The Punjab & Haryana High Court imposed a fine of Rs. 1 Lakh on a woman who filed a fake rape case and asked the CBI to start a probe for the same. The Court said that such frivolous cases are not only an abuse of the process of law but also an attempt to overawe authorities.
What happens if a false case is filed in court?
Every Court has the power to decide if a case is valid and has merit based on facts and evidence. If the Court feels that the case is frivolous and is an attempt to thwart the discourse of justice, then the Court can impose a fine amount on the person who filed the case.
What do other cases say about frivolous litigation or practices?
- Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes and others versus Erasmo Jack de Sequeria (dead) through LRs and others (2012):
The Bombay High Court in 2012, said that false claims and defences are a serious problem in real estate litigation due to escalating prices of the real estate. The Court criticized that due to the enormous delay by the Courts itself, people drag on cases pertaining to valuable real estate properties in the hope that the other party will tire out and ultimately would settle with them by paying a huge amount.
- Ramrameshwari Devi & Ors. v. Nirmala Devi & Ors. (2011):
The Supreme Court, in 2011, held that to stop frivolous litigation, the Courts have to ensure that there is no incentive or motive for uncalled litigation. The Court came up with a solution for preventing frivolous cases by imposing exemplary or high cost on the person who filed the case. This is to control and stop the tendency of introducing false pleadings and forged/fabricated documents by the parties. Imposing heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments by the parties.
- Mathai @ Joby v. George & Anr. (2010):
The Supreme Court in 2010, observed that the practice of filing frivolous SLPs (Special Leave Petitions) against all kinds of orders of the High Court or other authorities was increasing. The Court said that the Supreme Court is meant to look at important issues like constitutional questions, questions of law of general importance and cases of grave injustice. Some of the Court’s suggestions to prevent frivolous litigation included:
- A closer scrutiny of all such matters to disclose that there was not even a remote justification for filing the case.
- An urgent need to put a check on such frivolous litigation.
- Taking the assistance of advocates to give proper advice to their clients.
- Ensuring that wrongdoers are denied profit or undue benefit from the frivolous litigation by imposing exemplary or high costs upon parties.