Contempt notice issued & heavy costs imposed on dishonest octogenarian applicant to send a strong message

Delhi High Court: A Bench comprising of Valmiki J. Mehta, J. dismissed an application for recalling of its earlier order, whereby the appeal was dismissed and 3 year time period was granted to him to vacate the suit premises. Notice under Section 340 CrPC was also issued to the applicant for falsely denying on oath; along with a notice of contempt against him.

The applicant filed the application against an earlier order in which his appeal was dismissed as not pressed, on the ground that his earlier counsel cheated and defrauded him by taking signatures on an affidavit of undertaking to vacate the suit premises. Applicant also filed complaint with the BCI against the earlier advocate.

The Court stated that it is not unaware of the practice of dishonest litigants to make false allegations against an earlier counsel. The Court refused to believe that a literate litigant who has contested the case before it as well as the lower court, did not know the terms of the earlier order for around 3 years, and only came to know about it after the time period allotted to vacate the property expired. It also noted that the status of every case is available to be known at all times by the litigants, by inspection of the court file. Further, in view of the proceedings being an abuse of the process of law, and which also maliciously target the earlier advocate, the application was dismissed with costs of Rs. 2 lakhs. A notice under Section 340 CrPC was also issued to the applicant for falsely denying the contents of an affidavit on oath. Also, a contempt notice was issued against the applicant, in spite of him being 84 years old, to act upon gross dishonesty, irrespective of age. [Bachan Singh Kumar v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 8188, decided on 05-05-2017]

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