.

The court stated that despite the respondent corporation having shown compassion towards the petitioners, they still misused it by retaining the possession of the premises. “While the problem of homeless people has undoubtedly been globally recognized, along with the absence of sufficient housing facilities to meet the growing demand of the population, public property cannot be allowed to be encroached upon. No right can be claimed upon public property, especially when the same was granted only as a stop-gap arrangement, and the authorities should ensure constant vigilance on encroachment,” the bench said.

According to the court, it was because of such false and incoherent pleas by the parties that the judicial system in the country is choked. Such litigants consume the courts’ time for wrong causes. This clearly is an abuse of the process of the court as the intent of the petitioners is to deceive and mislead the court, that too, by taking the shelter of falsehood, misrepresentation and suppression facts in the court proceedings.

Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, in the order has also observed that the petitioners in the present case abused the process of the court. The judicial system has been abused and virtually brought to its knees by unscrupulous litigants like the petitioners in this case. It has to be remembered that court proceedings are sacrosanct and should not be polluted by unscrupulous litigants.

The bench opined that materialism, opportunism and malicious intent have overshadowed the old ethos of litigative values for small gains. Therefore, the court is required to maintain strictness, vigilance over the abuse of the process of the Court and curb such tendencies with iron hands.

-India Legal Bureau

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