HC imposes Rs 20K costs on tenant for abusing court process, seeking to summon court staff as witness

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 09-12-2022 17:21 IST | Created: 09-12-2022 17:00 IST
HC imposes Rs 20K costs on tenant for abusing court process, seeking to summon court staff as witness
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
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The Delhi High Court has slapped a tenant with a fine of Rs 20,000 for abusing the court process by seeking to summon certain court staff as witnesses in a pending matter relating to his landlord's plea to evict him from the property.

The high court said it was convinced that the tenant has wasted ''very precious quasi-judicial time'' of the competent authorities and of this court and held that his petition was completely untenable.

Justice Prathiba M Singh dismissed the petition with costs of Rs 20,000 to be deposited with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks, failing which the man's defence shall stand closed before the slum authorities.

Initially, the landlady had filed a suit in the trial court seeking eviction of the tenant from her property in Sabzi Mandi's Ghanta Ghar area here but it was dismissed.

In the suit, the tenant had taken a defence that the civil suit was barred without obtaining a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the slum clearance authority.

In order to obtain the NOC and permission for filing of the suit, the landlady preferred a petition under The Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act and the tenant moved an application seeking summoning of several witnesses, including ahlmad and court staff of the trial court where his cases were pending.

As the application was dismissed by the authorities concerned, the tenant filed an appeal before the Financial Commissioner which also rejected it.

He challenged that order before the high court on the ground that the tenant was entitled to summon the official witnesses for the purposes of proving his case before the slum authority.

The high court said it has seen the nature of the matter and is constrained to observe that the ''tenant has completely abused the court process''.

''The witnesses which the tenant wishes to summon relate to the ahlmads and court staff from the courts where his own cases against his employers and other cases are pending. Those are judicial records for which the certified copies could have been easily obtained by the tenant,'' it said.

However, since April, 2019 by filing unnecessary applications, the tenant has in effect ensured that the proceedings initiated by the landlady are delayed indefinitely, the high court said.

It noted that the tenant's original application was filed in April, 2019 and thereafter, several orders were passed rejecting his applications and that the tenant has been unsuccessful before all the authorities concerned.

''Considering the nature of the witnesses summoned and the manner in which the tenant has delayed the adjudication of the no-objection by the slum authorities, this court is convinced that that the tenant has wasted very precious quasi-judicial time of the competent authorities and of this court.

''These being proceedings filed in which the petitioner (tenant) himself was the party, no question arises of summoning the said ahlmads and the court staff for proving these records,'' it said.

The high court added that considering the large number of cases listed before these courts, the ahlmads, record in-charge of the Tis Hazari Court, cannot be entangled in the proceedings between the tenant and the landlady in this manner.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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