Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frivolous litigation

Hike cost on frivolous litigation to 1 lakh: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has suggested a 3000% increase in the cost imposed on a person indulging in frivolous and vexatious litigation, saying unless it was hiked from Rs 3,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the system would fail to control false cases being foisted to victimize innocent citizens.
A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik, in a judgment delivered last month but made available on Tuesday, said, “At present, the courts have virtually given up awarding any compensatory costs as award of such small sum of Rs 3,000 would not make much difference. We are of the view that the ceiling in regard to compensatory costs should be at least Rs 1,00,000.”
It referred to Section 35A of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) which provides for compensatory cost in respect of false or vexatious claims or defence. The maximum amount to be levied on a person indulging in false litigation was amended in 1977 from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000. Justice Raveendran, who has since retired, expressed dismay at the cost remaining unchanged for the last 34 years.

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