Are you abusing the process of court?

Conduct of a litigant before court.

Whenever a person approaches a Court of Equity, in the exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction, it is expected that he will approach the said court not only with clean hands but also with a clean mind, a clean heart and clean objectives.

Thus, he who seeks equity must do equity. The legal maxim “Jure Naturae Aequum Est Neminem cum Alterius Detrimento Et Injuria Fieri Locupletiorem”, means that it is a law of nature that one should not be enriched by causing loss or injury to another.

The judicial process cannot become an instrument of oppression or abuse, or a means in the process of the court to subvert justice, for the reason that the court exercises its jurisdiction, only in furtherance of justice. The interests of justice and public interest coalesce, and therefore, they are very often one and the same. A petition or an affidavit containing a misleading and/or an inaccurate statement, only to achieve an ulterior purpose, amounts to an abuse of process of the court.

[Source: V.Chandrasekaran vs Administrative Officer, decided on 18 September, 2012 by Supreme Court.]

The quest for personal gain has become so intense that those involved in litigation do not hesitate to seek shelter of falsehood, misrepresentation and suppression of facts in the course of court proceedings. A litigant who attempts to pollute the stream of justice, or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final.

[Source: Dalip Singh v. State of U.P. & Ors., (2010) 2 SCC 114]

The truth should be the guiding star in the entire judicial process. “Every trial is a voyage of discovery in which truth is the quest”. An action at law is not a game of chess, therefore, a litigant cannot prevaricate and take inconsistent positions. It is one of those fundamental principles of jurisprudence that litigants must observe total clarity and candour in their pleadings.

[Source: Ritesh Tewari & Anr. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors., (2010) 10 SCC 677; and Amar Singh v. Union of India, (2011) 7 SCC 69.]

“False claims and defences are really serious problems with real estate litigation, predominantly because of ever escalating prices of the real estate. Litigation pertaining to valuable real estate properties is dragged on by unscrupulous litigants in the hope that the other party will tire out and ultimately would settle with them by paying a huge amount. This happens because of the enormous delay in adjudication of cases in our courts. If pragmatic approach is adopted, then this problem can be minimised to a large extent……. wrongdoers must be denied profit from their frivolous litigation, and that they should be prevented from introducing and relying upon, false pleadings and forged or fabricated documents in the records furnished by them to the court.

[Source: Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes & Ors. v. Erasmo Jack de Sequeria (dead), (2012) 5 SCC 370), and Ramrameshwari Devi v. Nirmala Devi, (2011) 8 SCC 249.]

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