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Supreme Court imposes 25k costs on Adarsh Scam accused for repetitive filing of applications and abusing process of law

On August 10, the Court had extended the interim bail granted to Modi by one month. While doing so, the Court had said in equivocal terms that no request for extension would be entertained again.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on one of the accused in the Adarsh Scam case, Raj Kumar Modi, for repeatedly filing applications in Court and for abuse of the process of law.

The Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat imposed the costs after hearing a petition filed by Modi seeking interim bail.

Modi had previously sought interim bail from the Supreme Court on a number of occasions, at first citing the ill-health of his mother. On June 15, the Court had granted him interim bail for two months.

Then, on August 10, the Court further extended the interim bail granted to him by one month. It had also directed Modi to surrender by September 15. While doing so, the Court had said in clear terms that no request for extension would be entertained again.

However, Modi, in the application heard by the Court on September 15, sought interim bail yet again, this time citing his own ill-health. He stated that he has been diagnosed with a chronic case of epididymitis.

He argued that if his condition is left untreated, it can cause unbearable pain and may lead to life-threatening consequences. In fact, in rare conditions, it can also lead to tuberculosis, he claimed. Owing to this, Modi said that he had been medically advised to visit the doctor's clinic weekly and may have to undergo an operation.

Unimpressed by the repeated filing of these applications, the Court observed that this was an abuse of the process of law and as such deserves to be treated sternly, especially since directions in this regard were passed earlier.

"Repetitive filing of applications amounts to abuse of process of law. This application is filed in spite of the order passed by this Court categorically stating that no further application for extension of interim bail shall be entertained."
Supreme Court

The Court, while dismissing the application, contemplated imposing costs of Rs 1 lakh on Modi. However, on insistence of Senior Counsel KV Viswanathan, the Bench reduced the amount to Rs 25,000. The order reads,

"It is no more res integra that petitions/applications filed repeatedly are liable to be dismissed with exemplary costs. Therefore, we dismiss this application with costs of Rs.25,000."
Supreme Court

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, who was representing the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), urged the Court to treat the case severely due to the antecedents of the applicant of repeatedly filing for interim bail. The Supreme Court, however, noted that the goal is deterrence.

"The point of costs is not the amount, but deterrence", Justice Rao observed.

The Court clarified in its order that appropriate medical care would be provided to Modi.

Read Order:

VIJAY MADANLAL CHOUDHARY & ORS. vs UOI.pdf
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