Condonation of Delay | Litigants who indulge in frivolous litigation, clog arteries of justice delivery system: Read Court’s opinion on vexatious litigation

Saket Courts, New Delhi: Anuj Agrawal, Additional Sessions Judge-05, while addressing the present matter, expressed that,

A litigant who takes liberty with court procedure should anticipate the necessary consequences.

a stern message is required to be sent to the litigants who indulge in frivolous and vexatious litigation as such litigation not only clogs arteries of justice delivery system but also deprives genuine litigants of their fundamental right of speedy trial.

It was observed that no application was moved by revisionist under Section 5 of the Limitation Act seeking condonation of delay in filing present revision petition, challenging the orders passed by the trial court.

Factual Matrix

A complaint alleging commission of an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act was filed by revisionist/complainant with the allegation that respondent had issued a cheque for an amount of Rs 5 lakhs in discharge of their legal liability. On presentation of the said cheque, it got dishonoured for reasons ‘insufficient funds’. Respondent did not make payment despite service of notice due to which the complaint under provisions of NI Act was filed.

Last order of the trial court was passed on 4-12-2017, whereas the instant revision petition came to be filed on 19-3-2018. The limitation period as per Article 131 of Schedule to Limitation Act, is 90 days from the date of impugned order (s).

Therefore, in view of the above, the instant revision was filed beyond the limitation period. There was no application for condonation of delay or a whisper about the instant petition being filed beyond period of limitation.

“…law aids the vigilant and not the indolent.”

Settled Law

On expiry o period of limitation, a valuable right accrues in favour of other side and same cannot be defeated in a routine manner and existence of discretion by court for condoning the delay. If the delay is not properly, satisfactorily and convincingly explained, court cannot condone delay merely on asking of aggrieved parties.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Court held that the present revision was hopelessly time-barred with regard to impugned orders.

Bench before parting with this Order, expressed its anguish and was appalled by the insidious and cavalier approach of the revisionist.

In Court’s view, liberal access to justice should not be construed by anyone as a mean to lead chaos and indiscipline and frivolous petitions should be penalized with heavy cost. The sanctity of the judicial process will be seriously eroded if such attempts are not dealt with firmly.

Further, Court stated that

It is only then the courts would be in a position to resolve genuine causes in a time bound manner and answer the concerns of those who are in need of justice. Imposition of real time costs is also necessary to ensure that access to courts is available to citizens with genuine grievances and not to frivolous petitions like the present one.

While dismissing the present revision, cost of Rs 1 lakhs were imposed for the mischievous approach. [Madhulika Tripathi v. Logix Corporate Solution (P) Ltd., Revision Petition No. 207 of 2018, decided on 22-11-2021]

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