[Coronavirus] Bombay HC imposes Rs 15k costs on litigant for insisting on "thoroughly irresponsible" listing of non-urgent matter
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[Coronavirus] Bombay HC imposes Rs 15k costs on litigant for insisting on "thoroughly irresponsible" listing of non-urgent matter

Meera Emmanuel

The Bombay High Court on Monday imposed Rs 15,000 as costs on a litigant for his insistence on listing a non-urgent matter, despite the Court's directive that only urgent matters would be taken up from this week to decongest the Court and minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Taking a serious view of the failure to abide by this directive, Justice GS Patel observed,

"The present listing for ad-interim reliefs is thoroughly irresponsible. It is a regular contempt motion. There can be no urgency in this...the matter ought not to have been listed, nor should the Advocates for the Plaintiff have even ventured to suggest that there is any kind of urgency."
Bombay High Court

The Court was told by the litigant's counsel that he had been advised against insisting on listing. However, the counsel was unable to persuade the litigant in this regard, it was submitted. The judge was, however, not impressed. Rather, it was pointed out,

"That is no answer. It is not unreasonable to expect Advocates to inform their clients of what is and is not possible or permissible, and not to act on their every wish."

Justice GS Patel

The Court proceeded to observe that it could withdraw the facility of allowing the mention of urgent matters altogether, in view of this episode. However, to do so would be to burden other advocates. Therefore, the Court decided to impose costs on the litigant in this case, in line with an earlier warning circulated in a notice for Justice Patel's Court. The judge ordered,

"There will, therefore, now be an order of costs against the Plaintif in the amount of Rs. 15,000/- payable to St Jude India ChildCare Centres, Cotton Green Campus, Bombay Port Trust Colony, Rajas Nagar, Zakaria Bunder Road, Cotton Green (East), Mumbai 400 033."
Bombay High Court

The Court added that "This also is not enough" and proceeded to direct further that the litigant would not be allowed to mention his matter early before the now fixed date in June.

"The matter will now be listed last on board on 26th June 2020. There will be no opportunity to mention the matter either for an early listing or for a priority listing on the supplementary board."

Bombay High Court

[Read the Order]

Order of costs on mentioning.pdf.pdf.pdf
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