Friday, February 4, 2011

Penalty over lengthy arguments: Lawyer asks court to fine him, not client

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court has spared a petitioner from paying penalty after his lawyer suggested that he should be fined and not his client. The court had imposed the fine for overstretched arguments.

On Friday, a division bench headed by the chief justice, suspended its order of slapping penalty of Rs 20,000 on a litigant, Dilip Shah. Shah had challenged in the court a land deal in the Makarba area accusing a trust of siphoning off Rs 12 crore. The court imposed a fine on the litigant and observed that the litigation was given a colour of public interest petition, though there was no public interest involved in it. When the lawyer, Girish Das, continued to make submissions even after the bench asked him to stop, the court asked him to pay a fine.

Last month, advocate Das moved a review petition in the court urging the judges that the amount of fine should be recovered from him and that his client should be spared because he was not responsible for what transpired in the courtroom. Das had also annexed a cheque of Rs 20,000 with his affidavit and prayed to the court to accept it as a cost imposed on frivolous PILs.

When the review petition was heard on Friday, Das gave his proposal. After a brief discussion, the court recalled its order on the penalty, said Das.

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