'Court is not a walk in place because Chandigarh is close to Delhi’, says SC, fines petitioner for 'wasting time'

Bench led by Justice SK Kaul asks a litigant to shell out Rs 20,000 for wasting its time

'Court is not a walk in place because Chandigarh is close to Delhi’, says SC, fines petitioner for 'wasting time'

Photo for representation. — iStock

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 2

The Supreme Court has ordered a litigant to shell out Rs 20,000 for wasting its time by filing a Special Leave Petition against an adjournment order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“If this is not a misuse of the process of law, one can say little else. This Court is not a walk in place only because Chandigarh happens to be in the proximity to Delhi,” a Bench led by Sanjay Kishan Kaul told petitioner Ramesh Chander Diwan.

“We are of the view that the petitioner must pay for wastage of judicial time and thus dismiss the petition with cost of Rs 20,000 to be deposited with the Supreme Court Group “c’ (Non-Clerical) Employees Welfare Association within four weeks from today,” ordered the Bench which also included Justice MM Sundresh.

“The special leave petition has been preferred not on any other fact or even the fact that the order is wrongly recorded but that the High Court erred in mechanically adjourning the matter for three months without issuing notice to the respondent and that the long adjournment without any interim protection would take away the petitioner’s right to approach a Higher Court,” the top court noted.

“We do not know why the adjournment was requested -- whether the counsel was not ready or whether there was lack of material instructions from the petitioner to the counsel! The fact remains that the learned Judge only obliged the counsel for the petitioner by accepting the request for adjournment. Yet the order is sought to be faulted by the petitioner by filing a petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India,” it said in its November 22 order.

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