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Courts Not Casino for Litigants to Place Bets Masquerading as Legal Claim: Delhi HC

PTI

Last Updated: July 04, 2022, 18:56 IST

New Delhi

File photo of the Delhi High Court. (File photo: PTI)

File photo of the Delhi High Court. (File photo: PTI)

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani stated that a court is a forum for laying serious, bona-fid claims and not a place for fraudulent game-playing by dishonest litigants to get judicial sanction for false claims

A court is not a casino for a litigant to place a bet masquerading as a legal claim, said the Delhi High Court on Monday, asserting that Lady Justice is blindfolded to be non-partisan but is not blind to mischief, deception, or fraud by dishonest litigants making a mockery of the judicial process.

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani stated that a court is a forum for laying serious, bona-fid claims and not a place for fraudulent game-playing by dishonest litigants to get judicial sanction for false claims and they cannot be permitted to bring a dishonest claim and then withdraw it when the dishonesty is discovered.

The judge asserted that fraud or fraudulent conduct in a court of law vitiates all proceedings and if it appears to a court that fraud is being played upon it, it must not permit a litigant to obtain any benefit and must nip any such effort in the bud. A court is not a casino for a litigant to place a bet masquerading as a legal claim, and to later withdraw from the proceedings if he finds he has a losing hand. No legal proceedings may be initiated by a litigant by way merely of a gamble as if placing a wager, from which the litigant may conveniently withdraw at any time if matters are not going his way, said the judge.

Lady Justice is blindfolded only so as to be non-partisan; but not to be blind to mischief, deception or fraud being played-out before it by dishonest litigants making a mockery of the judicial process, the court stated. The court’s observations were made in light of its prima facie view in a lawsuit that the plaintiff and defendant, who claimed to be the buyer and seller of a property, respectively, were attempting to obtain directions to fructify what may be an illegal transaction in relation to the sale and the plaintiff was now seeking permission to withdraw the case to evade scrutiny.

The court said that the right to withdraw a suit is not absolute and no procedure of law can be made a tool to perpetuate deceit in a court of law and dismissed the plaintiff’s application seeking withdrawal of the suit and allowed another partywhich claimed that the subject property was owned by another corporate entity and had encumbrances over itto be impleaded as a party defendant in the matter A court is never powerless to deal with a dishonest litigant, it added. .

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first published:July 04, 2022, 18:56 IST
last updated:July 04, 2022, 18:56 IST