The Delhi High Court recently slapped a cost of Rs 1 lakh on advocate Swadesh Kumar for abusing the legal process.

The bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar observed, “When the legal process is abused by members of the legal fraternity, who are supposed to be its protectors and preservers, the Court has to take an extremely stern view of the matter.”
A decree was passed against the applicant, Akshem Chand, and his sons and daughters by the Additional Senior Civil Judge after the respondent, Suresh Bala and her husband Angad Ram instituted a suit seeking a decree of possession, permanent injunction, and mesne profits against the applicant when they failed to vacate the property even after their license was terminated.
Advocate Swadesh Kumar appeared for the applicant.
The Court noted that in the first round of litigation, they reached till Supreme Court which disposed of SLP and did not find it right to interfere with the decision of the High Court which granted extra time to applicants to vacate subject to the filing of the undertaking.
The Court further noted that in the second round of litigation, the applicant instituted a suit for declaration that the earlier judgment was null and void as it was obtained by fraud. Respondents challenged it under Order VII Rule 11 CPC. Learned ASCJ found that the suit was itself not maintainable as the earlier judgment attained finality till the Supreme Court. It also found, on merits, that the allegations of fraud and misstatement were unsustainable on facts. Applicant’s Review Petition was dismissed.
As per the Court, this application was the third round of litigation where the applicant filed an application under Section 340 of CrPC read with Section 195 IPC seeking the institution of criminal proceedings against the respondent for having obtained the judgment and decree by fraud. According to the Court, it had repeatedly put the applicant on notice, as to whether he was pressing this application, but he insisted on pressing it.
The Court stated, “The applicant is a practising advocate. This Court cannot believe that the applicant is unaware of the law. It is obviously in full knowledge and consciousness of what he is doing, and the manner in which he is abusing the legal process with impunity, that the applicant has filed the present application.”

While slapping a coat of Rs 1 lakh on the advocate for the abuse of legal process the Court observed, “The Court, however, has to ensure that such misadventures and transparent attempts at abusing the legal process are nipped in the bud, so that other such trigger-happy litigants are deterred from committing similar misdemeanours.”
Hence, the Court dismissed the application.
Cause Title: Late Akshem Chand through LR Alto Devi v. Suresh Bala & ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024: DHC: 2157)
Adv. Swadesh Kumar