High Courts lose control of discipline when we set aside orders imposing costs: Supreme Court refuses to interfere in lawyer's appeal

Justice Chandrachud frowned upon the practice of always approaching the Supreme Court in appeal every time High Courts impose costs.
Justice DY Chandrachud, Supreme Court
Justice DY Chandrachud, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday observed that High Courts across the country feel that they are losing control over the discipline in their courtrooms when the top court sets aside orders imposing costs. [Sumit Singhal v. State of Rajasthan]

Recalling his own experience as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice DY Chandrachud opined that the top court should not always interfere with High Court orders imposing costs and consequently undermine their decisions.

"Whenever the High Court imposes costs, you come here on appeal. We should not do this. High Courts are losing control over discipline in those courts. It is just a line for us. I have been a High Court Chief Justice for 3 years," the judge orally remarked.

The Supreme Court was considering an appeal against an order of the Rajasthan High Court imposing costs of ₹50,000 on a lawyer who levelled allegations against judges.

The lawyer in question was apparently aggrieved that his name was not shown on the order sheet and made some unsavoury remarks against the judges of the High Court.

Upon going through the issue, Justice Chandrachud frowned upon the allegations made by the lawyer and the practice of always approaching the Supreme Court in appeal every time High Courts impose costs.

The top court declined to interfere in the matter, except to the extent of extending the deadline to pay the costs by 30 days.

"Sorry, we cannot interfere. Let him be careful in future. Deadline for costs to be imposed extended by 30 days," the Court said.

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