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A litigant’s decision to brazenly breach Court orders while also threatening her case opponent with false molestation charges recently prompted the Bombay High Court to slap a punitive fine of Rs 25 lakhs on the errant party.
While passing the order, Justice SJ Kathawalla remarked,
“This Court has repeatedly noted and also recorded in some of its orders how parties brazenly breach the orders of the Court without any fear. In fact, I have observed and noted that the common man is under a misconception that the Civil Courts cannot pass any orders detaining them in prison and it is only a Magistrate who can do so.
Again, those who are aware of the consequences, draw support from the fact that if an order sentencing them to civil prison, or a heavy fine is passed, they will file an Appeal and obtain a stay, which will efectively frustrate the sentence of imprisonment and fine imposed. This impression is required to be dispelled, and the Courts need to take stern action against such ofenders. Appeals filed by such ofenders also need to be disposed of at the stage of admission itself.“
The order was passed in a intellectual property right (IPR) infringement suit brought by a pharmaceutical company, Sapat and Company (plaintiff) against two others, Feel Good India and Narendra Marketing, for copying their designs in packaging cough syrup medicines.