Skip to content

Frivolous Petitions: Supreme Court Imposes Rs 1 Lakh Cost Penalty

Supreme Court's Strong Stand: Imposes Rs 1 Lakh Cost on Frivolous Petition

Background of the Case

The case in question involved a petition filed in the Delhi High Court, challenging an order rejecting the petitioner’s case for promotion. The High Court had issued a notice on the petition and scheduled the matter for the week commencing April 8, 2024. The petitioner, represented by Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora, moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the High Court to expedite the consideration of the matter. In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India expressed its discontent with the rising trend of filing Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) seeking merely to issue notices or grant adjournments. The apex court imposed a hefty fine of Rs 1 lakh on a petitioner and emphasized the need to discourage Advocates-on-Record (AoRs) from filing frivolous petitions that contribute to the unnecessary burden on the judicial system.

Supreme Court’s Displeasure

A Bench comprising Justice BR Gavai, Justice Rajesh Bindal, and Justice Sandeep Mehta expressed displeasure at the petitioner’s approach and the rising trend of filing SLPs for trivial matters. The court observed that petitions seeking notice or adjournments from other courts waste the court’s time and contribute to the backlog of cases.

Imposition of Rs 1 Lakh Cost Against Frivolous Petitions

In an unusual move, the Supreme Court imposed a significant cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner as a deterrent against filing frivolous petitions. The court emphasized that the fine was intended to send a strong message to AoRs and counsels engaged by them, highlighting that such petitions should not be filed casually and without proper legal merit.

Refusal to Grant Liberty: Opposing Frivolous Petitions

The petitioner, realizing the unfavorable stance of the court, sought to withdraw the petition. However, the Supreme Court bench refused to grant liberty to withdraw, underlining the seriousness of the issue and the need to address the casual approach adopted by some AoRs.

Message to AoRs and Counsels

The court directed that a copy of the order be sent to the President of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCORA) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to be communicated to their members. This is seen as a broader message to legal practitioners to exercise responsibility and discretion while filing petitions.

Judicial Remarks on AoRs

Justice Gavai expressed concern that AoRs are sometimes used as mere “postmen” and emphasized that they, along with Senior Counsels, owe a responsibility to the court as its officers. The court highlighted that Article 32 petitions are increasingly being filed for directions to High Courts to decide, and the scope of Article 32 should be understood in the context of Fundamental Rights.

Conclusion – Battling Frivolous Petitions

The Supreme Court’s strong stand against frivolous petitions and the imposition of a substantial cost underscore the judiciary’s commitment to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the legal system. This decision serves as a reminder to legal practitioners that petitions filed in the apex court should be substantive, addressing significant legal issues, rather than seeking routine directions or adjournments. The move is expected to encourage a more responsible and considered approach in the filing of petitions, contributing to the overall efficiency of the judicial process.




Contact Us

Contact Form Demo (#5) (#6)

Recent Posts

Trending Topics

Visit Us

Bhatt & Joshi Associates
Office No. 311, Grace Business Park B/h. Kargil Petrol Pump, Epic Hospital Road, Sangeet Cross Road, behind Kargil Petrol Pump, Sola, Sagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380060

Chat with us | Bhatt & Joshi Associates Call Us NOW! | Bhatt & Joshi Associates