Thursday 28 June 2018


While dismissing a CIVIL APPEAL case namely, Union of India & Ors Vs. Pirthwi Singh & Ors (Diary No. 8754 of 2018), the Supreme Court of India rapped the Union of India by imposing a penal cost of Rs.1,00,000/- in its judgement dated April 24, 2018 with these remarks, “To make matters worse, in this appeal, the Union of India has engaged 10 lawyers, including an Additional Solicitor General and a Senior Advocate!  This is as per the appearance slip submitted to the Registry of this Court.  In other words, the Union of India has created a huge financial liability by engaging so many lawyers for an appeal whose fate can be easily imagined on the basis of existing orders of dismissal in similar cases. Yet the Union of India is increasing its liability and asking the taxpayers to bear an avoidable financial burden for the misadventure. Is any thought being given to this?”

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Earlier, the Union of India had filed a batch of appeals which was dismissed by the Supreme Court by a judgment dated 8th December, 2017 namely, Union of India v. Balbir Singh Turn. After dismissal of that batch of appeals, the Union of India filed yet another appeal on the same subject namely, Union of India & Ors. v. Ex. Nk.Balbir Singh.  This appeal came up for consideration before the Court on 9th March, 2018 and was dismissed following the earlier decision. While dismissing the appeal with a penal interest of Rs.1,00,000, it was also noted that the same was filed well after several similar matters were dismissed by the SC . 

The present appeal was filed on 8th March, 2018 which is also well after the decision in Balbir Singh Turn.  While dismissing this appeal, the SC mentioned, “We would have expected that with the dismissal of the appeal relating to Balbir Singh Turn and Ex. Nk. Balbir Singh, the Union of India would take steps to withdraw this appeal from the Registry of this Court so that it is not even listed and there is no unnecessary burden on the judges.  But obviously, the Union of India has no such concern and did not withdraw its appeal from the Registry itself. The court further stated that the Union of India should have appreciated that by pursuing frivolous or infructuous cases, it is adding to the burden of this Court and collaterally harming other litigants by delaying hearing of their cases through the sheer volume of numbers.  Court further stated that if the Union of India cares little for the justice delivery system, it should at least display some sort of concern for litigants, as many of whom have to spend a small fortune in litigating in the Supreme Court. But the question remains, whether the Government learn any lesson from this?

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